April 09, 2020
By Joel J. Hutchcroft
CZ-USA customers asked for a bolt-action rimfire rifle with an American-style safety. The company complied by introducing the Model 457. The model is offered in several configurations, including American, Lux, Pro-Varmint, Scout, Training Rifle, Varmint, Varmint AT-ONE, Varmint MTR, and Varmint Precision Trainer versions. All have the new American-style, push-forward-to-fire, two-position safety that’s located on the right-hand side at the rear of the receiver. They all are offered in .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. The main differences between the various Model 457s are the barrel lengths, barrel weights, stock configurations, and sight options. You can check them out on CZ-USA’s website. I chose the .17 HMR Model 457 American for this report because it has a 24.8-inch standard-weight barrel and American-style stock.
The Model 457 American’s walnut stock has a matte finish and cut checkering, and the comb is straight without the European-style drop. The stock has sling-swivel studs and a 1/2-inch-thick, contoured and textured, black rubber buttpad.
The barreled action’s blued steel is softly polished, and the receiver has an 11mm (0.43-inch) dovetail for CZ-USA scope rings. The tapered barrel is hammer forged, has a 1:9 twist for the .17 HMR, and measures 0.55 inch at the muzzle end. The muzzle is slightly recessed and precision crowned. All Model 457s feature CZ’s switch-barrel setup, which allows you to swap interchangeable barrels quickly, easily, and securely.
The Model 457’s bolt has been redesigned. It still has the twin pivoting extractors at opposing left and right sides of the boltface that are held in spring tension by a semicircular collar around the bolt body. But the bolt now comprises several pieces, including the body, the handle, and a shroud. Bolt throw is now 60 degrees as opposed to the 90 degrees of previous models. Plus, the shroud incorporates a cocking indicator in the form of a red pin that sticks out the back when the rifle is cocked. And the new Model 457 has an actual boltstop. It’s located on the left-hand side at the rear of the receiver. On previous models, such as the Model 455, the trigger sear served double-duty as the boltstop.
The Model 457 American used for this report had an average trigger pull of 3.0 pounds. The trigger had no detectable take-up before letoff, and letoff was very crisp and consistent. The trigger is adjustable, but I did not make any adjustments to it.
The magazine box and magazine box housing are polymer, and the magazine box latches positively and audibly into the rifle. The magazine release is located at the forward end of the box. Magazine capacity is five rounds.
For test-firing the Model 457 American, I used a Weaver 1-3X scope in CZ steel mounts, and I fired five .17 HMR loads at 50 yards. The results are listed in the accompanying chart, but briefly, the best average accuracy in the test rifle came with the Hornady 17-grain V-Max ammo. That load’s velocity averaged 2,681 fps, and its accuracy averaged 0.51 inch. Overall average accuracy for all five loads was 0.75 inch.
The rifle functioned perfectly except with the Browning 17-grain BPR ammo. When the magazine was fully loaded with the Browning ammo, the ammo would not feed into the chamber reliably. I had to drop the magazine slightly for the round to enter the chamber. However, with three rounds in the magazine, feeding was smooth and trouble-free. I didn’t have that trouble with the other four types of ammunition.
With its nicely shaped American-style walnut stock; blued steel, hammer-forged barrel; twin locking lugs; twin extractors; nice trigger pull; and American-style, push-forward-to-fire safety, the Model 457 American is a very nice rimfire rifle.
CZ Model 457 American .17 HMR SpecsManufacturer:
.17 HMRMagazine Capacity:
24.8 in.Overall Length:
Checkered Turkish walnut with sling-swivel studsLength of Pull:
Blued steel, satin woodSights:
None; receiver is milled for CZ-USA scope mountsTrigger:
3.0-lb. pull (as tested)Safety:
Two position (push forward to fire)MSRP:
CZ Model 457 .17 HMR Accuracy & Velocity