CZ 912 shotgun review: How good is it?

CZ USA - 912 Semi-Auto Shotgun

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Hello and welcome to my CZ 912 review.

Ceska Zbrojovka, or more easily pronounced CZ, is a Czech firearms company coming up on a century’s worth of production experience in sporting, police and military firearms making.

The Beginnings of the CZ 912

Perhaps best known for the CZ 75 pistol that has sponsored dozens of clones all over the world, the company has also made inroads into the sporting shotgun market, providing guns that have the function and aesthetics of models from companies charging hundreds, if not thousands more.

While upland bird hunting has always been a sport reserved for the 1% - be they European aristocrats or new world millionaires, the sport has experienced a surge in popularity among the middle class and a rush to offer an affordably priced gun that is both attractive and functional when fielded with four figured Berettas and Brownings or five and six (?!?!) figured Purdy’s and Foxes is quite the challenge.

There is no comparison of a modern out of the box gun to a custom piece. Yet for those of us who were born not with a silver spoon bot a plastic spork in our mouths, it is still fun to try.

Partnered with CZ in this endeavor to bring quality products to market is the Turkish manufacturer Huglu (Huglo).

Turkish and Czech cooperation has created quite a few innovations available to the shooting public, offering products with features reserved for more expensive (often of German origin) firearms.

When it comes to sporting guns, it cannot be denied that they do put an impressive effort into a fit and finish that is quite artistically pleasing.

Such is the case with CZ 912.

Self-loading shotguns for bird or clay shooting offer an obvious benefit to the shooter both in follow up shots and recoil mitigation.

Until recently, this sport was usually reserved for people who literally had a “money is no object” mindset coupled with a deeply ingrained attitude of expecting only the best. Shotgun makers had to deliver if they wanted these types of clientele. The point is that certain features are considered standard in such a venue.

CZ 912 review: A Closer Look

On first inspection the 912 delivers: many critics have remarked that the walnut furniture the Turks utilize often has a fine figure and rich colors making their guns works of art. This is important in a sport that judges appearances almost as much as, if not more than, skill.

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The barrel is finish in a black chrome giving more of a satin like feel than the stated flat while the receiver is a shiny black finished alloy. It is not dissimilar in appearance to the older Beretta and Browning “entry level” (yet shockingly expensive) sport guns.

The 8mm vented rib gives adequate line of sight to targets for both trap and skeet, not specifically to one over the other but providing a gun that can be used for both.

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In addition to the long recoil spring, that is located in the stock, the recoil pad helps soak up a lot of a 12 gauge’s kick, keeping the muzzle controllable for tracking multiple targets moving in different directions.

The recoil system is also equally capable of handling a wide variety of sporting loads in both 2.75” and 3” shells.

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All this is to say that 912 is a well-rounded shotgun for people interested in participating in different sports without having to buy a gun for each one.

Cleaning and maintenance of the gun is designed with the shooters who have to do it themselves in mind.

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While no gun is truly self-cleaning (a greater lie has never been inflicted on the world’s shooting population than “self-cleaning”), a simple disassembly is all that is required. With the magazine cap simply unscrewed, access to the magazine plug is achieved. The removal of which converts the tube magazine from a three shot to a four.

Field reports of the CZ912 indicate flawless performance with a variety of shells. The shotgun comes with five different choke tubes. The cross bolt safety is easily managed. At present there is only the 28” barrel model available with an overall length of 47”. The length of pull out of the box is 14.5” and the shotgun weighs in at a stated 7.3 lbs.

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Perhaps the strongest mark against the 912 is the trigger with some reports measuring an 8.5 pound pull.

No where does it say a trigger pull must be equal or greater than the weight of the gun. To their credit, CZ has offered to rework out of the box triggers that are heavier than their stated standard of 7 pounds (plus or minus a few ounces) free of charge, but only back to the specified 7.

Many experienced bird shooters demand less than 4, so for those who stick with the sport, a trigger job may be in the works. However, heavy trigger pulls appear to be an issue that the CZ/Huglu models do not hold a monopoly on: many “out of the box” guns have similar trigger pulls including Stoeger (another Turkish product) and even Remington.

In fact, heavy pulls are so common that they appear to be a feature that is in all probability determined more by each manufacturer’s legal team rather than any of the designers.

That said, even with an optional aftermarket upgrade to the trigger, the cost of the 912 is still less than many of its direct competitors.

If it fits the shooter, it is one of the best “off the rack” guns available for its price. It is a very handsome firearm that is adequate for any of the clay or upland sports with nothing more than taking it out of the box, giving it a cleaning before loading up some shells and heading out for a fun day.

For new shooters just starting out, it is a dynamite firearm that offers trouble free service for very little buy in. Should the consumer desire, the trigger can be worked on to make it a match, in looks and performance, for any of the competitors that cost considerably more.

Check out GunsAmerica’s review of CZ 912 shotgun too:

CZ 912 Review: Final words

Finally, the initial price to quality ratio makes this gun ideal for keeping on hand for introducing friends and family to the sport: nothing will be lost on trade in because the gun is designed to serve indefinitely.

If one is looking for a starting out, semi auto with a European heritage and a craftsman like quality to its appearance and functionality, there is little reason that the CZ 912 should not be a first choice.

Hopefully, this CZ 912 review will help you in your decision. If you want a review for any gun, feel free to leave a comment below!

Photography credits

We would like to extend thanks for the following sources for images:

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