Ever since the Sharps side-hammer rifle appeared in 1848, single-shot rifles have always held a fascination for American shooters. Some of us might have grown up on the Stevens Crack Shot, others on a refurbished Winchester Single Shot or the famous Martini action that many a gunsmith has modified to work with more modern centerfire cartridges.
Recently I came across one interesting single-shot, break-open rifle called the Effect. It's made by Brno and distributed in this country by CZ-USA, and I had the chance to review a prototype in .308 Winchester--although for its initial run in the States the gun will be chambered in .30-06.
Overall, the Effect has the trim lines and profile of a typical European hunting rifle. It has a Schnabel fore-end that's finely finished and checkered in a modified point pattern; all of the diamonds were pointed and cut to perfection. Built as a lightweight, mountain-type rifle, the fore-end is slender and well thought out for both carry and shooting in the field.
|Brno Effect | Specifications |
|Type: || break-open single-shot|
|Caliber:||.30-06 Springfield (.308 prototype tested) |
|Capacity:|| 1 |
| Barrel:|| 23.5 in. with front sling swivel |
| Overall length:|| 41 in. |
| Weight:|| 6 lb. |
| Finish:|| blued action |
| Stock:|| satin-finished, checkered, select walnut with rubber recoil pad and black spacer |
|Sights:|| windage-adjustable rear, blade front; scope mounts/rings available from importer |
| Trigger:|| single-stage, 5 lb. pull |
| Price:|| $1,585 |
| Importer:|| CZ-USA, 800.955.4486 |
I removed the fore-end--accomplished by simply pushing down on the external release--to find that it had been inletted with surgical precision to accommodate the locking mechanism. The barrel contacts the wood for two inches at the fore-end tip but is otherwise free-floated.
Like the fore-end, the buttstock is made from select walnut, finished with a satin coating. The subdued grain pattern was devoid of large knots or other irregularities.
The stock has the typical Bavarian "hogback" styling, which some American shooters find radical--you either like it or you don't. In addition, the length of pull is on the long side, almost 15 inches, and that's something to consider if the gun will be used for hunting in cooler weather when heavy jackets are the norm.
The stock features a shadow-line cheekpiece, and the grip is checkered in the same pattern as the fore-end and executed just as well. It sports a wundhammer swell for right-handed shooters and has a classic-style rubber recoil pad with a black spacer. European sling swivels are supplied on both the stock and on the 23.5-inch barrel.
The gun is of break-open design, and the operating lever both opens the rifle and cocks it, so first-time users will have to remember to push it all the way through its arc, which requires some effort. The tang-mounted safety is completely manual; pulling it back places the rifle on safe, forward to fire.
Brno's gun makers obviously put a lot of work into the Effect. The monobloc's edges are straight and true, and the internal metalwork is polished. The exterior of the blued receiver is tastefully engraved with a ram on one side and a moose on the other.
The breech has massive amount of steel surrounding the cartridge case; in fact, on average there is almost a quarter of an inch of metal at the widest point of this part of the barrel.
The Effect has a satin-finished, select-grade walnut stock and the classic Bavarian "hogback" styling, which you either like or you don't.
|Brno Effect | Accuracy Results |
| .308 Winchester||Bullet Weight (gr.)|| Muzzle Velocity (fps)|| Standard Deviation||Avg. Group (in.)|
| Remington Core Lokt|| 150 || 2,886 || 32 || 1.00 |
| Federal BTSP || 165 ||2,723 || 33 ||1.50 |
|Winchester Silvertip || 180 || 2,687 || 44 ||1.00 |
| Notes: Accuracy results are averages of three three-shot groups at 100 yards from a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of six shots recorded 10 feet from the muzzle with a Oehler 35P chronograph. Abbreviation: BTSP, boattail spire point |
This solid-framed breech is equipped with twin action bars that ride in channels on either side of the receiver. Brno calls it a "wide wedge extractor," and by working evenly on both sides it assures a powerful rearward pull that should remove even the most stubborn spent cartridge case--allowing you to pull it manually from the breech. All of the locking recesses are substantial.
The trigger has its own setting mechanism and broke without any slack at five pounds even.
Factory iron sights are supplied, adjustable for windage only, and can be removed if desired. Scope mounts are available at additional cost from CZ-USA and come complete with a specially designed base with a built-in dovetail and notch that keeps the mount from shifting to the rear during recoil.
Rings are included, and my choice for a scope was a 3-9X Burris Compact (now called the Timberline). The only thing you might want to watch out for is to make sure you find a scope with a smaller-than-usual eyepiece or look into the possibility of using higher rings. While my thumb did fit under the eyepiece to work the lever, it was snug, and wearing gloves in cold weather surely would impede the operation.
The rifle proved quite accurate at the range. Groups were tight, and I actually beat the factory group supplied with the Effect by a substantial margin. I found this an enjoyable little rifle to shoot. Even though some might find its stock design has a few shortcomings, the Effect should be popular with those who love single-shot rifles.
The muscular breech has at least a quarter-inch of steel surrounding the chamber. The operating lever both opens the rifle and cocks it.
The rifle's fore-end detaches by pushing an underside lever, and the author found the inletting inside to be done to perfection.