used CZ-97B has arrived! - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-13-2003, 12:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 97
used CZ-97B has arrived!

Finally talked a friend up in MD into selling me his CZ-97B and the local FFL at just called to tell me it arrived today!!! I have shot the gun before w/ my favorite Major power factor load of WestCoast 200 grn Total Metal Jacket (TMJ) roundnose over Hodg. straight Clays loaded to 1.260"OAL - what a combo - accurate & soft shooting. I cannot wait to pick up my new gun! It only comes w/ 2 mags so I will need at least 3 more mags, holders, and a kydex holster, then its off the show the STI/SV owners a thing or two!

BTW, another friend was kind enough to loan me his CZ-75 DA 9mm and it is a surprisingly accurate gun! I criticise my own 147 grn reloads for lack of perceived accuracy bu the CZ has restored my failth - it makes plunking A-zone hits at 27 yards a very simple matter - something that is not so easy w/ my G17s. I shoot bone-stock Glock 17s and Steyr M9s in USPSA competition (IPSC) and I have to confess, this CZ is simply more accurate. If I can come to grips w/ the DA 1st shot of the CZ, I may just be a convert.
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:08 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 97
Review time: I like it! The ammo I had on hand was 200 rounds of IPSC/USPSA Major loads consisting of Westcoast Total Metal Jacket (TMJ) 200 grn RNs loaded to 1.260" OAL over enough Hodgedon's straight, plain old Clays to reach about 167 power factor. Even though this was a soft load in my old STI .45, shooting it out of the 97B kept reminding me that its .45ACP! Recoil was enough that fast, accurate shooting required TONS of grip from the weak hand/left hand. While the gun is all steel, it does not have the heft of my old STI Edge to soak up recoil. Perhaps some spring tuning will tame this beast. Trigger was good for a bone stock production gun but measured well over 4 lbs single action according to the RCBS trigger pull scale. Accuracy: excellent! Consistent A zone hits at 27 yards were not a challenge. I was surprised to find that this used gun came w/ 4 used mags - all CZ & all work- making it's $400 price a bargain.

I have no need for the double action feature so a competition trigger from the CZ Standard IPSC & a good trigger job are in order. Will let you know how it develops as a competition gun.
Old 11-10-2003, 12:57 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45
Grip Size

I've been thinking of getting a 97B but heard the grip is very big. I have relatively small hands and worried the trigger reach will be a little too long for me. My 75 fits me perfectly. How much bigger is the 97B's grip?

Old 11-10-2003, 06:14 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 97
The grip is quite a bit larger than the 75 (I now own both guns) and at first I had my doubts about the 97B being too large but after drawing from the holster & shooting the 97B under the timer, it does not seem large at all. As for numbers, here they are:

Grip at widest point (side to side) near mid-line (stock CZ grips)
CZ75: 1.41"
CZ97B 1.35"

Weird, huh? Turns out the 75 has a pronounced palm swell whil the 97 grips are nearly straight.

Length of pull (from "beavertail" to triggerface)
CZ75 3.05"
CZ97B 2.99" NOTE: This is with CZ's SA only trigger installed. Stock might be a little longer.

Again, the 97B seems SMALLER from these measurements alone. However, I no longer have the stock DA trigger installed & to be fair, it did APPEAR that the 97B had a longer DA pull than the 75B, but I can't tell by how much. Now comes the telling part - frontstrap to backstrap, measured at a point that runs accross the grip screws:

CZ75: 2.06"
CZ97B 2.18"

Clearly, the 97B is bigger here, but not by too much. What do these numbers tell us? Combined w/ my shooting impression of the gun (not just holding it & dry firing) the 97B is not too big. If at all possible, I'd suggest actually shooting this gun before forming an impression of its size. I know of the Guns & Ammo Handguns 2004 article that mentioned the 97B, but that author demostrates that he does not even know how to hold a handgun (1911 or otherwise) so his comments running down the CZ don't hold much weight in my mind.

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