Following my post about the Brno ZKM-611, Reader JohnF asks in an email: “The 611 is a non-starter because it’s so expensive. If you like CZ’s semi-auto rimfire rifles so much, why not just go for the newer 512 model?” (I should add, for those who don’t know, that CZ eliminated the “Brno” brand, but the CZ/Brno labels are essentially the same gun, e.g. Brno 602 = CZ 550 Safari.)
Good question. Here’s a look back at the 611, followed by the 512 (both in .22 WinMag):
Fact is, if I were looking to buy a semi-auto .22 WinMag rifle, I’d give the CZ 512 a long, hard look simply because it’s a CZ. But if I wanted to add a beautiful rifle to my meager collection, gimme the Brno any day of the week. Is the 611 hundreds of dollars better than its successor? Nope, but that’s not the question.
And the 611 is a takedown rifle, whereas the 512 isn’t. That feature also points to the ZKM-611 as the better choice.
I should also point out that new semi-auto .22 WinMag rifles other than the CZ 512 are like hen’s teeth, simply because Ruger stopped making their 10/22M line, the idiots. Apparently they claimed unsolvable feeding issues for the decision, but I never had that problem, not once. I wish I’d never sold mine.
As far as I can see, the only other manufacturer currently making a .22 WinMag semi-auto rifle is Savage, with their A22 Magnum. Predictably, being Savage, it’s pig-ugly:
But on the other hand, the A22 features Savage’s excellent Accu-Trigger, so it should be a worthy alternative to the CZ 512. (I’ve never fired the A22 before, so I can’t say.) Savage also claims to have fixed the .22 WinMag’s alleged feeding problem by making it a delayed blowback action. Typically, the A22 sells for just over $400 as I write this, compared to the CZ 512’s $500+ (although it’s discounted by $100 at Cabela’s).
And here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two. The CZ 512 wins, hands down, in just about every department. Clearly, the $100 premium is worth it.
Now where did I put that piggy bank?