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Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

CZ’s latest rimfire combines accuracy with reliability at a competitive price, which all adds up to a must-have bit of kit, says Bruce Potts

Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

Overall Rating: 87%

Manufacturer: Czeska Zbrojovka

Price as reviewed: £656

A close look at the Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

CZ — as Česká Zbrojovka is better known — rimfires have always been the go-to .22 LR rifle for predator control, due to the longevity of their production, value for money, excellent reliability and accuracy. The company’s classic mini-Mauser design has served it well over the decades, but a new viewpoint and production strategy has spawned an updated range of rimfires, including this 457 model. (Read this review on the CZ 457 long range precision rifle.)

Still incorporating the 455’s barrel change system — you can switch between calibres if desired, with barrel sets, plus magazine, from £205 — the overall design has a more modern and simple flavour. It is now available in a number of guises including wood, synthetic, mini sniper and heavy/Sporter barrel.

The version on test was stainless finished, with a camouflage synthetic stock. All in all, it’s a well-designed rimfire at a competitive price, ideal for gamekeepers and rabbit shooters.

Need to know

  • Manufacturer Česká Zbrojovka
  • Model 457 Synthetic
  • Type Bolt-action
  • Overall length 38.25in
  • Barrel length 20in, ½ UNF threaded
  • Weight 5.25lb
  • Finish Stainless
  • Stock Digital camouflage polymer Sporter
  • Length of pull 14in
  • Magazine Five-shot standard, 10-shot option
  • Sights None furnished, scope dovetails
  • Trigger Single stage, adjustable
  • Calibre .22 LR
  • Price £655.99
  • Importer Sportsman Gun Centre 01392 354 854
Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

Even with a scope and moderator fitted, the rifle is still lightweight

In Depth

The new finish on the Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic really catches the eye — or rather, doesn’t — as the digital printed camouflage pattern has a good disruptive viewpoint. Against foliage or grass, it does break up the outline of the 457 and effectively stops reflective glare. It’s a modern solution that also looks good. The Sporter-style stock has a nice soft-touch finish with additional raised oblong panels to achieve a tactile grip.

The fore-end has two quick-detachable sling swivel studs for attachment of slings and bipods — a nice touch. There’s a good deep barrel channel so, even off a bipod or tight grip, the barrel harmonics were not disturbed and accuracy remained pinpoint.

I like the more upright pistol grip as it feels more relaxed, and although there is no cheekpiece, the high, straight comb alleviates the need for one.

Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic

The 457’s action is quite square and angular, but the most noticeable change is the repositioned bolt handle


Compared with the old 455 action, the 457 action on the Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic is quite square and angular, but the most noticeable change is the repositioned bolt handle, which is now halfway along the bolt body. The lift is nice and low at less than 60 degrees and has a short operating length of only 1.75in, which enables a fast-cycling action. But with the mid-mounted bolt handle, you need to position scope mounts with large securing screws the other way around to avoid interference.

Reliability is assured by the dual grip from the twin extractor claws and ejection via an action-sited ejector spur. I can report no hang-ups in the tests, either.

CZ has always had nice triggers and this rifle does not disappoint, with adjustments for weight and pull to help customise the trigger to your preference. For my usage, it was set at 3.05lb.

CZ 457 Synthetic

Due to the new bolt design, the safety catch has been changed from a wing type to an action-sited one and is now much easier to operate

The safety position, due to the new bolt design, has changed from a wing type to an action-sited one. It’s much easier to operate. The detachable five-shot polymer magazine remains the same, and a 10-shot version is available.

Finally, the hammer-forged barrel, which wears a stainless finish like the action, is 20in long with ½in UNF thread allowing moderator fitment for subsonic ammo. At the action end, you can see the twin-angled securing screw arrangement that allows a quick change of barrel calibres along with the respective magazine change too.

CZ 457 Synthetic

The 457/s digital printed camouflage breaks up its outline against grass or foliage


CZ has been the go-to pest control rifle for decades and its newer Česká Zbrojovka 457 Synthetic model retains that mantle with a great design, user-friendly controls and extremely good accuracy and reliability.

  • Accuracy 19/20 This CZ shot superbly, which isn’t surprising
  • Handling 17/20 Even with a 20in barrel, it balances well
  • Trigger 17/20 Nice, adjustable and safe trigger to use in the field
  • Stock 17/20 A simple design but, strangely, I like the digital camo
  • Value  17/20 Classic CZ quality at a very sensible price point
  • Overall score  87/100 Another market-leading varmint rifle from CZ
Rifle barrel

Twin Allen screws allow the barrel to be removed and new calibre barrel to be installed if desired. Barrel sets start at £205.

Field test

I chose four different subsonic loads for this test. First up were my old faithfuls — the Eley 38-gr subs. In cold conditions, their average velocity was a sluggish 942fps and 75ft/lb, but for all that they achieved 0.45in 30-yard groups and 0.65in 50-yard groups.

The Norma subs actually shot a bit faster than the Eleys due to their 40-gr bullet weight, reaching 944fps for 79ft/lb. They achieved 0.65in 30-yard groups.

Moving on to heavier loads, the newer CCI Suppressors were quiet and used a 45-gr bullet at 939fps and 88ft/lb to hit 0.55in 30-yard and 0.65in 50-yard groups. Certainly a hard hitter.

Going the opposite way, the RWS Z Lang 29-gr bullets achieved 746fps and 36ft/lb for a quiet, shorter-range load, and produced 0.95in 30-yard groups.

This 457 Synthetic will be used primarily for rabbiting, and initial handling and shooting were favourable. Even with scope and sound moderator fitted, the rifle is still lightweight and allows a nice, stress-free shooting stance. It feels well planted in the hand — even in the odd positions often necessary out in the field — and I prefer the better-positioned safety on this model for hunting use.

Similarly, the soft-touch finish to the stock and sling studs aid grip and deaden sound, perfect on a hunting rifle. I shot some longer-range bunnies out to 80 yards using Eley subs and was impressed with the 457’s consistent performance. You will notice the fast lock time too, which speeds up the firing pin travel and thus enhances accuracy and consistency in your group sizes.

Crawling through bushes along the hedgerows to ambush the feeding rabbits was no issue with the tough exterior finish of this CZ. And that digital camo pattern was very effective in concealment and reducing stock flare that could otherwise spook the bunnies.

rifle with dead rabbits

The 457’s camo finish is great for concealment – the feeding rabbits never saw it coming


A well-designed rimfire at a competitive price, ideal for gamekeepers and rabbit shooters.