New For 2024: Zenith Firearms ZF-56

posted on May 4, 2024
Zenith ZF 56 01
Images courtesy of Zenith Firearms.

Virginia-based Zenith Firearms has gone from firearm importer to firearm manufacturer to firearm innovator. Known for its G3- and MP5-style firearms, new for 2024, the company is taking the roller-delayed blowback design and modernizing it for the 21st century with the ZF-56.

Left side of the Zenith ZF-56 rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO.Zenith’s ZF-56 combines the venerable roller-delayed blowblack action with modern materials, features and ergonomics.

The ZF-56 is a brand-new, patent-pending design. Nearly the only feature it shares with other Zenith firearms is its roller-delayed blowback action. The upper and lower receiver are machined from forged aluminum. Controls combine the features of both HK and AR-15 firearms. The safety selector is bilateral. Magazine release and bolt release are also bilateral for fully ambidextrous controls. The charging handle is forward on the upper left side of the handguard. Barrels are cold hammer-forged and have a 1:7” twist rate.

Left side of the Zenith Firearms ZF-56 pistol.The ZF-56 is available in either rifle or pistol versions (12”-barreled pistol pictured).

A Picatinny rail section on the upper receiver mates with a rail section on the free-floating aluminum handguard. The handguard also features M-Lok slots for attaching accessories. Although the design does not require an action spring that is housed in a receiver extension, the ZF-56’s receiver end cap is threaded for a buffer tube, making it compatible with most AR-15-style stocks. Its pistol grip is also AR-15-compatible.

Left, rear shot of the ZF-56 pistol, showing the AR-style controls.The magazine release, bolt hold open and safety selector are bilateral for full ambidexterity on the ZF-56.

The ZF-56 is available in either pistol or rifle form. The rifle version uses a 16” barrel and comes with a buffer-tube mounted stock. Pistols are available with a 12” or 14.5” barrel and come with a buffer-tube compatible end cap. In rifle form, the ZF-56 weighs 7.5 lbs. and the pistols weigh 7 lbs. All ZF-56 firearms ship in a hard case with three magazines.

Left side of the Zenith Firearms large-format pistol with a mounted optic.Zenith has recently announced the ZF-300, which is the ZF-56 design chambered in .300 Blackout (14.5”-barreled pistol version pictured).

Zenith has plans to offer the design chambered for different cartridges, with the .300 Blackout ZF-300 available soon and 9 mm Luger and 10 mm Auto models planned for future. The Zenith ZF-56 has an MSRP of $2,250 for 12”-barreled pistols, $2,425 for 14.5”-barreled pistols and $2,500 for 16”-barreled rifles. For more information, visit


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