Accuracy Comparisons Between Models
Questions regarding accuracy comparisons between different CZ rifles are often asked. The answer is simple, all CZ rifles have the same quality premium hammer forged CZ barrel. CZ rifles have always been prized for accuracy. This is especially true in the world of rimfire competition. While the disciplines rise and fall in popularity, and the stock and barrel configurations change to meet the demands of each game, the heart of the rifle hasn’t changed. The CZ rifle barrel remains at the top of the class in the world of production rifles.
All CZ bolt action rifle barrels are lapped at the factory for accuracy, eliminating the need for a “break in” period. This being said there are several factors influencing the accuracy realized from each individual rifle.
While the barrels of both the CZ varmint and sporter weight models are of the same high quality, the varmint being the heavier and stiffer of the two is more forgiving over a wider range of loads than the thinner barreled sporter weight models. For example, given a selection of 10 different .22LR loads from various manufacturers, the varmint weight barrel will shoot to the best accuracy potential with 4 of the loads and it shoots another 3 of the loads very well. In general, the sporter weight barrel will be more sensitive to differences between the loads. Typically out of the same 10 different loads tested with the varmint weight barrel, it will only shoot at its best with 2 of the loads, while another 3 or 4 will shoot acceptably. Typically there will be a few loads each individual rifle really likes and a few the rifle really doesn’t like, with the rest falling somewhere in the middle. By starting with a quality action and premium barrel, the odds are stacked in your favor, making the search for the best accuracy combination easier.
A stock that remains stable through temperature and humidity changes won’t make you rifle more accurate, but it will keep the changes in point of impact to a minimum throughout the seasons and your travels. While many find the beauty of natural woods to be irresistible, if your top priority is consistent accuracy you should consider fiberglass or carbon fiber composite stocks like those from Manners found on our 457 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT) and 457 VPT MTR. In the same neighborhood, the aluminum chassis found on the 457 Varmint Precision Chassis and 457 VPC MTR are very stable platforms as well. Don’t discount the laminates either. When chasing small groups, remember that quality laminate stocks like the easily adjustable At-One from Boyd’s is a big step up the stability scale from natural woods. The 457 Varmint with the At-One stock further helps the shooter by providing a quick custom adjustment of comb height and length of pull.
With the introduction of the CZ 457 MTR, there is one more thing to consider: a match chamber. Because CZ follows the European CIP standards, our chambers are spec’d a bit tighter than the American SAAMI spec. CZ, being CZ, leans toward the minimum side of those specs on most models anyway. The MTR models stick tight to the minimum CIP spec resulting in a chamber that performs best with match ammo. If you are looking for the best possible accuracy, you need to use the best ammo. The best ammo is going to be consistent in dimensions, in weight and velocity as well. That said, don’t expect peak performance with just any bargain bin ammo. Keep in mind that many specialty rounds (both heavy subsonic and super-fast loads) may not even function reliably due to dimensions that exceed the spec for 22LR. The MTR chamber found on several of the CZ 457’s takes advantage of higher quality ammo by also providing the best possible chamber for them to be shot out of.
When using iron sights, a longer sight radius provides the capability for more precise aiming, which typically results in better accuracy given equivalent rifles. The relatively short sight radius of the 457 Scout can’t really compete with the precision aiming offered by the sight radius on the longer than long (by today’s standards) CZ 457 Jaguar. But, mount a scope and the tables are turned. The fine crosshairs and magnification advantage provided by a quality scope will allow for even more precise aiming than a long sight radius. Shorter barrels are stiffer and inherently more accurate than longer barrels of the same diameter, so if the rifle will typically be shot with optics, the shorter barrel should have the accuracy advantage.
Don’t discount the role the trigger plays as it contributes considerably to the ability of the shooter to be accurate. A fully adjustable trigger allows the shooter to control the pull weight, creep and over-travel. The fully adjustable triggers of the CZ 457 and 557 give the shooter full control. Even though most CZ rifles are equipped with adjustable triggers, it is important to keep the competency level of the shooter in mind when setting up the rifle. While a crisp or smooth pull will be helpful to all shooters, triggers should only be adjusted to lighter weights as the skill of the shooter becomes more advanced.
Ultimately, the shooter is responsible for the accuracy realized on the target. The best equipment only makes top accuracy possible, but it still can’t replace the skills and knowledge gained through practice.