CZ 550 Safari Magnum 458 Lott - Barrel Shortening

Bernard de Lange

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Hi All.

I use my CZ 550 Safari Magnum 458 Lott as my Primary Backup rifle. It just works for me and I have had no issues what so ever and I Love my rifle.

Then a recent client suggested me cutting the barrel shorter. Now I have no problem with the rifle as it is but the more I thought about it the more it intrigued me and would like to know from some of you CZ Experts what sort of difference would it make apart from the point ability and a little weight off the front end.

It comes standard with a 25 in Barrel.

Thanks,
 

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I would not do it. You will alter the balance and cutting the barrel will make you loose velocity..
 

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Pondoro

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:V Sword Fight:
 

Kano

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My .458 Lott (CZ 550) has a 20" barrel, shortened forend, and hollowed-out butt in order to get the balance right.

It's a pleasure to handle and to carry, and I wouldn't want that long barrel back if you paid me for it.

I get 2160 with handloaded ammo, have not yet chronoed any factory ammo, but I'm sure that the velocity loss is not that much. On these big calibers, if memory serves, you lose 20-30fps/inch when you shorten the barrel.

I can't see any properly placed shot taken at DG hunting distances where those 100-150fps would make a difference. But I can really see where the handiness of the rifle DOES make a difference...

And anytime a friend or colleague holds my rifle for a few minutes, he wants to go with it...
 

bassasdaindia

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all of my CZ 550's have had the barrel shortened, they actually shoot better according to my gunsmith

I have cut mine from new down to 23"
 

Bernard de Lange

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Hi Guys.
Mike, what sort of speed are you getting out the lot with that 21/22 inch barrel.

Kano, thanks I knew you would sacrifice a little speed by cutting the barrel a little shorter.
I am quite a big guy so the length currently doesn't bug me but I picked up a Blaser 450 Bolt with a 21" barrel and loved the short feel to it.

I hand load my 458 Lott and currently get around 2880 fps with Peregrine 500gr VRG2/3 and I am in mid range powder usage so I can beef it up a little more if i choose to shorten the barrel.

Mike, Kano did you guys buy the rifles with the shortened barrels? Who did the shortening for you.
If i decide to go the shortening route what would be the things to look out for on the CZ specifically.
You know any modification has its own niggles?

What length are we looking at, I suppose a happy medium right. all you guys have different length ranging from 20" to 23"?

Pondoro thanks for your input aswell.
 

PeteG

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Hi Guys.

I hand load my 458 Lott and currently get around 2880 fps with Peregrine 500gr VRG2/3 and I am in mid range powder usage so I can beef it up a little more if i choose to shorten the barrel.

:E Eek: ;)
 

bassasdaindia

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Hi Guys.
Mike, what sort of speed are you getting out the lot with that 21/22 inch barrel.

Kano, thanks I knew you would sacrifice a little speed by cutting the barrel a little shorter.
I am quite a big guy so the length currently doesn't bug me but I picked up a Blaser 450 Bolt with a 21" barrel and loved the short feel to it.

I hand load my 458 Lott and currently get around 2880 fps with Peregrine 500gr VRG2/3 and I am in mid range powder usage so I can beef it up a little more if i choose to shorten the barrel.

Mike, Kano did you guys buy the rifles with the shortened barrels? Who did the shortening for you.
If i decide to go the shortening route what would be the things to look out for on the CZ specifically.
You know any modification has its own niggles?

What length are we looking at, I suppose a happy medium right. all you guys have different length ranging from 20" to 23"?

Pondoro thanks for your input aswell.

Bernard , is that correct : 2880 fps ?
 

Kano

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Bernard, the short barrel shines in long stuff and when you monkey around on all four or your belly. Plus, the lightened rifle makes a difference after a few hours (it's 8.5 lbs empty), and the whole thing just feels right.

The barrel was shortened by a gunmaker friend of mine in the US, but any competent gunsmith can do that easily.

The only "trade in" with the mods on my rifle is that there is no much space left on the forend for a front sling swivel, but I'm not using a sling anyway so it doesn't matter...

On a CZ, things to pay attention to are the feed ramp and rails: in .458 (the Lott is exactly the same rifle save for the chamber) they are finicky out of the box, especially with the shorter WM rounds. But polished and cared for in the right way, they'll feed anything 100%.

On the 550, the safety needs to be tweaked: as it comes from the factory, if you put it on "Safe" with the bolt open, when you close the bolt it stays on "Safe". A little work on the detent notches will change that, so that if it goes on "Safe" by accident (it happens), when you close the bolt it goes to "Fire" automatically.
 

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Bernard, I also used a Cz 550 in .458 Lott for a few years as my primary back-up on the Asiatic buff hunts I was doing in Aus.

The first thing I did with mine was send it to my gunsmith to slick-up and guarantee feed and function from the magazine.
I had a barrel band fitted for the sling and new (visible) sights added, a pachmyre kick pad and a after-market trigger fitted.

I then spent quite a number of weeks painstakingly sanding down and re-shaping the stock. I took A LOT of wood off the original stock, slimmed it down and re-finished it. I then had Australia's best stock-maker re-checker it for me and it turned out like a high-end custom rifle.

The one thing I didn't do, and regretted not doing, was lop the barrel.
I think the original 25" is ridiculous and unnecessary on a Lott.

I also think it has a fair bit to do with your own body height.
Being a fairly short person (5' 9") shorter barrels balance better for me.
If you are taller (6' +) a longer barrel may feel more natural.

My current Lott has a 22" tube and easily does 2280fps with comfortable hand-loads, but it does not balance as well as my bolt action 500 MDM with a 20" tube.

The Lott is a wonderful cartridge but think twice before driving any standard .458 projectiles at velocities in excess of 2250fps unless those projectiles are homogenous in construction, especially so for use as back-up at short range.

Best of luck.

Paul.
 

Bernard de Lange

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Hi Kano

I have had 1 or 2 misfeeds due to the "step" in the feed ramp. It actually gets stuck sideways in that step section. I was thinking of filling it up to have a smooth ramp up to the chamber. I wondered if I shouldn't load the rounds a little shorter to overcome that problem.

The sling also doesn't bother me I find it just gets in the way.
I see you mentioned that it gets a little back heavy when you trim the spout. Would that 3 inch really make that big of a difference.

As for the front site, did they just replace the original front base. I have installed a lumo orange beed in the front, makes the pickup that much easier.

Paul thanks for the advice will certainly have a look at trimming it down to around 22"
 

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bernard not sure on the speed as never have used a chrony thing.........the 22 inch (top photo) was made for me that way and the ruger was a .375 i had bored out and rechambered to the lott and the barrel cut to 21 inches. there are photos elsewhere but here they are
Image0227.jpg


IMG00624-20130804-2003.jpg
 

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+1 with others here who feel that 25" is too long for a .458 bolt action (however, regarding double rifles or single shots ... then 25 or 26" is about right - IMO).
I think my .458 Lott is 23" from the bolt face as I recall (a Gunsmith built it on a CZ 550 action and slightly modified factory stock for me a few years ago) and it balances well for me at least.
I used to be 6 feet tall but am now probably not quite that any more, due to the cruel and heavy weight of time but that Lott still balances real well for my stature and shooting style.
If I ever take it hunting, I fully expect whatever I shoot with it to not realize my barrel is 2" shorter than a regular CZ barrel.
 

Bernard de Lange

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Hi Guys.
Thanks for all the informative posts. It has helped a lot.
 

matt85

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I don't see an issue with shortening the 25" barrel with a cartridge like the 458 Lott. given that you really don't need more the 2050fps with a 500gr .458" bullet, the loss in velocity doesn't really matter in my opinion.

but keep in mind it will change the balance of the gun. if the current length of the barrel has never bothered you before then I would go with the old saying "if it aint broke don't fix it".

-matt
 

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