View Full Version : CZ 858 Canadian Review

10-20-2012, 12:58 PM
I have never gotten into the SKS or CZ/VZ rifle scene. Shot my son's SKS, it was ok but didn't grab my attention. I have looked at the CZ's and VZ's with some interest but never had a chance to shoot one. Two things held me back from really getting into the CZ: a) I hated those ugly resin stocks b) Maybe I don't "get" military rifles because I thought there were way too many tool marks and machining marks on the CZ/VZ's that I saw. I always thought that if they ever did something about that I might get interested.

Then along comes the Canadian version with the wood stock and maple leaf logo. Now that is nice looking wood. I could shoot that. At the same time, I was looking into getting an 870 shotgun Armacoated by Arma-Coat.ca for some 3 gun and ran across an ad on their site for Armacoated CZ's. When they offered the arma coated version with a Canadian version stock, I couldn't say no.

I spoke with Barret at Armacoat and he said they were all out and wouldn't be getting any more until November. :( Then I got an email saying he had located one from another dealer and would get started on it. :) Appreciated him taking the extra time and effort to locate one for me. Nice guy.

Well, as promised he stripped it, coated it, and shipped it from Thorhild and two days later the nice CP lady was trudging up my driveway with a long cardboard box.

Unpacked it carefully and checked it all out including the butt ugly mag pouch, cleaning kit, 4 mags, bayonet, and sling. As part of the deal one of the mags was armacoated. Nice. And, hey, my first bayonet!! LOL

The rifle itself looks even better in real life than in the photos. I love the wood. I have heard some people say the Maple Leaf is a little over the top but I don't agree. It is subtle but a nice touch- not over done in any way. The wood appears to be good quality but there was one issue in the top portion of the handguard. There are some dents in the wood. That is kind of disappointing as the rest of the wood is flawless and has a nice fit and finish overall.

The Arma coating gives the rifle a really nice appearance. The majority of the machining marks aren't apparent. I was really happy about that. (For you military rifle collectors/shooters it probably isn't a big deal. I just don't like it, myself.) It was pouring rain when I went to the range and the water just beaded on the finish and wiped off easily. The rifle itself seems almost small. For some reason I thought it would be bigger. Sure handles nicely: light, quick to target, sights acquired easily. Mag release is on the left side. Being an AR guy I kept looking for it on the right but you get used to it quickly. Safety is handy on the right side (again, opposite on the AR), easily manipulated. The gun is very simple to operate.

Cleaned the barrel and action thoroughly and got ready to shoot it. Pretty pumped by now. I have a couple of other rifles in this calibre, 7.62 x 39, and reload for them. I know surplus is cheaper but I can reload cheaply, too. Maybe not as cheaply as surplus but then the quality is better. And, I don't have the issues associated with cleaning after using corrosive ammo. Had 3 different types of rounds to shoot that day: Hornady fmj's (123 gr's.), Hornady V-max (123 gr.), and Hornady 123 gr. Soft Points which I use for hunting. BTW, the trigger was all right but has a really long travel, really long. Once you get used to it, it's ok but when you switch to another rifle you really notice it.

I have a 12 x 12 inch steel target that I use so set that up at 100 yds. Just for the heck of it, w/o doing a check at 25 yds, I shot at the steel. Hit it bang on but to the left. Put several rounds downrange at the steel then let the barrel cool down and got ready for some groups. That was fun! CZ includes a test target for this rifle that they shot at 50 m. It wasn't all that great, but then again it's my first foray with the CZ and maybe that is an ok target for this type of rifle.

No matter what load I used, it shoots to the left. I went to move the front sight but it is completely moved over as far as it will go- and still shoots left. The groups with the fmj bullet was around 5 inches at 100 yds. Then I shot the VMax. It was a bit better- around 4 inches at 100 yds. Lastly, I shot the 123 gr. SP's. They shot a bit better than the VMax's which was a bit of a surprise as usually the VMax is the most accurate. Now that was with iron sights so I don't know if that is good, bad, or about average. I also am getting used to the sights and trigger. Can probably do a bit better but I suspect it won't be a tack driver. Makes my Mini-30 look like a sniper rife! In fairness, my mini is scoped.

The bad
Nothing really bad but a couple of things. I have heard about a gremlin with this rifle but didn't experience it. I don't know if it happens immediately or after a while or randomly. I can say that there wasn't a single issue with feeding, firing or extraction/ejection. All mags functioned properly. I always ended up with a nice pile of brass about 12 feet away and 6 feet to the right.

There is a roll pin just in front of the magazine on the receiver. After about 100 rounds I noticed it was sticking out about half an inch. Pushed it back in but is this going to happen a lot? Wouldn't want to lose that in the bush. I already mentioned the dents in the wood. I don't think that they should have been there.
After about 60 rounds, I noticed that the grip screw had come loose, quite loose. It was fine after tightening but I hope that this was a one time thing.
Is it normal for the top forearm to turn left and right? It really moves around. It can't come off, but does turn inside the semi-circular retainer. That whole piece that holds the foream in place is somewhat loose. No danger of falling off, just loose. Sling is crappy and the sling rings could be noisy if you use if for hunting. Biggest concern I have is the fact that it is shooting left with the front sight all the way over. Now what? Any suggestions from CZ experts out there? Is there a fix?

Overall, I am glad I bought this rifle, especially with the Canadian version wood stock and the Armacoating. Bonus. It looks the way I have always wanted it to look and is fun to shoot. Went through 200 rounds in a short time. Forgot to mention that Barret includes a can of Armacoat and most of what you need to apply it on your projects. Might try some CQB drills with it for fun. I know when the boys come home at Christmas, it will be seeing a lot of use. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on any buck that presented itself under 100 yds either. Who knows, with a decent sling it might be a great little gun for some hunts.

I like the maple leaf!


Great job on the Armacoat, Barret


It's a nice looking rifle.




Was disappointed in the upper forearm wood.


Front sight
Not sure if you can see it, but front sight is cranked all the way over.

10-20-2012, 01:42 PM
I have the Tactical-2 version from what I read is actually made out of surplus military parts and thus why it doesn't have the chrome lined barrel like the full stock versions. Don't know if this is true though.

1) My grip screw is not loose BUT the screw holding my folding stock got loose after 400 rounds. Tightened it back up.
2) My top forestock is not loose at all.
3) I JUST had that pin start to pop out after 400 rounds, pushed it back in.

I liked the real wood on the Canadian version but I just didn't like the full stock so I went with the folding stock instead. The folding stock button is VERY tough to start. To fix this I sat down in front of a movie and kept folding/unfolding the stock. By the end it was smooth as butter.

Mine shoots a little on the high side but I havent touched the front sight. I have heard a few complaints on the rifle shooting one way or the other even with the sight full moved. I have no idea how to fix this.

As for the gremlin, I'm not exactly sure what it is. I haven't really came across it. Keep an eye on your pins for your mags though. One of my mags didn't have a pin so I had rivet one in and another pin fell out which I had to replace as well. Just something to keep an eye on.

At first I was wondering what the recoil would be like on a folding stock as sometimes folding stocks can be a pain with recoil. But these rifles with their 7.62x39 have very little recoil. Which you can see here:


Oh and the steel core ammo is wonderful besides being corrosive. But it will go through an engine block easily enough :D

Oh and the MFS 125gr Soft Points for hunting... they blew the entire side of a bear's neck out when doing a kill shot. It was a massive exit wound from 50 yards away.

10-20-2012, 03:32 PM
Drache- Do you have a muzzle brake on yours? Just wondering if anyone uses one and if they make a difference, especially during rapid fire in case I do CQB. Is there a particular brake that is better than others?
I will have to research the Tactical 2 a bit more. Does it really matter if the barrel isn't CMV, especially if I am not using corrosive ammo?

10-20-2012, 03:36 PM
Drache- Do you have a muzzle brake on yours? Just wondering if anyone uses one and if they make a difference, especially during rapid fire in case I do CQB. Is there a particular brake that is better than others?
I will have to research the Tactical 2 a bit more. Does it really matter if the barrel isn't CMV, especially if I am not using corrosive ammo?

The chrome lined barrel would actually be better with using corrosive ammo. I really have to be careful with mine.

As for a muzzle break, nadda. The recoil is so manageable already, a muzzle break would put it over the top for control :D

dlaskarms.com sells a couple muzzle breaks for the 858. Which one to choose is just personal preference.

10-21-2012, 11:41 AM
Awesome review :Beer time:
As for the roll pin walking out PM me you address and I will send you a replacement that will stop this from happening. This is because in the differance between the new and old paint thickness.
Also the grip screw I put a dab of blue locktite on it. As for the handguard wiggling is because of the retain spring was mot installed or even thought about when manufacturing these wooden stock's.
Now that front sight drum being walked all the way over to the left would require a gun smith to correct the problem. Basically what happened when they pressed fitted the barrel into place is that the front sight pins notches weren't a 100% level with the rifle. Maybe a few thou off so instead of poping out the barrel they just off setted it by moving the drum way over.
Now the cool thing is that you have a hood front post so now get the rauch rear hooded sight and watch how easy it is to get effective rounds on target.
Just thought of an excellent idea on the front post sight!
Drill out the front sight and wedge in a piece of fiber optic. Not like the NEA's one but have it go up and down instead of laying on it's side.
Dam I wish I could have a manufactoring company for all the idea's I have.

10-21-2012, 12:33 PM
Where does one get one of the rear hooded sight?

10-21-2012, 01:12 PM
Where does one get one of the rear hooded sight?

Rauch lists 1 Shot Tactical as one of their dealers although I can't find the sight on their website. Have emailed them. Will let you know what they say.

10-22-2012, 12:01 AM
Where does one get one of the rear hooded sight?

10-22-2012, 12:16 AM

Now that is nice! I want one!

10-22-2012, 08:58 AM
Great review, I'm not into these guns but I did enjoy this read, thanks!

BTW I agree Barret is a stand up guy and he is great to do business with, his work is A+

10-22-2012, 05:12 PM
Canada ammo had some Rauch parts a while back.

01-22-2013, 12:19 PM
I got my Rauch rail for the Tavor through CanAm. Haven't seen much else though.

I'm super tempted by these Canadian 858s. I sold my 7.62 before christmas and still have a few crates of ammo that need a friend.

Mumbles Marble Mouth
01-22-2013, 01:43 PM
A bad thing to do is to look at pictures of guns you want but don't have the money to afford them. The worst thing to do is walk into a gun shop and not have the money to afford anything but you do have a credit card with a $4000 limit.

02-13-2013, 08:22 PM
Rauch lists 1 Shot Tactical as one of their dealers although I can't find the sight on their website. Have emailed them. Will let you know what they say.

Did you get a reply? Pretty cool sight...nice rifle too!

02-14-2013, 12:55 PM
Did you get a reply? Pretty cool sight...nice rifle too!

They said they don't carry them. :(