Questions About the CZ 550

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Cleathorn, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    See a lot of posts fro serious African hunters that are shooting the CZ 550. Truthfully, I always thought, for no particular reason other than price, that they were less than great guns. But obviously that cannot be true, or so many people would not have them.

    I just finally looked at one in a shop and I liked its simplicity. I am still stuck on an extra gun for my long safari and I am now seriously considering a CZ 550. Can those that have them comment on the pro's and con's. THey are not perfect so I would appreciate hearing about what's right and what could be improved. For instance, on the one I was handling, the gunsmith would need to polish the action better for DG hunting, slightly sticky for cycling rounds in a dangerous situation. F

    Feelings between the .416 and .458?

    I know I just opened a can of worms but as I have said in nearly every post, I am starting my African hunting ventures with back to back single season safaris for the Big 5. I have a lot of questions. My PH is great at answering everything but I also like the breath of answers I get on this site - it's a good, and serious - group.

    I appreciate the constructive - no-bashing approach.

    Looking forward to what you CZ owners think.
  2. BETO

    BETO AH Senior Member

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    I have some CZ550 Safari Magnum, a good buffing action is the only thing to do, are very accurate weapons in any caliber, all of my CZ rifles are the stocks of kevlar HSprecision, the sizes I use are 458LOTT, 338Lapua , 375HH, I can say that you will have a great weapon for a fair price!

    sent a gunsmithing make a CZ550 in 460Weatherby to my subistituir 375HH which showed a caliber little insurance in case of attack by buffalo.

    is a great weapon!

    Here is an article that appeared in a publication that despite being paid by a text CZ reports and their qualities;



    For one thing, even though Paul Mauser had done his good deed for the world more than a decade earlier, Roosevelt's idea of an elephant gun was a Mod-1895 lever-action Winchester in .405 WCF, the rifle and chambering never seen before and seldom seen since on the entire African continent.

    Whenever possible, however, "Big Stick" Roosevelt preferred to use one of his other Winchester lever guns in the decidedly 'Little Stick' 30-03, a cartridge designed to punch small holes in half-dressed soldiers.

    Roosevelt arranged for 15 cases of Winchester rifles to be shipped to Mombasa and he used them to shoot up most things in British East Africa, the Belgian Congo and all the way up to Khartoum. He managed to bag more than 500 animals in a year, but his safari was not noted for a high incidence of clean, one-shot kills. Not only did Roosevelt know nothing about guns, he was half blind and a poor shot to boot.

    One after the other, American writers Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark eventually followed in Roosevelt's bloody footsteps, talking a lot about using 'enough gun' but mostly using the small-bore 30-06. Hemingway and Ruark, both of whose sporting backgrounds consisted mainly of fishing and shotgunning small birds, were apparently unaware that chasing a wounded animal all over the countryside and shooting it a dozen times in order to kill it, usually meant you were not a very good shot or you were shooting the animal with an inadequate cartridge, or both.

    As their reports, a selective mixture of fact and fiction writerly, filtered back to American hunters of limited experience and American Gunwriters of limited mental faculties, gross misunderstandings naturally followed.

    Because Roosevelt, Hemingway and Ruark did not know any better than to press the 30-06 well beyond its design parameters, the idea sprouted in America that the 30-06 was a proper cartridge for Africa had anything to
    offer.

    This undeserved promotion of a mediocre cartridge reached its peak with the safaris of CJ McElroy, founder of Safari Club International, who attempted to shock and awe half of Africa with his barely functional pump-action Remington 30-06, and Jack O'Connor, the recoil-allergic journalism teacher and small-bore writer who even considered his wife's little ladylike 30-06 too much gun for most uses.

    The herds of shot-up, angry and wounded animals left behind in the bush to terrorize the locals was not reported by these megalomaniacs, and more ignorant gun-shooters were encouraged to continue to follow in their footsteps sub-caliber.

    Before long, the large quantities of cheap American-made rifles and easily obtainable 30-06 ammo had seduced even a surprising number of Africans who could not or would not spend the money for more suitable equipment.

    The .30-06 has its limits in Africa.

    Eventually, more experienced American hunters in Africa began to realize that they did, indeed, need more than any American gun cartridge could provide.

    Unfortunately, the response of American gun and ammunition companies, rather than offering a Mauser action chambered in the African cartridges already perfected by Germany and Britain during their African-nization, was to design (or steal) something different proprietary and which they could market the 'new and improved' and which was actually either redundant or inappropriate.
    Thus Roy Weatherby's crackpot theories applying rodent-killing techniques to pachyderms, Winchester's poorly designed and marketed dishonestly .458 Winchester Magnum, Remington's long line of kidnapped and abandoned wildcats.

    Even Ruger (who was wise enough when Bill Ruger Sr. was running things to the chamber Safari Ruger rifle in .416 Rigby - thus forcing companies to manufacture ammo the grand old cartridge) now sees a burning need to introduce a proprietary .375 Ruger cartridge that has absolutely no benefits over the timeless .375 Holland & Holland.

    Your editor wanted me to take a softer line on us Americans and our insight into African rifles and cartridges, but the truth is - very few of us have progressed beyond the Theodore Roosevelt - Jack O'Connor indoctrination and it is a truth to be told.

    We can only be thankful that the indomitable Elmer Keith insisted that the Winchester Mod-70 rifle he helped develop be offered in .375 H & H, making it the first American factory rifle ever chambered in a proven African big game caliber. In fact, this was the only decent choice in American factory rifles until 1964, when the idiots running the company replaced the Winchester Mod-70's Mauser-type action with a cheap-to-make push-feed contraption no better than the lowly Remington Mod -700, thus relegating America's only Africa-class production rifle to the dustbin of history.

    Thereafter, every proper African hunting rifle made in America had to be custom-built by the talented few gunsmiths who knew what an African rifle was, and the guns were priced accordingly.
    It would be many years before a moderately priced factory-made rifle suitable for African hunting would be available in America.

    And it would not be America that produced it, but a new-old country called the Czech Republic finally emerging free and independent from the toxic swamp of Soviet communism where America's left-wing politicians had cast it in the aftermath of World War II.

    A few CZ-550 Magnum rifles had been trickling into the U.S. since 1991, but few shooters paid much attention until 1998 when Ceská established Zbrojovka CZ-USA in Kansas City.

    The CZ-550 was, in fact, the latest iteration of the Brno ZKK 602, the true Africa-class-type action Mauser rifle and famous all over the world. The Brno name was little known in the U.S., however, and even the CZ name was associated almost exclusively with handguns.

    It took us a while to Americans realize that the proven-controlled-round feed rifle in real African calibers was available for the price of the common 'Remchester' at our local gun shop.

    Eventually, shooters and hunters began to discover and understand this amazing fact on their own with no help from the Gunwriters and magazine editors who, in this country, are genetically incapable of conceiving a story that does not begin: "The new home-grown super-duper perfect rifle for whitetail deer unveiled at the SHOT Show is ... 'The authorities who unraveled presumed to inform the American hunter do not really believe in their heart of hearts that smokeless-powder rifles larger than .30 caliber exist in the real world outside of literary fiction, and they were shocked to discover how many of their readers were far ahead of them.

    Pretty soon, American game from deer to elk were falling to hammer blows from Bavarian CZs stocked in 9.3 x62mm Mauser, .375 Holland & Holland, .416 Rigby, .458 Winchester Magnum and .458 Lott. Even jackrabbits and ground squirrels were being blown to bits by the big guns.
    Having discovered too late that shooting big-bores quickly becomes an incurable addiction, Americans started joining Safari Club International by the tens of thousands and boarding jets to Africa.

    The rich ones packed Mausers custom hand-made by the best American gunmakers who are, quite ironically considering the low quality of American factory rifles, among the best custom gunmakers in the world.

    The not-so-rich ones mostly packed CZs, off-the-shelf or customized moderately, and were just as proud.

    Alice Poluchova is recognized as the architect of CZ's successful invasion of America. She went to work for CZ in her native Czech Republic as Export Sales Manager while she was still working on her Master's Degree from Silesian University.

    After graduating with honors, she was soon on her way to Kansas City to open the new American arm of CZ as Vice President and Chief Financial Offi cer. She expected to work six months, the offi ce get up and running and then go home. But Alice fell in love with America, and Americans soon started falling in love with CZ.

    When Alice was named President of czus, big-bore rifle lines utilizing the CZ-550 action started growing even faster.

    A medium size CZ-550 action is ideal for the 9.3x62mm Mauser cartridge, and this classic African loading from CZ is available in a full-length Mannlicher-style stock that's handy, elegant and uncannily accurate. The large-CZ 550 Magnum action is used for the bigger cartridges - .375 H & H, .416 Rigby, 458 Winchester Magnum and .458 Lott.

    These 'Safari Magnum' rifles are available with CZ's famous schweinsrucken or 'hogs back' the stock with Bavarian cheekpiece, or with a straight-combed 'American-style' stock.

    The recent line of CZ 'Safari Classics,' with upgraded walnut and a variety of custom options and features, are available in .300 Holland & Holland, .404 Jeffery, .450 Rigby Rimless, .500 Jeffery and .505 Gibbs.

    The most popular size in this line, perhaps surprisingly, is the .505 Gibbs, and virtually any other size is available on custom order. The Safari Classics McGowan typically use barrels, and are stocked, fit and fi nished in CZ's Kansas City Custom Shop rather than the Czech Republic.
    While many consider Czech superior workmanship, the level of customization offered in this line of rifles would not be possible without utilizing local talent. Each rifle is built to the customer's specs.
    Jason Morton, head of CZ Marketing and Public Relations, says: "Our Custom Shop really does offer anything that's technically possible. It's just a matter of time and money.

    Our Safari Classics are meant to show what can be done, but there are an unlimited number of options that are possible. We provide a list of standard options and we can go well beyond that. We'll do that to any of our rifles, not just the Safari Classics. We've always included fancy-grade American walnut, barrel-band sling mount, mercury recoil reducer and glass bedding in the .505 Gibbs.

    Throughout this year we've added glass bedding to all those rifles, and we're going to double crossbolts on all those rifles. We're offering more services from simple things like smoothing up the action, shortening barrels, making stock from customers' blanks, to all kinds of customizing across the whole line. '' It feels good to build something, "says Poluchova. 'When we started, most Americans had little idea what a CZ was or where it came from. That's really changed. I'm very proud of the heritage CZ and I really believe our guns are superior. Our big-bore rifles account for as much as 70 percent of the market in some African countries. When we go to the Safari Club International convention in Reno there is always an extremely high level of awareness and interest in our guns. It is very exciting. "CZ's impact on the American market has been tremendous. I am not alone in giving CZ much of the credit for making the quality control problems of Winchester painfully clear and bringing about the discontinuation of the Mod-70 and the final demise of that company, is forcing to import Remington Mauser-type actions from Zastava Oruzjem in Serbia as a last resort before selling the company off to private investors, for the money and asset haemorrhaging of Ruger, and for the bankruptcy of Dakota which was temporarily saved from total extinction only by financial sleight-of-hand.

    CZ has been a contributing factor in the American hunter's realization that there is more to life than whitetail deer and 30-06 push-feed rifles, that Africa and African hunting are accessible, and that Africa-worthy rifles can be affordable and are fun to shoot even in your own backyard.

    If this expansion and intensification of the market has led to the downfall of non-competitive manufacturers of medium and lowend American rifles, it has had the opposite effect on the high end.

    Shooters who can afford to have custom hand-built rifles on Mauser-precision design actions such as those from Granite Mountain Arms, Stuart Satterlee, and Hein Waffenfabrik are doing so.
    The custom rifle business in the United States is more vibrant than at any time in history. Hunting by African Americans is on a powerful upswing with no end in sight.

    Classic cartridges are being recognized for their excellence of design and are seeing use in the hunting fields again.

    Safari Club International, the most sophisticated and influential hunting organization in the United States - and the world - has a membership of 50,000. None of these exhilarating developments would have such a sharp edge to them had it not been for CZ's swashbuckling entry into the market a decade in August 'I was born in a communist country,' says Alice Poluchova, 'so of course we were not allowed to own guns. We were not even allowed to protect ourselves. There were no shooting sports. Hunting was forbidden. It was exactly the way the communists and leftists and anti-gun people all over the world want it to be, and that makes me shudder. When the Czech Republic became a free and independent country in 1993, legislation was passed so that citizens could once again own firearms, and I became much more involved in shooting. "Indeed, CZ does not make a handgun, shotgun or rifle Alice Poluchova does not shoot - on a serious, regular, competitive, sporting basis.

    'One of the nicest parts of my jobs is that I get to shoot every gun we make. That includes IPSC and trap and skeet and taking all of the guns safari to Africa. I've been to Zimbabwe and South Africa three times, for both plains game and dangerous game. I have two of the Big Five so far - a lion with the .450 Rigby, and a buffalo with the .458 Lott.

    'The African hunting market in the U.S. is stronger than it ever has been. I think what's happening is that it's still relatively reasonable to hunt in Africa. You can pay X amount of dollars in the U.S. for a single elk hunt, or you can spend the same money and, once you're over the fear of the long flight, you can hunt five or ten animals in South Africa. Thanks to SCI and the world community of hunters and the stability we're seeing in RSA and the fact that other African countries are opening up, the people who have always dreamed of hunting in Africa can now do that. "I'm happy to hear that Alice's favorite rifle is the .450 Rigby, because it's certainly one of mine as well, and I believe it was a brilliant and courageous move by CZ to offer the .450 Rigby as a standard chambering. Another thing I'm happy to hear is Alice's talk of plans for CZ's future.

    'There are people who can afford to spend $ 50,000 on a full custom gun that's a work of art,' she says, 'but most of us work hard for our money and are conscious of value and want to get the most gun for the money . When we go to Africa, we'd rather spend say $ 2,000 or $ 3,000 on a perfectly working gun and the rest of the money on hunting more animals. 'We're going to introduce a left-handed-CZ 550 magnum action, and we've talked about bringing back some of the CZ over / under rifle. "Back in the old days, during the communist time, the state-owned company in the city of Brno was one of the l largest small arms manufacturers in the world. In terms of sporting guns, the Brno ZKK-602 bolt-action rifles were actually made by CZ in Uherské Brod but they were called Brno anyway. That all changed when the Cold War ended and the company historically known as Zbrojovka Brno eventually went bankrupt. This year, the owners of the CZ factory in Uherské Brod bought them out and now we can use the name Brno again. That factory is producing sporting guns for the European market and will begin producing guns for the world market in 2008.

    'The last ten years we worked hard to change the name of Brno to CZ and now we can use it again.' 'Our plan for the next few years is to reestablish the Brno name along with the CZ name in the U.S. in the dangerous rifle-game market. I go to Africa and see the ZKK-602S in the hands of outfitters and PHs've used them for 10 or 20 years, and it makes me proud. No product is perfect, but the historical record shows that our guns work year after year in the most demanding conditions. Dangerous-game hunting is one of the markets where we have long been one of the top in the world. "Indeed, those of us for whom the dangerous-game rifle represents the absolute pinnacle and quintessence of sporting arms have always known that you can never have too many CZ / Brnos.

    So on those occasions cocktail party when somebody tries to tell me all about how Theodore Roosevelt and his 15 cases of Winchesters opened up Africa for American hunters, I usually take the opportunity to point out what Alice Poluchova has been up to in the Kansas City last few years.
  3. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Cleathorn,

    I'm sure some members of this forum may disagree with what I am about to say, but I'll put it out there just so you have one more input to consider.

    A couple months ago, I was trying to make the same decision that you are facing now: What caliber and what rifle for DG?

    At the start, the only thing that I was certain about was that I wanted a rifle with "controlled round feed".

    To make a decision about the rifle, I stopped at a number of gun shops and examined 4 offerings in my price range: CZ, Ruger, Kimber and Remington. I shouldered them, worked the bolts and tried to give each one a good examination.

    All 4 of the CZ's that I checked out had what I would call "sloppy" bolts. One actually tended to bind when I pushed it forward with the palm of my hand. I didn't find this on any of the other rifles. In fact, all of the rest of rifles had relatively "smooth" actions.

    I did some internet research to try to find out about the reliability of DG rifles offered by each brand. Frankly, I didn't find much other than trade press that said all of them were wonderful. What I did find was 2 companies that specialized in re-working CZ's to make the actions function more smoothly.

    Between my hands-on evaluation and the fact that there was clearly an after-market need for improving the CZ actions, I ruled out CZ.

    I know that many members of this forum are CZ owners and are quite satisfied with them and I respect that. In fact, their recommendations were the reason that I made a point of checking out CZ rifles. I just wanted to be candid about what I found and how I made my decision.

    Of the remaining rifles, the Ruger and the Kimber fit me the best when I put them up to my shoulder. I used the "test" that clays shooters often employ when trying to determine the fit of a shotgun: I mounted the rifle with my eyes closed, then opened them. If my eye was aligned with the sights each time, I reasoned that the fit was close.

    I chose the Ruger because it was a lot less $$ than the Kimber and because I had good past experiences with Ruger rifles.

    I also needed to decide between calibers. For me, the choices were between the .416 Rigby and the .458 Lott. Both are powerful and are proven DG rounds.

    The advantage of going with the Lott over the Rigby is that it carries about 20% more energy and (with most rifles) one more round in the magazine. Conversely, the Rigby's advantages were less recoil, slightly flatter trajectory and the option of loading down to 300-350gn bullets for other-than-DG hunting.

    I had shot both calibers several times in the past. I found the Rigby to be a little less punishing.

    I also took into account that I have 2 "quirks" as a shooter: First, I mis-judge distance pretty regularly, so a rifle that is flatter-shooting will help me a little bit. Second, I have an almost anal need to repeatedly practice with a firearm until I am absolutely comfortable with it. I often shoot 20 rounds or more in a practice session. That could get to be an "ouch" with the Lott.

    I chose the .416 Rigby.

    My advice:
    1. Read all of the posts about big-bores on this forum. You will learn a lot. I sure did. 2. Decide what rifle and cartridge attributes are most important to you. 3. Go to enough shops to check out 2-3 examples of each rifle you want to consider. 4. Decide based on what you are most comfortable with.

    - browningbbr
  4. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Beto,

    Who wrote and published that article you posted? It is filled with gross inaccuracies and decidely unAmerican garbage.

    I certainly hope it is not a CZ press release.
  5. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    It was written by Robert Boatman. He passed away a couple of months ago, so I will not bash the dead, but he is wrong on so many statements it is pathetic.
  6. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    You are right Mike, I guess bashing Capstick and Boddington wasn't good enough for this fellow and he had to go back a little farther. I am suprised he did not give Bell the what for as he was a true small bore enthusiast.
  7. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    To answer the original question either caliber is great.

    browningbbr's methodolgy of choosing a rifle / caliber is spot on.

    I like the CZ because they offer it in a left hand, but would not go to Africa without upgrading it. It is an outstanding platform to start a good build at a very reasonable price. (even though they are gouging us lefties)

    American hunting Rifles does a great job.

    American Hunting Rifles - CZ Owners

    This is mine with the #2 Upgrade.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  8. BETO

    BETO AH Senior Member

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    BIG BORE JOURNAL 23!
  9. BETO

    BETO AH Senior Member

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    good after buying many weapons for hunting dangerous in the last 16 years I can say that I shot with good and bad guns, rifles CZ I bought just needed a bit of JB in the bolt and maneuver through a 100-fold and the action is very soft!

    I had some famous weapons, rather than when placed in cituações hunting land real bad and unmaintained for a few days proved problematic, I know I go against what the market says, it had a bad experience with Blaser R93 (it opened during a training and cut my face), other weapon was a horrible remington safari KS 375HH (I had problems feeding and extraction twice and then broke the extractor), also bought a Kimber which was very poor precision, and other weapons that I do not see much advantage and do not use them more as sauer, steyr, browning.

    3 years I only to hunting with CZ and I am very happy!

    soon want to buy a good double in 460Weatherby for hunting dangerous, more to this I have to sell some weapons, because here in Brazil a hunter can only have 12 weapons, and only 4 can be of great calibers.

    Blessed are the Americans who may have any weapon! cheap and still pay for them, here in Brazil a CZ550 priced at $ 6000.00! nonsense!

    I believe that all bolt rifles for hunting should be based on the Mauser 98! as CZ, Ruger, Dakota, Kimber, FN, Winchester, Zastava, and more!
  10. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    As far as the above comment on a CZ Mauser action not being smooth, all I can say is that the longer you use them, the smoother they get. A CZ firearm breaks in, it doesn't break out. My new CZ 527 isn't as smooth as my used CZ 527 that looked like it had seen a lot of prairie dog hunting, judging by all the fine dust in the action and magazine when I got it. Most guys I know just work the action for a night or two while they watch TV, or something to that effect.

    Let's not be too hard on American manufacturers. The FN Minimi built in North Carolina is one of the best machine guns ever, and the new Winchester Model 70 made in that machine gun factory seemed OK to me on examination at a local gun shop. Of course, these days, Winchester is only a marketing name owned by Browning as far as rifles go. I think of the new Model 70 as an FN named Winchester. Therefore, I can have a high opinion of it. When my FN FAL fails to cycle and load a new round that goes "bang" for the first time, since I bought it in 1993, I will have a reason to doubt the engineering capability of FN. Like CZ, FN mainly sells to government agencies that expect good function, good value, and long service from their purchases. The gunwriter prostitutes thus have less to say in the fortunes of either company.

    Since I have killed varmints with anything from a .20 cal Benjamin air rifle to my 7.62x51mm FN FAL, and I have actually had a prairie dog die quicker from a .25 cal air rifle hit that left no blood and only a little green gut juice than from my CZ 527 in .204 Ruger that flipped the PD, disembowed him completely, and he crawled back to his hole with his guts trailing behind........please explain that one for me. 45 foot pounds of energy and 850 FPS at the muzzle versus 1300 foot pounds of energy and 3800 FPS at the muzzle. Of course, both cases may be extreme for their type, but the difference in energy and damage done is far more extreme in spread and the physics and math says it isn't possible. I have also hit a jackrabbit once (not in the head) with the .25 cal BSA PCP air rifle, and it made a few hops and dropped dead. A few days later I shot a little cottontail bunny in the heart/lung area with my CZ 452 in .22LR with over twice the fpe and 50% more speed that just hopped over behind sagebrush and stood there. Another heart/lung round from the CZ 452 and he continued to just stand there and stare at me with hardly a flinch from the hit. A 3rd round through the head put him down immediately. I could therefore conclude, as some have hastily done when dissing rifles and calibers used on African big game, that my CZ rifles are pieces of crap, that .204 Ruger is inadequate for prairie dogs and .22LR is inadequate for cottontails, and for close range varmint work you need a .25 cal air rifle to really drop the varmints because it has more "hang time" in the target that does away with energy and speed disadvantages while the wider, softer lead pellet expands easily and reliably without need of a hollow point or ballistic tip nonsense (similar to the argument for big, solid bullets in dangerous game). There is NO doubt that .25 cal is bigger than .204 cal or .224 cal, and we could say you need .25 cal minimum to really knock down the varmints, as long as you get close. As in dangerous game hunting close.

    Fat and slow versus skinny and fast. Same as the African rifle arguments when it comes to bore size. I want to hunt Africa someday, which is why I registered here, but my experience so far has me believing that bore size isn't nearly as important as bullet construction and where you place that bullet. I will take the skinny and fast approach and say that the .204 Ruger is a better prairie dog round than a .25 cal Baracuda pellet fired from a fancy English BSA PCP air rifle that cost more than my CZ 527. Oh yeah, the BSA rifle (which is a certified tack driver with hammer forged 12-groove rifling and mirror polished, choked bore) has lots more checkering on the stock than the CZ rifle does, so that should buy it some more appeal with the big caliber guys who like custom woodwork.....and English exclusivity. The silencer that you don't need to register because it's on an air rifle doesn't hurt short range performance either. Much more chance of close range shots in the head.....Karamojo Bell style.

    The real truth of the matter is that the air rifle shots somehow just hit in the right spot, which is a trick that Karamojo Bell proved works to perfection with his less-than-perfect round chosen to take African elephants. You cannot say he got lucky with about 1200 kills and no charges from that puny little 6.5mm Mannlicher. He would probably also admit he had little room for error. I would admit he has steadier nerves than I would have in that situation. But the hunter/rifle combination cannot be denied and can contradict a lot of "facts".
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Old thread but interesting, one I had not seen till now. That article by Boatman was an obvious "puff piece" written for CZ's benefit. I love CZ rifles and currently have two. One an American in 9.3x62 which is superb in all respects, the other a Safari Classics in .404 Jeff which did need a couple of trips back to the CZ custom shop for a couple of issues which should not be considering the price at over 2500 bucks! However it shoots very well and I really like it and plan to take it when next I go for buffalo in a couple of years I hope. The 9.3 has been to Namibia and is going to Zim in June. One common complaint is this business of hanging up when running the bolt. Thing to remember here is yes they are a little hitchy that way, but not when using ammo, mostly when running the gun emptly. My .404 by the way is not hitchy at all and is quite smooth in operation. The action they use for .375 on up is too large even for the .404, in length anyway. The .404 only runs 3.5 or so, less than the .375 so there is lots of mag room and its a long throw to chambering. I love the stock design, good pads, safari rifle features abound, and good barrels make for fine rifles, not perfect maybe but fine. Lots of PH's carry them for DG backup, so they must not be too bad.
  12. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    A loose bolt with a bit of dirt on it out in the bush is more reliable than a rifle with uber tight tolerances out in the dust.

    Have a search on AR and Nitro Express Forum as well for CZ info and experiences.
  13. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel New Member

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    While I disagree with Mr.Boatmans article in many respects, and would challenge most of his interpretations of facts and past events, there are never the less some nuggets of truth to be had. Additionally, the sheer entertainment value of reading the article is on par with a Lewis Black skit.

    I have to agree that many (but not all) gun writers are clearly biased at best, and obvious shills at worst. I have never seen an article in any of the major rags that was less than glowing, even from rifles that shot 3 inch groups from a bench with match ammo. The simple fact is that they purvey as many myths and misnomers to the gun community as they prevent.

    This smacks of complete rubbish, but the mental images are abashedly hilarious.

    This phrase rings true. The American emphasis on whitetails and cheap wizz-bang rifles regularly reaches silly proportions.

    I'm glad I bumped into this thread. It was not only entertaining, but informative.
  14. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    I have owned a CZ .308W which I took to Africa and I have a .416Rigby CZ550.

    1) Both needed the trigger worked on and the action cycled a few dozen times with copious amounts of Tetra (Synthetic) Gun lube.
    2) I had the .308W bedded.
    3) The .416 Rigby needed a larger and taller front bead so I could see it with my ageing eyes. The beding was fine with all relevant points supported by the stock.

    None of these changes are much more than I would have to do to any factory rifle and considerably less to a sporterized Mauser 98.

    The CZ entry level purchase price no doubt is the main reason for their popularity, but for that price, you get the solid basis for a good CRF rifle.
  15. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I have a left hand 458 Lott that was built by AHR on a CZ 550 action. It shoots very well with the peep sight and most imporantly it feeds every round all "5" from the magazine rite down to the bottom. I purchased it with 30mm Talley QD rings then bought a new VXR Leuopold 1 1/4 -4 only to find out the scope tube is a inch to short. So keep that in mind if you buy one. Swarovski's low powered 30mm scopes have longer tubes if you like them. So far I am still thinking about whether to even bother with a scope since I like the way it shoots with the peep.
  16. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    I have a CZ 550 in .375 H&H that I bought off a bloke in the Northern Territory (Australia) who used it to hunt water buffalo and scrub bulls (feral cattle, can be quite vicious!). It is very smooth and feeds without problems. I like the style, the feel and the weight as well as the 5 shot magazine capacity, and hope to take it to Africa one day. When I first considered buying one, several old Africa hands advised against the Schweinsruecken (hogback) stock in big bores as it may recoil upwards and hit you in the cheek, so I have an American model. Love that rifle!
  17. andriesdeklerk

    andriesdeklerk AH Veteran

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    I think the men that hunt the fellows that can hit back on a daily bases should comment on these actions. I have a 602 and 550 but on custom rifles so I don’t know anything about over the counter CZ rifles. I love my two rifles but have only hunted one buffalo. Both these actions works flawlessly. I would hunt the big fellas with nothing else than with a controlled fed action.
  18. BigBore

    BigBore AH Member

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    A lot of people have commented on this subject with a lot of unnecessary self qualifying. So I'll try and avoid that as much as I can.

    I own several CZ 550 magnums and I am about to buy another. I have also used Weatherby's and Browning's A Bolts in Africa along with several other brands and too many counties and years of hunting to bore you with.

    I like the CZ's for what they are, a good solid working rifle at a good price. Some thing you might find your PH carrying. I do not particularly like sloppy Mauser actions but for a reliable dangerous game gun they may be the best bet. These guns out of the box can be a bit rough compared to Weatherby's and Browning's as far as the barrel fit and the rough action but the only thing I do to them is replace the small front bead and adjust the trigger to suit me.

    On my last trip to Africa I brought a 460 Weatherby for the heavy game and normally a take a well proven 375 H&H for every thing else. Although the 460 Weatherby performed outstanding on every thing I shot with it, it was kind of heavy and too long with that 26" barrel to carry all day also it was over kill on all but the toughest game. Also those fancy guns tend to get banged up a bit. So I went back to the CZ in a .416 Rigby as my main Buffalo gun.

    I know people will disagree with me, but for me and my personal experience , the 375 H&H as fine a caliber as it is, is just too light for buffalo as far as dropping them quick unless you make a brain shot. That's just not my experience, Just watch the Boddington on Buffalo video where he shoots a Buff at 20 yards with his Dakota 375 H&H and then another 3 follow up shoots while it runs out of sight. I put a perfectly placed .375 300gr Barnes X bullet thru the heart of a buffalo quartering toward me and a follow up shot thru the heart again as he was running quartering away from me and he still ran out of site before he dropped. The next time I went on a Buffalo hunt I took the Weatherby 460 and one shot dropped him in his tracks.

    Well back to the CZ 550 Mag. Great gun. The 25" barrel is shorter and lighter then the Weatherby 460 so that's a big plus. Accuracy out of the box is not on par with the Weatherby but more then good enough and can be improved by glass bedding. The trigger is good but the single set trigger feature is wasted on a big bore gun and never used. The express sights while adequate are strange with the useless 3 leaves for 100, 200 and 300 yards. They should have used the same Williams sight that Weatherby does. Also note that with the CZ Express sight, they are intended to level the top of the bead with the top of the rear sight and not in the bottom of the V. The only way to adjust elevation is to replace the front sight blade. The CZ 550 Magnum rifle is a very large frame gun making it perfect for the classic big bore calibers. My 375 will hold 5 round in the magazine, my 416 Rigby holds 4 and the 500 Jeffery that I am about to buy will hold 3. In 375 H&H this big gun has a very gentle recoil about like a 30-06 much lighter then the Browning with the BOSS muzzle brake.

    Note with the CZ 550, you can not load the chamber directly, the cartridges must feed up from the magazine. So when we say the magazine holds 5 rounds, 5 is all you get. You can't load one in the chamber then 5 more in the magazine for all particle purposes. Although it may be possible to open the floor plate and re arrange the load to get another round in but I don't recommend it.

    I sold my Browning Medallion in 375 H&H that has taken over a dozen African animal and replaced it with a CZ 550. That should say a lot.

    Just one last word. Experience has taught me that no matter how big a gun you shoot, there is no substitute for good shot placement and if you are hunting just about any thing in Africa, don't skimp on good quality bullets. I have had enough gun and good shot placement only to have to track down the game due to poor bullet performance. I could write pages just about using the right bullet for the job.

    Good Luck and Good Hunting.
  19. Ado

    Ado AH Member

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    The CZ550 is a hard working "out of the box" type rifle which I love.

    I put three shot groups at 100m in a 2 rand coin at the range without any work on it - plenty of hunting accuracy.

    As to calibres, I have always found 375 H&H more than enough except ele... but that a whole different thread!!

    At the end of the day, if PH's use it that has to count for more than all the press releases and "sage" advise others offer... when in Rome...

    Ado.
  20. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I saw a CZ 550 american safari at Cabelas yesterday. It was a 375h&h and had a very nice stalk on it. Of course the action was locked so I did not get to work the bolt. It was tempting but at a $1000 wasn't it a little to much for a used rifle. I can buy one new for a $160 more. Still want to see a 375 ruger alaskan or africian but have not seen any in any stores. I am a reloader and I think the ruger is a more reloadable round. I will admit that CZ sure looked nice and I liked the open sights although I felt the rifle was a little heavy.

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