Ceska Zbrojovka ZK-383 History

The ZK-383 was a local Czech development of a submachine gun system brought about prior to World War 2. It Combined the styling of a rifle, complete with solid wooden stock and grooved forend with the short barrel and 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge seeing widespread use. The action relied on the blowback principle and rate-of-fire reached up to 700 rounds per minute. Muzzle velocity was listed at 1,500 feet per second with a maximum engagement range out to 250 meters. The weapon fed from a 30- or 40-round detachable box magazine fitted into a left-side well with spent shell casings ejected from a port along the right. The receiver and barrel were of all-metal construction for obvious reasons with the barrel shrouded in a perforated jacket for cooling and to protect the firer's support hand. The pistol grip was integrated as part of the wooden stock with the trigger unit held just ahead. Sighting was through an iron arrangement.

The ZK-383 was developed by two brothers (Koucky) beginning in 1930. At the time, they resided under the employ of Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka facility at the legendary arms production center of Brno - birthplace of the famous British BREN light machine gun. Rumors of war were growing evermore commonplace at the time for Adolf Hitler of Germany had consolidated his power and built up an army to conquer Europe with Czechoslovakia a part of his master plan in the early going. The ZK-383 was developed as a squad support weapon (complete with folding bipod and detachable barrel) despite its chambering for the 9mm pistol round and its true definition as a submachine gun. The weapon offered automatic fire in a portable form while being limited in range and ranged penetration value. Regardless, the type was completed with the utmost quality and attention to deal - hallmarks of most Czech firearm designs of the period.

Low-rate production of ZK-383s began in 1938. However, German began occupation of the sovereign nation that year and all future production examples fell to the Waffen-SS. The occupation would last until the end of the war in 1945. The ZK-383's reach was no doubt hampered by the conditions of the occupation and its use was as limited as its production numbers.

Once the war had ended, production was returned under Czech ownership but limited numbers continued. It was ultimately exported to a few outside parties and found little widespread success on the whole. By the height of the Cold War, the weapon had given way to smaller, lighter and more defined submachine gun forms. Three distinct versions ultimately emerged - the ZK-383 base submachine gun, the ZK-383-P "Police" variant lacking the bipod assembly and quick-change barrel functionality and the ZK-383-H of the Cold War years, these noted by their underside magazine fitting and lack of bipod and changeable barrel facility.

The ZK-383 found homes in Bolivia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Nazi Germany and Venezuela by the time its history had come to a close. Approximately 20,000 units were produced from the span of 1938 to 1966.

Ceska Zbrojovka ZK-383 Specification

ROLES

- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security

- Fire Support / Suppression / Defense

STRUCTURAL

Overall Length:

875 mm (34. 45 in)

Barrel Length:

325 mm (12. 80 in)

Weight (Unloaded):

9. 37 lb (4. 25 kg)

Sights:

Rear Adjustable Leaf; Front Peep

PERFORMANCE

Action:

Blowback

Muzzle Velocity:

1,500 feet-per-second (457 meters-per-second)

Rate-of-Fire:

700 rounds-per-minute

Effective Range:

820 ft (250 m; 273 yd)

VARIANTS

ZK-383 - Base Production Model of 1938

ZK-383-P - Police security variant; lacking bipod and quick-change barrel facility.

ZK-383-H - Post-war variant with underside magazine well; lacking bipod and quick-change barrel facility.

Related stuff

1400 1514 1587 1765 1774 1775 1776 1782 1785 1786 1791 1797 1811 1813 1819 1840 1841 1842 1852 1853 1855 1856 1857 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1873 1874 1875 1877 1878 1885 1886 1888 1889 1895 1896 1897 1898 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Contact