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Old 06-16-2008, 06:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Home-Building a VZ-58

So for a while now I've been hinting at building a VZ-58. And with finally being able to secure a receiver, I can start this build. Unfortunately it won't get much attention for a while, since I am still trying to get the G3 build party up and running, and most of my funds are being spent on that project at this time.

But, at least I was finally able to get the most critical part of the VZ-58: the receiver. I've been waiting over a year and a half to build this, so needless to say, I was a bit excited making the transfer for this rifle.

Sure, I guess I could just go out and buy a complete rifle now that the prices aren't as bad as they were two years ago (for this particular rifle, at least), but we all know it's more fun to build, right??

The parts kit came from centerfiresystems.com back when they were selling for 50 bucks a piece. I was also able to find some mags for 10 bucks each. Both of which seem to have dried up, or if they can be found, they're not nearly as cheap. I have two kits that I plan to build. One kit has the locking lugs sawed in half, so this kit will get the registered receiver. The other kit has it's locking lugs intact, so I may consider some 80% options for it. Or I may just get another 100% for it. Either way, I probably will not be building both at this time. Rather, I'll treat it like my FAL, G3, and 1st-round AK build, where I'll build one now, and have the parts to build a second one when I get around to it...

So here's the parts kit.




And here's the receiver. It is an Ohio Rapid Fire receiver that they recently released for production. I missed the pre-sale waiting list for it by 2 days, so I ended up having to get on a second waiting list, and pay an additional 100 bucks for it, but whatever. Cost was roughly $350 or so.










One thing to note about the numbers on the side under rear sight. That is NOT the serial number. That is a number placed by ORF to stay as close to the receiver's original look as possible. The actual serial number is engraved on the underside of the receiver. If you order one of these, make sure whoever does your transfer is aware of this. This caused a bit of confusion with my FFL dealer, and I had to get them to call ORF to confirm that I was correct when I pointed out they had the wrong serial number. I did NOT want a visit from the alphabet police


So next up will be compliance parts. I know gozuki has one of my gas pistons to use as reference for turning some US-made pistons. ORF sells a compliance kit as well, so I will not have any issues with compliance parts. The only downside is the cost, at right above 100 for everything needed.

The barrel will need a permanent extension as well, which is available, and should I need any new furniture, that is also available.

I will update this thread as I make progress, but probably will not be until after the G3s have been wrapped up....
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Those are some sweet looking guns. I hear they shoot well too...
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Those are some sweet looking guns. I hear they shoot well too...


That is what I hear as well. And is one of the reasons I'm not too concerned with dropping a decent amount of money on it.

I'm also hoping this will be a wise investment. I know not a lot of people are out there building them, so I'm hoping they will stay somewhat rare, and hopefully add up some substantial value over the next few years. And if they don't, oh well, at least I will have a couple of cool rifles
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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differance btw this and FAL and or AK?
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll be staying tuned to see how it goes. I wish they took AK mags though.

Any reason you are not doing it as an SBR since you have to get compliance parts and extend the barrel? Heading towards the $200 range with all that effort, shipping, etc.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johann View Post
I'll be staying tuned to see how it goes. I wish they took AK mags though.

Any reason you are not doing it as an SBR since you have to get compliance parts and extend the barrel? Heading towards the $200 range with all that effort, shipping, etc.




That is a very good question, and is something I have kicked around for a long time. In the end, I guess it is just easier for me to order the parts I need, and not even try to deal with the ATF on the SBR issues. But yeah, I do realize prize-wise, it is all the same.

I may go the SBR route on the next one though...
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Any chance we can get a list of vendors for compliance parts? I have a folder kit I bought that I was going to plunder for the folding stock and misc. other nifty parts for custom builds but they are kinda neat so I might just build it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Any chance we can get a list of vendors for compliance parts? I have a folder kit I bought that I was going to plunder for the folding stock and misc. other nifty parts for custom builds but they are kinda neat so I might just build it.
Gas piston:
Gozuki on this board

Gas piston, FCG parts, and everything needed to complete the receiver:
http://www.ohiorapidfire.com/

Original VZ-58 parts and accessories (not 922r):
http://www.marstar.ca/gf-VZ-58/accessories.shtm

Furniture:
http://www.prexis.com/Merchant2/merc...gory_Code=VZ58

US muzzle devices (not original in looks, but made in the US and will work):
http://brakes.ricksmuzzlebrakesandgu....com/index.htm

More FCG parts (although not shown on the website, they can be made to order):
http://www.thompsonmachine.net/index_files/Page1269.htm

All the tacti-cool gear you could ever want for a VZ (I actually like their pistol grip):
http://www.wolverinesupplies.com/def...cid=12&pid=142
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Speaking of which, how many pistons did you want?
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Speaking of which, how many pistons did you want?


Only need two.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Finally got the barrel pressed out, which was a pain in the ass.

Pressing on it with a 20-ton press actually caused the receiver stub to imprint into the press arbors I was using to support it, so before doing any further damage, I decided it would be better to cut some slits down the sides of the receiver stub. This is similar to what I've done in the past on FAL receiver stubs. Heating the stub with a torch also did not get it to budge.

So with some slits in the receiver, the barrel finally pressed out. It is FAR more difficult to press out than a typical AK barrel.

Here is the receiver stub, barrel, and the crescent-shaped piece is the gas piston stop. This piece drops out after the barrel has been completely removed, and must be installed into your new receiver before you install the barrel. You will have a very bad day if press in your barrel and forget to install this important piece.




So with the barrel out, it's important to measure the OD of the barrel, and compare it to the ID of the new receiver. Some people have reported being able to slide their barrel completely into the receiver by hand. This is due to unforseen variances in the barrel thicknesses, as well as receiver-related issues that ORF admits to. ORF milled their receivers to be .824" with the expectation that all VZ-58 barrels are .825", thus creating a perfect press fit. This has not been the case however, and ORF is working to fix the problem that some builders are having because of this.

ID of the receiver measured a fairly consistent .824", with it jumping to .827" vertically.


This 1963 barrel measures .826", so this should be a perfect fit. It is not consistently .826" though, some areas vary by .001", which is not enough to cause me to worry about it. I cannot start the barrel by hand, as some builders are able to do, so I don't think I'll have any problems with this receiver/barrel combo.



Some people are making lists of their barrel and receiver measurements, and swapping barrels with others that have receivers that will fit. I'm not going to worry about that for this build, but I do have another barrel that I will need to measure before ordering another receiver for that build.

Compliance parts should be shipping out very soon, so I will update more when I can...
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I finally got a chance to handle a VZ-58 the other day at Military Gun Supply... They are pretty slick. The price wasnt too bad either, for a complete rifle.
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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US compliance parts finally showed up. All parts came from Ohio Rapid Fire. This is their first batch of compliance parts, so it's been a bit of work to get everything fitted together properly. But I gotta give ORF credit, they've done a hell of a job on the VZ-58 receivers and parts, and I'll definitely be building another one using their parts...


The FCG parts consist of a trigger, sear, and disconnector, as well as new axis pins and e-clips. The gas piston is a also US-made.




And an original-styled muzzle brake made by ORF.




Because the barrel is not long enough to get past the SBR issues, the muzzle brake must be permanently attached. I am using silver solder for this. Once the muzzle brake is attached, the barrel can be pressed in. I found that freezing the barrel, then coating it with a nice layer of grease, as well as greasing the inside of the receiver, made for a nice smooth press.

One thing to remember is the Gas Piston Stop. You MUST install the gas piston stop before installing the barrel. If you don't, you get to press your barrel back out and try again. I used a bit of grease to hold the Stop in place while the barrel pressed in.

I found the hardest part about pressing in the barrel was keeping it aligned straight up. I pressed it in just enough to get it firmly in, then set the barrel on a flat table and checked for sight alignment. I also measured and marked center lines on the barrel and receiver.

If the sight and gas block is canted a bit, you can knock it over with a hammer while the barrel is just barely pressed in. It will be loose enough to rotate over a bit without damaging the sight or the receiver. Once you are satisfied with the position of the sights, the barrel can be pressed the rest of the way home. One thing to note in this photo, the magazine release lever and bolt-hold-open lever have already been installed. I pre-fit every piece before installing the barrel to ensure everything would fit the way it should. Pre-fitting is essential, especially for a project like this.




To set headspacing on this rifle, all you need to do is install the bolt and locking lug, then press the barrel into the receiver until it stops firmly. Then all that's needed is to drill a new barrel pin hole, and install a barrel pin. ORF makes tools to aid in the install of a barrel, but I did not use any.

The barrel will be flush with the inside of the receiver. You can kinda see the gas piston return spring installed in this pic. It basically fits inside the rear sight base and it returns the piston, and everything works similar to the op-rod on an SKS.




The next step is to take the leaf-spring-like thing and modify it.




Cut off the auto-sear leaf spring, and leave the others alone.




Once that is complete, rivet in the front of the trigger housing



Using the supplied rivets from ORF, you will have to drill out the rear rivet holes to 4mm to allow room for the larger rivet.


Then insert the rivet and smash it flat.



So now the trigger guard is in place.


I found that if you install the pistol grip nut BEFORE riveting in the leaf-spring, life is much easier. The pistol grip nut is much more difficult to install with the leaf spring in place, but it can be done. Just an FYI...
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Next step is to remove the disconector spring and pin from the original trigger. Original trigger assembly is on the left, US trigger on the right



Install the disconnector spring and disconnector onto the trigger, and pin them in place


Then install a small roll pin into the sear. A small portion of the roll pin will extrude from the left side of the sear. This pin contacts the small cutout in the disconnector. It's really hard to explain how it all works, and it took me a few minutes to figure it out. Seems like there's not many online how-to's for how to install this stuff--only a few pics of everything assembled.




Once everything is dropped into place, insert the pins, and install the complete bolt assembly. This pic shows the bolt closed with the striker forward in the "fired" position



And this shows the striker in the "cocked" position.




Then install the ejector. I am using the original ejector that came with my parts kit. All that's needed is to insert it into the slot, then simply stake it into place.



Next is to install the gas piston. Here are the US and original pistons for comparison



Install the gas piston into the rifle



Then the upper and lower handguards



Then the pistol grip and the stock. I used a long-ass screwdriver to screw in the stock
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Done and done --well, that's not true. I still need to transfer the leaf sight from my receiver stub onto the new rifle...




The action on this is still very poor. I will need to work it loose a bit to get things the way they should, because as it is now, it is very gritty. But I guess that can be expected to a degree with a new build.


So I guess the next step is to take it to the range and put some rounds through it.

This has been a fun project. Not too difficult, but not exactly easy. It's been a project over a year in the making, so I owe a lot to ORF for producing the parts to complete this rifle. I have another kit and will definitely be building it when I get a chance...
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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looks good, what color/finish are you doing it in?
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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looks good, what color/finish are you doing it in?



I am going to duracoat it with a shade of blue/gray that closely matches the original paint they put on these. Will be either VZ2000 or HK Blue/Gray as show on Lauer's website.
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Finally got to shoot the VZ-58 today. I'm happy to report that it did not blow up, and is actually very fun to shoot. It will probably become a rifle that always goes to the range with me from now on...


Shot some Federal brass-cased stuff out of it, which seemed to cycle a lot better than wolf steel-cased stuff. However the Federal stuff did not perform as well as the Wolf did... kinda odd... but ok.



Right out of the box, the rifle shoots to the right, which is easy enough to fix. There are two distinct groupings on this target. The 3 at the top were the first 3 shots from the rifle. The bottom 3 was from the next round of 5 shots fired at the target. 2 shots went flying left. This was Wolf FMJ ammo. Federal ammo went flying more to the right, and didn't group as tightly as the Wolf did. After the barrel heated up, they began to string vertically, which is to be expected...


Needless to say, I'm more than impressed with this rifle. I definitely need to build this other kit now...

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Old 08-31-2008, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Is it 762/39? Or something else?
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yep, 7.62x39
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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any quirks?
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The trigger is much tighter than a typical AK, but breaks very clean and crisp.

The action is a bit stiff, due to being new and not really "broken in".

It would occasionally stovepipe on steel cased rounds after the barrel heated up, but brass cased stuff was flawless.

Rounds eject almost directly straight up, kinda like an SKS. Sometimes they'd be thrown directly in front of you.

Aside from the occasional stovepipe, there were no issues with the rifle at all. This is one hell of a fun gun to shoot. Recoil was lighter than a typical AKM, and the accuracy is hard to beat. I will be building another one of these...
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:46 PM   #23 (permalink)
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And 2 months from now, when she leaves him and takes his pair of pliers, she will tell all of her friends that he was in some kind of sons of anarchy 4x4 gang.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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http://www.1919a4.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26880




Been sitting on a parts kit for a while... looks like I'll finally get to put it to use...


This will be my last VZ-58 build.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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This time smooth over the trigger shoe before you put the gun together.
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