The CZ457 Varmint Precision Chassis gun is a 22LR compact bolt-action rimfire rifle with lots of features and a pretty slick appearance. Let’s dive into this review and see if it lives up to the hype.
CZ 457 22 lr Background
CZ as a company, is no stranger to making bolt action 22LR rimfire rifles. This journey began for them back in 1943 with their Mauser-type training rifle, the ZKM-45. The ZKM-452 was a refinement of the earlier model, and was first introduced in 1954.
Fast forward to current day – the CZ455 came to market in 2010 round about the time PRS style competitions were getting popular. I personally doubt the two were connected at that time, but these days, CZ rimfire bolt actions can be found in a competitor’s hands on any given Saturday at rifle matches across the country.
There are a good number of different CZ models currently available in 22LR. The CZ455, 457 American, 457 Scout, 457 Lux, 457 Pro Varmint – the list goes on. There seems to be an appealing option for just about every shooter type and budget. Today, I’ll be focused in on the CZ457 Varmint Precision Chassis rifle.
CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Specs
|Magazine||5 Round Polymer Detachable|
|Barrel Length||16.5 inches|
|Barrel Thread Rate||1/2 x 28|
CZ-457 Varmint Precision Chassis Features
The previous versions of the 457 were great, but didn’t fit the needs of the 22LR competition shooter. CZ listened to their customers, and the end result was to put their popular CZ457 pro varmint in a chassis instead of a tactical style stock.
The trigger is fully adjustable for weight, creep, and over-travel. Making it very appealing to their target consumer, rimfire competitors. Most of these shooters need to ability to lighten and tune their trigger.
Cold hammer forged, heavy contour, threaded, and available in different lengths.
The CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis comes with a two position, push-to-fire safety.
CZ 457 Models
CZ457 rifles come in MANY variations from the factory from simple and lightweight models to heavier barreled varmint models and now even a chassis model which we are reviewing here.
The Cz 457 Pro Varmint Chassis gun comes in two variants, the black chassis, 16.5” barrel, and LuthAR adjustable stock model we tested and also another version available now with a 24” barrel.
24″ CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Variant
CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Review – Our Take
Let’s begin with reliability. I put approximately 200 rounds of match grade 22LR ammunition through this gun. I used Lapua Center X, Federal Gold Medal, and SK Match. All 40 grain loads. I experienced a couple of minor failure to feed malfunctions while using the Federal Gold Medal. I honestly think they were magazine related, but I only had the one magazine, and was unable to test that theory. The chassis is machined well and the barreled action fits nicely. The gun runs as expected in all ways except those couple of malfunctions.
One of the great, and somewhat obvious things about the CZ457 Pro Varmint Chassis gun, is the chassis. As far as ergonomics go, the ability to completely adjust the stock portion for length of pull and comb height, is a real win in my book. The shooter can easily adjust and tailor the fit of this rifle to their specific needs and body type. Of note is the grip, which is an AR style, and can be changed out by the shooter to meet his/her needs.
The style of the chassis and the vertical nature of the grip, give the shooter a more “upright” body position. This helps with positional shots often taken in competition. Though not really having to do with ergonomics, the MLOK slots on the for-end of the chassis are great for adding accessories like MDT weights, or a picatinny rail section for a bipod.
Accuracy was very good in my test rifle. I was able to achieve sub-moa groups at 100 yards with the CZ457. Please reference the photo here. A .29” group at 100 yards is fabulous from a centerfire rifle let alone a 22LR. Assuming this was a lucky group – that’s what I’m assuming anyway, the CZ457 Pro Varmint is easily a sub-MOA rifle all day long. I was using SK match ammunition for this group. The other group I shot at the same time measured one inch at 100 yards.
Let’s move on to shootability. As I said a bit earlier, the CZ has a completely adjustable buttstock. That feature alone allows the shooter to tailor the fit of this rifle to meet their body size and needs. This gives the rifle higher marks from me with respect to shootability.
It’s like getting behind the wheel of your car when the seat, mirrors, and steering wheel are in the wrong position. You won’t be comfortable, and probably won’t drive as well. If you take the time to fit all those things to your personal comfort level, you will likely perform better. It’s no different with a precision rifle. Efficiency comes from consistency and consistency comes from practice with a rifle that fits you well.
The MSRP of the CZ457 Pro Varmint Chassis gun comes in at $999.99, making it one of the more expensive rimfire bolt actions you will find on the market. Remember, the target consumer for this rifle is rimfire competition shooters. They are looking for the customizability, adjustability, and weight that chassis rifles offer. In that context, it’s a good value. I think CZ offers an excellent product that meets the needs of the entry level competitor.
It’s worth noting here in the value section, that many people who compete in NRL22 matches, are choosing to build full custom 22LR bolt actions that cost approximately $3500.00. In my testing of the CZ457, there is no accuracy gained by spending $3500 on a full custom rifle. (I personally own a Vudoo Gunwerks custom 22LR) In that sense the CZ could be considered an exceptional value.
CZ 457 Accuracy
I spent some time at the range comparing the accuracy of this CZ457 rimfire rifle as compared to the Tikka T1X.
I wasn’t happy with the test results from my first trip to the range so I went back for a second trip and gathered some more data.
You can see the accuracy results from the CZ457 for both trips here:
|Spec||Trip 1 Group 1||Trip 1 Group 2||Trip 1 Group 3||Trip 2 Group 1||Trip 2 Group 2|
|Distance||100 yds||100 yds||100 yds||100 yds||100 yds|
|Rifle||CZ 457||CZ 457||CZ 457||CZ 457||CZ 457|
|Ammo||Federal GMM||Lapua||SK Match||SK Match||SK Match|
|Shots Fired||5 rounds||5 rounds||5 rounds||5 rounds||5 rounds|
|Group Size (In.)||2.04"||1.28"||0.83"||1.15"||0.29"|
|Group Size (MOA)||1.95||1.22||0.79||1.1||0.28|
If you’d like to see how they compare, you can see our full comaprison of the Tikka T1X vs the CZ 457
CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis Pros and Cons
- Interchangeable grip
- Fully adjustable trigger.
- The Chassis!
- Threaded barrel makes for suppressor ready.
- Pinpoint accurate
- The action requires a scope base to be purchased separately.
- The LuthAR stock has some “play” in it. There is a set screw that can be tightened to eliminate the movement, but then the length of pull can’t be adjusted on the fly without first loosening the set screw.
- The price. While a good value for what you get, it pushes the rifle outside the reach of many people just wanting a plinking rifle.
Mostly ok. A couple of failure to feed malfunctions that were probably magazine related.
|Sub 1-inch groups at 100 yards definitely acheivable with regularity.|| |
|It was a lot of fun and definitely appeals to the competition crowd.|| |
|Excellent. The chassis and adjustable buttstock are key to this.|| |
|All the features, aftermarket accessories, and adjustability come at a slightly higher price than other plinking rifles.|| |
If you’re planning on grabbing a CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis rifle, there’s a few basics that you’ll be happy you picked up. A 30MOA scope base is recommended if you plan on using this gun for competition. Area 419 makes one specifically designed for the CZ 457. You’ll also want to pick up a few more magazines and some high quality 40 grain ammo.
Best Accessories for the CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis
With the MLOK system on the forend, there’s a whole bunch of different accessories you can mount onto your CZ 457 Chassis.
Magpul Picatinny M-LOK Rail Mount
If there’s anything I would recommend getting right away, it’s at least one MLOK picatinny rail section. This will allow you add even more accessories such as a bipod. Magpul makes a great mount just for this. CHECK PRICE
Consider adding some chassis weights to the MLOK slots up front. These are available from Modular Driven Technologies. CHECK PRICE
Other 22LR Rifles of its Class to Check Out
Although it say sound a little goofy, there’s no denying that 22LR rifles are some of the most fun to shoot. Show of hands… who here hasn’t spent hours on end just plinking away? And if you haven’t… maybe, it’s about time you did.
Earlier, I reviewed the Tikka T1x. And let me tell you…it’s awesome. I really got a kick out of it. It’s a great 22LR rifle for plinking, varmint, training, and everything in between. We even compared it head-to-head against the CZ 457…READ MORE
TFBTV Show Time: CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis
Back at SHOT SHOW 2020, I had the opportunity to sit back with CZ and talk about the 457 Varmint Precision Chassis. We talk about some of the adjustable features of gun and some nuances about the chassis itself.
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