CZ 550 Range Report


December 30, 2002, 01:47 PM
Well I took my new CZ 550 in 7x57 Mauser out to the range yesterday to run it through the paces and sight it in. I had an array of commercial 7x57 in weights from 139 grain to 170 grain.

I had shot perhaps twenty rounds through the rifle earlier in the week, and those results were disappointing. A very scattered 4" group at fifty yards, though a gusting wind may have had something to do with it. Thankfully, after about one hundred more rounds and sighting in the rifle really improved. By the end of the day yesterday I was getting very tight groups at 100 meters. I got my very best results with Remington 140 grain and with the Horandy "light magnum" in 139 gr. The light mag got one very nice sub-MOA group of four all nearly in the same hole, which I've now pasted up in my car.

I took all my shots off the bench, but without a bench rest. The iron sights on the 550 Lux are great, but do take some getting used to. They are extremely minute, esp. compared with the rather crude iron sights found on most American rifles these days. After a few dozen rounds I was no longer having to think about the sight profile and accuracy improved.

The larger bullets of 170 grain didn't seem to do as well. I'm gearing up to handload and I hope that situation will improve, since I'd like to use this rifle for black bear and moose. I've found reports of very good results with the Barnes X in 175. Its' BC is amazingly good, as is its SD. I found some Australian bullets on Midway which also have very good ballistics. I've never failed to have dramatic improvement with handloads once I find out what the rifle likes and doesn't like.

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December 30, 2002, 01:58 PM
I think they are a seriously good value for the money. I have the 375 Magnum, myself.

December 30, 2002, 04:17 PM
thanks for the report:)


December 30, 2002, 04:24 PM
Yes, sounds good. I've been wanting to get either a Tikka and a CZ 550 one in 6.5x55 the other in 7x57 with an eye on re-barreling the 7x57 to 257 Roberts AI.

How do you like that set trigger on the CZ?

December 30, 2002, 11:53 PM
Thanks for reminding me to comment on that--the set trigger is GREAT! Took a little getting used to, since you push it forward to engage it. It's like nothing I've ever used before. Once set, you have to make a deliberate squeeze to set it off. Tapping it, interestingly enough, doesn't seem to set it off. It also appears possible to ease it off hair. Possibly a safety feature, though I would not want to bank on it. Anyway, I never had problems shooting it when I wanted it to fire.

At 100 meters, my groups went to half size once I started using it. It eliminates any anticipation or flinch completely. I have high hopes of getting some wonderful accuracy out of this rifle once I've mastered it. The 7x57 is a 200 yard cartridge, so frankly between the great iron sights and that set trigger I see no need for a scope.

Also, the set trigger can be engaged and disengaged when the rifle is on safety. The best option may be to set the trigger, release the safety and then fire. The whole trigger seems to be totally adjustable. In fact, seeing the trigger assembly there when I took it apart was like seeing some sort of alien device attached to the '98 action! It looks so complex, I'm scared to touch it! I'm used to simple (and cruddy) military Mauser triggers.

One word of caution. If you want the optimum accuracy out of the box with factory ammo, go with the 6.5. The US factory 7x57, like the 8x57, appears to be downloaded too much. This has a negative effect on groups. I checked the tables and the "mini mag" ammo from Horandy is actually not even maxed out. Those heavy 175 gr. bullets I was shooting were way underpowered. To get maximum accuracy and performance out of the 7mm, you probably need to handload. I THINK there's much better 6.5 ammo out there now. I could be wrong, though.

December 31, 2002, 12:04 AM
Outstanding rifle! You made a super choice. I've only put around 500 rounds through mine, but am very happy so far.

December 31, 2002, 12:08 AM
I sure miss the set trigger of my CZ527. Wish other mfgs would follow CZs lead and include a set trigger.

December 31, 2002, 11:43 AM
They have a single set trigger. You push the trigger forward to put it into set mode.

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