Military Wiki
Type Submachine gun
Place of origin  Czechoslovakia
Service history
In service 1938-1970
Used by See Users
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Koucký brothers [1]
Designed 1930 [1]
Produced 1938–1966
Number built Approx 20000 [1]
Specifications (ZK-383)
Weight 4.25 kg
Length 875 mm
Barrel length 325 mm

Cartridge 9×19mm Parabellum
Action blowback
Rate of fire 500–700 rounds/min, variable [2]
Muzzle velocity 1500 f/s
Maximum range 250 m
Feed system 30, 40 round detachable box magazine

The ZK-383 is a submachine gun and was developed by the Koucký brothers who worked at the pre-war Československá zbrojovka, akc.spol. (under its name of Zbrojovka Brno after World War II) arms factory in Brno Czechoslovakia. It was produced at a slow rate from 1938 onwards and was exported as far as South America; to Bolivia and Venezuela.[1]


The ZK-383 was exported to many smaller European countries following its production start date in 1938. The production of the ZK-383 continued at Brno arms factory even during the German occupation during World War II. Most of the guns produced were supplied to the Waffen-SS. It continued to be produced in small numbers in the postwar period; Bulgaria continued importing it right up until 1970, 4 years after production finished. The ZK-383 was slowly phased out by smaller and lighter submachine guns such as the Škorpion vz. 61 and Sa vz. 23.[1]


The ZK-383 was originally designed to be a squad automatic weapon much like the British Bren and Soviet DP28, despite it shooting a pistol round and not a full sized rifle cartridge. It became an individual submachine gun which resembles the German MP 18. For a submachine gun, the ZK-383 was a heavy and robustly made weapon. Military versions possessed detachable barrels, an integrated bipod, and rifle type sights, components considered unusual in submachineguns of the era.[2] The police variant, designated the ZK-383-P, lacked these features, as did the postwar ZK-383-H.


The ZK-383 was fitted with a quickly detachable barrel. The lock/release mechanism was located beneath the front sight. It fires from an open bolt and by removing the bolt weight, the shooter could vary the cyclic rate between 500 to 700 rpm. The magazine fed in from the left hand side like the British Sten. The manual safety was located in front of the trigger on the left side of the weapon. The ZK-383 had 2 firing modes, single and full auto. Selection was made via the use of a short or long trigger pull. The stock was made from wood and had a folding bipod. The guns featured a front peep sight and a rear adjustable leaf iron sight.


  • ZK-383; Standard production model
  • ZK-383-P; This was the police version which had no folding bipod or detachable barrel
  • ZK-383-H; The post-war production version which also lacked a bipod and detectable barrel. Instead of a left side magazine, this model had a forward-facing underslung magazine.


  •  Bolivia
  •  Bulgaria
  •  Czechoslovakia
  •  Nazi Germany
  •  Venezuela

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Modern Firearms - ZK383". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Smith, W.H.B., Small Arms of the World, Military Service Publishing Company, 1957, p. 354

External links

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