The Czechs developed some pretty fine guns-up to and including submachineguns (SMG).

Shortly after World War II, Czechoslovakia found itself in the market for an SMG for infantry and non-infantry personnel. The resulting weapon, the CZ Model 23/25, was unveiled in the late 1940s.

Designer Vaclav Holek designed the Model 25, which was produced at the Uherksy Brod Arms Factory. This gun featured a blowback action with an unlocked breech that operated from an open bolt.

The CZ 23/25 series featured a telescoping bolt in which the forward part of the moving bolt extended past the back of the barrel and wrapped around it. This helped improve the gun's balance and handling. A vertical hand grip (nearly) center of the weapon's 17 1/2-inch length (i.e., the folding stock model) that housed the magazine and trigger mechanism also served to improve the weapon's handling.

The CZ Model 25 had a potential rate of fire of 650 rounds per minute, determined by the amount of pressure the operator applied to the trigger-light pressure resulted in single- or short bursts.

Constant pressure on the Model 25's trigger resulted in full-automatic fire.

Two rounds can be chambered in the Model 25-Russian 7.62x25mm and 9x19mm Parabellum. The 7.62 Model 25 can be spotted by its forward sloping magazine; 9mm guns use a vertical magazine.

In 1960, the Czechs produced the Scorpion SA Vz 61 lightweight personal defense weapon. This gun's subsonic round (7.65x17mm Browning or .32 ACP), made it ideally suited for stealth, as in silenced mode-suitable for terrorists, cops, and Special Forces, alike.

This gun's name suits it: Scorpion is light (less than 3 pounds) and packs a real sting-at 850 rounds per, using 10- or 20-round mags. And its concealable at 20 inches with a short, 4-inch barrel.

It chambers Makarov 9x17 (.380 ACP) as well as .32 ACP and 9x18 and 9x19mm.

But guns like the CZ 25 and Scorpion were not developed in a vacuum.

They had a good pedigree.

Predating the Scorpion and the Model 25, the Czech-made, ZK 383 SMG was unveiled before the start of World War II. Chambered in 9mm, this 9-pound gun was fitted with a 12.8-inch barrel and jacketed shroud, and accuracy for the ZK 383 could be enhanced using a bipod.

The ZK 383 used a modest, hooded front sight and a V-notched tangent rear sight, adjustable to 2,600 feet (i.e., 800 meters)-although its max effectiveness was probably far less. It also had a quick-change barrel and an adjustable rate of fire (by way of a removable bolt insert) of 500 to 700 rounds per minute-making it an easy submachinegun to shoot up a lot of brass, then change out the barrel!

Submachine guns like the ZK 383, the CZ 25, and the Scorpion SA Vz 61 helped pave the way for the Czech Republic's preeminence in the world of premier arms making into the 21st century.