Youth Shotgun Review: CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length

Youth Shotgun Review: CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length
After cleaning, reliability was 100 percent with the CZ Model 720 youth. Just be sure to clean the shotgun as new from the box, as storage grease and oil tends to collect cardboard dust, which can gum up the works on your first outing.
Young and female shooters found the CZ Model 720 Reduced Length 20-gauge autoloader easy to shoot, getting those critical first hits on clay.

A handy little 20-gauge autoloader, the CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length is designed to win over first-time shooters.

Why The CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length Is Perfect For Small-Frame Shooters:

  • Its 24-inch barrel is long enough for new shooters to point effectively to get those first critical hits.
  • A whisker over 43 inches and an honest 6 pounds in weight, this special Model 720 is ideally designed for youth and female shooters.
  • The shotgun has a 4+1 capacity when the included waterfowl plug is removed.
  • Its trigger is responsive, though it trips at about 9 pounds.

What shotgunner can forget his or her first time touching off a round from a big, bad 12-gauge? For some new shooters, the experience isn’t too unpleasant (much like eating a frozen dinner: it’s edible, but you do it only when you must) while others seem to suffer deep emotional scars from the surprising snap to the shoulder. The way they tell it, it’s as if they’ve been punched by Evander Holyfield himself. Thankfully, some companies offer reduced-length shotguns in light-recoiling 20 gauge to make that first shotgunning experience go more smoothly. One such shotgun is the 720 G2 Reduced Length youth model from CZ-USA.

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The foundation to successful shotgunning starts with stock fit, and the Model 720 Reduced Length comes in a comfortable 13-inch length of pull. Its 24-inch barrel is long enough for new shooters to point effectively to get those first critical hits on clay to keep up their interest, yet not so long as to be unwieldy. That barrel sports a black hard chrome exterior finish that shrugged off scruff marks from shooting. The 720 comes with five choke tubes (F, IM, M, IC, C). At just a whisker over 43 inches and an honest 6 pounds in weight, this special Model 720 is ideally designed for youth and female shooters. Its trigger trips at about 9 pounds. The shotgun has a 4+1 capacity when the included waterfowl plug is removed.

We tested the 720 Reduced Length this summer with help from my wife Michelle, and daughter Aria, both of whom shot it well. However, because I’d neglected to clean the shotgun from the box, we initially had about a 30 percent jam rate on its first outing. After cleaning the shotgun — it was apparently gummed up with storage grease and cardboard dust — it ran like a Toyota (no issues). Shooting Kent’s Elite Target 20-gauge shells (7/8 oz. at 1,200 fps), the little autoloader ran perfectly.

Everyone who tested the shotgun agreed that it was a nice-looking firearm, with a two-tone finish between a polished section of the receiver that transitions to a matte black aluminum alloy portion. The Turkish walnut wood was nice, albeit basic, as has been my experience with previous CZ shotguns.

Kent’s new Elite Target 20-gauge loads, which use 7/8 oz. of 7.5 shot at 1,200 fps, gave consistent performance and helped first-time shooters break their first clay.

But not all is ferries and pixie dust in Wonderland. Both Michelle and Aria lacked the hand strength to push the bolt release button and had to set the shotgun on the sporting clays stand and leverage downward with all their body weight to release it. Testers also found the cross-bolt safety difficult to push. CZ would do well to lighten up both to improve ease of use for beginners. In the meantime, a trip to a gunsmith would be money well spent and would make a good shotgun great.

Enough Scattergun Info To Wad A Shotgun:

Clean up duty with the Model 720 went better than expected. I found it simple to disassemble; there was no guessing which way the gas piston or action arm components needed to be aligned. It was as a no-brainer, fit together intuitively.

The CZ Model 720 is covered in a tough, hard-chrome black exterior finish that will give years of service in the game fields as new shooters dish out the abuse.

The gals found the classic-style stock to be of marginal fit; females tend to have outward curved shoulder pockets and longer necks, and the 720’s straight stock made it somewhat awkward for our new shooters to acquire a natural cheek weld. I’m convinced that, had there been some adjustability in the buttstock angle and cheek weld height, they would have broken more clays and had even more fun.

But fun they did have. First-time shooters won’t soon forget their first shotgunning experience — and that’s not because it involved a scary whack to the shoulder. With a street price around $350, CZ has delivered a memorable first shotgunning experience at a price point everyone can afford to share.

CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length Specs

Model: CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length
Gauge: 20
Barrel: 24 in.
Magazine Capacity: 4+1
Max Shell Length: 3 in.
Chokes: Includes 5 (F, IM, M, IC, C)
Stock: Turkish Walnut
Length of Pull: 13 in.
Barrel Finish: Matte Black Chrome
Rib: 8mm Flat Vent
Overall Length: 43.5 in
Weight: 6.3 lbs.
Comb: 1.4375 in.
Heel: 2.25 in.
Safety: Crossbolt Behind Trigger
MSRP: $499.00 USD

For more on the CZ 720 G2 Reduced Length, please visit


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Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.


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