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Old March 1, 2013, 09:42 PM   #1
Clevinger
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CZ 550 American versus Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

Trying to decide between these two rifles for a 243 Winchester round.

Push me one way or another. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I have heard the CZ 550 American models are awesome.
2. I already own a Model 70 Super Grade in 30-06 and really like it.
3. I had a CZ 75B and wasn't happy with all the machine marks and sloppy construction from CZ (in that particular gun). It had feeding problems too. Did I get a lemon? Maybe, but it was a bad experience. I sold it.
4. Again, I have heard CZ 550 American models are awesome.

Should I give CZ a second chance or stick with the model 70?

CZ 550 American


Model 70 Featherweight
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:44 PM   #2
Striker1
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Just out of curiosity, how accurate was the CZ75B?
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:49 PM   #3
Clevinger
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Quote:
Just out of curiosity, how accurate was the CZ75B?
Very.

Very, very accurate.

I kept it clean like my other pistols (which have never had any issues). I was put off by all the machine marks from the get go, and then when it had feeding issues I sold it.

I wish it had gone differently. It was fun to shoot.
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Old March 1, 2013, 10:04 PM   #4
Striker1
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I had on in .40 S&W, with the same marks but it was so accurate and reliable, I didn't mind at all. Those type things don't bother me especially if they are internal and don't affect function.

Concerning the rifle, I can't comment on the M70 but I have a CZ 550 Premium in .270 that I picked up back in '03. The rifle is sub-MOA accurate with several factory loads and all my hand loads. The stock is a very plain Turkish walnut and the bluing is well done. Some rave about the single set trigger, but I never use it. Also, the instruction manual covers how to adjust the trigger if you desire.

Bottom line - It shoots lights out and that's is the determining factor for me, not how "purdy" it might be.

I think what you'll find if you actually get to look at and handle these rifles, is some may have beautiful wood and some may not, but I have yet to hear of one that won't shoot.
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Old March 1, 2013, 10:09 PM   #5
reynolds357
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CZ Pistols are awesome. I have 7 different varriants of the 75b. The 550 American is a great rifle. I have one in 6.5X55. My only problem with it is the stock is too pretty to hunt with.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:44 PM   #6
PatientWolf
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Wow. Tough choice. The Model 70 is legendary, but you already have one. The CZ is beautiful (if that is the one you are actually looking at). Both get graeat reviews. I'm sorry, but I can't tell you which to chose. If both fit me the same, I would probably go with the Model 70, but then, I don't have one.

I don't think you'll be unhappy with either.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:49 PM   #7
Clevinger
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Quote:
CZ Pistols are awesome. I have 7 different varriants of the 75b. The 550 American is a great rifle. I have one in 6.5X55. My only problem with it is the stock is too pretty to hunt with.
Put it this way: It says a lot about CZ's reputation and the reputation of the 550 that I am even considering taking another bite of the CZ apple.

I wasn't trying to knock them, and I know most people love CZ. I'm just can't discount the previous experience with the 75B.

Does your 550 have machine marks or other blemishes from the factory?
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Old March 2, 2013, 12:17 AM   #8
phil mcwilliam
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The CZ550 weighs over a pound more than the Winchester. It would be good for you to handle a CZ & compare how it fits you compared to the Winchester.
CZ550's are reliable & accurate rifles, but so to is the Winchester model70. I haven't actually handled the new Winchester Model 70, but only hear good reports. Even though I own a CZ550 in 375H&H , if I was looking for a 243, I would probably go the Winchester.
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Old March 2, 2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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I have the CZ 243 awesome rifle very accurate I had a new model Winchester Model 70 in 30-06 Fwt. The Winchester is a great rifle it kicks way to hard for caliber it felt like a 300 mag. The CZ is heavy for caliber only complaint but it is smooth and reliable. My Winchester was smooth as well but since then I have felt new ones that were not in fact were very rough. I would look at both and see what you think if Winchester is smooth I would probably go for it in 243 heavier calibers would defintly go for CZ not doubt. FYI my CZ 75b and P01 are my favorite most dependable 9mm pistols I like them better than my Browning Hi Power.
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Last edited by roc1; March 2, 2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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I've no experience with the CZ 550. I tried the CZ pistols and found them to be the most over rated guns ever. Accurate yes, crudely built yes, but the reliablity was never there for me and I've found your experince quite common. Good range guns for punching holes in paper, but not a viable SD choice.

The CZ 452 American I have is a little crude with the metal work and the trigger is quite rough, but in spite of that it does shoot good.

The new production Winchesters however are the best built, most accurate rifles I've seen in a long time. Don't let the Featherweight name fool you. By 1950's standards it was a lightweight rifle, but today's Featherweight is about the same overall weight as everyone else's standard weight rifles. It is heavier than many of them. Winchester has done a great job of creating a well balanced rifle in the FW. Recoil is simply not going to be a problem.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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Re: CZ 550 American versus Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

People like roc1 that can provide a hands-on comparison may be your best guide. Here is all I can say:
- I have a CZ527 Varmint in .204 Ruger with a walnut stock and love it!
--I can shoot it near 1/2 MOA at 200 yards consistently, with factory ammo.
--I absolutely love the single set trigger and use it essentially all the time.
--It "fits" me very well. It comes to my shoulder consistently and where I want it. My cheek weld falls into place with my eye naturally in line with my optics whether using a sling (any position) or laying prone with a bipod. (The only two ways I usually shoot.)
--Oddly enough the balance feels good to me. I have no issues toting it around despite the mag' sticking out.
--The bluing is perfect.
--The action isn't all that smooth, but it's not bad and it's getting better with shooting.
-- But I think it's an ugly rifle. I don't mind the markings at all, but it is long and skinny, the magazine sticks out (a flush 3 round mag' would be just fine for me), the color of the walnut doesn't appeal to me, and while the quality of the checking is fine I personally don't care for it. Yet all that said, her performance is amazing and she became the queen of my harem after the first day I took her out.
-I have held a 70 to my shoulder at the store, although it didn't have a sling on it and I didn't try laying prone. It "felt" every bit as good as the CZ. But it didn't have a scope on it either and the trigger was locked up. In short, I couldn't even give it a "dry" run. But it's a very good looking rifle :-)
If you could just hold and dry fire each that might tell you all you need to know. At the time I wanted a .204 I couldn't find a CZ 527 of any kind to hold. I purchased it based on reputation and checking out other CZ models. I lucked out and got a rifle that I'm very pleased with, but it is not the way I'd recommend making a purchase.
Good luck,
Andrew
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:57 AM   #12
MrBorland
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I had a CZ550 and sorta have a M70 (FN SPR action bedded in a wood stock).

The CZ was a good rifle, but heavy, and I felt the LOP was a hair too long for my liking. I also didn't like the trigger, even though it had the single set trigger. I ended up replacing it with a Timney.

My 550 was chambered in 6.5x55, and for some reason, CZ uses a 1:9 twist, too slow for heavier bullets. Nearly all modern 6.5/.260 rifles are 1:8, it seems.

I also prefer the 3-position safety of the M70.
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:44 AM   #13
ripnbst
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CZ 550 American versus Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

Having never handled either one, I offer you this wisdom.

There is something to be said for the same manual of arms. If you own a M70 already, and it gets the reviews it does, and you like what you've got, why switch? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush right?

The M70 is something you already intimately familiar with and you like it. I see no logical reason for you to "chance it" on a CZ.

Buy the M70.
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Old March 2, 2013, 02:15 PM   #14
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I've never own or shot a Model 70 so I can't really give you a comparison. I will say this though. I have a CZ 527 in .223. It shoots very well, I love the single set trigger and the bore cleans up faster and easier than my 308 Krieger barrel and the Krieger cleans up pretty easily.
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Old March 2, 2013, 02:20 PM   #15
reynolds357
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It does not have what I would call machine marks that should not be there. If you look at the barrel very closely you can see where the lathe turned it. It is uniform for the entire length and was obviously left that way intentionally. Inside the action there are machine marks that are uniform. There are no stray or random machine marks. It really is a beautiful rifle. We discovered when we were putting a muzzle brake on it that the finish is actually a very deep shade of red and not blue. We could not match it so ended up finishing the brake the same color blue as the scope rings. Looks good that way. The trigger is awesome when it is set. I am not fond at all of it when its shot unset. One thing to keep in mind with CZ pistols is that the 75b is a military pistol and it likes very hot ammo. Change the spring if shooting anything not running high pressure. It also works best when you shoot it from a very firm stance.
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Old March 2, 2013, 03:23 PM   #16
30Cal
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Quote:
...I had a new model Winchester Model 70 in 30-06 Fwt. The Winchester is a great rifle it kicks way to hard for caliber it felt like a 300 mag. ...
roc1
The Featherweight is a hunting rifle, built for carrying all day. So it's not optimized for sitting at a bench at the range. It's going to kick more.
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Old March 2, 2013, 05:13 PM   #17
warbirdlover
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I would go with the CZ for the trigger. And the looks although the new 70's are nice looking I don't like the basic design.
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Old March 2, 2013, 06:18 PM   #18
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Re: CZ 550 American versus Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbirdlover View Post
I would go with the CZ... ...and the looks although the new 70's are nice looking I don't like the basic design.
That's what makes the world go 'round. My thoughts on the looks are exactly opposite.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:20 PM   #19
Striker1
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Actually, isn't the basic design the same for both rifles?
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:23 PM   #20
reynolds357
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Yep, Mauser clones.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:42 PM   #21
PVL
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I'd go for the Model 70, I've owned both guns in question and preferred the Winchester.

Both shoot just fine, but let us remember that we carry and admire our rifles much more than we shoot them, especially on a hunt.

The featherweight weighs less and looks better, nuff said.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:57 PM   #22
reynolds357
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Weighs less? Yes. Looks better? Thats all in the eye of whose looking.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:15 PM   #23
Striker1
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Quote:
I'd go for the Model 70, I've owned both guns in question and preferred the Winchester.

Both shoot just fine, but let us remember that we carry and admire our rifles much more than we shoot them, especially on a hunt.

The featherweight weighs less and looks better, nuff said.
Not so fast...I shoot mine much more than I hunt...Last time out in the field was '09 when I went on an Elk hunt...

Last edited by Striker1; March 2, 2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:46 PM   #24
stubbicatt
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I guess I have been lucky. I have never had a bad CZ. There have been some I didn't like so much, like the CZ75 Compact. I just never liked that pistol. I tried, but I failed.

The errant mill marks being what they are, I can relate, as I remember a Remington 40X I bought with those same mill marks under the rear receiver ring around the sear which put me off to Remington ever since.

I have had one apiece of the rimfire 452, the centerfire "mini" Mauser 527 and the standard sized 550. They have all been great rifles. My 527 was stolen, but I had at least 3000 rounds through that thing. I miss most the scope that was on it, as I was beginning to start to look around for a replacement barrel, or a replacement rifle.

I shot my 550 today. There is no doubt it is one of my finest rifles. Just a fantastic piece, accurate, and confidence inspiring.

I do not have a Model 70, but I do have a Model 54, its predecessor in production, and it is also a very high quality rifle, but I think it was made in 1926, so things were different then. 3 position "wing" safety, decent trigger, good sights, and shoots just fine if I do my part.

It seems to me that the weight of opinion here today is that you should get the Winchester. It also seems to me that you are leery of the CZ. If under these circumstances you buy the CZ, you will kick yourself for not listening to your reluctance if for some reason it disappoints. You will probably never really trust it, and it will have to work twice as hard to give you half the satisfaction you expect, while your desire for the Winchester is such that it could be half the rifle of the CZ, and give you all the satisfaction you seek.

Based on this, I'd suggest you get the Winchester. If it were me, it would be the CZ.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:53 PM   #25
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Re: CZ 550 American versus Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbicatt View Post
It seems to me that the weight of opinion here today is that you should get the Winchester. It also seems to me that you are leery of the CZ. If under these circumstances you buy the CZ, you will kick yourself for not listening to your reluctance if for some reason it disappoints. You will probably never really trust it, and it will have to work twice as hard to give you half the satisfaction you expect, while your desire for the Winchester is such that it could be half the rifle of the CZ, and give you all the satisfaction you seek.
Now that is wise and well stated.
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