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Caledonian Classic Arms VZ MARS rifle

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Joined: 17 Jul 2014
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Caledonian Classic Arms VZ MARS rifle Reply with quote

Ok, this post is not gonna have pics. That is the first thing to mention. There are three videos on Youtube showing how it works a bit. One is Scott Rodgers using a prototype short barrel (there is a story behind why he was doing it, but I don't feel so good saying why he did so, he did tell me. If anyone wants to know ask and I will tell, just need some prodding). Just type VZ58 MARS and they come up.

Back to the review. There are many options for accessories, the CCA website is still being upgraded so there is only a fraction of what they have up. Alot of it is FAB defence gear and I can't sing that companies praises enough, they are certainly giving Magpul a run for their money). Mine Came with the following. An Fab ergo pistol grip and railed forend fitted, a csa ar15 magwell adapter (also fitted). The two accessories not fitted are the muzzle Brake and the scope mount, both go on with no effort. The scope mount seen here, clamps on very easily. The muzzle brake also.

The AR magwell as Czech small arms says is mainly optimised for GI Spec mags, so HK and BAE/Radway green mags are welcome. Some polymer will fit, but they might interfere with the last round bolt hold open, which is a feature I took some time getting to realise what it does. The main polymer I can mention are magpul E mags, they need a small amount of filling with a finger file (make sure you disassemble before doing it as the plastic shaving might get in the follower and spring) and you are good to go.

Now onto build quality. All I can say is and this is aimed at Steve the Admin. Wow, Its a milled reciever that is lighter than a stamped AK. Design wise VZ's are closer to FN FAL/L1A1's. This is due to it having a short stroke Piston rather than the long stroke. The Barrel on mine atleast is a heavy Lother Walther 1 in 7 twist so 62s-70 grainers may be called for, but I'll see how 55 grainers go and since the Israelis use 55 grainers in Tavors with the same twist it might not be so bad. The colour scheme is green for the metal work, military green. So with my black furniture, which is the FAB grip, rail and a no name M4 collapsible stock (I'm likely to replace it with a FAB GL shock stock later due to its rattle). Its a good fit. The Barrel is 18.5 inches so a bit longer than most ar's, which may add to the accuracy.

Now onto shooting, I havent shot it scoped yet as my Leupold 1.5-5x20 only came on Monday, problems with Sportsmen Gun Centre. So shooting was done with Iron Sights, the sight is a flat thing that you move up and down to adjust for distance. Shooting has been done at 50m mainly (my main range is 100 yards but I use a 50m for testing new guns). And it grouped magnificently, my father managed to hit the middle of the target. Its not an F Class gun but it gives the AR's and run for its money, so anyone planning on getting a southern gun company for 5000, save your money. Mine wasnt cheap at 2126 (base price is 1950, mine included all the accessories, which included the original mags, I have the ability to go back to original any time I want). It feeds flawlessly too. I have so far put 90 rounds through, the vast bulk of which was shooting tin cans at a range near Bury with Scott Rodgers (its a story for another time why we were there, me and my dad with him. Now for the main part, speed. Its as fast or as slow as you want it to be. I wont say how fast (thats for you to find out), but it puts a smile on everyone who uses its face.

Now onto Cons. The Cons are not really Scott or anyone livings fault, its the flaws of the designs that are what they are. First one is the way the scope mounts when you want to use one, you can either use the side rail or a dust cover rail, both of which need removing for cleaning, it doesn't to the best of my knowledge knock the zero too much (the mounts were designed with this in mind), but its a flaw of being based on a design from a gun that came from an era where optics on infantry rifles wasnt though of (the early M16s are not exempt from this either, you AR fanboy in the front there). I wouldnt say cleaning is a problem but the last part, getting the bolt carrier is a strange thing, its easy when you know, so I'll call it a something you might need to be shown rather than a flaw. The only other flaw I can think of the magwell adapter for ar mags. Its polymer, butit works and to be fair to Scott, he is working on an Aluminium replacement so keep that mind when buying one, I'll be getting an Ali one when it comes along with the match parts that will be made of Surgical Steel when they come too. Also since the Gas piston is in the front, it can be a little teeny bit front heavy, but that makes the gun a bit more accurate than an AK in the end as the recoil is not as sharply felt. I get over this by using a FAB T-Pod grip. It makes the rifle so well balanced, its unbelievable. Others might like Angled Foregrips, but use what you want, I recommend the ergo grip and the rail forend to make the gun feel more user friendly and comfortable, but dress it up how you feel

Also for those who have liking's for calibers other than 223. The 7.62x39 model I believe is out now (though call Scott and his Wife Foreza to be sure, they come in batches into the country every month), that is more like a normal VZ, using the readily available Surplus mags you can find. Though 7.62x39 is not as inherently accurate as 223 as Pete Moore will attribute (there is a reason the russians and most Com block countries during the cold war went to 5.45x39). In the works is 6.5 Grendel and 9mm, I had words with Scott when I saw him and he is trying to avoid using either surplus UZI mags or Glock mags for the 9mm, so CZ/Tangfolio mags are likely for it and since the trigger design is ambidextrous, so keep that in mind. And finally 6.5 grendel. Its gonna be cost more than the 223 and 7.62x39 at least. I dont know if its gonna be a modified 223 or 7.62x39 (the latter is a possibility due mostly needing a barrel change and maybe being able to use the same mags, I dont know, I'm only repeating what I know). The barrels will come from Armalon rather than Lother Walther, so anyone Familar with Peter Sarony's work may know what to expect there.

On a few closing notes, I will take questions about things I forgot to mention, especially after I have tried it at 100 yards, had the dinosaurs at my main club try to mentally torture me, my father and our friend for being outsiders and firing like what they will view as a waste of ammo. I also remember off the top of my head Scott mentioning when I first asked about the MARS some months ago that he has some Grandpower LBP plans. I know he sells the 22s, but here is the plan and I look forward to the Admins view on this. he plans to put the same action in Uk legal LBP Grandpowers firing 9mm and 45 acp. I forgot to ask him how it was going but when I am next in contact in the future when he is ready to fit the match parts to my VZ, I shall ask. While many are familiar with the saga that is Peter Starleys Lever Release pistol, having seen what Scott can do, I believe he may be the hope of using getting as damn near close to decent centrefire pistols on the british mainland again.

On my last and final note of this essay of a post that no doubt will make the moderators winch, I say to those who question why such a firearm and I respond, they said post 1988 (sadly the year I was born), we could not be trusted with Semi Auto Centrefire's and we complied, my did we comply.
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Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know someone who works for Grand Power, he did mention to me they were working on some sort of GB legal pistol. I'll ask him how it works.

Anyway thanks for the review. clap Saying you were born in 1988 makes me feel really old...

Only three things are certain: death, taxes and stupid gun laws.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:09 pm    Post subject: Thank you very much for the feedback Reply with quote

I know I made plenty of spelling and grammatical mistakes in my review, but I was eager to share what I know. I think Scott Rodgers is the best person for specs of the rifle and I think what you mentioned in another post may be why he has had it made from ground up, its easier to defend. More expensive but easier I guess. I was in South Yorkshire shooting supplies today and when I mentioned to Rodger when I was born, he said something like what you said and I said, oh so you remember it like it was yesterday and he said pretty yes to the effect, scratch that, it was his wife Sheila that said that. Hell I spent alot of time talking to Sheila about personal stuff related to stuff other than shooting (it related to my sister who is younger than me being married to a bloke a decade older and having two kids). But anything else you want to ask, ask me. I might be able to tell you. I'm not shooting this week (my dad who I go with is going to the Race track for some Horse race meet). So I will know how it handles being scoped by next week and maybe the week after how it handles 100 yards. Wish me luck. Also I have an ulterior motive to get this forum more active, its an offshoot of me and my dad seeing how the committee at our local club is effectively one of of British Shootings worst enemies. I want to get things more active so we can not only survive but get stronger and thrive, its not a bad wish is it?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:10 pm    Post subject: One more thing Reply with quote

Tell me what you find out from the Grand power guy you know when you find out. I think whatever they are doing is one to watch out for.
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