CZ-USA CZ 457 Varmint MTR 02345 22 LR

The CZ 457 Varmint MTR provided the best accuracy in our tests, and it shot all the ammo selections well. Add that to a great-looking piece of Turkish walnut, and we had our winner.


We presented a selection of 22 LR rifles in the June 2022 issue of Gun Tests. You promptly told us that you wanted more, and that the next group needed to include the CZ 457. So we secured a sample of the recently-released CZ-USA CZ 457 Varmint MTR 02345 with the walnut stock and the vertical grip, $720. We also added a Browning T-Bolt 025236202 22 LR, $880, with a stainless barrel and action along with a grey/black laminated stock. Then we grabbed a Ruger American Rimfire Long-Range Target 8378, $532, with a two-tone laminate stock and 22-inch bull barrel. Last came the Savage B22 Precision 70248, $570, with the great AccuTrigger and a one-piece billet chassis from MDT.

For the sake of consistency, we decided to stick with the same ammo selection we used for the June 2022 article. Those were SK Match, Eley Tenex, and Eley Match rounds. Our team shot accuracy groups at 50 yards, and we weren’t disappointed.

Gun Tests Grade: A (OUR PICK)


CZ (Ceská zbrojovka) has been in the firearms business since 1936. Famous for rifles as well as pistols, the CZ Group now also owns Dan Wesson Firearms, along with Colt. We’ve observed them since those acquisitions, watching them put hard work into what were already good products. Our CZ 457 Varmint MTR is a good example of what comes from them today.

Action TypeBolt
Overall Length36.25 in., adjustable
Barrel18 in. long; 1:16 in. twist
Overall Height w/Scope Mount6.9 in.
Weight Unloaded7.4 lbs.
Weight Loaded7.7 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
ActionMatte-black steel
BarrelMatte-black steel
Magazine Capacity10 rounds
Magazine TypeDetachable box
StockMDT Chassis
Stock Length of Pull13.0 in. to 13.5 in.
Stock Drop at CombAdjustable
Stock Drop at Heel0.5 in.
Stock BeddingDirect to aluminum chassis
Stock ButtplateSoft rubber
Receiver Scope-Base Pattern20-moa Picatinny rail
Trigger Pull Weight0.98 lbs.
SafetyTrigger, Tang
Warranty1-year limited for original owner
Telephone(800) 370-0708
Made InU.S.A.
The CZ trigger has adjustments for everything. Read the manual.

The standard CZ 457 is slim and sleek. Our 457 Varmint — not so much. The unthreaded barrel on our sample measured about 0.863 inch in diameter at the muzzle and around 0.870 inch at the receiver. The hammer-forged tube is 20.5 inches long and spins out the 22 LR bullets with a 1-in-16-inch twist. Barrels are interchangeable with other 457s. Some even come as packages, including both 22 LR and 17 HMR chamberings. The match chamber is cut as tight as CIP (the European version of SAAMI) will allow it. This normally creates a great starting point for the launching of match ammo.

The CZ 457 ships with a five-round magazine. Higher-capacity mags are available.

The once more-rounded action has been slab sided to cut a bit of weight. That might be applicable on some of the other 19 versions we saw on the CZ website, but not so much on ours. Weight is okay on a varmint gun. The receiver comes with integral dovetails. We measured them at about 0.430 inch and have been informed by those who do not work in inches that this also measures 11mm. The bolt handle is somewhat short, with a slightly oversized bolt knob. One of the updates with the 457 model was changing required bolt throw from 90 to 60 degrees. Total rearward movement is just over 1.5 inches and is very fast. Bolt removal is accomplished via a small lever on the left rear of the receiver. A red outlined cocking indicator protrudes out the rear of the bolt. In an admitted concession to the American market, the safety is now a Remingtonesque two-position rocker switch just behind the bolt handle. The single-stage trigger is adjustable for weight, take up, and overtravel. Weighing in at a hair over 2.5 pounds and very crisp, we left it alone. The CZ 457 ships with a five-round magazine that fits almost flush with the stock. If that is not optimum for you, we found 10- and 25-round CZ magazines for sale at They were also out of stock and overdue, so be careful getting your hopes up.

If you like traditional wood stocks, you’ll love the CZ 457 Varmint. The grain is very nice and appropriate parts are well stippled.

We still appreciate nice walnut stocks, and we like what CZ did with this one. Inletting was crisp and sharp. The laser-applied stippling was consistent and abrasive enough without being too grippy. The lettering inside the stippling was perfect. Action screws are inserted through metal pillars, and a recoil lug has been inserted at the rear of the action. Gone is the polymer bottom metal of the 455 model. Instead, CZ now uses two metal pieces that dovetail together nicely. The forend is long, flat, and also has a stippled surface, along with two sling-swivel studs. The shooter is good to go for slings and many bipods. The toe of the stock is somewhat slanted and flat along its narrow width; another feature helping the CZ ride support bags well. The pistol grip is a vertical piece with a nice palm swell. Stippling has been applied on both sides, as well as a flat shelf on top of the grip. The comb is high, flat, and smooth, making for a good cheek rest.

Our Team Said: The CZ 457 Varmint MTR shot everything in our selection well. The worst performer, if you can call it that, was the Eley Tenex, averaging 0.504 inch for the five-shot groups. Overall, the CZ averaged 0.473 inch groups at 50 yards. The heavy-profile barrel and flat forend just sat there in our bags making good shooting pretty easy.

22 LR Range Data (50 Yards)

We tested at American Shooting Centers in Houston. We used a LabRadar chronograph, $559, to determine muzzle velocities. We set up on a Caldwell TackDriver Pro front bag (Brownells 100-027-023, $49) and a Tab Gear heavy large rear bag ($34 at to fire five-round accuracy groups at 50 yards. Ammunition: SK Match (Midsouth Shooting Supply, $17.68/50), Eley Tenex (Creedmoor Sports, $22.36/50) and Eley Match (Red River Reloading, $18.87/50).

SK Match 40-grain Lead RNRuger American Long-Range TargetSavage B22 PrecisionBrowning T-BoltCZ-USA CZ 457 Varmint
Average Velocity1126 fps1129 fps1204 fps1243 fps
Muzzle Energy113 ft.-lbs.113 ft.-lbs.129 ft.-lbs.137 ft.-lbs.
Average Group0.42 in.0.65 in.0.76 in.0.46 in.
Best Group0.36 in.0.49 in.0.52 in.0.42 in.
Eley Match 40-grain Lead RNRuger American Long-Range TargetSavage B22 PrecisionBrowning T-BoltCZ-USA CZ 457 Varmint
Average Velocity1081 fps1084 fps1114 fps1136 fps
Muzzle Energy104 ft.-lbs.105 ft.-lbs.110 ft.-lbs.115 ft.-lbs.
Average Group0.46 in.0.52 in.0.63 in.0.45 in.
Best Group0.36 in.0.30 in.0.51 in.0.36 in.
Eley Tenex 40-grain Lead RNRuger American Long-Range TargetSavage B22 PrecisionBrowning T-BoltCZ-USA CZ 457 Varmint
Average Velocity1082 fps1084 fps1116 fps1139 fps
Muzzle Energy104 ft.-lbs.104 ft.-lbs.111 ft.-lbs.115 ft.-lbs.
Average Group0.70 in.0.48 in.0.54 in.0.50 in.
Best Group0.63 in.0.42 in.0.51 in.0.48 in.


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