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5-minute makeover

5-minute makeover

Not sure how long I’ve been shooting my 6.5 Grendel but it must be well over 6-years. I tested the calibre in a straight-pull AR15 and liked it, but reckoned I could get more out of it in a bolt gun as I could load to its full potential. It’s a semi-custom job using a CZ527 action in 7.62x39 as the base, as the 6.5 is the same case head size. This mini Mauser action offers a compact gun and the build spec went for a PacNor 22” medium-weight tube and an HS Kevlar stock; Riflecraft put it together for me.


Though a stable stock the HS was a bit cramped for me and I also made the mistake of giving it a camo finish! OK at the time I thought it looked cool but now; well I know it doesn’t. One style of furniture I have always liked is the Thumbhole stock (T/H) and I had been looking around for one for my 527 for a long time with no success. Quite by chance I commented on this to Derek Edgar (Edgar Brothers CZ importer) recently and he told me that Boyd’s Stocks in the USA now offer a couple of T/H options in laminate.

I soon had their Light and Heavy Varmint stocks on my desk for a look. They are identical with the exception of the forend as the Light shows less material up front in a slightly more tapered build, whereas the Heavy is wider and more rectangular in section. Both show side ventilation slots and wear two QD sling studs up front and one at the rear.


The laminate is grey and black, which looks nice, the right hand T/H layout is classic Lazzeroni-style with a high, roll-over comb/cheekpiece, large and angled grip and a generous cut-out and is finished off with a rubber recoil pad. The action void is fully Inletted though the barrel channel is only cut for the standard contour tube, so my action would not fit in. No problem as by that time I had decided to get the Light Varmint and passed it and the rifle onto Riflecraft for some synthetic and pillar bedding and to open up the barrel channel for a free-float.

Laminate is an excellent stock material being dense and rigid so suffers none of the issues of wood in terms of variable stability due to humidity and temperature fluctuations. As to my choice both forends were rigid but I liked the slight weight reduction in the Light, which made the rifle a tad handier for unsupported shooting.


story continues below...

The Grendel came back and I was very pleased with the result, the support offered by the cheekpiece and comb gave good eye/scope alignment. Equally the long and shaped pistol grip with its big, thumb-through hole made for a lovely hold. Length of pull is a tad short, but nowhere near as short as the HS Precision and it would not be a hard job to fit a deeper recoil pad. Having gone this far I decided to carry on the makeover and in keeping with the light weight and compact build of the 527 I decided to replace my old, all-steel Ase Utra Compact moddy. In its place I substituted one of Edgars new Ultimate Foxer, reflex cans from Barton Gun Works. Light and compact it suited the build/ calibre and offered effective moderation too!



My final change was the scope, as the Grendel had been fitted with my new Swarovski Z6i 2.5-15x56 P HD with their personal, ballistic cam (PBC) cut for Hornady’s 123-grain SST factory load. The rifle holds about ½” but in truth the Z6 was a bit wasted on what is a shorter range deer and fox gun, plus I had other and bigger plans for the Z6. So I went back to my old and trusty 1” bodied Kahles 3-10x50 CT, which was the glass I took to Africa for the first time in 2005 with Mil-Dot reticule. It went into a set of Sports Match 15mm rings, which are purpose-built for the CZ527. Their diverse and innovative range of mounts is huge and caters for all needs be you airgunner or rifle shooter.

The end result is a compact rifle and calibre I love that is probably a bit lighter and certainly more shootable than before. I already had the scope and moddy and the cost of the stock and rings were both very good so it did not cost a lot to achieve my end result.

Boyd’s Varmint stock £POA
Ultimate Stalker moderator £POA
Sports Match CZ527 rings £24.95

Boyd’s Stocks, CZ rifles, Ultimate Stalker moderator & Hornady ammunition: Edgar Brothers Ltd,01625 613177
Sports Match rings & mounts: Sports Match Ltd, 01525 381638 www.sportsmatch-uk.com
Kahles scopes: RUAG AmmoTec U.K Ltd, 01579 362319
Gunsmithing: Riflecraft Ltd, 01379 853745

  • 5-minute makeover - image {image:count}

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  • 5-minute makeover - image {image:count}

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  • 5-minute makeover - image {image:count}

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    Samsun Rock
    19 Jan 2019 at 07:41 AM
  • How do you feel about the distance to trigger? Is it ok? I´ve been considering Boyds´ Featherweight Thumbhole for my CZ 527 M1 American Synthetic but I´m worried that the set trigger would become awkward to use.

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    04 Jan 2016 at 12:34 PM
  • Very nice job

    looks like expensive

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    thomas hudson
    03 Jan 2016 at 12:48 AM