CZ 455: One Rimfire To Rule Them All

CZ 455
The CZ 455 with a SilencerCo Sparrow 22 suppressor and a Leatherwood Hi-Lux 4-16×44 scope.

The CZ 455 is an eminently flexible rimfire, giving shooters endless configuration options. On top of that, the bolt-action rifle offers what every marksman wants — dead-on accuracy.

Gun Digest Book of CZ
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The CZ 455 is the rimfire bolt action of the CZ lineup. It uses an interchangeable barrel system allowing the user to switch from one chambering to another, as well as different barrel configurations. It also allows the action to be swapped from one style of stock to another. About a minute and a couple of tools (that CZ includes with the barrels) are all that’s required.

Additional barrel kits are available at the CZ webstore and range in price from $123 to $189. Stocks are available as well, and range in price from $115 to $220. The Full Stock is a little more and costs $300, and there’s a high-speed, low-drag Precision Trainer for $690. The majority of the stocks are in the $115 to $125 price range, though, so it isn’t one of those things where people are going to get gouged for over-priced accessories. This is something I’ve always appreciated about CZ — their accessories are all priced reasonably.

CZ 455
To change barrel configurations, first loosen the two barrel screws until the barrel can be removed, then install the new barrel, index on the screw holes and tighten the screws, then remove the magazine well and replace with the appropriate one.

The 455 uses a cold hammer-forged barrel that’s been free-floated and has the accuracy for which CZ is known.

The model sent to me for testing was the 455 American Synthetic Suppressor-Ready .22LR. The barrel is free-float and is 16.5 inches long with a 1:16-inch rate of twist. The muzzle is threaded with 1/2×28 pitch. I was able to direct-thread my SilencerCo Sparrow on to it, but I prefer to use the SilencerCo adapter, for perfect length. With all that it takes to get a suppressor, I’d rather thread it on to something made specifically for it.

The quietest and most reliable .22 subsonic suppressor ammo that I have used is the CCI Suppressor 45-grain Hollow Point, which clocks in at 970 feet per second. Plus, it’s relatively clean compared to other subsonic .22 ammo I’ve shot (.22 ammo is notoriously dirty, and the suppressor catches most of that), or probably more accurately stated, it’s not unnecessarily dirty. With the Sparrow, CCI and 455, when I pulled the trigger, all I heard was the firing pin spring, then the firing pin hitting the primer, then the bullet hitting the paper down range. It’s pretty remarkable if you’ve never used a bolt-action .22 with suppressor. It’s half as loud as my son’s Red Rider BB gun, and quieter than an electric stapler.

The action is fully machined from bar stock. It’s S.O.L.I.D., whereas the receiver walls on other .22 bolt-action rifles are thin — around .13 inch — the receiver walls on the 455 are essentially the same thickness as the 527, which is chambered in .223. The side walls where it locks up measure .25 inch, which is about the same as the full size 550. My point being that this .22 is built like a centerfire bolt action. I have one bolt-action .17 HMR rimfire, and the receiver is so thin that when I push the bolt forward — which has a narrow circumference — it almost feels like I’m leveraging the bolt handle to the right, and this really makes it hard to get the round into the chamber. Especially when I really work the bolt fast. Not so with the 455.

CZ 455
High scope mounts must be used to accommodate the high bolt throw.

It comes with one five-round detachable magazine. It’s a very flimsy plastic magazine, and if it were to fall out of the rifle and inadvertently get stepped on, it would be done. As far as I can tell, this is the only weak spot in the entire rifle. They’re not even that cheap, at $28 to $36 a pop, depending on caliber and number of rounds. There is a steel five-rounder available. The biggest benefit is that it is the same magazine used in the 512, so they can be swapped out.

Mine did not come with iron sights, though some models do, including the Full Stock, Lux, Ultra Lux, Trainer and Scout. It comes with a standard 11mm dovetail machined into the receiver.

To remove the bolt, pull the trigger and it slides out. Same thing to insert it back into the receiver; just pull the trigger. The bolt has two extractors for reliable extraction. Regardless of all else, the case is going to get extracted.

The trigger is adjustable for pull weight — from the factory, mine averaged 3 pounds and half an ounce. It gets repetitive writing about these CZ triggers, but it’s just such a great trigger. There’s no take-up, no creep, you just lightly squeeze and it breaks. It’s smooth, with a crisp break.

CZ 455
Equipped with this SilencerCo Sparrow 22, the 455 is so quiet you can only hear the firing pin spring, the firing pin hit the primer, and then the bullet hitting the paper downrange.

The synthetic stock is black and has a soft-touch finish, which I like. It’s comfortable to hold and gives good purchase. It has a high, flat, “American-style” comb that works best with a scope.

It has a two-position manual safety with fire to the rear. When on safe, the bolt cannot be opened. A cocking indicator shows whether or not it’s cocked.

What I like about the 455 is that CZ includes all of the features that they do for their centerfire rifles, including the adjustable trigger.

It comes in 14 models:

  • American (.22 LR, .17 HMR, .22 WMR), Turkish walnut stock, 20.5-inch sporter barrel
  • American Synthetic (.22 LR), synthetic stock, 20.5-inch sporter barrel
  • American Synthetic Suppressor-Ready (tested) (.22 LR), synthetic stock, 16.5-inch barrel
  • American Combo (comes with both .22 LR and 17 HMR barrels), Turkish walnut stockVarmint (.22 LR, .17 HMR, .22 WMR), Turkish walnut stock, 20.5-inch long/.866-inch diameter cylindrical heavy barrel
  • Varmint Thumbhole Fluted (.22 LR), nutmeg laminate stock with thumbhole, 20.5-inch long/.866-inch diameter cylindrical heavy fluted barrel
  • Varmint Evolution® (.22 LR, .17 HMR, .22 WMR), Coyote laminate (pink available) Evolution® stock with extreme free float. 20.5-inch barrel
  • Varmint Tacticool Suppressor-Ready (.22 LR), laminate black stock, 16.5-inch threaded barrel (1/2×28)
  • Varmint Precision Trainer (.22 LR), camouflage composite stock, 20.5-inch long/.866-inch diameter cylindrical heavy barrel
  • Varmint Precision Trainer Suppressor-Ready (.22 LR comes in two barrels; 24-inch heavy taper and 16.5-inch heavy), camouflage composite stock, threaded barrel (1/2×28)
  • Full Stock (.22 LR, .17 HMR, .22 WMR), Turkish walnut, full stock, Bavarian comb, 20.5-inch barrel
  • Lux (.22 LR, .22 WMR), Turkish walnut stock, adjustable iron sights. 20.5-inch barrel
  • Ultra Lux (.22 LR), Beechwood stock, 28.6-inch barrel
  • Training Rifle (.22 LR), Beechwood stock with Schnabel forend. 24.8-inch barrel, adjustable tangent rear sight
CZ 455
Not unexpectedly, the 455 has an excellent trigger.

The predecessor to the 455 is the model 452, which has been discontinued except for two models, the left-hand and Scout (youth). The model 452 transitioned to the 455 action in 2011, and the only one (other than the youth Scout) that continues to be made, albeit in limited numbers, is the left-hand model. The 452 barrels are threaded into the action, which is the traditional method, but it eliminates the ability to swap out barrels for different chamberings, as can be done with the 455.

The Scout is a compact youth rimfire rifle with a 12-inch length of pull. It comes with a single-round adapter installed to teach proper marksmanship, but it also accepts the .22 LR magazines for the 452 or 455. It comes blued with a basic Beechwood stock. It has open iron sights, with 11mm dovetails milled into the receiver for mounting a scope. It’s nice and light at 5.06 pounds, which is one to three pounds lighter than the other 452 or 455 models.

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the Gun Digest Book of CZ Firearms.

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