I noted in a prior article that I recently acquired a CZ 455 Varmint Tacticool Suppressor-Ready .22LR rifle for a trainer / practice bolt rifle. To get it up and shooting, I re-purposed a Weaver Optics T36x40 scope and some TSR 1″ rings, but ordered a 20MOA Murphy Precision scope rail.
The CZ 455 has an 11mm dovetail on the receiver, but I wanted to use Picatinny mounted rings, since I have pre-existing scope rings that I could use on this rifle. The Murphy Precision scope rail design (along with other Picatinny scope rails made for the CZ 455) utilize set screws to secure the rail to the receiver.
The rail is slid onto the 11mm dovetail of the receiver, and set screws are tightened from the top / 12 o’clock position and into the top of the receiver. This is not ideal for many reasons.
One is that the set screws do have the tendency to back out. You can use threadlocker, of course.
The second is that torquing down the set screws can mar the receiver, since the tips of the screws are driving into the metal of the receiver. The Murphy Precision rail does come with brass tipped set screws to mitigate damage.
But these brass tips could eventually wear over time as recoil, heat, and other environmental factors cause the brass to compress. This will result in the set screws not making full contact with the receiver, causing the rail to slide out of position.
The third issue I mentioned in my show-and-tell article of the CZ 455 is that the dual rows of set screws requires careful and gradual tightening of each side in order to get the rail to be level with the receiver, and not canted to one side.
But coincidentally, after I placed my order with Murphy Precision, I stumbled across a social media post by Area 419 (most well known for their HELLFIRE muzzle brake, which I am a huge fan of) announcing the pending release of their CZ 455 scope rail / base. The kicker of the Area 419 scope base is that it uses horizontal screws to clamp the base to the 11 dovetail, instead of top-down set screws that drive into the receiver. Furthermore, the price of the Area 419 CZ 455 scope base is lower than the cost of the Murphy Precision.
After I saw the Area 419 product, I decided to place a pre-order for their initial run of the CZ 455 scope base, and it arrived the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Area 419 had an introductory price of $85 on the first run of the bases, with the actual (current) price being $100.
The initial run of the Area 419 CZ 455 scope base is in a 30MOA canted configuration only. Area 419 is trying to address the needs of those shooting the .22LR CZ 455 to 200 yards and beyond, and the growing need for equipment to facilitate participation in the .22LR precision rifle formats (e.g. NRL 22).
A 30MOA base should still allow 25 yard and closer zeros with modern scopes that have large elevation range adjustments, but I anticipate Area 419 will most likely release a zero cant version in the future.
While the initial run did not have any cant options, Area 419 did indicate on social media that they made some of the bases in a ‘short’ configuration with one less Picatinny slot, so I requested the short base. Frankly, there was no reasoning behind my desire for the short base other than aesthetics.
So the biggest selling point of the Area 419 CZ 455 scope base is the side clamping design, and the base is clamped via four 2.5mm socket hex screws.
The second noted design trait of the Area 419 scope base is the recoil ‘lug’ added to the rear. It is essentially a pin laterally inserted into the base, which rests against the rear of the receiver’s 11mm dovetail when the base is slid all the way forward.
Then of course from the above photo, you will notice the bubble level that is added to the base.
The install is quite simple. Simply slide the base onto the receiver dovetail from the rear towards the front of the rifle until it stops, and torque down the four 2.5mm screws to 20 in-lbs.
Instead of throwing my trusty Weaver T36 back on this rifle, I decided to take the Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm MRAD off my Remington 700 ATAICS (.308) and put it on this rifle. The Razor HD Gen II is mounted on my 700 ATAICS via a Spuhr 1.5″ tall mount which would be way too tall for the CZ 455, so I re-purposed a pair of Seekins Precision 34mm tube ‘high’ (1.0″ tall) rings that I had sitting around.
I decided to take the Razor HD Gen II off my 700 ATAICS because there is a precision .22LR match scheduled at my regular range facility for December, so I need a variable scope and didn’t want to rush into buying another scope just for the club match. But I also plan on doing some modifications to my .308 Remington 700 ATAICS, so the gun will have some downtime, anyway (more on this in a future article).
Anyway, with the Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm MRAD mounted, I boresighted at home and took it to the range for some tranquil rimfire shooting on my club’s rimfire only firing line.
Not really much to say about the base in terms of a range test, except that the gun shot well (and it was way windier that day at the range than I would prefer for .22LR shooting).
Anyway, for all of you CZ 455 owners looking for the next best thing for your rifle, and for any future CZ 455 purchasers, be sure to get the Area 419 CZ 455 scope base if you want a Picatinny scope rail on your rifle.
Again, the base is currently only sold in a 30MOA cant, but there may be other cant options available in the future. At $100, it is actually less expensive than some of the existing set screw design CZ 455 scope bases.
For more on Area 419, visit their website at http://www.area419.com/.
Addendum: Area 419 found a minor flaw with the original run of CZ 455 scope bases where the top corners of the Picatinny rail were slightly larger than specification, which caused problems with certain rings. The more common rings like Seekins Precision / Vortex, American Rifle Company, and Spuhr. They replaced the base free of charge (with return mailing label for the original base). The new ‘short’ base that I received has two less Picatinny slots and uses 3mm instead of 2.5mm screws. Also, Area 419 is now offering the CZ 455 Scope Base in 15MOA and 30MOA configurations, but no other options (e.g. short rail vs long rail).