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GUNS Magazine November 2010 - Page 36
• JOHN TAFFIN • A dREAm REAlizEd The CZ-USA Model 550FS 6.5x55mm. Johnfoundtheshort,handyCZ550FSalso mildinrecoilwiththeprovenandeffective 6.5x55mm. mOdEl 550 FS ˇ mAKER: CESKá zBROJOVKA CzECHOSlOVAKiA imPORTER: Cz-USA P.O. BOX 171073 KANSAS CiTY, KS 66117 (800) 955-6615 WWW.Cz-USA.COm ACTiON TYPE: Bolt action CAliBER: 6.5x55mm (tested, many others) CAPACiTY: 5 BARREl lENGTH: 20.9" OVERAll lENGTH: 41.5" WEiGHT: 7.9 pounds FiNiSH: Blued SiGHTS: Adjustable rear, bead front STOCK: Walnut PRiCE: $691 FUllFiEld ii mAKER: BURRiS 331 E. 8TH ST. GREElY, CO 80631 (970) 356-1670 WWW.BURRiSOPTiCS.COm mAGNiFiCATiON: 4.5X to 14X OBJECTiVE diAmETER: 42mm EYE REliEF: 3.8" (4.5X), 3.1" (14X) iNTERNAl AdJUSTmENTS: 40" elevation & windage at 100 yards RETiClES: Ballistic plex PRiCE: $615 36 ooking through the CZ-USA catalog, something took me back L a half-century or more. There looking back at me was a fullstocked carbine chambered in 6.5x55. It did not have the butter- knife bolt handle or the double-set triggers of the 6.5x54mm mannlicher Schoenauer I dreamed of as a kid. However, the more I looked at it the more I realized this was the best chance I had to fulfill my old dream. manufactured in the Czech Republic by ˇ Ceská Zbrojovka and imported by CZ-USA it is the CZ model 550FS chambered in 6.5x55 or 6.5 Swede (named so because it was originally chambered in the model 96 Swedish mauser). The FS in the name stands for full stock, or the Mannlicher-style stock, (which first caught my attention) boltaction rifle. It holds five rounds with a hinged floorplate for easy removal of unfired cartridges. The thumb safety rides directly behind the bolt handle and is easy to reach and operate. It has three positions, and the middle one locks the trigger but allows the bolt to be operated to unload the chamber. good in the hands and mounts to the shoulder very easily. The one thing I noticed very quickly is the Europeanstyle buttstock. The top of the buttstock does not come straight back but rather curves down. I thought I might have a problem getting used to it but this has not been the case. Sights provided are a typical adjustable rear sight found on most American rifles and the rear sight is seated out far enough on the barrel it does not interfere with scope mounting. The front sight is a bead on a ramp and the only negative I can find with this rifle is with the hood over the front sight. It is definitely not aesthetically pleasing with a very weird (at least to me) shape, however, that was corrected very quickly by its removal. Stock Design The stock is a well-above-average grade of walnut, fitted with sling swivels and with well carried out checkering around the pistol grip and on the forearm. A generous recoil pad is supplied, which would certainly handle cartridges of much heavier recoil than the 6.5 and, speaking of recoil, the 6.5 is an extremely mild shooting cartridge even though it is so conclusive when used on game. The stock has a slim profile as befits a low-recoiling rifle and it flat out feels Integral Bases The Model 550 comes with scope rings and integral bases machined into the receiver. The rear base also has a WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2010