458 win mag rifle choices CZ 550 vs Winchester 70

stcroix

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Hi,

I'm looking for a 458 win mag bolt action rifle. This will be my first big bore file and I intend to start out with light loads and gradually work up from there. I'm an avid hand loader and will start with 45-70 type loads for practice and hunting in the US. Down the road, I'd like to also use this rifle with standard full power loads for an African safari.

I'm considering a CZ 550 or a Winchester model 70 Classic (CRF). I'm looking primarily at used rifles and I'm seeing CZ 550 is the $900-$1000 range and Winchesters in the $1400 to $1500 range (all USD).

CZ 550:
Pros: I like the weight and feel of this rifle. I've got long arms so LOP 14"+ is a definite advantage.
Cons: no barrel band sling, 25" barrel (would prefer shorter), and single recoil lug.

Win 70:
Pros: 24" barrel, barrel band sling, and two recoil lugs.
Cons: Length of pull is a little short at 13.5" and of course the higher price.

I have looked into AHR upgrades for the CZ 550 (option 2 most likley since that would get me the shorter barrel and the front sling relocated). This would increase the price to over $2,100 for the CZ 550 and hence the dillemma -- at this point which would be the better option?

Any input greatly appreciated.
 

ikeda

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Well you can get the barrel shortened and a sling swivel mounted for a lot less than the cost of an AHR upgrade.
The single recoil lug is no big deal as long as the gun is properly bedded.
I'd go with the one that "felt" the most comfortable and make any minor changes as appropriate.
 

colorado

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CZ will put a barrel band on for $150. An inch of barrel length isn't worth worrying about. If you wanted to go to 22" than you'd have to shorten either one. We have a M70 Classic in 416 Rem and a CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery. I like the CZ better myself.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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stcroix,

I'm not sure where you're located, but I checked at two different places today for a M70. One is a local shop that you can order your rifle online and pick it up and the other is CDNN in Abilene, TX. Both had M70's in 485 Win for $1200. CDNN is where I got my .375 M70 from for $1100 a couple years ago.

Call them, you won't find the rifle on their website, but here's the link for the phone number: CDNN Sports, Inc.

I own a CZ in .416 Rigby also. They both have their features that I like. The CZ does have a better balance, the M70 is definitely weighted towards the front. Swinging the CZ on a moving shot would most likely be better. But the M70 has an advantage weighted like this, it helps to reduce muzzle jump. There is something to be said for getting back on target sooner.


I don't particularly care for the safety on the CZ, I really like the 3 position on the Winchesters. The trigger on the M70 out of the box, at least on mine, needed no attention. The trigger on my CZ as is I hate. I've not had it adjusted or looked at by a gunsmith yet, but I'm told it can be easily made proper. Others say to have a new trigger put on it.
 

colorado

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I bought my CZ for $1100 about six years ago in 375 H&H. I had AHR do their CZ #1 upgrade which included a singel stage match trigger which is excellent, a 3 position M70 type safety and they straightend and filled the bolt. I later had the CZ Custom Shop rebarrel/ rechamber it to 500 Jeffery (the 375 just didn't have enough recoil lol). The CZ #1 upgrade was $500 at the time and definitely worth it.

 

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timbear

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CZ 550:
Pros: I like the weight and feel of this rifle. I've got long arms so LOP 14"+ is a definite advantage.

Win 70:
Cons: Length of pull is a little short at 13.5"

Stcroix, you actually said it all. Always go with the rifle that feels "right" to you. Cosmetic changes are optional, but if the fit of a heavy kicker like .458 win mag isn't correct, you are never going to be totally comfortable and therefore confident with it. I "only" have a .375 H&H, but I handled and shot a Winchester, a Ruger, a Zastava and a CZ before settling on the CZ, and have never looked back. We try to standardize measurements like LOP to help us choose, but at the end of the day the ultimate test is:pick it up, aim and fire. If it sits well, you're on. If it doesn't, try to find out why, and unless it is something that can easily be fixed, don't go there. My 2 cents.
 

Macs69

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I really like the fact that Winchester got everything ""right" on the Safari Express. Dual recoil lugs, perfect feeding, great trigger, barrel band equipped right out of the gate. I just got mine (375 H&H) and it is incredibly accurate.

That said, I will own a CZ550 at some point in the near future...
 

Patrick R

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stcroix,

I have both, and both are good weapons, nothing wrong with them. CZ is heavier than the M70 which should be taken in consideration when walking long distances...
 

Rastaman

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I have both. My CZ received the ahr option 3 upgrade and it is a very nice looking and shooting rifle. I like the action better than the m70. I like the safety better on the m70. Once you do the upgrade they are priced similarly.
 

colorado

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I think a CZ in 450 Rigby is a sweet rig. For 458 Winchester it kind of cries out for a Model 70
 

Bos en Dal Safaris

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I would go for CZ but that is just personel feeling they have been making good weapons for some time now! Have never heard of a bruno nor the newer cz that gave any problems
 

Dr.FrankB-Mimic

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CZ and W safari express are quite different rifles. "Go with the one that fits you better", is a good suggestion, especially if you are talking about socks, boots and girls. With DG rifles-calibers, on my opinion it is not, unless you like to buy them just for fun. I.E, with my 70 SE in 375 AND 458, I can take the second shoot before the case of the first one reaches the ground, because of the combination of action and forward weight. I take 3 shots of 458, in the same time I need to take 2 of 416 Rigby with my CZ. So, if you really plan to hunt DG, think well about what you will need, then get the right rifle, and THEN have it properly FIT.
 

Heym 88

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I can say I don't own a CZ..but just bought a Winchester Model 70 African Express in .375 H&H and boyyy do I love it. Smooth right out of the box..and a very good trigger. Checkering is excellent and a nice straight grain walnut stock to boot. Love it.
 

bebo

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I own a CZ 550 Syntetic stock 9.3x62 Mauser and a Winch 70 Safari Express .375 H&H. (CRF)
I think this "new pre-64 model" Winchester is a very good bargain, best quality than CZ which is so quite good.
But I think this Winch is ++ than CZ : accuracy, smooth of the action, weight, stock and "Pachemair Decelerator"!
I put on it a Leupold VII 3-9x40 ... perfect. I like the both of course but I think the Winch is better.;)
 

jaeger777

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I really like the fact that Winchester got everything ""right" on the Safari Express. Dual recoil lugs, perfect feeding, great trigger, barrel band equipped right out of the gate. I just got mine (375 H&H) and it is incredibly accurate.

That said, I will own a CZ550 at some point in the near future...

Very true. The only place I can see for improvement in the Winchester is to bring back the machining of the feed rails into the receiver like they used to instead of just stamping them out of the sheet metal used for the magazine box CZ does does this with the 550 and even Zastava with their $350 Z98 does this. Don't understand why Winchester doesn't.
 

James.Grage

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Cabelas has some discounted anniversary Model 70 in 458 wm for sale.
 

35bore

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I will always lean toward the CZ for a CRF rifle, they are hella accurate and very well built. I owned one Winchester rifle, liked it enough to keep it a year and a half then sold it for a push feed. Currently (STILL) have a 458 being built on a Nazi Mauser, which reminds me I need to call the Smith.
 

bebo

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35bore told :

" I will always lean toward the CZ for a CRF rifle, ........ I owned one Winchester rifle........ then sold it for a push feed"

Why do you prefer PF than CRF ? The security is better with a CRF system no ?
 

colorado

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CZ advertises "actions machined from steel billets" and they are incredibly solid and reliable. If you're looking for super light mountain rifle this isn't it. If you're looking for a reliable accurate rifle built on a magnum mauser action I don't think you can find a better one for anywhere near the price.
 

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