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Book Review: Cold War Pistols of Czechoslovakia

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Recently, we have been looking at a selection of books on Cold War eastern bloc pistols – and James D. Brown’s “Cold War Pistols of Czechoslovakia” is the best of them. While its scope is specifically on Czechoslovakian pistols, it provides a wealthy of information for the collector, histories, and shooter alike.

The book is 150 pages long, and its major chapters cover the Duo, “Z”, and vz.45, CZ 50/70, CZ 52, VZ 75/85, and CZ 82/83. Each includes detailed developmental history, production timelines complete with annual serial number tables (this is particularly interesting and important with the vz.52), disassembly and mechanical information, content on use by the Czech government or military, different patterns of holsters and magazines, and more. Mr. Brown also co-authored the excellent “Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns 1893-1945”, and this solo work of his follows the same organizational layout and editorial feel. If I were to criticize anything, it would be that the layout could use more and better photographs, and perhaps the text could be broken up a bit for easier readability (particularly in the disassembly instructions). These are minor critiques, however.

While the book only covers a relatively small number of models, those models include some of the most mechanically unique (vz.52) and technically outstanding (CZ75, CZ82/83) handguns to come out of the eastern bloc. All of the guns detailed herein are quite readily available on the US collector’s market, and make the basis for an interesting collection for those wishing to find a specialty. If Mr. Brown decides to write a third book on another firearm subject, I will purchase a copy without reservation!

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