Vítejte, Přátelé*

Oooooh I love this development (via Insty, thankee as always):

CZ-USA, the U.S.-based affiliate of Czech firearms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod (CZUB), announced today plans to locate their North American Headquarters and build a new manufacturing facility on approximately 73 acres at the Port of Little Rock. CZ-USA plans to implement a two-phase approach with an investment of up to $90 million and create some 565 jobs over a six-year period. CZ products are considered some of the highest-quality firearms in defense, competition and sport shooting around the world.

Indeed they are.  I’ve owned several CZ / Brno guns in my life, and the only thing I can say is that I’ve regretted selling (because:  poverty) every single one of them.  In fact, here’s my list of Four CZ Guns I Would Own In A Heartbeat (in no specific order):

CZ 550 Safari / 602 Brno  (.375 H&H)

It is quite probably the most popular dangerous game rifle in Africa.  Arrive at any safari camp with one of these bad boys, and the guide / PH will nod his head approvingly.  Back in a previous life, I used a borrowed 602 (chambered in .458 Win Mag) on a large lion, with astonishing results.  (As the saying goes:  “The .458 Winchester Magnum:  delivering pain in equal amounts at both  ends of the rifle!”) More recently, the Cape buffalo head which fills most of a wall in Doc Russia’s den came from a beast taken with his .375 H&H 550.

CZ 550/557 Lux (any caliber):

I prefer the “hogsback” stock over the straight “American” style, but regardless of stock, the 557 (old: 550) is quite possibly the greatest rifle to be had anywhere for the price, and the single-set trigger (4lb pull to 3.5 ounces, with just a single forward push on the trigger) is beyond reproach.  My 550 was chambered in 6.5x55mm Swedish, I sold it to a Reader because poverty, and I’ve regretted it ever since.  (However, he tells me that he’s taken many, many  deer with it since, so I don’t feel too bad.)  What I love most about this rifle is that you can pick pretty much your favorite chambering (even the new 6.5 Creed!), and CZ makes it.

CZ 75B (9mm/.40S&W)

I have spoken before of my respect for this wonderful pistol, so no more need be said.

CZ 455/457 (rimfire)

Sure, you can get a better .22 rifle than the 457 (old: 455), but you’d have to spend a lot  more $$$.  As a 455 owner once put it to me:  “If you can’t one-hole a brick of .22 with this gun, you’re  the one at fault.”

And now a bonus:

Brno ZKM 611 (.22 Win Mag)

This was made by Brno before CZ bought them.  CZ doesn’t make the little 611 takedown rifle anymore [sob] , and that’s a pity, because it is the only rifle I’ve ever picked up and shouldered where it immediately felt like it was an extension of my arm.  Want, even second-hand.

The 611 has been replaced by the CZ 512 semi-auto , which also comes chambered in .22 Win Mag (as well as .22 LR):

Of all the CZ guns on this list, the little 512 is the only one I’ve never fired.  I’m reliably told that the 512 is an improvement.  Hmmm… have to say, I prefer the 611’s looks.

So welcome, my friends* at Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZ-UB).  Sorry you ended up in Little Rock instead of in my state, but hey… we’re almost neighbors (in Texas-distance terms, barely a couple 6-packs up Interstate 30), so expect a visit as soon as you open your doors.  (One question, though:  why did CZ-USA move out of Kansas City?)

12 comments

  1. I surely do love my CZ75 D PCR. It fits my hand perfectly, and it never misses (although I sometimes do).

    CZ probably left KC because many portions of it can be a bit volatile and zesty.

    1. I have a SP-01, a steel-framed P-01, and a RAMI. They’re all fantastic guns, especially with the CGW work overs I’ve given them.

  2. This is… Concerning. I just hope the move doesn’t have any effect on quality as we’ve seen when other European manufacturers move production to American. Look at Sig, for instance.

  3. When I retired last time in 2013 I received an unexpected bit of bonus money and I spent it on a CZ 550 International in 6.5×55, Manlicher Stock and 20 inch barrel with a Leupold scope. It sure is a great little rifle with minimal recoil and an excellent trigger and reloading makes for affordable shooting, it will go to the Bandera Gun Range with me tomorrow. The set trigger, first I have ever had, is delightful.

  4. RE: CZ. Them fellers knows whut theys a-doin’.

    I’ve spent years trying to live up to my 452s, still working on it (16″ and 22″ Americans, the 22″ has Lyman peeps, the 16″ carries a Nikon BDC150 3-9X scope, thinking about moving up to a Leupold if I get an inheritance from Aunt Griselda’s estate). I’ve recounted my 75B experiences before, won’t rehash them, still interested in buying 1-2 more to use as student guns, but so is everyone else so they’re somewhat scarce.

    As for KC, both sides of the river experience what Z-man terms “excessive vibrancy” so it’s not really a surprise smart people want to get out (seems like another advertisement for thermonuclear urban renewal, but that’s just me….)

  5. One note on the 557–it is not a Mauser action, unlike most CZ rifles. I’d love to have one in 6.5×55. I do have a 550 American in 6.5, beautiful and accurate. I also have the ZKM 611, gorgeous gun, and yes, it’s a .22 wmr semi auto. It was something of a grail gun for me. Ten round mags for the 611 are crazy expensive on Gunbroker. I’ve heard the 512 has plastic on/in it. Also have a 452 Lux in .22 lr, and a 452 American in .22 wmr. Both are beautiful and very accurate.

    I own no striker fired guns. I am tempted by the P10s, though. I think I’d rather have the full sized version instead of the compact.

    1. $250 for a 10-round .22 WMR magazine? “Crazy” isn’t the word for it.

      And here I thought I was getting ripped off by paying $70 for a Beretta Mod 71 mag…

      1. Yup, what it is… $250 for a .22 magazine is insane.

        Heck, I didn’t even mention my CZ pistols–75B Omega (got a screaming deal on it, one of the first Omegas), P01, and a 97B .45 acp. Big handgun, like a 75 on steroids. Shoots great.

  6. CZ does make high quality firearms at reasonable prices. An interesting thing about their long arms is the finish they apply to the wood stocks. It is durable but more like mud, covering up the grain and figure of the wood. an hour of work to strip the original mud off and then a few more hours applying a good oil finish (I use Minwax Antique Oil finish) and you will be pleasantly surprised at the very nice stick you hold in your hands. My 452 Full Stock is certainly a good example of that. It shoots as good as it looks.

  7. “My 550 was chambered in 6.5x55mm Swedish, I sold it to a Reader because poverty, and I’ve regretted it ever since.” (However, he tells me that he’s taken many, many deer with it since, so I don’t feel too bad.)

    Not just a bunch of deer, but also several feral hogs, one over 300lbs.
    Several years ago I found Hirtenberger 6.5×55 160gr soft point ammo on sale, and bought a bunch of it. It is deadly on game from any angle: expanding well, yet penetrating deep(usually exiting), without destroying a lot of meat.
    It’s a great rifle, Kim, thanks for selling it to me. I plan to pass it down to my son when I’m done with it.

  8. I was lucky enough to get one of the CZ527 Ebony Edition rifles in .223. What a gorgeous rifle. Jeweled bolt, barley twist hammered barrel, ebony fore end and cap, mini Mauser action, and the nicest walnut stock I’ve ever seen. Super shooter too, although I spend far more time polishing it than shooting it.

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