CZ 550 American Safari .458 Win. Mag.


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Marius1071
June 22, 2013, 11:34 AM
Was looking at getting a CZ 550 American Safari chambered for the .458 Win. Mag. And had a few questions. I read somehwere (can't seem to find where) that a gentleman bought on that was chambered for a .458 Lott that had been rebored from a .458 Win. Mag. (I'm interested in the WM not the Lott) said that action was all kinds of messed up, would jam if you moved it to fast or hard and verious other things. I don't think it's too common only found that one story about it. I heard something else about the stocks have a tendency to crack. I'm usually an impulse buyer on most things, but I don't want to do that with this. Any one have any experience with this rifle? Good? Bad? If you've a bad experience please recommend another rifle you like and don't have issues with.
Many thanks in advance. :)

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Grumulkin
June 22, 2013, 12:22 PM
CZ rechambered a lot of 458 Winchester Magnum chambers on their rifles to 458 Lott which is really a better cartridge. At least on the older CZ 550 Safari Magnums without crossbolts, the stocks did tend to crack. The way to avoid the stock cracking is with a good bedding job and/or crossbolts. At least in some rifles I've heard feeding is an issue though it hasn't been with mine.

So, I really like mine (especially the set trigger) but you may spend some money tweaking it. If you prefer to buy a durable rifle with slick feeding, an excellent trigger and excellent accuracy right out of the box, consider a Blaser R 8.

natman
June 22, 2013, 02:37 PM
So, I really like mine (especially the set trigger) but you may spend some money tweaking it.

Could you explain how a set trigger is an advantage on a 458 WM? On a dangerous game rifle I would think you'd want the trigger to be as simple as possible. Thanks.

Robert
June 22, 2013, 04:18 PM
I believe he means adjustable trigger.

HOOfan_1
June 22, 2013, 04:39 PM
I believe he means adjustable trigger.

most CZ 550s have a single set trigger even the Safari guns

Grumulkin
June 23, 2013, 06:44 AM
I was referring to a set trigger and not an adjustable one. It's not a disadvantage on a dangerous game rifle as you don't have to use the set function if you don't want to. I like the set function because when using it, the trigger pull is VERY light with no creep; not that the trigger without using the set function is bad.

jim in Anchorage
June 24, 2013, 09:05 AM
The best explanation I have heard for a set trigger on a DG gun was they were often used in a tree stand at night for leopard. My ZKK 602 .375 has a set trigger

Robert
June 24, 2013, 11:55 AM
I stand corrected, learn something new everyday.

Marius1071
June 24, 2013, 06:56 PM
So after looking at a few different rifles I came across the Winchester Model 70 in the .458 Win. Mag. for about 100 bucks more. Does anyone have any experience with that one? Again thanks in advance. :)

Blue68f100
June 25, 2013, 04:43 PM
The 458mag I shot back in the mid 70's was made by Ruger, belonged to my neighbor. All I can say is it has one heck of a kick. You could see the weeds part as the bullet passed over. Now it did not hurt me, I only weighted 135lbs and just pushed me back. I had been shooting a Rem 7mm mag for a long time so I was not recoil sensitive. New not to try to stop it from moving me. The bad part was it was 98deg and had to put a coat on for extra padding. Back then it cost $5/round if I recall if you did not reload.

eastbank
June 25, 2013, 06:11 PM
i just came back from hunting in africa and used a cz 550 in 7mm mag and a cz 550 in 375 H&H mag. both had single set triggers and worked flawlesly. off shooting sticks the sets helped alot and the regulal pull was used in off hand close shooting. eastbank.

Walkalong
June 25, 2013, 10:05 PM
I have a Ruger in .458 Win Mag and the recoil is heavy but slower (Like a huge shove) than stuff like 7MM Rem mag. I would rather shoot the .458. If I had it to do over, I would get the Winchester or CZ over the Ruger just for the better, well, smoother, action. I got the Ruger very reasonable, but if I knew how much I was going to like the .458, I would have spent more to get better.

guntha45
June 26, 2013, 01:34 AM
You can shoot .458 Win. Mag ammo in a .458 Lott. The cartridge headspaces on the belt and the .458 Lott is just a slightly elongated .458 Win. Mag. It's like shooting .38 specials in a .357 mag, only a lot more recoil :)

HOOfan_1
June 26, 2013, 05:23 PM
i just came back from hunting in africa and used a cz 550 in 7mm mag and a cz 550 in 375 H&H mag. both had single set triggers and worked flawlesly. off shooting sticks the sets helped alot and the regulal pull was used in off hand close shooting. eastbank.

I have a CZ550 .22-250 Varmint gun....I rarely even use the set trigger in the field. I didn't really see where it shrunk my groups on the bench either....

It is without a doubt a hair trigger when set, but I think the CZ550 has an excellent trigger even when not set.

Robert
June 26, 2013, 05:55 PM
I do not own the 458 version, but I do own the 375&H version of the Winchester Safari Express. Fit and finish is pretty decent. The wood was far better than I expected on a factory rifle. But when I shoulder the rifle it feels as though it was fitted to me. I have never had a rifle shoulder so neatly and perfectly.

The only downside was the factory bedding is crap, or at least mine was. The crown needed a touch up as well. I am sure Winchester would have fixed it but it was a week before Elk season and I need it done now. I had Todd Lockburner fix it and now it shoots nice little groups at 200y. It weighs right at 10lbs with the Leopold VX3 scope.

FITASC666
June 28, 2013, 02:08 PM
Marius,

I had a CZ 375 H&H and had several problems with the rifle; magazine jams and scope bases very off line. After returning the rifle and some gunsmith work, we got it to work well most of the time. I wanted to use it on dangerous game. I wanted 100% reliability, so I sold the rifle and got a Ruger M77 Magnum 416 Rigby instead. Great rifle to shoot and super accurate with Norma ammo.

Marius1071
July 10, 2013, 05:59 AM
Thanks for all the comments everyone :)

Sav .250
July 10, 2013, 09:24 AM
Hope you can handle that big boy!

Marius1071
July 11, 2013, 02:32 AM
I hope I can too. lol

DC Plumber
July 20, 2013, 10:28 PM
I have a Ruger Number One .458WM and love it. If you can live with a single shot, they're out there for not a lot of money, lots less than a Winchester model 70. I paid $500 for mine about 8 years go.

H&Hhunter
July 21, 2013, 03:56 PM
I had one of the CZ550 rifles that was factory converted from .458WM to Lott. It had severe feeding issues. The 550 has several other issues in the big bore rifles. Stock cracking as mentioned above, also the safety on these rifles has a bad habit of slipping to the on safe position in recoil. Which makes for a dangerous situation if you have a DG animal up in your grill and you are in need of a quick next shot. I've now seen two CZ 550 big bore rifles that have had the fancy little single set triggers break and fall out of the bottom of the rifle! The whole trigger just fell off. There is a weak little pin that holds the bugger on and it can and will break at the worst time.

Overall the CZ 550 is a good starting point to make a very solid hunting rifle out of. But they need some attention and modification out of the box before they can be trusted to hunt DG with. All of the above issues are repairable.

I am not a fan of the factory CZ 550 platform. On a scale of one to ten I give them a solid 4 on the quality/reliability scale out of the box. I've seen some that have been modified that I liked AHR inc makes the CZ into a reliable hunting rifle.

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