Wishing you all a Happy New Year in 2020

CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Put your range reports for all brands and types of firearms and other items.
Post Reply
User avatar
6MT
Tenderfoot
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:34 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada
Canada

CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by 6MT » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:31 pm

So here's my new CZ-527 Varmint in .223rem with a 1:9" heavy 25" barrel. I topped it off with a Vortex Viper HS 4-16x44 and a Harris bipod. This will be my new 300 yard gopher, rabbit, and coyote gun.

Image

These rifles have not been without their own set of issues over the years. One of the first I heard about was that the barrels were not free floated. So after I received mine, this was one of the first things I checked. A piece of paper under the barrel and between the stock confirmed mine was indeed free floated. I'm glad CZ seems to have gotten their factory quality issues sorted out.

The second thing was many complaints about the "stickiness" of the bolt when cycling the action. Mine was indeed like this, but it was also bone dry out of the box. A quick search on YouTube and I found a few videos showing how to solve the problem. Some fine grit rubbing compound and crocus cloth and some light massaging in three different areas for about 5 minutes seems to have helped. Then a very small amount of G96 lube, and the action now cycles buttery smooth.

CZ also has a somewhat "proprietary" mount for rings. Finding a set proved more difficult than I expected. Also, earlier versions of this "mini-mauser" bolt handle proved tricky when mounting a scope. You had to have very high rings so the bolt knob would not conflict with your scope. Thankfully, CZ changed the bolt handle design and this problem is not as tricky now.

But as you can see, I seemed to have gotten the "geometry" just about perfect.

Image

BTW, those are Leupold rings. And I also got the scope nice and low over the barrel.

Image

So, I've been out twice with the new stick. I tested 5 different charge weights. With 26.3gr being the best of the bunch at 2970fps velocity and 3/4moa at 102 yards. I decided on the second trip to try a last weight of 26.6gr to see if I could squeeze out any better accuracy. It actually was just a bit better. The speed was 3012fps and it is a consistent 1/2moa now (when I do my part).

I found the lands with the Hornady OAL gauge. I decided to use a .010" jump and the accuracy of the rifle seems to agree, this is a good seating depth.

Also this combination of bullet and seating depth works very well with magazine feeding. There's about .070" from the end of the bullet to the mag edge. Again, the "geometry" here is wonderful with room to spare.

Image

You can see above the length of the long seated 69gr SMK in the magazine. The COAL of this loaded round is 2.274", and the maximum length that the magazine will hold is 2.344". So, there is still some room to spare.

Image

Load info:
Brass: Lapua
Bullet: Sierra 69gr SMK
Primer: CCI BR4
Powder: BLC-2 26.6gr 3012fps (10 shot ave.) S.D.=9.2 E.S.=7.0
COAL (ogive measurement): 1.885" with a .010" jump

I was also curious to see just how the 69gr SMK would perform beyond 300m. So I did some plinking out to 500m. It was a very calm Sunday...and it seemed I was having a hard time missing a 12" gong at that distance. (EDIT: it was a 6" gong, sorry.)

Image

I really like this rifle. The smaller stock fits me beautifully. And the wood is pretty to boot. The quality feel, fit and finish is pretty much CZ....excellent. And if you've never tried CZ's "set trigger", you're in for a pleasant surprise. By moving the trigger blade forward after you have it cocked, it gives a very light and crisp break. There is really no creep either when you've got it forward in the lighter setting. I would estimate that the pull is less than a pound.

Here's a picture of both trigger positions when cocked. Normal on the left and the set position on the right.

Image Image


The heavier contour barrel did heat up with quicker shooting. Although with the 5 round magazine, I could let it cool down between mag reloads. The "mini-Mauser" action is a well proven design and there were no feed or extraction issues. The Vortex scope is as advertised... not top notch, but decent enough to 300m (which is just what I am looking for in this set-up).

Cleaning is a breeze. But the "latch" or "button" release to remove the bolt also needs to be pressed to get it back into the action. That's something I wasn't used to, and I had some pretty perplexing moments the first time I tried to put the bolt back. It also has a "European" style magazine release button. I takes a bit of getting used to since it is not at the rear of the mag, but on the right side. Some have complained about the look of the single stack magazine with this rifle. For me? ....meh. I don't mind one way or the other, just as long as there is a detachable mag to feed it with. Although the price of these mags are almost criminal.

I've owned a CZ-527 before. It was the shorter carbine in 7.62x39. It was pretty similar in performance except for accuracy (the x39 round is not really known for its accuracy). I find that the 25" barrel on this rifle is the ideal trade off between "compactness" and versatility. This is going to make a pretty decent bush gun. Recoil is really small being a .223, so follow-up shots are very easy to get on target.


So all in all, I would rate this around an 8.5 out of 10. For what my stated purpose is...an up to 300yd varmint gun, it fits the bill very well.

Richardson's beware :sniper:

Image

Many thanks to Clay at Prophet River for the extremely fast 2 day service to get the rifle.

Andy 6MT


********************************************************************

I was rechecking my zero today when I shot this group (after the sighter). Pretty good for a factory rifle.

Image

I really like this rifle!!
2 x

User avatar
Rifletom
Cattle Driver
Posts: 862
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:26 pm
Location: California Territory
United States of America

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by Rifletom » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:06 pm

First, I will certainly agree that rig came together well and shoots! Second, I'd like to say your photos and history of rifle development are top notch. Well said. It was a very good read. Thanks. Oh btw, like your powder choice for the .223; you just don't hear much about BLC-2 nowadays. Excellent powder.
0 x

User avatar
BigAl52
Deputy Marshal
Posts: 5050
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:43 pm
Location: Evans,Colorado
United States of America

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by BigAl52 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:12 pm

Agree with Tom great informative write up with top notch pictures. I happen to have one of those 7.62x 39 CZ rifles. It has really nice wood on it and mine shoots very well with some of that steel case ammo. I love the set trigger on it. Thats some great shooting by the way to.
0 x
Young guys should hang out with old guys cause old guys know something

SGC .22LR .22MAG
H001T .22LR
H001T .22LR MONUMENT VALLEY
H003T PUMP .22LR
BBBC .45 COLT
CCH 45-70
AW 45-70
BBS .41 MAG
BBB .357
CCHC .357
SS .357
SIDE GATE 38-55

User avatar
6MT
Tenderfoot
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:34 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada
Canada

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by 6MT » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:21 pm

Thanks guys. I'll periodically post reviews.
0 x

User avatar
North Country Gal
Firearms Advisor
Posts: 3534
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:46 pm
Location: northern Wisconsin
United States of America

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by North Country Gal » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:40 pm

Well written and organized range report. I do appreciate it.

I've had about half dozen 527s over the years and all shot well with some tuning. They do smooth up a lot with use, but, like you, I always polish mine to get a head start.

Had a carbine in 7.62x39, too, but that was back before the sanctions on Russia when you could get ammo ridiculously cheap. When ammo prices went up, sold it off because we could shoot our 527 in 223 almost as cheap, but with much better accuracy.

There is a single shot adapter called Bobsled (got it from Midway) that I use on 223 American. It would give you a way to play with COL if you want.

We use our 223 just for paper punching with bulk ammo, but it does very well even with that ammo. Makes for an economical gun to shoot.
0 x

User avatar
Sir Henry
Administrator / Owner
Posts: 5415
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:58 pm
Location: King County, Washington State
United States of America

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by Sir Henry » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:07 pm

Well written and great photography. I especially liked the rifle in the grass.
0 x
Hi, my name is Gene and I'm a Henryholic.

Range Reporter: Henry Repeater

User avatar
fortyshooter
Cattle Driver
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:37 am
Location: Va.
United States of America

Re: CZ-527 Varmint .223rem review

Post by fortyshooter » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:20 pm

Great review and very good load development. Now for fun get you a little 4 inch pumpkin set it out 300 yds. and make it
disappear!! Bet you can do it!!
0 x

Post Reply