By Drew Bryant
October 27th, 2023, theloadoutblog.com
Zenith Firearms, known for its presence in the HK MP5 clone market, is making significant strides by diversifying its firearm lineup. Their latest offering, the ZF-56, marks an innovative hybrid that blends the familiarity of the AR-15 and HK93 platforms. What sets this rifle apart is its incorporation of a roller-delayed blowback bolt system, a feature favored by enthusiasts. Notably, the ZF-56 retains the convenience of a last-round bolt hold open mechanism but introduces a proprietary lower receiver, while also maintaining compatibility with AR-style triggers, grips, and magazines.
Visually, the ZF-56 exudes HK influence, particularly in its lower receiver, where the unmistakable large safety lever borrowed from the HK platform resides. However, this rifle brings a unique twist to the table when it comes to stocks. Unlike traditional MP5 and HK93 stocks that slide over the receiver and secure with a single pin, the ZF-56 seems to adopt a different approach, potentially utilizing an HK MP5K-style end cap with two pins and a distinct attachment method.
Further distinguishing itself from classic roller-delayed blowback firearms, the ZF-56 sports a folding charging handle, which intriguingly locks downwards, a departure from the conventional H&K-style charging handle orientation. Its handguard boasts a free-floating design equipped with M-LOK and Picatinny rails at the top, accompanied by a built-in heat shield for enhanced functionality.
Zenith Firearms plans to roll out the ZF-56 initially in 5.56 caliber, but the future promises an expansion into other calibers, including 9mm, 10mm, and 7.62. With a weight of 7.3 pounds, this rifle is no lightweight and features a cold hammer-forged barrel, fluted for weight reduction, with a 6-groove design and a 1:7” right-hand twist. Barrel lengths will be available in 12”, 14.5”, and 16”. Zenith’s ZF-56 is set to capture the attention of firearm enthusiasts seeking a fusion of innovative design and trusted performance.
As of now, the price for the ZF-56 is unavailable. Those interested in acquiring this firearm are advised to check Zenith’s website for updates on pricing and availability.
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