If you haven't seen it yet, this months' American Rifleman has a review of the CZ 527 carbine, which is chambered in either .223, or 7.62x39mm. This is a cool little rifle, I tell ya! Some of it's features are:
Overall length of less than 38 inches.
5lb, 12 oz. empty weight.
Feeds from a 5-rd detachable box magazine.
Comes with an adjustable "set" trigger.
Action almost identical to a mauser 98, only smaller.
One of these things with a good compact scope on it would be excellent for a kid's first step-up from a .22, or just to give an AR or AK a bolt-action partner.
The MSRP is $588, but it isn't like you couldn't get one cheaper.
I saw that and am definately attracted to it. Trying to tell my dad to get one with his Czech heritage heh.
Would the .223 chamber be able to handle 5.56 ammo though?
I'd probably get it in the 7.62x39, cheap ammo from my SKS and 30-30ish ballistics.
Looked up the price of extra mags for it though, 33 bucks, ouch. Too bad there are no stripper clips for it?
Make sure the bore diameters of your companion 7.62X39's are same.
The shop I used to work at carried a large selection of CZ rifles. Very well made and indeed very much a "mini Mauser". They're the only company I saw that includes the test fire targets in the box. We had a varmint model .233 that was doing .28MOA (corrected for 100m) out of the box on the test target. Would have made a good sub calibre trainer for my 700P.
It was a CZ 527 IIRC.