Problem with new CZ 550 in .416 Rigby

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by BryceM, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    I bought this rifle from an individual in the Midwest a couple of weeks ago. He has owned it for a few years but assured me that it had never been fired. When it arrived, it came in the original box (good sign) and was flawless - not a mark on it. I also spent quite a while on the phone with the seller and I have no reason to doubt his word. I believe it to be essentially "factory new". This gun has the European-style drop-comb stock with a single cross-bolt reinforcement.

    I loaded up some ammo with new norma brass and 400gr Nosler Partitions. I loaded H-4831SC powder in increasing increments with 215 Federal Gold Medal magnum primers.

    I dry fired the rifle a couple of times to test trigger pull when it first arrived. The trigger, safety, and set trigger all appeared to function properly.

    BTW, this was my first dance with anything larger than a .340 WBY which I've fired a few times.

    First shot - BOOM. No problem. Reasonably stiff trigger for a gun of this caliber, a slight amount of creep. Not that bad. If I want a sweet trigger pull the set trigger is always there. Overall recoil was lively, but not as bad as I had imagined.

    Shot number 2-5 were also fine. No pressure signs at all. Shot number 6 did something funny. I was taking a greater than average amount of time getting my sight picture and decided to take pressure off the trigger and start over. While I was releasing pressure the gun fired, surprising me tremendously. That particular slap from the rifle was rather stiff. Extraction was easy and the case looked perfectly fine. None of these shots were taken with the set trigger.

    After that, the gun would not fire at all. It would chamber easily, but the firing pin would not drop after multiple attempts. It seems to cock with bolt closure but it acts like the safety will not release. The trigger is solidly locked, just like it is with the safety on. The safety lever seems to be moving smoothly and properly. I'm no gunsmith, and I haven't disassembled the trigger assembly, but my attempts to work around the problem have gotten me nowhere. Bolt moves fine, trigger is solidly locked, safety moves just fine. The firing pin won't fall.

    So, to summarize, I have a supposedly new DG rifle that only fired correctly 5 times. Now it won't fire at all. Obviously it needs the attention of a gunsmith. Would you guys recommend contacting CZ and making it their problem? Local gunsmith? Big bore expert?

    Not to run around screaming about the sky falling, but it's going to take a while to gain any sort of confidence in this rifle. So far I'm not terribly impressed. As a DG rifle, this one simply needs to work, every time, without question, without that thing in the back of my mind raising doubts. I suppose I'll send it off, get it back, and run about 1,000 dry-fire drills with snap caps.

    Ugggh.
  2. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    cz 550

    If it helps your confidence any I had that gun and it performed flawlessly on buffalo until i lost it at the border of Zim on "Mugabe's birthday." I have since bought the CZ 550 American version and it has worked well also. Forgot to mention these were both in 416.

    I would contact CZ and see if they have any thoughts. You are right that you need confidence in the gun and anything short of replacing the assembly or bolt may not do that.
  3. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    CZ-USA

    Oooooh. That must have been painful.

    I talked to the guys at CZ-USA today. They were professional and helpful. The gun will soon be on its way to them. Hopefully I'll be back in business in a month or two.
  4. derekwest

    derekwest AH Member

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    Hi Bryce,

    My CZ 550, also in Rigby 416 has performed flawlessly in some very nasty/wet conditions in Alaska so I'm not sure about the problem you have encountered. I would also be a bit wary taking a gun after a big ugly if I didn't have 100% confidence. Good luck with your CZ and I hope they are able to help; pretty darn good people from what I've encountered.
  5. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I suspect your trigger has slipped out of specs..that can happen for a number of reasons, give CZ a call and they will fix it I am sure, if not any good gunsmith can fix it..I think the varnish cracked and the nut came loose or it got by the inspectors..Is the set trigger a factory trigger or an add on?
  6. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    The set trigger is a factory one. I talked it over with the CZ guys at their US office in Kansas City. He wondered if it had been factory converted to a 3-position safety before they released it for sale. Whatever it is, I'm sure they'll get it sorted out. I suspect they'll take a good close look at everything else too, which isn't a bad thing. Better to identify problems now than during a hunt.

    The present issue aside, I've really taken a liking to this gun for some reason. Shooting it was actually tons of fun. I'm sort of bummed that I just had to ship it off.

    BTW, does anyone know of a good set of detachable bases for this rifle? I'm planning on a Leupold VX-III 1.5x5x20.
  7. JimD

    JimD AH Member

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    Bryce,

    I like the Talley bases for this rifle. These are what I am currently using on my CZ550 in .375 H&H. Perhaps a bit spendy, but in my opinion worth it.

    Jimmy
  8. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    Thanks Jim.

    For this one, spendy is fine. It's all about reliability and quality.
  9. Heeler75

    Heeler75 AH Senior Member

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    Bryce,
    Keep us posted on what they find out. I'm with Ray in thinking that something with the trigger assembly came loose, and there for not making it work correctly.

    I'm going to get my CZ 375 H&H into them for some trigger work. I'm lucky in the fact that I work 15 minutes from their US headquarters.

    As far as the rings. I'll give a vote for the Warnes rings. I have the fixed variety for my 375 H&H and have held up well.
  10. JimD

    JimD AH Member

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    Warnes are also a good option- my brother uses these rings on his CZ 550 .375 H&H and has had no problems on trips to South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
  11. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...Bryce many years ago I had a similar problem with my Stevens 311 12 guage double barrell shotgun. The gun was flawless for 10 +years and while shooting a round of skeet the 2nd barrell went off after I shot the first. Well I loaded it back up slammed the action shut & it went off again. with the firing pin sticking out! and it wouldn't go back in! i figured I had a broken firing pin!
    ..I took it to a gunsmith & right behind the safety there was a tiny crack that was causing the problem. It didn't cost much at all to fix, but I have a tiny spot on the stock from putty to remind me of this episode!
  12. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    Well, whatever it is, they should be able to find & fix it. I should have it back in a month or so. I'll let you all know what they find. I've loaded up a bunch of ammo and I can't wait to shoot it again.

    I stopped by my local big-box outdoor store looking for a Leupold VX-III 1.5x5 scope. The guy came around the counter to my side so that he could read the tags. The people working at these places have no business being in the business. He had no idea even what it was supposed to look like. After one quick glace I could tell they didn't have it in stock. Oh well. I'll find it on the Internet somewhere. I just need to figure out which detachable bases to get.
  13. JimD

    JimD AH Member

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    It is frustrating isnt' it?
  14. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    I got the rifle back from CZ today. They easily beat their promise of "4-6 week turn-around time". All in all, their service was professional and prompt.

    Their invoce listed the problem as "Trigger over-travel screw was loose. Adjusted trigger and set lock nuts." I really hope this is the end of it. Overall trigger pull is now noticeably lighter and way more crisp. They took out all of the creep that was there previously.

    I also got a Leupold VX-III 1.5x5 scope and the Talley quick-detach bases with levers. So far the scope installation looks good, but with the levers tightened as much as I can do by hand the entire scope still has about 0.5mm of fore and aft movement. The tab on the bases that fits in the dovetail of the receiver isn't quite large enough to take up the available space. If I over-tighten it, it's better, but with a little effort it quickly loosens up again. I can't imagine that a little slop will help either the longevity of the scope or overall accuracy. I suppose I can get a gunsmith to build up the thickness of the material a bit, but it seems like it should have worked fine right out of the box.

    The gun needs a better recoil pad and then it's off to the range to finish working up a good load. The original CZ pad is OK, but it's really quite inferior to a good limbsaver one.
  15. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    An update.....

    I finally took the gun out in the hills today. My wife got a new 9mm Sig that she wanted to try out again. I consider myself immensely fortunate that she's gone from inner-city type ideas about guns to surprising me with a concealed carry permit and a desire to know how to use it. How cool is that?

    She shot for a while and then I broke out the .416 beast again. I ran the only 9 rounds I had loaded up through it yesterday. The trigger is very, very nice. The guys at CZ really polished it up for me. It also seems to feed better than it did before, but that might just be my imagination. I can't see where they've modified anything in the action. I tried, but my wife didn't seem interested in shooting the thing. At just over 100 lbs maybe she's the smart one.....

    The recoil is real, but more of a solid punch than a sharp jab like some of my lighter magnums. I figure I'll gradually build up to maybe 10 or 15 rounds per session. I can tell it's going to take a few hundred rounds to get the kind of confidence it will take to go after big nasties. I was suprised at how severely the recoil mashed the tips of the Nosler Partitions. It looks like I got the crimp right though. Nothing moved from its original location.

    Going any further will require that I get busy and finish up my reloading setup. I still need to put together a good bench in the little room under the stairs that my wife has reluctantly relinquished for the purpose. Once that is done I'll be able to crank out the reloads. I've been using my dad's press for several years but now that we live 2 hours apart it's not terribly convenient. My wife was also kind enough to supply a new press and accessories for Christmas.

    Within the next month or so I hope to have a respectable load worked up that will produce some reasonable accuracy. I'd really like to try it for elk or moose (just for fun) and that will require that I can trust it out to 200 or 300 yards. I'm starting with Barnes-X 400 gr bullets and H-4831SC powder at 102 grains. We'll see how that goes.
  16. Gemsbok42

    Gemsbok42 New Member

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    Also have a CZ 550 American in 416 Rigby and have used it on several hunts for Cape Buffalo. The gun has always fired religiously. One of the best shooting rifles I own. I hope you get your problem straightened out because I believe the CZ is one heck of a gun for the money. Good luck.
  17. Gemsbok42

    Gemsbok42 New Member

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    Have the same rifle, scope and mount combination. Even added a limbsaver pad to mine as well. Great gun, shoots well...very happy with it.
  18. Vetaikaran

    Vetaikaran AH Member

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    My New CZ 550 Mag 416 Rigby

    I have just picked up my new CZ 550 Mag 416 Rigby yesterday. it is a kevlar stocked rifle & my first Big bore. My previous large caliber was the 9.3X62.

    The rifle handles very well and is very stady for off hand shooting.

    The bolt is a bit rough.

    Can some tell me how to smoothen out the bolt. I have been advised by a reputed gun maker to use 240 grit or finer and gently remove tool marks on bearing surfaces of the bolt lugs and possibly even the extractor and the ejector blade.

    Can anyone please send me picture of what this means?

    Thanks
  19. Heym 88

    Heym 88 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I just put a little polishing compound on the bolt..but NOT behind the lugs..and just keep cycling the action..repeat if necessary. It will polish everywhere it meets resistance. When your done..use a spray degreaser to get ALL of the compound off the bolt and from inside the receiver. Always worked perfect for me. You can get the polishing compound at any automotive parts store.
  20. Dr.FrankB-Mimic

    Dr.FrankB-Mimic AH Member

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    A small suggestment: next time you buy a SECOND HAND rifle, you have to have it cheked first, and shoot it later. The previous owner might be a hunter (the rifle has some scratches, but has maybe 5 shots), OR a collector autolearner gunsmith. This second one is very dangerous: I know people that buy guns, disassemble them, modify them, reassemble several times, and sell them second hand without haviyng fired a single round. The gun looks factory new, but..... By the way, my CZ 416 Rigby with Magnaport shoots very fine with Vithavuory N165 and 400 DGX. Just arrived Barnes 300 TSX, we' ll see.

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