Weapons: March 1, 2001


The Czech Republic is exporting a new rifle, the CZ-550, to the US. Marketed to hunters and sport shooters, the Czechs insist it is accurate enough for military and police sniping. The rifle is available in .308 caliber as a full-length rifle. The design is also available in .22-250 and .243 calibers. While it is basically an evolution of the Mauser-98 (the long German rifle of WWI, not the shorter 98K Karbine of WWII), this $582 rifle has several advanced features. The magazine (usually a built-in type for bolt-action rifles such as the Mauser) is detachable (by pressing a button on the inside front edge of the trigger guard), allowing the rifle to be reloaded while there is a round in the chamber and the sights are on the target. This is not exactly something that the typical deer hunter needs. The CZ-550 uses a special "set trigger" in which the shooter can adjust the trigger weight by pushing forward on the trigger. Most shooters will ignore this feature (or not even realize it is there) but advanced shooters who know how to use it can fine-tune their rifle's pull between shots.Stephen V Cole


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