CZ550 American Magnum bolt knob Q's

Kimberwarrior45

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Thought I would use the vast experience base to help me make a decision. I just purchased an older CZ550 American Safari Magnum 458 Lott. The rifle is great and ready for some work to make is mine BUT I hate the bolt knob and bent position. My bolt action experience is with comfortable large over-sized “tactical” bolt knobs (on specialized stocks) that stick out from the stock much more than the CZ. It is difficult to get my large hands fully under the CZ bolt knob and I despise the hole in the knob and not just for the aesthetics but the opening's sharp inner edge is almost painful when cycling. A search of the Internet describes several gunsmiths offering different options. The questions I have center around making this rifle for field hunting use in Africa:

Does just straightening the bolt arm increase the space between the stock to make it worth wile?
If you know, does just filling the hole in the bolt actually increase the perceived size of the knob?
Would an over-sized knob cause problems in the brush? (am experienced with the scope clearance)
What is your opinion of using a screw on over-sized knob? It would be permanently attached
Would it be better to have a new bolt knob/arm attached instead?

I thank you for your help and willingness to share you experience.
 

Mekaniks

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So @gizmo turned me on to the Hornaday Bolt Ball. They are inexpensive and easy to install. I like them so much all my hunting rifles have them now. I didn't like the Hornaday logo, but it rubs off easily with your hand...The first pic is from amazon. The second pic is my rifle in Africa.
IMG_0849.PNG
IMG_0850.PNG
 

Mekaniks

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And Welcome to AH:S Welcome:
 

Kimberwarrior45

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Thank you for the welcome and info. I have ordered a knob to see how well it will work but still want to hear from others on their opinion and experiences.
PS It looks like your battery will need charging soon:whistle:
 

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Thought I would use the vast experience base to help me make a decision. I just purchased an older CZ550 American Safari Magnum 458 Lott. The rifle is great and ready for some work to make is mine BUT I hate the bolt knob and bent position. My bolt action experience is with comfortable large over-sized “tactical” bolt knobs (on specialized stocks) that stick out from the stock much more than the CZ. It is difficult to get my large hands fully under the CZ bolt knob and I despise the hole in the knob and not just for the aesthetics but the opening's sharp inner edge is almost painful when cycling. A search of the Internet describes several gunsmiths offering different options. The questions I have center around making this rifle for field hunting use in Africa:

Does just straightening the bolt arm increase the space between the stock to make it worth wile?
If you know, does just filling the hole in the bolt actually increase the perceived size of the knob?
Would an over-sized knob cause problems in the brush? (am experienced with the scope clearance)
What is your opinion of using a screw on over-sized knob? It would be permanently attached
Would it be better to have a new bolt knob/arm attached instead?

I thank you for your help and willingness to share you experience.

Hello Kimberwarrior45,

Not only do I agree with you that the CZ 550 Magnum bolt knob is too small and the hole drilled in it is pretty weird but, I would add that the entire handle itself on this model is slightly too short as well.
I own several CZ center fire, bolt action rifles from 6.5x55, through .500 Jeffery.
Strangely enough the 6.5 was made with a longer bolt handle than the Magnum models were.

I have had a local Gunsmith cut off the miniature bolt handles and weld on slightly longer / larger ones, made to approximately the same dimensions as, the original Pre-War Orberndorf Model 98 Sporting Rifle specifications.
These are easier to find without taking my rifle from my shoulder, nor my eyes off the target.
Neither do these larger handles cause any noticeable problems when I'm walking through thick vegetation.
A simpler, less expensive solution is as you have already see, the Hornady product that Mekaniks pointed out.
It looks like a clever and useful gadget.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

gizmo

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Thanks @Mekaniks, I love the bolt balls. I also have one on my CZ 550 safari mag and it works like a champ. It's about the best upgrade you can do to anyrifle for under 10$. I'd say 3/4 of the rifles I actually use have them. Those that don't I put a tactical bolt handle on or they already had one on it from the factory.
 

Kimberwarrior45

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Hello Kimberwarrior45,

Not only do I agree with you that the CZ 550 Magnum bolt knob is too small and the hole drilled in it is pretty weird but, I would add that the entire handle itself on this model is slightly too short as well.
I own several CZ center fire, bolt action rifles from 6.5x55, through .500 Jeffery.
Strangely enough the 6.5 was made with a longer bolt handle than the Magnum models were.

I have had a local Gunsmith cut off the miniature bolt handles and weld on slightly longer / larger ones, made to approximately the same dimensions as, the original Pre-War Orberndorf Model 98 Sporting Rifle specifications.
These are easier to find without taking my rifle from my shoulder, nor my eyes off the target.
Neither do these larger handles cause any noticeable problems when I'm walking through thick vegetation.
A simpler, less expensive solution is as you have already see, the Hornady product that Mekaniks pointed out.
It looks like a clever and useful gadget.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
Thank you Velo Dog for the response and sharing your experience,
 

wislnwings

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I've got two CZ's, in 500 Jeff & 416 Rigby, and I can't stand the hole in the bolt. I might have to order one of those Hornady knobs to try out. Otherwise I thought about filling it with something and blending to the bolt contour. I remember seeing one somebody did using either hippo or warthog tusk that looked nice.
 

V.Veritas

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Hi Kimberwarrior45,

I had a similar issue with my bolt, but in addition, the sharp edge of the hole drilled into the bolt was uncomfortable on my hand. I wanted the hole filled in and the bolt straighten up. In the end I did not get exactly what I was planning for, but the result is very comfortable. The elongated ball extended enough the total length of the bolt that it became very quick to grab without being bulky.

IMG_1316.JPG


IMG_1317.JPG


This is what I had originally in mind, but by gunsmith decided to save me some $ in the process and did not straighten up the bolt.

CZ-550-action-Custom.jpg
 

Kimberwarrior45

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I've got two CZ's, in 500 Jeff & 416 Rigby, and I can't stand the hole in the bolt. I might have to order one of those Hornady knobs to try out. Otherwise I thought about filling it with something and blending to the bolt contour. I remember seeing one somebody did using either hippo or warthog tusk that looked nice.
I got the Hornady ball and though I have not been able to shoot with it on it has made a big improvement in my ability to cycle the action and feel secure in doing so. I used hairspray to lubricate the bolt knob and it still took some effort and finagling to get the ball over the knob. When the hairspray dried it helped hold the ball still on the knob , though I don't know how it would act without the hairspray. I do not see a way the ball can be removed without force being applied 90 degrees to the knob i.e nearly impossible for it to be stripped off by brush hitting it.
 

Bullthrower338

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american hunting rifles does fine work on CZ's
 

rpgoldsby

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I'll third Wayne's work. Did wonders to my CZ.
 

Rob404

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Iv'e had some quality bolt service done by Baldwin Bolt service, he has a website you can check
 

Artur S

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I have large hands, too and had with my CZs same problem. I had the tiny ball on the 550 mag partly cut off/turned off and threaded to accept a "no-name" aluminium extension i had bought in US. Now i think it looked ugly on a classic rifle.
I also had the hornady ball but it ripped when put on my regular 550 and then it got lost during some crawling in dense woods.

I still love the rubber balls on bolt handles, they provide a firm and secure grip when cycling, IF the handle is already long enough. I bought a few different brands again.

A good tip is to put the ball in hot water for a minute before installing, that makes it for a short period much more flexible and softer.
 
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gizmo

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I have large hands, too and had with my CZs same problem. I had the tiny ball on the 550 mag partly cut off/turned off and threaded to accept a "no-name" aluminium extension i had bought in US. Now i think it looked ugly on a classic rifle.
I also had the hornady ball but it ripped when put on my regular 550 and then it got lost during some crawling in dense woods.

I still love the rubber balls on bolt handles, they provide a firm and secure grip when cycling, IF the handle is already long enough. I bought a few different brands again.

A good tip is to put the ball in hot water for a minute before installing, that makes it for a short period much more flexible and softer.
You can also put a light film of liquid dish soap, like dawn, on the bolt handle. It will lubricate the handle and the rubber ball will slide on easily. Then when it dries it actually acts as a light glue to keep it in place.
 

gizmo

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Trick works great for putting things like houge grip covers on pistols too.
 

Artur S

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Yes, but the "stretchability" of the material remains the same. I had used plain hair gel to slip it on, but it got cracks/ripped at its base. Warming it up makes it more stretchable.
 

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a quick THANK YOU to @gizmo for the bolt ball posts..

Ive been looking for an affordable solution to the horrible bolt handle on my Ruger American compact...

I love the little gun.. 16" bbl .308.. with an OAL of about 32" after I threw a compact boyds stock on it.. but my big mits just couldnt work the tiny little bolt handle very well..

Being a cheap little "truck gun" I didnt want to invest a lot of money into modifications, etc.. so I've just lived with the bolt until now..

Based on the posts above I ordered a couple of bolt balls.. I figured for $4.99 each (price if you buy them direct from Hornady) they were worth taking a chance on..

They are the PERFECT solution for my problem.. affordable.. easy to install.. comfortable in the palm.. and the bolt is super easy to work now..


I do hate the big H printed on the ball (Hornady logo).. but that was easy enough to fix.. literally 6-8 seconds on a buffing wheel that I have attached to a bench grinder out the garage and the logo was gone..
 

gizmo

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a quick THANK YOU to @gizmo for the bolt ball posts..

Ive been looking for an affordable solution to the horrible bolt handle on my Ruger American compact...

I love the little gun.. 16" bbl .308.. with an OAL of about 32" after I threw a compact boyds stock on it.. but my big mits just couldnt work the tiny little bolt handle very well..

Being a cheap little "truck gun" I didnt want to invest a lot of money into modifications, etc.. so I've just lived with the bolt until now..

Based on the posts above I ordered a couple of bolt balls.. I figured for $4.99 each (price if you buy them direct from Hornady) they were worth taking a chance on..

They are the PERFECT solution for my problem.. affordable.. easy to install.. comfortable in the palm.. and the bolt is super easy to work now..


I do hate the big H printed on the ball (Hornady logo).. but that was easy enough to fix.. literally 6-8 seconds on a buffing wheel that I have attached to a bench grinder out the garage and the logo was gone..
Glad it helped you. The H wore off of mine I think after the first 3 range trips with the guns.
 

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