June 18th, 2019

Rimfire Video Fest — Great CZ Rifles for Training and Varminting

CZ model 512 .22 LR  Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video 457 MTR Varmint

Every shooter should have a good rimfire rifle, both for fun shooting and for training. The .22 LR is very affordable to shoot, and the more potent .17 HMR and .22 WMR rounds also are great for small varmints out to 200 yards or so. Among the rimfire rifle makers, the Czech manufacturer CZ (Česká Zbrojovka) has been a world leader for many decades. In today’s Video round-up we feature a variety of CZ rimfire rifles including the the all-new CZ 457, the versatile CZ 455 VPT, and the classic CZ 452. We also include one semi-auto, the CZ 512 in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR).

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer in Manners Stock

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

CZ 455 TFB TV joel Varmint Precision trainerRimfire cross-training allows PRS competitors to build their skill sets without breaking the bank (or burning out barrels). One great .22 LR option for cross-training is offered by CZ, the Czech arms-maker. The TFBTV video below spotlights the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT), a smooth-running .22 LR bolt action. This factory rifle was designed specifically as a training tool for precision long-range competition. It boasts a Manners composite stock and 20.5 or 24-inch heavy barrel. The 0.866″-diameter tube is threaded and suppressor-ready. The model 455 VPT is mag-fed and comes with a crisp trigger that adjusts to two pounds. Street price is around $860. That’s pricey for a rimfire — but you’re getting a premium Manners stock that would cost $534 by itself.

Field Testing the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

CZ 457 MTR Varmint — New for 2019

We really like the new-for-2019 CZ 457 Varmint MTR .22 LR rifle. Along with other CZ 457 models, the MTR (“Match Target Rifle) Varmint features a completely new action that runs very smoothly with shorter bolt throw. The new 457s also have an American-style, push-to-fire safety. The new-generation actions have been trimmed back nearly one-inch in length, and slab-sided to reduce the footprint and weight of the actions. CZ ditched the 90º bolt rotation of the past in favor of 60º rotation. This change provides more room between bolt handle and scope for easier cycling of rounds. It also allows for the use of scopes with larger ocular bell diameters and lower ring heights.

The well-designed MTR stock has good ergonomics and nice stipling on the grip and fore-end. We were pleased to note that, with the 457 series, CZ is once again offering steel magazines that are interchangeable with older 452/455 magazines.

Here our friends at Area 419 offer a side-by-side comparison between a $2300+ rifle with Vudoo V-22 action in Manners stock and the $752.00 CZ 457. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, the CZ wins hands down. However, the Vudoo V-22 does offer centerfire-style action cycle, which helps with training. It also can run Rem 700-compatible triggers.

CZ 452 — Classic Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifle

The CZ 452 is an affordable classic. It is ultra-reliable, easy to clean and maintain, and you’ll find very good examples on the used market for under $400. This is an excellent first rifle for a young family member. In this video, The TFB TV team tests a CZ 452-2E fitted with a suppressor. As the 452 series is being replaced, if you want to buy a new 2019 CZ 452, you’ll need to spend big bucks on the Grand Finale model: “Produced in limited quantity, the 452 Grand Finale (MSRP $1189.00) is a last hurrah to the venerable CZ 452. Built using the last 452 actions ever produced, on the original manual barrelling equipment and at the Brno workshop, the Grand Finale [features] hand-engraved scroll-work on the action, barrel, bottom metal and scope rings. The upgraded American walnut is trimmed with an ebony fore-end and grip cap.”

Semi-Auto CZ — Model 512 American in .22 Magnum Rimfire

The folks at Varminter.com are avid varmint hunters, who test varmint rigs in the real world, seeing how they perform in the varmint fields. Varminter.com was quite impressed with the CZ Model 512 American semi-auto .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) rifle. The testers found the Model 512 to be accurate, extremely reliable, and fun to shoot. Watch the video to field tests conducted in California. This self-loading rifle performed ultra-effective on California ground squirrels. Erik Mayer, Varminter.com’s publisher says: “The 22 Magnum (.22 WMR) is beginning to see a resurgence of sorts, as the rimfire ammunition becomes more readily available. Because of this, rifles like the CZ Model 512 have also begun to see a rise in interest again”. CLICK HERE for FULL REPORT with accuracy findings for multiple ammo types.

CZ model 512 .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire varminter.com video ground squirrel varmint hunting semi-auto

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 2nd, 2018

CZ 455 .22 LR Rifle Ammo Comparison Test

CZ 455 American Ammo Test Cheaper Than Dirt smallbore rimfire
The CZ-455 is very affordable, with a $389.55 street price. File photo shows Leupold scope. A different CZ 455 with Vanguard scope was used in CTD ammo test.

How accurate can a sub-$400 rimfire rifle be with moderately priced .22 LR ammo? A lot better than you might expect. CTD Blog Tester Wilburn Roberts took a box-stock CZ 455 American and got 1.1 MOA accuracy with Eley Contact ammo, and 1.3 MOA accuracy with Fiocchi HV ammo. This was shooting from the bench with a $280 3-9x40mm scope and targets set at 50 yards. The actual Eley Contact 40gr average group size for three, 5-shot groups was 0.55″. That is pretty darn impressive for a very affordable rifle with no accurizing.

CZ 455 Test Results for TEN Different Ammo Types, Shooting Three 5-Shot Groups:

CZ 455 American Ammo Test Cheaper Than Dirt smallbore rimfire
Group sizes at 50 yards, listed in inches. The .55″ equates to 1.0506 MOA at 100 yards.

Tester Wilburn Roberts was impressed with the CZ 455’s accuracy: “This is an accurate rifle, and I realized this with the first group. The rifle was fired for accuracy at 50 yards. The accompanying table (above) lists some of my results.” Along with target ammo such as Eley Contact, Roberts tested several hunting loads, such as the CCI Velocitor and Winchester Super X, that “have given good results on game”, according to Roberts. Read Full CZ 455 Review.

No Mods Except Trigger Tuning
Notably, Roberts made no changes to his CZ 455 other than adjusting the factory trigger down to 2.5 pounds: “The trigger was smooth enough from the factory at 3.5 pounds. However, if the action is separated from the stock you may adjust the trigger. A small lock nut allows adjusting the trigger, and I was able to back it off to a crisp and clean 2.5 pounds.”

Roberts observed the CZ 455 was very well-made: “The 455 is a replacement for the proven 452 series. The rifle demonstrates first-class quality. The fit and finish are excellent. I was very impressed by what you cannot see — such as chamber dimensions and internal fit and finish. The wood … is nice in appearance, and the fit of the stock to the action is excellent. Inletting is flawless. The barrel channel and the trigger guard is where less-than-perfect fitting shows, but this rifle was flawless.”

CZ 455 Offered with Multi-Caliber Package: .22 LR and 17 HMR

CZ American Combo 17 HMR .22 WMR .22 LR

Wouldn’t it be great if a rimfire rifle could shoot both .22 LR and .17 HMR? Well, CZ offers just such a rig — the CZ 455 American Combo, a versatile switch-caliber rifle priced under $500.00. The American Combo (MSRP: $557.00) comes complete with both .22 LR and .17 HMR barrels, easily interchanged with an Allen wrench. As CZ explains: “The CZ 455 eliminates the need to spend the extra expense on a second rifle when you want to add another quality shooter to your rimfire battery”. For a bit more money, you can even purchase a .22 WMR barrel, making your CZ a triple-threat varmint-slayer.

As tested by GunsAmerica.com, the CZ-455 has shown impressive accuracy in both .17 HMR and .22 LR versions. In fact, when GunsAmerica.com tested the CZ 455 American Combo, the .17 HMR version delivered quarter-inch groups at 50 yards. That’s darn impressive accuracy!

This Video Shows How to Interchange Barrels on a CZ 455:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
June 16th, 2017

Lithgow LA101 — Tack-Driving .22 LR Bolt Action from Australia

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock
Along with .22 LR, the LA101 is offered in .22 WMR and 17 HMR chamberings.

There’s an impressive bolt-action rimfire rifle built in Australia, the LA101 Crossover from Lithgow Arms. Imported by Legacy Sports Int’l, this relatively new rimfire rifle offers a smooth-running action, excellent accuracy, a crisp trigger, and a durable, Cerakote finish.

YouTube host 22Plinkster recently tested the LA101 in .22 LR, and found that it delivered very impressive accuracy. He recorded multiple “one-ragged-hole” groups at 50 yards (see video below). Even at 100 yards, the LA101 was shooting close to 1 MOA with relatively inexpensive ammo. This is an impressive rifle, as it should be, with a $1000+ price tag. MSRP is $1079.00 USD (synthetic), $1215.00 USD (laminate).

22Plinkster writes: “I have shot a lot of .22 LR bolt rifles in my day, but this one, is a nail driver!” After testing, he concluded that the LA101 was “the most accurate bolt rifle I own”. He reports the stock is very comfortable for off-hand shooting as well as bench work.

LA101 Crossover Features and Specifications
The Lithgow Arms LA101 Crossover features a 3-lug, 60°-throw action with rear-locking bolt. It is available in both right-hand and left-hand versions, with a very good factory trigger advertised at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg). Note — testers report report the trigger feels lighter. Choose between a fiberglass-reinforced polymer stock, Walnut, or laminated wood stocks. This rifle is offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. The .22-cal barrels are hammer-forged while the 17 HMR barrel is button-broached. Action and barrels are Cerakote finished. The Lithgow LA101 can use CZ 452/455 5-round and 10-round magazines.

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock

The LA101 is offered with choice of wood or synthetic stocks, all of which feature a straight, lower rear section that works well in rear bags:

lithgow LA101 crossover .22LR rimfire rifle varmint stock

Here is another, lengthy LA101 review, done in Australia a couple years back. The reviewer field-tests a composite-stocked Lithgow LA101 with a wide variety of .22 LR ammunition. Warning: Starts with loud, annoying music — you may want to turn down your speakers:

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
October 23rd, 2016

Versatile Rimfire Cross-Training Rifles from CZ-USA

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Are you looking for a .22 LR Rimfire rifle that has the look and feel of a centerfire rig? Then check out the CZ 455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool Suppressor Ready by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. It comes with a short 16.5″ barrel with threaded muzzle for easy installation of a “can” (suppressor or sound moderator).

The original CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as an affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and stock profile of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $940.00 MSRP while the latest suppressor-ready ‘Tacticool’ model lists for $549.00 MSRP. The $391.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Twin-Barrel CZ-455: Shoot .22 LR and 17 HMR with Same Rifle
CZ also offers a versitile twin-caliber CZ-455. The CZ-455 American Combo comes from the factory with two (2) fitted barrels, one in .22 LR and the other in 17 HMR. This effectively gives you two rifles for not much more than the cost of a .22 LR rig. And the 17 HMR cartridge really extends your effective range on varmint hunts.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Switching barrels is easy — simply remove the two action screws to release the barreled action then loosen two set screws that retain the barrel. No need to worry about headspace — the barrels are pre-fit and drop-in. The video below shows how the barrel exchange system works.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Tactical 1 Comment »
February 22nd, 2015

CZ 455 Rimfire for Tactical Cross-Training

Are you looking for a .22 LR Rimfire rifle that has the look and feel of a centerfire rig? Then check out the CZ 455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This gun, dubbed the “Varmint Tacticool” by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. And recently CZ added a Suppressor-Ready version fitted with a 16.5″ barrel and threaded muzzle.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

The original CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as an affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and stock profile of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $940.00 MSRP while the latest suppressor-ready ‘Tacticool’ model lists for $549.00 MSRP. The $391.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Uncategorized 7 Comments »
March 12th, 2013

CZ Offers New CZ-455 Varmint ‘Tacticool’ Rifle

CZ has introduced a new version of the CZ-455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This new gun, dubbed the Varmint Tacticool by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. The new CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as a affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and “feel” of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $899.00 MSRP while the new ‘Tacticool’ model lists for just $522.00 MSRP. The $377.00 you save will buy a lot of ammo (or a scope).

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 20th, 2011

Manners Offers New Stock for CZ 452 and 455

Manners Composite Stocks has released its new MCS-T4 trainer stock for CZ 452 and 455 actions. This should work well for guys who cross-train with a .22LR or who compete in the popular Tactical Rimfire matches now offered by many clubs. The MCS-T4 duplicates the feel, heft, and ergonomics of a full-size tactical stock, making it easy to transition from your centerfire rifle to your smallbore trainer.

Manners CZ training stock MCS-t4

Tom Manners reports: “This is the second .22LR trainer stock we have developed. The design goal is the same as the first stock we built for the SakoQuad. This project was started for the guys that wanted a full-size rimfire training rifle that had the same size and feel as their full-size service gun. The goal was to have a gun that had the same balance, feel, and as close to same ergonomics as a full-size Remington 700. That lets you train effectively with inexpensive .22LR ammo.”

Tom added: “We designed the MCS-T4 so the CZ 452/455 bolt handle and trigger are in the same location as your full-size service rifle”. Manners can also deliver the MCS-T4 with an extra-heavy fill to bring the weight of the complete gun up to about 13 lbs — about the same as a centerfire bolt gun with a medium-contour barrel. With the MCS-T4, a shooter can put together an affordable rimfire cross-trainer without having to spend big bucks on a 40X action or 40X clone. The new Manners MCS-T4 CZ Trainer Stock lists for $475.00 plus shipping. For more info, visit MannersStocks.com or call (816) 283-3334.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »