Developed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia, the ZK383 is a novel weapon, essentially falling between a conventional submachine gun and a pistol caliber squad automatic weapon in its features. At first glance appearing to be a "tube gun" typical of WWII, the ZK383 shows a high level of individual machining, with the magazine well, sight base and selector housing all being machined integral components of the tubular receiver, and the lower receiver/trigger housing of similar construction. Unusual for a submachine gun, the weapon is also fitted with an integral bipod that folds up into the grooved hardwood forearm, and a quick-change barrel mechanism, with the front sight base doubling as a handgrip for the barrel, engaging a spring loaded latch for retention. The top of the receiver bears the crowned heraldic lion of Bulgaria as well as the crowned royal monogram of King Boris III of Bulgaria, and the top of the magazine well bears Bulgarian Cyrillic markings for the model and caliber, along with "WAFFENWERKE/BRUNN, A.G." Boris III's reign of Bulgaria ran from October of 1918 to his death in August of 1943; during this time Bulgaria, while not a full member of the Axis Powers, did act as a co-belligerent, declaring war on Britain and the United States in late 1941, but resisting getting into a fight with the Soviets, and are known to have used Zk383 SMGs in their wartime and post-war arsenal. The bolt is a fairly conventional fixed pin open blowback arrangement, with the addition of a slot in the center designed to accept interchangeable weights (one included); adding or removing these weights affected bolt mass, and in turn the rate of fire. A combination selector/takedown switch is present on the left side, marked "30" (full) and "1" (semi), with a pushbutton safety on the trigger housing. The smooth pistol grip stock is fitted with a hinged buttplate, which covers a quick release mechanism for the mainspring, which runs through a tube in the buttstock to a "rat tail" extension on the bolt.
Fine, with 40% of the original blue finish, the balance mostly a brown patina, scattered mild pitting, and light handling marks. The solid wood shows oil stains, scuffs and dents. Mechanically excellent. Writer cannot recall offering another in previous auctions, rare. NOTE: This weapon is a restricted, National Firearms Act (NFA) Class 3, Fully Automatic Weapon, that is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478. This weapon is currently registered as being "LIMITED TO USE AS A SALES SAMPLE (Pre-86)" and as such can only be purchased by an FFL, with a Class 2 or Class 3 SOT License.
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