CZ 550 American


Chief Day USN RET
April 30, 2014, 03:28 AM
Any thoughts on this rifle?

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Andrew Leigh
April 30, 2014, 05:00 AM
Great workhorses.

You gotta work the bolt a little and it gets real slick.
Both mine are sub MOA, the 6.5mm is .6MOA and the 30-06 is .7MOA but I did bed them to get them there. They were just over MOA rifles out of the box.

You will not go wrong.

April 30, 2014, 10:28 AM
Chief, you will probably get a better response to your question in the rifle forum.

Also, welcome to THR!

April 30, 2014, 10:34 AM
Good, solid built rifles. Weight might be a factor depending on what your purpose is.

April 30, 2014, 10:36 AM
Crying shame they have been discontinued.

I love my Varmint. I was planning to buy an American 6.5x55. They chose to replace it with a rifle with a barrel which IMO is much too short.

April 30, 2014, 11:38 AM
To my way of evaluating things, the 550 is a quality firearm. I am pleased with mine.

May 1, 2014, 01:30 AM
I don't have an American, but two 550 FS. I love the 550 action and trigger, and they are almost always good shooters like all CZs. I would be surprised if you don't love it. They are built like the proverbial tank.

May 1, 2014, 11:00 PM
Chief: I have a CZ 550 in 30-06, and it is a great rifle. It shoots any thing I have put in it very well. Usually under an inch at a 100yds. The Single Set Trigger is just outstanding. The CZ is a little heavier than some other rifles, but it out shoots most every one of them. My CZ`s out shoot most every other rifle I have. I am a true CZ fan and am always on the look out for another one. IMHO I think You would be hard pressed to buy a better rifle.

Chief Day USN RET
May 3, 2014, 03:45 AM
Hey guys. Thanks for all the responses. Sorry I haven't been here. I'm still learning to navigate.

May 3, 2014, 04:33 PM
Nice rifles for the money, but not as-refined-as a Winchester M70. My suggestion, get an M70.


May 3, 2014, 05:35 PM
Chief, it beats the old M-14s we had in the ship's armory by a mile. :) The 550 is an excellent rifle. The new 557 is also an excellent rifle to look at, and the Carbine version looks to be a really handy brush gun.

May 3, 2014, 06:10 PM
Dunno 'bout the 550, but I do have a 527 in .204 Ruger and a 453 Varminter in .22 LR. Both have single set triggers which are incredible. Both are exceptionally accurate. At some point in the near future I'd like to get a .22 Hornet, and it will be a CZ

Chief Day USN RET
May 3, 2014, 09:39 PM
Chief, it beats the old M-14s we had in the ship's armory by a mile. :) The 550 is an excellent rifle. The new 557 is also an excellent rifle to look at, and the Carbine version looks to be a really handy brush gun.

Lol. But I sure wish I had one of those M14s.

Chief Day USN RET
May 3, 2014, 09:41 PM
I like those Model 70s too. Especially the supergrade. Just couldn't find one here.

May 3, 2014, 09:49 PM
Yeah, I really like my M70 Supergrade, .270 Win. It is superbly accurate, even with factory-loaded ammo. :D For what it's worth, even my M70 Ultimate Shadow rifles are flawless. There is no difference in barreled-action refinement...silky smooth.

You can't order one via your FFL?


May 3, 2014, 09:59 PM
If only Winchester would make a Model 70 in 6.5x55, .260 Rem or 6.5 Creedmoor.

If only they would make a varmint model too.

Until CZ got on the discontinuation kick, they were making things that Winchester didn't 7 or 8 years ago they were a lot cheaper than Model 70s too and at least 90% of the quality. (didn't you have a bunch of QC issues with your Super Grade when you got it?)

May 3, 2014, 10:09 PM
Yes indeed. My first Super Grade had a messed-up barrel. Winchester replaced that rifle, and my former gunsmith messed-up the replacement rifle. Can you say "P.O.d"?! But, Winchester stood behind the product. As such, and since then, I have purchased 5 (five) M70s:

Super Grade .270 Win
Stealth .22-250 Rem
Stealth .308 Win
Ultimate Shadow .243 Win
Ultimate Shadow .308 Win.

All 5 rifles have been excellent.


May 3, 2014, 10:23 PM
Back to the topic of the CZ550. I do not remember reading of anybody ever having any issues with these rifles. They are just built right. I HAVE heard of people having issues with Winchester (Miroku) Model 70s. Like barrel issues etc. :rolleyes:

I think if what you seek is really consistent, really good, quality, you won't be disappointed with the CZ.

May 3, 2014, 10:48 PM
Miroku doesn't make the model 70

May 3, 2014, 11:59 PM
I owned a 550 Safari in .300 Win Mag, and a 550 Safari in .375 H&H. Both rifles' triggers, when not set, were heavy and rough. In set-mode, the triggers were nice. The wood on both rifles was uninspiring at best. I have seen better wood in the form of 2X4s at the local lumber yard. The blued finish on the steel was quite simply lack-luster. Both rifles' bolts were crude in function, and rough, clunky even. I imagine that had I had the desire to work the bolt 1,000 times each, they eventually would have become smooth. Other people tell me about CZ's fit and finish being out-standing. They were not junk, or horrid, but they were not M70-refinement, or M700 refinement, or Vanguard refinement.

In the spirit of keeping an open mind, when I set about looking at .375 H&Hs and .458 Win Mags last year, I again looked to the CZ 550 Safaris. I stopped at Guns Galore, and wow, shocking examples of two CZ 550 Safaris that never should have left the factory. The .458 Win Mag had the typical 3-blade Safari sight. The fixed blade was fine. The two folding sights flip-flopped up and down with the simple force of nature's gravity, dependent on the physical position of the rifle in my hands. Wanna put your life in that sight?! The stock was a shaved 2X4, and the barrel channel was painfully defective. There was considerable wood in the stock on one side, and near zero wood on the opposing side. How did that rifle exit the factory. Out of decency, I showed it to the salesman, and asked if I should hand it over to him to be sent back for repairs, before it being sold. His reply, "Nope, just put it back."

I really do try not to "trash" any firearms manufacturer, but dang. In my personal ownership experience, CZ is a good, entry rifle, that lacks refinement. As with any company, defects will exit the factory. For me, I will continue to pass on CZs, and purchase an alternate rifle brand, one that is more refined. No, CZ is not trash, nor are they in my ownership experience:

really consistent, really good, quality


May 4, 2014, 12:17 AM
My CZ has the best trigger that I have ever seen on a rifle...Savage, Winchester Remington included.

Comparing CZ stocks to 2x4s is beyond hyperbole....

May 4, 2014, 12:25 AM
Oh, not all CZs, just the two I owned, and the two I handled last summer. I literally have seen better wood in the form of 2X4s...literally.


May 4, 2014, 08:39 AM
Oh, not all CZs, just the two I owned, and the two I handled last summer. I literally have seen better wood in the form of 2X4s...literally.

Wow!~ A first!

I just knew, in time, if I was patient, I would hear someone find quality issues with the CZ.

Goes to show, you don't never know...

May 4, 2014, 09:28 AM
I had a 550 American in 6.5X55 and a 550 FS in .308. CZ makes a fine rifle and they are on par and significantly exceed most other brands in my not so humble opinion.

The only downside and the reason I sold mine is that CZ nearly always goes with a slower twist. So their 6.5 has a 1 in 10 twist where 1 in 8 is required to stabilize much over a 130 grain bullet. I had my 6.5 re chambered to shorten it up as the standard 6.5 chamber throat is long to accommodate the 160 grain bullets. It would then shoot 130's with great accuracy.

I was able to get my FS through a dealer (now out of business) in Kansas City who would go over to the CZ import warehouse and hand pick the wood. Some of the wood is pretty plain, some of it is just a notch off of exhibition grade. I got a really nice stock with all kinds of figure and depth.

If you pay attention to the twist and what you want to shoot they are first class rifles but you may have better luck with the lighter bullets.

May 4, 2014, 10:41 AM
According to CZ my 550 American 6.5x55 bought 3 yrs ago has a barrel twist ratio of 1:86, not 1:10.

May 4, 2014, 11:24 AM
Here's the lumber yard 2x4 wood on my two 550s.

May 4, 2014, 12:48 PM

See, now those have awesome wood, and blued finish!


May 4, 2014, 01:10 PM

The lighter one is an '05 model (.243) and the darker one is a '12 (.308). The '05 has a higher level of polish on the metal (prior to bluing), and it has the polished steel forend cap vs. the '12's aluminum cap. The '12 has a very nice finish to the metal, nothing to complain about at all, but you can tell that they backed off of the finish level just a little bit between those years. The '12 had an amazing piece of wood. It looks much better in person than I can capture in photos. I've refinished both of them just because I like seeing the natural wood instead of the heavier stained finish that comes from the factory on most of the models other than the Americans (CZ Americans seem to have a factory wood finish that reveals more of the grain and natural color).

Here (top two guns) they are prior to the refinish.

May 4, 2014, 01:48 PM

Absolutely fantastic finish! Those go head-to-head with any other non-custom rifle I've ever seen! :D


May 4, 2014, 04:32 PM
That is the correct twist. Mine was 1 in 10. Maybe CZ has caught on. The twist in my .308 was slow by the modern standard too.

Other than that they are fabulous rifles. I think easily on par with a Sako or any other good European rifle.

May 5, 2014, 12:24 AM
My new stock has a very basic oil rubbed finish... (

But it is NOT made by CZ, and I've never had it "finished". I thought the stock that came with my CZ 527M was pretty darn nice. (

Chief Day USN RET
May 5, 2014, 12:31 AM
Yeah, I really like my M70 Supergrade, .270 Win. It is superbly accurate, even with factory-loaded ammo. :D For what it's worth, even my M70 Ultimate Shadow rifles are flawless. There is no difference in barreled-action refinement...silky smooth.

You can't order one via your FFL?


I buy most of my stuff on layaway. My FFL us reluctant..lets say, because he likes selling whats on the shelves. Lol


Chief Day USN RET
May 5, 2014, 12:34 AM

Chief Day USN RET
May 5, 2014, 12:35 AM
That's it. Don't know why I keep dupicating attachments. I think the wood looks great for the price

May 5, 2014, 09:31 AM

That gun looks nice as is, but it has a some great wood hiding under that factory finish. It looks a good bit like my dark gun above did when it had the factory finish. I'm pretty much to the point that I buy my CZs based on how they'll look with the factory finished removed and replaced with something less obscuring of the wood grain. :)

Chief Day USN RET
May 5, 2014, 05:32 PM
I like her like she is. But thanks.

May 9, 2014, 06:52 AM
Congrats on the new rifle Chief !

I have a 550FS in 308 and another in 9.3x62. Both of them bought around 2004-2005. They are excellent rifles with the kind of fit/finish illustrated in the FS photos that I6Turbo posted. The 308 stock has beautiful figure, the 9.3 is more plain but still nice. Blue is excellent on both. (At the time I bought my rifles, the word on CZ and other forums was that it was best to buy your rifle in a local shop where you could check it out in person before putting out the money. If you were forced to order it, you may or may not win the 'stock wood lottery'.)

I kick myself that I didn't buy one or two more 550s before the big buying panic. I haven't looked at them for a few years because prices shot up. (I did snag several more of their .22 rifles though.) Bet you'll really enjoy your 550.

Chief Day USN RET
May 9, 2014, 02:37 PM
Thanks bro

May 10, 2014, 12:53 AM
You bet Chief !

I'm envious. A CZ550 in 243 was one of the chamberings that I would've liked to get pre panic. Enjoy !

May 10, 2014, 02:05 AM
If only Winchester would make a Model 70 in 6.5x55

I have a Winchester Model 70 in 6.5x55

May 10, 2014, 05:33 AM
According to CZ my 550 American 6.5x55 bought 3 yrs ago has a barrel twist ratio of 1:86, not 1:10.

1:86 twist? That either has to be a typo or they are using some kind of metric measurement.

Is it a 1:8.6?

May 10, 2014, 10:06 AM
Well, here's my experience ...

The wood on I6turbo's CZ rifles is outstanding, but from the many CZ 550s I've seen or handled in the past, I'd tend to side with Geno.

Some 550s had great wood but the metal work was poor; or, on others the metal work was polished and the bolt functioned smoothly but the wood was, well, mediocre, or the metal-to-wood fit was poorly done. In other words, the factory QC on the 550s seemed to be inconsistent.

In particular, I'd been interested in the CZ 550 Safari Magnum line.
I looked at several in different calibers, hoping to add one of the venerable African chamberings as a follow up to my .375 H&H. That one is the 550's predecessor rifle, the well-known BRNO ZZK 602 model, which I picked up back in the early '90s.

But it too was rough coming out of the box, although the action ran smoothly and it never jammed. I shot it stock for a while, hated the recoil-enhancing hogback stock and crappy recoil pad, and then sent it off for some semi-custom work. For what I paid, the BRNO returned looking 100% better and was also easier to shoot well. It benefitted from such items as a re-profiled stock with a LOP that fit me, a Pachmyr decelerator pad, and my preference, a bolt-mounted 3-position.

.375 H&H BRNO 602 (

As far as the 550 Safari Mag rifles I handled, at least in terms of appearence, their wood and metal fit and finish generally looked more upscale than CZ's "standard" 550s. I wanted one in .404 Jeffery, but held back after seeing too many bad on-line reports from users of box-stock 550 SMs in that caliber (as well as others, like the 458s, 416s, 505s, etc.) of jams, misfeeds (or rough feeding), or stocks cracking because they weren't bedded properly, etc., so I finally decided to bite the bullet and go the custom route.

While I paid more, I'm happy with the result: an accurate, reliable, problem-free rifle that's also a looker.

AHR 550 DGR in .404Jeff (

Just what I know ... :cool:

May 10, 2014, 11:00 AM
I have a Winchester Model 70 in 6.5x55

They don't make them anymore though...

May 11, 2014, 02:19 PM
A CZ550 in 243 was one of the chamberings that I would've liked to get pre panic.
I've watched the 550s for about 2.5 years and picked up the two above during that time. They seem to have jumped up a bit in price in the past few months, but it didn't appear to be due to the panic craziness that resulted from the December 2012 tragedy. I bought both of mine "used" but neither appeared to have ever been fired, or if they had, it must have been only a time or two and the barrel swabbed afterwards; they were pretty much perfect, came with boxes and paperwork, etc. I paid in the mid-500s for each, and at that price the .243 came with $60 CZ rings and a $250 (street price) Sightron SII 3-9x42; an absolute steal, if I say so myself. And that was in the middle of the "craziness." I've seen several other 550 bargains during the period (including a couple of beautiful .243s that I struggled to avoid bidding for), but lately the great deals seem to have dried up -- it seems that they are consistently bringing more money now than they were. IMO they are worth it, even at MSRP, and I suppose more people are noticing the value.

Now that the 557 is beginning to replace some of the 550 models, the 550s will probably increase in demand the way the 452s did when CZ started transitioning to the 455 platform.

I'd like to pick up this one, but a 527 varmint is higher on my wish list than another 550 at the moment.

May 11, 2014, 02:33 PM
@I6Turbo - during the 6 months leading up to the Dec 2012 buying panic I bought several CZ452 rimfire rifles that had been on my long time 'Want List'. I figured, "No matter what they do with new laws & regulations, at least I'll always be able to shoot my 22s." Oppps.

During the middle of the panic, I focused on getting ammo that wasn't the stuff in highest demand, not 9mm and 5.56. Higher ammo costs in general has meant less money to have for spending on more rifles. But, I can actually do what I need with what I have, so I'm fortunate in that. I'm glad that centerfire ammo availability seems to be improving and hope the situation improves with the 22 rimfire stuff soon.

May 11, 2014, 03:18 PM
Pointshoot, I agree, and like you seem to indicate about yourself, have at least as many rifles as I "need," probably more. :) I think the .22 rimfire is about the only ammo that hasn't more or less recovered, availability-wise. However, the .22 rimfire supply seems to have gotten much better over the past few months as I see it available much more frequently than a year or so ago. You can now find the mid-grade stuff like Wolf MT for $60-70/brick from time to time (frequently enough to keep most shooters stocked if they're willing to pay that price), and around here I've seen the $22/500 rounds plinking fodder in Walmart more frequently as well (my wife checks for me every time she goes to Walmart, has picked up a few Federal 550s and CCI hundred packs recently). I hope it keeps getting better!

P.S. I'm also a big fan of CZ 452s.

May 11, 2014, 09:11 PM
I got a 550 in .30-06 last december. I have a VX-3 ready for it, but I have not mounted anything up yet. I have some brass prepped, and just need some time, and to find some bullets, and we'll go shooting. Mine seems to have a very beautiful stock, and I love the trigger and action.

May 11, 2014, 10:41 PM
Win M 70 did make a short run in the 6.5x55. Good luck finding it.

Enjoyed the comments myself. Chief, if your pockets are deep, get one or two levels of improvement on the 550 from AHR (Google). I'm lusting after one in the Safari Mag in .375 H&H.


Chief Day USN RET
May 12, 2014, 10:08 AM
ExAgorazo. Pockets aren't deep. I've got three on layaway now. The CZ, a Reminton R1S 1911 and a Weatherby P 08 TR. But I like how you think

Ky Larry
May 12, 2014, 11:46 AM
I own 3 CZ-550's, a -527, and 7 CZ rimfires. The wood ranges from plain Jane to excellent. The stock on my -527 is beautiful.I've seen CZ stocks that would make Roy Weatherby turn green. I've also seen NIB CZs with stocks that were split from tip to magazine floor plate. You play a "wood lottery" when you order a CZ rifle. You might get lucky. Then again, you might not.

May 12, 2014, 12:34 PM
That's very unfortunate about the split stocks, but I think it's extremely, extremely rare. I have 11 CZs (and 4 Brnos, but they were made during a different era) and the stock on each one is pretty much perfect in terms of structural integrity, barrel fitment, etc. Like you say, the grain can vary a lot, from plain to fantastic. I also frequent rimfire central's CZ forum where hundreds or thousands of CZs are represented, and I don't recall ever hearing of a split stock out of the box. So, just sayin' so that someone won't get the impression that it's a crap-shoot with CZ stocks. That is not the case. And if something does go wrong, CZ-USA warranty dept will pretty much always handle issues promptly.

May 12, 2014, 01:31 PM
@KyLarry - if you don't mind my asking, what chambering did you get your CZ 527 in ? A buddy of mine bought one in 204 and really likes it for varmint hunting. Says no recoil so you don't lose the target in the scope on firing and does pretty good in the wind. (I havent had a chance to shoot it yet.)

Ky Larry
May 12, 2014, 08:37 PM
PointShoot, my -527 is a .223 Rem.

16turbo, I didn't mean CZ has a lot of bad stocks. If they did,I wouldn't own so many. I was trying to say that you never know what CZ stocks will look like when you order one. Sorry for my limited writing skill.Shoot well and enjoy your CZs.

Chief Day USN RET
May 14, 2014, 01:21 AM
Ky Larry. Thanks for the insight. Fortunately, mine is in house. I posted pics at the beginning of thread. She's in great shape

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