When we were looking for a base model .22 LR rifle to review we knew we wanted to stay away from the old models everyone already knows. We avoided the semi auto’s like the Ruger 10/22, and the Marlin model 60, we wanted to show our readers a nice bare bones rifle in .22LR that had both iron sights and the option to mount a small scope. When we looked at the list of rifles we selected one that combines class, simplicity and the ability to upgrade from irons, we chose the CZ 455 Military Trainer from CZ-USA.
There are eleven different variations of the CZ 455 in total, each model in the line has specific things about it that CZ tailored for different market groups. The CZ455 American features no front sight and a highly finished Turkish Walnut stock and is designed to only be used with a scope. There are models that feature Mannlicher style stocks as well as sporterized thumb hole stocks, while these are nice they aren’t what we were going for at this point in time. We had a very specific set of characteristics for this review. Now in the interest of full disclosure I will be getting a Mannlicher stocked CZ455 in the future for my personal collection.
Now that we have told you a little about the various CZ 455’s that are available lets discuss the CZ 455 Training Rifle. The training rifle we felt would represent a nice bolt action rifle chambered in .22LR for a growing youth shooter to learn basic marksmanship using iron sights out to extended distances. As I mentioned earlier in the article the CZ 455 also has the ability to have an optic mounted on it via the dovetail rail on the top of the receiver. These features combined with others on the rifle make it an ideal rifle for a developing shooter or any shooter that just wants to enjoy the fun of shooting rimfire guns.
The CZ 455 Training Rifle also features a hooded front sight that can be seen above as well as Schnabel style Beechwood stock. The Beechwood isn’t as exotic as the Turkish Walnut found on other rifles in the series but it isn’t suppose to be, this rifle is a base model and holds onto that theme throughout the rifle. This was my first time shooting a rifle with this style of stock on it and I found that the little differences in the fore-end actually were useful to be. Let’s take a deeper look into the specifications of the rifle.
Model: CZ 455 Training Rifle
Caliber: 22 Long Rifle
Overall Length: 42.6 ”
Barrel Length: 24.875″
Length of Pull: 13.75″
Rate of Twist: 1:16
Weight: 6.81 Lbs
Magazine Capacity: 5 Rounds
In the short time that I have owned the CZ 455 Training Rifle I have put approximately 100 rounds threw it during the first range session. There are things I love about this rifle and there are things I really dislike about this rifle, the things I love surely outweigh the few things I dislike. The rifle is extremely well built and its pleasing to the eye, the lines and contours of the wood coupled with the even rich stain of the Beechwood makes it an instant classic. Personally after seeing the other wood stocked variants of this rifle I wouldn’t want a polymer one, but thats just me.
The finish on the metal meets the same standard of quality set by the wood working of the stock. The metal was free from spots, blemishes or visible issues with the finish. I know its a new rifle and should be this way when it comes out of the box but that is not always the case with other brands. The only minor issue and its so minor I am way over reaching when I say this is: the black on the slider of the rear sight isn’t the exact same shade of black as the rest of the sight. As I said this is really a far stretch to even mention but some people have accused us of being “fanboys” to the guns we get to test and evaluate.
Shooting the rifle was a lot of fun for me with one exception. I wish these rifles came with the optional ten round magazine instead of the stock five round version. Loading the CZ 455 was exactly what I expected with no hidden features or snags, this rifle is built to be simple. The actual shooting of the rifle I experienced a few nice surprises and no negative ones, that is always a huge plus. I was unaware that the rifle featured such a nice trigger when I originally purchased it, later I found out its actually an adjustable trigger.
The bolt mechanism on the rifle is noticeably smoother than other bolt action rifles I have fired in the past. That includes all brands and calibers of bolts actions I have fired, I know some people will say its because its only a .22LR but to me smooth is smooth regardless of brand or caliber. The rifle cycled as I expected it to and flawlessly fed all 100 copper headed Federal Ammunition that I fired during my short range session. I intend to repeat this session with cheap bulk pack lead ammunition the next time I go to the range.
Areas for Improvement:
I said there were a few things that I disliked about the rifle and they are really pretty minor issues that can be corrected easily. The first issue is the five round magazine, I think that the ten round magazine should be standard with the rifles. This can easily be corrected by just purchasing a few extra ten round magazines, problem solved. The second issue I have is that CZ-USA does not provide any scope mounts with this particular rifle. I have no idea if they provide them with other models in the CZ 455 line, but at a MSRP of $70 CZ sights aren’t cheap. Again this can be corrected by just purchasing them at the same time you buy the rifle. The final issue I have with the rifle is totally personal in nature, the hooded front sight is all black. Now I am admittedly not a trained sniper or marksmanship wizard so there might be some reason for a total front black sight. On this small of a rifle I would prefer to have something to reference on the front of the gun aside from the hooded front sight. This can easily be corrected with a small dot of paint or something on the ramp or tip of the front sight.
All this talk and numbers it all boils down to one question: Would I buy a CZ 455 Training Rifle again ? Hell yes I would, in fact I am planning on getting another one in the near future. I had to really scratch my head to try to come up with somewhere for CZ to fall short when I listed the few things I disliked. Bottom line is if you are looking for a bolt action rifle for a young shooter that will allow them to learn to shoot both iron sights and with optics then the CZ455 is your rifle. If you just want a well built rifle for plinking by a company known for producing quality products that function as good as they look then CZ-USA is your place.
We hope you enjoyed this inside look at the CZ 455 Training Rifle, if you have any questions about this or any other products or guns we have reviewed just drop us a line in any of the comments sections below the articles. We are also looking for writers, bloggers and gear reviewers, so if you or anyone you know wants to try there hand at what we do, be sure to send us an email or contact us on our Facebook page.
Feature Image Courtesy: www.CZ-USA.com