CZ Ringneck 28 ga. side x side

This is my first side x side and my first 28 gauge shotgun. After 3 years with it, I've fallen in love with the gun and the gauge. You have to realize what this gun is and temper expectations accordingly. Its a budget priced box lock made to look like a sidelock with decorative side plates. It's made in Turkey by Huglu and imported to the USA by CZ-USA. 

That being said, it is well built and looks great and in my opinion, a total steal for the price. The wood on mine is actually quite nice and the grain has some good movement. The finish on the wood is a deep, dark walnut brown. I like the color, it's a good finish but maybe a little too opaque in my opinion. It has a prince-of-wales grip on the stock and and a beaver-tail fore-end, however it's thinner in profile than other beaver tail fore-ends I've seen. The hand checkering is a little shallow and slightly rough in a couple spots but it feels nice and does the job.

The specs say the barrels are blued, but the finish is pretty thin. I've read that the blueing was applied with a spray on process. I'm not sure about that but it does seem thin and has scratched easier than I feel it should have. The case hardening on the receiver is "color case hardened", whatever that means. I suppose it's colored through a chemical process rather than the traditional fire, charcoal and whatever else they do to create the metallic oil-slick look on the receiver.  Whatever CZ does to get the case hardening done it still looks cool. It has some subtle engraving and other embellishments that help with the overall aesthetic of the gun. 

On the positive side, like I said before, it is well built and functional. In the 3 seasons I've owned this gun I've ended up using it a lot. I really enjoy shooting it and its a dream to carry in the field. Weighing just under 6 pounds, with 28" barrels, it's light, it swings well and I seem to shoot pretty good with it. I really like the sxs sight plane. This has become my main grouse gun and I also have used it on quail and chukars and on preserve hunts. I also like to use it when I'm dog training. At this time I use this gun more that any of my other guns. I guess that says it all. I really like it.

Before I purchased this gun I looked at all the more inexpensive sxs shotguns I could find. At the time of this post there isn't a lot of sxs options out there in the same price range. I preferred the CZ's way over the others that you can purchase for under $1000. The CZ shotguns really stood apart from the competition. The CZ's felt much better and looked way nicer in my opinion. I feel CZ has filled a nice niche with their sxs lines. Well built affordable sxs shotguns that any hunter would be proud to carry.

This is a very nice gun to introduce yourself to the side x side format. It comes in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge. I would totally recommend this gun or the CZ bobwhite. The CZ bobwhite is basically the same gun but with double triggers and a straight english style grip on the stock. I've also heard good things about the CZ grouse but they are much harder to find and no longer in production. I looked hard at the ringneck and bobwhite before this purchase and concluded that I like the prince of whales grip more than the straight english style stock. It just felt better to me. I love the looks of the straight stock but fit and feel are important and this ringneck grip felt great where the other felt awkward. The double triggers on the bobwhite were tempting though. To each their own. I'm happy with my purchase.

Someday I would like to upgrade get a nicer side x side shotgun. Maybe an AyA or Ugartechea. I also really liked the Franchi Highlander I believe they only made it in 20 gauge and I don't think they are importing them any more so they can be difficult to find (I've looked). Who knows what the future will bring. For now my 28 gauge ringneck is great. It can get beat up a little bit in the field and I don't feel too bad. I'm very happy with it. I imagine I will have this gun for a long time.

The one real negative I've read on this gun is that the trigger mechanism will sometimes breakdown. Some people seem to have this as a reoccurring problem and others have owned these guns for years without a hitch. I highly recommend using snap caps after each use to reduce the tension on the trigger springs. I use them each time I finish shooting or hunting with this gun and have not experienced that problem. (knock on wood) Mine has proven to be durable.

You can pick them up new and used between $700 - $1000. I paid $790 for mine and it was new in the box. Buy one, it's a ton of fun.

My Pudelpointer Hazel (foreground) my friends young dog Annie and my
Ringneck with a couple chukars during an Idaho hunt.


  1. First of all this is an awesome blog. I read over your posts often. Would you mind if I contact you by email. I would like to ask you a few things about the 28 gauge and Utah upland hunting. I work in SLC and live in Heber. I could not find your email address on the blog.


    1. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I'd be happy to answer any questions here in this format or if you want to post your email I can respond that way. I will delete your email from the blog as soon as I get it.


  2. Hello Brett:
    I just checked back to see if you received my message, thanks for responding. My question is what side by side should I get, 20 or 28 gauge? This will be my first double gun. I have saved up and narrowed it down to the lion country supply Ugartechea grade I. I’m pretty new to bird hunting and really got into this great sport for the dog training part of it. I’m a lifelong fly angler and now it seems I do as much bird hunting as fishing. In the past couple years I have mainly hunted blue and ruffed grouse along the Wasatch back. I have also enjoyed pheasant and dove hunting on a limited basis. My hunting partner is a 3 year old Labrador named Dublin. He is a bird crazed flusher. The shotguns I have now include a Browning Maxus 12 gauge that I use for duck and goose, a Winchester SX3 20 gauge that I use for upland birds and a Mossberg 500 12 gauge that I have had for 15 years, it never gets used. I do not reload but may pick up the habit in the future. This is probably more information than you wanted to read but I'm stuck on the 20 vs 28 and keep going back and forth to no end. I like the selection and availability of 20 gauge shells even though I many use 7-1/2 or 8 for grouse. I like the lighter gun weight, lower recoil and just the thought of having a 28 gauge. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Keep up your great work on this blog, I can’t wait to read about your adventures this season.


  3. Jonathan,
    It sounds like you and Dublin are having a good time. I love your arsenal. The Winchester SX3 was high on my list before I bought my Franchi AL48.

    Get a 28 you'll love it.

    The drawbacks of the 28 are few. The lack of accessibility to shells can be a pain plus I don't feel like it's as effective as the 20 on long range shots. I could be wrong on the range though.

    My experience is I feel like it hits hard up to 35 yards but after that it seems to fizzle out. I can't back that up with ballistics or anything but that is how it seems to me. I've read comments from guys that hunt everything with a 28 including prairie birds and late season pheasants. I guess it all depends on the shells, choke and shooter. I'm just telling you what I've experienced.

    I use the 28 for grouse, quail, early season chukar, preserve hunts and dog training. For pheasants I like the 12, Chukars after October I use the 20 or 12, ducks the 12. Everything else I feel the 28 can handle but like I said I've read comment from guys that use a 28 for everything.

    As far as shells go I order them online. Sometimes Walmart will have a box of 7.5 Remington target loads. Cabelas will usually carry some Fiocchi Golden Pheasant 6's or 7.5's. I usually order some before the season starts.
    I've been shooting mainly the Golden Pheasants in 7 1/2 and 6 shot, They seem to work fine but they dirty up my barrels worse than any other shells I use. Not sure why. This year I ordered some B and P shells from the B&P website. They came highly recommended by a friend.

    One of the things I love about the double guns is using the different choke combinations.
    For grouse I will use a cylinder/Improved cylinder combo.
    Chukar and Quail I do an Improved cylinder/modified combo.
    It's fun to switch it up.

    As far as recoil, I don't feel much difference between the 20 and the 28 gauges. But my only 28 is a SxS so there is nowhere for the recoil to go except my shoulder. I was surprised at how much recoil it had when first had it out shooting clays.

    The 28 has a cool factor and it kills birds. My sxs in 28 is a really fun gun to hunt with. It's so light and slender it's like packing a broomstick through the woods. That's an exaggeration but It's light, fast and easy to handle. It's the perfect grouse gun and gauge in my opinion.

    Hope that helped.
    thanks for your support. I will try to keep the posts coming.
    Bird Season opens today!

  4. Brett,

    I was wondering if you have received and had a chance to use the B and P shells. I would love some feedback on how they stack up against the Golden Pheasants. Thanks


  5. I haven't used them enough this year to give a good assessment. I fell back in love with my over-under 12 and it's been dominating most of my hunting this year. But what little I have used them they seem fine. I did kill a grouse the only time I hunted with them so... so far I like them. Only comparison against the goldens is they don't dirty my barrels as much as the goldens do.


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