former czechoslovakia

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vz.52

Semi-automatic rifle that was produced in the former Czechoslovakia. It bears some resemblance to the SKS, and even features an integrated bayonet, although side-folding instead of under-folding. Chambered in 7.62x45mm, some rifles were converted to 7.62x39 as the Com-Bloc nations began to standardize calibers. The easiest way to tell a 7.62x45mm from a 7.62x39mm vz rifle is the angle of the magazines floor plate. The latter has a very steep angle to accommodate the 7.62x39 cartridge. The other trick is to check the receiver under the rear sight for a cross pin. This particular rifle is a 7.62x45mm model but the seller is advertising it as a 7.62x39mm. He’s going to have an angry buyer. (GRH)

For Deer in Germany, the Cold War Never Ended

The barbed wire, electric fences, watchtowers, and heavily armed guards that once lined the Iron Curtain are long gone, but red deer wouldn’t dare jump the border. Behavior learned at the height of the Cold War lives on among the herds that roam land that used to straddle the former Czechoslovakia and West Germany. The once heavily fortified borders separating East from West today traverse national parks and remote landscapes that serve as popular summertime migratory destinations for the imposing beast.

In the spirit of post-Cold War fellowship, Germany’s Bavarian Forest National Park and the Czech Republic’s Sumava National Park established a transboundary wilderness area where animals like the red deer could find refuge. But as it turns out, the deer populations on either side of the former Iron Curtain roam along the border and remain reluctant to cross.

Read more. [Image: Luke MacGregor/Reuters]