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CZ 550 Safari Magnum Review

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:20
Dolphin View Drop Down
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I finally received my CZ 550 Safari Magnum in a 458 Winchester Magnum.  I probably would have chosen the Lott, but the price was too good.  www.gunbroker.com had it for 775 dollars and it looked great, so I bought it.  It was made in 2005, as the target that came with it was dated as such.  Hence the reason for the good price.  The dollar was stronger against the euro at the time the rifle was purchased.  Whenever purchasing from the internet, which I often do, its hard to tell what kind of wood you are going to get.  However, I was pleasantly surprised, as you will see from the pictures, it has nice figure and grain.  As you all know, it has a traditional mauser 98 action that has been refined.  I have read, that 70 to 80 percent of the big game rifles used in Africa are made by CZ.  After shooting this rifle, it would not surprise me.  The Safari magnum has the European hump back stock, which may or may not suit your taste.  They do offer it in an American Magnum.  As it were, this was the rifle available at the price that was too good to pass up and I happen to like the stock and caliber, so I plunked down the cash.  Upon receiving the rifle, it was obvious that this was no second rate manufacturer trying to get in on the rifle business.  The fit and finish is superb, without any problems at all.  The wood to metal finish is even on both sides and the wood finish and bluing is to perfection.  I own a CZ 427 American in a 17 mach 2 and the receiver in canted in the stock, just slightly, but enough to annoy me.  Not this rifle, it was perfect.  The bolt movement was the best I have seen in a mauser action and those are the ones I work on the most.  No slop whatsoever.  I handloaded 2 boxes of cartridges, one with Hornady 350 grain RN, with 78 grains of H322 and one with Remington 405 grain FN with 78 grains of H335.  Both were set to different COLs, as guided by the Lyman reloading manual.  I mounted a Leupold VX-III 1.5-5X 20mm scope with a heavy duplex reticle using Warne grooved QD rings, without any difficulty.  Set up was simple.  Surprisingly the rings do not have keys.  They have a front and back ring.  The back ring has a protrusion that fits into a notch on the left side of the receiver and the front ring has no notch, groove or pin, but slides in the 19 mm grooved rail on the receiver of the rifle, to allow infinite placement of the ring.
 
Now to shooting the rifle.  Bore sighting the traditional manner was simple and after less than  7 shots, I was going to 100 yards.  The target that came with the rifle was a 2 inch group, with two shots almost touching and one, 2 inches away.  No other information was provided, other than the date.  With my handloads at 50 yards, the shots were touching.  With each adjustment of the scope, it was perfect with what I dialed in.  At 100 yards, I had 2 shots touching and 1 about 2 inches away.  I truly believe the 2 inch away shot, was because I was not ready for the rifle to fire.  The rifle has a single set trigger which I used exclusively during the sighting in period.  That first shot came rather unexpectedly.  So, I would consider this a rather an accurate rifle, for such a big caliber.  Kimber Caprivi, they should hope that it is accurate as this rifle.  Overall, great rifle, great price and one that is beautiful to look at.  I will not hesitate to buy another CZ in another caliber, whether it be a big game rifle or not.  I wish they offered it in a large Wby. caliber, as purists would love to have the Wby. in a CRF action.  But, plenty of PHs have hunted Wbys. without any problem.  I would love to have this rifle in a 416 or 460 Wby. and have considered buying another and having it rebarreled into one or both (buying 2) of these calibers.  Great rifle.
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Dolphin - March/02/2008 at 18:24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:24
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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OT TITAN

Joined: December/22/2006
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looks like a winner
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:31
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pyro6999, you have to shoot this baby just to experience the thrill.  It is easily tolerable and did not cause me to flinch, but it is just fun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:41
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the stock looks like a weatherby's, i would love to shot it once, i dont know that i would stick around to do it twice but i would do it once.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:45
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I think it would be fun to have a big caliber like that.  Not that I would ever have the chance to use it on a big game hunt or anything, but it would be nice to know that if a big game African hunt fell in my lap, I would be ready.  I like the price and the looks of the CZ550.  

Edited by ckk1106 - March/02/2008 at 18:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:49
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Nice looking rig, Dolphin.  That scope looks great on the rifle too -- good choice for that rifle!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 18:53
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I just got back from the range today, finally got a chance to try out my new CZ 550 in 9.3X62. Not quite a magnum, but has a very long history in Africa and Asia. Actually very pleasent to shoot. The kick was less than a Winchester lightweight model 70 in 30-06. The CZ has a much more subdued kick more like a big push rather than a sharp slap. Very happy with the results, Norma 232 Oryx shoot just under an inch at 100 yards. RL-15 and Lapua cases. With Barnes 250 TSX just over an inch. This is out of the box, other than cleaning the bore and bolt. Mounted a Zeiss Conquest 3X9X40 in the CZ supplied rings (very heavy) Only thing I was not really happy with was the trigger, to much creap. The set trigger is great just like a glass rod you often do not know when it will break. Like Dolphin's the wood is great with nice figure and deep blue. I would have no problems recommending a CZ rifle to anyone. Mine was just over $600.00 to me. A very well made rifle for the price. I think a central CA hog hunt is going to happen in the near future.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 19:03
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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nice set up-- the 458 works well with cast bullets designed for 45-70's and is fun to shoot in the "reduced" capacity also.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 19:41
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got me thinking about a cz 550 in a .416 rigby now thanks d! i want to get a 7rum too
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 20:14
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458--very cool ... the stock looks great too.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 20:19
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Nice range report, thanks.
That is a great caliber in a fine looking rig. Both the gun and the scope are outstanding.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2008 at 20:33
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Nice rig, beautiful wood too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 07:27
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Originally posted by smithrjd smithrjd wrote:

I just got back from the range today, finally got a chance to try out my new CZ 550 in 9.3X62. Not quite a magnum, but has a very long history in Africa and Asia. Actually very pleasent to shoot. The kick was less than a Winchester lightweight model 70 in 30-06. The CZ has a much more subdued kick more like a big push rather than a sharp slap. Very happy with the results, Norma 232 Oryx shoot just under an inch at 100 yards. RL-15 and Lapua cases. With Barnes 250 TSX just over an inch. This is out of the box, other than cleaning the bore and bolt. Mounted a Zeiss Conquest 3X9X40 in the CZ supplied rings (very heavy) Only thing I was not really happy with was the trigger, to much creap. The set trigger is great just like a glass rod you often do not know when it will break. Like Dolphin's the wood is great with nice figure and deep blue. I would have no problems recommending a CZ rifle to anyone. Mine was just over $600.00 to me. A very well made rifle for the price. I think a central CA hog hunt is going to happen in the near future.  
Thanks guys.  I forgot to mention the cons.  The trigger.  I used the single set trigger exclusively and the one time I did not set it, it felt so creepy, I set it to single set, so I did not even shoot it with the standard trigger.  I was trying to sight it in and wanted to get the best groupings.  The singlet set trigger as smithjrd said, breaks like glass, but I could not set it with my right index finger alone, I had to use my left thumb.  Maybe it will loosen up.  One more thing.  I did not shoot it off of the rest you see in the pictures, but off of a sand bag.  The rest was for pics only.  As DC said, as well as my Lyman reloading guide, downloading it will make it a great brush gun for North America.  At least the caliber.  Now this particular rifle, would not.  Too big.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 10:02
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Great looking rifle, Dolphin!!  Is that upgraded wood? Sure looks neat!!
 
You wouldn't want a hairy trigger on a dangerous game rifle anyway....but you DO have a set trigger if you want it-------GOOD IDEA!!   I think CZ's are the "cat's meow"  HA!  Not perfect,  but little oddities can be tweaked!! 
 
And smithrjd's rifle sound really cool, too!!  Big%20Smile          --Ed
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 17:27
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The trigger is adjustable, will have to take mine out of the stock to see what can be done. Like yours it takes a good push to set the trigger. I used my thumb as well.  The pull on the normal trigger was not bad, at least not heavy but it had quite a bit of a gritty feel. Kind of jerk, jerk, bang not really smooth. Will let you know what I find out. Still have to pick a scope for this one, the Zeiss 3X9 is temporary. Thinking a 1.75 or 2 to 6 or so. Many many options. Anyone used a Vortex Viper yet?
 
Ron
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 17:53
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My CZ 550 is in a 22-250 , I use it for a varmint target rifle the trigger is easy to adjust, my only complaint is the ring mounting system. I have the standard CZ rings and did not like them and went to the CZ picatinny rail. It solid but put the scope up high ( adds 10 millimeters) but all in all a good accurate rifle with the best factory trigger I have seen.
Duce  Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2008 at 18:50
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Well the grittyness was on the sear. Just a bit of stoning to knock the high spots down and the gritty feel is gone. The set trigger is governed by a spring for forward push weight. The only way I see to change that would be to change the spring. I think I will leave that part as it is. The trigger now is as good as the ones an my Steyr and Sako. Better than the wifes Model 7.
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