Re: 204 varmint rifle?
Exclusivity and high price are often perceived as value and performance. Which of the above brands is bought more by government agencies than all the others mentioned? They make sniper rifles for government agencies and have to win competive tests and competitive bids.
It can be said that one example doesn't set the standard for all others that a company makes, but I am on my 4th one and they have all been among the best shooting rifles I ever got hold of.
Also, the long term viability of companies like Cooper are in question during hard economic times, and we are going into hard times. Cooper costs too much to maintain sales in hard times. A small company doesn't have the economy of scale to produce the same quality of product at a mid level price point a CZ. You pay a lot more to get a little bit extra, and then the improvement is in fit and finish rather than functionality.
The CZ 527 has won more awards in the light rifle division in Europe than any other rifle, something that much more expensive rifles haven't done. The main hindrance to CZ sales in this country is that most dealers that are listed as CZ dealers don't keep them in stock, but just special order them for customers who know their quality and value. Of all the dealers listed as CZ dealers in Billlings, only Shipton's Big R keeps a variety of centerfire CZ rifles on hand.
Doesn't take a journeyman machinist to appreciate that CZ rifles are better made than others at their price point, but if they aren't kept in stock, the customer can't compare side by side. Personally, I think that some shops know that a certain amount of CZ rifles will sell to those who know them, but they either don't want them directly compared to other rifles and lose sales there, or they don't think most of their customers are smart enough to make a valid comparison. In fact, one salesman said that CZ rifles just seem to get sold to more experienced guys who have used them in direct comparison to other brands, as the CZ brand isn't that strongly marketed and a lot of Americans are still ignorant of the brand. Back in the early 90's even some gun dealers I mentioned CZ to were ignorant as a rock regarding the brand. I had been using a CZ75 for some years and thought the display of ignorance rather strange. But some guys who own CZ rifles never heard of a CZ motorcycle even. Amazing...........