By Bruce Buck
If you are really into shotgunning, you might think that you know the language. Well, how about Ceska Zbrojovka Uhersky Brod or Akkar Silah Sanayi? Those phrases stand for the Czech Arms Factory, alias CZ, and the Akkar Arms Industry. It’s good to know them, because CZ-USA is now importing the very interesting All-American competition gun, made by Akkar, in Turkey. Most of CZ’s shotguns are made by the Turkish company Huglu, but this Akkar is a step up. Akkar makes a number of interesting shotguns, including a triple-barreled model in four gauges.
The CZ All-American comes in a two-barreled trap set (over/under and un-single) and basically the same O/U without the extra barrel labeled as “the sporting clays half of our Trap Combo.” The latter is our test gun. It retails for $2,499, while the trap set is $3,399. CZ also imports a less-expensive sporter from Huglu called the Redhead Premier Target for $1,400. The Redhead is complete but basic. The All-American has almost every target option and gizmo you can think of.
As with most Turkish O/Us, the action design mostly follows the generic Val Trompia, Italy, action, with a broad low Browning-style active locking lug and hinge stubs engaging the sides of the monoblock. The hinge stubs are held in place with set screws for easy replacement when worn. Two passive locking lugs engage cutouts in, but not through, the bottom of the rear of the receiver. Inside, the mechanism is extraordinarily simple and clean. Hammers ride on the triggerplate; sears hang from the top tang. The locking block comes in several sizes for easy replacement, if it wears. All the bits and pieces are CNC’d, and the parts easily can be replaced without any fitting when the time comes. The action itself and the triggerplate are also CNC’d from solid steel.
The spring-loaded inertia block is non-selective and always fires the bottom barrel first. The safety is manual, as is proper on a target gun. One of the many target-oriented bits on the gun is that the trigger blade can be moved forward and back about 1/8″, to slightly adjust to hand size.
The blued receiver’s exterior decoration is minimal, with no engraving other than “All-American” in small letters on the bottom of the action. The sides of the action have a touch of sculpting, which shows up nicely against the glossy bluing.
Our barrels were 32″ in length, but 30″ tubes are available. The slightly vented side ribs extend from the muzzles back to the forearm. Under the forearm there are no side ribs. This transfers a bit more balance up front. The vented top rib is slightly elevated to a height of 3⁄8″ at the rear and ¼” at the muzzle, and the width is an untapered 3⁄8″ breech to muzzle. In theory this makes the gun shoot a touch high if you sight down the rib. The top of the rib is mechanically scribed to eliminate glare. There is a Bradley-style bead-on-a-block up front and a little stainless center bead. The ribs are said to be attached with high-temperature silver solder, so they should hold up well in the long haul. Solder seams were flawless. Up front both barrels are ported. The exterior finish is a well-executed gloss blue.
The interiors of the barrels are chromed and thus suitable for steel target shot up through Modified choke. The chrome also prevents rust and makes cleaning easier. The bore diameters both measured .737″, a typical modern “overbore.” The chambers are 3″, and the trendy elongated forcing cones are 2″. Five Remington-style screw chokes are included. The chokes are 27⁄8″ long, with 7⁄8″ of that extending past the muzzle. Choke designations are Cylinder, Improved Cylinder, Light Modified, Modified and Improved Modified. Constrictions were about dead-on nominal and separated by .005″ each (assuming Skeet between Cylinder and Improved Cylinder). Of course, other chokes are available as you wish. The interiors of the chokes have a conventional rear taper into a 1″ shot-stabilizing front parallel. The inclusion of the Light Modified choke is most useful and seldom included by other gunmakers.
The stock and forend wood on our All-American was listed as “Select,” but our particular sample must have been selected for its completely featureless lack of grain. This certainly will vary from gun to gun. Finishing is said to be Tru-Oil and so should be easy to touch up, if needed. The wood grain was only partially filled and could have used some more coats for a proper finish. Checkering on the stock and forend is machine cut at 24 lines per inch in a minimalist but functional pattern.
The price is certainly attractive for such a serious target gun.
The stock is a trap-style Monte Carlo configuration and has every competition adjustment feature you could wish for short of recoil-reducing internal springs or pneumatics. The comb is adjustable vertically for height and laterally for cast-on or -off. The comb adjustments are easily made with the supplied Allen hex key. The pistol grip has a right-hand palm swell and there is some right-hand cast built into the stock but, with the adjustable comb, it should work for a lefty. Stock length is adjustable from 145⁄8″ to 15½”. The angle of the butt pad is also adjustable for toe-in and toe-out, but the pitch cannot be changed. Length and butt-angle adjustments were a bit more complicated to make but appeared to be durable and not subject to coming loose. The rear of the butt has a plastic plate with a thin rubber cover, not a conventional thick rubber recoil pad. That will result in a little more recoil to the shoulder and a little less face slap due to movement across the cheek.
The forend is a semi-beavertail—typical for a trap gun, if a touch more slender than some. It has a nicely rounded forend that goes well with the smooth lines of the rest of the gun. It allows comfortable and convenient placement of the forehand along its entire length.
The CZ All-American comes in a plain cardboard box with the five chokes, a sturdy choke wrench, two Allen keys for stock and trigger adjustments, and a thin, basic manual. That’s it. I will say that the manual does a good job explaining the stock adjustments, and it does have a handy schematic. The wood and finish on the gun are warranted for one year, while the rest of the gun is guaranteed for five.
When I first assembled the gun to go shooting, it seemed heavy at 8 pounds 14 ounces, not the 8 pounds 8 ounces advertised on CZ’s website. I assumed that it would balance like a pig on a snow shovel, but when I held it in the ready position, it didn’t seem all that heavy and unwieldy. The barrels were weighty but not ponderous. The balance point was an inch behind the hinges, indicating a good bit of weight in that adjustable stock. I shoot low gun at sporting and use a more facile gun, but this CZ’s balance caters nicely to the currently popular sporting clays technique of premounting.
Make & Model: CZ All-American
Action: Break-action O/U
Finish: Blued receiver and barrels, no engraving
Barrel length: 32”
Weight: 8 pounds 14 ounces
Chokes: Five screw-in extended chokes
Stock: Pistol grip, adjustable comb and butt
Accessories: Choke wrench, Allen keys, manual, five-year warranty
Price as tested: $2,499
Due to the weight of the gun, I found that it handled sustained-lead shooting a bit more comfortably than faster-moving swing-through. This is probably because the gun was so steady. Because of the gun’s weight, recoil was light. That also was helped by the total lack of face slap, thanks to the correct adjustment of stock fit.
The porting of the muzzles was benign. I don’t think they did the slightest bit of good for recoil or muzzle-flip reduction but, on the plus side, they weren’t nearly as painfully loud as the ports on Japanese Browning Citori target guns.
The gun was mechanically correct in most respects. Trigger pulls were 3 pounds on the bottom and 2.4 on the top. That top pull was a little light, but this was only a sample of one. The pulls were crisp and caused no issues. The fact that the trigger was mechanical was a plus, as the gun easily digested even the lightest loads. (Intertial triggers need the recoil from the first shell to set the second trigger.
If the first shell is too light or fails to fire, there is no second shot. A mechanical trigger always works twice.) Shells were ejected side by side for a healthy 10 feet. Chokes stayed in place and were easy to change when the time came. The scribing of the choke designations on the extensions was handy for visual checking. A casual barrel-convergence test checked out just fine. The adjustable stock allowed me to set point of impact where I wished.
So what wasn’t correct? The trigger is non-selective. It always fires the bottom barrel first. In trap and skeet that doesn’t matter, but in sporting clays, 5 Stand and FITASC this can force constant choke changing in mixed presentations where near and far birds alternate. Every other serious sporter offers barrel selection, so CZ should remedy this.
That said, the CZ All-American target gun certainly seemed to be well made. Parts appeared to be of target strength. The fact that most can be replaced without fitting is a big plus in a gun meant to be shot a lot. The price is certainly attractive for such a serious target gun. What surprised me most was how well the gun handled for its weight. Perhaps I need to shoot heavier target guns.