ZH-29 rifle (Czechoslovakia)


Caliber: 7.92×57 mm Mauser, also 7×57 Mauser, .30-06 US, and others
Action: Gas operated, side-swinging bolt
Overall length: 1150 mm
Barrel length: 545 mm
Weight: 4.5 kg
Magazine capacity: 5, 10 or 25 rounds


The ZH-29 rifle had been developed in the late 1920s at the Czechoslovak arms factory Ceska Zbroevka in the city of Brno by the Emmanuel Holek. Rifle has been developed on request from China, and Chinese forces later acquired some numbers of ZH-29 rifles in 7.92×57 Mauser. In early 1930s one version of the ZH-29, chambered in .276 cartridge, has been tested in USA against Pedersen and Garand rifles, but apparently performed less than satisfactory. ZH-29 also has been offered in a variety of other chamberings, including 7mm Mauser and .30-06. ZH-29 was in limited production between 1929 and 1938. Production of ZH-29 has been terminated when Germany occupied the Czechoslovakia, and never resumed again. These rifles were finely made, but the manufacturing process was too expensive and rifles were somewhat sensitive to harsh conditions.

ZH-29 is a gas operated, semi-automatic or selective-fired, magazine fed rifle. To provide better cooling of the barrel during intense fire, barrel has been fitted with ribbed aluminum forend, which served as a heat dissipater. Gas cylinder and piston are located under the barrel, inside the handguards. To lock the barrel, bolt swings sideways, and locks into the receiver wall. The safety is located at the front of the trigger guard. ZH-29 is fed from detachable box magazines of various capacities, which also could be reloaded in place by using stripper clips. The usual bolt stop locked the bolt open after the last shot from the magazine has been fired, but the bolt release was unusual in that it has been controlled by the trigger. To release bolt after reloading shooter had to pull the trigger. Second pull then will fire the rifle.