Off I went…
Not often I get to buy new gear at the moment, so after first having had a few goes on Derkas Ares Vz58 I made the trip south to Patrol Base to make the purchase. I know if you’re prepared to hunt around you can probably knock a tenner off, but there is still something I like about going to a shop, picking out the one I want and leaving with it.

Everyone loves a new gun!

Everyone loves a new gun!

Some comments on Patrol Base. It’s easy enough to find and we had no trouble parking up. Once inside its a spacious shop with plenty of stock. The guys were very enthusiastic even letting me shoot off a few rounds on the display model they had on show in their test range. My only proviso was they tried to sell me a battery they insisted fitted, and only the fact that I had experience of actually using a VZ58 made me cautious. When I said fine if they could fit it for me I’d buy 2 did they concede (after much trying) that none of their batteries in stock fitted. More of the batteries later though…

Almost fresh out of the box...

Almost fresh out of the box…

As the Ares website highlights, the VZ58 series comes with a propriety mag which are about £30 each at the moment, and you can see I went for the compact version. For those who like to read up on the real world counterparts there’s some info here.

Also in the box were cleaning rods, mag loader, and some reasonably decent instructions. Read them! No batteries of any kind, which I don’t mind as they’re usually inferior and never get used in any case.

Read them! You never know...

Read them! You never know…

I added a few modifications to my initial purchase. First up and probably most pragmatic was the magazine adapter to allow the VZ58 to accommodate M4 type mags. This gives you access to a far wider variety and they tend to be cheaper!

Mag well adapter for all those M4 mags you already have!

Mag well adapter for all those M4 mags you already have!

Next up was a suppressor, reasonably short and simple dual ended type. Primarily because I liked the look of it, but having skirmished the VZ58 now it definitely mutes the noise of the gearbox taking a lot of the sharpness out of it. It turns it into a satisyingly solid thump rather than a crack and seems to be harder to position from any sort of distance.

extra sneakiness fitted....

extra sneakiness fitted….

Lastly for now was the quick release sidemount attachment that allows me to use the QR sidemount from my AK105. Fitting was a matter of minutes allowing the VZ to mount a toprail for scope and sights. This top rail does make fitting the battery more fiddly so be warned!

QR sidemount ready!

QR sidemount ready!

The ring for attaching sligs is definitely robust and feels secure. After the somewhat flimsy affairs on the side of some CYMA AK’s this was a welcome find.

Why aren't all guns fitted with one of these?

Why aren’t all guns fitted with one of these?

..and of course it has a folding stock, with the stock folding to the right so you can still make use of the QR sidemount and access the selector switch with ease.

Even shorter...

Even shorter…

This brings me to a definite gripe. The folding stock relies on a screwcap retaining a small spring over the pin in the hinge. I was warned by other owners this would be loose and to get some threadlock on it immediately. Like an idiot I hadn’t got round to it before I skirmished it the first time. The VZ didn’t even make it past the safety brief before this pinged it’s way across the carpark. Why they seem unable to secure this I have no idea. Sheer dogged luck and some very helpful friends enable me to find the escaped parts (and they go a long way) and it was replaced having been smothered in threadlock. I may look into a more permanent securing pin mod at a later date.



Power it up!
Right. Batteries. The only batteries I can find that currently fit the recived space are G&P 7.4v lipo at the moment. You can get them on the usual popular auction site from overseas, but I also recommend checking out our pyro supplier Jack Rabbit who have supply at wholesale prices here in Blighty. Replacing them can be fraught so here’s my best method so far…

Step 1 slide pin to unsecure rear of top receiver

Battery step 1

Battery step 1

Step 2 remove the receiver top completely.

Battery step 2

Battery step 2

Step 3 move the cocking handle rearwards

Battery Step 3

Battery Step 3

Step 4 remove the cocking handle reciever section as well to permit access to the battery with ease.

Battery Step 4

Battery Step 4

I find it easiest to lay the new battery in position carefully and essentially go through all the above procedures in reverse to fit. BE WARNED it remains a tight fit, be wary of trapping wires and damaging LiPo batteries when doing so!

But having done all this you are presented with a tidy tight and refreshingly rattle free AEG. Having skirmished it once I can assure that the electronic programmable gearbox seems to work well. using 7.4v LiPo gives it more than fast enough rate of fire, although I tend to leave it in semi. (see our video from the last game day report. I intend to program this to either a 3 shot burst or semi auto only at a later date, so I’ll update the performance then.

In action I found it beautifully nimble and accurate for it’s size. Power was dead on 326 fps out of the box (1 Joule) so no need to be using the quick access for the spring just yet that the current Ares AEG come fitted with.

Small size makes it agile (ideal CQB)
Good range on stock hop set up
Perfectly powered out of box
Can take standard mags with adapter

Make sure stock hinge is secured properly!
Battery compartment is small and fiddly

Overall? A cracking little AEG. I mean, just look at it...

Admit it, you want one now don't you?...

Admit it, you want one now don’t you?…

VZ58 Compact £192
Mag Adapter £29.99
Suppressor £10
plus I went for some additional Ares Amoeba mid cap 140rd M4 magazines at £9.99
G&P 7.4v LiPo batteries £25


4 Responses to “Gear Report: Ares Vz 58 Compact”

  • Beaty says:

    Very nice indeed. I would be tempted were it not for the fact that my VFC AKS74U sort of already fills this format in my collection. BUT – if I didn’t have my AKS I’d definitely want this. I was very interested by the internals – and the idea of programming for 3 shot is something I don’t have but would appreciate. Would be interesting to compare the Vz. 58c with the AKS74U.

    What kind of sling do you use? (Single point bungee?) Also, what about sighting – what were you thinking of mounting?

    • Spider says:

      Yep, using a single point bungee sling at the moment, works really well and allows me to shoot either handed or release quickly. Swampy is running a similar Ares electronic gearbox in a Evo Scorpion at the moment with 3 shot burst programmed and seems very good. May well invest in a program unit myself as a result. Time will tell!

      As for sights, may add a red dot later but I’m usually happy with iron sights. More than accurate enough over the ranges we shoot at and keeps the profile down. The side plate was on for aesthetics mainly at the moment

  • Hudson says:

    I bought one of these myself about 5/6 months ago, also from PB. (STILL not got around to actually skirmishing with it yet though!)
    Luckily managed to get a couple of batteries in store that fitted (eventually).
    They even swapped it all over to Deans, which helped a lot with the the lack of space, highly recommended to do even without the improved performance.

    One problem I had with the VZ58C however is that whilst it comes in at the advertised 320(ish) fps, this is only accurate when chronoing without hop up.
    I don’t know if it’s just mine, or due to the design of a full size cylinder & short barrel; (I’m assuming they just use the same gearbox for the full size and compact) but once you add hop (Virtually full on in my case for .28 ammo) you’ll see a substantial increase in FPS if chronoed again (Up to 370+ fps) so something to beware!

    I took it back later to get it downgraded, but got a rather poor service, especially compared to the original guy; the tech on duty that day didn’t seem to care, and it ended up coming out at 260ish, so I sacked it off and just decided to do it myself.
    After experimenting, it needs a stronger spring to achieve the same FPS that a regular AEG would (An SHS M115 in this case, the 260 was an Ultimate M100, which for me, usually give 350 – 370fps), so something else to watch out for.

    It should FINALLY be getting it’s skirmish debut tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

  • Hudson says:

    Just to clarify; that’s up to 370fps with .2s, when chronoing for ‘how it’s to be used in game’, not 370 with the .28s. 😉

Leave a Reply