FN Mausers (Deluxe and Supreme) v. CZ 550

Viking264

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Sep 12, 2016
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Question to those of you who have owned both of these action types (I'm talking 1950's and younger commercial FN Mauser 98 actions in the standard length): are there any aspects that, in your opinion, make one better than the other? Quality of construction, design, etc.? The only major difference that I can see is that the ejector pins are in different positions on the clock face between the CZ and the "standard" Mauser 98 design.

Please, comments only from those who have owned and worked with these rifles; I own and have owned several commercial FN Mauser 98-based rifles, but have not handled the CZ 550. The reason that I ask is because a colleague mentioned to me how much he loves the 550 action. I have no chance to handle one locally. They're pretty rare.

Thanks!
 

okie man

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I have a 550 in 308, if I were in the need of a magnum action for a custom build I wouldn’t hesitate too use a cz action too build it
 

sable tireur

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(I'm talking 1950's and younger commercial FN Mauser 98 actions in the standard length)

For those of us who can speak to using the FN Commercial Mausers from Liege and Herstal from the late 40's up through the 50's, I can suggest that you put both the CZ550 and the FN Mauser side by side and compare with your own eyes. Then get a good summary of the history of the improvements made to the M98 Mauser while being made in Belgium.

Personally, I would use only the Commercial FNs if I could find a decent supply and if I had the clientele to support such an idea. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with the CZ550 at all, there isn't. But given the choice between the two, the Belgian wins every time. The Mauser FN commercial actions are simply the pinnacle of Mauser development for the time period. The metallurgy was superb, the machining was excellent and the constant refining of the small details for improvement in the overall action was very bright.

The CZ550, as the newer iteration of the Mauser-style, is a very decent action although lacking in the finer points of machining and fitting. It was and is an easy selection for those who chose to hunt big game with big cartridges since it is available for the Rigby class cartridges. This includes the .338 Lapua, of course. For the selection of other, more standard cartridges, I think there are several other actions which allow for higher quality in the builds depending on the need or desire for a particular extractor. I am not a fan of the CZ550 trigger at all. It's overly complicated and requires some tedious work to make it acceptable to me. Better triggers from modern manufacturing techniques are easy to buy for many other actions.

Regards.
 

Viking264

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Sable Tireur - Thank you for taking the time to reply; that's a very helpful summary. By chance, do you happen to know whether the footprint of the two actions, aside from the bolt release, is similar? From the images that I have seen of bare CZ 550 actions online, they seem to be very similar to the FN commercial actions.
 

sable tireur

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While you might think that the inlets are similar, in truth they are not. There are some distinctions which apparently look similar but the dimensions and position of each feature is different.

00022.jpg


wm_7860047.jpg
 

Viking264

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Again, thank you; I've been looking for that info online without any success.

Who is the maker of the three Mauser-type actions in the second photo? The bolt knob looks different than any of the FN's that I have owned or handled. I can see "Spain" stamped on one of the receivers; are these Santa Barbara actions?
 

sable tireur

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I didn’t pay any attention to finding makers marks as these have been ground in preparation for final finishing. ‘Spain’ is possibly Santa Barbara but these are usually sent off for case hardening, and this may have been, I don’t know.

Custom gunsmiths rarely leave any part of a Mauser alone without some minor change at the very least. Modifications to bolt knobs is one of those features often worked on for individuality of the finished action.
 
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