CZ 720 Autoloading Shotgun
The CZ 720 is 6-1/3 pound, gas-operated twenty gauge with a 9-1/4 pound trigger pull and a about a 20 pound cross-bolt safety. The appeal of this class of shotgun is its low original cost of acquisition, at a 2012 street price around $450. The MSRP is only $499.99.
It isn't much in the looks department, with matte black metal finish and a very plain Turkish walnut stock. (Any walnut is better than black plastic, though. -Editor) This is the grade of wood figure that Beretta starts with, before they add a fake grain plastic film coating that tries to make it look like a better grade of wood than it is.
The CZ 720 has a matte black anodized aluminum alloy receiver and a rough version of black chrome plating on the exterior of the barrel. This is no different than the many matte type finishes out there that are now trendy, but are essentially unpolished guns.
If the 720 sounds like a less than inspiring shotgun, that's because it is. Both the trigger and the safety are completely unacceptable, so you can add the price of a trigger job and a little safety lightening to the cost if you hope to be satisfied. There is no other way to fairly describe the trigger and safety other than extremely crude. All CZ-USA firearms are warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for one (1) year on wooden parts and surface treatment and five (5) years on other parts.
There were no failures to eject or failures to feed with the CZ 720. Recoil was surprisingly harsh, noticeably more than a slightly lighter Browning B-80 20 gauge (6.25 pounds) and a Benelli M2 Comfortech (6.0 lbs.). These other twenty gauges were shot right along side of the CZ, all with B & P F2 15/16 oz. loads. The CZ gets little help from its hard rubber butt plate, which cannot be considered a recoil pad.
Cosmetically, the matte black chrome barrel is very poorly done and apparently fragile. Right out of the box, some of the black chrome near the muzzle was already wiped off, revealing white metal beneath it.
CZ is a bit more generous than some, supplying you with five flush mount choke tubes instead of the customary three. There are no stock shim adjustments on the 720, so it either fits you or it doesn't.
This CZ 720 cannot be recommended. It is too harsh in the recoil department for shooting clays, the trigger is ridiculously heavy, as is the cross-bolt safety. The matte black chrome is apparently poorly done and fragile, cosmetically defective as received.
For this shotgun to be considered at all desirable, the makers (Huglo) would have to include a usable trigger, a safety you can reasonably knock off without using your thumb, better attention to the metal finish and at least some attempt at a decent recoil pad. Though reliable in function, it is a shotgun not worth owning, for the several reasons stated, despite its low initial price.
Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.