Cz 550 Safari classic frustration

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Voodooracer, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hi all, a few months ago I purchased a brand new cz 550 safari classic in 450 Rigby. Today was my first opportunity to get it out to the range. I load up some hornady DXG shells, take careful aim at 25 yards, squeeze the trigger and click. No bang. I inspect the cartridge after a 30 second wait as I figured it was maybe a light primer strike. Upon inspection there is no primer strike whatsoever. I pull the bolt apart and it looks like the firing pin tip was ground completely off, no evidence of a break, just a smooth shiny surface :Arghh:. Looks like I’ll be calling the folks at CZ tomorrow about a replacement. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this?

    Thanks,
    Voodoo
     
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  2. krish

    krish AH Member

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    I got a new cz 550 416 rigby few months ago. Could not even close the bolt on it. Sent it to cz. Got it back few weeks later still a very rough bolt closing.
     

  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    “Classic frustration” indeed. I know these rifles are popular, but being cranky, even unshootable right out of the box seems to happen far too often. I suspect they have been too successful too quickly, and their quality control was left behind back when BRNO rifles reflected a lot of handwork and individual attention.
     

  4. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud AH Senior Member

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    I considered a CZ in .375, and checked with a phenomenal gunsmith. He told me they require a lot of work to make them work, and steered me away. From what I keep hearing, I'm glad he did. That said, I have a little CZ .22 LR that is tack driver and shoots beautifully so go figure.
     
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  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Did it come with a test target??o_O:((n) My own experience with CZ rifles and pistols has been uniformly good, with one exception. A Safari Classic in .404 Jeff. Bolt face had to be opened up which Triple River did. It also didn't like big flat meplat bullets, like Barnes Bronze solids. Would hang up, unless seated out past .3.6"
     

  6. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    I say this so many times , that BRNO would probably use me as their advertising agent if they were still around :
    GET YOURSELF a NICE BRNO ZKK-602 IN .375 HH MAGNUM. You will NOT regret it. If you are pleased with the .375 HH Magnum caliber ( after all , who isn't ?!) Then , all is good. If you aren't happy with the caliber , you can easily have a gunsmith rechamber and rebarrel the action to something of your preference. The BRNO ZKK-602 action has been used to chamber countless choices in Large MAGNUM calibers. This includes , but is not limited to : .404 Jeffery, .416 Rigby , .458 Lott , .500 Jeffery and .505 Gibbs . It is my opinion ( and the opinion of a number of other hunters ) that the old BRNO ZKK Series actions were far superior to the new CZ -550 actions ( except the BRNO ZKK - 602 in .458 Winchester Magnum . That model causes some serious problems , but it has more to do with the cartridge than the action ). The best BRNO ZKK -602 rifles are the ones built pre '78 . They are much smoother than the later ones and have a neat little folding peep sight on the receiver ( like mine , in the picture) IMG_20190704_011809.jpg
    Not bashing CZ . I have used many in my life . But l have personally seen 4 model 550 rifles ( all in calibers larger than .375 HH Magnum ) have feeding issues. Granted , they all work perfectly after you get a gunsmith do a little work on the feed rails and feed ramp. But the problem IS there. I actually mentioned this in a previous thread and got bashed by many other CZ fans for " imagining things " , until l posted a picture of my rifle(s) to show that l actually know what l am talking about.
    I personally would highly recommend the guys gt AHR to take a look at your rifle. They do good work on CZs.
    PS : This problem occurs , from my experience , only on Model 550s calibrated for a caliber above .375 HH Magnum.
     
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  7. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    +1 , Red Leg
     

  8. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    I've got a CZ 550 in 300 win mag, manufactured according to the stamp in 1997. Cycles rounds very smoothly. Bought the rifle used, though it is in like new condition, so don't know if it's ever been worked by a gunsmith but my guess is not as it doesn't even look like it was shot before I acquired it. When did the CZ quality begin to decline? I've got one of their Shadow 2 handguns in 9mm that's one of the best built and most accurate 9 mm I've ever seen.
     
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  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Being as the 550 and 600 series are the same action, the problem isn't the action its the attention to detail at CZ that is the issue here. Have owned both and the 600 series rifles I have owned, admittedly not many, all worked fine but were not particularly smooth in operation. I consider this typical new Mauser, they needed use to smooth them out. CZ rifles in the larger bores seem to manage to escape the factory in often less than optimal stages of finishing, lack of QC or whatever. Its inexcusable really.
     

  10. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Post-war BRNO products were universally excellent. They were, however largely targeted for the European market. But if you wish to find an exquisite affordable rifle, look for a BRNO built up through about 1970 in a caliber like 7x57. In the early nineties, they went through a major restructuring, dropped a bunch of their classics such as the "Fox," and began a big marketing push overseas - particularly the US. These seem to have been pretty good products, though many were turned off by the trigger mechanism (me for one). Nevertheless, they created a favorable impression in the market, and their dangerous game/safari caliber guns were a real bargain. I think you can trace the current issues to their acquisition in 2006 by the CZ group. Sort of like Winchester in 1964, the accountants of a publicly traded holding company have a way of driving business decisions, and final fit and finishing was one of the first areas that could contribute to margin improvement. Like the post-64 Model 70, I suspect their market share will take a beating as soon as enough hunters decide the former bargain is now just a cheap gun.
     

  11. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    You summed up my opinion very well :) Now that you mention it , l actually have never seen a 550 in a smaller Caliber than .375 HH Magnum EVER have that problem.
    Hmm. I wonder where the problem is
     
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  12. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree with you Hoss Delgado.
    Witold
     
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  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just bloody sad really.
     
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  14. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I contacted CZ, they said that the rifle was most likely a display model and that was done to comply with gun show requirements. I guess part of my gripe is with the retailer I purchased it from listed as “factory new.” Cz said they will replace the firing pin assembly, I’m just waiting for a shipping label to send mine in. At least I don’t have to send in the whole rifle..... but you guys are right, it is a shame
     
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  15. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    Well at least they stood by their product without giving you any additional headaches. I found them to be incredibly responsive and helpful the one time I had an issue. In my case, it was a magazine not working properly on the Shadow 2 I bought used...they replaced the mag and didn't even charge me, even though I explained I was the second owner and was more than willing to pay for it because as far as I knew it could have been the original owners fault and not theirs. Nope, they said, no charge and thank you for choosing CZ....can't bitch about that kind of service IMO.
     
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  16. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I am very pleased with Cz’s customer service so far. I got another email back, the bolt assembly they need to send me is currently on back order, they are putting me on the list to get one as soon as they come in. They are also sending me a firing pin which is currently on stock as they said: “that way you can at least use the rifle while you wait for the complete assemblies to get back in stock.” I understand mistakes happen and I’m always willing to give a company a chance to make things right. Ironically my rifle feeds and functions quite smoothly out of the box. On a side note, does anyone know how to replace the firing pin on a 550? I can’t find any diagrams or videos anywhere.
     
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  17. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Mauser action.
    Good set of express style sights
    Double square bridge with dovetails and notch so no scope base is required.
    5-round magazine capacity.
    Top loading with drop belly magazine.
    All bottom metal, actually made of metal...not plastic.
    As well as the very reasonable price of a DG caliber.
    These are the things that made me a fan of the CZ550.

    That being said, there were several things that needed attention beyond my skill level.
    The trigger was creepy, gritty and unpredictable.
    The bolt travel was rough.
    Barrel was a touch long for my liking.

    A quick trip to AHR for a #2 upgrade had these things sorted.
    This little upgrade took me from a fan to being over the moon for my CZ550.
    Total cost was around $3K, and for a DG ready rifle that's tough as nails.
    I think that's a pretty good deal.
     
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  18. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    +1
     

  19. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Yes, it is actually fairly easy. If memory serves:
    0- Cock the action
    1- Depress the small plunger on the left side of the cocking shroud, as you open the action.
    2- Push forward the bolt release lever on the left side of the action and remove the bolt.
    3- Unscrews the shroud and pin assembly from the bolt body.
    4- Take a small block of soft wood (small piece of 2x4), plant the firing ping into it and push vertically down hard on the shroud to compress the spring. The easiest way to do that is to stand, rest your chest over you hand and bend slightly over it.
    5- Unscrews the knurled nut that retains the spring under compression and release slowly your downward pressure to let the spring decompress.
    6- Remove the knurled nut, its locking washer, and the spring.
    7- Remove the firing pin and the cocking piece from the shroud.
    8- Unscrews the firing pin from the shroud (some models have a small lock screw on the cocking piece to prevent the firing pin from unscrewing itself).
    9- Adjust the firing pin protuberance from the bolt head before you reassemble the spring.

    Alternatively, you could overnight to CZ your assembled shroud and pin, they could replace the pin for you, and overnight it back to you. That might be the best option... This way you stop at step 3, which you will complete in literally less than 5 seconds...

    I am sorry to hear of your issue, and there is no excuse for it. This is sad that once again the sloppy human factor is giving a bad name to a wonder of firearm engineering and mechanical reliability. While unforgivable, your issue will be easily and quickly fixed and you will still own a wonderful rifle.

    Best of luck with it. Go kill a buff :)

    Absolutely +1. There are good reasons why Rigby of London used the CZ 550 action on their own $15,000 Rigby rifles for years before Mauser recently resumed production of the Magnum length square bridge.

    Bottom line #1: if you are a little handy, you get for $1,000 or so, plus a few hours of work, the functional equivalent of a $15,000 Rigby.

    Bottom line #2: if you prefer to let Wayne at AHR do it for you, you truly get for $3,000 a full functional equal and almost aesthetical equal to a Rigby.

    No challenge here, buy a Rigby if you can, chances are very high you will have immensely lower chances to have to deal with sloppiness. Costs you $12,000 more though...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  20. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Just pulled one of mine out of the safe. Oooops! I forgot one stage...

    0- Cock the action
    1- Depress the small plunger on the left side of the cocking shroud, as you open the action.
    2- Push forward the bolt release lever on the left side of the action and remove the bolt.
    3- Unscrews the shroud and pin assembly from the bolt body.
    4- Take a small block of soft wood (small piece of 2x4), plant the firing ping into it and push vertically down hard on the shroud to compress the spring. The easiest way to do that is to stand, rest your chest over you hand and bend slightly over it.
    5- Compress slightly the spring and let the plunger on the side of the shroud pop out, when you release your pressure down, the firing pin will move forward about half an inch.
    6- Now the difficult part without the proper tool - stand the assembly vertically on the shroud, pinch the spring close to the knurled knob as firmly as you can and compress it down just enough to release the pressure on the locking washer and allow the knurled knob to unscrew. This is hard and painful, but doable...

    (I have done it several times when installing Winchester 70 type 3 position safeties on my CZ 550s)
    7- Unscrews the knurled nut that retains the spring under compression and release slowly your downward pressure to let the spring decompress.
    8- Remove the knurled nut, its locking washer, and the spring.
    9- Remove the firing pin and the cocking piece from the shroud.
    10- Unscrews the firing pin from the shroud (some models have a small lock screw on the cocking piece to prevent the firing pin from unscrewing itself).
    11- Adjust the firing pin protuberance from the bolt head before you reassemble the spring.

    Strongly suggest you stop at step 3 and overnight your assembly to them to complete the exchange of the firing pin. They have the proper tool to compress the spring and unscrew the knurled nut...

    No challenge there either, the ZKK 602 were in average better finished. Sad thing is that they are not available anymore, and the used ones are scarcer than hen's teeth, so it is kind of a moot point...

    PS: correct also that most feeding issues came with the calibers larger than .375 (actually larger than .458 Win) because these were not assembled and tested at the factory, but at the US custom shop. Factually, as much as the finish is occasionally rough from the factory, everything comes from it with a 3 shot test target. That takes care of a lot of functionality testing. The feeding issues from the US custom shop with .500, .505, etc. rifles, and this example of show-compliant ground firing pin, can hardly be blamed on the factory...

    In the end, to each his own :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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