CZ

CZ Upland Ultralight Green 20 Ga

| January 28, 2017
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.


I recently bought a CZ Upland Ultralight Green 2016 in a 20 gauge for my girlfriend as an early Christmas gift. I shopped around, looked for the literal best bang for the buck, but also wanted a light shotgun with lesser recoil that my girlfriend could carry and use to hunt chukar and grouse. I considered a 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro, because I own and love my 12 gauge Montefeltro.

My girlfriend and I talked about a preference on actions, and she expressed that she would be more comfortable with a break action than she would a semiautomatic action.

Besides the break action preference, I knew we needed to find a good compromise between recoil, and the ability to tote the thing around without getting fatigued. She’s a little petite, and a 12 gauge seemed like it might be too much recoil to be enjoyable and too heavy to carry all day, so we decided on a 20 gauge.

My girlfriend ultimately made the decision, and CZ made it a no-brainer. While looking at side by sides and over unders in a 20 gauge, my girlfriend saw the green anodized receiver of the CZ Upland Ultralight ‘Green’ shotgun.

I checked it out and it seemed like a great fit. Its an attractive and lightweight 20 gauge over under, with a nice stock, and an affordable price tag. Because I had never owned a CZ shotgun I felt like I was taking a chance, alneit a small risk, but went ahead and bought it for her anyway.

We received the Upland Ultralight at a local FFL. The initial inspection was sort of an eye opener. The shotgun met and exceeded all of my expectations. Its led me to believe that CZ’s are completely under-appreciated or under-considered firearms in general in the US market.

Well it doesn’t just look great, it shoots great too. Its fast to shoulder, the trigger was nicer and lighter than I had expected, it can be shot all day without fatigue, and its light enough to tote around for a while. Most importantly, my girlfriend loves it, and is comfortable operating it safely with ease.

I love my 12 gauge Benelli Montefeltro. I have zero buyers remorse, no intention of replacing it, use it all the time, and enjoy shooting it. With that said, if I had handled and shot some CZ 12 gauge shotgun options prior to buying my Benelli, there might have been a CZ shotgun instead of a Benelli shotgun on my side of the gun rack today.

So if you are considering a CZ Upland Ultralight Green shotgun in a 20 Gauge and wanted a little help with your decision, I hope I helped you with your decision.

The general specs are as follows:
Gauge: 20g Also available in 12
Barrel Length: 28″
Weight: 5.8 lbs. (Its light, due to the machined aluminum anodized receiver with nicely jeweled internals, and the lack of a mid-rib)
Receiver Finish Green Anodized
Barrel Finish Matte Black Chrome
Safety: It has a mechanical tang safety, and select fire order.
Length: 45.75″
Chokes Includes 5 (F,IM,M,IC,C)
Stock Turkish Walnut with Pistol Grip
MSRP: $762.00
Street Price: ~ $620.00

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CZ 557 Carbine 270 Rifle

| January 23, 2017
cz 557 carbine 270
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.


I recently acquired a CZ 557 Carbine Rifle chambered in 270. I was looking for an accurate medium and big game rifle chambered in .270. Specifically, I wanted an accurate, durable rifle with a quality carbine length barrel, fixed sights, a good trigger, smooth bolt operation, and good furniture.

I found all of that with the CZ 557 carbine. The 557 action is a departure from the Mauser style controlled feed used in CZ 550 model rifles. The action of the 557 is a push feed bolt design with dual locking lugs, a plunger-type ejector and short extractor, housed in a steel receiver machined from a single billet of steel. It also features a trigger that breaks very cleanly. The oil finished walnut is attractive, the checkering clean, and the fit to the nicely blued receiver is great. The magazine is a fixed 4+1 with a hinged floor plate, and the barrel is cold hammer forged with a 1:10 twist. CZ does some interesting stuff to create both accurate and durable barrels from the factory. Its worth checking out the CZ site and reading up on it, but not the point of this post.

The front sight is a fiber optic sight, protected by a shroud designed to let light in, but 19mm CZ style dovetails on the receiver do allow the rifle to be scoped.

The CZ 557 is a discontinued model as of 2016, so I felt like I would regret not buying one in a year or two when stock was all gone. Its a classic looking rifle with some modern changes for CZ. Besides using a push feed action versus a controlled feed, CZ has done away with the set trigger from other models in favor of a light and crisp trigger that breaks cleanly with about 3.5 lbs of force, from the factory. It may actually be the best factory mass produced and shipped trigger on the market.

I decided on the CZ 557 chambered in 270 because a range of modern and affordable ammo exists for it, compared to say 7mm 08, and its a relatively fast and flat shooter, with a lot of energy.

The gun shoulders nicely and recoil is very manageable with both 130gr and 150gr ammo. Fast target acquisition is made possible with the fixed sights, and a smooth bolt operation males quick follow up shots easy.

Sure you can get a budget Savage or Ruger American, or both for the street price of a CZ 557, but both of those guns feel like what you paid for them, and use a lot of plastic, whereas the CZ feels like a much more expensive gun with much nicer furniture.

I bought the 557 for $620, but the current street price is just over $700. At that price, its still an exceptional gun. I’ll replace a few of the above photos with better ones as soon as I can. In tho photos above I included a group of 3 150gr shots taken at about 55 yards from a knee in the snow, off of a wobbly bipod. The rifle is more accurate than my group would suggest, but given the conditions, poor rest, and and it being some of the first few shots taken with the gun, I think it shows the quality and shootablity of the gun, unscoped, in marginal conditions.

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