Hell,,even the old "Potato Diggers" had holes in the barrels for a rudimentary gas system. And those were made when,,1880-1890 something,,,???
I still think the VZ58 has the AK platforms beat by a country mile,,even though the look similar, they don't operate any where near the same. Way simpler, lighter , more ergonomic, more accurate, stronger milled receivers,less moving parts and just as reliable, while all the time still being inexpensive to manufacture. VZ's are my choice over an AK platform,,,any day! Neither is great for mounting optics on though, at least not in a good looking fashion anyway.
I know,I know,,BLASPHEMY,, ON AN AK FORUM !!! I just know what I like better! And the VZ's are it.
Kinda like comparing a Checker cab and a Camaro,,they both do the same job, one just has class and doesn't look like a Mc Cormick Dearing tractor with steel wheels and seats!!!