April 30, 2007
Been a while….guess I should post something up. Since dad came down to go shooting, I’ve wanted to get a rifle. I’ve always had a love for bolt action rifles. I started looking for a bolt action .22LR. I almost settled on the Ruger 77/22. It was nice, but everyone was saying that it was not as accurate as other .22LR rifles in the $500 range. I started my investigation and found that a company called ÄŒeskÃ¡ Zbrojovka (CZ) manufactured a .22LR called the 452 and it was around 500 and was one of the most accurate out of the box guns for this caliber that you could find.
That settled it then…I was going to get a CZ 452. Now which one? There are two versions: American and Varmint. The american has a lighter barrel and has iron sights, while the varmint has a heavier barrel without sights. The varmint is more my style…I knew that I was going to put a nice scope on it (complements of my eye sight), and the heavier barrel should help keep the barrel cool while at the range.
Now, as I’m reading my reviews and trying to find out what scope I want to mount, I call the local CZ dealer to see if they have the guns (ruger and CZ) in stock so I can compare in person. He did have both in stock. While on the phone, he also asked me what I really wanted to do with this rifle. I explained that I have enjoyed shooting bolt action rifles at a distance up to 100 yards. The 100 yards were the magic words that he had been waiting for me to say. While some .22LR rifles can be accurate up to 100 yards, it is really at the limitation of the .22LR cartridge at that distance. HE recommended that I look into the .17 HMR cartridge. CZ makes a 452 chambered for that round. I said thank you, hung up the phone and began my research anew.
Was 100 yards all that I really wanted to be able to be accurate at? Not really….I’d like to go to 150 yards, maybe 200.
I started by looking at some basic muzzle velocity and trajectory information. .22LR typically has a muzzle velocity around 1250fps. The .17 HMR is more than double, with a typical measurements around 2500-2600 fps.
The .17 HMR is a much flatter shooter than the .22LR. Many people are reporting that it is not uncommon to put 5 shot groups at 100 yards under 1″ in diameter.
So that’s the gun I want…a CZ 452 Varmint in .17 HMR.
Now, I needed to find some glass for it. I went into the gun shop to check out the guns in person. The guy at the gun shop recommended a Leupold 3-9x rimfire scope. From what I read, it was not enough magnification at 100+ yards. I think the scope I will end up getting is a Leupold VX-II 6-18×40mm AO. It will end up being slightly more than the rifle, but it will be a scope that I could keep if/when I decide to go to a longer distance centerfire cartridge.
Wedding stuff is going well…the countdown is on….3 weeks and counting. No cold feet. I’d just like to have everything go off without a hitch.