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Centerfire

CZ 550 American Safari Magnum

Any suggestions on what to do about a CZ 550 american safari magnum rifle that I have a problem with? (other than sell it) I bought a new 550 american safari magnum chambered in 458 Lott that was shipped directly from CZ. When I first opened the box to look at my new rifle my first response was that they sent the rifle chambered for 458 win mag instead of 458 lott. After closer examination I also found 458 Lott crudely written on the barrel. Apparently the factory took the 458 wm barrel off and rechambered it in 458 lott. The first disappointment. After looking the rifle over for any other defects I found that the bolt would bind when opened. Second disappointment! I called the factory in Kansas City, Missouri and spoke to one of their gunsmiths. He asked if I was opening the bolt when the rifle is shouldered or when I had it down in front of me. I inquired why it would matter and his response was that the shooter can exert more upward pressure on the bolt which would cause it to bind. I didn't think it should matter. I'm not going to shoot groundhogs with it! I'm hopefully going to shoot dangerous game with it like cape buffalo, elephant, or brown bear. Animals that don't always run the other way when shot at. And... being that a hunter may become a bit excited when you have a cape buffalo approaching you with the intent of sticking his horns in you and then stomping you to death he may not be thinking "well I had better not exert that much upward pressure or the bolt may bind". The CZ gunsmith said to send it back to the Kansas City factory and he would look at it. I did better than that. I was going on an eastern Kansas spring gobbler hunt so I took the rifle along with me. I went to the KC, Missouri factory and had the gunsmith look at it. He worked on a bit and brought it back to me to check it. Still wasn't much better. He tried to smooth the bolt more but it still bound up. He said to leave the rifle with him. Several weeks after returning home from my kansas hunt I received the rifle. Still no better than before. This same gunsmith also stated that the CZ rifle action is modeled after the Mauser action but being that Mauser still has the patent, CZ could not make their action exactly like Mauser's. I took it to the range anyways and found that the rifle shot about 14 inches high and 10 inches to the left at 50 yards using the 100 yard leaf sight. I'm just wandering if I might have gotten a reject or something? Obviously it wasn't sighted it before it left the factory. Now I'm very disappointed with my first and most likely last CZ firearm. Anybody else have any problems with CZ or is mine just a fluke? If CZ is trying to become a competitor in the US firearm market I would think that they would have tried harder to correct the rifle bolt problem. Any suggestions??

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from erdes wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hmm..I didn't think CZ had a factory in Kansas City, MO; they are based out of Kansas City, Kansas. Regardless, I own two CZ 550's one in .375 H&H and the other in .458 Lott. The Lott was purchased some 3 years ago and has what Centerfire describes as .458 Win with a restamp of .458 Lott. The stock is plain Turkish walnut. It is an exceptional gun and I have fired over 100 full power rounds through it with no problems. Dependable enough that it will be what I take to hunt Cape Buffalo. When asked by the PH what I planned to use, I told him "a CZ in .458 Lott and he said it is a "sturdy, dependable rifle in a great caliber".

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from Kody wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My CZ in in 375 H & H and is one fine looking rifle. The stock is a thing of beauty almost too good looking to take to the field. The action is smooth despite looking strong enough to take on a .50 cal round. I am sorry to hear your rifle is a disappointment as most of us have waited a long time to acquire this kind of rifle. That makes it all the more discouraging. I tend to think you hit a lemon. That can happen but the kind of response you are getting is unacceptable. In that circumstance those of us in business bend over backwards to make it right. that is good business. Good companies define themselves by the way they handle problems. I would like to hear how this thing plays out. I'm sure other reading this forum will be paying attention as well. How about posting your letter and the response for us?

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from ekimirca wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

300hnh, thanks for the comment. I think I will do that. Not sure if that will help but I am going to try. I was there in person with the problem rifle at the CZ Offices. While I was waiting for their gunsmith to work on the gun, Alice (the one you see on any hunts promoting CZ firearms) walked past me several times without even a smile. Also heard her speaking on the telephone in their foreign tongue and she sounded really nasty! Naturally, I couldn't understand what she was saying but by the tone of her voice I would have told her (if I was on the other end of the phone conversation) to do what I'm about to tell CZ to do! I will be traveling back to the CZ office/plant area in the beginning of July. If no response by then maybe I'll visit Alice again and tell them where I would like them to place their dangerous game rifle.

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from 300hnh wrote 5 years 17 weeks ago

At this point I would forget about being nice - it is time to get pissy. You paid $1000 of your hard earned money for a lemon of a rifle.

Contact CZ and ask how to address a letter to the company president, Manager of North American operations - whoever. if they offer to have you talk to customer service tell them that you have gone that route with no satisfaction. Get a name and an address.

Now write them a letter, and let them know just how you feel -- now remember, be nice, don't swear or call them names. But in a nice way express your displeasure with the rifle - starting with the barrel being rebored and relabeled, the poor accuracy, up to the action not working like it should -- especially on a rifle that will be used for dangerous game.

A letter will usually get much more results than just a phone call.

If they offer to have a gunsmith look it over - tell them no way, you want a new rifle - one that works! Tell them that there are plenty of satisfied CZ customers out there with excellent working rifle - so you understand that sometimes a lemon comes off of the production line.

You might get some better satisfaction from them.
Good luck and keep us posted,
300hnh

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from ekimirca wrote 5 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks, Sucngas, for the information. I'm just an average guy with two boys in college. One is a junior and another is a freshman. I could have splurged on the deluxe grade 550 mag but didn't really care what the new rifle looked like, just the caliber and reliability. I appreciate the info about the gunsmith but an additional $495 to $2600. I really didn't want to spend any more on this rifle. I was expecting a smooth action that didn't bind and a rifle that was sighted in with the proper sights right from the factory for the almost $1,000 I spent on this new rifle from the factory. I was hoping that someone from CZ would hear of my problem and help!! Until I get some type of remedy I will never buy another CZ nor will I recommend them to anyone. By the way... I never had any kind of problem like this with any of my Winchesters, Rugers, Remingtons, or Brownings. I guess my problem is just a fluke. Just my luck!!

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from sucngas wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I got to thinking about it last night. If you are interested in fixing up your 458 lott, this is a gunsmith that specializes in the cz's. He can fix any problems you have, and some you probably haven't noticed, like relocating the safety. I've been drooling over his rifles for about a year now, I'd love that 600 overkill. Not sure what I'd use it for, but that's not really the point is it.
http://www.hunting-rifles.com/index.htm

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from namon wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I bought a new cz 550 in .375 H&H, I plan to go to Africa in about a year and a half, so far I cant find any thing wrong with it. I also bought a leupold 1.5-5x dangerous game scope and quick release rings.The bolt works perfit,and it holds 5 rounds, ideal for dangerous game. when I hunt with it,I will report back on any problems,etc

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from sucngas wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I bought a cz550 in 416 Rigby last year. The action is perfect. The trigger is amazing. It shot dead on with the iron sights. The only problem I had was that when I mounted the scope, it shot way too low. I adjusted the scope as far as possible, still not enough. I contacted the company, and was told that they never really intended for the big bores to be used with a scope (why the mounts then????), but they offered to replace it no questions asked. I hated to do that because I had already had the action glass bedded. I honestly think that the problem is with the rings (also cz, but they don't measure the same height), not the action. I'm going to try a different set of rings and see if that fixes it, but for now, I just put a .020 shim under the back ring. Works great. It will shoot under 3/4" at 100 yards with both Norma and Hornady ammo. As a matter of fact, I used it to shoot a five point bull elk last year. Poor bugger never knew what hit him.

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from sucngas wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I got to thinking about it last night. If you are interested in fixing up your 458 lott, this is a gunsmith that specializes in the cz's. He can fix any problems you have, and some you probably haven't noticed, like relocating the safety. I've been drooling over his rifles for about a year now, I'd love that 600 overkill. Not sure what I'd use it for, but that's not really the point is it.
http://www.hunting-rifles.com/index.htm

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from sucngas wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I bought a cz550 in 416 Rigby last year. The action is perfect. The trigger is amazing. It shot dead on with the iron sights. The only problem I had was that when I mounted the scope, it shot way too low. I adjusted the scope as far as possible, still not enough. I contacted the company, and was told that they never really intended for the big bores to be used with a scope (why the mounts then????), but they offered to replace it no questions asked. I hated to do that because I had already had the action glass bedded. I honestly think that the problem is with the rings (also cz, but they don't measure the same height), not the action. I'm going to try a different set of rings and see if that fixes it, but for now, I just put a .020 shim under the back ring. Works great. It will shoot under 3/4" at 100 yards with both Norma and Hornady ammo. As a matter of fact, I used it to shoot a five point bull elk last year. Poor bugger never knew what hit him.

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from namon wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

I bought a new cz 550 in .375 H&H, I plan to go to Africa in about a year and a half, so far I cant find any thing wrong with it. I also bought a leupold 1.5-5x dangerous game scope and quick release rings.The bolt works perfit,and it holds 5 rounds, ideal for dangerous game. when I hunt with it,I will report back on any problems,etc

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ekimirca wrote 5 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks, Sucngas, for the information. I'm just an average guy with two boys in college. One is a junior and another is a freshman. I could have splurged on the deluxe grade 550 mag but didn't really care what the new rifle looked like, just the caliber and reliability. I appreciate the info about the gunsmith but an additional $495 to $2600. I really didn't want to spend any more on this rifle. I was expecting a smooth action that didn't bind and a rifle that was sighted in with the proper sights right from the factory for the almost $1,000 I spent on this new rifle from the factory. I was hoping that someone from CZ would hear of my problem and help!! Until I get some type of remedy I will never buy another CZ nor will I recommend them to anyone. By the way... I never had any kind of problem like this with any of my Winchesters, Rugers, Remingtons, or Brownings. I guess my problem is just a fluke. Just my luck!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 300hnh wrote 5 years 17 weeks ago

At this point I would forget about being nice - it is time to get pissy. You paid $1000 of your hard earned money for a lemon of a rifle.

Contact CZ and ask how to address a letter to the company president, Manager of North American operations - whoever. if they offer to have you talk to customer service tell them that you have gone that route with no satisfaction. Get a name and an address.

Now write them a letter, and let them know just how you feel -- now remember, be nice, don't swear or call them names. But in a nice way express your displeasure with the rifle - starting with the barrel being rebored and relabeled, the poor accuracy, up to the action not working like it should -- especially on a rifle that will be used for dangerous game.

A letter will usually get much more results than just a phone call.

If they offer to have a gunsmith look it over - tell them no way, you want a new rifle - one that works! Tell them that there are plenty of satisfied CZ customers out there with excellent working rifle - so you understand that sometimes a lemon comes off of the production line.

You might get some better satisfaction from them.
Good luck and keep us posted,
300hnh

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from ekimirca wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

300hnh, thanks for the comment. I think I will do that. Not sure if that will help but I am going to try. I was there in person with the problem rifle at the CZ Offices. While I was waiting for their gunsmith to work on the gun, Alice (the one you see on any hunts promoting CZ firearms) walked past me several times without even a smile. Also heard her speaking on the telephone in their foreign tongue and she sounded really nasty! Naturally, I couldn't understand what she was saying but by the tone of her voice I would have told her (if I was on the other end of the phone conversation) to do what I'm about to tell CZ to do! I will be traveling back to the CZ office/plant area in the beginning of July. If no response by then maybe I'll visit Alice again and tell them where I would like them to place their dangerous game rifle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kody wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

My CZ in in 375 H & H and is one fine looking rifle. The stock is a thing of beauty almost too good looking to take to the field. The action is smooth despite looking strong enough to take on a .50 cal round. I am sorry to hear your rifle is a disappointment as most of us have waited a long time to acquire this kind of rifle. That makes it all the more discouraging. I tend to think you hit a lemon. That can happen but the kind of response you are getting is unacceptable. In that circumstance those of us in business bend over backwards to make it right. that is good business. Good companies define themselves by the way they handle problems. I would like to hear how this thing plays out. I'm sure other reading this forum will be paying attention as well. How about posting your letter and the response for us?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from erdes wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hmm..I didn't think CZ had a factory in Kansas City, MO; they are based out of Kansas City, Kansas. Regardless, I own two CZ 550's one in .375 H&H and the other in .458 Lott. The Lott was purchased some 3 years ago and has what Centerfire describes as .458 Win with a restamp of .458 Lott. The stock is plain Turkish walnut. It is an exceptional gun and I have fired over 100 full power rounds through it with no problems. Dependable enough that it will be what I take to hunt Cape Buffalo. When asked by the PH what I planned to use, I told him "a CZ in .458 Lott and he said it is a "sturdy, dependable rifle in a great caliber".

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