CZ 512 .22 WMR Autoloading Rifle

By Randy Wakeman

CZ 512 Rifle
Photo by Randy Wakeman.

The CZ 512 is the newest autoloading rifle from CZ-USA, a modular design that is completely different design from its predecessor, the CZ 511. There has been a dearth of .22 WMR autoloading rifles in the market, so this CZ is a welcome addition. The same approximate weight and dimensions are shared by the .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum versions of the CZ512. Here are the 512 specifications.

  • SKU: 02161
  • Caliber: .22 WMR
  • Magazine Capacity: 5 rounds
  • Magazine Type: Detachable box
  • Rate of Twist: 1:16; cold hammer forged
  • Weight: 5.9 lbs.
  • Overall Length: 39.3 inches
  • Barrel Length: 20.6 inches
  • Height: 7.87 inches
  • Width: 2.24 inches
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 inches
  • Sights: Adjustable open rear and front blade; 11mm dovetail for scope mounting
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Barrel Finish: Blued
  • Receiver: Anodized aluminum
  • Stock: Beech wood w/plastic buttplate
  • Safety: Cross bolt
  • 2012 MSRP: $496

The upper receiver is aluminum alloy and the bottom fiberglass-filled plastic. An 11mm dovetail is integral with the top of the receiver, so scope mounting is easy. Although the trigger requires a bit of take-up, there was no grit and it broke consistently and smoothly at a rather heavy 4.5 pounds. This is better than average for rimfire autoloaders.

The barrel is blued steel. CZ hammer-forged barrels have generally been exceedingly accurate and that appears to be the case here.

The beech wood stock is hardly glamorous, but is well-finished and included metal sling swivel studs. This stock is designed for use with optics, rather than the supplied iron sights. It takes some head-tipping to get a good sight picture and the front blade is coarse.

At the range, I used Winchester Supreme 30 grain JHP ammo throughout. The catalog muzzle velocity of this load is 2250 fps. It is excellent for general use and pest control to 100 yards or so.

Initially shooting at 40 yards, using the factory iron sights, it was easy to keep five shot groups inside two inches. I then mounted a Hawke Optics Panorama EV 3-9x50mm riflescope with the Hawke L4 reticle (#HK5158). This is a dual illuminated reticle (red/blue). Setting up at a laser-verified 35 yards, despite less than ideal field conditions, the CZ512 had no problem putting five shots essentially into one ragged hole from a bench rest.

Ejection was extremely positive, throwing the brass six feet or so. There were no stoppages or malfunctions of any kind.

The more I shot the CZ 512, the more I liked it. It is addictingly fun to shoot and more accurate than expected. The appeal of this rifle is its balance, handling and the reliability of its action. To be sure, it could be more cosmetically appealing and the trigger, while adequate, is definitely not target grade. I am still waiting for the first stoppage, though, and .22 WMR autoloaders are a scarce commodity.

My initial impressions were all positive. The CZ 512 is a fun, reliable, excellent handling rimfire in .22 Magnum caliber, which has been a neglected segment of the market.

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Copyright 2012, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.