‘Česká zbrojovka’ translates to ‘Czech armory,’ and at one time there were many ‘CZs.’ Česká zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod dates back to 1936, when it was established as a branch plant of Česká zbrojovka Strakonice. Production commenced on January 2, 1937 focusing on both military and civilian arms. The first products out the door were aircraft machine guns, military pistols and small-bore rifles, but during WWII the plant came under Nazi occupation and was forced to produce and repair military arms.
In post-war Czechoslovakia, the plant returned to production of both military and civilian arms, in equal measures. In 1950 the Company became a separate state enterprise named ‘Přesné strojírenství Uherský Brod’ (The Precision Machine Tooling Company, Uherský Brod) and was reorganized into a number of specialized departments. The 1970s and 1980s saw the Company merge with Agrozet Brno, allowing it to not only manufacture firearms but also diversify into the production of reduction gears and driveshaft casings for aircraft engines for Motorlet Praha and hydraulically powered and controlled tractor attachments for Zetor Brno.
In the second half of the 1980s, a corporate modernization and restructuring process began, with an emphasis on the firearms product range. As of July 1, 1988, the Company was split off from Agrozet Brno and became a separate state enterprise, once again taking it’s original name of Česká zbrojovka, s.p. 1990 saw production for Czechoslovak armed units come to an end and the newly available capacity was put to full use in expanding the production of sporting and hunting firearms, as well as products for armed police and military units. Similarly, 1991 and 1992 saw the end of production for tractor attachments and aircraft parts, again allowing for the expansion of manufacture of recreational arms.On May 1, 1992, the National Property Fund of the Czech Republic established the joint stock company Ceska zbrojovka a.s., Uhersky Brod in accordance with a privatization project.
In 1991 the Czech weapons factories were “de-centralized” and began business as free market companies. In 1992, Česká zbrojovka a.s.(PLC), Uherský Brod became private, moving into the free world economy and eventually establishing a small arms presence in over 90 countries. In 1997 Česká zbrojovka obtained quality system certification pursuant to ISO 9001. In 1997 ČZUB established a permanent presence in the United States with the founding of CZ-USA. ČZUB and CZ-USA continue to market small arms worldwide, with military, police, defensive, sporting and recreational firearms. The ČZUB factory employs some 1800+ engineers, craftsmen and business personnel, making it one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world. The company manufactured over 260,000 firearms in 2014 alone.