I’ll be the first to admit that I am a CZenofile. From the beginning of my development as a gun nut, I have always had a found feeling towards CZ’s firearms and their brand in general. So it came as a great surprise to me when I was handed a CZ over-under twelve gauge, I didn’t even know they made shotguns. I was more familiar with their bolt-action rifles and their classy pistols.
But like the true gun nerd that I am, I embraced this new knowledge and set of barrels.
The Upland Ultralight
I was quite surprised when I opened up the box, not only was it different than what I expected, it was also green. Surely I thought someone had left their spray-paint unattended in the company of this CZ, but to my surprise it appeared to be a factory Cerakote job. Not out of this world I guess, but not something I expected to see in a double barreled European shotgun.
The barrel set was twenty-eight inches long, and came with a full set of hand-installed chokes. Over-under shotguns are such simple mechanical devices, so it comes as no surprise to me that they are all so very similar in their function and controls. I say simple, but they are beautifully simple as I found out upon disassembly. Necessity and my child-like curiosity both managed to remove the receiver from the buttstock, and the mechanical beauty of pins and levers inside the gun impressed me.
The barrel lock and safety are the only controls besides the trigger itself, the latter being mounted in the tang of the receiver. The safety is slid forward with the thumb to disengage and fire the gun, but in the safety button itself there is a smaller selector to determine which of the two barrels goes off first. There is a very brilliant and simple connection that shifts the triggers movement between the two different sears.
The barrel lock engages the bottom of the barrel block, securing the action closed. Somehow despite the simplicity of the mechanism, I managed to goof it up. The engagement seemed off somehow, but everything seemed to lock up and function as it was supposed to after reassembling the receiver.
In my journey to the center of the receiver I noticed something that I had missed. The Upland Ultralight is light for a reason, one of those reasons is the aluminum alloy receiver. I noticed during my recreational investigation that the barrel hinge pins are steel pressed into the aluminum receiver.
The furniture on the CZ was a traditional wood, to be honest quite plain. I suppose the designers at CZ were thinking this gun would be more of a work horse than a delicate mantle-piece. That would also explain the Cerakote finish I suppose. The butt of the gun featured a simple rubber pad.
The Huglu barrel set was also made to work more than show off. The absent middle rib surely reduced additional weight on the gun, as did their twenty-six inch length. The ejectors that typically toss spent shells from the chamber were not spring loaded, they simply lift the shells from the chambers for the shooter to remove and put in his pocket.
Time to shoot
Once again I sought the shooting company of my Father, his seasoned input on shotguns and their various virtues would come in handy.
After switching out the two full chokes that came in the gun for something a little more modified, it was time to start throwing birds.
I love the challenge of hand-thrown clays, there is so much more finesse and the ability to really mess with the shooter. Dad and I have been throwing targets by hand since I was old enough to shoot a shotgun, so today was surely going to be a fun time. And just to have something to compare it to, Dad brought along his Browning Citori.
After warming up on some pretty straight forward trap targets, we decided to start mixing it up a bit with report pairs and other angles. Throwing targets from way off to the side of the shooter greatly resembles the speedy Green-wing Teal that I enjoy chasing through the muddy marsh. The lightweight CZ is very quick to shoulder, and despite its ultra-light weight the recoil didn’t seem unreasonable at all. To be fair we were shooting one-ounce loads, but that didn’t stop us from hammering a whole lotta clays.
I found that I wasn’t as good with the CZ as I’d hoped to be, I’d like to blame it on the gun not fitting me or something but it’s more likely due to my lack of practice. Speaking of fit, I didn’t have an issue with it, but my dad did mention the comb was a bit low for his face. He does enjoy adjustable combs on most of his doubles, so it could just be he’s a bit spoiled. Continue Reading Here…