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Sa 23 submachine gun series
The Sa 23 (Czech: Samopal 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. Unlike other Czechoslovakian submachine guns, these numeral designations are typically written without the "vzor" (model of), as their numeral designations are not their years of introductions.
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 23: 9x19mm Parabellum, fixed wooden stock.
- Sa 25: 9x19mm Parabellum, side-folding wire stock.
- Sa 24: 7.62x25mm Tokarev, fixed wooden stock.
- Sa 26: 7.62x25mm Tokarev, side-folding wire stock.
A semi-automatic version of the Sa 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 (23, 25), 7.62x25mm Tokarev (24, 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 23 submachine gun series and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:
|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|
|And Your Love Too||Alfonso Arau||Alfredo||Sa 25||1962|
|Armin Mueller-Stahl||Ullrich Sittich|
|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|
|Crusader (Krestonosets)||Criminals||Sa 26||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|
|Underworld||Gun Rack||Sa 26||2003|
|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|
|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|
|Dead Man's Tale (Chto skazal pokoynik)||French police||Sa 25||2000|
|Grazhdanin nachalnik||Vladimir Vdovichenkov||Kolya the Afghan||Sa 26||2001|
|The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||A Serbian militant||Sa 25 or 26; "In the Blink of an Eye" (S05E04)||2007|
|Strike Back - Season 4||Various||Terrorists||Sa 26 / S04E05 - S04E10||2013|
|Tyrant||Abdallah El Akal||Fahmy||Sa 25 / Episode 2||2014|
|Tokyo Vampire Hotel||uncredited||Ichiro Yamoto||Ep.6||2017|
|Game Title||Appears as||Note||Release Date|
|Call of Duty: Vanguard||"RA 225"||Added in Season 5 (2022)||2021|
|Suisei no Gargantia||Pirate||2013|
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.
|Whiteout||Russian guard||Fixed synthetic stock||2009|
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.
|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|
|Mad Max: Fury Road||Rock Rider Chief||2015|
|Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||Rola||Cobalt||2017|
The Cobra LDP is a semi-auto variant of Sa 23 SMG using Uzi magazines.
|American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt||Andreas' henchman||With barrel extension||1989|