CZ550 or M70

Gunnie

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Earlier I started a thread on help choosing a medium bore cartridge. I believe I have decided to go with the 375H&H. However I haven't been able to narrow down rifles.

I have decided to either purchase a CZ550 American Safari or the M70 Winchester Safari Express.

Please give me some pros and cons in both. Cost seems to be within $200 of each with a led going to CZ. However having not used either I would like some insight from your experiences in the bush.

I hope this doesn't turn into a Vs. Thread. Just looking for honest opinions of what you have seen or used.

As always thank you in advance for your time...
 

BnC 04

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Gunnie, My personal experiences are strictly on the M70's. I have used everything from a 300-458 WM & Lott for numerous Black, Interior Grizz and Browns in AK. Have never had an issue with any thus far... I dont own any CZ but have close friends that do and have heard a few feeding issues they have or had, but nothing a gunsmith or the factory couldn't correct.
 

enysse

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The CZ is a nice rifle, sometimes needs work to feed cartridges. But overall a very good rifle for the money. I own one in a 375 H&H
I like Win Model 70 too, usually needs zero work and performs excellent. Have one in a .416 Rem.
 

Royal27

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I think this one really comes down to what fits you best. Both are outstanding rifles.

My .375 H&H is a CZ. I chose it because I'm a lefty. Winchester doesn't make left handed model 70s anymore and I couldn't find a used one at the time.

I did have to send mine back to the factory for feeding issues and the action was rough as a Cobb when I got it. Now it eats anything I feed it and the action smoothed up just by me working it, over and over and over.
 

thi9elsp

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CZ in 375 one shot buffalo at 70 yards w/ Federal 300 grain expanding. Always feeds fine and was holding 1" group at 100 yds with the factory Federal ammo. Not sure the difference in weight. Seems like mine w/ a Leupold 1-4x32 scope, warne qd rings and ammo weighs in over 11 lbs. i had no problem lugging it around Zimbabwe. I don't shoot a lot - mostly go to the range to make sure the rifle/scope are still shooting on target and to stay familiar with the rifle before going hunting.
 

bassasdaindia

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as I replied in your other thread :

firstly I have both , IMHO the M70 is a better out of the box factory rifle however all of my CZ's get worked on by my gunsmith and after working on them they become better.

my M70 does not feel as comfortable as my CZ , I think it boils down to which rifle shoulders better for you and feels more comfortable.

Remember though that the CZ does need smoothing up which takes the price to very similar to that of the M70
 

salesman

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I would recommend the Winchester Model 70. I have several in calibers ranging from .243 Win to .416 Rem. Mag. with various stock materials, however all have CRF actions; I have yet to find anything wrong with any of them, and they get shot...a lot. You mentioned the Safari Express Model, I have one in .375 H&H and it shoots dime sized groups at 50yds. and 1" groups consistently at 100 yds with most anything you chamber using a Leupold Vari-X3 1.5 - 5 w/Warne bases & QD rings. Feeding has never been an issue. It has over 300 rds. thru it and is as good today as the day it came out of the box.
I have very limited experience with the CZ, have handled a few, but cannot comment one way or the other as to the good or bad concerning their rifles.
 

jeffpg

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My personal experience with both have been limited, but I would have to go with the Winchester. The CZ is a fine rifle and has certainly been proven in the field by many a PH and other hunters, but I personally feel that the Winchester just offers something special that the CZ can't...

It probably has a lot to do with the old entry level Model 70 Ranger in 30.06 that I picked up from a friend long ago for my son. The guy wanted to replace it with a newer, fancier rifle. I shot the old rifle for a 3 shot group at 100 yards and found it to be amazingly accurate so I snagged it up for the $200 asking price... it's still and will probably forever remain the best gun value purchase I've ever made, shooting right with the much more expensive rigs in my collection.

Then there's the old pre-64 model 70 in 375 H&H that I recently borrowed from Ernest Dyason of Spear Safaris for my recent last minute cancellation Cape buffalo hunt. I picked that old rifle up, stoked it with 300 grain Nosler Partitions, and carried it for a week all day every day, shooting my bull and a few plains game animals along the way with it with huge success and confidence. The well worn rifle was handed down to Ernest by his father, has often been used by the client in need of a rifle throughout the years, and has great character and history that includes untold harvests of game. I fell in love with that old gal and will be hard pressed to choose something from my own safes that will be a better choice when I hopefully return to hunt with Ernest again some day.

Of course, the history of the Winchester speaks for itself.

The CZ is good, maybe even great, but the Winchester gets my vote.

Good luck with your choice and your hunts Gunnie. You have certainly chosen the optimum caliber, in my opinion.

Jeff
 

Steve Steyr

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I own a CZ 550 Lux in 9,3x62 and have owned many Model 70's, one in .375 H&H.
The CZ is nice and well balanced but I don't have full confidence in the ejector. Nothing big, but it seems a little less than ideal. Kind of like they were in a hurry to get it out the door.
My Model 70 375 was a push feed from @ 1982, some sort of a Safari rifle they offered back then. It was was one of the finest built rifles I have owned. Nothing really definitive but everything worked perfectly right out of the box. The wood was nice with the proper grain direction. The action was slick, like they had done some extra polishing work. The wood to metal fit was nearly perfect. In short, there were no loose ends. It shot very accurately and I got some high velocity numbers with no pressure signs. To sum up, it was all one could ask for in a rifle and it looked like someone in New Haven cared that I would get a top of the line rifle.
 

matt85

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as said by others, the CZ is more comfortable but needs work out of the box. the M70 has a better action but some dont find it to be the most comfortable.

i like both but prefer the M70 since i dont like sending my gun in for repairs right off.

-matt
 

ActionBob

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Just picked up a M70 I had ordered.... I was very pleasantly surprised! Have not shot it yet but the action is smooth as silk and the wood is absolutely beautiful for the standard grade I ordered. I ussualy prefer to buy off the shelf so I can see and feel what I'm getting. Nice to be surprised in a possitive way!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I'm another M70 guy. I've had a CZ, didn't care for the beating it gave me in the .416 Rigby cal. Not sure I'd put blame on the rifle on that one. It was used and perhaps worked over by the previous owner(s), but it did not have the feeding issues. The trigger was junk, perhaps also due to a working over by the previous owner(s). No big deal there, easy/cheap enough thing to fix.

But in the end I'm a M70 guy, they just feel right to me when I handle them. Got five of them now and thinking of another. The .375H&H Safari Express is still as it came out of the box, no changes made. Crazy accurate, albeit a bit heavy. A long day in the mountains type rifle it is not. Outside of that I've got no complaints.
 

bassasdaindia

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agreed , the M70 is heavy and I find it to be a bit front barrel heavy , I repeat though that it is the best out of the box 375 available (in this price category and IMHO)
 

bebo

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I own a CZ 550 Synthetic 9.3x62 : needs work to feed and extract cartridges , after that no pb, but it never will be smooth ... it's a tool. A tool accurate and strong!
And I own a Winch 70 Safari Express .416RM, Leupold VX3 1.5-5x20 : accurate, well balanced, smooth, it's a pleasure to shot with it, certainly due to its stock! and what a look !
I keep the both !!!!
 

Cable68

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I'm definitely a Win M70 guy; I have 3. I like having the same rifle in multiple calibers, no confusion of different softies. Too many ducks have kept flying because I swithced between Rem and Win shotguns different days, and couldn't get the safety off.
 

Kano

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I own a CZ 550 Synthetic 9.3x62 : needs work to feed and extract cartridges , after that no pb, but it never will be smooth ... it's a tool. A tool accurate and strong!

CZ are rough out of the box, but it is excellent steel with excellent heat treatment, bolt surface is hard, and with some proper polishing the action becomes one of the smoothest M98-types around.

In my experience, the CZ is a more solid rifle, down to every small part, spring or pin. It is definitely rougher to start with, but once "finished" it becomes one of the best tools for the money.

I have owned 8 of them, and handled several M70, both pre- and post -64, including new production "pre-64", be it in the shop or in the bush. I never owned a M70 because I always felt that a CZ was giving me a better gun in the end - I do spend time working on each of my guns though, till it's just right.

Could the factory do a better finishing job on these rifles? Sure... But then you would certainly not be able to buy them for $1,000 or thereabout!!!
 

Tanks

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I think of CZs as kit guns. They do need work to feed smoothly and reliably, and also have a lot of other irritating issues that needs to be taken care of. After that they are fine as Kano said above.
 

siml

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I am big supporter of the CZ, have backed it up on other posts, two weeks ago had a feeding problem, at the exact wrong time..wouldn't feed third round on elephant. Used it on sable afterwards, no problems. I now agree have CZ tested and checked out by gunsmith.
 

colorado

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For heavier calibers (416 Rigby, 450 Rigby, 500 Jeffery, 505 Gibbs) I would definitely chose the CZ 550. In a 375 H&H, I'd go with the M70. We have both and I know this is heresy, but even though the CZs might need a little action smoothing, I think the build quality, and overall solidness of the gun is better. They really are a little heavy and blocky for a 375 H&H though. Seems just right for my 500 Jeffery.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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For heavier calibers (416 Rigby, 450 Rigby, 500 Jeffery, 505 Gibbs) I would definitely chose the CZ 550. In a 375 H&H, I'd go with the M70. We have both and I know this is heresy, but even though the CZs might need a little action smoothing, I think the build quality, and overall solidness of the gun is better. They really are a little heavy and blocky for a 375 H&H though. Seems just right for my 500 Jeffery.

Spot on correct.....that is heresy! :)
 

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