The CZ Model S Early Selfloading Rifle

Well, it’s no secret that I am a sucker for early selfloading rifles. The sheer number of ideas that were being explored in the early decades when these rifles were undergoing military trials creates a fascinating body of work for us gun nerds in the modern day to study. One area that doesn’t get enough attention is the developments of gun designers in Central Europe before World War II. We previously posted on the ZH-29, one of the most important milestones in the story of the military selfloading rifle, but today we’ll take a look at a video released by Forgotten Weapons on another rifle designed by the same talented designer, Emmanuel Holek. That rifle is the CZ Model S:

Emmanuel Holek was one of the three Holek brothers, along with Vaclav and Franticek Holek, all three of whom were extremely talented small arms designers. Emmanuel’s work mostly concerned the field of autoloading rifle development, and besides the Model S, he also developed the Holek Automat, a sporting rifle of similar design. Forgotten Weapons has a video on that rifle as well, embedded below:

While naturally, the better part of a century’s worth of development means these rifles are dated, Holek’s ideas, especially some of the ones incorporated into his sporting rifle, are in many ways still valuable today.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Kelly Jackson

    Probably still easier to find in a store than a CZ EVO

  • gunsandrockets

    I am very impressed by that Holek Automat. And in 7mm Mauser too, just about perfect for a self-loading rifle.