Slight Disagreement

Over at Shooter’s Log, Bob Campbell has some good things to say about CZ’s little model 527:

One of the neatest and classiest rifles of all time is ignored by many shooters. When I fire the CZ 527, I am not concerned with getting off the X or engaging the target in enfilade fire, but rather in hitting what I am aiming at, and getting a clean kill and meat. Not that the rifle would not serve in many situations, but this European stalker is a purebred stalking rifle with many good features. The rifle is a product of CZ and available from CZ USA. They were once marked BRNO. The CZ 527 is a light, neat looking, and effective rifle that will not strain the back with weight or the shoulder with recoil. The price is right as well.

Then he goes on to give his reasons.

The only quibble I have with the article is the title (“CZ’s Best Rifle”) because it isn’t CZ/Brno’s best rifle, by a long chalk — not when put up against the 550/557 or the peerless “Safari” (Brno 602), anyway.

That said:  I love the 527 carbine, and have said so in the past.  For its purpose, it is horrendously over-engineered (that CZ set trigger ooooh ), surprisingly inexpensive thereby and frankly, about as handy as a rifle could be.

In fact, given that it’s chambered for the 7.62x39mm Commie cartridge (of which I may have a box or two lying around), I see little need to own a lever-action rifle for the “carbine hunting” purpose.  New, it’s quite a bit pricier (at ~$650) than, say, a Marlin 336 .30-30 lever rifle (~$450), but then again, I wouldn’t have to spend (at least) $1,400 more to get the requisite thousand rounds of .30-30 (of which I own not a single cartridge) into Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer.  All I need is a few boxes of serious 7.62×39 hollowpoints (e.g. Hornady SST or Federal Fusion), and I’d be good to go.

I think I need to reinstate the old BANG* Fund on this website… about which I have an idea, but that’s for another post later this week.

*BANG:  “Buy (Kim) A New Gun”




  1. I have the 550 full stock in 6.5 Swede, the first set trigger I have ever used and it is interesting that the push forward for set becomes automatic with this rifle. Once the trigger is set it is just a matter of aligning the scope and with a slight pressure and little thought, the bullet is on its way.

  2. Nice gun- two gripes- Mauser abandoned the extended box magazine after the 1891 Argentine-
    So why is that thing sticking down right at the balance point?
    Why is the x39 version only in right hand?

    Want to make some heads spin? Go to the Marlin forum and suggest a x39 chambering of the 30-30 lever gun… someone, I think it was Remington, used to make a tube feed rifle with a helix in the magazine tube, to displace the bullet tip from centerline so spitzer bullets could be used. BTW, This suggestion will not be politely received….

    1. Savage 99 lever used a rotary magazine, 1899 and later models used a box mag great for .308 and easy to mount scope on it.

      1. I LOVE the Savage 99, one of the best-looking rifles ever made, and the mag mechanics are a wonder.

        Gotta say, thought, that I once had a 99 in .308 Win and it kicked the crap out of my shoulder — something about the angle of the stock into my shoulder, I think. (I grew up shooting .308 Win, and no other rifle ever smacked me as hard as the Savage.)

        If I were to get a 99 now, I’d get it in either .250 Savage or .243 Win.

        1. You are right about the recoil Kim, I shot my 99 in .308 the two weeks ago for the first time in 12 years, took it out of the safe where it has been resting and cleaned it a bit went to the Bandera range and shot six rounds making a slight scope adjustment, it did kick the crap out of me, brought it home and cleaned and lubed and I will let it rest a bit more. I feel bad when I realize I have not checked zero on a rifle for a few years and I have a Winchester 70 in 30-06 that is more comfortable to shoot and it gets exercise a couple of times each year.

    2. The Remington you’re thinking of was the model 14 pump action which has since evolved into the model 7600 with a box magazine.
      The patents on the spiral tube mag most likely expired years ago so recreating it would only be an engineering exercise to adapt it to the lever action.
      Which would open the doors to a lever gun for cartridges of similar length.

  3. I got a 527 years ago and don’t shoot it nearly as much as I’d like.

    The main attraction to me was the ability to shoot plentiful 7.62×39 ComBlock ammo. During the great “ammo panic” of 2013, when 5.56/.223 and 9mm were hard to come by (and expensive when you could find it), 7.62×39 was still widely available and dirt cheap. I may – I say MAY – even have an unopened “tin” of 7.62×39 that I bought in Fayette-Nam (Fayetteville, NC, home of Fort Bragg) in the 1990’s when ammo was cheap and a case of ChiCom SKS’s could be bought for around $1000.

    But the real value of the gun is that it is gorgeous, beautifully made and a great example of “old world” craftsmanship. No plastic stocks, no stainless finish – just good old walnut and blue steel.

    I wouldn’t complain if some enterprising manufacturer made replacement magazines for it, since the last time I checked, factory mags were on the order of $40/each. A 10 round mag would be even nicer.

    To those who have one or are contemplating getting one, my research on the gun indicates that it works better with “Commie Spec” ammo, i.e. with bullets in a .311 size, rather than the .308 size bullets commonly found in commercial loads in the West.

    At this point, I’d rate the iron sights on the gun as “better than nothing” but I really need to get serious and mount a decent scope on it. Maybe even a red dot (though I have to admit I blanch a little at the thought of putting an ugly, boxy electronic sight on that beautiful gun! )

    1. ” it works better with “Commie Spec” ammo, i.e. with bullets in a .311 size, rather than the .308 size bullets commonly found in commercial loads”. I’ve heard that as well. It is a beautiful gun, and one I’d like to add to my CZs, just never got around to it.

      Kim mentioned the 557–I’d love the carbine in 6.5×55, it is drop dead gorgeous. I gather the 557 is not a Mauser action, though, if that matters to you.

  4. I had one once. Sold it to Peter G over at Bayou Renaissance.

    Got it after I had an SKS trying to find something that could shoot the x39 accurately. It did not either. Missed a deer at 75 yards. Reason x39 is in the ak is you have to shoot it auto as you cannot hit the side of the barn with that round if you are inside the barn.

    We can’t use high power in this state now though so don’t really miss it.

    It could have been the scope I had on the rifle, as I have used a muzzy out to 175 and take deer. Been using a 45-70 lately and I took one a little over 150 last year with it.

    Course I am not fond of Glocks either so I know I am going against the grain some.

    I have not had good experience with the x39 but I don’t know anyone who picks that round for accuracy.

    With another round chambering I think the 527 is a good gun and the trigger was nice enough.

    1. X39 got a bad rap from crap worn out guns and crap com-block ammo.
      I have seen hundred yard groups go from 6″+ with Wolf ammo to 2-4 with Barnaul. Not five round groups, but a full 20 round magazine.
      A decent AK like a Vepr will do 2 moa.with decent ammo-busting a clay pigeon at 200 yards with a non magnified red dot is OK accuracy .

      1. Maybe, But as I recall I was using some better hunting style rounds. Tula if memory serves. I usually use Hornady as that is the best I have found for one of my 308’s. I did have some cheaper stuff but no spam cans. And I did have an SKS that could have had a shot out barrel, but the CZ was new. And I did sight it in so I would have shot several 5 round groups to dial it in with.

        I have shot open sight m14’s and had clover leaves at 100 yards so I think I am capable.

        I’ve not had good experience with it, but if it works for you, good on you.

    2. > Missed a deer at 75 yards. Reason x39 is in the ak is you have to shoot it auto as you cannot hit the

      I have an AK that I put 5 out of 5 rounds into a head sized target at 110 yards using a Aimpoint M2 red dot sight using Russian ammo.

      You might have had a bad lot.

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