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Old 02-13-2020, 09:37 PM
Trout Trout is offline
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Default Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington

Several months ago I discovered the CZ 527 while mindlessly searching for the end of the internet. I liked the idea of a mini Mauser action in a more handy size rifle. I initially decided that I really needed a Varmint model chambered for 6.5 Grendel. I was talking to my LGS guy one day, and he handed me a gun off the rack and said "check this one out". It was a 527 chambered for 222. It had the sporter barrel, so I quickly dismissed it. He showed me how the set trigger worked, and I just knew I had to have one of these. More research, and the 222 just grew on me. I went back one day in mid-December and he told me he'd take 10% off. Bam. Sold.

I went all out and splurged on 200 pieces of fancy Lapua brass. I just knew this gun was going to be a dream. I assembled several loads to test and headed to the range. The very first round jammed about halfway into the chamber. I couldn't chamber a round from the magazine. I could force it, but quickly realized that the magazine was cutting big gashes in my expensive new Lapua brass! Ouch. I spent the day feeding the rounds one by one. I would have been real happy with the groups... if I were my grandpa shooting my Savage Model 99 deer rifle off the hood of the truck at a big rock on the hill. Well, I'm not my grandpa, and I wasn't shooting my 99, so I was very disappointed.

This gun seemed like a complete waste of a perfectly great target trigger.

I mentioned my plight to my LGS guy, and he wanted me to send the rifle back to the factory. If there's anything I've ever learned from smith-wessonforum.com, it's that sending a gun back is no guarantee of anything coming back any better than it was before. It might be better, but it might be worse.

I came home and spent 90 minutes with sandpaper and steel wool and polished off every razor edge on the top section of the magazine. Now the gun would slide rounds into the chamber like they were greased. Back to the range, and more groups like before.

I took the action out of the stock and checked for binding, etc. I could see a rubbed spot on the bottom of the barrel indicating that the barrel was not completely free floated. I sanded it off and put it back together. Back to the range. More model 99 off the hood groups.

The next time out I used a folded five spot jammed between the stock and barrel to see if a pressure point would help. I could move the groups around the target with pressure points, but no small groups.

My LGS guy continued to suggest sending the gun back. I had determined to make it shoot or sell it. I was on the verge of placing an ad.

While cleaning the gun, I noticed a funky crown. There was a tiny lip around the crown that I could snag with my fingernail. I also noticed that the ends of the riflings didn't seem uniform and sharp.

I watched a YouTube video of Bubba Redneck re-crowning his gun with a brass screw, a drill, and some valve grind compound. How could this possibly make mine worse? I put up the six bucks for a tube of Permatex Valve Grind paste and a 10-24 brass screw. I cut the crown and it looked pretty good. I wanted to do some touch up and realized that the process cut grooves in the brass screw head, so they are sort of short-use disposable. Back to the farm store for 3 more screws. I touched it up to the point where I was satisfied, then polished the new crown area with a fresh screw and a patch with some JB bore compound.

I took the gun back to the range yesterday on my lunch hours and gave it another go. The results are best described with the picture below. The top 3 targets are typical before the re-crown, and the bottom 3 are after the redneck barrel crown.

Nobody should have to troubleshoot and repair a new gun... but I'm glad I stuck with it.

Click 3 times for a full size picture.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:07 PM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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My buddy had a beautiful Browning A bolt in .270 some 25 years back. He was on the verge of dumping it because of the shotgun patterns at 100 yds. Sometimes it wasn't even on a 2'x2' target.

We tried bullet weight, seating depths, free floating & you name it. Nothing seemed to help. In a last ditch effort I took it to an old but good (& very slow) gunsmith.

I caught him at the perfect time and he looked it over right then, while I babbled on about everything we had tried. Then he picked up a dremel motor, dug around through the layers of parts on his bench, and chucked in a round stone, then started working on the muzzle.

He gave it back after a minute or two and said, "Here, try it now, and if it shoots to suit you, put some cold blue up there. If it's no better, bring it back and we'll try something else."

I wish to hell I'd seen the muzzle before he started on it, because it started shooting quarter size groups with the first bullet weight I used! And he wouldn't take a dime for his 10 minutes of wizardry.

I certainly appreciate your story & efforts. Hopefully it will help someone else from going through what we did. Not to mention the money we spent buying bullets, powder and sandpaper. Sometime it just pays to look at the crown first. Thanks for the reminder.

I've got a .223 AR I'm struggling with. Gonna check that crown in the morning.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:59 PM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Investigate "annealing case mouths". Your brass will love you. I will tell you that your barrel will not last as long as 24 # of H322 does. I had a S&W 1500 in 222 Remington.

That rifle is beautiful.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:17 AM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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It's simple to form .222 brass from .223 or 5.56 brass - just a matter of running the .223 cases through the .222 full length resizing die and trimming to the correct case length. A trim die will be worthwhile if you do not have a case trimmer. Annealing case necks after forming is recommended. Pretty simple to do if you have a propane torch and know how. No need to water cool the cases - air cooling is OK. Regarding tightening groups, I'd recommend all cases be trimmed to identical lengths, then do some experimenting to find the cartridge overall length for the specific bullet you plan to use that gives the best grouping. And thereafter, use ONLY that bullet. As I have said here numerous times, 5 shot groups are worthless for determining comparative grouping performance. Too much group-to-group statistical variability. Ten shot groups are the minimum if you are serious, far less group size variability. Only then should you fool around with different propellant types and charges. I'd also recommend neck sizing only after the first firing of each case. That is the only way to get dead-nuts zero headspace. You can buy a .22 neck sizing die which will work for about any .22 case. Or you can back off the conventional FL die a bit so that the case body and shoulder remain unsized. I recommend trying IMR 4198 (probably the best performing propellant for the .222 and .223), but your rifle will probably have its own propellant preferences.

Last edited by DWalt; 02-14-2020 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:24 AM
M29since14 M29since14 is online now
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Whenever I get desperate with a .222 I try a 50 gr Sierra Blitz and 20.5 grs of IMR 4198. A few years ago I mentioned this combination to a friend and later he pointed out that he could not find it listed in his loading manuals. Of course it is in my old Lyman manual, and I still use it. In its day, in my neck of the woods, that load was sort of a .222 ďgold standardĒ. Nevertheless, I am NOT encouraging anyone to go against recently published material. Like anything to do with handloading - always do your own homework.

I really like the mini-CZs. I really dislike the bottom metal and box magazine. Great that you got yours squared away. I had a .221 and a .223 at one time, both nice rifles and both were more than adequate shooters - but a drag to carry around. I wish CZ made them with conventional bottom metal. Iíd buy another .221 tomorrow.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:43 AM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
Whenever I get desperate with a .222 I try a 50 gr Sierra Blitz and 20.5 grs of IMR 4198.
That is exactly my best performing load for the .223 in my Savage 112-V.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:11 AM
ColbyBruce ColbyBruce is online now
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I own a 527 Lux .22 Hornet, carbine 7.62x39, varmint .223 in the HS Precision stock, American Premium .223. My son has a .223 in a US made synthetic stock imported in the early 1980ís. I gave my brother a American .222. I sold or traded American models in .204 & .223 and another.223 in the HS Precision stock. I found a varmint in .17 Remington the day I retired and bought it as I knew someone looking for one. He refused it, claiming $285.00 was too high a price. I had no problem selling it.

I absolutely love the little guns. Often, the actions bind because final stock in-letting is poorly done. Half of my stocks needed relieving where the back of the action fits in. That can cause the mad well to bind, the mag then doesnít fit well, and cartridges may not feed well.

None of mine ever shot quite to the same POA switching from the regular trigger to the set trigger. I seldom use the set trigger, except on the varmint model.

The mag well. Years ago, a fellow up north took a dislike to the mag well design and started trimming them down. IIRC, his name was Robert Bertollini. He did the conversion for a small fee. Some men here in Georgia, formerly of Williams Precision, modified Bertolliniís design and sent an example off to CZ-USA. CZ at one time produced a flush fit mag well, three shot magazine model.

Mike Eagleshields was the head armorer/gunsmith at CZ-USA when I was getting into these guns. I am not sure if he is still there, but he was extremely helpful to me the few times I had to call.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:52 AM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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I have a .222 in 788 Remington. Quite accurate. I also bought Lapua brass to reload it, then a guy gave me a bunch of new factory ammo, so I haven't loaded any. A guy I know who is supposed to be a .222 expert recommended 4895 powder, but I haven't tried it, as I said.

As for the CZ, several years ago back when it was a commie country, I had a Brno in .22 Hornet, needed bedding and it was very accurate. I now have a CZ in .223. Love it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:53 AM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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.222 is one of my favorites, I have a Sako Rhimakii and it is a tack driver. IMR 4198 is the powder made for the .222. I bought all Winchester new brass when I started, and found that accuracy could be improved by neck turning. I found that the necks of the brass were slightly thicker on one side than the other. Mine has take quite a few Prairie dogs, and I consider it a 250 yard rifle. I also like my 22-250 which will reach out to 500 yards.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:04 AM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Iím pretty sure the 3-shot conversion parts for the 527 can still be ordered through their website for around $200, but they donít actually fix the ďproblem,Ē they just make it less obnoxious. They donít turn the 527 into a true flat-bottom rifle like the old Riihimški Sakos. Sako used a detachable box magazine, but they did it right.

Of the three 527s Iíve owned, all functioned fine and were accurate. The woodwork was a bit rough, but I had no problems with fit or function.

DWalt, interesting that youíve found the old 4198/.222 load works well in your .223. Iíve never tried it. Itís the only .222 load I routinely keep a good supply of because it worked so well in a variety of rifles. Another one from the old days that was very popular with .222 shooters around here was the Sierra 53 gr HP and 24.0 of BL-C2. I have no idea if itís still listed in current manuals. Back then, we always thought it was a bit milder than the 4198 load but no one had a chronograph or actual pressure data, so we didnít know much - except how the load shot.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:07 PM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Congratulations on your success in locating the cause of the problem. The lessons learned from that journey will be invaluable.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:31 PM
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Beautiful rifle/cal combination. Bottom groups much improved.
Vertical is usually tuned out with more power.....or less.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:01 PM
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Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington Misadventures with a CZ 527 in 222 Remington  
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Hard to beat the tripple duce.

Best load I found on my old Remington 722 is 22.3 of H-322 with a 52 grain match king .010 of the lands. Fun shooting bug hole groups.

For yote and P dogs I use the 53 grain Nosler varmagedan with the same load still ten thousand off the lands.
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