The CZ 527 Carbine takes things to a new level.
When it comes to design, CZ likes to stick with what works.
They’ve made their reputation on guns with proven track records. Their handguns are either 1911s or Hi-power clones. CZ’s rifles are the same tried-and-true Mauser actions that have been the favorite arm of hunters for over 100 years.
None of this stuff is particularly original, but it’s all reliable, and the fact that CZ consistently finds ways to make these old designs easier on the eye doesn’t hurt either.
In spite of CZ’s commitment to tradition, the company has the occasional fit of innovation, which is what happened a few years back when they introduced their 527 Carbine chambered for the 7.62×39 cartridge. This gun was definitely a new idea, and it piqued the interest of many shooters who’d never given much thought to CZ’s products before.
The 527 Carbine was originally produced to offer a more accurate platform for firing the tons of surplus 7.62×39 ammo that was flooding the market. After a while, though, the rifle came to be appreciated for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, the 7.62×39 is a pretty likable cartridge. It produces muzzle energy in the same league as the venerable 30-30 and makes for a mild-shooting deer gun at short ranges. Chambered in a bolt gun, the 7.62×39 shoots as accurately as any modern cartridge, and is considerably more accurate than it ever was in an AK-47 or SKS rifle.
The 527 rapidly became popular as a starter rifle for young hunters or new hunters who were having a hard time becoming acclimated to recoil. The 7.62×39 with its 123gr bullet makes for a far better big game round than its low-recoil competitors like the 223 Remington.
This combination of a reasonably powerful round, low recoil and good accuracy has proved to be nearly perfect for many shooters.
If you do pick up a 527 Carbine, it’s important to remember that Europeans consider the 7.62×39 to be a .311 caliber round while Americans tend to vacillate back and forth between .311 and .308. The 527 is bored for .311 bullets, which means all that cheap AK fodder out there will shoot very well out of it.
The soft point ammo you may buy for hunting might not be the same story, though. Some of these rounds are .311, like Federal Fusion ammo, and some aren’t.
This can be cleared up either by taking a caliper to the rounds or simply by trial-and-error, but accuracy will definitely be better with .311 caliber rounds.
Once you’ve found a good brand of factory ammo or drummed up some handloads, chances are you’ll have a great-shooting rifle that will become a favorite with the whole family.
The 527 carbine proves that even a company steeped in tradition can profit from a little innovation.
Featured image via cz-usa.com