Tuesday, October 6, 2009
A Czech Gun Shop
Ok, so many people that know me well will know that I am somewhat of a "gun enthusiast." A common misconception that many people have is that there are almost no weapons to be found around the European countries that a citizen would have access to purchase. While this is mostly true for many European countries, the Czech Republic remains one of the few countries where a citizen can still purchase, shoot, and legally carry a firearm. Unlike many European countries, Czech has used some common sense and realized that you cannot legislate morality by trying to ban inanimate objects that people may use in crime. While the Czech Republic has a problem with theft (car theft being a big issue), their violent crime rate is lower than MANY Westernized countries, including many that have a total ban on firearms.
With all that said, I wanted to see what you would find in a typical Czech gun shop. In this case, a gun shop that is located in the largest city in the Czech Republic, which also happens to be the capital city. The shop is located in Prague 2, found here
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Unfortunately, I found that the shop was closed between 1200 and 1300 for lunch. Having about 45 minuets to kill, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and wait for it to reopen. The view through the window let me know immediately that I was in the right place :) The photo is quiet poor, but immediately I noticed that the front window consisted of two full automatic AK-47 machine guns, one fully automatic IMI UZI Model B, two American Thompson sub-machine guns, an M60 belt-fed machine gun, an HK56, and two WW2 era Soviet rifles. To a gun nut, this is a very nice sight to see :)
Once the store opened back up I spoke with the owner (well, I tried to. He didn't speak any english and my Czech is quite poor) and asked if he minded if I took some pictures to show my friends back home. He had no problem with my request and allowed me to snap away while he helped other customers. He seemed to be a very laid back and friendly guy. The shop was full of historic and modern firearms. While I was looking at what the shop had to offer and snapping away with my camera, a man was at the counter looking at some old Soviet WW2 era bolt action rifles. After finding the one he wanted to purchase, he filled out the paperwork and was able to walk out with the rifle and around 800 rounds of 7.62x54r ammunition in the matter of about 15 minuets. It is a very similar process to how one would purchase a firearm in the United States, in most areas. It was an interesting thing to see as I wondered how their process worked.
There were some very interesting firearms in the shop. I was also surprised to find the prices were generally very reasonable. I found a few WW2 area pistols in the first display case I looked into, including a Walther P38 for around $500 US, and Russian Tokerav pistol for around $180US, and some slightly newer things, like the fully automatic Czech Vz 61 Skorpion on the left side of the case. Unfortunately I was not able to see what those are currently selling for. They are a pretty unique firearm that has been used by both special forces groups as well as terrorist factions world wide. The design inspired Uziel Gal in his creation of the UZI sub-machine gun in the 1950s. Lower in the case I found a Sterling sub-machine gun in decent shape selling for the VERY reasonable price of around $300US.
After that I moved onto the pistol cases to see what was being offered. Unfortunately, there was a man rummaging through a spare parts boxes on top of the case that held the CZ pistols so I was not able to get a good picture. I did find CZ75 9mm pistols selling for around $300US, used in good condition, as well as new for around $600. That was all I was able to price check in that case. The next case I came across had largely new and used revolvers along with other small pistols.
There I found New S&W revolvers selling around $600-700US and used of the same selling for a little over $300US. I was surprised to see a pistol in the case called a "kevin," which was just recently introduced in the US under the Israeli IWI brand as the Micro Desert Eagle in .380. The price was around $325US.
Elsewhere around the shop I found: Czech military AK-47 style rifles, US M1 Carbines, AR/M4/M16 style rifles in .22lr for around $700US, Remington 870 shotguns in 12ga for around $700US, new EoTech rifles sights for $700US, and very used models of Eotech sights for around $400. Also found a selection of knives, with a couple Benchmade models around $40US and some other assorted brands. I saw many WW2 era SVT-66 rifles, as well as a Fully automatic HK G3 and a Bren light machine gun in a rack towards to back of the shop. Glock pistols were selling for around $800 for the sub-compact G36 and the full-size G17.
Below are some more random photos from the shop.