Zastava M85 (short action) thread.

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  • Zastava M85 (short action) thread.

    Not a great deal of info on these rifles online (reviews etc). I'd like to hear from owner and/or anyone who's had a good look at one (short action). Curious about the usual stuff:

    Smooth or gritty action? reliable feeding/mag system? trigger adjustable? creepy? how's the feel? Accuracy? any and all overall impressions.

    cheers!

  • #2
    I own three rifles based on the m85 action, and have owned or worked on at least half a dozen more.

    There were sold briefly in the USA as the Remington 799. Available in Australia in 22 Hornet, 222, 223 and 7.62x39, the US market also saw them offered as a 22/250. They are a true micro action, built just big enough to work the 223 case with design inspiration from the Sako L46 and the Mauser 98. With factory cartridges they feed without an issue. My 6mm PPC and 6.5 Grendel required a minor modification to feed well, but the 6/223 feeds perfectly without any modification.


    The actions are typical for Zastava, rough out of the box. The only sure way to get them working smoothly is to operate the action. After a couple of hundred operations, they start to smooth out and you should think about lubricating the action at this time.

    The trigger is fully adjustable for weight, creep and overtravel. A small spring from some types of clicky pens makes a lightweight substitute trigger weight spring.

    There are two problems with the action;
    1/ If you overload the case and pierce a primer then the firing pin will break the trigger sear. Any trigger designed for an m98 will fit the Zastava m85.
    2/ The bolt handle is too short and needs to be lengthened.

    Accuracy is typically MOA with good loads. Remember that these are very light walkabout rifles and will not deliver absolute sub-MOA accuracy for long strings of shots from their 20in light profile barrels. Aftermarket barrels work very nicely and all three of my m85 based rifles routinely deliver 1/2 MOA, sometimes considerably less than that.

    Stocks are walnut or plastic from the factory. The walnut ones are typical of Zastava stocks and need a drink of a good quality stock oil. Aftermarket stocks are available from Bell and Carlson, Boyds (2 styles), Richards Microfit, Basner High Tech Specialties, MPI and McMillan on special order. My walkabout 6/223 and the 6.5 Grendel use Basner stocks and I've owned one of everything else but the McMillan and MPI stocks. The 6mm PPC sits in a Boyds Thumbhole.

    Most action threads are metric, M6 for the two action screws and 22x1.5mm for the barrel thread. Scope bases are available from Leupold, Warne and Weaver.

    Left handed versions are available in 222. The action only can be purchased for just under $400.

    I have modified the bolt handles on my rifles to improve the bolt operation.

    Click image for larger version

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    Basner Stock

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    B&C Stock

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    Richards Stock

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    Boyds Thumbhole

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    Comment


    • adamjp
      adamjp commented
      Editing a comment
      This from a factory 223 @ 100m.
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      This is my 6mm PPC @ 200m.
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      This the 6/223 (6x45mm) @ 100m.
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      And this from the 6.5 Grendel @ 100m.
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      They might not look that flash, but the 223, 6/223 and the 6.5 Grendel were under 7lb with scope, and typically have scopes in the 2-7x or 6x range. When I was trying to work out what was wrong with the first Grendel barrel I did put the 3-24 March on the rifle (you can see it in the B&C stock photo) but parallax was not the problem, a rotten barrel was. See Project Grendel in the Projects section.

    • bobnob
      bobnob commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by adamjp" post=31544
      Available in Australia in 22 Hornet, 222, 223 and 7.62x39, the US market also saw them offered as a 22-250...
      How would you go chambering one in 250 Savage?

    • Gwion
      Gwion commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by adamjp" post=31544

      Left handed versions are available in 222. The action only can be purchased for just under $400.

      I have modified the bolt handles on my rifles to improve the bolt operation.
      Hi Adam. Interested to know more about your bolt mod.

      Also, i see the actions advertised at a nameless outlet in left hand. Do you have any idea if it's possible to get a left hand action with a 22hornet DBM set up???

      Cheers.

  • #3
    There's some excellent info. You need to see these little actions to get a true idea of the size, they're tiny, they make my Savage rimfire actions look big. I have plans for a 6mm something on a left handed one of these actions. After a good look at Adam's ones they make a decent 6lb-ish including optics carry around rifle.
    Guns don't kill people, Chuck Norris does.

    Comment


    • adamjp
      adamjp commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Gregt" post=31548
      There's some excellent info. You need to see these little actions to get a true idea of the size, they're tiny, they make my Savage rimfire actions look big. I have plans for a 6mm something on a left handed one of these actions. After a good look at Adam's ones they make a decent 6lb-ish including optics carry around rifle.
      Zastava LH 223 action +
      Lilja 6mm, 1:9 twist three groove #2 profile +
      6mm SPC reamer (6.8 SPC necked down) +
      a stock =

      lightweight walkabout fox/pig rifle.
      55gn @ 3300fps
      85gn @ 3000fps EASY.

  • #4
    Looks good headspace!

    Comment


    • headspace
      headspace commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by bobnob" post=182924
      Looks good headspace!
      G'day Bob, thanks mate, I just like that classic rifle style. Just me but I like that blued metal and walnut look. It's already taken out a couple of dogs near my place.
      How's that stock going?
      John

  • #5
    What sort of groups are you getting with it Headspace?

    Comment


    • headspace
      headspace commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Remo" post=183403
      What sort of groups are you getting with it Headspace?
      Nothing special at the moment mate, thinking of having it bedded professionally. It will still put 5 rounds inside 2 inches at 200m though. So the potential is there. I'm not finished load development yet but it seems to prefer a full case of 2207. I'm thinking of trying some Benchmark1 though. I like the velocity I'm getting out of the 20inch barrel. We crono'd it at a bit over 3,400fps. Got to get it sorted before winter so the foxes can cop a hiding.
      JD

  • #6
    Thought i'd bump this thread to life again, moving OS so I'm selling everything. My M85 was the one gun I've had in the safe an never took hunting, pictured myself strolling around knocking off foxes left and right, but the only trips I've done in the last few years have been down to Vic where I was carrying something substantially larger. Taken it to the range a few times, but with the noodle thin barrel it's definetley something to carry around, not sit down at a bench with. I just never realised how controversial my little 22-250 was eh..
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • Sako08
      Sako08 commented
      Editing a comment
      Any of the M85 owners out there identified a good dbm kit for these? I like the idea of one of these in 7.62 x 39 or 6.5 Grendel as a light mountain pig rifle with som extra firepower for those occasions when you come across a big mob in a gully!

  • #7
    I also have one in 222 left hand, great little rifle. I have found it a good little rifle, excellent trigger, light weight and really quite accurate.
    I am looking at getting just an action to build something just a little different.
    45-70 Government. The only Government I trust........................Period.

    THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS.

    Comment


    • #8
      Are there any drop in stocks for a small Zastava action?

      Comment


      • Gwion
        Gwion commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Remo" post=190957
        Are there any drop in stocks for a small Zastava action?
        Boyds do an unfinished walnut stock. Don't know if it's exactly a drop in, though.

      • adamjp
        adamjp commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Remo" post=190957
        Are there any drop in stocks for a small Zastava action?
        How about you go back to the start and read the second post in this thead?

        What is it with people on this forum NOT reading other people's posts?

    • #9
      There seems to be a few for right handers, but again lefties are LEFT out.
      45-70 Government. The only Government I trust........................Period.

      THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS.

      Comment


      • Gwion
        Gwion commented
        Editing a comment
        Pretty sure you can request a lefty from Boyds.

      • adamjp
        adamjp commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by moofy07" post=191038
        There seems to be a few for right handers, but again lefties are LEFT out.
        MPI and McMillan may do one for you, but the price!

    • #10
      Thanks for that Gwion, I will wait for the reply with baited breath.
      45-70 Government. The only Government I trust........................Period.

      THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS.

      Comment


      • Gwion
        Gwion commented
        Editing a comment
        Moofy. Sent two emails to Boyds over the last week and no response, so i just ordered the semi-inletted/unfinished walnut stock because i want to have it ready and mostly finished when my barrel action is ready and this will take some weeks to do right. Conversions rates are a killer. Although the stock is only $74US, with postage and conversion it came out at $177AU. I wanted a "blaster" or similar, but this traditional looking stock will suit the rifle well.

        I'll take inspiration from my Tbolt stock to modify it for lefty. I'll knock the timber out, rearward of the bolt notch, on the right and then mirror it on the left. This will make it so a lefty or a righty can fit the stock. That's how the T-bolt is set up. Then i'll full length bed it and finish it with my home made brew of linseed oil & bee's wax.I'll get a good few coats and sanding/filling done before the action is ready to bed. Then it will just be finishing touches and sealing the barrel channel & trigger well.

        By the way. Anyone suggest some good rings that will fit this action?

        Cheers

    • #11
      Hi Gwion, I just used the Weaver bases that fit the 799 Remington. For the small centerfire cartridges the recoil is not a consideration.
      45-70 Government. The only Government I trust........................Period.

      THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS.

      Comment

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