Cz 550 Safari classic frustration

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

  1. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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    I see that other people share my experiences with the CZ550 & CZ602. Every CZ550 that I have had experience with has needed at least one full days work to make it reliable for dangerous game. Do not take me wrong I love the CZ550 after they have had a lot of work. My CZ550 required about three days work to make it smooth and reliable. My wife's required one full days work after it had been reworked by a well known competent gunsmith (no name mentioned).

    The CZ602s that I work on for Zimbabwe CAMPFIRE are rugged and smooth the only work that they require is from daily abuse, mostly lost parts or broken parts especially stocks.

    I have never experienced a M-70 (control feed) that need work, just use!

    If only CZ made their 550 in .404!
     
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  2. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    +1

    If only the M 70 came with integral scope bases, a barrel with integral or barrel band rear sight base, a barrel band front swivel, a barrel band front sight, and a deeper magazine. They would own the market, at least for the .375 H&H family of cartridges, including .416 Rem and .458 Lott. I never understood why they do not...

    Full disclosure, when my Stainless Classic M 70, limited run .300 Wby, arrived, during one of the last years of production in New Haven, the safety could not engage. I had to take it apart, and bevel ever so slightly the camming surface on the cocking piece. No big deal, quickly fixed, but at least in my experience M 70 do not have a claim at 100% reliability out of the box. Conversely, the two Classic Stainless M 70 in 7 mm Rem Mag I gifted my two boys have been flawless.

    This in itself proves nothing, one way or another vs. CZ, except that there are people who do not seem to care about the quality of their work all over the world...

    Would bet that some of the smoothness of the Campfire ZKK602 also comes from years of use in the bush. Nothing better than cycling an action full of abrasive dust to smooth it up. Cheaper than valve grinding compound anyway LOL. I also bet there is little bluing left on these parts ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019

  3. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Someday.....

    Maybe someone can come up with a reasonable explination why anyone would buy a weapon that after you buy it brand new needs to go to a gunsmith to work on it before you can hunt with it and comes in a caliber.... like a 375...... which comes in a rifle like a m70 win that comes working correctly from yhe factory ?
     
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  4. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    Quality deteriors to a point, where the customers does not buy the product any longer.....

    We had this at Winchester, Remington, Colt, Marlin.... and CZ goes the same way....


    HWL
     

  5. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Scary. Too many issues to be a reliable DG gun. I had a PH with a problematic CZ. I won’t get into it but without careful attention from a gunsmith they can be a problem.
    After my troubles I can say any DG gun needs to be put through lots of firing and testing before the hunt.
    Philip
     

  6. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    +1 :)
    A small note : l recently got my BRNO ZKK -602 in .375 HH Magnum , but before that my .375 HH Magnum was a Pre War Winchester Model 70 with a thick barrel . It originally Belonged to my Granddad who used it to take a Bull Elephant in Kenya in 1968 with a shoulder shot using 300 grain Kynoch Round nosed fmj bullets. I don't know about the modern Winchester Model 70s . But the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 rifles , while being great guns , did have some minor faults :
    1) The stocks WOULD always end up cracking. Mine did sometime in the 1960s when my Granddad was the original owner. He fixed it by using epoxy ( probably plus minus , but l am not sure ) and ( what l believe to be ) stove bolts .
    If l am not mistaken , the newer Model 70 rifles are crossbolted and have reinforced bedding
    2) The Feed ramp needed work to properly feed 300 grain soft nose bullets
    3) My example shoots 3 inch groups at 100 yards.
    Still , they are rugged examples of American Craftsmanship. My own has accounted for Deer , Black bear , grizzly , Elk , moose , Caribou , pronghorn and 3 Australian Water Buffalo.
    Let's make my BRNO build up an equal reputation as well :D I plan to use it on Cape Buffalo for my 2020 Safari
     

  7. The_Wanderer

    The_Wanderer AH Senior Member

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    I originally had a deposit on the CZ but switched to the M70 the reasons listed above so tend to share your thoughts. However in answer to your question, here is what I believe attracts people to the CZ.
    -You get ALOT of rifle for your money.
    -CZ gives you 5+1 mag capacity where the M70 is 3+1.
    -You also get a "traditional" looking Rifle with the square bridge.
    -The CZ gives you plenty of tinkering in the back shed opportunities that some people(usually the ones gifted in metal and woodworking!) enjoy.
    - The options available through AHR to give you a semi custom Big Game/African hunting Rifle with out the price tag
    AND finally Wouldn't it be bloody boring if we all shot M70s!

    Cheers
    TW
     

  8. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    There is a little more to it:
    - true magnum length that accepts .416 Rigby family of cartridges
    - built in scope bases (they won't shake lose because they are integral - oh yes it happens!)
    - machined in the barrel rear sight base (it will not fall off the gun because it is integral - oh yes it happens!)
    - barrel band front sight (it will not fall off the gun because it is integral - oh yes it happens!)

    Add characteristics already mentioned:
    - true CRF
    - 5 + 1 capacity for .375 H&H / 4 + 1 capacity for .416 Rigby (with B&C stock)
    - great express sights, actually regulated at factory with test target to prove it (try to shoot factory express sights on US rifles for comparison LOL!)
    - all steel bottom
    - dirt cheap price (~$1,000 on GunBroker.com)

    Plus a few other characteristics:
    - appropriate weight
    - appropriate barrel contour
    - availability of dirt cheap ($285) absolutely excellent synthetic Bell & Carlson stock with full length aluminum bedding chassis
    - easy and cheap retrofit (~$300) of bolt-mounted, firing pin-blocking Win 70 style safety
    - easy and cheap retrofit (~$150) of excellent Timney trigger

    You get a truly unique value proposition.

    Yep, it is not as polished as a $15,000 Rigby. Buy the Rigby if you can.

    Yep, some production runs can benefit from action smoothing coming from the factory. Not all actually. My .416 Rigby did; my .375 H&H did not. But do not buy in the myth about the CZ "unshootable" from the factory. It ain't true.

    Yep, they need reliability testing / tune up to be a great DG. But so do all DG rifles, including all the US factory rifles and most of the custom 'brand' rifles.
    (I have seen express sights unregulated - almost always!; cross bolts installed in the wrong location; magazine latches that went 'bombs away' at every shot; feeding rails that threw all the cartridges in the air when the action was cycled; feeding ramps that would only feed the bullet with which the gun was built; a very expensive custom rifle that fired accidentally every time the safety was removed if the trigger had been touched; etc. etc.)

    Yep, the CZ US custom shop turned out earlier some .500 Jeffery or .505 Gibbs that would not feed. Can't hardly blame the factory.

    Yep, some 'gunsmith' forget to modify the feeding rails when converting a .458 Win into Lott. Can't hardly blame the factory.

    Yep, occasionally - very rarely actually - a rifle comes from the factory with a true defect. But that is true of the Win 70 and others too. My Win 70 Classic safety could not engage. Had to take it apart and bevel properly the camming surface of the cocking piece.

    Etc. etc.

    All the power to those who can buy a $15,000 Rigby or new "Original" Mauser...

    Good luck trying to weld scope bases on a Win 70 action...

    Good luck trying to build a .416 Rigby on a Win 70 action...

    Deep up-coming condolences to the widows of those who would be naive enough to take ANY dangerous game rifle as is, and go stalk a wounded buff without thoroughly testing/tuning it...

    Etc. etc.

    :S Beat Dead Horse::E Rofl:

    For my modest money, the CZ is a diamond in the rough but a diamond no less... Takes me about half a day and $800 to install on them a bolt-mounted firing pin-blocking Win 70 style safety, a Timney trigger, and a Bell & Carlson stock; and to polish the feeding rails and ramp, follower plate, extractor collar, ejector, and rear bridge internals. When all is said and done, I have arguably one of the best DG guns in the world (admittedly not as beautiful as a Rigby). Ain't no accident that so many CZ and ZKK (same rifle actually) are trusted in Africa...

    Do yourself a favor: handle one before passing on it ;)

    Just the way I look at it. Others look at it differently. Cool with me. To each his own :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Not only Winchester but Montana Rifle Company as well.
    They have two new offerings the "African" and "Alaskan" that are in exactly the same vein.
    Double square bridge only available in specific calibers, but still don't have a notch to index from.
    No barrel banded front sight.
    No barrel band front sling swivel.
    Rear sight...don't get me started.

    They had the option to release a WICKED GOOD product, and instead chose the middle of the road.
    If MRC had gone all in on their Africa and Alaska guns, I would own at least one African 416Rigby and one Alaskan 375H&H.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019

  10. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Amen!
     
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  11. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

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    Both of my 550s were turds that had to be fixed by AHR. My 550 Chambered in 416 went back to CZ twice, and returned with the same feeding issues. Not to mention, both rifles were so rough, they looked like they came out of an makeshift Indian forge.

    In retrospect, the newer FN-made Model 70 Safari Express comes ready to hunt out of the box, and the fit & finish is beyond what my 550s look like. And those nice FN hammer forged barrels are reallly accurate.

    After AHR did their magic, the 550s run good. But I was left scratching my head as to why I put $3500 into a CZ550 when I could have bought TWO model 70s and a lifetime of big-bore reloading components for the same price. I have seen some really nice older CZs, but I think those days are gone.
     
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  12. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you for all of the replies and information, it has been most helpful! I have no doubt once I get the firing pin issue straightened out it will be a great gun. I don’t think it will ever outshine my affection for my Sako 85 in 500 Jeff though
     
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  13. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    I love my CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery. I sent it to Wayne at AHR for his #1 upgrade, then had to have Harlan and Kevin Weaver work on it a bit to get it to feed and function flawlessly. It's extremely accurate, is very well balanced, and I just love the rifle. We have a M70 in 416 Remington. It's a nice gun and probably worked out of the box (we got it almost new, I think the owner didn't like the recoil), but compared to the CZ it just doesn't feel as solid. To each his own.

    The rifle after AHR upgraded it.

    [​IMG]


    3 shot groups at 50 yards

    Ti0lQWX.jpg mOXPJI5.jpg

    First kill. 450 lb hog at 8 feet

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2019
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  14. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about your 500 colorado, definitely a strong contributing factor to my owning one! If I didn’t get such a good deal on my Sako, I would have went the cz route for sure. That is a fine shooting rifle and I bet it did a number on that hog!! I can’t wait to take mine out in the field. I have a Winchester 416 rem mag as well, it functions 100% since I got it brand new, it is an absolute tack driver with 400gr Barnes tsx’s.
     

  15. Voodooracer

    Voodooracer BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I have been in contact with Wayne at American Hunting Rifles and I'm going to have it sent to him for the #2 upgrade just to tweak it a little more and ensure reliable function. I really look forward to seeing his work!
     

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