Review: CZ-USA 912 Twelve Gauge Autoloader
The first thing we noticed out of the box was the walnut. Attractive walnut is getting harder and harder to find these days on basic shotguns, some models are offered with blow-molded plastic stocks only, so good-looking Turkish walnut was a refreshing change. Hanging off of our Lyman electronic trigger gauge, the gun came in right at 7-1/4 lbs., a bit lighter than the published weight. The 912 has a horribly heavy trigger, breaking at 8-3/4 pounds or so that we felt was unacceptable for any shotgun. So, we called the folks at CZ to get their stance on the trigger weight. The answer was that their spec is 7 lbs., give or take a quarter pound either way. In this case, yes, they would be happy to touch up the trigger but only to their 7 lb. specification. Still, way too heavy as far as we are concerned so if you want a decent 4-1/2 lb. trigger, it is gunsmith time. As the trigger is a primary control in a shotgun, this is a lamentable trend, but the CZ 912 has a lot of company. The recently tested Stoeger M3500 also came with a heavy trigger, 7-3/4 lbs., and a recent sampling of Remington Versa-Max models (all roughly 8 lb. guns) all had trigger breaks exceeding the gun weight. While I've lamented ridiculous trigger pulls for years from many manufacturers, including Browning, now it seems that Browning is far better than typical. In any case, it is a good time to be a gunsmith and sending off triggers to Bob at Precision Sports in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is now standard practice for any autoloader we plan on keeping.
ventilated rib of the CZ 912 is 8mm in width, a bit wider than the 6mm
field ribs that are becoming common. The single bead is a green fiber-optic
that we generally liked. The recoil pad is reminiscent of the Franchi
I-12 / Browning Cynergy style of pad. While not easily replaceable due
to its odd geometry, we liked it and appreciated the hard plastic snag-free
heel insert. There are no adjustment shims included with the 912; fine
by us as none were needed.
The gas action of the CZ 912 is straightforward. As you can see, residue builds up primarily on the magazine tube and gas piston. It is easy to clean away between shooting sessions. The little button at the end of the magazine tube is the 3 shot plug and is effortless to remove and replace.
At the range, the CZ 912 functioned flawlessly with no failures to feed or eject a wide variety of target loads. Like most gas actions, you need to clean them after use. Though so many gas actions are touted as self-cleaning, none of them are. I've spent years cleaning a variety of self cleaning actions. Anyway, basic cleaning is easy: a little attention to the magazine tube and gas piston between range sessions is all you need. The bolt stayed essentially residue free, so while you might consider a more thorough cleaning after repeated use, regular cleaning takes just a minute or two.
the gun for the money department, there isn't much to carp
about. The CZ912 is a competent gas gun, far better looking than many
with attractive walnut and functional checkering. The trigger is the sole
area in need of immediate attention. At seven and a quarter pounds, it
falls right into the middle of a good general weight, fine for the dove
field, skeet field, and not so overweight that you'd mind carrying it
on the occasional pheasant hunt, either. It swings well and is easy to
hit with. There is a one year warranty on wood and finishes, a five year
warranty on everything else from CZ-USA. We have found CZ-USA to be more
responsive in the customer service department than several companies,
including Weatherby and Beretta, so that's a plus as well.
Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.