CZ-USA in Kansas City, Kansas imports
some of the most handsome, useful, and well-made rifles
available. Most all of them feature good-looking and comfortable
walnut stocks, along with barrels and receivers made from
genuine polished blue steel. The CZ Model 527 is a particularly
handy little rifle, using a Mauser style action with
fixed ejector and claw extractor that is perfectly scaled to the
diminutive cartridges for which it is chambered.
It has been just over a year since I reviewed
the smaller Model 453 that was chambered
for the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire cartridge. It proved
to be an accurate and handy little rifle, so I was anxious to
get to shoot this slighter larger Model 527. The 527, like other
CZ bolt rifles, has an excellent set trigger. The trigger pull
is fully adjustable for weight of pull, engagement, and
overtravel. Pushing forward on the trigger places it in
“set” mode, and the release is both light and crisp,
contributing greatly to the practical accuracy of the weapon
both at the range and in the field.
The Model 527 wears a medium weight tapered
twenty-two inch barrel that is free-floated its entire length,
and has no sights mounted. The rifle has a five-shot detachable
box magazine. The magazine, like all of the metal parts on this
rifle, is made of steel. The checkered walnut stock is of the
classic straight-comb design, is equipped with sling swivel
studs fore and aft, and has a synthetic rubber butt pad that
fits the stock very well.
The CZ-527 reviewed here weighs in at just
barely under six pounds, and is chambered for the wonderfully
efficient .221 Remington Fireball cartridge. The Fireball was
introduced as a pistol cartridge almost fifty years ago, but I
think that in the compact CZ rifle, it has found a better home.
The 527 chambered for the Fireball has a one-in-twelve inch
twist. The trigger pull on the sample rifle measures three
pounds, two ounces in the normal mode, and one pound, four
ounces in the “set” mode. As noted earlier, it is
adjustable, but I left it alone, as it suited me perfectly. I
got in the habit of always firing it in the set mode, as it is a
wonderful trigger to use as such.
For accuracy testing, I mounted a favorite
Leupold VX-III 6.5 to 20 power target scope.
I fired the 527 for accuracy at 100 yards, and
with Remington 50 grain factory ammunition, the
performance was very good, grouping consistently into less than
one inch, with most groups under three-quarters of an inch. Four
groups were fired that measured only nine-sixteenths of an inch,
with one of those pictured here, along with a five-eighths inch
group. The Remington ammo averaged a velocity of 2931.2
feet-per-second (fps), with little variation. This was very
consistent ammunition, and I am sure that the larger groups were
my fault, as I am certainly no expert marksman, but even the
largest group fired with the Remington ammunition still went
into a cluster of less than one inch at 100 yards. The wonderful
trigger made shooting good groups pretty easy from the bench. I
rested the rifle in a Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 1000 rifle rest for all accuracy
testing. Handloads also performed admirably. I usually reach for
Barnes Varmint Grenades when testing any .22 caliber
centerfire cartridge, and was anxious to try them in the 527,
but they did not perform well in this particular rifle. Weighing
in at only thirty-six grains, I pushed them up to speeds as high
as 3567 fps out of the CZ’s barrel, but groups were in the one
and one-half inch range, no matter the bullet speed. Trying Hornady
52 grain hollowpoint match bullets resulted in superb accuracy,
at a velocity of 3032.1 fps clocked ten feet from the muzzle.
This load used a Remington Number 7 ˝ primer and 16.7 grains of
H4227 powder. Other powders that proved well-suited to the .221
Fireball were Hodgdon Lil’Gun
and Accurate Arms 1680.
After accuracy testing was complete, I mounted a
Leupold Compact 2 to 7 power scope, which is much better suited
to the trim lines of the little 527. The CZ 527 has scope bases
integral with the receiver, and comes from the factory with
scope rings. However, for some reason the rings were not in the
box with the test rifle, so I mounted the scopes using Warne rings
which are made to fit the 527 bases. The Compact Leupold was
used for field shooting with the 527, and also while shooting
the rifle at the Confederate Sixgunners Association
gathering near Clarksville, Arkansas. The CSA is a
loosely-formed informal group that meets each Spring for a
weekend of shooting and fellowship, and the little CZ 527
performed admirably. I had two boxes of Remington factory ammo
left, and my good friend Chuck Smith sent most of it down
range, firing at target at various ranges. Chuck is very handy
with a rifle, and is a great fan of CZ rifles in general, and
the trim little 452, 453, and 527 Models in particular. The
controlled-round feed, detachable box magazine, classic trim
lines, and set trigger endeared the rifle to all who handled it,
and Chuck fell in love with the little Fireball.
CZ continues to listen to rifle shooters, and to
manufacture rifles that are not just a copy of what others
offer. CZ rifles fill a niche which needed filling, especially
with this little Fireball. The .221 Fireball is a wonderfully
efficient little cartridge that offers a lot of performance in a
small package, and the CZ 527 is a rifle which is perfectly
scaled to the svelte dimensions of the dandy little cartridge.
It is built of blued steel and walnut by craftsmen who know what
a rifle should be, is easy to use, very accurate, and priced
Check out the entire line of CZ rifles,
shotguns, and handguns online at www.cz-usa.com.
For the location of a CZ dealer near you, click
on the DEALER FINDER icon at www.lipseys.com.
To order the 527 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For a detailed look at the extensive line of
quality Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Our friend and brother Shootist, Captain
Chuck Smith, fires the CZ 527 at the Confederate
Sixgunners Association shoot.
Author used Leupold VX-III 6.5-20x
scope and Target Shooting, Inc. Model 1000 Rifle Rest
for accuracy testing.
Leupold's 2-7x Compact scope is a
perfect match for the handy 527.
Warne rings were used to mount both
Accuracy was excellent, as we have
come to expect from CZ.
Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or
disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.