First off, I picked up a Vz2008 recently, The owner had two mags, but the fixed stock conversion. That was what was right up my alley, the folder I didn't care much for. Also he included a Czech sling, cleaning kit and bayonet.
This is when I got it home.
After the stock conversion. very simple to do. Except for getting the bolt loose on the folder, it's TIGHT!!! The fixed stock is hollow and very light weight.
And for those interested, a Vz to an Ak, the quick and dirty comparison. As you can see, they are two totally different weapons, absolutely nothing in common, other than they can both hold 30rds. The gas piston for the Ak moves the complete length, where the Vz gas piston moves just 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, the actual gas system works much like an SKS. The Vz also has some slight similarities to a Hakim, Mas 49/56 and/or SKS looking at the bolt carrier design. The top spring is the recoil spring, bottom smaller spring is actually the hammer spring. The actual bolt itself and bolt locking method, is I'd guess is the Czechs own design, small and simple, yet looks very robust.
They obviously did not want to comply and use the Ak, given the history of the vz.52 and vz.52/57. The Vz 58 design began in 1956, accepted in to the Czech Military in 1958. Production lasted until 1984, it's still a weapon used today in the military, but through time and weapon advances is becoming obsolete.
Tear down however is just as easy, at least to me as an Ak, just release the two pins, one for the top cover and once for the gas tube. The rear of the top cover flips up and just slide the bolt and carrier back to release it from the receiver. Like the Ak, you cant put it together incorrectly, it just won't go. In the weight category, the Vz, even with the solid machined receiver is a pound lighter than an Ak. The Vz weighs in at just under 7 pounds, Ak vary in weight, 8 to say 8.5 pound. With the way the gas system/action was designed, in my experience, felt recoil between the two is less with the Vz as well. Vz magazines are constructed from an aluminum alloy, they are lighter than a typical steel Ak mag. Disclaimer:
I'm not getting in to this is better than that, both of these arms have seen use world wide, both were seen in Vietnam as well as other well known confrontations. Both designs have been field tested on equal grounds and the designs are proven. This is more of the what makes the other tick, the guts, meat and taters, again, not Brand X is superior to Brand Y. I have my own opinion, it's posted above, in reality, I wouldn't get rid of either over the other.
The contenders, in this corner, a Chinese Mak 90, a decent quality built Ak, has the doublehook trigger, which is an upgrade from typical single hook triggers, and it's slightly heavier built than most of it's European cousins/ In the other corner, a CAI Vz 2008. Before you cry foulball, it's not a "TRUE Vz 58", there is not a whole lot of difference in construction from a D-Technics imported Vz-58, shown here http://sks-files.com/index.php?topic=91.0
Receivers, 1.5mm stamped/riveted Chinese vs. fully machined.
Handguards: Not really much to say, The Ak, you have to pull the bolt assembly out to remove the handguard, the Vz, you remove same way as the rear cover, pull the release pin, and it grants access to the gas piston.
Top covers: Chinese is a stamped cover, the Vz cover serves as the holder for the recoil and hammer springs. The Vz is a striker operated, the actual hammer will be shown later. The large squiggily spring is the recoil spring, the straight spring is he hammer spring, seen inserted in to the hammer in the bottom photo. The cover is easily removable by pushing it forward just slightly and pulling the pin. The Ak, the rear of the receiver provides the area for the recoil spring, The same latch is used to remove the top cover, also if pushed forward more, releases the spring.
Gas Pistons: the Vz is a short stroke operated weapon, the piston moves 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, just enough to give a smack to unlock the bolt. The gas system is much like an SKS without the piston extension. There is a removable return spring housed in the rear sight, so after the gas impulse, it returns to it's closed position.
The fun stuff, The Vz is a gas operated falling breech block locked rifle, two locking lugs on a block that pivot lock the bolt in to the receiver rails, There is a wedge shape area on the carrier that during firing moves after being struck with the gas piston, this wedge on the carrier slides between the locking block and bolt and lifts the locking block, freeing the whole assembly to move, extract and reload and lock shut. The Ak is a gas operated long stroke turn bolt locking mechanism. Which the gas piston, carrier and bolt all move the same distance back, the bolt rotates to both lock and unlock the carrier from the receiver. The lock slots in the rails can be seen on the Vz receiver photo
Vz bolt showing the locking block tilted up, and the rotating Ak bolt
Here the lock is down, and it shows the hammer pulled out. In the bolt is a recess the hammer fits in and hits the firing pin.