Test: CZ 457 MDT rimfire bolt-action rifle in .22 Long Rifle – The flagship for sport shooters

CZ 457 MDT: the clean transition from the fluted barrel to the compensator

The 3.4 kg CZ 457 MDT rimfire match rifle was primarily designed for dynamic PRS long-range shooting, which is made clear by the one-piece, 170-mm long optics rail with a 25 MOA pre-tilt enthroned on the cleanly milled receiver. The hammer-forged 20" barrel (= nominal 510 mm, measured barrel length: 525 mm) with 1:16" twist, fluted and with a continuous, generous external diameter of 22 mm, is mounted into the receiver. The muzzle has a ½x20" thread and is fitted with a compensator that continues the barrel contour. Although this muzzle attachment is a treat in terms of appearance, it is certainly negligible in terms of efficient functionality in the moderate .22 Long Rifle caliber. The complete CZ 457 series consists of no less than 20 different models. Some of them, like our test gun, are even factory fitted with a match cartridge chamber. In other words, good conditions for optimum accuracy.

20 models: the technology behind the CZ 457 series in detail

CZ 457 MDT: the fourfold screwed, pre-tilted optic rail. Also notice the loaded chamber indicator and the large polymer bolt handle ball with a diameter of 33 mm.

The bolt handle features a large, non-slip polymer ball as a control, which is easy to handle and, in conjunction with the 60-degree bolt throw, enables fast cycling. The bolt has a loaded chamber indicator at the rear: when the gun is loaded and cocked, a red signalling pin protrudes. Another special feature is the enlarged surface at the top of the firing pin, which makes the use of snap caps superfluous during empty chamber / dry fire training, as this special design feature means that the firing pin no longer hits the chamber as is usually the case. Incidentally, the firing pin is 62% lighter than in the 457 series, which ensures a faster shot release. The next special feature of the bolt is the double-sided extractor, which holds the cartridge in place until it reaches the rigid ejector in the action.

The standard 5-round CZ 457 MDT magazine (right) compared to the metal magazine with a 10-round capacity (left).

Despite its low weight, the polymer magazine with a 5-round capacity falls out of the magazine well when released. The magazine release is easily and intuitively accessible thanks to a recess in the stock. Metal magazines with a capacity of five or ten cartridges are available as optional accessories for the CZ 457 MDT. The two-position safety on the right side of the action only acts on the trigger and can be operated silently with a little practice. In the forward position the gun is ready to fire, in the rear position the safety is engaged. On the left side of the action there is a push-button for the bolt catch, which once pressed allows the bolt to be simply removed from the rear.

A modern rimfire rifle with top features: the CZ 457 MDT in the left side view.
The match trigger of the CZ 457 MDT can be adjusted in terms of pull weight, pre-travel, trigger stop and overtravel. The magazine well is made of synthetic material.

The adjustable trigger of the CZ 457

The trigger is adjustable from 800 to 1,500 grams. It is factory preset in a safe range of 1,100 to 1,400 grams. On our test gun, however, we measured a trigger pull weight of 1,726 grams as delivered. We quickly adjusted the trigger down to 1,000 grams on our own. Once the stock has been removed, the trigger pull weight, over- and pre-travel can be adjusted. The trigger is absolutely usable. We noticed minimal creep in the trigger unit of our test gun. This can be remedied by installing a Timney match trigger, for example.

The buttstock length of the CZ 457's MDT chassis with typical free-standing AR-15 pistol grip can be varied with four interchangeable spacers and the cheek rest is infinitely adjustable.

The MDT LSS chassis of the sporty .22 LR rifle from CZ

Like so many other rifle manufacturers, Czech manufacturer CZ is cooperating with the Canadian specialists from Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) for this rimfire match model. The one-piece chassis of the LSS series is made of 6061-T6 aluminum and has been adapted to the CZ action. The buttstock is length-adjustable thanks to the four spacers supplied. As delivered, all spacers are installed, resulting in a LOP (Length of Pull) of 335 to 360 mm between the medium-hard rubber butt pad and the trigger blade. The stock is fitted with a polymer cheek rest that can be continuously adjusted in height by a total of around 25 mm by loosening two screws. An in-house, voluminous and contoured AR-15 pistol grip with palm rest is mounted on the Canadian aluminum chassis.

The 37.5-mm wide fore-end features M-LOK interfaces on the sides and the underside of the front section. There is a barricade stop in front of the magazine well, which is a useful feature only for PRS use. On the underside of the aluminum handguard there is a sling swivel stud that allows a bipod to be fitted quickly and easily. The massive trigger guard offers sufficient space for the trigger finger, even in winter when wearing gloves. The straight front section of the stock makes it ideal for shooting from a bipod or a rest. The fixed buttstock is ideal for supported shooting, and the recess on the underside for the weak hand makes the rifle ideal for prone shooting or shooting from a sandbag. The hook-shaped rear section allows the CZ 457 MDT to be drawn into the shoulder in a stable and repeatable manner.

The partially stripped CZ 457 MDT showed a pleasing level of workmanship both inside and out. Here is a view of the action bedding inside the aluminum chassis.

At the shooting range with the CZ 457 MDT: SK Rifle Match ammunition scores at 50 meters, RWS R100 at 100 meters

Best grouping with the CZ 457 MDT at 50 m with SK Rifle Match loads (6 mm).

For the shooting range visit, we mounted a Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56 riflescope on an ERATAC block mount. We checked the accuracy at 50 and 100 meters with 19 cartridge types. We determined the initial velocity at the shorter range. At 50 meters, we punched a top grouping of just 6 mm into the cardboard with the SK Rifle Match. At long range, the tried-and-tested RWS R100 came out on top with a very good 13 mm.

CZ 457 MDT's best grouping at 100 m with RWS R100 cartridges (13 mm).

Compared to other rimfire match repeaters that we have tested in the recent past, we noticed the high bullet velocity of 360 m/s with the Sellier & Bellot Club or 332 m/s with the CCI Standard Velocity, for example, which we attribute to the tight match chamber and the long 20" barrel of our test rifle. We also tested the CZ 457 MDT with scope at 100 m from a bipod. We were able to achieve 5-shot groups of 20-30 mm straight away. That is really good.

CZ 457 MDT in .22 LR specs and price

Model:CZ 457 MDT
Calibre:.22 LR
Action:Bolt action with 60-degree throw
Barrel:525 mm long, cold hammer forged and fluted with 1:16" twist, 22-mm outer diameter, ½x20" muzzle
thread and compensator
Stock:MDT-LSS aluminum chassis with length and height-adjustable buttstock, free-standing AR pistol grip and
M-LOK handguard
Trigger:Match trigger, adjustable between 1,100 and 1,400 g, but measured trigger pull weight over 1,700 grams, subsequently adjusted down to 1,000 g
Safety:Two-position, acting on trigger
Magazine:Polymer box magazine 5-round capacity
Sights:None, one-piece Picatinny rail with 25-MOA pre-tilt for scope mounting
Overall Length:1,010 mm
Weight:3,400 g
Price (German RRP):1,749 euro

Conclusion on the CZ 457 MDT

The top model from the CZ-457 series fully impressed us. The internal and external values are harmonious. Especially for those who want to go beyond the usual 50 meters or even get involved in PRS shooting, we can give it a clear recommendation to buy. We were able to achieve top groupings from the fine match rifle with several types of cartridges. Based on our experience, the price of €1,749 (RRP in Germany) is absolutely reasonable in view of the performance offered.

Further information on the CZ 457 MDT can be found on the CZ website.

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