RIA: Ethiopian ZH29 and Czech Experimental Z37

The ZH-29 was an influential early semiautomatic military rifle, although not one that saw any significant adoption. As best I can tell, only two countries purchased them in any quantity: China and Ethiopia. This ZH-29 is an Ethiopian contract example, with an Ethiopian Lion of Judah on the receiver and stock. The other rifle we are looking at today is a further iteration of the ZH-29 that was tested by the Czech military – the Z-37. This rifle shows a few relatively minor alterations from the standard pattern:

  • Rear sight attached at back rather than front
  • Bolt handle changed from round knob to hook
  • Safety moved from trigger guard to rear of receiver
  • Front sight and bayonet lug pinned to barrel and made separate from the gas block
  • Barrel weight increased

In interesting glimpse into the changes requested by the Czech trials board before finally rejecting the design.