Overkill, and then some
Considering that it's been a week of fireworks we wanted to add our own to the mix. Big ones. As you are probably already familiar, we are known for our custom work, offering literally millions of options when it comes to lengths, calibers, profiles and then the extra option of custom "furniture" built to fit each shooter. In spite of being a custom-house, we do get requests for things we won't work on — actions that aren't really worth the cost of re-barreling, or those we know won't end up giving the accuracy we associate our name and products with. But sometimes when you have a great customer you just want to make happy — even if a project is a little outside your wheelhouse.
Troy getting ready to fire the 600 Overkill
That is just what led us to work on these two heavy hitters. Now, these firearms are by no means our work alone! We partnered heavily with Pac-Nor Barreling in Oregon to make these fully customized CZ-550 rifles. The first rifle, affectionately known in the shop as Big Bertha, is a 600 Overkill. Overkill? Yep. True story. This monster required the customer get special licensing to own the firearm because of the WILDLY large projectiles. Pac-Nor did the majority of the action and barrel work as our lathes and CNC turning center simply aren't large enough to accommodate the 1.75" finished barrel diameter. They also threaded the muzzle; we made the custom muzzle brake. The woodwork is all ours and typical of our Woodsmith style, although beefed up to support the extra barrel weight. The barrel was directly drilled and tapped for a sling stud (for shooting sticks) since the extra pressure on the forearm could be too much, and no barrel band is made large enough to fit this beast. The Overkill weighs about 30 pounds and measures about 53" in overall length. And still kicks. With the brake installed. There are some features we love: the wide forearm makes for a fantastic build on such a heavy gun. When setting up to shoot we realized how well balanced the rifle is too, considering such a massive barrel. The fulcrum point is so stable that the butt of the rifle floats above the bench when the rifle is level. And for sights-only shooting this thing can drive that massive bullet just where you want it.
It might be hot (like 110° hot!) but at least it's a pretty spot to shoot from
Closeup of the 600 Overkill muzzle; NECG iron sights
The sights on both of these rifles are from the NECG (New England Custom Guns) Express Sight line-up. The hooded front ramp makes for a really nice setup; the rear sights have one static rear blade and two folding leaves – all machined to match the calibers and barrel lengths.
The 500 A-Square has the option of a thread-protection cap when the brake is removed.
You will see in the videos below that the two rifles still kick like mules considering their barrel weight and brakes. Enjoy watching Troy get a little bruised on the job – and know that he's about 10" shorter than the customer, so the stock doesn't even come close to fitting him right.
Day 1 on the 600 Overkill – testing leaf sight modification at 100 yards
Day 2 on the 600 Overkill – after final NECG express sight modification
500 A-Square – after final NECG express sight modification
FIREARM SPECS: 600 Overkill Built on CZ-USA 550 - Safari Classics large magnum action
Barrel: 30" long, plus brake; 1.75" diameter
Weight: about 30 pounds Overall length: about 53", without brake installed Stock: custom built from Bullberry walnut; 2 7/8" wide target forearm – fully glass/pillar bedded
*Barrel, including chamber, threading and muzzle threading by Pac-Nor Barreling, Inc.; stock work, iron sights, sling stud install, and overall fit and finish by Bullberry
Built on CZ-USA 550 - Safari Classics large magnum action
Barrel: 29" long, plus brake; 1.2" diameter
Weight: about 13 pounds
Overall length: 51 3/4", without brake installed
Stock: custom built from customer-supplied walnut blank from Old Tree Gun Blanks – fully glass/pillar bedded
*Barrel blank supplied by Pac-Nor, chamber reamer from Elk Ridge Reamer Rentals, all metal and stock work done by Bullberry
And just for comparison: The typical customized Encore rifle with wood stockset might run 10 pounds in a 26" long 30 caliber heavy barrel.
The customer for whom these were made already owns fully customized CZs from us in 300 Win. Mag. and 458 Lott, as well as a full custom T/C Encore/ProHunter with 300 Win. Mag and special order 450 Nitro Express barrels. They were shared on our Facebook page back in August 2015: "These are customized CZ 550's in oversized/extra long barrels, threaded for muzzlebrakes (but we bet you can't see that they're threaded because the thread-on caps are seamless). We don't regularly do "white line" contrasting caps and tips, but these beauties called for the extra touch -- in blonde wood, not white plastic."