Sa vz. 23 submachine gun series

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Sa vz. 23 - 9x19mm
Sa vz. 25 - 9x19mm. Note the slide on the handguard, which is a speedloader for magazines. The stock folds to the left, and can be used as a foregrip when folded.
Sa vz. 24 - 7.62x25mm. Note the forward slant of the magazine.
Sa vz. 26 - 7.62x25mm

The Sa vz. 23 series of submachine guns began just after World War II, when Czech arms designer Vaclav Holek developed a submachine gun patterned after the various conventional blowback designs of the time (the MP40, Sten, etc.), but with some innovative updates. The resultant weapon was the first submachine gun in full production to have the magazine well in the pistol grip, and a wrap around bolt.

The development of this SMG was started in 1947 at the Česká Zbrojovka Strakonice arms factory, as the CZ-447. The final version of the SMG was adopted by the Czechoslovak army in August 1948 under the designation "9 mm samopal vz. 48a" (with fixed wooden buttstock) and "9 mm samopal vz. 48b" (with folding buttstock). Serial production was started in 1949 at the Česká Zbrojovka enterprise - Uhersky Brod. In the spring of 1950, the Czechoslovak army changed the designation of these SMGs: Sa vz. 48a became Sa 23, and Sa vz. 48b became Sa 25.

The original guns were chambered in 9mm Parabellum, making it popular for export to western or non-aligned nations, but the Soviet Union pressured Czechoslovakia to adopt a standardized Warsaw Pact caliber, so the gun was modified to fire the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round. The 7.62x25mm versions are identifiable due to the obvious forward slant of the pistol grip and magazine to accommodate the different shape of the ammunition. The 9mm versions - as well as some of the surplus 7.62x25mm ones - were sold worldwide. Most of the 9mm guns ended up in the hands of countries like Chile, Lebanon and South Africa, while the 7.62x25mm versions went to Soviet client states like Cuba, Cambodia, and Libya. The original Czech production ran from 1949 to 1968.

The four variants of the Czech production are:

  • Sa vz. 23: 9x19mm Parabellum, fixed wooden stock.
  • Sa vz. 25: 9x19mm Parabellum, side-folding wire stock.
  • Sa vz. 24: 7.62x25mm Tokarev, fixed wooden stock.
  • Sa vz. 26: 7.62x25mm Tokarev, side-folding wire stock.

A semi-automatic version of the Sa vz. 25 - the Sanna 77 - was produced in sanctions-embargoed Rhodesia in the 1970s, in line with other forays into local arms, such as the Rhogun, Cobra Carbine, and the Northwood R-76 SMG/R-77 machine carbine. They were mainly marketed as high-capacity "land defence pistols" for use by isolated white farmers against indigenous guerrilas. Some sources claim that the Sanna 77 was nicknamed the "Rhuzi," due to its cosmetic similarity to the Uzi, others claim the same for the Rhogun and the Cobra. Another semi-automatic version - the Kommando LDP - later appeared in South Africa.

Contents

Specifications

(1948 - 1968)

  • Type: Submachine Gun
  • Caliber: 9x19mm (vz. 23, vz. 25), 7.62x25mm Tokarev (vz. 24, vz. 26)
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs (3.3 kg)
  • Length: 17.5 in (44.5 cm) stock folded, 27 in (68.6 cm) stock extended/fixed stock
  • Barrel length: 11.2 in (28.4 cm)
  • Capacity: 24 or 40 (9x19mm), 32 (7.62x25mm)
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto

The Sa vz. 23 submachine gun series and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
They Come Out of the Darkness (Pricházejí z tmy) Josef Mixa Chief Sergeant Jaroslav Martinec Sa vz. 25 1954
They Come Out of the Darkness (Pricházejí z tmy) Petr Skála Staff Sergeant Jindrich Votava Sa vz. 25 1954
They Come Out of the Darkness (Pricházejí z tmy) Vilém Besser Sergeant Hudecek Sa vz. 25 1954
Smugglers of Death Leopold Novák Kilián known as "King of Šumava" mocked as Sten Mk I* 1959
Smugglers of Death Miroslav Holub Gamekeeper Paleček mocked as Sten Mk I* 1959
The End of Agent W4C Secret agents Sa vz. 26 1967
The Last Grenade Alex Cord Kip Thompson Sa vz. 23 1970
Mafia Junction Cliff's henchmen Sa vz. 25 1973
The Wilby Conspiracy South African BOSS agents Sa vz. 25 1975
Paper Tiger Kulagong commandos Sa vz. 25 1975
Operation Thunderbolt Klaus Kinski Wilfried Boese Sa vz. 25 1977
The Wild Geese Various Mercenaries Sa vz. 23 and Sa vz. 25 1978
Game for Vultures Sixpence 1979
Never Say Never Again Sean Connery James Bond Sa vz. 25 1983
The Detached Mission (Odinochnoye plavanye) Aleksandr Inshakov Horts Sa vz. 26 1985
Wild Geese II Palestinian gunman Sa vz. 25 1985
Secrets of Madame Wong (Tayny madam Vong) Gangsters Sa vz. 26 1986
Cargo 300 (Gruz 300) A mujaheddin Sa vz. 26 1989
Afghan Breakdown A mujaheddin Sa vz. 23 1991
The Wild East Skull's thug Sa vz. 25 1993
Chained Heat 2 Markéta Hrubešová Carla Sa vz. 24 1993
Chained Heat 2 Guards & Prisoners Sa vz. 25 1993
The Gray Wolves (Serye volki) Nartay Begalin KGB operative Sa vz. 26 1993
The Little Bee (Pchyolka) Anatoliy Ravikovich Vasiliy Sa vz. 26 1993
The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin Zoya Buryak Nyura Mocked as Degtyaryov DA-2 mounted on the aircraft 1994
Shirli-Myrli Man in black Sa vz. 26 1995
Hidden Assassin Dolph Lundgren Michael Dane Sa vz. 25 1995
Hidden Assassin Gavan O'Herlihy Dick Powell Sa vz. 25 1995
All the Things We Dreamt of for So Long Nikolay Dobrynin Nikolay Sa vz. 25 1997
Criminals
Spiders II: Breeding Ground Ship's crew Sa vz. 26 2001
Lion's Share (Lvinaya dolya) Simonov's henchman Sa vz. 25 2001
Bad Company Terrorist Sa vz. 25 2002
Outside the Law Black ops operative Sa vz. 25 2002
Antikiller Criminals Sa vz. 25 2002
The Preacher Sa vz. 25, seen in trunk of Jutka's car. 2004
Che Part One: Argentine Luis Gonzaga Hernandez Captain Lalo Sardiñas Sa vz. 25 2009
In the Shadow Czechoslovak Border Guard 2012

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
Bors Sa vz. 23 and Sa vz. 25 1968
Special Branch George Sewell DCI Alan Craven Sa vz. 25 / (S04E06) "Rendezvous" 1974
30 Cases of Major Zeman Czechoslovak policemen Sa vz. 24 / (S01E04), (S01E10) 1974-1979
The Professionals German terrorists Sa vz. 25 1977-1981
Doctor Who Various Neo-Nazis Sa vz. 25 1988
Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Sean Patrick Flanery Indiana Jones Sa vz. 25/26 SMG - "Attack of the Hawkmen" 1995
Grazhdanin nachalnik Vladimir Vdovichenkov Kolya the Afghan Sa vz. 26 2001
Sergey Pinchuk "Valet"
Strike Back - Season 4 Various Terrorists Sa vz. 26 / S04E05 - S04E10 2013
Tyrant Abdallah El Akal Fahmy Sa vz. 25 / Episode 2 2014

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Ghost Recon 2001

Anime

Title Character Note Date
Suisei no Gargantia Pirate 2013


Sanna 77

Sanna 77 - 9x19mm

A 9mm semi-automatic side-folding wire-stocked version, dating from 1977 to 1980. Some sources suggest that some or all Sanna-77s were actually refurbished surplus Sa vz. 25s, with "production" starting in Rhodesia, then moving to South Africa. Some were also sanitized Sa vz. 25s in military configuration.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Whiteout Russian guard Fixed synthetic stock 2009


Kommando LDP

Kommando-LDP "Rhuzi" - 9x19mm

Another 9mm semi-automatic version, produced in South Africa. This differed from most previous variants in having a large grey plastic pistol-grip that extended almost to the muzzle, and a wire stock that folded underneath the weapon, rather than to the side, the butt being inverted so it could still be used as a fore-grip. Some sources claim that "LDP" refers to refers to the names of the manufacturer and designer - Lacoste Engineering and a Mr Pointer respectively - rather than "land defence pistol," as per previously, and that it was also known as the "Lacoste LDP." Although sold as semi-automatic, the Kommando-LDP has a reputation for inadvertent full-auto fire, and is reputedly easily convertible to that mode permanently.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Gods Must Be Crazy Sam Boga's terrorist gang 1980
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation US Marines and The Lion's guards 1987
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt Guards 1989

Cobra LDP

Cobra LDP - 9x19mm

The Cobra LDP is a semi-auto variant of Sa vz. 23 SMG using Uzi magazines.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt Andreas' henchman With barrel extension 1989



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