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ZH-29 Automatic rifle
TypeSemi-automatic rifle
Place of originCzechoslovakia
Service history
Used bySee Users
Production history
DesignerEmanuel Holek
ManufacturerCeskoslovenska Zbrojovka
Mass4.5 kg (9.9 lb)
Length1,150 mm (45 in)
Barrel length545 mm (21.5 in)

Cartridge8×57mm IS
ActionGas-operated, tilting bolt
Muzzle velocity808 m/s (2,650 ft/s)
Effective firing range350 metres
Feed system5, 10 or 20-round box magazine
Sightsiron sights

The ZH-29 was a semi-automatic rifle developed in Czechoslovakia during the late 1920s, and used by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army.[1] The ZH-29 is one of the first successful self-loading rifles in service.


The ZH-29 is a gas-operated service rifle with a tilting-bolt locking system similar to that which would be later used in the Sturmgewehr 44; although while the bolt of the German gun tilts vertically, that of the ZH-29 does so to the left side. Externally the most distinctive feature is that the barrel is offset at a slight angle to the receiver to compensate for this.[2] Also unusually, the rifle uses an aluminium barrel jacket.

An upgraded variant was designated ZH-32.[3]

In China, Zhang Zuolin army received 150 ZH-29 and 100 ZH-32. Provincial troops of Guangdong also received 33 ZH-32. A derivative prototype was built in 1932 in Shenyang. It is unlikely these guns saw action during the Sino-Japanese War.[3]

A version chambered in .276 Pedersen was submitted to US Army trials but was unsuccessful.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://survincity.com/2012/08/czechoslovak-rifle-semi-automatic-type-zh-29/
  2. ^ https://www.forgottenweapons.com/early-semiauto-rifles/czech-zh29-rifle/
  3. ^ a b Ness, Leland; Shih, Bin (July 2016). Kangzhan: Guide to Chinese Ground Forces 1937–45. Helion & Company. p. 254. ISBN 9781910294420.
  4. ^ Springfield Armory page on the ZH-29 (SPAR item 3633) quoting from Walter, John. RIFLES OF THE WORLD. 3rd Edition. Krause Publications. Iola, Wi. 2006
  5. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic; Jimma University; Addis Ababa University; University of West Bohemia; Embassy of the Czech Republic in Addis Ababa. "The 20th Century Revisited: Relations between former Czechoslovakia and Ethiopia" (PDF).
  6. ^ Ian McCollum (August 15, 2016). "Japanese ZH-29 Copy by Tokyo Gas & Electric". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Smith, Joseph E. (1969). Small Arms of the World (11 ed.). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Stackpole Company. p. 310.

External links[edit]