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Old December 13, 2012, 11:25 PM   #1
SerenityNetworks
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Which CZ 527 in .204

I've achieved brain lock; my next rifle will be a CZ 527 in .204. However, I am totally befuddled on the barrels and even stock choices. I will be putting holes in paper, yet my bigger objective is to shoot little critters. I want a 24" heavy barrel, but which model has one?

I look at CZ-USA and they show:
1) Varmint as having a "Heavy, Cold Hammer Forged" barrel
2) Varmint-Target as having a "Cold Hammer Forged" barrel (note they don't say "Heavy")
I look at Bud's and they show:
1) Varmint - they don't say anyting.
2) Varmint-Target as having a "Hammer-forged heavy" barrel
I look at Able's and they show:
1) Varmint as having a "Hvy BBL", but they also list a kevlar stock in addition to the walnut stock
2) Varmint-Target - I don't see a listing

So my questions...
  • Does the Varmint-Target Model have a "heavy" barrel as does the Varmint Model? (I would think so, but the CZ site got me wondering.)
  • If both the Varmint and the Varmint-Target have a "heavy" barrel then...
    • Does the Kevlar really give me any advantage over the Walnut or Laminate? (If the barrel is bedded and free floated then I'm just not seeing how it matters.)
    • Is there any significant advantage to the butt ugly Target-Varmint style stock?
    • Are there wood choices with the Varmint model in .204 that I'm missing? In some places I see Walnut and some say Laminiate, where CZ just shows Walnut for the .204 in the Varmint model.)

I'd appreciate any experience you all can give me. I'm stumped.

I don't mind Kevlar or composite, but I love wood. I don't mind utilitarian or futuristic designs, but the Varmint-Target model is just plain ol' butt ugly IMO. (While I don't mind the look of the TC Dimension at all. Go figure. I'd even get one in .204 if I thought it could shoot as good as the CZ.)

Thanks in advance,
Andrew

PS. I said I've achieved "brain lock" with the CZ 527, but that's not actually true. I have yet to hold one in my hands. That could unfreeze my mind rather quickly. I simply will not struggle with trying to work with a gun that just doesn't fit me. I've been down that path before with really fine shotguns and won't try to go there with a rifle. If it doesn't shoulder correctly right out of the box I'm not going to try and fix it.
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Old December 14, 2012, 10:47 AM   #2
Three44s
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Relax!

OK, relax! lol!!

Think about what you really want ......... looks or utility?

My experience is that a utility stock looks better scratched up than a beautiful wood one does. But a nice wood stock in nice shape is incomparable!

So it comes down to what you want!

The rifle and the cartridge:

I don't own a CZ in .204 but a friend does. I do have a Savage I built into a .204 and I do own a CZ 527 American in .223.

My CZ has a wood stock and a light sporter barrel. The stock even for CZ's was drop dead gorgeous! As a farmers gun, it's scratched up a far amount.

The weapons are great ....... the caliber is GREAT!!! ......... so you will have a great ride once you make up your mind what you want out this purchase!!

A heavier barrel than my light sporter on my 527 would be a definite asset for "fine" shooting ........ When I am packin' I love the lightness. When I go to shoot, I wish it's gain some pounds for the moment .......

But alas, you can't have everything .......... but it's nice to dream!!

Between the two of us, my friend and I, we have found the bench mark for performance in the .204 is the factory Hornady load with the 32 gr. V-max. Our experience has been very good accuracy with it and not as good with the 40 gr. load. I have handloaded the .204 as well and that same bullet, the 32, runs even tighter groups than the factory but not by much but less speed. I qualify that in that I don't have CFE powder (the factory load uses this if I am not mistaken) though.

Good luck with your choice and best regards

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Old December 14, 2012, 01:41 PM   #3
SerenityNetworks
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Thanks for the input.

I always liked Wehle's thoughts on new things. He's an old horse/dog trainer. He would always pick up a new saddle on a rainy day. Once on the gravel road towards home he would find a good puddle, toss in the saddle, and jump on it. Now he didn't have to baby it or worry about scratching it up. The exercise made it a working tool.

My guns are working tools. I care for them, but I don't baby them. They get scratched and bumped, bluing gets worn off, and finishes fade. But I still prefer wood (and I'm not against saving money either).

Anyway, do the rifles with Kevlar stocks really have better accuracy and is the Varmint-Target model inherently more accurate (or is it just the stock design)?

Thanks again,
Andrew



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Old December 15, 2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Andrew- I don't have anything with a kevlar stock on it, but I do have both the Varmint and American models of the 527 in .223Rem. They shoot incredibly well! One question that pops into my noggin is: Do you reload?

The reason for that question is, well, I believe any difference between the models you're looking at won't become evident until you really set into developing a home rolled cartridge for it. Otherwise, you'll be at the mercy of the factory ammo selections IMHO.

For the most part, I find that I haul out my American model much more over the past couple of years because it just makes a better truck/pasture rifle than the Varmint. I do enjoy and strive for the longer shots when it comes to pasture poodles- and I thought the Varmint would be the greatest thing since white sliced bread. And, it is in it's own right, but it really doesn't perform any better than the other- and the American is just a bit handier to poke in and out of windows, up and down windmills, over fences, on and off implements, etc.

Anyway, got a bit off track. So I'd be inclined to suggest the laminate stocked (or plain stocked) Varmint model unless you can squeeze every last bit of benefit out of the kevlar stocked model by reloading. I honestly believe the difference isn't all that great.
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Old December 17, 2012, 01:12 PM   #5
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Thank you 10-96. This is really what I was hoping to hear. I suspected as such, but really wanted some confirmation from someone with some experience.

I'm just starting to reload. Also, it's just this last year that I'm getting back to riflery, after being a shotgun only guy for 38 years. I'm sure it's going to awhile, if ever, before I can wring out the last little bit of performance from anything. Besides, I'd rather spend more time in the field than I would at a range anyway. I'm not sure I want to be one of the guys that can wring out the last bit of performance from something, although I can certainly see the attraction. (It calls to the perfectionist in me.)

Anyway, thank you again,
Andrew

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Old December 17, 2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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A few honest questions to ask yourself before buying.

How far are you going to be carrying it? (The farther you carry one the more you will dislike a heavy barrel. If not carrying far then a heavy barrel is a moot point.)

How fast do plan on firing the next shot? (Heavy barrels will go more shots before heating up. The trade off is that they take longer to cool off as well. .204 is barrel warming round the light sporter barrel will get hot faster. This will take a toll on accuracy if you are on a large dog town with targets galore.)

How rough of conditions are you going to be shooting it in? (If cold, wet, raining, heavy brush, on the seat in a farm truck going through bumpy pastures Then the synthetic stock would hide a great deal more dings. Though the wood stocks of CZ rifles are thing of beauty to behold.)

Oh and I own a 527 American in .221 Rem Fireball with a sporter barrel. The stock is walnut, and the finish on it is pretty as a picture. The bluing on it is of great quality. Very rich, and lusturous deep black, and glossy. It is factory floated. Accuracy is well greater than I will ever be able to milk it for. One hole groups at 100 yards are not that difficult to do at all.
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Old December 18, 2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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SerenityNetworks,

I have a .223 CZ 527 Varmint with the Kevlar stock (mine is HS Precision , but they switched to Bell and Carlson since I bought mine).
A CZ 527 isn't a heavy rifle to begin with so I doubt that you would notice the Varmint barrel which is tapered so it isn't a fat heavy barrel but not a thin barrel either. The Kevlar stock seems to be virtually indistructable and is a great hunting rifle.

When I bought it, the CZ dealer asked me if I intended to shoot with a bipod. I said yes and he recommended the Kevlar stock over the laminate (both the same price).
He said both were stiff enough but the Kevlar stock seemed to shoot better over a bipod. He had both in his personal collection and showed me pictures of multiple targets for the two rifles and he was right. Both were tack drivers but the kevlar stock seemed to perform slightly better over a bipod with the same ammo for some reason.
The Kevlar stock was also lighter than the laminate. Both stocks are stiffer and less prone to warping than the pure wood stock version.

My kevlar stock 527 is a real shooter. It averages under 0.33 at 100 yards with its favorite 5 hand loads.

I liked the Kevlar stock so much that I bought a CZ 550 in .30-06 with a Kevlar stock.
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Old December 18, 2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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My experience with the CZ is that the CHF barrels while they do get as hot as any other, don't seem to experience the deflection and accuracy robbing warpage that other barrels seem to experience.

I have for years shot my LUX with its soda straw barrel on prairie dog shoots, and I had not issues connecting at 400 + yards with it, so long as my wind and drop calls were right.

Too I find the walnut CZ stocks have narrow wrists which makes them much easier to carry in the field, and to shoot well from standing or kneeling.

I would get the "American" version, as it is overall lighter, and the 204 most certainly is not what one would call a high recoil type cartridge.

Good luck in your quest.
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Old December 19, 2012, 04:25 PM   #9
SerenityNetworks
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Wow. What a variety of experience. Thank you. I will need to consider all this input. Although even with the range of experiences I'm more comfortable than ever about being able to make the "right" choice, in-as-much that I'm not sure I can make the "wrong" choice with any of the models. All are fine shooters and even the poorest shooter in the lot will likely still exceed my abilities for quite a few years - if not forever.

Right now, I think the toughest problem will be just getting one to hold. I will have a hard time buying any gun that I haven't at the very least held. I queried CZ-USA's web site for dealers in my area. I've called all of the dealers listed out to 45 miles from my home (about 18 or 19 of them) and have yet to find one that has any, of any 527 variety, in stock. There was one shop that answered after-hours and thought he might have one; I'll call him back later today.

Thanks again,
Andrew

PS. By-the-way, what's a CHF barrel?

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Old December 19, 2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
By-the-way, what's a CHF barrel?
Cold Hammer Forged. Just one of several ways to make a barrel. Some folks think cold forged is better.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:39 PM   #11
SerenityNetworks
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Got it. (CHF) I've read about it, but didn't make the connection to the acronym. Thank you.
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