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CZ Bobwhite G2 – A Side-by-Side Shotgun for Practical Bird Hunters
An overview of the affordable CZ Bobwhite G2 side-by-side shotgun and its practical application to upland hunting
I had never hunted doves with a dog, nor did I intend to this day. But an English setter pup needed some birds in her face as badly as I needed to kick off the 2019 upland bird season. Not to mention that I had a new CZ Bobwhite G2, chambered in 20-gauge sitting in the safe in need of breaking in. I had never shot or owned a double gun new enough to have interchangeable choke tubes, so I dropped in improved cylinder and modified to get started.
My setter pup, Zeta, and I stepped from the truck and began walking a tree line on public ground frequented by Eurasian collared doves. The plan was to walk ‘em up and let the pup “retrieve.” The lock on my Tundra barely chirped when a collared dove circled a tree in front of us. Dropping Zeta’s leash, the CZ came quickly to shoulder — and just as quickly dropped our first bird of the season and the first with the Bobwhite G2. Zeta failed to retrieve, but the significance of fresh feathers on her muzzle was clear.
That hunt back in August was simply the beginning of a working-class love affair with my Bobwhite G2. My overall infatuation with side-by-sides, and the intense care (read: fear of use) that I put into my older guns, led me to rationalize my need for a new version. My criteria? Reliable enough to carry daily during the upland season, yet basic enough to endure anything Mother Nature would throw at us without worry of scratches, dents, or stock injuries.
To avoid scope creep and picking up another gun that would only hunt under bluebird skies, I drew a hard line at $1,000 for the next tool in the box. This significantly narrowed the field, leaving Stoeger and CZ as the most readily available and making the choice clear. The CZ Bobwhite G2 held the name and reputation. I could have fudged a little over for the CZ Sharp-tail, but I wanted to see what the Bobwhite G2 had to offer at a meager $649.
CZ has a long history of quality and reliability for the price, not to mention the original Bobwhite was produced prior and discontinued in 2015, yet reintroduced in 2019 as the G2 model based on the popularity of the original version. Designed with a trim English-style, Turkish walnut stock, these babies are crafted on gauge-specific frames, providing a sleek profile and cutting weight. At 7.3 pounds, the Bobwhite G2 feels virtually weightless in comparison to lesser quality or vintage side-by-side shotguns.
As with other CZ doubles, the Bobwhite G2 receiver is milled from a single steel block using a “computer numerically controlled” (CNC) mill for precision. The box lock receiver houses modern firing components that “. . . slim the action while increasing longevity and reliability.” The same can be said for the black chrome finish, which will “. . . resist rust much better than a blued gun while still looking classy.” Interestingly, the black chrome finish on the receiver maintains the character of traditional blued color-case hardening. Quite charming, contributing significantly to the classy appearance.
Double triggers remain the standard for a side-by-side, yet popular preference for a single-trigger mechanism has seemingly diminished the practicality of double triggers for split-second choke selection. Given the Bobwhite G2 is built with gauge-specific frames, the double-trigger design fits the gun well. No awkward reach to the forward trigger here, something that may be experienced with older or larger-framed side-by-sides.
Despite the myriad pros of picking up the Bobwhite G2, I held onto my cash until handling the gun. Standing six-foot-seven, not just any ole scatter gun off the shelf will fit even reasonably well. Hence, my skepticism ran high as I rolled the slender double under the fluorescent lights of the gun shop. Just as great was my shock upon shouldering the gun for the first time.
The astounding lightweight feel of the gun, fit of the trigger placement, and butt-pad and rib alignment to my shoulder and cheek were as near perfect as I had experienced, bested only by my classic L.C. Smith. I repeated shouldering the gun several times, thinking “It can’t possibly fit this well.” But it actually did. I immediately paid the clerk, vacating the store with a smug feeling, as if closing a deal so sweet it was nearly theft.
Not only am I pleased with the look, function, and feel of the Bobwhite G2, it comes chambered for 3-inch shells and packaged in a snazzy hard case with five shotgun choke tubes of Cylinder, Improved Cylinder, Modified, Improved Modified, and Full. And, true to intent, I put the Bobwhite G2 through the ringer during the 2019-2020 upland season, where it earned the affectionate moniker “The Bob.”
Following our early dove hunts, we took to the grouse woods, then hunted across the Washington Palouse, bagging pheasant and a handful of California quail. We traversed the flooded PLOTS and Sheyenne National Grasslands of southeast North Dakota. We strolled through over-grazed, cactus-laden BLM lands in eastern Montana where I put my first sharp-tailed grouse in the vest. We seized opportunities to pick off pigeons as flocks accosted us while we pushed cagey, late-season roosters through riverside bunchgrass.
Throwing caution to the wind, The Bob endured barbed wire, boulders and outcrops, rain, snow, wind, dust, and mud as I laid it across fence lines, the tailgate or on the ground alongside dogs and birds for photos. The rib (and my truck) boasts a scar from a Montana wind gust that slammed the truck door against the gun butt, launching it across the center console and nearly through the driver’s side window. The stock bears wounds from bumping boulders chasing chukar and Huns and busting brush.
The Bob has seen more action, fired boxes of shells, and brought more birds to the vest in a single season than any other gun in my safe over the past five cumulative seasons. What will I have to say about it in 20 years? I’m excited to find out, but expect I’ve just said it all.
Check the shotgun out on CZ-USA
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Brad Trumbo is a federal fish and wildlife biologist, outdoor writer and Pheasants Forever Life Member in Waitsburg, Washington, where he also actively serves the Walla Walla-based Blue Mountain Pheasants Forever chapter.
I feel the same way about my Bob, great story. Great to hear that this gun will fit someone that is 5’7″ and 6’7″.
Thanks for the read! Hope 2020 is a good season for you!
Nice article. I have a G2 in 28 gauge. Love the gun but was extremely disappointed in the lack of durability of the finish. Mine showed an unbelievable amount of wear after just the first weekend!
Thanks! I can see a little wear on one edge of the box on my gun. I am curious if it will continue to wear over the years. Odd that you would notice a lot of wear after the first weekend.
I bought a G2 28 gauge a month ago, weather hasn’t allowed an outing to the range yet. I have to agree with the others claiming issues with the finish. When I wiped the barrels down with a soft cotton cloth dampened with Hoppes No.9 the finish started coming off on the cloth! What is left is blotchy and clearly applied without adequate prep of the steel beneath. In no way is this finish equal to, much less better than, traditional bluing. I seriously doubt that it will protect against rust better, as it will likely simply wash off! Before I’m accused of hating on CZ or Turkish guns – I own five CZ rifles, a Weatherby SA-08 20 gauge and a Mossberg SA-20. All are excellent firearms and much better finished than the G2. It is a price point gun, finished in an incredibly poor manner. CZ needs to dump Huglu as a producer before customers dump CZ.
I have had the same happen with my 20ga G2 unfortunately. I shot clays all summer with it, took it out for pheasants three times so far and the finish is wearing pretty severely, on the left barrel, the whole length of the handguard. Still a heck of a gun for the price but disappointed with the finish for my first SxS.
Question: You wrote “At 7.3 pounds, the Bobwhite G2 feels virtually weightless in comparison to lesser quality or vintage side-by-side shotguns.”: But earlier in the article, you indicated ” Not to mention that I had a new CZ Bobwhite G2, chambered in 20-gauge sitting in the safe in need of breaking in.” Looking up the specifications for this model, the 12 ga is spec’d at 7.3 lbs, and the 20 ga is listed at 6.0 lbs. Either your copy is an extremely heavy 20 ga or you actually are shooting a 12 ga?
Gerard, you are correct. I made an error and reported the 12ga weight. The 20ga is 6 pounds according to the manufacturer’s chart.
Almost positive this will be my next purchase
Great article! I was tossing up between spending a little more money or going with the CZ Bob G2, but after reading this I decided to go with the G2. The only model I could find was the Creosote. I’m more of a traditional guy but it’s growing on me. I’ve taken her out shooting clays a few times. Loved the weight, swing, and pull up motion! Now I’m onto South Dakota to really test her! 2021 is going to be a fun year!
Glad you found this article useful and that you love the gun! I hope your 2021 bird season was excellent!
I picked up the over under version, the woodcock G2 this fall and hunted birds in 3 states with it. A tremendous gun for the money. It’s well balanced, beautifully finished, and has performed flawlessly. I killed the first bird my wirehaired pup pointed with it. I’m 6’3″ so I added a grind to fit recoil pad to increase length of pull.
I’ve shot the O/U version as well. It’s the only O/U I’ve ever hit a clay with. I was impressed at how well it handled for me. That’s a good idea about adding the recoil pad. I might have to try that sometime with my Bobwhite. Congratulations on your first bird over your pup!