CZ 557 Varmint is a weapon designed for target shooting, as well as for hunting use. A special stock made of selected walnut wood designed to fit both of those purposes.Barrel - 650 mm long heavy barrel. Rate of twist 1:10 designed for heavy projectiles.
- ergonomic pistol grip, raised comb for shooting with scope.Action
- Short bolt travel action is complemented by the Picatinny rail.Feeding
- 10rd magazine for the cartridge length COAL up to 73 mm.
With its CZ 557 series, Česká zbrojovka enters the land of 21st century weapons and again reaches the peak in the field of hunting bolt action centerfire rifles. CZ 557 combines the decades of weapons designing and manufacturing experience along with user experience of hunters resulting in using the most advanced materials and technologies.
All this gave rise to a modern centerfire rifle having traditional appearance and unique user properties which are appreciated by all shooters, from beginners to professionals firing thousands of rounds a year.
Characteristic features of CZ 557 series
- A receiver made of one piece of material with integral dovetail for mounting a riflescope;
- Top quality forged barrel;
- Easy ejection of cartridge cases;
- A short extractor and modified ejector for smooth operation;
- Cocking of the striking mechanism is signalled by a cocking indicator protruding from the bolt sleeve;
- Adjustable trigger pull and drag;
- Possibility to open the action also in the locked position;
- Floating barrel.
CZ 557 Varmint
Varmint rifle is a term used in American English for a small-calibre rifle or a high-power air gun primarily used for varmint hunting, which is eliminating non-native or non-game animals, hunted for numbers rather than trophies.
Originally, the term varmint was used for rodents (rats, marmots, prairie dogs, etc.) and small predators (including wolves and jackals). However, other animals, such as wild boar and other medium size game are today considered large varmint. As a result, full power calibres, such as the .308 Win, 6.5 x 55 SE and similar have been added to the array of original varmint calibres, the 22 LR, 22 WMR or 223 Rem. Varmint is commonly hunted from a relatively static position and from a large distance, which meant that such hunting is extremely demanding on the weapon.
In 2012, Česká zbrojovka introduced a new line of the CZ 557 rifles. They radically differed from their predecessors by having the Remington style bolt. Purists may complain that the true Remington had a coiled extractor spring, while the CZ 557 has a plain wire in Sako or the good old SMLE style, but in principle, it is a Remington bolt. In terms of accuracy, Remington is equal to the previously used Mauser bolt. For an accuracy the critical point is good barrel and trigger quality. The CZ 557 has a brand new, fully adjustable trigger mechanism and even during the first testing in 2012 I noticed with pleasure its smooth, crisp function. The first member of the CZ 557 family was a classic hunting rifle and the family keeps growing. The CZ 557 system has now received a new heavy barrel and a new stock, thus creating the CZ 557 Varmint. In addition, it now has a closed receiver with an ejection port only, a robust Mil Std 1913 (picatinny) installation rail on the top, and the rifle is equipped with a removable box magazine. The magazine catch is a simple lever inside the trigger guard. The bolt and whole action has been shortened to fit the 308 Win cartridge, improving the reliability and speed of reloading.
I had the opportunity to extensively test the rifle in the .308 Win calibre fitted with the Zeiss Diavari 6-24 x 56 Victory FL riflescope. The first impression was positive and a quick measuring of the trigger confirmed the qualities of the trigger mechanism, in perfect correspondence with the 2012 experience. The optimum trigger pull weight is not critical since it can be set by the user to his individual preference, together with the length of pull. The crucial factor is the evenness of resistance from shot to shot, defined by a standard deviation. To my pleasant surprise, I found the standard deviation of the trigger pull weight to be around 0.4 Newton, almost perfectly identical to my earlier tests of the CZ 557 rifles (I consider differences in hundredths of Newton insignificant), which says a lot about the quality and stability of the production process.
For the testing itself I chose 3 kinds of ammunition – the Geco Target sporting cartridge with a 11.0 gram (170 gr) SP bullet, the Sellier & Bellot Match sporting cartridge with a 10.9 gram (168 gr) HPBT bullet and the Sellier & Bellot hunting cartridge with a 11.7 gram (180 gr) SPCE bullet.
I do not think we need to focus on the absolute values of average velocity, as standard deviations are much more important for accuracy. Here it was obvious that Sellier & Bellot had the upper hand. However, the groupings on the paper targets were not so straightforward. To eliminate the maximum possible influence of the shooter, we shot from a bench, with the rifle resting on good quality front and rear bags. At 100 meters, 5 shot groups of Geco Target cartridges were around 15 mm, i.e. about ½ of MOA where usually 4 shots tend to “run through one hole”. The S&B Match HPBT groups averaged around 20 mm (2/3 of MOA), with 4 rounds again one over another but the fifth one, the “maverick” was slightly further away from the main group. As might have been expected , the S&B SPCE hunting cartridges showed the largest groups, on average about 30-35 mm (slightly more than 1 MOA), once again the trend was 3 shots in a hole and 2 runaways, which increased the final dimension for the group. The 300 metre groups confirmed the 100 meter indication, Geco groups were about 100 mm, S&B Match around 130 mm and S&B hunting semi-wadcutters around 210 mm.
So what has the test told us? First of all, the test proved again that the deviation of velocities is not a sufficient indicator of accuracy. It is good to have one, but low velocity deviation alone is not enough. The Geco, with regard to standard deviations a clear loser in the velocity measurement, provided the best accuracy on the paper targets. Accuracy of the S&B Match was only marginally worse. The rifle showed at 100 meters accuracy below 1 MOA and is therefore accurate enough even for distances in excess of 500 meters. It is definitely accurate enough to be used for large calibre sport shooting at long range. The hunting cartridges had the largest groupings, nevertheless, accuracy is not the only characteristic of the hunting bullet, the terminal effect is equally important. And this cartridge is even accurate enough for shooting game from a distance of around 300 meters. Every rifle has its specific cartridge preference, but only a good quality rifle enables a clear identification of this preference when using target ammunition. And here the Varmint fully met my expectations.
Let me talk a bit about my own personal experience now. The stock fitted me reasonably well and I was especially pleased with the steep angle of the pistol grip and the convenient line at the bottom of the rear part of the stock. It allows comfortable and precise support of the stock with the fist of a weak hand. The parallel line on the rear part of the stock enables you to modify the length of the stock without affecting the aesthetics of the gun. The flat bottom of the fore stock is another plus, providing good stability. One thing I would prefer is an adjustable cheek piece. When shooting with large magnification riflescopes (20x and more), an adjustable cheek piece is a great help. Only the good can be said about the trigger mechanism. The gun functioned flawlessly during the whole test.
In my opinion, the CZ 557 Varmint is a weapon capable of meeting the most demanding of requirements. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I have to add that for efficient long range shooting, the weapon alone is not sufficient, despite the fact it might be a perfect weapon with a perfect scope and target grade ammunition. Without an experienced and skilled rifleman behind, even the best weapon is nothing more but an expensive piece of steel and wood. Please, before you first time fire at a living animal standing far far away, do at first fire tens or better still hundreds of rounds on a shooting range. At a similar far far away distance. Learn about your gun, your ammunition and its ballistics, about the influences of the weather and above all, learn and understand about yourself. Hunting is not a funfull session at the shooting range, spraying lead in the general direction of the target. While a bad hit in the target is not a tragedy, a poor hit of an animal can turn a clean, straight kill into an ugly, slow and painful death of a living being. Understanding the limits of a weapon and of oneself is a duty and responsibility of every hunter and rifleman. Find your limits and respect them. In this quest, the CZ 557 Varmint will be your perfect tool and a reliable partner.
Specified dimensions may vary according to design and configuration.
|Caliber (rate of twist)||.243 Win. (10"), .308 Win. (10")|
|Feeding system||detachable magazine|
|Fixed magazine capacity||-|
|Magazine capacity||10 or 4|
|Overall length||1170 mm|
|Barrel length||650 mm|