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The operation of radial wire array Z-pinches driven by a 1-MA 250-ns current pulse was studied. Variation in the cathode diameter and wire diameter does not affect the overall plasma dynamics but controls the time of wire breakage and the time of pinch formation. The measured times of full wire ablation at the cathode were used to determine the ablation velocity (V abl), and the results give a scaling V abl ~ (wire diameter)-0.46. Experiments with added axial magnetic field show an increase in the pinched plasma diameter, possibly due to the compression of the axial magnetic flux by the imploding plasma.