If variety is the spice of life, then hunters have a savory selection indeed of rifles to take afield.
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In an era in which gunmakers are rushing to add plastic and camouflage and accessory mounts to their firearms—and otherwise bolt from anything that gives off the faintest whiff of tradition—it seems quaint, if not downright quixotic, to bring a single-shot deerstalker rifle to the American market. But that is what CZ-USA has done with the Brno Effect, a trim and light break-action that is chambered in the decidedly un-hip .30/06.
We appreciated the Effect’s lively handling and portability, with one test team member observing that it would make a good backcountry rifle or could be used on game hunted in heavy cover, where a fast shot is likely. That it’s so easy to handle would make it a smart choice for a young shooter as well, at least in theory.
I say in theory because our test rifle had some design issues, with an action that was difficult to open (attributable in part to its newness) and, more seriously, a heavy trigger pull that tipped the scales at 5 pounds 3 ounces. Given that the rifle weighs only an ounce above 6 pounds, a trigger pull that heavy is bound to have a detrimental effect on its accuracy in the field.
Nonetheless, with careful technique, our rifle shot a 1.47-inch group off the bench, which shows it can deliver adequate performance for big game. ($1,585; cz-usa.com)
Testers’ Comments: Good backcountry rifle.
* Trigger pull hurt this rifle.
* Fun to shoot.
* Like the trim lines and in-hand feel.
Overall Rating: 2 1/2 stars