CZ-USA is known for quality shotguns, and earlier this year they made a significant update to several hunting models. They created the All-Terrain series of guns which are intended to be more weatherproof with cerakoted receivers and barrels to withstand multiple days of the worst conditions.
One of the updated models is the Upland Ultralight All-Terrain, which I’ve been using in 20 gauge. It’s lightweight, it’s beautifully constructed, and it comes up on-target every time game flushes. Read on for a close look at all the features as well as a few things that could be better.
What is it?
The Upland All-Terrain Ultralight is an over-under shotgun with a lightweight design for long walks pursuing upland game. It’s got slim Turkish walnut stocks, and the receiver is aluminum, making it much lighter than a steel receiver. Three differences from the regular Upland Ultralight shotgun are that the barrels and receiver are cerakoted in olive drab green, the barrels are 2” longer (from 26”), and the extractors include strong magnets that are effective at keeping shells in place when the action is open.
The receiver is cerakoted aluminum, which is lighter than a normal steel receiver. The Cerakote helps keep it protected in weather and extends the time between maintenance when you’re on a multi-day hunt.
Even the top lever is cerakoted. It swings easily, with a little extra resistance just before the action breaks open. There’s a tang-mounted selector/safety switch just down from the top lever. It’s placed perfectly for your thumb to work it as you swing up on game. The safety moves easily and clicks into place so you know it’s ready to shoot or safe.
The barrel selector switch is on the safety switch. It slides back and forth to select which barrel shoots first. You could switch it if you have a different load in one chamber or a different choke on one barrel. The top barrel fires first when the switch is pushed to the left, the bottom barrel first when it’s pushed to the right.
Spent shells are pulled from the chamber with the aid of the integrated extractors. These aren’t ejectors, so your shells won’t go flying when you break the action open.
I appreciate that because it’s much easier to clean up my shells when hunting if they didn’t go flying away.
What’s more, the extractors now have magnets in them. These keep the shells from falling out when your gun is not closed. It’s a little thing, but it’s nice to not drop shells out of the gun when you’re walking with it open.
Two steel barrels are 28” long and are cerakoted OD green. They have a vented and striated 8mm rib on top terminating in a white Bradley-style bead. It lacks any ribs between the barrels until the end, and there’s a sling stud mounted mid-way down the lower barrel. 5 changeable chokes are included.
The standard Upland Ultralight has 26” barrels, which I think would be nice, but these longer barrels swing well and also seem to make this gun quieter for the shooter.
A single trigger fires both barrels with successive pulls. The reset is short between pulls, and it’s crisp each time. The switch on top of the safety selects which barrel the trigger fires first. When the switch is pushed to the left, the top barrel fires first.
The trigger is crisp with a little take-up and no slack. The pull weight averages 4lbs 14oz and it’s the same for each barrel.
The stock is crafted from Turkish walnut — in fact, the gun is crafted in Turkey by Huglu and distributed in America by CZ-USA. It’s a beautiful stock with straight grain and a satin finish.
A sure grip is further enhanced by high-quality checkering on the pistol grip and the forend. The checkering is finely cut and makes the grip feel soft under your hand. The design is also modern and attractive.
Its “ultralight” name comes from both the aluminum receiver and the slim stocks. The forend is a little slim, but a generous finger groove ensures a solid grip. A portion of the buttstock is even hollowed out to make it lighter.
The buttstock is cast-off so it fits right-handed shooters well. That means that the end of the stock is angled to the right a little so that when a right-handed shooter brings it up their eye lines up with the barrel faster.
The toe of the stock is also pitched forward for the same reason. While you can shim other guns for this kind of fit, it’s great to get it out of the box on a gun that costs under $1,000.
What’s in the Box?
The Upland All-Terrain Ultralight ships with the barrels detached in a hard plastic case. All the parts are wrapped in soft velour sleeves. 5 chokes are included: full, improved modified, modified, improved cylinder, and cylinder.
This gun is intended to be lightweight, and it checks that box completely. It’s lighter than my nephew’s single shot 20 gauge. But it hasn’t compromised on other features and I’ve hit almost everything I’ve aimed it at.
Its light-weight has been wonderful — it weighs just 5.9lbs. I’ve carried it dozens of miles in the hills searching for chukar, quail, grouse, squirrels, turkeys, and rabbits. Any gun feels heavy after a while, but then I pick up a buddy’s gun and realize just how light this one is.
It sits balanced in my off-hand while walking. I can hold the wooden forend only, which keeps my fingers warmer on sub-zero days.
The Cerakote finish ensures the gun won’t rust as it’s dragged through snow and up cliffs chasing birds. Plus, it’s easy to pick this gun out of the lineup of your buddies’ black barrels. The green takes a little getting used to, but I truly like it. Maybe the green is more camouflaged when sitting a duck blind, too.
But it comes up so well when it’s time to shoot. The cast off buttstock makes it line up with my sight picture immediately and it swings easily. Leading a flushing bird is easy.
The triggers are crisp with a short reset between shots. But, this gun swings so well that I rarely have to take a second shot. This gun has made me a better wing shooter.
It could be an illusion, but it feels like this gun is quieter than normal. I can only suppose that the longer barrels are putting the report just a little farther away. Or maybe I’m just using it in more open terrain. Either way, I like the 28” barrels.
What Could be Better?
There’s just one thing I think could be improved on CZ-USA’s Upland All-Terrain Ultralight. This version added swivel sling studs, the standard kind that are found on many guns. I suppose the idea is that on long walks it may be worth slinging on your shoulder instead of having it ready to shoot.
One stud is mounted in the buttstock, but the other is welded to the barrel — and it’s ugly. It looks like a Soviet modification to a fine European shotgun. I love the looks of this gun except for this ugly stud.
What’s more, the front stud doesn’t fit my Uncle Mike’s sling mount. The rear stud is normal, but the front stud’s hole is too small for my standard slings. It’s possible that mine is a preproduction model, and I’m sure CZ-USA will get the hole diameter fixed immediately.
It Shoots Better Than Me
All that’s left is for me to keep working on my shooting. This gun certainly shoots better than I do, and it does it while being lightweight and tough. It’s a pleasure to carry for long walks even without a sling. The sling studs are ugly, but it comes up and swings so well that I can forgive them — I might even find a way to get them cut off.
If you’re looking for an over-under shotgun, CZ-USA’s Upland Ultralight All-Terrain should be on your short list of considerations. It’s well-made and the cast-off stock is a real boon for right-eyed shooters. Its MSRP is $919.
- Name: CZ Upland Ultralight All-Terrain 20 Gauge
- MSRP: $919
- Chambering: 20 Gauge
- Max Shell Length 3″
- Barrel Length: 28″
- Chokes: Extended Black, Huglu
- Stocks: Turkish Walnut
- Length of Pull: 14.5″
- Finish: OD Green Cerakote
- Ejector or Extractor: Extractor, magnetic
- Rib: 8mm flat
- Weight: 5.9lbs
- Comb: 11.5″
- Heel: 2.25″
- Triggers: Selectable, 4lbs 4oz
- Safety: Manual Tang Safety