Thursday, October 6, 2016

CZ 527 7.62x39: or: your Czechoslovakian quickie (review)

CZ has long made quality bolt action rifles in both the center-fire and rim-fire offerings, I'm a huge fan of the 452 and 550 magnum type actions (for the most part) and have recently come into possession of a CZ 527 carbine for a quick review. This 527 is termed a "micro carbine" by CZ and when you pick one up you'll know why. At just under 37.5" long (just short of a meter) and a fuzz over 6 lbs this little carbine is a handy package for the woods. Available in a number of chambers including .204 .223 .222 .221 fireball, .22 and .17 hornet as well as 7.62x39 this carbine offers something to everybody looking to hunt ground hogs to deer sized game.

The example I have in front of me is the 7.62x39 version, I picked this as one does not come across a true .310 barreled 7.62x39 bolt action rifle easily. Most 7.62x39 offerings domestically tend to use a .308 bullet which is noble however annoying if you're trying to use surplus ammo sometimes.  All my 7.62x39 guns thus far are of Russian decent so I'm not sure how much of a issue surplus ammo might be in those .308 barreled guns but I'm willing to bet many a forum thread has been dead horsed on the subject. 

Annoyingly (for one handed carrying) the balance point is right at the magazine

As it were I thought the 527 in the 7.62x39 selection would be a handy package for the compact carbine collection and kind of is but it has some draw backs. Some of which can be fixed....others that can't be so easily.

I like the gun, its size and weight are great and holy crap does this thing shoot. When fed top shelf ammo (Lapua) it will give you some impressive groups. Now admittedly I never shot this with a scope (con- proprietary scope rings) so my groups were all with the irons. 5 shots in a playing card is easy with the irons at 50 yards, 100 yards you can double that unless you go with glass in which case you'll probably clover leaf shots.  Even the steel cased ammo shot very well, anybody who says the 7.62x39 is not a accurate round can go ahead and leave now. The rifle has a set trigger that can also help shrink groups even more. The gun bucks as a 6 lb carbine chambered in a mid power 30 caliber cartridge should and throws quite a muzzle flash when conditions are right.

After the first or second range trip I had to send the rifle back to the factory to be restocked. The recoil and the tight fit of the stock in the rear did not go well together and split the stock in 2 places at the tang of the receiver. CZ put the action in a new stock and bedded the recoil lug for me and I've had no problems since.  A friend who shot it noticed the bolt key-ways need cleaned up a bit and I agree they could be smoother as well. 

Inline image 1
Cracks in stock after fewer than 50 rounds

I do like the carbine but I'm not SOLD on it fully yet as a useful addition to the selection. The shortcomings are pretty significant,  adjustable sights being a huge one for me, for what you pay for the carbine I feel as though adjustable sights should be there. At least give the customer a few different height front sights to swap out, the rear is drift-able (word?)  for windage but one front insert is not enough especially if you are using steel cased ammo vs something hotter like older Yugoslavian stuff.

Light weight
Ammo availability
Strong action

Balance point for carrying (is ok to carry magazine up one handed)
Carbine & spare magazine cost
Semi fixed irons
Slippery stock out of the box
Backwards safety ( forward is safe)

So there it is, my thoughts on the CZ 527 in 7.62x39, its a great little carbine and has a TON of potential. If you're looking for a bolt action rifle to share ammo with your SKS or AK's this is your answer....scope it and you'll be very happy.  It is very utilitarian in all areas except cost if you decide to try and grab one of these sweet carbines prepare for a little sticker shock.  I think a suppressor would be marvelous on this as well but as of now CZ does not offer any threaded from the factory.