In the world of affordable and reliable guns, CZ is a dominant force, and the CZ Drake is no exception. Although CZ offers pricey options well above $1,000, most of its scatterguns come in well under that mark. Such is the case with the Drake, and it punches well above its weight class.

I found it to have nice features, be a reliable clay buster, and a perfect pick for a first shotgun.

Table of Contents

Hitting the Clays Range
Compare and Contrast
Pros and Cons


The CZ Drake arrived at the gun shop in a nice hard case branded CZ Shooting Sports on the outside with the company’s signature of a rooster in flight. Upon opening the case, I found a handsome over/under shotgun dressed in Turkish walnut in three pieces. There was also a spot for a small case of choke tubes and a choke tool. Five interchangeable choke tubes are ready to get you going right out of the box.

CZ Drake
I wasn't expecting to see the Huglu stamp mark when I opened the box. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Looking at the gun, one of the things I noticed immediately was that it said, “Huglu Made in Turkey.” After doing a little research on the internet, I learned that CZ has been importing Huglu CZ branded shotguns since 2005. Turkey has become synonymous with shotguns, some budget builds and some very well made. 

Huglu, it turns out, has been making shotguns since 1914 and even has its own lineup of scatterguns. CZ still offers a five-year warranty on all CZ-USA guns made by Huglu, which is another huge plus. All signs pointed to this being a well-made Turkish import. 

Related: CZ Brings New Shotguns and Long-Awaited Dan Wesson DWX to SHOT Show 2023


This sporty shotgun, although used from the Certified Used collection, seemed like it had hardly been shot, aside from a couple of minor scuff marks. This was a welcome sight and made me want to get it on the range immediately. Aside from the handsome Turkish walnut, it features laser-engraved checkering on the pistol grip and foregrip, which isn’t overly aggressive but certainly enough to get the job done. 

CZ Drake
The front sight is easy to find, even on a sunny day. In back there is a standard issue tang safety that was easy to operate. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

There are also some laser-engraved scroll marks on the receiver, which, while not overly fancy or aesthetically eye-popping, are a nice touch to fill in what would otherwise be blank space. There is an 8mm flat vented rib, which aids greatly in reducing glare. At the end of the barrels, you’ll find a generous polymer white front sight. Extractors also aid in the shooter being able to get shells out quickly.

At the back of the receiver is a standard tang safety with selector switch and lever to break open the action. This all seemed a bit stiff at first, which was another reason this felt like either a factory blemished or refurbished model or a gun someone simply bought and hardly ever shot. A minimalist buttstock pad that didn’t seem to be overly forgiving but provided enough cushion to get the job done.

CZ Drake
The laser engraved scroll work is nothing to write home about but fills the space nicely. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Either way, I was anxious to get it on the range. The model I picked up is 12 gauge, but the Drake lineup is also available in 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 bore. It’s also available in Southpaw models in 12 and 20 gauge for all the lefties out there.

Related Review: CZ Upland Ultralight Over-Under Shotgun



CZ Drake
The Drake pointed and swung naturally for me. (Photo: Paul Peterson/
  • Gauge: 12 gauge
  • Max Shell Length: 3-inch
  • Barrel Length: 28 inches
  • Overall Length: 45.75 inches
  • Chokes Included: F, IM, M, IC, C
  • Length of Pull: 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Comb Height: 1.375 inches


Hitting the Clays Range

I mentioned earlier that I thought this would be a perfect first shotgun, partially because I’m searching for my first shotgun. I’m not a total newbie, but I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve been bird hunting and hit the clays course, so novice is certainly an appropriate tag. So, take what I say about my range time and clay-busting skills with this shotgun with a grain of salt. 

Tossing my own clays the first day proved to be a struggle. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

After knocking off the rust and getting used to shotgunning again, I found this gun to be an effective clay-busting machine. In my quest to find a first shotgun, I was able to sample the Certified Used Collection, which gave me several to test. Initially when trying to get acclimated, I found shotguns with a midbead easier to get on target, but after some time I found that the generous front white sight was all I needed to easily bust clays. 

CZ Drake
By the second day on the range I had started to knock off some of the rust, and the Drake was one of the shotguns I found I wanted to keep shooting. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

That isn’t to say getting there was fast or easy. My time with this gun spanned two range sessions and north of 100 shells. My first range session was a disaster. I could hardly hit anything, but that was equal across the board, so it was much more the shooter than the gun. 

The second day was bright and sunny, and I put a lot more shells downrange. It started off poorly as well, but I was more determined the second time and started working through the little kinks that were throwing me off about halfway through the day.

CZ Drake
By the end of the second day on the range with the Drake it was reliably clay up... (Photo: Paul Peterson/

By the end of my second range session, I was busting clays with relative ease and put together at least four or five strings of five clays in row. This was great for me! I shot with a modified choke on top and an improved cylinder on the bottom barrel. Alternating barrels didn’t seem to slow me down, either, as I was able to continue successfully breaking clays. 

CZ Drake
...clay down. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

Walking away from the range at the end of the session, I felt happy and confident that the CZ Drake was going to stick around and fill my first shotgun needs.

Compare and Contrast

As I mentioned earlier, I was able to compare this gun with many others. I’ll save the apples-and-oranges comparison of break action to semi-auto for another article, but I did happen to get another CZ over/under for comparison. It’s an English Sporter, and it really caught my eye when browsing the site, probably because of the beautiful Grade III Turkish walnut that it sports. 

The Drake lacked some of the nicer features of the Sporter, like Grade III Walnut, but that didn't bother me. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

There are some upgrades to the Sporter model that I did appreciate, such as the auto ejectors, brass midbead, and adjustable comb. But I actually shot the Drake better, even though the Sporter had wide chokes in. At the end of the day, I had to choose the one that called to me more. The Sporter was beautiful, sure, but that’s partially why I think I’ll pass. It was a gun that I would feel bad getting scuffed up in the backwoods chasing grouse. Whereas I’ll still want to be careful with the Drake, it already has a few minor scuffs, and I don’t mind that.

While the Sporter had upgraded features, it wasn't any easier to shoot and proved be less accurate for this writer. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

Ideally, I want my first shotgun to fulfill the needs of busting clays but be versatile enough that it could go upland bird or even waterfowl hunting. I think the Drake does that. I wouldn’t mind it getting a little dinged up if I took it out to try duck hunting for the first time, and I like that about this shotgun.

Pros and Cons


  • Light and wieldy
  • Available in several gauge options
  • Comes standard with nice hard case and five chokes
  • Generous front sight, easy to get on target
  • Extractors are nice touch
  • Handsome Turkish walnut without the extra price


  • Wish there was a midbead
  • Front sight is polymer, which makes me wonder about longevity
  • Buttpad could be thicker to mitigate recoil


CZ Drake
For me, the CZ Drake was a great combo of aesthetically pleasing features mixed with great functional parts, such as the trigger. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Overall, I really enjoyed the CZ Drake, and I have a feeling that I will continue to enjoy it for years to come. It’s been a reliable shooter and fun clay buster that makes me want to hit the range more for shotgunning. Any gun that makes you want to go back to the range over and over again is a winner, right? Looking forward to seeing where the CZ Drake takes me next! 

revolver barrel loading graphic