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Old 08-30-2014, 08:13 AM
Model 52
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Zastava CZ 99 Precision mini review



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Recently I bought a NOS Remington 799 stock to restock a Zastava M85 in .22 Hornet. The company in question sent me a Remington Model 5 stock that had gotten in with the 799 stocks, sent me the correct stock and told em to just keep the Model 5 stock.

I couldn't have an orphan stock laying around and I've always liked Zastava rifles as the metal work tends to be superb (although the stocks vary widely depending on who imports them) and I've never had one that was not capable of excellent accuracy with minimal work. That led to me buying a like new but with no box CZ 99 Precision off Gunbroker for $200 ($256 after shipping and transfer fees).

Zastava has produced their .22 LR bolt action "CZ 99 Precision" for a while now and it's been sold under different names and brands. Remington sold it as the Model 5 in the 2006-2008 time frame where they were selling the Zastava made/Remington stocked Model 5 .22 LR (CZ 99 Precision), the Model 799 (Zastava M85 Mini Mauser) and the Model 798 (Zastava M70 Mauser). Charles Daly sold the CZ 99 Precision as the Charles Daly .22LR and after KBI/Charles Daly they went out of business in 2010, CAI imported them as the CZ 99 Precision and EAA/USSG imported it as the MP22.

The quality of the stocks on them vary by importer with the brown laminated wood stocks by Remington being nicely done as are the stocks I've seen on the Charles Daly versions, which is not a surprise as Charles Daly was KBI's brand for higher end firearms. The USSG and CAI stocks tend to be a lot cruder with low cost dipped or sprayed finishes and either pressed or only partially cut checkering.

Thus the plan was to mount the CZ 99 Precision in the Model 5 stock. CZ99 Precisions seem to sell for about half to 2/3rds the cost of a Model 5, so it was a free upgrade in wood.





It turns out having another stock was fortunate - more on that later.

I got the rifle yesterday, dropped it in the Model 5 stock, mounted a Leupold 2-7x33 scope on it and headed to the range. The trigger pull is around 4 pounds - good for field use, slightly heavy for target work, but with a smooth take-up and a very crisp let off. All in all a pretty decent trigger, which is good as it's non adjustable.

I bore sighted by calibrated eyeball getting me within 3" at 25 yards, I zeroed it a bit high and then moved the target back to 100 yards. 100 yard 5 shot groups were not real impressive - running between 3" and 4" with lateral stringing. I had some left to right half value wind varying from near nothing to 10 its, but the stringing was more than I should have observed shooting in the lulls. This group was the worst of the bunch:



I noted however that with the single action screw and the Remington stock, I had a fair about of side to side play allowing the barrel to move from one side of the free floated barrel channel to the other. Glass bedding is obviously needed.

I brought the original stock along with this possibility in mind and dropped the action back in to to see how it would shoot. It didn't. I tried 5 rounds and all of them failed to fire, with just a faint hint of a firing pin impact on the rim. Obviously there is a clearance issue in the original stock. The good news is that this both explained and confirmed the "never been fired" appearance of the rifle, and probably explains why the original owner sold it to the shop I bought it from and who apparently never tested it.

I put the rifle back in the Remington stock and it was again firing with 100% reliability. In the interim to see what potential it had, I slid a plastic coated business card in the barrel channel, it was a snug fit side to side and it seemed to work as I got this:



I need to back up slightly and address a second issue with the rifle that contributed to poor accuracy. The single stack 5 round magazine is very robust and appeared to be very well made, but in operation, the follower was holding the rounds too nose high, with the result that when the top round was feeding into the chamber the rim would drag the second round forward onto the feed ramp. The bolt would then contact the bullet, making it hard to feed, and shaving substantial lead off the side of the bullet.

Initially I just single fed the rounds, and they feed well both from the magazine and are easily inserted directly into the chamber. Once I knew it was worth keeping, I looked at the magazine itself. I disassembled it and with my high tech magazine follower adjustment tool (a Leatherman) I increased the angle on the rear tab of the follower to reduce the angle of the follower, and bent the front tab as needed for the change in angle and fore and aft distance. The result was very easy feeding and 100% reliability with no point damage.

I noted that with 40 gr SK Standard Plus ammunition, the bullets are engraved by the rifling about 1/16" when the round is chambered, so it's got a very short and snug throat, which is probably contributing to the accuracy potential I saw with the shimmed barrel channel.

The bolt is a standard round bolt where the bolt handle serves as the locking lug - very common on an inexpensive, sporting .22 LR. However the bolt is very well fitted to the receiver with no discernible slop, and the receiver is incredibly thick for a .22 LR. That should provide a great deal of stiffness in the action and should promote very good accuracy.

After breakfast, I'll glass bed it and then probably take it back to the range on Monday afternoon to see how it shoots.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:38 AM
minimouse

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Nice write up! Looks like you have a rifle with a great deal of potential, for not a lot of money. Looks good in that Remington stock, too. Good work!
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:22 AM
Model 52
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I completed the bedding in the Remington Model 5 stock as planned and took it out to shoot yesterday afternoon. The magazine well is a very hefty structure that is screw to the receiver for and aft. The floor plate/trigger guard is in turn screwed into the front of the magazine well, and the various gaps and openings create a great deal of potential for the bedding compound to mechanically lock the action into the stock, so a lot of modeling clay was needed to prevent that. The trigger is also attached via a dove tail that is then staked in place (and oddly enough is slightly offset to the left).



Given the open cut in the side of the mag well and the trigger attachment, I opted to just bed it under the receiver in front of the cut in the bottom of mag well to about 1" in front of the receiver, and bed the rear tang behind the trigger. The cut in the stock around the rear tang is flat across the bottom while the receiver has beveled edges, so there was ample room for movement, which meant ample room for bedding compound.

The end result is much more secure with zero movement and the laminated stock should prevent any issues with warping, so the for and aft approach should be more than adequate.

That seems to be the case based on how it shot yesterday.

There was the normal left to right wind, full value but reasonably light wind of about 5 mph range with some occasional lulls. I had mounted a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 scope on it to give an even comparison with my CZ 453 American mounting the same model optic, so I took a half dozen rounds to zero it at 25 yards, before moving the target back to 100 yards.






All in all it was shooting groups averaging right around 1" at 100 yards.

I shot my CZ 453 for comparison in the prevailing conditions and it's clear the CZ 99 Precision is not shooting at the same level as my CZ 453 American, but that's not really a surprise, as my CZ 453 American outshoots both my Model 52s, my CZ 453 Varmint, my Remington 541S and my Anschutz 64 Match.

The CZ 453 American comparison group (on a larger target dot) was a bit tighter at around 3/4":



The CZ 99 Precision is however shooting as well as the last three rifles listed above, which is not bad for a rifle with a total of $256 invested.




I the shot another 50 rounds through both the CZ 453 and CZ 99 Precision at 200 yards and found very little difference between them. Both needed 17 MOA of elevation 2 MOA of windage to hit center of plate under the current conditions. The CZ 453 hit 10/10 for all 5 sets on the 5" plate, while the CZ 99 Precision averaged 9/10 on the same plate over the same 50 rounds.

Last edited by Model 52; 09-01-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:35 PM
chicharrones
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A very detailed pair of posts! Congrats on a fine lookin' and fine shootin' Zastava!

My daughter's rifle is a youth Rem. 5 and I have a blemished Remington stock for it I got a few years back. I wish Someone would offer to make a new run of those stocks as they are the best factory issue stock of all the Zastavas.

I also have a Zastava MP22 (.22WMR) imported by the Fime Group a couple years back. Of course it require a stock refinish. I did take it out one time in that blem Rem 5 stock. Oooh, it looked so good!
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:35 PM
Glass37
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Chicharrones, if your blemished Rem 5 stock has little or no finish on the checkering, I used some Min Wax wood finish English Chestnut. Just brushed it on with a small brush, as light as it would cover well. Color blends well with the laminated color.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:02 PM
chicharrones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glass37 View Post
Chicharrones, if your blemished Rem 5 stock has little or no finish on the checkering, I used some Min Wax wood finish English Chestnut. Just brushed it on with a small brush, as light as it would cover well. Color blends well with the laminated color.
That is probably good advice.

I already refinished that stock a few years ago. My wood refinishing skills are truly lacking, and the laminate was truly troublesome. It would absorb colors in areas I didn't want it too and wouldn't absorb colors in other areas.

Anyway, after much PITA it is serviceable.

Here it is on my daughter's Rem. Model 5.

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Old 09-06-2014, 07:19 PM
Glass37
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My wood refinishing skills are on that same level, when something I try works out I feel incredibly lucky. Looks way better than bubblegum pink.
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