On November 11 I posted about a Slavia 618 I'd bought the day before, and asked whether anyone knew what the slots (not dovetails) and flats were for that had been machined into the spring tube over the rear tube plug. I included a photo for illustration. The slots, which are cut clear through the tube wall, aren't long enough to accommodate scope rings spaced far enough apart to make room for a scope's turret. I mounted a 4X compact using a single ring, though, and assumed that the flats between the slots were to provide clearance for a clamp-type aperture sight such as the Beeman/Williams Sport. One person responding said he'd mounted an aperture of that kind on his 618 without difficulty.
Still curious, I decided to e-mail CZ to ask what the slots and flats were for. Marketing manager Milan Kubele replied, and the upshot is that I still don't know. He was unaware of their existence, and at first thought I had modified the tube myself. Once that was cleared up, he said he had no idea about those features and went on to explain that he had been at CZ longer than most other employees. CZ according to Milan, has never offered an optional aperture sight. My guess is that aperture mounting was the intent nevertheless, and that two narrow flats were provided for positioning flexibility. One long one would probably have weakened the tube too much.
I know this still doesnt answer your question, but my 618 does not have them, but the 622 does. It has to be for a peep type sight IMO. If i manage to find a picture of one fitted to a Slavia, i will post it here.
Maybe Eastern Block is not the correct term, but after WWII a lot of those smaller Countries in that area were never quite the same again. Pretty sure that Haenel ended up in the Russian sector. The Berlin Wall divvied up a few more of the German Airgun Makers. Im probably getting a bit out of my depth, Lol.
Regards Grant, N.Z.
In the third edition of "The Airgun Book," (John Walter, 1984), there is a description and photo of a dedicated Slavia target rifle, the model 632. This was based on the 631's action with barrel lock, but has a very nice-looking heavy stock with a vertically-sliding buttplate. Walther states that only small quantities of the 632 were made, between 1973 and 1977.
The photo clearly shows a small, match-style peep sight mounted on this gun's receiver. While the details of its attachment are not visible, I would guess the unusual grooves and flats on your 618 are almost certainly designed to accommodate this sight.
I've never seen a Slavia 632 in the flesh, but it sounds like a very interesting collectible.
Walter's book states that the 618/622 were replaced by the 624 in the "mid 70's."
Sometimes I feel that Mr Walter's research is a little, shall we say, shallow on these lesser-known brands! But nevertheless, it seems safe to assume the 618 was available at the same time as the 632 and its peep sight.
Dave posted this info a while ago.
Slavia 618= 1965 1975
Slavia 624=1975 1980
Slavia 632=1975 1980
For some reason or other I seem to rember buying a 618 before 1965? I would 'guess' around 1961.
Sometimes silence is golden,sometimes it's not.
Although Mr. Kubele is a long-time employee of CZ, I doubt he's been there since the 70's--or long enough to remember the aperture-sighted 632 you describe. Because he didn't come up with your finding, I must suppose that the company lacks an official historian or a file of old advertising material to consult.
Several years ago I bought both a 630 and 631. Accuracy of the former was outstanding. I now regret having sold it, which is probably why I didn't hesitate to spend $25 on the 618. It, too, seems to be a tackdriver despite a fairly stiff trigger.
The Slavias are amazing values and probably sleepers in the collector market. A would-be springer freak might find that marque a good one to start with.
Thanks, Dave. As you and EJ suggested in other posts . . .
November 24 2007, 6:21 PM
I searched on "Slavia" and read until my eyes crossed and the archive started to repeat. Unfortunately, lots of the accompanying Photobucket illustrations have expired, but I still got a pretty good overview of the many models--and a much better sense of the number and enthusiasm of Slavia collectors! Thanks again to all who responded to my inquiries about the 618.