Summer of Shooting

September 17th, 2014

photoIt’s early September and the feeling of fall has been in the air for few days.  Perfect time of the year to get out and hike. No bugs, creeks, streams and rivers are running lower and they are much easier to cross if necessary. Upland bird season has started in parts of the west. Deer season is just around the corner.  So much to look forward to. This is the time when summer practice is put to good use but I would like to reflect on few new guns I had a chance to enjoy first.

We were sitting around a fire talking with friends and neighbors and subject of clay shooting came up. One of my neighbors brought up the fact he has a thrower in his attic that he never uses because of multiple shoulder surgeries. He used to but not anymore, he is in his mid-eighties. The next day he shows up at my place with the thrower and hundreds of clays. What a friend. I called few of my fellow shooters who knew great spot in the National Forrest to shoot. The local shotgun facilities were under construction. We decided not to waste any time and go that afternoon, early evening. I brought along couple new 28ga shotguns I bought and couple 12 ga I was trying out. We had plenty of shells, clays and desire to work these guns.  I was probably the most advance shooter in the group but it does not say much. It was time to have lot of fun yet never compromised safety.

The “equipment” we brought along was CZ Canvasback Gold 28ga and 12ga, CZ Wingshooter 12ga, and my personal favorite the Upland Ultralight 12 ga. All of these shotguns are over/under but CZ-USA also carries nice line of side by side shotguns. I have tried few and they are truly classic pieces. The thrower was the kind you sit behind and wind it back. To release, you just pull a string. You can throw singles, doubles and adjust the elevation or direction left to right. It was a gift that kept on giving all summer.

We all took turns to test the shotguns. The Wingshooter became everyone’s favorite the moment they lay their eyes and hands on one. The shotgun has very sophisticated look due to its extensive engraving. The looks and performance of this shotgun were unmatched in the group if you’re looking for mostly clay and part time hunting gun. The Canvasback Gold is better suited for the dirty work like waterfowl or dense cover Upland hunt. You can get 26 or 28 inch barrels and variety of gauges. True workhorse in the lineup. The friends did not shoot the Ultralight as much. That gun takes little time getting used to. Extremely light with heavier recoil it has to be mounted just right every time or you’re going to feel it. I love the gun and almost exclusively hunt all of my upland birds with it. As most friends were wearing out from hundreds of 12 ga shells I recommended to try the 28 ga Canvasback Gold. It was “a new day” for everyone. Light, handy but hits like it’s big brother 12. Most people never shot 28 ga and were blown away by the shotgun’s performance. I actually shot better with this gun all summer than any other one except the Ultralight. Side by sides included. We had so much fun every time we went out but also acted responsibly and picked up after ourselves because we, the outdoorsmen, want to be allowed to shoot on public lands for generations to come.

There were two other guns I had a chance to shoot this summer. The CZ 550 Varmint 308 caliber I purchased last winter and friend’s Dan Wesson Titan.

I believe I’ve written about the heavy barrel 308 before but I finally had time to fine tune it. Last winter’s break in process was fun because the time it took me to clean the barrel between the shots, the barrel had a chance to completely cool off. That’s how cold it was. I got it broken in but it was not time to play.

Over the course of few months I shopped around for 308 ammo with 168 grain bullets because of my previous success with the other CZ 308s. I bought very good  A-Max Hornady, SST Hornady, Barnes Vortex and others but the best ones(by accident) were Remington Premier AccuTip boat tail. I original thought I bought another box of 168 grain ammunition but after having great success with the Remington I checked the box again and it said 165 grain. I could not believe three grains difference was all it took to have 1 MOA rifle at 200 hundred yards. I did all this testing off of a bi-pod trying to recreate field conditions. It is not a target rifle although it could be.  It is a hunting rifle. This rifle gave me so much confidence I will be carrying it in the mountains. It is heavy, especially with bi-pod, Leupold 6.5-22 scope and beautiful walnut stock but worth the effort.

The last new gun I had an opportunity to try this summer was the Dan Wesson Titan. I am a person who does not get impressed that easily but the Titan is a gun I did not think existed. I do have great CZ 97 .45 caliber I shoot a lot. I really like the gun, it is large, has good weight, great balance and accurate as any gun I’ve shot, several high end 1911s included. The 45 caliber is extremely popular amongst American shooters. There is many adequate calibers, depending on your goals and desires but until now there was not a clear winner. I think I found one. 10 MM. The caliber has somewhat of a cult following. People who shoot the Ten swear by it for self-defense, hunting, target or anything else you use handguns for.

The Titan is built on the 1911 frame and is built like Abrams tank (the one U.S. Military has in its arsenal). The most impressive was the thickness of the barrel. My friend bought extra barrel thinking of replacing the original once it wears out. Upon seeing the barrel he does not have to worry about it. One lifetime of shooting is not enough. It’s another gun that might be little heavy for shooters who live in that world of “lighter the better”. I’m not one of them. I want quality, durability and performance. Whatever package it comes in I can handle it. And this is one heck of a package. 14 rounds (14+1 actually) of high power 10 mm being shot out of this pistol feels like butter. We spent hundreds of round with very little breaks in between yet the barrel never really overheated. We filled the down time shooting my friend’s another high end gun, Wilson Combat 1911, with very disappointing results. It felt loose, you had to work at staying on target, limited capacity and as an inferior product. Mind you this is all relative as from now on we compare everything else to the Titan. The Titan is basically custom gun. The people in Dan Wesson should be proud of their work.  Titan, Valor or Razorback are all cream of the crop. Shooters looking to spend more money for handgun, there is only one choice the DAN WESSON TITAN.  This gun has a potential to bring the 10 mm to the forefront of the shooting world.


Bobby Holik

Bobby Holik, Czech American NHL Legend teamed up with CZ-USA in 2011 to promote the CZ line of bolt action rifles, semi-automatic handguns and handcrafted shotguns. The ice hockey center began his U.S. career with the Hartford Whalers, won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils and went on to plan for New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers. In his 1,314 career NHL games, Holik scored 747 points (326 goals, 421 assists) and became of the the most productive Czech born players in the NHL.
Like his grandfather, Bobby treasures our outdoor heritage. At home on his ranch in Wyoming, Bobby understands our responsibility as custodians for the land and wildlife on a first hand basis.


CZ firearms are imported to United States exclusively by CZ-USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ceska Zbrojovka, a.s. Uhersky Brod (CZUB) of the Czech Republic whose history dates back to 1936. CZ firearms have been available through distribution channels in the US since 1991 through independent importers and in 1997 CZUB recognized the need to control its own destiny and established CZ-USA with its headquarters in Kansas City, KS. All distribution, sales, marketing, warranty and parts support operates from Kansas City location. In 2005 a great opportunity came to CZ-USA by acquiring Dan Wesson Firearms, traditional American manufacturer of premium 1911 style handguns and unique revolvers with interchangeable barrels.