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Old 01-25-2018, 01:37 PM
flangster is online now

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CZ 452 American - cold day at the range



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Well, it's cold here. Not historically cold, but cold enough so that if you are sitting outside not moving, you notice. As in: hey! my trigger finger is getting numb. Call yesterday 24 F with a light breeze during the 'heat" of the day. We had a thaw with rain a couple of days ago, and then a hard freeze, so pretty much every flat surface in this part of the state is an ice sheet. This goes for the walkway leading up to my house, as much as it does for the range. Makes a man wish for crampons.

A couple of months ago, I bought a CZ 452 American in .22 LR from our own cznut. "It's a shooter," he proclaimed. Well anyone can claim anything. But I got it out to the range after I bought it off him, and dang if that little rifle didn't just lay them in there. I forget what I used the day I got it sighted in. SK Standard Plus? CCI-SV? I can't remember, but it was decent-but-not-top-of-the-line ammo.

I hadn't shot the rifle since before New year's. So I put on my long johns and headed to my club yesterday.

You know sometimes how a rifle just performs above and beyond? I had been struggling for the first part of my outing with a Savage that I can't get to shoot. Call its performance "below and beneath." I'd post yesterday's groups, but you all'd just laugh at me. Here is a set from 2013 when I just got the rifle:



Well since then I have recrowned that Savage, slugged the barrel, changed the stock to a Boyd's ProVarmint. The rifle looks pretty, but yesterday's groups were about like those above. Pretty discouraging. You know how a rifle will "like" a certain ammo from a certain manufacturer? Well this particular Savage has ammo it hates the least. It hates SK Std Plus the least. But boy you put some Federal Target down that barrel or some CCI and just brace yourself for the loathing.

Then I got out the 452 American. I don't think I even changed the trigger spring on this rifle. It shot so nicely when I first got it from cznut that I didn't want to mess with it. To misquote Bull Durham, "You have to respect the streak." Average wood, but a great barrel. It wears a Silver Weaver T36, which is just the wrong size and color for this rifle. But it works.

So there it is: it's 24 degrees and what little sun there is, is now obscured by the tops of some trees that line the side of the range. There is a light breeze, which might be pleasing in the summer, but which takes "cold" and ratchets it down three notches to where you find yourself putting your trigger finger in your armpit between shots just to get some feeling back. The rifle is cold. the ammo is cold. Your fingers are cold and loading magazines kind of involves some guess-work. Probably the smart thing to do is just pack the whole dang show up and head for home with a cup of coffee in the car on the way. But a day at the range is not to be squandered. It is hard enough to get some time alone there, so you don't want to waste it.

And then, just for the heck of it, you get out the 452 American and then you remember why this sport is so much fun.

I am not claiming to be a great shot; and you can see from the targets below that my wind reading skills are. . . . well, they are not skills. Quite the opposite. Here's the first target with some SK Magazin bulk bullets that they sell in a can like Pringles:



And then you think, "now what bullets did this little rifle like to shoot again?" Here's some more Eley Bulk (top groups) followed by some SK Magazin (a partial can sitting at the bottom of my range bag):



And man! Did I go home with a smile on my face.

I know I can come off like a CZ fanboy. And that's OK. Even with the groups that aren't five shots touching, shooting with that rifle just puts a smile on my face.

Safe shooting, and stay warm!

flangster
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:53 PM
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To me it seems like the CZ's like the SK and Wolf Target Match ammo better than Eley. It seems my 455 Tacticool is more consistant with these rounds will have to try the R50 Premium soon
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:30 PM
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Great read!!! Great shooter you got there... congrats
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:36 PM
R4B1DM4U53
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That's great for cold weather shooting, man. The temp just tends to wreak havoc on the ammo in general. I bought 2 bricks of SK Biathlon Sport and Lapua Polar Biathlon each to tide me over until spring, and the SK can shoot solid 0.3's or better out of my 455 custom, I'd highly recommend trying it for cold weather shooting.

What's going on with that Savage, though? How did it slug? How does the bore and chamber look? Maybe cut a spent casing in half at the firing pin mark and see how well the firing pin penetrates the rim, I was just fiddling with this very thing on a Walther KKJ-T I picked up and found it wasn't fully compressing the rim. I modified it to extend the firing pin protrusion by 0.009" to crush the rim better, have yet to test for improvement.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:41 PM
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After that 2013 target, I slugged the barrel and discovered a tight spot around three inches from the bore. I lopped the barrel .25 inch in front of the tight spot and recrowned with an 11-degree cutter. The crown is great, has a symmetrical star pattern and everything. I haven't reslugged the bore, but that's not hard to do. If it were a CZ, I'd swap the barrel faster than you can say "Jack Robinson."

I since have bought a Lyman bore scope and your question is a good one. I should have a look at it directly rather than only relying on the tactile feedback from the slugging process. I did try bedding the barrel channel with some temporary epoxy pads. Made no difference. I have swapped out the trigger spring for an Apache ... the trigger is quite nice. Not a match trigger, but a crisp 2.0 lbs. I have tried different torque settings with the action screws. Still no joy.

I wonder what my options are for rebarreling it? Probably more than the rifle's worth. The funny thing is that I now own some pretty good shooting .22's thanks to the sundry enablers and the wealth of information available at RFC. Still...I obsess over my problem child.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:28 AM
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When they shoot good, its a wonderful thing, nice.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:06 AM
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You certainly have a way with words, Ben. Below and beneath! Hates the best!

And that's some very nice shooting. The results call into question the various comments I've read saying that SK ammo doesn't do well in the cold. But maybe that applies to Standard+ and/or Rifle Match and not others?

Anyway, smiles all around.

Doug
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:48 PM
R4B1DM4U53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flangster View Post

I since have bought a Lyman bore scope and your question is a good one. I should have a look at it directly rather than only relying on the tactile feedback from the slugging process. I did try bedding the barrel channel with some temporary epoxy pads. Made no difference.

I wonder what my options are for rebarreling it? Probably more than the rifle's worth.
The bolded statement is concerning, modulating the barrel harmonics should have had some effect, for better or for worse, not no effect

The thing to look for with the borescope would be a mucked up chamber. Given a good crown, a cleanly cut chamber, and a decent slugging evaluation, the barrel should shoot of nothing else is wrong with the rifle. What else could be affecting it... hmm... ignition comes to mind thus my previous suggestion to cut open a casing and look at the rim crush. I'm otherwise at a loss unless the barrel is just mysteriously a "dud" for no observable reason

Hehe, yeah rebarreling it would cost you more than buying a new CZ by the time you've bought the blank and had a smith fit it to the rifle. DJ built up a Savage not too long ago with good results, you'd knock out the old barrel, have the new one machined for a slip fit and glue it in.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R4B1DM4U53 View Post
Hehe, yeah rebarreling it would cost you more than buying a new CZ by the time you've bought the blank and had a smith fit it to the rifle. DJ built up a Savage not too long ago with good results, you'd knock out the old barrel, have the new one machined for a slip fit and glue it in.
.

Funny you should mention that.

I have been corresponding with DJ about this very thing. What makes sending him the rifle so appealing is that I don't want to spend more time on it, and as it shoots right now, I couldn't sell it in good faith.

Seriously though, even as a give away it would cost the "buyer" money. I could turn around and just buy another Savage, but it would kind of gall me to leave the job unfinished. I'm thinking .900 straight Lilja glued in . . .after my surgery on the barrel, I don't have enough barrel left to have it rechambered and have the thing be over 16 inches long. The other option would be to call Savage and pay them to rebarrel it. But between them and DJ, I'd take DJ. And the resulting product will be superior, if my other DJ rifles are anything to go by.
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