CZ 557 short action.
The stock is Turkish walnut, profiled in the now-in-vogue Classic design without a cheek piece or high comb to mar its lines. There are no exotic ebony tips, although I do think one should have been installed as a pistol grip cap. Like many guns, it comes to a sharp angle on the bottom, something that's easy to chip in the prone position.
The checking pattern is ultramodern with four panels on both the fore-end and pistol grip embellished with circular ribbons to add that custom touch to this rifle. A fine line circles the patterns, and even under intense scrutiny, I could find only a few places where the checkering machine overran its borders. The checkering is fine enough to look custom yet is purely functional in the field.
The fore-end tip is nicely rounded, and it tapers just enough to allow the non-shooting hand to hold the rifle easily. The pistol grip has a bit of a swell on both sides for shooter comfort.
An oil finish brings out the grain and color of the stock, and my sample exhibited light and dark stripes. In all the CZ rifles I've handled in the past, I have never seen a bad piece of wood. While all may not have ultra-premium wood, owing to their reasonable price point, if you shop around you can find a handsome stock. The recoil pad is rubber.
With the scope attached in CZ rings, the gun, sans ammo, came to eight pounds on the nose--a weight I find a nice compromise for the .308 Win. and perfect for the .243 Win.
The barrel is a curt 20 inches, maybe a mite short for the .308, but, again, certainly acceptable for the .243. The satin-blued barrel is cold hammer forged and factory-lapped, and it tapers to .610 inch at the muzzle. There are no sights, but the gun has integral 19mm dovetail machined mounts on the receiver. This in turn accepts CZ steel mounts with a witness mark on one side for proper mating on the gun, and I mounted a new Meopta 3-9x40mm scope for testing.
The receiver is machined from a solid billet, not a casting, and features the same satin blue finish as the barrel. There is one gas escape vent under the front receiver bridge. As I mentioned, the 557 uses a push-feed action and not the usual-for-CZ Mauser controlled-round feed. The bolt has a diameter of .720 inch and secures within the breech via twin locking lugs up front. The bolt face sports the customary extractor and plunger ejector. Overall, the action is smooth, but it could really be improved by a little more polishing and a redesign that allows the bolt to work without touching the magazine follower in the process.
The bolt is removed by pushing down on a small blade-type lever within the receiver and under the rear bridge. If you had a Remington XP-100 handgun, you can visualize what I mean. It's a bit ungainly to operate; the tip of a screwdriver is the best tool for the job.
The safety is two position, and while the gun is on Safe, you can work the bolt to insert or remove rounds. The bolt handle has a slight rake to the rear, and the bolt knob is smooth. At the end of the bolt body, the shroud is cleanly designed with a noticeable cocking indicator when the gun is ready to fire.
The gun comes with a metal detachable magazine holding four rounds, and it's released from the gun via a lever within the confines of the trigger guard. For those who love to tinker with a new gun, the trigger is adjustable, and from the factory: mine broke at a very clean 3.5 pounds with no creep and a touch of overtravel.
As you can see in the accompanying table, the CZ Model 557 did not disappoint at the range, shooting well with light woodchuck hunting loads as well as heavier bullets meant for big game. I find the CZ Model 557 is a great rifle to have around hunting season--whether you're looking for a walking varminter or a deer/pronghorn rifle. It has a good balance, short and handy in the field, and delivers the goods at a really nice price tag.
SPECIFICATIONS CZ 557 SHORT ACTION TYPE push-feed centerfire bolt action CALIBER .243 (tested), .308 CAPACITY 4+1 BARREL 20 in. OVERALL LENGTH 40 in. WEIGHT 7.4 lb. STOCK oil-finished Turkish walnut FINISH satin blue TRIGGER adjustable, 3.5 lb. pull (measured) SIGHTS none; integral mounts PRICE: $792 MANUFACTURER: CZ-USA, CZ-USA.C0M ACCURACY RESULTS CZ MODEL 557 SHORT ACTION Bullet Muzzle Standard Avg. Weight Velocity Deviation Group .243 Win. (gr.) (fps) (fps) (in.) WINCHESTER 55 3,615 45 0.75 BALLISTIC SILVERTIP HORNADY 75 3,431 26 1.00 SUPERFORMANCE V-MAX REMINGTON ACCUTIP 95 2,817 24 1.25 Notes: Accuracy results are averages of three three-shot groups at 100 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of five shots recorded on an Oehler Model 35P chronograph.
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|Title Annotation:||RIFLE REPORT|
|Publication:||Petersen's Rifle Shooter|
|Article Type:||Product/service evaluation|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2017|
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