is the whole name CZ stands for. The confusion with the name Brno
comes from the name of the city the factory was first situated
in. The company was the Austro-Hungarian Armament Co. in
Bruno Czechoslovakia. After
a series of names, in 1924 it was named Ceskoslovenska
Zbrojovka A.S., which
simply means Czechoslovakian Arms Factory Ltd. the rifles built
by them from 1924 on till the 1980s had the name Brno in the
markings, both military and civilian. It is just recently that
the company went back to the CZ name and markings, dropping
CZ’s latest caliber rifle is going to be a real sleeper;
small, compact, powerful for it’s size and very alluring.
How did it come about? Starting way back after WW2,
in 1940's through the 1960s a few civilian small sized
Mauser type actions floated into the U.S., along with the great
flood of military rifles, mostly Mausers, that hit our shores
from Europe. These were in very small commercial calibers of the
1930s that were popular in Europe, and the actions over here
caught the name mini-Mausers.
They were snapped up as fast as they showed
themselves.... many never even made it to public offering, being
taken out of the rest of the used military Mausers, by those
handling the imports and sold at premium prices, or kept for
These were small compact rifles, and at the top of the mass
production market in quality with barrels from 16 to 20 inches,
and that’s why in part, a good number of them were restricted
from entering the U.S. At
that time in our history, the Federal gun laws stated rifle
barrels for centerfire cartridges had to be 18 inches or
greater. Brno was
the name they came in under, and for years after the 1950s,
that the mini-Mausers were still being sold in Europe.
The first one I bought was in 1970, chambered for the .222 case head
was a .223 and it was sweet. The actions were made in Brno, and
entering the U.S. in small numbers, mine came through Canada.
And in a moment of crazy trading in the middle
1970s, mine went out of my life for a new siren song, one that I
can’t even remember.
After all those years from the Second World War to the 1990s,
when only small amounts and scattered examples of their
existence were showing
up here and there... suddenly CZ in the early 1990s started
importing them into the U.S. in the .222 case head size
chamberings, under the model number 527.
The early ones were rough in their actions, but still
were pretty rifles, clip
type magazines and all.
Then about a year ago when I was searching for a
7.62x39mm chambered bolt action and purchased a Ruger 77... I
received much E-Mail stating that CZ was now chambering their
small action for that round.
A number of calls to Kansas City (CZ’s U.S.
Distributors), netted only that the rifles were being produced,
but not yet for the U.S. market.
that changed some time this year, and the rifles were cataloged
on CZ’s web site (www.cz-usa.com).
My local gun shop located one for me, and the price was
retail was over $550. It
took four long days of waiting for it to arrive.
rifle that came was the ‘Prestige’ model 527 in
7.62x39mm. It has a
18˝ inch barrel on the ‘mini-mauser’ action with very deep
dark and lustrous blue... but it doesn’t stop there.
The wood is a very nice piece of walnut, cut to what the
Europeans think is our American taste in design.
But it has their continental design hints all through it,
with excellent hand checkering, and fit and finish is very close
to perfect. The
barrel has open sights that are drift rear, and elevation front
adjustable. I have
found that CZ’s rifles that have open sights, have some of the
best made on the market today.
Our lever action producers could learn a vital lesson
of the great things CZ carried over from the 1930s model
‘mini-Mauser’ is the set trigger.
Yes, this 527 has a single set trigger.
Un-set, mine breaks at under four pounds... and set, it
goes off clean at one pound even.
The overall feeling I get every time I lift this rifle to
my shoulder is... this whole rifle is miniature, which of course
it is not. But the
shorter barrel added to the small action, with the bolt and
safety a size that fits the rest, gives that feeling.
And does it shoot!
eyes grow older” says
an old back woodsman I know. He is also describing mine.
So, when I shoot a one-inch group at fifty yards using
the open sights with Wolf Ammo, I know the rifle is very
accurate. The only
nit I can find is.... the rifle takes odd-size scope rings.
It is of square bridge base design, that takes a strangely-sized
tip off set of rings. If
you are thinking about buying one of these rifles order the
rings with it. o I can’t give 100 and 200 yard accuracy till
I get it ‘scoped.
reasons to buy this rifle....
is an excellent choice for a new shooter, a youngster or someone
who can’t take recoil. It
will take deer out to 200 yards or so, and they can practice
diligently without busting the piggy bank. Because commercial
ammo is that cheap. A
round of non-reloadable, non-corrosive ammo, is cheaper than the
cost of just a jacketed bullet you would use to reload.
And that is the second reason.
I already reload for 17 calibers...ugh!
I need one rifle and ammo I can just grab and head for
the woods. A small, light
and compact rifle that has good power for woods and brush
hunting that won’t tire me toting it around. Cheap but
accurate ammo with soft nose or hollow pointed bullets and throw
away brass (really mild steel). It being absolutely fast
handling and beautiful is an added plus. It
doesn’t get any better than this.....
527 in 7.62 x 39 mm
Ed. Note: 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.
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