ZH-29 Semiauto Rifle at RIA
The ZH-29 was the brainchild of noted Czech arms designer Emmanuel Holek in the late 1920s. It was one of the earliest practical and reliable semiauto rifles available, although Holek and the Brno factory were unable to secure any large orders for it (the three known orders total about 500 rifles, for China, Lithuania, and Ethiopia). Several other countries tested the rifle (including the United States), but none adopted it. The ZH29 was a long-stroke gas piston operated rifle with a tilting bolt which actually pivoted sideways into the left side of the receiver to lock. This design choice led to some unusual geometry to the gun, as the barrel is mounted at an angle to the receiver, so as to be perpendicular to the breech face when the bolt is in its locked position. Manufacturing quality was excellent on these rifles, and they all display a very pretty plum patina today. This particular example has no magazine with it, but my understanding is that ZB26 LMG magazines are a perfect fit.