CZ Model 527 Carbine
CZ-USA’s new Model 527 Carbine is a handy bolt-action, hunting carbine in .223 Rem. or 7.62×39 mm. Two things set the 527 apart: inexpensive, ubiquitous ammunition in both calibers, and CZ’s miniature Mauser action. With its 18 1/2” barrel, overall length of just over 37” and empty weight under 6 lbs., the CZ Model 527 is a lightweight, well-balanced carbine for plinking, and hunting deer (where legal) at close ranges. The NRA. Technical Staff received a Model 527 Carbine in 7.62×39 mm for test and evaluation.
Ballistically, the 7.62×39 mm cartridge offers hunting performance in the same league with the venerable .30-30 Win. For example, 122-or 123-gr. pointed 7.62 mm bullets retain about 1,150 ft.-lbs. of energy at 100 yds. while 150-gr. flat nose .30-30 Win. bullets retain 1,356 ft.-lbs.
CZ’s Model 527 action is a miniature version of Paul Mauser’s classic turn-bolt Model 98. With a front receiver ring diameter of 1.215” and an overall length of 6.68”, its action is shorter and lighter than a standard Model 98. The bolt is also proportionally smaller with a body diameter of 0.587” and a length of 5.75”.
Classic Model 98 features on the Model 527 action include: dual opposed front locking lugs; external “claw” extractor; external ejector; and controlled-round feed. The 527 also has an adjustable trigger, a safety lever on the bolt shroud and a detachable, five-shot, single-column magazine.
The CZ 527 Carbine comes with a hooded front blade sight on a low ramp and a notched blade rear sight drift-adjustable for windage. The receiver’s top is grooved and stop-notched for CZ dovetail base scope rings, but it is not drilled and tapped for conventional scope bases.
The Model 527’s single, set trigger is adjustable for pull weight, take-up and overtravel. Pulling it in normal fashion results in a 4 lb. pull weight with modest take-up. Alternatively, the trigger can be pushed forward to initiate the set mechanism for a 3/4-lb. trigger pull with virtually no take-up. We found the latter best for accuracy, however the standard trigger pull proved very acceptable.
The one-piece, full pistol grip stock of Turkish walnut has a semi-gloss, Polyurethane finish with quick-detachable, sling swivel studs and a black rubber buttpad. We noted many small pits in the finish as a result of incomplete filling of the wood before the finish was applied. Machine cut, 18 line-per-inch checkering in a diamond pattern with double borders is located on both sides of the pistol grip and fore-end. Checkering was crisp and even with very few over runs.
Stock pull length is 14”-slightly shorter than many other sporting rifles, but fine for shooting with heavy coats. We found comb height correctly placed the shooter’s eye for viewing through a scope. Wood to metal fit was only fair, but acceptable for a sporting carbine of this type. The medium polish blue finish on the metal parts was uniform and quite serviceable.
CZ fits a sporter weight, hammer-forged barrel of carbon steel on the Model 527 having four grooves with a right-hand twist of 1:9”. The bore is not chrome lined, nor is the barrel free-floating. The short length of the Model 527 Carbine barrel is not a ballistic handicap as the 7.62×39 mm is designed and loaded for use from short barrels. For example, Winchester’s 2003 Ammunition catalog lists muzzle velocity of 7.62×39 mm ammunition with a 123-gr. soft point bullet as 2,365 f.p.s. from a 20” barrel. Our chronograph measured these same loads at 2,320 f.p.s. from the Model 527’s 18 1/2” barrel.
Groove diameter of the 527’s barrel is .308” as domestic, factory loaded, softpoint 7.62×39 mm is loaded with .308”-diameter bullets, brass cartridge cases and is non-corrosive Boxer primed. Military ammunition in 7.62×39 mm is normally loaded with .311” bullets, steel cartridge cases and often corrosive Berdan primers. We found both types of ammunition functioned well in the Model 527. Feeding and chambering were smoothest with steel case ammunition, while extraction and ejection were noticeably easier with brass cases.
Handling and balance were excellent, and CZ’s Model 527 Carbine is just plain fun. The low cost of its ammunition and its nifty little Mauser action add even more to its appeal.
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Nov 2003
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