Test & video: CZ 457 MDT, the .22 LR sport rifle for PRS competition

CZ have allied with U.S. specialist MDT to couple their LSS rimfire stock to the 457 action. All the subtle factors have been addressed to nestle the stock in the chassis seamlessly, mating radiused action to the precision inlet with stress-free bedding and a steel recoil lug at the rear of the action. 

The CZ 457 MDT in .22 LR features a MDT LSS chassis to CZ's 457 action. Cheekpiece is adjustable.
A muzzle brake is supplied for the threaded barrel although I used a moderator instead.

The rifle features a 22-mm diameter, 20”/525 mm parallel profile barrel showing 6 flutes. It’s screwcut ½”x20 for a moderator, the supplied muzzle brake, or a barrel tuner and features a match chamber.

The CZ 457's MDT LSS chassis has a 38-mm wide forend with machined M-Lock slots in the aluminium on all sides for accessories and balance weights. There is a stud for sling or bipod, but I found it easy to add M-Lock ARCA and Picatinny rails for bipods and tripods. 

A grooved underside directs your index finger directly onto the magazine release catch.

The angled barricade stop is serrated for grip and the chassis’ underside has a slot to direct the tip of your finger toward the magazine release catch. A 5-round polymer magazine is supplied with the rifle, 10 or even 25 round mags are easily available. The 457 action allows rimfire calibre changes and barrel kits are supplied with appropriate magazines for the alternate chambering. 

The curved black trigger blade is housed within a stout trigger guard machined as part of the stock with plenty of space for a gloved finger, It’s an adjustable trigger mechanism so can be tuned and maintained easily. This one broke crisply at 650 g (23 oz) but it’s adjustable up to 1400 g. And will last the lifetime of the rifle.

CZ 457 MDT, modern action and ergonomics

The rubber grip is tactile and profiled, offering 70-mm reach to the trigger.

MDT’s rubberised AR15 grip is warm to the touch, grippy and offers decent 70-mm reach to the trigger blade from the inherently short AR-15 design layout. The grip is hollow but anything AR compatible is interchangeable to suit your tastes. The chassis tapers inward to meet an AR-15 buffer tube supporting the polymer cheekpiece which is 39-mm wide with a radiused upper surface and warm to touch. It has vertical adjustment controlled with an Allen key on the right of the buffer tube and locks solidly without any rattle, just like the whole buffer tube whose locknut holds firm when correctly tightened. 

The polymer butt is physically supportive but a shame it wasn’t a radiused instead of chamfered moulding.

The butt shows a bag rider on the underside and hook to anchor it into your shoulder. There are four spacers between stock and medium/firm rubber recoil pad which grips well in the shoulder without being spongey. Length of pull extends from 335-360 mm using spacers which are slotted to main changing them much quicker without any need to completely remove the screws.

The 457 action is a totally modern approach from CZ so forget the 452/453 and 455 echoes from the past. Other than magazines and barrel interchangeability common to the 455, this has a totally different bolt with 60-degree handle lift and a light striker for fast lock time. The two-position safety catch is on the right side of the action’s rear bridge, forward for fire, rear for safe. It doesn’t lock the bolt but has nicely sprung detents and a serrated, grippy actuator that works silently. The action has 42-mm bolt travel to accommodate either 22 LR or .22 WMR/.17 HMR chamberings.

The large rubber bolt knob makes for lightning fast reloads, also note the safety catch which operates silently and the action status indicator.

It is smooth and phenomenally fast with a large rubber covered handle which improves fingertip control, ejection is totally reliable and the bullets strip from the magazine and chamber smoothly without excessive meplat damage at any bolt speed. The 457 is a controlled feed mechanism with two extractor claws on the bolt face and a manual ejector under the bolt. 

Note the flat upper face of the firing pin to ensure the striker tip is never damaged on the chamber’s entrance.

The firing pin has a chisel tip to initiate the cartridge’s rim as well as a flat upper surface that meets the outer barrel tenon, a design I’m sure that’s intended to negate striker damage when dry fired, it’s been 100% reliable on every 457 rifle I have used, and I’m never shy of dry firing rifles to test triggers. There is a gas release port on the right side of the steel action which a supplied 25 MOA inclination Picatinny rail for scope mounting. This overhangs the front of the action by 30 mm, making extra space for physically large target scopes without compromising eye relief. A simple bolt release lever is recessed on the left side of the rear action bridge.

CZ 457 MDT performance test with various RWS ammo

Average Muzzle Velocity/fps
5-Shot 50-m Group Size (mm) Centre to Centre
RWS Subsonic HP
RWS R100
RWS Rifle Match
Performance on target at 50 metres was superb with all ammunition tested, longer ranges preferred true match varieties

Performance on targets at 50 metres was impressive. The RWS Subsonic achieved the smallest group size in comparison to the Match-orientated higher velocity ammunition. 

At greater distances from 75 to 100 metres, RWS Rifle Match and R50 were the most consistent on target and remained so to 150 metres. RWS R100 was faster still at close to 1,200 fps with the same 40-gr bullet weight. The Subsonic was unsurprisingly the quietest by far, especially with a moderator fitted and very consistent with sub 20 fps extreme spread. 

The RWS Match would have been my choice for overall performance on targets at long, to extreme ranges yet I would love to try a barrel tuner to further harmonically refine the rifle’s performance. 

Winter weather was never on my side so precision testing at 100 metres will have to wait for better conditions to prove meaningful yet my past experience with the identically barrelled LRP has reassured me there are no problems with CZ’s

Wrapping up: CZ 457 MDT rimfire rifle with Zeiss LRP S5 5-25x56 long range riflescope

The 457 range is modular and allows barrel/caliber to change too.

The 457 MDT is an ergonomic compromise, a gun physically built for multi position versatility in a PRS competition environment. It uses the same mechanics as the Long Range Precision CZ457 which is physically heavier, it also has a 100 mm longer stock forend for ultimate aiming stability from a fixed supporting surface. This is at a total contrast to the MDT’s design goal where sitting, standing, kneeling and barricades as well as moving firing points may all challenge you and your rifle’s stability. The M-Lock rail makes it easy to tune balance as well as adding personalised bipod or rail mounted forend support.

Here is a brief assessment of the Zeiss LRP S5 5-25x56 MRi: it is a riflescope with a bright image, excellent color contrast and razor-sharp resolution. In our opinion, the LRP S5 model represents the top league in precision riflescopes. The Zeiss LRP S5 model really offers everything you could want in an optic for PRS and NRL competitions. This includes the Zeiss MRi reticle used here in the 1st focal plane. The smart reticle features very fine crosshairs with an open center area, supported by a daylight compatible reticle illumination system. The LRP S5 5-25x56 MRi has a main tube diameter of 34 mm and features a quick focus eyepiece, a zeroable ballistic turret with 40.7 mrad of total elevation adjustment travel that also features a Zerostop to quickly return to zero. The windage adjustment turret has an external lock and brings a total adjustment travel of 24 mrad. The equipment also includes a parallax compensation that ranges from 25 meters to infinity. We tested the precision riflescope from ZEISS under the toughest conditions and were positively impressed. However, this premium quality also has its price: the MSRP is 4,200 euros.

Back to the gun: I liked the rifle a lot and it would cross over well as a pest control tool with superb multi-range versatility but, it is the most expensive in the 457 line-up so needs to show greatest versatility. I have now used nearly all the 457 variants and although this and the LRP hold a competitive edge because of the most focussed stock designs, all the 457’s benefit from the same action and mechanics with slick magazine system which allows fast reloads as well as a great trigger that will last a lifetime. The Picatinny rail is a perfect choice, and the enlarged bolt handle really makes the action a fast delight to use. I have relied on this rifle as the foundation for three scope tests and would not have done so had I not been so confident of its ability during the cold wet, windy winter months through which the anodised and Cerakoted 457 MDT components have survived without a blemish. This rifle comes Highly Recommended!

CZ 457 MDT specs and price

CZ 457 MDT
.22 LR (also compatible with other CZ barrel sets)
Magazine Capacity:
5 rounds (10- and 25-round magazines available)
20”/525 mm hammer forged steel, screwcut ½” UNF
MDT LSS Rimfire chassis, aluminium, Cerakoted
Scope Mounting: 
25 MOA inclined Picatinny Rail
Overall Length: 
39.8”/1010 mm
7.5 lb/3.4kg
Length of Pull: 

335-360 mm (13.1-14.2”)

Muzzle brake, instruction manual, allen keys
Price (in the U.K.): 


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