People in the general populace don’t think of Czechoslovakia as an international arms maker of high quality products with a long history of innovation. But those familiar with the world of firearms know that Czechoslovakia has a well-earned reputation of not only producing quality weapons, but researching, developing and pioneering new systems. One such system was the ZB26. This weapon proved to be of such a step forward for a man-portable, full automatic weapon, that the British, upon testing, were so impressed that they licensed the manufacture of the weapon that was then known as the Bren gun; a weapon that served the British and their Commonwealth nations for decades.
The Czech ZB26 gunner’s kit is made of canvas with leather straps that folds in on itself for carrying measuring approximately 11 inches long x 7 inches wide x 1.5 inches thick. Once fully unfolded, leather pockets hold all of the various tools needed to maintain the weapon in proper working order. On one end is a pocket that contains spare parts for the weapon that may wear or break and are easily replaceable by the gunner.
This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V20N2 (March 2016) and was posted online on January 22, 2016