NEW - CZ 712 G3 Shotgun Review: Best Bang for the Buck Semi-Auto Shotgun?Apr 06, 2023
Today we're taking a look at this new 12 gauge shotgun from CZ: The 712 G3! This new shotgun is completely different from its G2 predecessor and we're excited to share with you what those changes are! If you're looking for a reliable semi-auto shotgun that won't break the bank, this may be your shotgun. Let's find out! If you have experience with the CZ 712 G2 or G3, please let us know on the TFL COMMUNITY!
CZ 712 G3 12 Gauge:
- The current MSRP of this camo 712 is $629, with a wood version available for $529 - Shout out to CZ for sending us this gun to review!
- This is a standard field gun for waterfowl or upland
- Get a FREE case of Federal Ammo with a purchase of a new shotgun from Reeds priced at $500 or above!
- 12 gauge (only 12 gauge available)
- Semi-auto (2 piston gas system) The 712 comes with two pistons for light, or heavy loads
- The 712 comes with 5 "Active" extended chokes - But of course, we've swapped those out with a Carlson's Choke Tube
- 3" chamber
- 28" Barrell (26" available)
- Shotgun Weight is 7lbs 3oz (On our scale, this particular model came in at 7lbs 7oz)
- 14 3/8" Length of pull (When we measured it ourselves we found that it was actually 14 5/16)
- 1 1/2" Drop at comb
- 2 1/2" Drop at heel
- Comes with shims for cast and drop
- There's a decent amount of pretravel on this trigger before it breaks - once it breaks, its a very nice and crisp feeling trigger
- This 712 feels much better than other triggers in this price range
- 5lbs (Average pull weight) As we measured, the trigger seemed to get heavier with every pull (Maybe this is due to a break-in period?)
- This is where a lot of the changes occurred from the G2
- Like most manufacturers, the G3 now has oversized controls (safety, bolt handle, bolt release)
- Speaking of the safety, it is now a larger triangular cross-bolt in front of the trigger. The G2 had a small circular one behind the trigger
- The bolt lock is now on the side - The G2 had it on the bottom right behind the loading port
- The trigger guard is an average, adequate size
- The recoil pad is updated and larger than the G2. It still had little to no flex so we'd probably put a FalconStrike on it.
- This 712 is balanced forward. It is also a relatively heavy gun. A forward-leaning heavy gun will give you a smooth swing, but your field stamina will be decreased as you'll most likely end up carrying it over your shoulder to ease the weight. This isn't a big deal, but getting your gun up into a quick mount is much harder from this position
- The grips have a very light texture paired with a pretty slippery material - Speed shooting with no gloves in the cold will be an interesting test for these grips
- The pistol grip in particular formed to Steve's hand very nicely (good drip radius)
- The rib is vented and flat with the receiver
- This shotgun is cut so you can add an optic to the receiver
- We really appreciate the basic white fiber on front - good job CZ!
- The receiver itself has been updated from the G2 - It is now milled out and angled to make loading much smoother
- This shotgun is constructed nicely with a lot of desirable ergonomics - for now, we'd call it "adequate"
- We first shot the 712 with light Federal target loads and the light gas piston
- The first thing we noticed is that it had quite a bit of muzzle jump - This is somewhat subjective and depends on your target, and gun fit
- When we shot it at targets, we noticed that it mounted very naturally - the muzzle jump was less noticeable as we shifted our focus to shooting targets
- When we shot heavier hunting loads with the light piston, as you'd imagine, it didn't work as reliably
- When we exchanged the light piston for the heavy one, we noticed that there was already a good amount of carbon build-up (ran a bit dirty) Also to no surprise the heavy piston didn't run the light loads very well
- Overall the recoil was not bad at all. Reliability was middle of the road. If you have the right piston in, it should work just fine
BREAKDOWN/QUALITY OF BUILD
- The forend cap of this 712 is very nice
- The one gripe we have about the breakdown of this shotgun is that instead of the internals being held in by the singular forend cap (as most semi-autos are) there is a second nut under the forend that you have to unscrew to slide off the rest of the assembly. Not a big deal, just a mild inconvenience
- We also noticed more carbon build-up throughout the internals - at this point we had probably only shot around 50 rounds
- For a gas gun, a lot of the components looked similar to parts you'd see in an inertia gun like the Franchi Affinity 3 - Primarily the bolt which cradles on the slide which runs along the mag tube.
- Altogether, the build and disassembly of this 712 is straightforward, and of decent quality. The only thing that gave us a lot of trouble was removing the pin for the trigger assembly. We like the one-pin design but man, was it a headache to get out - it simply did not budge. We're not totally sure how it happened, but once we got it out we learned that the pin was slightly bent
This evaluation is important to us because it tests how all the moving parts come together. We know you're not buying a shotgun to shoot as fast as possible. But when it's against the clock, every element of the usability of the gun is tested, from the recoil to the balance, point-ability, the mount, literally everything we look for in a shotgun. Plus, Steve's a professional trick-shooter, so this provides a unique insight into the gun that no other review will cover!
- We'll admit it: Steve did not spend as much time with this shotgun on the clock as he usually would because it was super cold out, and he couldn't feel his hands... Regardless, we got a really good feel for this gun because right off the cuff this 712 was shooting extremely fast
- Our first registered speed didn't count as Steve threw early, but when we reviewed it, this shotgun was shooting .16 splits even without a warm-up. Eventually, the quickest split recorded was a .15
- Due to the cold, getting consistently good throws was a challenge. Instead, we decided to shoot the gun as fast as he could reasonably shoot the 3 clays regardless of if the throw was good. This resulted in a top time of 1.04 seconds!
Overall, this gun was a lot of fun to shoot, and impressively fast. I recently reviewed the CZ Sharptail which was also a great gun for the money. CZ is really proving there place in the market with really cool, really affordable, and great shotguns. The updated 712 G3 seems to be a big step up from its G2 predecessor. Like any gun, this G3 has its quirks. The trigger pre-travel is something we can look past because the actual break of the trigger is very nice. Any CAMO semi-auto at this price point that performs as well as this 712 G3 did deserves a serious consideration - there's not too many guns that check all of these boxes. Chime in on the TFL community to let us know your experience and if you think it's worth it!
Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife
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