Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

Czech VZ58 Bayonets
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Mr. B.
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Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Similar to the Czech VZ58 bayonets there are few variations in the leather scabbards. The rifle production was from 1959 until 1985. The bayonets and scabbards appear to have remained in limited production past that point. Evidentially this was done to replace all the old outdated Type I and II bayonets plus to replace others due to loss, wear and damage. The approximately 1 million rifles produced are still currently being issued and used.
There is only one general pattern for the all the leather scabbards. They consist of either 7 or 8 pre-cut natural tan leather pieces. The pieces are layered and sewn together with light colored thread. Each is then secured with either 5 or 6 rivets. The rivets are hollow with a single domed head on the front. The rivets on the early ones are green changing to grey and black on later ones. The securing stud on the hilt strap also changes from green to grey/black as well.
The leather is usually smooth natural tan to light brown in color. Darker colors are from wear and exposure to the elements over time. Some of the early scabbards also are made from a textured embossed leather that was carried over from the leather military items produced starting in the early 1950s, (VZ52 -VZ52/57). This may have been used randomly or by certain suppliers that made the scabbards. At least five different companies made the scabbards over the years, sometimes at the same time. Each manufacturer used different markings over the years on the back side of the scabbard.
The first manufacturer that made the early scabbards used a slightly different method of attaching the belt loop to the scabbard body. This is known as the 5 rivet version. it looks the same as the 6 rivet version made by the other companies, but uses only 5 rivets. Another variation is the 6 rivet version made of white lacquer faced leather, (patent leather), and bright rivets for ceremonial purposes. Only a limited number of these were made. As more were needed the standard scabbards were simply dyed or painted white.
One reference also mentioned a couple times, that some of the early scabbards were also made in a left-hand version. This was supposedly done by simply turning the patterns over. This version would attach to the belt on the wearers right side with the hilt angled forward. I have not been able to substantiate this version and have never seen one, even in other references or pictures.
Mike
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Here are pictures of the 5 rivet Czech VZ58 scabbard. Mike
VZ58 Scabbard early 5 rivet 2 (2).jpg
VZ58 Scabbard early 5 rivet 1 (2).jpg
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Here are pictures of the 6 rivet Czech VZ58 scabbards. The first one has the early embossed/textured finish. The second one has the standard smooth finish. Mike
VZ58 Scabbard early 6 rivet textured 2 (2).jpg
VZ58 Scabbard early 6 rivet textured 1 (2).jpg
VZ58 Scabbard late 6 rivet smooth 2 (2).jpg
VZ58 Scabbard late 6 rivet smooth 1 (2).jpg
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Here are a couple pictures of the Czech VZ58 6 rivet white finished ceremonial scabbards. Mike
VZ58 Scabbard 6 rivet white  brite rivets 1 (3).jpg
VZ58 Scabbard 6 rivet white brite rivets 1 (3).jpg (34.44 KiB) Viewed 733 times
Scan_20201108 (5).png
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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PLEASE NOTE; The Czech VZ58 scabbards are not matched or numbered to with any particular bayonet. They are issued at random whether with new bayonets or as replacements over the years. The scabbards are less durable than the bayonets and require frequent replacement during inspections, reissue, repair or rework. The scabbards and bayonets can not be used to identify Types or dates of each other.
If anyone is interested I have more detailed information and pictures of the Czech VZ58 leather scabbards including construction and markings. The stamped ink markings from each manufacture are unique and located in different places and positions on the back of the scabbards. The also changed with different contract requirements over the years. There are many variables, but most contain the crossed swords and OTK military acceptance marks, the contract date and number, the date of manufacture and the ID of the maker. Unfortunately, most of the markings are worn off or un-readable. Mike
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MDIvie
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

Post by MDIvie »

Interesting stuff. I thought you posted a picture of a left hand scabbard recently. Need to look and see if I can find who posted that and where. I am still looking for a white scabbard and a gray NBC scabbard for my collection. I have a variety of 5 and 6 rivet leather scabbards dating from 1961 to 1985, most without visible dates.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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I am also missing the grey NBC scabbard and would like to find one. Not really my cup of tea, but would also be interested in one of the original white faced leather dress scabbards. The painted or dyed ones would be too easy to fake. I would also like to have a better example of a 5 rivet scabbard. Mine is well used and has some wear and tear.
Yes, I posted pictures of a left handed scabbard on a FB collectors page. The pictures were faked by flipping in photoshop. I posted them to see if it was possible if anyone had thought about or noticed one over the years. Only one of the references I studied mentioned them, but was consistent in mentioning them throughout. It even gave a time reference and the name of the firm that made them. I have my doubts, perhaps just false information or is it possible? Mike
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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According to the reference above, the first scabbards were the 5 rivet variation made by Galanta who also made the left-handed version. They were the only maker of the 5 rivet scabbards. By supposition, the left-handed ones would also be the 5 rivet variation. Galanta scabbards have been noted dating from 1959 to 1965 +. They are the only ones having a circular marking on the scabbard tip. One of the other early makers, Kozap, made the 6 rivet variation which was made by all subsequent manufactures. Mike
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Here is a picture of a VZ58 scabbard made by Galanta in 1962. Each of the various manufactures had there own way of marking the scabbard, different information in different styles and positions, but all the same basic info. Galanta was the first manufacture and the only one making the 5 rivet variation. Below you can see the GALA 62, (inverted), the Crossed Swords 62, (military acceptance), and the circle on the tip with the final proof marks. Mike
VZ58 scabbard assortment 1 (2).jpg
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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Rotated and enlarged picture of the Galanta scabbard. M.
VZ58 scabbard assortment 1 (5).jpg
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Mr. B.
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Re: Czech VZ58 Leather Scabbards Variations

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For comparison, this is a 6 rivet VZ58 scabbard made by SNAHA, ("S"), in 1977. The Snaha marking had all the same information in rectangular box on the scabbard tip. Mike
VZ58 scabbard assortment 1 (4).jpg
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