This past weekend, we got to hit the range with a couple really neat forgotten weapons. I’m putting together separate videos for each one, and the first is a Czech ZH29. We have some information on these neat guns already posted in Vault, on the ZH29 page – in a nutshell, it’s a marvelously well made first generation battle rifle. Arguably the first polished, modern semiauto combat rifle. I know the French and Mexicans and a few others had functioning guns earlier, but the ZH29 is just a lot nicer than any other of the era.
This particular gun came from a batch shipped to China, but it is in great condition and obviously didn’t see much use (most older guns imported from China look like they’ve been tied up in barbed wire and run over by tanks).
Several of us took turns shooting the piece, and the consensus is that it is a very comfortable rifle. Not too much felt recoil for an 8×57, and easy to shoot. I thought the sights were mounted a bit low (forcing my face down too far onto the stock), but I’m the only person who had that complaint. We put about 50 or 60 rounds through it (Romanian ball) with no malfunctions. And yes, we cleaned it the same day – that ammo is corrosive.
I think if these were available today, they would be reasonably popular guns. The main reason they weren’t a commercial success was the intricate and expensive manufacturing process.