Sa vz. 23 submachine gun series

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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 British MCEM 2 ("Machine Carbine Experimental Model") had been the first prototype with these features.

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 an "approved" 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 world wide. 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.



(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:


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


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

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Ghost Recon 2001


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.25s, with "production" starting in Rhodesia, then moving to South Africa. Some were also sanitized SA.25s in military configuration.


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.


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.23 SMG using Uzi magazines.


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

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