CZ’s New Tack Driver Comes Sized For Youth: CZ 457 Scout

CZ’s new 457 series includes a youth-sized Scout model with 16.5″ barrel and 12″ LOP.

CZ USA’s reputation for high quality, accurate rimfire rifles is well earned. The CZ 452’s were popular, and the CZ 455’s have become commonplace among serious shooters. I got my hands on the new 457 Scout rifle, the “youth” model of the new 457 lineup. I’ve been using it quite a bit and I’m impressed. Its approachable price tag belies the quality of its craftsmanship and its inherent accuracy.

Old World Craftsmanship & Modern Design

The CZ 457 Scout is chambered in .22 LR and it comes standard with a beechwood stock and 16.5″ barrel. From its hooded front sight to its chrome-plated trigger and it’s satin-finished stock it is crafted to high standards. The wood looks and feels like a modern version of classic wooden stocks. The action is smooth and precise. The gun comes up nicely and feels balanced. Its short length of pull makes it a youth gun, but its precision-machined workings make it a worthy consideration for your adult arsenal. It differs significantly from the previous 455, but it carries on CZ’s tradition for accuracy and performance.

These are made in the Czech Republic and distributed by CZ’s American brand.

Safety

The 457’s new safety is the most-talked-about difference from the 455. CZ listened to the folks who teach the young people how to shoot — people like hunter’s education teachers and 4-H shooting coaches — and changed the safety selector to the American-style. Historically, CZ’s rimfires have required that you slide the safety selector back to fire, and push it forward to safe the weapon. This new setup matches most of the American manufacturers who set their guns up with push-to-fire safeties. This should help youngsters develop good habits that will carry over to their larger caliber rifles later in life.

The push-to-fire safety is the most talked-about new feature.

Secondly, the action can now be cycled while the safety is engaged. This is my favorite thing about the safety updates. It means you can unload the weapon with the safety on and minimize the chances of firing while unloading.

The action can now be cycled with the safety engaged for safe chambering and disarming.

The last new feature is the red button that pops out the back of the action when the weapon is cocked. It’s both a visible and tactile indicator that the trigger is live. I like that I can check it with my thumb before I even raise the weapon and that it works even in low light. It’s a nice feature for hunters, as well as instructors managing multiple shooters.

This red button provides a visible and tactile indication that the gun is cocked.

The safety switch is large, thick, and knurled. It slides solidly into place and doesn’t make any noise doing it. You don’t have to worry about spooking game with the workings of this gun.

Interestingly, the trigger still moves when the safety is engaged, but you just feel it stacking up as you move it without ever clicking.

Action

CZ has taken all they’ve learned making and shooting the 452 and 455 series and applied it to the 457 line. The action is now shorter, lighter, and easier to work.

Compared with the previous 455, the 457’s action is nearly an inch shorter.

They’ve trimmed the action back about 1″ and it travels about that much less every time you cycle it. They’ve also re-shaped the bolt, carving one whole face flat. Furthermore, they’ve changed the movement of the bolt handle so that it doesn’t need to move as far up before coming back. These all combine to make it much faster to cycle the action and chamber the next round.

The bolt has been faceted to remove excess material and lighten the whole.

The new bolt handle only moves upward 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees. So it’s not only faster, but it also makes it easier to work with scopes. Scopes can now be mounted with larger ocular bells and they can be easier to fit along the top of the receiver. The new angle also means you won’t smash your fingers into the scope and you won’t pinch your gloves either.

The new bolt handle needs only 60 degrees to cycle, not 90 degrees like the 455. That means larger diameter scopes can mount to the 11mm dovetail machined on the receiver.

The front of the bolt is stainless steel while the rest has a nitride finish. There’s a red button on the back of the bolt that pops out when the rifle is cocked.

This button releases the bolt from the receiver.

A paddle button on the left side of the receiver releases the bolt and it slides out the back of the receiver. It makes it easy to clean and clear any trouble without tools. You can also bore sight a scope and access the top of the trigger for lubrication.

With the bolt removed you can bore sight a scope.

The action and barrel can be removed from the stock with two screws. The 455’s stamped bottom plate is gone. Now the trigger guard and magazine frame interlock and are fit to the stock with precise tolerances.

With the bolt removed, you can also access the top of the trigger for maintenance.

The 457 Series carries on the 455’s modularity. The Scout ships as a .22 LR shooter, but you can change it to shoot 22. WMR or .17 HMR. And it’s compatible with 455 barrels and magazines. The 457 currently is only produced as a right-handed rifle.

The old stamped bottom plate is replaced by an interlocking trigger guard and magazine frame. The fit all around is flawless.

The top of the receiver is machined with an 11mm dovetail for mounting optics and it’s ribbed to minimize glare when using the iron sights. The whole thing has a nitride finish.

Working the action is smooth and fast. My eight-year-old daughter can run it without trouble. Everything that moves on the gun is smooth and silent.

Trigger

Out of the box, the chrome-plated trigger is good. It is remarkably consistent. It weighs in at 3lbs, and after weighing and averaging 20 trigger pulls, it was always within .5 ounces of 3lbs.

Chrome-plated and consistent. The trigger pull is just 3 lbs.

It’s got a soft take up that requires increasing pressure, then it breaks cleanly in the same place each time. There’s no hard stop after it breaks. The over-travel continues with that same soft feeling as the take-up. If the safety is engaged, the trigger still moves and it’s got that soft feeling as the resistance stacks up.

The trigger is user-adjustable. One of the access points is that little hole at the front of the trigger pull.

Now, that’s out of the box. This trigger is user-adjustable for weight, creep, and over-travel. All it takes is a few Allen wrenches. At this price, it’s a very nice trigger setup.

Sights

The Scout ships with iron sights as a standard feature. The front blade sight is adjustable for elevation and has a ribbed front ramp to disperse sun glare. The rear leaf sight is adjustable for windage and is mounted forward on the barrel instead of on the receiver. I like it up there because being farther from your eye makes it easier to see it in focus with the front sight. A beefy and stylish hood covers the front sight with a window in the top to let light shine on the blade.

The blade front side is hooded and adjustable for elevation with a ribbed front ramp.

The receiver is milled with an 11mm dovetail to accommodate scope rings. Since the new bolt handle only moves upward 60 degrees, you can use low profile rings and larger diameter scopes. The rail is divided by the ejection port. CZ also sells a Picatinny rail that mounts over the receiver with minimal height increase.

The rear sight is adjustable for windage. Its forward mount on the barrel makes it easy to focus with the front sight.

Barrel

Cold-hammer forged and just 16.5″ long, the barrel on the 457 Scout comes up quickly and gets on target fast. Shorter shooters will manipulate it easily. It’s got a significant taper over its short length.

The nitride-coated barrel is just 16.5″ long and is interchangeable for different weights and calibers.

It’s nitride coated and the matte finish with the satin-finished stock looks good. CZ’s rimfire guns are modular and you can swap this barrel for a heavier varmint version or even a .17 HMR version at home.

The Scout’s barrel comes threaded as a standard feature.

The barrel comes threaded at 1/2″x28 for suppressors and includes a knurled thread cap. The sights are mounted in the barrel but can be removed if you decide to mount a scope.

Stock

The stock is straight-grained beechwood with a satin finish. It’s got a modern pistol grip that’s small enough for young shooters but still fits well in my large hands.

“Precision” is the only word to describe the fit between the metal components and the stock. It all fits as if it were milled from a single billet of material.

The beechwood stock is satin-finished and easy to hold.

Barrels can be swapped for thicker varmint models, and the stock is channeled to fit the larger barrels, too. You can also upgrade the stock as your shooter grows.

A branded hard buttplate caps the end.

Length of pull is 12″, and the buttstock is covered with a hard plastic buttplate. I’m not sure why 12″ is a standard “youth” size. Teenagers may fit that length well, but my 8-year old has a hunting license and this stock is still a bit too long. I’d like to see it shorter with a shim kit to bring it out to 12″. Of course, there’s nothing stopping one from using a chop saw to bring it down to size. Likewise, adding a recoil pad is an easy way to extend its useful years.

The satin stock and matte barrel pair for a modern twist on a classic build.

Magazine

Magazines from your older CZ 455 work with the CZ 457’s, which is great. CZ produces these polymer magazines in up to 25-round versions. The Scout ships with a single shot adapter, which is supposed to teach ammo conservation, but I’m sure plenty of instructors enjoy the peace of mind knowing there isn’t another round in the gun. There are third-party manufacturers for magazines, as well.

The Scout ships with a single shot adapter, but takes the same mags as the 455.

Shootability

Without any adjustments to the sights, it shoots well from the start. I’ve shot all kinds of .22 LR ammo from the mixed box in my garage and it all shoots well enough to kill pop cans at 50 yards.

Consistency is the key to accuracy, and the trigger on the Scout is incredibly consistent. That makes it easy to learn to shoot it well.

I got serious at the range with CCI’s MiniMags, CCI’s Standard, and Winchester’s T22 match ammo. I’m pretty sure that the Scout shoots much better than I do. I shot sub-1″ groups with each ammo. I think I could have done better with a 5-round magazine, but I was using the single-shot adapter that came included with the gun and had to move a little more to load each subsequent round. These were all shot at 50 yards with the included iron sights.

Winchester’s T22 match ammo shot well from 50 yards with open sights.
The CCI Standard ammo shot better than it looks–using the single-shot adapter meant moving the gun a lot every time I loaded a round. 50 yards.
CCI’s higher velocity Mini Mags shot very well. The bullet entered the hole on the right at the left edge. This gun shoots better than I do. 50 yards.

For hunting small game, this is my new favorite rifle. Its short length makes it easy to carry. It comes up quickly and intuitively once a rabbit or grouse is spotted. And it’s accurate and repeatable. The sights are clear and the forward-mounted rear sight is easy to line up.

The only thing I’d like to improve about this gun is its weight. It’s a bit heavy for a youth gun at 5 lbs. The ubiquitous Crickett .22’s weigh-in at 3lbs, but I have yet to use one of those that shoots anything like as well as the Scout. I suppose the stock is the only thing that could be lighter, but the beechwood is so nice I’d hate to see it changed.

All-Around Excellence

If you’re looking for a gun for a person who needs a 12″ length of pull, this one is excellent. If you’re looking for a gun to carry in the field for small game, this one is excellent. If you’re looking for an accurate target and plinking gun, this one is excellent.

Your arsenal deserves a quality .22 rifle and this is a good option.

I love it for hunting and plinking with kids. I suspect if you’re serious about target shooting that other models in the CZ 457 lineup may be a better option, but knowing how well this base model shoots and knowing that it’s all a modular system, I expect that those other guns will perform with similar excellence.

Shooting is fun, and using a quality gun will ensure your young shooters get hooked for life.

If you’re teaching a young person to shoot, do them the service of letting them use a gun that will allow them to shoot well. A cheap gun makes for a cheap experience that won’t get kids hooked on shooting and hunting. CZ’s 457 Scout is a fine rifle. And while it’s a little more costly than some guns in its target market, it’ll outperform them and grow with a shooter for life. MSRP is $365, but I’ve seen it lower on the street. I highly recommend it.

Specs

Caliber: .22 LR
Rate Of Twist: 1:16 in
Magazine Capacity: Single Shot Adapter, up to 25-round available
Magazine Type: Detachable, compatible with 455 Magazines
Stock: Beechwood, American-Style
Length Of Pull: 12 in
Sights: Adjustable Iron Sights, Integrated 11mm Dovetail
Barrel: Cold Hammer Forged, nitride finish
Barrel Length: 16.5
Overall Length: 32.76 in
Weight: 5 lbs
Trigger: 3 lbs, Adjustable
Safety: Two-Position, Push-To-Fire
MSRP: $365

For more information visit CZ-USA website.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • RJK July 17, 2020, 5:56 am

    I was a little surprised at the low MSRP price. Street price shoud be considerably less. I don’t own a CZ but may have pony up for this one. If it is as good as the 455 I watch on Youtube it should be a great rifle.

  • Todd November 18, 2019, 12:37 pm

    This is a wonderfully presented article.
    As above, rifle or firearm instead of weapon would be nice.

    The detailed photos of their excellent markings goes a long way to alleviating my concern over CZ’s diminished *roll-stamp* quality. The engraved lettering on this one beautifully compliments the overall aesthetic of the rifle.

    Interestingly too, relative to the article, I didn’t once wish for a photo that wasn’t already provided.

    On the single shot adaptor. Great way to dodge magazine capacity on shipped rifles and in fact, to literally state that it is not sold with ANY capacity magazine.

    Child-hood enthusiasm in the last pic? What could better sell this rifle?

    Todd.

  • Charlie November 18, 2019, 9:34 am

    Please, in the future edit out the word “ weapon” in your articles! The word plays into the hands of those who think ALL guns, pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns are “weapons”. This article is about a rifle.

    • Levi Sim November 18, 2019, 10:25 am

      I appreciate that. Thanks.

    • Louis November 19, 2019, 6:45 am

      All guns, pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns “ARE” weapons. If it can kill, it’s a weapon. Man up and stop worrying about what OTHER Types of people may think.

      • Mike November 25, 2019, 11:14 am

        Continue your hardline stance as our rights continue to erode. Having the left look at this single-shot rifle as a weapon, only serves to set their sights on adding it to the list of banned assault weapons. Common sense is a two-way street.

    • Come on Charlie December 27, 2019, 3:16 pm

      “If only we pretend that weapons aren’t weapons, maybe the commies will let us keep them longer!”

      Get out of here with this tired Fudd Boomer logic. This is an excellent article ruined by a ridiculous comment.

  • Gregg Gruse November 18, 2019, 5:24 am

    I hope that CZ will continue to make their fine products for left hand shooters. I’m a left hand shooter who greatly appreciates being able to shoulder a fine rifle. I think this will be a great rifle for many reasons and introducing new shooters to our fine sport is paramount.

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