Understanding CZ-52 Markings
An Overview of CZ-52 Markings
Left side of frame — serial number plus
a code for factory.
Code rid indicates
as shown here.
Civilian arms were marked
(or possibly the acronym ČZS).
Right side of frame
Above trigger guard:
Czechoslovakian Army acceptance mark
of two crossed swords
plus last two digits of year of manufacture.
The Czech Army used crossed Roman swords
as its symbol since their independence from
Austria in 1919.
The Czech Republic Army uses this symbol
to this day on everything down to uniform
If the pistol underwent arsenal refurbishment,
a circle or oval with VOP or
VOR to indicate the miliary
repair service organization.
Bottom of frame between trigger guard and
typical place for marks by importer.
Barrel, visible through port in slide
Letter T inside a circle,
a military testing mark.
Frame, around the magazine well —
some small stamped letters, digits, or symbols may
appear here, possibly rather indistinct,
maybe to indicate a specific worker
or stage in a process.
Top of slide
Possibly some small punch marks on the top,
forward of the ejection port.
There are rumors, apparently with no basis,
that any punch marks indicate the result of
some accuracy test.
See below for a letter from the deputy director
of the armory — those marks seem to be
meaningless, or at least to have nothing to
do with any accuracy test!
About Those Punch Marks or "Accuracy Dots"....
In 1989 R.J. Berger published the book
Know Your Czechoslovakian Pistols
Library of Congress Catalog Number 89018451),
in which he claimed:
In the late 1970s many vz52 pistols were found
to be worn.
A refurbishing program was initiated,
and it included the following:
New barrels installed and numbered
to the pistols
Pistols refinished by dipping in a hot blue
Small worn parts replaced
Loose pin holes tightened by staking
One to four punch marks put on the sight
rib to indicate accuracy,
one being best
The letters VOZ (military repair plant)
plus the last two digits of the year
(of re-work) stamped above the trigger.
The number following VOZ, usually number 1,
identifies the plant.
However, a discussion on
on 2-3 June 1998
presented the following e-mail from the Deputy Director
of the privatized Czech arsenal.
The director's name was redacted in the original.
The following was in response to a question about these
punch marks indicating results of an accuracy test.
Note that it makes no mention of such a test:
ARMS Moravia ltd
Thank you for your mail.
We are very pleased to answer your questions.
This pistol is of army origin which were at the
1 - right side of the pistol. The frame over the slide.
a/ mark VOP or VOZ is an abgreviation of a military
repair service company of firm.
These marks are in a circle or in an oval.
b/ two crossed swords with two numbers.
This is a military take over and the year of the
take over is mentioned there.
Barrel at the space at slide
c/ circle with marked letter T that is a
military testing mark.
d/ production number
e/ mark of the government test with 2 numbers
of the year of the test.
2- left side of the pistol.
a/ production number and a code of a factory
for example - rid for military arms.
The civil arms were marked -
eské zbrojovka strakonice.
b/ number of test ocument of the government
test and testing mark.
If there is a round circle with a number
on the pistol's frame or on the slide
this is a personal mark of the controller
What's the meaning of the "OTK" marking
on CZ-52 accessories?
The short answer: it means that the item was
manufactured to military specifications.
In Czech, and coincidentally in Russian, OTK
is like American MIL-STD.
At right you see an example of it
inside the lid of a case for a cleaning kit
for a Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle.
In more detail...
The handy reference
("Slovar' Sokrashcheniy Russkovo Yazyka"
"Dictionary of Abbreviations of the Russian Language")
lists two abbreviations for Russian "OTK".
Those three letters happen to be the
same in the Cyrillic alphabet used in Russian
and the Latin alphabet used in Czech and English.
At least in Russian, a Slavic language fairly similar to Czech,
"OTK" can refer to the following two acronyms,
the second of which seems far more relevant here:
Obshchestvenniy Tovarishcheskiy Kontrol'
Public Comradely Control
(definitely a Communist-era term!)
Otdyel Tekhnicheskovo Kontrolya
Department of Technical Control
Working backward with the aid of an English-Czech
pocket dictionary and
an overview of Czech declension
of nouns and adjectives,
"Department of Technical Control"
would be something like
in Czech — OTK.
Here is another example, from a "Kozak 6" holster bearing
the Czech Army mark of crossed swords.
"OTK FRANEK" — "Franek" may be the name or location
of the factory that produced this holster with carrying
spaces for a spare magazine, a cleaning rod, and a lanyard.