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CZ Model 457 Rimfire Rifles Review

These new 457 models expand on CZ's “everyman” rimfire rifle line.

CZ Model 457 Rimfire Rifles Review
Photo by Mark Fingar. The CZ 457 series continues the rimfire legacy of the discontinued CZ 452 and 455. Many configuration are available, but all offer: a separate bolt-removal control; the ability to remove the bolt even with the safety engaged; an adjustable trigger; 60-degree bolt lift; a new type of bedding; more ergonomic stocks; lighter striker; and a match chamber in several models.

CZ has been making popular rimfire rifles for several decades. Since the introduction of the CZ 452 in 1954, the CZ 455 introduced in 2010, and the CZ 457 introduced last year, CZ continues to refine their rimfire rifles today.

The CZ 457 is the best rimfire rifle that CZ has ever made, as it incorporates every lesson CZ has learned along the way. The improvements made on the CZ 455 to create the CZ 457 include shortening the action, cutting flats in the receiver sides, a new safety, an adjustable trigger and a 60-­degree bolt throw. The last two are the most important, in my opinion.

Trigger Talk

The CZ 455 had a good trigger, but it wasn’t adjustable. The only way to change its pull weight was to swap out trigger springs, which I have done before to reduce it. Making these changes allowed for trigger let-­off as light as 11/2 pounds. However, both sear engagement and overtravel were set at the factory. In contrast, the new CZ 457’s trigger is adjustable for pull weight, sear engagement and overtravel. However, if the shooter grabs a set of Allen keys and starts spinning screws, it is possible to adjust the trigger to the point that it won’t work. If you decide to tune your own trigger, just remember to adjust one screw at a time and check for safe operation along the way. Unlike a lot of so-called “adjustable” triggers, the CZ 457’s trigger adjusts as advertised. The rifle ships with the trigger set at around 3 pounds (or a little over) and, after a few minutes work, I had Guns & Ammo’s test-rifles’ triggers down to 1 pound, 10 ounces. That’s about as light as they go.

Adjustment of sear engagement on the 457 is highly desirable, but should be done in small increments. If there’s too little engagement when running the bolt fast, it won’t cock the firing pin. Even when a quick bolt-­cycling will cock the firing pin, the owner should smack the empty rifle on its butt (with the muzzle in the air) to see if the sear slips off. If jarring the rifle won’t cause it to fire, there’s probably enough sear engagement to guarantee its safe operation. Minimizing sear engagement gives the trigger a zero-­creep break, but too little engagement will cause the rifle to fire when the bolt closes, or possibly when someone jars the rifle.


Bolt Throw

The other significant improvement CZ made with the 457 is the 60-­degree bolt throw. Normally, I think the difference between a 90-­degree and 60-­degree bolt throw is negligible. The downsides of each are that 60-­degree throws usually have a heavier bolt lift, but a 90-­degree throw feels slower when you’re in a hurry. However, in the case of the 457, the 60-­degree bolt lift offers a real advantage.


Rimfire actions are smaller than centerfire actions, which means that receivers have smaller diameters and bolt handles get shorter. Putting a 90-­degree bolt throw on the CZ 455 often placed the bolt handle so close to the scope’s ocular housing that it was hard not to scrape your fingers when cycling the bolt, especially when the scope had lots of magnification and a large ocular housing. The CZ 457 has a 60-­degree throw giving the bolt handle plenty of clearance when cycling the action.

Mag Changes

What CZ hasn’t done on the 457 is change the magazine, and for that I’m thankful. In fact, the magazine hasn’t changed since CZ developed it for the CZ 452 all those years ago. The single-­stack, 5-­ and 10-­round magazines work well, too. Both polymer and steel mags are available between $27 and $36.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar. The CZ 457 MTR is a precision rifle configuration with a premium walnut stock. The match-grade barrel is thick walled and cold-hammer-forged. CZ guarantees 15mm (.59-in.) groups at 50m (54.68 yds).

CZ 457 Varmint MTR

The big story for 2020 is the Match Target Rifle (MTR). In the MTR, CZ used the absolute minimum CIP-­allowable dimensions for the rifle’s chamber. (“CIP” is the European equivalent of SAAMI). The headspace is considerably shorter than the rest of the CZ 457 models, so bullets are engraved with rifling by touching the lands when the action closes. The advantage of having the bullet engrave when the bolt closes is the measure of consistency that lengthier chambers don’t allow. Once the bullet touches the lands, it retains that orientation as it moves through the bore when fired. The longer chambers that don’t engrave the bullet can allow the bullet to yaw prior to engaging the lands. Any yaw will manifest in larger group sizes, but the effects are amplified as distance to the target increases. The 457 MTR I tested engraved all bullets when the bolt closed, but it didn’t grab them so tightly that a live round wouldn’t extract reliably.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

Live rounds cycled through the MTR without any issues. Chambers that are too tight will cause the extractor to slip off the case rim when a live round is in need of extraction. Our test rifle did not have this issue, so CZ managed to make the chamber tight, but not too tight.


CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

Accuracy testing for our 457 MTR turned in a best group sized at .26 inches for five shots at 50 yards using SK Rifle Match ammunition. SK Rifle Match is nowhere near the most expensive rimfire ammunition available, but the MTR happened to like it best.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

CZ 457 Varmint MTR Specs

  • Type: Bolt ­action
  • Cartridge: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
  • Barrel: 20.5 in.; 1:16-­in. twist
  • Overall Length: 38 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Stock: Turkish walnut, target
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
  • Finish: Matte blue (steel)
  • Trigger: 3 lbs., adj.
  • Sights: None
  • Safety: Two-­position lever
  • MSRP: $752
  • Importer: CZ-USA, 913-­321-­1811, cz-­usa.com

CZ 457 Varmint MTR Performance

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles

CZ 457 ProVarmint

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar. Borrowing its name from Boyds’ Pro Varmint stock, this CZ 457 model is among the most popular. The laminate stock is painted black, and incorporates several features of a more expensive target rifle. To reduce its profile and weight, CZ shortened the action by almost 1 inch and slab-sided the receiver.

The feature I like best about the 457 ProVarmint is the Boyds gunstock that comes on it. Boyds (boydsgunstocks.com) makes their stocks out of laminated wood. Laminated wood is affordable (Boyds offers this stock for $152), hard to ding up, almost impossible to break and an excellent choice for general use. It isn’t quite as light as a fiberglass or carbon-fiber stock, but it is as durable. Imagine thin slabs of wood, each with adhesive between them, put under enormous pressure until the wood and glue become one solid piece. Then cut it into the shape of the stock and inlet for the CZ 457, and coat the stock in a thick layer of durable textured black paint. Notably, this stock also has a high comb that pairs well with most optics and a flat toe that rides rear bags well. If a someone wants to shoot from the prone or off a bench, the new 457 ProVarmint works for both.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The forend on the 457 ProVarmit is roundish on the bottom and about 11/2-inches wide, so it sits comfortably in the support hand and plants still when placed across a pack or bag.


There are two sling-swivel studs on the forend to allow simultaneous mounting of a bipod and sling. The CZ 457 ProVarmint can be comfortably carried afield just as easily as it can shoot from the prone thanks to Boyds’ stock.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

CZ 457 ProVarmint Specs

  • Type: Bolt action
  • Cartridge: .17 HMR (tested) or .22 LR
  • Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
  • Barrel: 16.5 in.; 1:16-in. twist
  • Overall Length: 42.5 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs., 2oz.
  • Stock: Boyds Pro Varmint, black
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
  • Finish: Matte blue (steel)
  • Trigger: 3 lbs., adj.
  • Sights: None
  • Safety: Two-position lever
  • MSRP: $588
  • Importer: CZ-USA, 913-321-1811, cz-usa.com

CZ 457 ProVarmint Performance

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles

CZ 457 Training Rifle

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar. CZ’s Training Rifle is famous as a rimfire competition rifle around the world. It is also an excellent rifle for introducing youth and new shooters to riflery. Previous models lacked the American-style push-to-fire safety lever, but that was addressed when designing the CZ 457.

The Training Rifle is the best 457 for general use, and you won’t feel bad about using it hard. It is the most inexpensive 457 model available with a retail price of $449. That reasonable sum gets the same receiver and adjustable trigger as every other 457, but includes iron sights and a hardwood stock.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The 457 Training Rifle is a good choice for just that — training. This rifle has simple sights that almost anyone can use, especially new shooters who can really benefit from learning on iron sights. (Iron sights used to be common on most .22 rifles, but are now harder to find.) This 457 comes with a tangent adjustable rear-­blade sight and a hooded front post.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The stock 457 Training Rifle features a distinctly European shape with a Schnabel forend. The stock also has a lot of drop due to its arched comb, which makes it comfortable to shoot offhand. This combination puts the shooter’s head in the ideal spot to make good use of the adjustable sights. While the looks aren’t for some, the rifle’s comfort is undeniable.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

CZ 457 Training Rifle Specs

  • Type: Bolt action
  • Cartridge: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
  • Barrel: 24.8 in.; 1:16-in. twist
  • Overall Length: 42.5 in.
  • Weight: 6 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Stock: Beechwood, Schnabel forend
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
  • Finish: Matte blue (steel)
  • Trigger: 3 lbs., adj.
  • Sights: Tangent, adj. (rear); hooded post (front)
  • Safety: Two-position lever
  • MSRP: $449
  • Importer: CZ-USA, (913) 321-1811, cz-usa.com
CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar. Precision rimfire rifle competitions continue to grow in participation and popularity. The Precision Chassis is given a heavy-barreled 457 action with a fully adjustable stock and many M-Lok slots.

The world of precision rimfire is hot right now with a couple of different national circuits including the Precision Rifle Series (PRS)and National Rifle League (NRL), offering a few .22 LR competitions. These matches involve lots of shooting from improvised and field positions that require quick reloads and almost mandate the use of a bipod or tripod. The Varmint Precision Chassis Rifle is CZ’s competitive entry.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The barreled action on the Varmint Precision Chassis rifle is the same as the one featured on the Varmint model, with the exception of the chassis rifle’s threaded muzzle, which is threaded ½-­28 to accommodate just about any rimfire suppressor. Since it is one of the few chassis designed for the 457 from the start, the magazine floorplate on the five-­round magazine protrudes from the bottom of the magazine well. This makes magazine changes fast and easy. Many of the aftermarket chassis put the five-­round magazine up and inside the magazine well, which can make it difficult to grab.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The forend on the Varmint Precision’s chassis extends 131/2 inches in front of the magazine well, giving plenty of room for the shooter’s support hand. The long forend is also flat on the bottom and outfitted with M-­Lok slots, so attaching an ARCA rail is possible. The ARCA rail allows for bipod or tripod attachment anywhere along its length. ARCA accessories are popular in both competitive rifle circuits.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

The buttstock on the Varmint Precision is made by Luth-­AR and attaches to the chassis by way of an AR-­15 lower receiver extension or buffer tube. The Luth-AR stock has a unique appearance, but adjusts for both length of pull and comb height. The toe is flat to ride rear bags, but also sports a Picatinny rail for attaching a rear monopod.

CZ-457-Rimfire-Rifles
Photo by Mark Fingar.

CZ 457 Varmint Precision Chassis

  • Type: Bolt action
  • Cartridge: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
  • Barrel: 16.5 in. or 24 in.; 1:16 twist
  • Overall length: 31.5 in. (16-in. bbl.) or 39 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs., 3 oz. (tested)
  • Stock: Aluminum chassis; Luth-AR
  • Length of Pull: 11.25 in to 14.5 in. (tested)
  • Finish: Blued (steel)
  • Trigger: 3 lbs., adj.
  • Sights: None
  • Safety: Two-position lever
  • MSRP: $999
  • Importer: CZ-USA, (913) 321-1811, cz-usa.com

Options & Performance

These four models feature only a handful of the options CZ has to offer within the 457 lineup. No matter whether a shooter desires a classic wood-­and-­steel plinker or a cutting-­edge chassis rifle for precision target work, there’s a CZ 457 in .17 HMR, .22 LR or .22 Win. Mag. that’ll surely fit your needs.

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