Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CZ 452 American Left Hand .22LR | Review

CZ 452 American Left Hand
I am a rare breed. I have only met a few others afflicted with my condition, and many of them struggled with it for years before realizing there was a solution. I am right handed, but left eye dominant. My left eye is so much more dominant than my right that I have a 'depth perception deficiency'. Yes, that is a real thing; it actually bared me from employment with the Department of Homeland Security. But I Digress... I still shoot a pistol right handed, but I am forced to shoot a rifle left handed. When I went looking for a new .22LR rifle to plink with I immediately decided I wanted a bolt action and looked at the usually companies that offer a left handed bolt.

Marlin and Savage offer several left handed models at good prices, but I'm not a big fan of the aesthetics a laminated or thumb-hole stocks provide; which eliminates many of them. That is when I found the CZ 452 American.

First Impressions
The CZ 452 American was about double the price of the Savage models, but its quality was well worth the price. What caught my eye first about the 452 American was that it didn't look like it shot .22LR. It has very nice checkering on the pistol grip and forend. The bluing on the cold hammer forged 22.5" barrel almost put to shame the high gloss bluing on my Remington 700 BDL. I couldn't stop looking at the grain in the Turkish walnut stock, someone had a good eye for timber when they slayed this one. Like "they" say, first impressions are everything and my first impression was; CZ can make a beautiful rifle, but can it shoot?

Can it Shoot?
I decided to utilize the 3/8" dovetail receiver and mount a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32 scope with a set of Weaver rings. I didn't want a huge bench rest scope that would make it unwieldy in the woods and add too much weight to its 5.9 lbs. body. For my range trip I attached a Harris bi-pod to the front sling swivel to aid in shooting at the ten targets I had prepared.

The afternoon I arrived at the range it was a sunny 42 degrees with no wind present. I shot ten different loads from four manufactures to see which the 452 preferred. The loads are as follows:
  1. Federal Bulk Pack...............................36gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1260 fps
  2. Federal SpitFire..................................31gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1500 fps
  3. CCI Mini-Mag....................................36gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1260 fps
  4. CCI Velocitor.....................................40gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1435 fps
  5. CCI Stinger.........................................32gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1640 fps
  6. Winchester Bulk Pack.........................36gr. - Copper Plated HP - 1280 fps
  7. Winchester Wildcat.............................40gr. - Lead Round Nose - Not Given
  8. Remington Bulk Pack (Golden Bullet)..36gr. - Brass Plated HP - 1280 fps
  9. Remington Cyclone.............................36gr. - Lead Round Nose HP - 1280 fps
  10. Remington Yellow Jacket....................33gr.- Truncated Cone HP - 1500 fps
After an initial zero was established at 50 yards I began loading and firing the five shot detachable magazine. I fired five rounds of ammunition at its respective target. I want to state before we go too far, I am NOT the best shot ever and I did pull some shots. However, I tried my best to group each cartridge and measured the entire five shot group.

The rifle shouldered great and my cheek found a comfortable spot without much effort. The bolt cycled as smooth as could be expected. As advertised the trigger is user adjustable, but I found the factory setting suitable. There is some creep in the trigger, but once taken up, it broke cleanly. Throughout the range visit the factory five round magazine fed without a hiccup.

Results
Click on any of the pics to enlarge

In order of shot group size (smallest to largest):
  1. Remington Cyclone.............................0.48" $24.52/500rds
  2. CCI Velocitor.....................................1.12" $5.09/50rds
  3. Remington Yellow Jacket....................1.17" $3.81/50rds
  4. CCI Mini-Mag....................................1.18" $6.11/100rds
  5. CCI Stinger........................................1.36" $5.09/50rds
  6. Winchester Wildcat.............................1.37" $1.71/50rds
  7. Winchester Bulk Pack.........................1.56" $14.99/333rds
  8. Remington Bulk Pack (Golden Bullet)..1.75" $2.78/50rds
  9. Federal Spitfire....................................1.81" $3.99/50rds
  10. Federal Bulk Pack...............................1.85" $22.49/525rds
As expected, the three bulk pack ammunition placed in the bottom four. Before I started shooting I had placed my money on the CCI Stinger making the tightest group, and was amazed as I shot the Remington Cyclone. Every group is well within 'minute-of-squirrl', but I will be buying Remington Cyclone in bulk for my CZ 452 because it shoots sub-MOA.
Since seeing how accurate the rifle can be, I have replaced the Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32 with a Nikon Monarch 3-12x42.

Critiques
A common complaint with the CZ 452 is that the trigger guard doesn't get very much love from CZ. It is just a piece of rolled sheet metal and it's a pity they didn't pay a little more attention to it. My other aesthetic critique is that I would like to see a pistol grip cap on the rifle. This is by no means a deal breaker, but it might be a fun project to make one.
When the factory five round magazine is seated, it doesn't fit flush into the stock. It protrudes a bit, which takes away from the CZ 452's beautiful lines. You can also purchase a ten round magazine if you have several varmints to dispatch.
The trigger is user adjustable, but I can't seem to get all of the creep out. There are a few aftermarket replacements that boast 'no creep', but the trigger breaks well from the factory.
The safety doesn't feel like it would be easy or quick to disengage to take a quick shot. I am use to operating a Remington 700's safety, which you push forward to fire and pull back to engage. The CZ 452's is the exact opposite. This will just take some familiarization training to overcome.

Ratings (Out of Five)
Style: ****
Its bold lines make the American a sleek .22LR that looks like it should be firing a centerfire cartridge. If CZ spent a little more time on the trigger guard it would receive all five stars.

Ergonomics:***1/2
Operation of the bolt is a little difficult with large hands and operation of the safety has a bit of a learning curve.

Reliability:*****
The CZ 452 American fed and ejected each round without even a hiccup.

Accuracy:****1/2
I am more than pleased with the accuracy of the rifle. Showing that it is capable of sub-MOA with the right ammunition. The hammer-forged barrel marries well with the, made from billet, receiver to create a tack driver. It would receive all five stars if they worked on the trigger creep some.

Overall:****
Even if you're not left handed, you need to check out the CZ452 if you're in the market for a new bolt action .22LR.

Technical Specifications
MSRP: $443.00
Ammunition: .22LR
Magazine: 5 Round Detachable
Rate of Twist: 1:16"
Weight: 5.9 lbs.
Overall Length: 40.2"
Barrel Length: 22.5" Cold Hammer Forged
Length of Pull: 13.7"
Barrel/Receiver Finish: Blued
Stock: Walnut
Trigger: Poundage Adjustable
Sights: No Sights; Integrated 3/8" Dovetail
Safety: Manual Firing Pin Block

F.Y.I.
CZ has discontinued all 452 models; except left handed models. The 452 is being replaced with the 455. The 455 looks like a great rifle with many refinements over the 452. If you want to know more, HotRod9mm has a very detailed side-by-side comparison the 452 vs. 455 over at Rimfire Shooting. I agree with HotRod9mm assessment, "I think CZ missed the boat by calling the 455 a “replacement” to the 452; rather they should have left it as the end of one model and the beginning of a new one."

About CZ
The history of Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod dates back to 1936, when it was established as a branch plant of Ceska zbrojovka located in town of Strakonice, based on a political decision of the National Defence Council. On 2 January 1937 production of a combined range of military and civilian arms commenced. The first products were aircraft machine guns, military pistols and small bore rifles. During the Nazi occupation period the plant was forced to produce and repair military arms. Continue Reading

-DoubleAught

Releated Posts:

7 comments:

  1. Your results with lessor expensive ammo is most interesting from an experienced shooter. I understand your test was performed under 10-15 practice rounds before going for groups. Thank you for performing your test and the time devoted for others to view. It would be interesting if you would try CCI Blazer, but I will find out next month when our WI weather hopefully turns to SPRING. Again thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the review. I can't get enough research to feed my desire for the CZ rimfires. My Ultra Lux (Super Exclusive) and my Scout both like the Winchester Sub-sonic 40grain hollowpoints.($3.50/50) Look forward to more on CZ, they are addictive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a CZ 452 Ultra Lux. Great rifle. The European stock takes a bit to get used if you are used to the less curved Amercian style stock. A great rifle for the price. It will be interesting to follow the 455.

    Good choice of ammo in the test. I have had better luck with Remington than Federal bulk. Remington does tend to shoot dirty, so keep it clean!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Among high velocity inexpensive ammo choices, I have found that Blazer from CCI usually shoots better than any other in high grade 22 rifles. Give it a try. For better yet accuracy go with standard velocity target ammo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have the CZ452 Ultralux. A great rifle with the smoothest bolt action around and outstanding accuracy. You had a nice selection of ammo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent review. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do this and post it online. It is so difficult to select a rifle these days and while there are plenty of reviews focusing on aesthetics of the gun and the like I am most interested in a rifles potential accuracy. Well done. More reviews should be like this one.

    ReplyDelete

RTB.net E-mail Updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner