CZ 527 American Rifle

By Randy Wakeman

CZ 527 American Rifle
Illustration courtesy of CZ-USA.

The tested firearm is the .223 Remington caliber CZ 527 bolt action rifle. This model is outfitted with a very attractive black chrome barrel, 4-shot detachable magazine and what is by now becoming a CZ trademark, the single set trigger.

CZ American series rifles are made specifically to appeal to American shooters. They features an American classic style Turkish walnut stock, pistol grip, 18 LPI cut checkering, rubber butt pad, and detachable sling swivel bases. The stock on our test rifle is of excellent quality walnut with distinct mineral streaks.

Designed to fit the small base calibers perfectly, the CZ 527 is built on a true micro length Mauser style action and features controlled round feed, detachable magazine, single set trigger, hammer forged barrel, and recessed target crown. The scope mounting receiver dovetail on all CZ 527's is 16mm.

Here are the catalog specifications of the CZ 527 American:

  • Product Number - 03022
  • Caliber - .223 Remington
  • Magazine Type - detachable
  • Rate of Twist - 1 in 8.9"
  • Weight - 6.3 pounds
  • Overall Length - 40.3"
  • Barrel Length - 21.8"
  • Length of Pull - 13.4"
  • Sights - none
  • Trigger - single set
  • 2006 MSRP - $599

CZ supplies rings as a matter of course with their 527's, a nice extra, but I felt that the rings could be better. The dovetail scope mounting bases are integral with the receiver, so all you need are rings.

I found that "medium" rings were too short to allow the bolt to clear the ocular end of several scopes I mounted, so I bought a pair of Burris CZ527 medium height black steel rings, Burris #420140, which did not have this issue. A fresh Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40mm scope was mounted to complete the picture, and it was off to the range.

Despite a 12-22 mph pulsing crosswind, temperatures were in the sixties at the range. It was far too pleasant not to shoot all day, which is precisely what I did. With scope mounted and range ready the diminutive CZ 527 weighs right at 7-1/2 pounds.

In conventional mode the trigger breaks at a crisp 4 pounds. After being "set" the trigger breaks at 1 lb. 6 oz.

After bore sighting, I fired off a number of South African battle-pack military surplus 5.56mm rounds. I was on the paper immediately, but the groups were predictably unimpressive. After that, I tried some Israel Military Industries (IMI) cartridges with a tad better, but still lackluster, result. You get what you pay for in ammunition.

Next up was "the good stuff," Stars & Stripes Custom Ammunition 52 grain Hornady boat tail hollow point ammo. The first six rounds grouped less than 3/4 MOA @ 100 yards with ease. Next, I tried a few rounds of the Star & Stripes 40 grain Barnes Varminator ammo, which gave me a .605 inch 3-shot group from first three rounds fired. I'm fast becoming a believer in Stars & Stripes Custom Ammo.

This level of accuracy right out of the box from a rifle with a light profile barrel is astonishing. The CZ 527 was 3/4 MOA as tested, and probably more like sub 1/2 MOA with better range conditions, a better nut behind the butt, or both. Recoil, as you might imagine, is wonderfully pleasant. The action is smooth with no hassle feeding any of the ammo.

The CZ 527 is a joy to carry, shoots lights-out, and achieves a level of accuracy that I find astounding in a production rifle with a sporter barrel profile. I tried to find something about it that I didn't like, but failed.

The CZ 527 hits on all counts, and whether it is varmint hunting, range work, or just plain fun, it is one of the most impressive and enjoyable rifles that I've ever tested. I just can't think of anyone who wouldn't love to have one. It is really that good.

Note: A more detailed, full length review of a CZ 527 American in 6.5mm Grendel can be found on the Member Side Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2006 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.