Technical data: CZ 452-2E ZKM
Type: repeating bolt rimfire rifle
Operating principle: manual repeating bolt
Receiver: steel • Calibre: .22 LR
Ammunition feed: removable magazine • Capacity: 5 rounds
Barrel length: 630 mm • Overall length: 1,083 mm
Weight: 3.0 kg
The range of CZ arms is sufficiently broad. This Czech manufacturer covers a broad scope of products – from combat rifles to air guns, further including pistols, shotguns and sporting arms. Yet this is one of the few brands still using the original Mauser 98 type chamber. CZ hunting rimfire rifles benefit from the preference of professional hunters in Africa and one could hardly find a hunting camp with no CZ arm at all. Such characteristics as reliability and endurance during use in rigid environment, as well as firing accuracy, have made this brand almost legendary.
One of the examples of this reliability, endurance and accuracy is embodied by the repeating bolt rimfire rifle model CZ 452-2E ZKM. This rifle, which is mainly taking care of kitchen supplies in Africa (the rifle is an ideal solution for hunting of gallinaceous birds, hares and other kinds of small game) thanks to its accuracy, is also the most frequently used arm at sporting competitions. The stock and forend are made of a single piece of material which is the usual practice for this type of rimfire rifles; this piece is made of quality walnut wood. The stock is made into a crest resembling "wild bore backbone" without a shoulder piece, terminated with a butt made of synthetic material. The Lux version is provided with checkered grip, while the Standard version features a smooth grip only. The forend is long enough and terminated with Schnabel shape. The surface finishing of wood is perfect, even at joints between wood and metal, this is an actual demonstration of careful and detailed finishing.
It is common practice for this brand of rimfire rifles that the barrel is made of forged steel, which guarantees its long life. The barrel length is 63 cm – it might seem long, yet that is exactly the reason (together with bore twist quality) for its excellent firing accuracy. Shot dispersion from this rimfire rifle at 50 m (as well as 100 m) is thrilling; this characteristic can be matched by Olympic shooting rimfire rifles only. When using 40 grain CCI Standard Velocity ammunition combined with a fitted riflescope (Tasco 3-9 x 42), the dispersion of 5 shots will be 15 millimetres only. Using 40 grain Federal Gold Medal UltraMatch ammunition will reduce the dispersion (with 5 rounds fired) to 12 millimetres.
Sights are formed by a "U-shaped" rear sight with scale for ranges from 25 to 200 m (slide setting) with optional windage correction and the height-adjustable front sight with its protective guard. The receiver is made of steel, with matt phosphorus finish and two lateral openings for gas escape in case of overpressure. The round ejection window is wide allowing small cases of .22 LR calibre to pass without any hindrance. The design of bolt on this rifle is a bit unusual – its front part is of semi-circular shape with a groove in the centre. Front part of the sliding bolt is then shaped as semi-circle with its extractor and case holder on either side respectively. The bolt of this rifle is simple (monolithic) to enable smooth control, yet showing no play during lateral operation (lateral slippage). The rear part of bolt (acorn) houses the safety for direct blocking of the firing pin. When the safety is deactivated (released position), red mark is visible. This model is also available for left-handed shooters (CZ 452-2E ZKMLH).
The detachable magazine is made of steel, its bottom is made of synthetic material. The magazine capacity is 5 rounds, however a 10-round magazine can be purchased as optional item. The trigger features a significant curve. The trigger is smooth (with no play or slippage) and the shooter can feel no friction. The default trigger pull is set to 1,750 grams. This pull setting is probably too high for competition shooting, yet it can be reduced. The trigger pull can be altered using the adjusting nut (spring resistance), it can be reduced to 1,350 grams. Polishing of friction surfaces (performed by a qualified gunsmith) can contribute towards reduction of the pull weight down to 700 grams.
DESCRIPTION FOR FIGURES
- The stock is simple, with quality surface finishing, terminated with a butt made of synthetic material.
- The magazine is detachable, with capacity of 5 rounds and optional replacement magazine holding 10 rounds.
- The safety acts directly onto the firing pin. Released position is indicated by red mark.
- The trigger pull is adjustable. Certain friction can be felt when pulling the trigger.
- The front sight is height-adjustable, with optional deviation set using the rear sight slide.
- The receiver is made of steel, with a centre groove along its entire length to enable direct installation of Weaver rings.
- The first third of bolt length is of semi-circular shape. The figure shows details of the sliding bolt with extractor and case holder.
Standard Rimfire Rifle
When I attended the first competition of Troféu FPT (FPT Prize – of the Portuguese Shooting Association) in standard rimfire rifles at 50 m, I had my CZ 452 with me. Every competitor has 60 shots to hit the target at 50 m within the time interval of 1 hour and 15 minutes with the accuracy matching performance of a standard pistol at 25 m. Hitting a ten is defined as hitting a circle of 5 cm in diameter. The arms used must be fitted with open sights only and the sights and rimfire must be in their default settings - there are no adjustable stocks or other auxiliary equipment permitted. The winner of first FPT Prize competition also used a CZ 452 and achieved the total score of 552 (552 points out of 600). My score was significantly more humble, as I managed to achieve 488 points only.
Jean Pierre Bourguignon