Unlike most of the Kalashnikov variants, the Vz58 has a bolt hold open and can be reloaded from stripper clips like an SKS.
These rifles are one of the most popular non-restricted sporting carbines in Canada. I thought my Tavor covered all the bases, but when I asked a friend at the range if I should look into one for myself here’s what he said:
“Do it. They’re totally awesome.” is what Chris told me when I asked him, “AK style rock-in mags, plus you can load them from stripper clips like an SKS.” He runs the Cz858 as his primary battle rifle for all things fun or serious. I feel like he’s hit the right amount of accessories to improve the Vz58 mechanics without making the mistake of trying to make it an AR-15. Someday I’ll sit down with him and do a full review of how he runs his rifle and the decisions behind it.
I have picked up a Cz858 for myself, as crates of 7.62×39 are cheaper and more plentiful than .223 ammunition. One of the first exercises I did with it was to try the stripper clip reload and see exactly how feasible it was. As you can see from the video: it’s a pretty simple concept to pick up.
Some notes: People have told me they can reload a stripper clips as fast or faster than magazines. I can’t. But then again I don’t shoot the Vz58 as my primary rifle either. I would challenge them to beat some of the Vz58 mag changes I’ve seen out of Chris though.
One of the major advantages in my mind of feeding from stripper clips is the ability to speed load your magazines if you have an ammo supply already mounted with clips. This is common in many kinds of surplus military ammunition, and in that case you use the rifle as a “reload station” to quickly refill all your magazines after shooting.
Being able to carry bulk ammunition on stripper clips also enhances your ability to carry usable ammo beyond the number of magazines you might have on you. In an emergency, when all mags are emptied in quick succession, being able to top up with a stripper clip could well be worthwhile.