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Shooting the Czech ZH-29 Rifle

The Czech ZH-29 is one of the first well developed semiauto military rifles – it was light, mechanically simple, reliable, and handled well, unlike many of its ungainly or excessively complicated predecessors. It only found two buyers, though, in China and Ethiopia, despite being tested by many major military powers. The production examples were chambered for the 8mm Mauser cartridge, and several sources claim that it was a quite uncomfortably painful rifle to shoot. I want to know, was that true?

To me, the recoil from the ZH29 was not particularly bad. It was similar to other selfloading 8mm rifles of the same approximate weight – noticeably but certainly not painful. That said, it did kick me in the cheek more than other rifles I have shot.

Unfortunately, the gas settings and ammunition were not cooperating on this occasion, and the rifle was short-stroking consistently. That was not a problem typical to the design, and ought to be fairly easy to resolve on this particular example, although I did not have enough time to address it myself.

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