Odd Guns: CZ 26 SMG

    **Scroll down for video**

    I am a huge fan of Czech small arms. The boys over in the Czech Republic have a handle on churning out very reasonably priced and high quality armaments that have saturated the US market place, and I think that is awesome!

    An ingenious design that often gets overlooked in the West that emerged from Czechoslovakia in 1948 is known as the CZ Model 25 series, which was perhaps the most revolutionary post-war submachinegun mainly for one reason: it employed the use of a telescoping bolt.

    Before this innovation, SMGs were large and obscenely heavy (as any Thompson or MP40 shooter can attest to) and most designs afterwards used a telescoping bolt including the prolific Uzi. In a system employing a telescoping bolt, the bolt travels over the barrel with the face being inside the actual bolt, rather than at the front:


    This allowed for a lighter weight and a more compact gun. So thank you for that, Czechs!

    Anyways, onto today’s odd gun. The model I am testing is a CZ 26, which is a model 25 chambered in 7.62×25 and with a folding stock:


    The gun handles great but is definitely better suited for a person with smaller hands and wearing thick clothing. The stock mechanism is excellent too, allowing it to be folding forward and used as a foregrip:



    The bolt at mid stroke.

    Other than that I think the gun just looks fantastic, especially for a tube gun:


    Shootability is excellent. The gun’s progressive trigger is interesting too: pulling the trigger half way will result in semi automatic fire, while a full depression will allow the gun to run until it is out of ammo or the operator lets off. Pretty neat huh?

    But the low recoil and cyclic rate do make the CZ 26 a comfortable gun to shoot and I have not had this much fun with a machine gun in a long time (if only cheap surplus 7.62×25 would come back in, I would be a much happier man!).


    To illustrate some of the points above, I have made a video:

    I apologize for the wind noise!

    After a range session I always clean my guns meticulously and load mags up for the next trip. The CZ 26 has an integral feature to allow for loading mags with stripper clips that is very clever:


    And of course field stripping is it a cinch: press the button on the back of the tube, rotate the end cap, and pull out the bolt:


    The barrel can also be removed similarly to an Uzi.

    This innovative firearm doesn’t show up much to shoots or get much credit for the innovating features it brought to the table, but it is a great shooter and most certainly odd. The combination of a telescoping bolt, stock that doubles as a foregrip, user friendliness, and ease of manufacturing make the CZ 26 a fantastic and unfortunately obscure gun.

    Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more odd guns!

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.