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Propellant Profiles
Rifle Magazine
November - December 1999
Volume 31, Number 6
ISSN: 0162-3583
Number 186
On the cover...
The Ruger No. 150th Aniversary Commemorative Rifle
Rifle Magazine
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Rifle Magazine
Product Tests

CZ-USA Rimfire Sporter

Al Miller

My eyes roamed over the Czech sporter while it was still in its box. Suddenly, it felt as though the calendar had flipped backward a few decades. At CZ, they’re still making rifles the way they did 30 or 40 years ago. Instead of synthetic stocks, they still depend on wood. Metallic surfaces are highly polished and blessed with an almost-black finish - except, as noted above, the bolt.

There are hand-checkered panels on each side of the forearm and gracefully curved pistol grip too. About the only concessions to modern manufacturing processes found on the rifle were the pressed steel trigger guard and one synthetic part: the buttplate. Even the detachable magazine was formed from extremely heavy gauge steel. Apparently, this little rifle was assembled with several generations’ worth of use in mind.

About 400 rounds of assorted .22 Long Rifle ammunition were fired during the range tests. In the beginning, the action was so tight the bolt demanded all kinds of extra muscle in order to open and close it. A healthy dose of lubricant helped Ð but not much. It took about 150 rounds or so before bolt manipulation began to ease enough to notice the difference. Now, after 400 rounds, everything is still very tight, but opening and closing the action is markedly easier than it was.

For the accuracy tests, a Weaver 1-3x variable was mounted in Millett mounts and set on 3x. Mounts were supplied by the distributor, CZ-USA. Whether all CZ rifles will be supplied with mounts is unknown. Those that accompanied the rifle were easy to install and required no further attention during the range tests.

All firing tests were conducted with the targets set up 50 yards from the bench. That distance was dictated by the incessant windy conditions experienced in this area so far this year. During each of the three different range tests, the wind gusted from 5 to 15 miles an hour, primarily from the left rear quarter. Naturally, I did my best to shoot between gusts but wasn’t always successful. Not surprisingly, most five-shot strings’ groups were wider than they were tall. Still, considering weather conditions, the CZ sporter proved to be darned accurate, especially with some brands of ammunition.

Remington’s Sub-sonic was the hands-down, tight grouper. From the bench, five-shot strings ran from an even .5 to .8 inch. Half-inch groups predominated. Winchester’s T-22 registered from .6 to one inch. Remington Hi-Velocity and Yellow Jackets weren’t especially compatible with the CZ. Most strings spanned around 1.5 inches - nothing to brag about.

Finally, out of curiosity, one 10-round group was fired with Sub-sonic ammunition. Measured from the centers of the highest, lowest and widest shots, all rounds clustered into .8 inch wide and .5 inch high. Pretty darned good for a hunting .22

Although a 4 1/4-pound trigger pull might sound a bit on the heavy side, in my judgment it’s just about right for a hunting arm. A sensitive trigger might be just the ticket on a match gun, but it can be a real threat in the field. No, 4 1/4 pounds isn’t excessive at all. Besides, it was an incredibly clean-breaking trigger: no creep, no crawl, no movement of any kind. As noted, the wind caused problems at times during the range tests - the trigger never did.

CZ rifles have always enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for quality and accuracy. Obviously, their latest rimfire sporter is faithful to that heritage.

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