I have a CZ 52 rifle. It belongs to my nephew, in my hands for my own education about the piece and for load development and testing. The gun represents an innovative era in arms from the Czechoslovakian people, utilizing some tried and true ideas in arms as well as some rather innovative changes. It is gas operated, short stroke piston system with a piston/op-rod concept but the gas piston is an annular ring around the barrel at the gas port derived form the German Walther guns. The operating rod is a curved stamped steel, sleeve around the barrel, acting directly on the bolt carrier. It uses a trigger/fire control assemble copied from our M1 Garand. It is removed the same way the Garand/M14 trigger assembly is removed. Pull back and down to extract the entire assembly from the stock. It uses a 10 round detachable box magazine with the AK-47 type of latch. It locks up by way of a tilting bolt but different than most in that it uses to strong lugs in front of the bolt, rather than the rear.
It is easy to disassemble, among the best I've ever seen. It is a very strongly built, milled steel receiver. Similar to the original Russian AK. The top cover which is easy to remove and expose the innards is also a milled steel piece. Another unique idea is the push button operated, folding bayonet.
It is likely most unique in the cartridge it fires. An unusual but similar in many ways to other cartridges of military arms of the time, 7.62x45. This cartridge seems to be derived from others in the way the rifle was. It uses the Russian M43 bullet, at 123 grains, and the same case head size but a 45MM long case vs the 39MM case of the Russian M43 round.
Original ballistics, as far as I can determine, were 123 grains at 2450 fps. This is about 150 fps faster than the 7.62x39 from the same barrel length.
When firing the rifle, the bolt carrier recoils into the top cover under spring tension exposing the open forward half of the receiver. It uses a very strong cross bar with a curved notch in the center for an extractor and a fixed steel ejector. The rifle ejects to the left and forward, one of its unique characteristics.
Ammo is virtually impossible to find with the exception 1950's vintage corrosive, Berdan primed, steel cased mil-surp. This rifle has a decent barrel and I wanted to stay with non corrosive primers. I have located a supply of new brass and even found a sizing die on ebay. I'll be in the ammo business soon.
It is just an oddity but my nephew calls it his zombie rifle. I'll have pics and an update down the road when I get my brass and dies.