Czech ZB30: The Best WWII Era Light Machine Gun?

    The Czech ZB30 was probably one of the better light machine gun designs that saw extensive use during the Second World War. Nations such as Japan and Britain copied aspects of it in the Bren and Japanese Type 99 LMG. It was also license-produced in some other countries as well. It was a top mounted magazine-fed, gas operated, light machine gun that incorporated a bolt hold open catch when rounds ran out. A variant of the ZB26, the light machine gun had a number of unique features that came to be standard on light machines of the time.

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    Over the next several episodes we’ll be looking at derivatives of the ZB26/ZB30 such as the Type 99 and the British Bren. But the ZB30 was definitely the best action of all three. The quality of machining and manufacturing that went into the design is blatan2tly obvious the first time a burst is fired from it. The parts just seem to slide over and with each other extremely efficiently, to the point where shooting it on fully automatic is just pure joy in so many ways.


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    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]