CZ 920 Autoloading 20 Gauge Shotgun

By Randy Wakeman


CZ 920
Photo by Randy Wakeman.

The CZ920 is the twenty gauge little brother to the CZ912 12 gauge gun. It shares a similar gas operated action and similar styling. It is economically priced, with a 2013 MSRP of $541 and a retail price estimated at around $475.

Specifications

            Weight: 6.4 lbs (7-1/4 lbs. as tested)

            Barrel Length: 28 inches

            Length of Pull 14.25 inches

            Rib: 8mm

            Drop at Comb: 1.438 inches

            Drop at Heel: 2.250 inches

            Chokes: 5 screw chokes

            Barrel Finish: Gloss

            Receiver Finish: Gloss

            Stock: Turkish Walnut

            Sights: Fiber optic (green tubular front bead)

            Country of origin: Turkey

            2013 MSRP: $541

Even though the CZ920 is listed as having a weight of 6.4 pounds, the sample reviewed here actually weighed 7-1/4 pounds per my Lyman electronic gauge. Surprised at the weight, I double-checked several other shotguns with the same Lyman gauge. Sure enough, the 6-1/2 pound Browning A5 Hunter still weighs 6-1/2 pounds, my Browning B-80 20 gauge weighs 6-1/4 pounds and my Benelli M2 20 gauge weighs 6 pounds even, per the same gauge. The CZ920 is a heavyweight by modern twenty gauge field gun standards, coming in 1-1/4 pounds heavier than the recently tested Weatherby walnut SA-08 Deluxe 20 gauge. (Of course, 7-1/4 pounds is not a heavy gun in the overall scheme of things and a heavier shotgun swings smoother and helps absorb recoil. -Editor)

The CZ920 has several issues. The forearm is poorly inletted, leaving a noticeable gap between it and the receiver. The barrel extension does not fit properly into the receiver, leaving an unsightly silver ring protruding.

The trigger pull is absurdly heavy, breaking at a ridiculously unacceptable 9-1/4 pounds. Many autoloaders have excessively heavy triggers, to be sure, but my version of a really heavy trigger is six pounds. Super heavy triggers seem to be a staple of CZ shotguns, for the CZ912 (12 gauge) previously tested had an 8-3/4 pound trigger and the CZ720 (20 gauge) previously reviewed had a 9-1/4 pound trigger.

This CZ920 has nice Turkish walnut in both the buttstock and the forearm, with cut checkering in a point pattern that is sufficiently generous to be useful. There is a prominent and completely unnecessary ridge cut into the buttstock that extends from the nose of the comb to just above the toe (see photo). Unfortunately, the workmanship is lacking, for the forearm isn't inletted properly, leaving a visible gap between it and the receiver.

Like the CZ912, this shotgun has a green fiber optic front bead and an odd, ventilated recoil pad reminiscent of the Browning Cynergy. With a hard insert at the top for snag free mounting, there's nothing particular wrong with this pad (except its appearance -Editor), but replacing it with an aftermarket pad, if desired, is problematic.

Despite its heavier weight, the 920 isn't what I would call a particularly soft shooter. It isn't as comfortable to shoot as a 6-1/4 pound Browning B-80, or the six pound Weatherby SA-08 20 gauge, to which I compared the CZ920 shooting identical shells.

As received, this CZ 920 was dirty enough to show that it had already been fired. Despite cleaning and lubrication, it failed to eject B&P F2 15/16 ounce shells a few times, leaving the empty hulls in the receiver as the shell lifter fruitlessly tried to feed the next round.

Additionally, the bolt does not easily lock into the barrel extension. With the gun unloaded, the bolt fails to fully close, hanging up at the last quarter inch or so. Perhaps this sluggish bolt is due to inadequate mainspring strength, poor machining, or a bit of both.

Summary

This CZ920 is not completely reliable, with poor forearm inletting, a sluggish bolt and a barrel extension that does not fit properly into the receiver. Given its sloppy assembly and machining, a ridiculously heavy 9-1/4 pound trigger and (excessive) misrepresented weight, it is a shotgun that is difficult to recommend. It is one of the most completely unsatisfactory autoloading shotguns I've tested, with a level of crudeness that should never leave any firearms factory. CZ-USA is a fine outfit; however, the folks at Huglo in Turkey aren't giving them any help. Shame on Huglo for this scattergun manufacturing crime.




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Copyright 2013 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.


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