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CZ 550 Safari Magnum .375

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jim in Anchorage, May 28, 2009.

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  1. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Any experiences/thoughts on it? I have never handled one but they look sharp in the pictures. The reason I am thinking about this is I am tired of the"wood" on my old ZKK 602[some sort of European fence post] and was thinking of upgrading it. Since the CZ is essentially the same Action as the ZKK[I have been told] and I have always liked the 602,aside from the wood,I wonder if a new CZ would be a easier route than restocking the gun I have.
     
  2. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    cz

    I won a cz 550 safari mag 375 last summer and so far I have only a couple boxes of shells through it but it is a great shooting and accurate rifle. Mine has a plain nothing special wood stock but its nice and fit and finish is not bad at all. The factory open sights are fast to aquire and built tough. Haven't killed anything with it but I am taking it deer hunting this fall and I have no doubt it will drop a mule deer. Recoil not any worse than my ruger M77 all weather 300wm.
     
  3. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    it also feeds very smooth and ejects empties sevral feet
     
  4. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Thanks. I will have to see if I can find one in stock to look at. I like the long Mauser extractor,which is why I bought the 602 in the first place. Won it huh? All I ever win is a upgrade on the Fry's in my Happy meal.:rolleyes:
     
  5. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    The 550 in .375 is one of my "dream" rifles. Its inexpensive enough to become reality but is far enough down the line that its still just a dream. One day, hopefully sooner than later, I will have one in the safe and out in the field.
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    How much for the 602 ?
     
  7. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    So far I've got a barrel and a stock. Saving up for an action from Brownells and then I can finish my .375 Holland.
     
  8. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Not really selling right now,but it seems like someone asks every time I mention it. Why is there so much interest with the 550 available? When I first bought it[1990] it was the only true Magnum length Mauser available,so I could understand it. I guess what I am getting at is their some reason the 602 is perceived as better then the CZ?
     
  9. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Member

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    Because they tend to be difficult to find around here, and have an excellent reputation. I've looked for one myself without success. What is yours chambered in?
     
  10. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    .375. The reason they are hard to come by is because they where prohibited from US import most of their production lives[1965-1992? not sure of exact dates] being from a communist country. I think there was a short envelope[two-three] years that they could be imported,then they were discontinued. They seem to be much more numerous in the"Commonwealth country's" Canada,Australia, New Zealand[and Africa] that had no import restrictions.
     
  11. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    This rifle is also on my list of ones I want..especially since they started making a Kevlar stocked version.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. jsl3170

    jsl3170 Member

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    I have one of the first 25 LH CZ 550s in 375. It's a lot of machine but can be made into a hell of a rifle. I have mine at the gunsmith's as we speak.

    For some addi info google Boatman and rifle to see a wonderful blog by Steve Boatman where he discusses the rifle and the action in various posts. These rifles are not preferred by African PHs and game rangers for nothing!
     
  13. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    When I got my 602 around 1987 I had to go through a Canadian importer and I paid through the nose.

    Mine is not for sale.

    The reason folks will chase a 602 when the 550 is readily available is because of human nature. We want something most when it's no longer available.
     
  14. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Yeah I recall I paid somewhere between $600-$700 for mine,and that was 20 years ago. Probably could have bought 2 Rem. 700s
     
  15. shinz

    shinz Member

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    IMHO, I reckon that the wooden stocks on the 602s as shown by Geologist's one in this thread http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5636009#post5636009 synthetic are some of the nicest & most comfortable around. Having said that, I would certainly like one to that design in a nice comfortable synthetic. Possibly handle recoil better than walnut, however well they look. BUT, I can't go the latest CZ stocks, Am I the only one that thinks they stuffed up the angle of the grip cap?
    Steve
     
  16. Reid73

    Reid73 Member

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    This sample issue of Big Bore Journal has two articles re the CZ 550s.

    If you believe Boatman's puff piece at pages 10-13, they are the best rifles going.

    If you believe the comments on pages 17 and 18, the actions' very rough finish cause lots of feeding problems, and the stocks frequently split.

    I suspect the average 550 magnum falls somewhere in between.
     
  17. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

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    The actions on the 550's are a bit rough from the box but a little elbow grease and some compound help that greatly. I have heard/read about the stocks cracking myself but havent had any issues with this one in 416 Rigby.I think the latest versions have double recoil crossbolts installed from the factory to help with this. I'll go with a composite if and when I have troubel.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Deutsche Schuetzen

    Deutsche Schuetzen Member

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    I purchased a .375 Brno (CZ ) now called the American Safari series .Mine has the upgraded wood.I topped it off with a Swarovski 4x36 scope with Talley QD rings .It shoots everything I feed it into a 1" group .Because it is so heavy the recoil is not noticeable.The weapon is very well balanced .If you do not mind the weight this is the best .375 around.I did not like the set trigger so I adjusted the "set " out of it and has a nice 3 lb. pull.My last time in Afrika I took a Whitworth .375 mauser and a Waffenfabrik Mauser .275 (7x57) I used the.275 mostly but if I return I will bring the CZ .375
     

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  19. win71

    win71 Member

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    The older Czech Brno's, and that generally would have been prior communist block, were a higher grade rifle than todays CZ's. Importation during the communist days was close to zero.
    CZK 602, 458
    [​IMG]

    Brno Mod 21, 7m/m
    [​IMG]
     
  20. jkingrph

    jkingrph Member

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    I purchased a 550 Safari Classic in .375 last summer. The local Gander Mountain had it and two others in stock, one a .458 Lott the other a .416 Rigby. I thought about it a couple of days, called and had them hold the .375 for me , primarily because it is a better choice for me just for shooting, and the wood looks as good as some of the upgrade wood. The other two were just not as pretty. Had the .416 been there when I picked mine up , it would have came home with me also.

    Accuraccy, about 1.25MOA. It is a little heavy but I like that plus it fits me like a glove. I have a Leupold 2x7 scope in Talley QD rings .

    The action when new is a bit stiff and the bolt tends to catch in a few places when cycling it. I removed magazine follower, and applied some Flitz to bolt and cycled it a couple of hundred times over the course of a few nights, cleaned well, lubed and still periodicly sit down and cycle it a bit. It is now very smooth, although not as good as some of the military or commercial Mausers with the anti bind guide.

    Now if I ever run across a .416 with good wood!!
     
  21. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Nice rifle win71...I love that .458, is it WM or Lott? I plan to eventually get a CZ 550 in .458Lott. Almost ordered one but fell in love with a 45-70 first.
     
  22. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    I wonder if the Kevlar stocks would hold up to the big boomers better than the wood ones? I'd guess yes.

    Are the laminated better or worse than the solid wood stocks at not splitting?

    Also, sidebar, what are the pros & cons of these - .505 Gibbs, .458 Lott, .404 Jeffrey, and .416 Rigby - as a big game caliber choice, in terms of ballistics, ammo cost, ammo availability, felt recoil impulse, etc.?

    Those are the African calibers offered in the CZs, besides the .458 winmag & .375 HH mag. Thanks.
     
  23. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    First let me state my big game credentials...I have none, so the following is just my opinion and heresay...
    The Kevlar stock was developed for Dangerous African game for the benefit of durability in humid environments, light weight, and strength. So, it is ideal for the big boys.

    The pros/cons of the rounds that you mentioned are...
    1. .505 Gibbs-big proven stopper but expensive rifle and costly to shoot and big on recoil
    2. .458Lott-based upon an earlier cartridge, the .458Watts, proven stopper at relatively low cost, but big on recoil
    3. .404Jeff.-pretty good stopper, expensive rifles and costly to shoot, less punishing recoil
    4. .416Rigby-good stopper, expensive rifles and pretty costly to shoot, less punishing recoil
    5. Don't forget about .470NE, 9.3mm, .500A-Square, .458WM, .600NE, .700NE, .577TRex, .375H&H, and countless others that I have missed.

    Are you considering one? My pick will be the .458Lott (probably the most popular) due to the less expensive rifle, ability to shoot .458WM/.458Watts cartridges and load with 45-70 bullets (not cartridges...just the bullet), and because it is a proven stopper. FWIW if you go with a CZ Safari in .458 caliber get the .458Lott not the .458WM because the cost is slight, the .458WM has a tarnished reputation (in Africa at least), and most importantly the ability to shoot both Lott and WM ammo. But it is a Lott of rifle. :D
     
  24. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    After buying my first Kevlar stock from Chet Brown in 1979, his 4th I believe, I can say that they kinda suck on a heavy recoil rifle. The Kevlar fiber does not suck up the epoxy like fiberglass does. It creates a very brittle shell that is prone to catasrophic cracking. Like even in .308 I had one break at the wrist in cold weather. My .375 H&H 700 is now stocked in hand laid up Mc Millan fiberglass as the prior Kevlar custom shop one went tits up in a 100 rounds.
    Good Laminated wood is the hardest thing of all to crack but is really heavy. which on any thing bigger than a .375 H&H is a good thing.A .505 Gibbs should weigh close to 11 pounds IMHO to be usefull.A .458 Lott at least 10, a .458 or a .416 about 9.5 and a .404 or .378 Weatherby 9 pounds, a .375H&H , well I have a Whitworth Custom one that weighs 8lb 13 with a S&B scope and Bastogne exihibition grade WR styled stock. My 700 Remington Stainless .375 in a Mcmillan sporter fiberglass stock weighs 7 lbs 12 oz with a !.75-6 VX3. Because it has a Gentry Quiet brake it has less recoil than the pound heavier Whitworth with no brake .
    I have a .470 Nitro SxS in it's case which I won't shoot anymore as I HAVE been there and done that and don't want to crack the old 1930s dried out stock. Also have a Shultz and Larsen Action .378 Weatherby that is HUGE and a nasty kicker so it looks good in my Old Weatherby collection as does the German Made .460 Weatherby Mark V which I only have shot about 18 times in 20 years! That sucker has a Mestique (Desert Ironwood)stock and weighs about 10.5 pounds and I wished it weighed 20!
     
  25. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I imagine (but do not know for certain) that they have gotten better over the last few decades. I do know that there has been a lot of reviews where they were praised as being light (like you said not something I really want, but many do) and strong. Funny that you mention the .460 and desired weight...I was going to ask you what you would want in that beast, as I have heard that they are brutal. I have no desire for such a beast, I think I will do fine with a .458Lott or the like.

    As a side note...I have shot a .375H&H, .416Rigby, and a .458WM. Having never shot a .458Lott how does it compare to the Winny (I know it's more...but is it substantial)? I have shied away from the .416Rigby due to the reduced magazine capacity, less ammo available, and additional cost of factory loads; I am starting to wonder if this was a good call...what do you think? Should I give the .416 a second look? Do you think it is my best option (Keep in mind I want a "cheap" big game rifle like the CZ)?
     
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