Location: North Carolina
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