The Czechoslovakian Vz46 (cz46)
Below are some samples of the Pistole Vzor 46 (Vz46), sometimes referred to as the cz46. These pistols were made from surplus parts immediately after World War two for the Czech military. When they were replaced with Soviet small arms, they were sold as surplus to various countries, including the United States. Czechoslovakia was a communist country until 1989, so the vast majority of Vz46 pistols have the Czech "rampant lion" symbol defaced, and if the pistol was later transferred to East Germany for further use, the East German sunburst symbol will usually be defaced as well. By doing this, it would appear that the pistol was a standard World War II P.38. It is estimated that approximately 3,000 Vz46s were produced. Below are but a few of the many variations of this interesting pistol.
Serial number 927 is well-travelled. It appears to have seen post-Czech use in East Germany, as it has an East German firing pin. Frame and slide are Spreewerk, but the barrel is of Mauser manufacture. The barrel retains its wartime serial number so it is unclear when it was replaced. The original Spreewerk slide serial number has been scrubbed. A new serial was added in the location usual for Vz46s, but it has been x'd out. The frame has only the Czech-applied serial number. The slide and frame each have a single Spreewerk acceptance mark. Grips are late-war Mauser plastic style. Magazine is a standard jvd code (Erste Nordbohmische Metallwarenfabrik), with no serial number. An interesting feature of this pistol is that the trigger guard markings of "46" and "E" are reversed from the usual location.
Serial number 2394 is more of a textbook example of a Vz46. Slide and frame are of Spreewerk manufacture; the barrel was produced by Boehmische Waffenfabrik (code fnh). Unlike number 927 above, the Spreewerk slide has only the Czech serial number - by the machine marks on the sides of the slide it is evident that there never was a Spreewerk applied number. The frame and barrel likewise have only the Czech applied serial number. There is a single Spreewerk acceptance mark on the slide, frame, and locking block. The Czech lion on the trigger guard has been defaced, but the marking remains on the top of the barrel. The magazine is made by jvd, and is serial numbered to the pistol. Grips are of Spreewerk manufacture.
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This Vz46 (serial number 1156) also appears to have seen post-Czech use in East Germany, as evidenced by the East German manufactured barrel (marked with the crown over N on the underside). Additionally, on the frame next to the serial number is a marking that has been defaced that was most likely the East German sunburst. Other than that, this is a fairly standard Vz46. Slide and frame are surplus Spreewerk parts - neither had a Spreewerk applied serial number. The right side of the slide has an asterisk, indicating that there was a manufacturing flaw that was later corrected. The late war Spreewerk "U" proof is stamped over the Spreewerk "eagle over 88" acceptance marking. As is typical with most Vz46 pistols, the "rampant lion" symbol on the left trigger guard has been defaced. This pistol has a Walther accepted locking block that is numbered to the pistol. The magazine is unusual in that it has nine welds on the left side of the tube, vice the regular seven. The magazine is unmarked.
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Serial number 2405 exhibits East German markings that have been defaced - the "AB9" marking on the frame next to the serial number, and an administrative district marking on the right side of the frame. This pistol lacks the "E" and "46" markings on the frame, but retains the "rampant lion" on the top of the barrel. The maker of the frame is undetermined, as it has no World War II markings. The barrel bears the "fnh" manufacturer's code, and the locking block has been renumbered with the last two digits of the serial number. The slide, though marked with the wartime code of Walther (ac), was actually produced by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and intended for shipment to Walther (though very very few ultimately ended up there). Magazine is of East German origin. One grip is of Spreewerk manufacture, the other of Walther/Mauser manufacture.
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