The variety of different variants of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, which has been produced and is being produced in various countries, is striking, this is really where the “people's” weapon. Many well-known weapon companies that create the most varied AK-based weapon models, including those for the civilian market, were no exception. But in this article we will not “go” far abroad, but consider what was created not so far from us, namely in Czechoslovakia (at the time of the start of the design of the weapon). So, let's add to the series of articles about the relatives of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, another one, this time concerning Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic.
It is noteworthy that virtually all countries relating to the Warsaw Pact produced their counterparts of the Kalashnikov as soon as the opportunity allowed. All, but not Czechoslovakia. Possessing a sufficiently powerful skeleton of talented designers, the base and production facilities, this country went against others and used its own weapon, which was of very good quality, and its characteristics were impressive in general for those times. Nevertheless, many say that sooner or later the country had to switch to AK. And it almost happened in 1986 year, when the company finally completed work on a new model based on AK under the cartridge 5,45. In addition to the basic model, a shortened version of the weapon was developed, as well as a lightweight light machine gun, with bipods fortified near the muzzle. Fundamentally, the weapon was absolutely no different from the same Kalashnikov, but there were also differences.
The first thing to note is the presence of a ratchet, thanks to which the weapon was able to fire with a cut-off of three rounds. Here it is necessary to note such an interesting fact that the difference between the models consisted only in the length of the barrels. We will not take the characteristics of a light machine gun, after all an article about machine guns. The barrel length of the full version of the weapon is 382 millimeter. The length of the weapon itself is equal to 615 millimeters with the butt folded and 850 with the unfolded. The weight of the weapon is 3 kilogram. For a compact version of the weapon, the barrel length is 185 millimeters, respectively, the length of this weapon with a folded butt is equal to 675 millimeters and 435 millimeters. The changes also affected the appearance - a weapon that, although it remained the same AK, but it was impossible to confuse it with it.
So, the most striking distinguishing feature was that the LADA automat had two arches on the edges of the rear sight, which protected it from a failure of the settings, which is why you can immediately recognize the weapon, among many other similar samples. It is also interesting that designers managed to further reduce the price of their machine gun in comparison with the Kalashnikov machine gun. Saving on small things and absolutely everywhere where it can be done without sacrificing the accuracy and reliability of weapons, Czechoslovak gunsmiths have once again proved that "penny saves the ruble." However, I would note that not all solutions that were used to reduce the cost of the machine turned out to be successful. So, for example, the absence of at least something covering the slit in which the shutter handle is moving raises doubts about the same reliability of the sample as its famous progenitor. Speaking directly, all the same for reliability in adverse conditions, this weapon loses the AK, although it was done at its base. Those are not the biggest differences that were used in the machine, made it special, but these features are not always positive. Actually there is absolutely nothing surprising in this result of the work of gunsmiths, because they did not create a copy, but their own version of the weapon based on the Kalashnikov assault rifle. This is noticeable even in the rate of fire of the weapon, which in 1,25 is higher than the AK rate of fire.
Fundamentally, LADA automatics is no different from AK, however, in each subtype of a weapon with different barrel lengths there are differences in the design of gas chambers, which was done to reduce the weight and length of the weapon, for some reason, in this case, the designers seemed more important than the unification of these parts in the production. The machine feeds from detachable box stores with a capacity of 30 and 45 cartridges, and can also be powered from a disk store with a capacity of 75 cartridges. It is also interesting that the flame arresters mounted on the weapon are entirely Czechoslovakian development and, to be honest, they are better than AK in all respects, including dimensions.
Due to the fact that the country became a member of the NATO bloc, it was decided not to throw out the LADA weapon complex, but to transfer it from the 5,45 cartridge to the 5,56 cartridge, which was quite successfully done. As a result of this adaptation, the weapon received the designation CZ-2000. If we compare the received version of the weapon with the M16, it also turned out not quite bad. For example, when comparing with the M16А2, a higher accuracy of firing was observed when shooting in automatic mode, although during firing with single shots exactly CZ-2000 lost. This adapted model was intended for his army, as well as for export, but he did not find it as a result of wide distribution, in one case due to budget constraints, and in the other because if someone needed a weapon similar to AK, then bought the original samples, and not its upgraded adaptation for a different cartridge. However, here you can also note that the export version was not a success due to the fact that the market was oversaturated with a variety of AK variants for 5,56 cartridge from different manufacturers, against which CZ-2000 looked very invisible.
As a result of the fact that the weapon did not use absolutely any demand, all work on the CZ-2000 project was stopped in 2007, and the weapon stopped making attempts to break through to the market. So, as it turned out, in order for your version of the weapon to be popular it is not enough just to make it. It is necessary to pay a lot of attention to advertising, to spend money on the initial distribution, so that the same automatic machine will show itself from the best side, and even luck plays a significant role here. This is how this is briefly about the Czechoslovak relative of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, who was never able to make his way into life even in his homeland.
Czechoslovak relative of the Kalashnikov assault rifle - CZ-2000
- Karasik Kirill
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