The CZ (Ceska zbrojovka “Czech Armory”) 550 is a solid rifle I’ll give it that for sure.  It is what I’d describe as a middle of the road “utility” gun.  In the SEAL Teams a “utility” weapon was one that you could use for multiple purposes (close quarter battle or sniper ops).  Mine came chambered for 308win, a synthetic stock, Night Force  (NF) 3.5-15 variable power scope, Harris bi-pod and the barrel (16 inches) comes adapted to fit a SureFire  supressor or “can.”

The CZ company has been around since 1936 and was originally established as a branch plant of Ceska zbrojovka (CZ).  Their first products were aircraft machine guns, pistols and rifles.  Since the 30’s the company has a long history of being state controlled and in 1992 appears to be a mix of private and state partnership.

My CZ came equipped with the Night Force and I’m a big fan of the NF optic.  After my first deployment to Afghanistan in 2002, I was attached to the Naval Special Warfare Sniper cell and worked on advanced tactics and training for all the active snipers on the West Coast.  At the time my friend Jason (now a Master Chief SEAL) was heading up RDT&E and in all honesty, he was a big reason US SOCOM has the NF in the inventory.  Jason saw the value and pushed hard to get these scopes into our inventory.  This is often a very hard-lined “old boy” network and it’s a testament to his character that he was able to get this done in a relatively short period of time.  NF optics are very sturdy and while there are superior optics on the market, you just can’t find a better scope for the money in my opinion. Optics are measured by their light transmission loss, less light transmission loss translates into superior optics.  This is very apparent in low light conditions.   The NF illuminated reticle is an awesome feature and makes those low light dusk or dawn shots very possible.