THE CZ-452 SECRET
by Paco Kelly

photography by Paco Kelly

April 17th, 2003

 

 

I can not vouch for the story I am  about to tell you.  But it came from a very nice person I know in Europe.  It seems a European gun dealer asked Brno-CZ to build him a very special 22 Rimfire 452 bolt action rifle.  He wanted upgraded wood, in a modern continental profile,  a rubber butt pad, and polyurethane finish... and the biggy... a 29 inch barrel !!!

Why a 29 inch barrel?.... I have no idea.  The order was for 200 to 250 of them, when CZ was ready to deliver the order, the buyer refused the sale. So CZ dropped them on the American market very quietly, and I was auspicious enough to get one.  Wish I had gotten two, it turned out so good.

One of the things about the CZ-452 with the 24 inch barrel, either the continental style or the American...they are some of the most accurate little rifles i have used.  They just try hard to group in very small clusters with any ammo you feed it.  And at the price (my 24 inch was $225.00 with taxes), itís amazing that it is as accurate as top of the line bolt action Winchester, Cooper, Kimber, Anschutz, or any others of the expensive 22 Rimfire bolt action rifles.

The CZ-452 is a miniature Mauser. Even the battle sights are miniaturized.  The battle sights on the Mauser 1896S and 1898S donít turn me on...quite the opposite.  But these little jobs are just the ticket for this little rifle.  The 29 inch barreled 452 is marked on the upper barrel ďSuper Brno 2500 ď, and on the left side of the action the standard CZ-452-2e.  And then in small letters beside that is Ďmade in Kansas city, KSí... but both the action and the barrel have the stamped European pressure test markings.  So I suspect that more assembly of Brnoís European parts, than American manufacture of parts, goes on in K.C.

These are clip fed rifles, that hold five rounds nicely.  And they love my ACU'RZR tool formed ammo, because the BARREL LAND AND  BORE diameter is .220/.222. Very tight.  So I accurize the ammo to .223 and it works very well... (please forgive the plug on my ACUíRZR tool, but it does work so well in these rifles, I really wanted to let you know). The 1-in-15 twist also is different than the American standard of 1-in-14.   I checked both rifles twice, the twists in both is 1-in-15 inches.  Because Europe uses millimeters and not inches, that may be the reason.  25.4 is the number to use for changing inches to millimeters and back, so 15 divided by 25.4 gives .6 mm in length.  14 Gives an uneven number, like .551 so they go with 1 in 15 inches of twist.

The back sights are, as mentioned, miniature battle sights on the barrel with a barrel band that looks almost integral to the barrel.  But They are adjustable for both height and windage...really neat.  And they give readings to 300 yards.  Now none of us are going to shoot anything with a 22 Rimfire out to 300 yards.  But just to see how well they were regulated... we fired Federal round nose lead rifle ammo at 100... 200... and 300 yards.  Using the scribe points on the sights.  We really had to be careful with hold, sighting off the bench with the 300 yard settings... but they worked!  It was a large group but it was a group and centered on the plywood.

The front sight is not the old battle sight.  It is a modern target type and hooded...with an open section in the hood over the adjustable  sight rod.  Yes, thatís right an adjustable front sight and it works mighty-fine with high velocity ammo. You set the front sight at 100 yards for the velocity of the ammo... and the back sight is again regulated all the way out to 300 yards. Neat system; takes a little practice, but it is worth it.

 

The wood on the 24-inch is, I believe, birch, or something like it stained to look like walnut.  But it is done very nicely, and in the European 1920s and 30s continental style  with the schnoble fore end.  The Super 2500 stock is a dark blonde color and it is not birch. First thing you realize is,  it is heavier than the 24-incherís stock, even though it is the same length and width..  It is saw cut against the grain, and is very attractive if you like dark blonde. It has a slight but useable cheek swell.  It is a stock with a European shaped back stock and an American straight tapered fore-end.  All this gives a nice look.  Then add a thin 3/4 ď butt pad.  Again donít ask me why.. But it is nice looking.  Oh, just a quick note on the stocks, they are not the over grown big rifle type cuts.  Their size fits the mini action.  It is hard to explain, itís like They are almost... demure.

 

The barrels are a very straight taper, the chamber area is an inch in diameter.  Starting right in front of the back sight it is .800 and tapers to almost .600 at the muzzle, for both rifles.

 

So we have a secret from Brno: they have been manufacturing the CZ 22 Rimfires for decades, in many designs and many different stock shapes.  Heavy barrels on the American, tapered on the others.  Then along comes a 29-incher with luxury fittings, and it is not cataloged.  It comes with a strange story if true, but we donít know. What we do know is that CZ-Brno super 2500 is one of two secrets the company has...

 

The other?  It is the CZ 452 Rimfire rifle's accuracy,  and for the life of me, I canít figure out why that isnít better known among Rimfire lovers.  The super 2500 was only $280, while the standard 24-inch 452 is much less. Maybe folks equate this kind of quality with higher prices and just donít go there....  

 

Their loss.

 

Paco Kelly

Ed. Note: To find out where you can buy one of these surprising rifles, check out CZ's web site: www.cz-usa.com. Along with more info on CZ's product line, the site features a Dealer Locator to help you find a dealer near you.

Boge Quinn


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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

The CZ-Brno "Super Brno 2500" is a lot of .22 rifle in an inexpensive package.

 

 

Basically a "baby Mauser" even down to miniaturized battle sights, the CZ-452 is exceptionally accurate and rugged.

 

 

Shown alongside its 24-inch-barrelled cousin, the CZ-452 "Super Brno 2500" is an attractive and well-finished rifle.

 

 

The CZ "Super Brno 2500" features a well-contoured European-style butt stock along with an American-style forend.

 

 

Iron sights consist of a miniature Mauser rear "battle sight" (calibrated to 300 yards!), along with a modern hooded-type front sight.

 

 

The "secret" is out! The CZ-452 is a fine little bolt-action .22 that outperforms many higher-priced rifles on the market.