CZ-52 Review - Pistolsmith

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Old 04-12-2003, 10:00 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Illinois
Posts: 148
CZ-52 Review

Having just gotten my Curio and Relics license some months ago, I have finally begun purchasing some C&R firearms for my collection. The first pistol I purchased with my license was a CZ-52 in 7.62x25 caliber.

I got the pistol last week from Southern Ohio Guns, receiving it the day after I ordered it! The pistols were described as being in 'very good' condition, but the one I received had not even been fired since being refurbished at the Czech arsenal. I was very pleased with its condition.

For those not familiar with the CZ-52, I'll give a brief description:
This is a full-size handgun, designed as a service sidearm for the Czech forces in the early fifties. It is single action with an exposed hammer, and a frame mounted safety that has three postions-"Safe", "Fire" and, oddly, "Decock". This is similar to the Polish Radom, and I can only surmise that it was designed this way to allow for administratve loading to "Condition 2" in safety.

In good condition, the CZ-52 is safe to carry in "Condition 1", or cocked and locked, as the firing pin is locked except when the trigger is fully pulled to the rear. The decocker on mine works perfectly, but problems are associated with it on some guns. Additionally, the firing pin design makes dry-firing likely to break the firing pin, so snap-caps are required to practice at home.

The sights are small but usable (larger than on the Makarov, but anything would be, ), and regulated fairly well.

The only ammo available at my local range was Yugoslavian surplus that was packaged in 1959 (!) and came in a 70 round box. New 7.62x25 is readily available mail-order, as it is loaded by Sellier and Bellot and stocked by most who carry that brand. I intend to order some ASAP, since the surplus I purchased evidenced a widely varying degree of flash and recoil. One round required two primer strikes, even though the firing pin indent was very strong.

Even with the unpredictable ammo, the pistol shot fair groups at 50', shooting to point of aim and keeping the eight round magazine's contents within a 4" circle or so. I am certain that better ammo will see much better groups. Feeding and extraction were flawless.

Trigger pull, a frequent area of complaint with the CZ-52, is about 6# and smooth and predicatable, with a reasonable break. I actually found it fairly easy to shoot, and I'm used to a very light 1911 trigger.

The CZ-52 is an unusual locking breech handgun, being based on the roller-lock more commonly associated with submachine guns. Interior of the gun shows precise and clean machining, which, coupled with the gun's unusual design, I find very appealing.

In summary, I feel that I got far more than my $130 (that includes shipping) out of this purchase. Not only is this pistol interesting and unique, but it is also a capable and powerful firearm for range use. I may even convert it (easy and inexpensive to do) to 9MM just to try it in informal IDPA competition. I'm really quite pleased with it.

I will hopefully append photos in a week or so, if my camera and gun collection survive the coming week's move!

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Old 07-20-2003, 01:17 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1
i got one recently too . what puzzles me is the first three shots will usually group around 1-2 inches at ten yds and then the rest of the mag will open up to three to five inch groups , rifling seems deep and sharp , tried S&B , and some surplus stuff in a white box , didn't seem to make much difference . i got lucky on the trigger pull , the guy had several to choose from , so i picked the best looking with the best trigger , but accuracy beyond two to three shots , sucks . anybody got any ideas ?
Old 07-22-2003, 04:03 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 17
cz 52

No suggestions, but it's a MEAN gun for the money! Really ennjoyed mine while I had it. Traded it off some time ago, but will probably wind up with another.
Old 08-01-2003, 07:24 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 489
A fun but LOUD plinker, for sure. I'd actually consider putting a couple o' bucks into mine towards improving the sights. I like the fact that the safety goes up for SAFE and down for FIRE, just like a 1911. Mine doesn't seem to have any accuracy problems as described above; have mostly shot S&B but have shot some Czech surplus too, though it was from the '70s I think. It chronoed on the hot side but didn't dent my steel plates any worse than good stout 38 super.
Old 09-30-2003, 09:35 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 15
Got 2 of 'em!

I bought 2 of these from Century Arms. Can't say enough good things about them! They shoot great (accuracy handling and trigger feel), look cool and unusual , and best of all is the great engineering put into this pistol! If CZ still made these (with all their intricate machining like the roller locked barrel and such) they would probably retail for 1000 dollars or more! I highly recommend any gun enthusiast to buy one or 2 of these GEMS! At $109.97 they are worth every penny, even if you just look at it once in a while and show the innards to friends!
Old 10-10-2003, 01:03 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 15
CZ 52 Punch marks in top of slide

I have seen an explanation recently that makes an incredible amount of sense. After witnessing the mean point of aim worksheet that came with my 2001 model year CZ40, the explanation finally makes sense(of course it is now done by a computerized system) I read that the factory takes the newly assembled pistol and locks it down in a fixed jig (ransom rest) Then they fire 5 rounds of standard loaded ammunition (factory spec.s) at a distance of 25 meters (about 81 feet) They then measure the distance from the center (point of aim of handgun- since all handguns initially have the same external dimensions(ie: unshaved or drifted front and rear sights) they will ideally shoot directly in the center of the paper). Then the vector of the 5 shots is determined individually and averaged to come up with a mean point of aim for the gun. I read that anything within 4 centimeters(1.6 inches) of center is considered statistically to point of aim at 25 meters.

Now here is where it gets interesting. Notice when people complain about "prick" marks on the top of the slide, they mention that they have 1, 5, 6 , 7, 11 and so on.. Ever wonder why there are no numbers greater than 12 - because a clock only has 12 positions. My CZ 52 has 6 prick marks and as follows shoots about 5 inches low from point of aim at 75 feet (my indoor range's limitation) with 50's era surplus ammo. My friend's has one prick and consequently shoots about 2 1/2 inches high and to the right of point of aim at 25 meters. A "5" would shoot low and to the right of POA and so on. I plan to shave about a millimeter of my front sight to correct my point of aim. As far as I know, I haven't heard of any 3, 9's or 12's reported since the 3's and 9's should be able to be corrected by drifting the rear sight and 12's I don't know what they would do.

The prick punches number DOES NOT REFER TO ACCURACY, ONLY POINT OF AIM, because if the individual vectors exceeded a 12 cm spread (farthest point to farthest point from center) , reportedly the barrel was scrapped!(I wish LLama had similar standards 'cause I have a Mini-Max Sub-compact 45 that has flyers everywhere at 25 yards(24 meters) So there you have it. A "1", "5", "7" and "11" are technically just as accurate as each other. Now I wonder if the ones with no "pricks" are worth a premium.

I am so glad to have found that info so I don't have to hear crap like "those pricks are machinist marks and refer to the hardness of the slide's steel" and other contrived explanations like that , that have so permeated this and other forums. People come to forums for info not conjecture and hypothesis. If a person doesn't know what something means, instead of giving their own cute spin, they should admit they don't know and not confuse everyone else with BS. NOW if we could only get preachers to preach the whole TRUTH and not their spin on it!

Old 03-28-2007, 09:23 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2
Re: CZ 52 Punch marks in top of slide

Originally Posted by ggarfole
...As far as I know, I haven't heard of any 3, 9's or 12's reported since the 3's and 9's should be able to be corrected by drifting the rear sight and 12's I don't know what they would do...
I have a CZ-52 with 3 punch marks. I could take a picture of it if you want.

They're laid out like:




fs=frontsight / sn=serialnumber / rs=rearsight

I like what your theory is, but it still doesn't seem right.
Old 03-28-2007, 09:28 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2
From rec.guns:

Although I have not been able to find a source for it, it has been reported on rec.guns that while being arsenal reworked the guns were marked on the top of the slide with punch marks to denote how worn out, or out of spec the guns were. The fewer such dots the better the condition of the gun. However all the guns should have left the arsenal rework in the same, factory new, condition.
So basically the punch marks indicate what they repaired. Like, new barrel, new extractor, etc.
Old 04-05-2007, 03:37 PM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 48
When I first bought my CZ-52 I loaded it with three rounds of Yugo ammo and three rounds of russian rounds and fired them at a target at fifty yards off of a sandbag rest. The two types of ammo impacted in groups about 8 inches apart from each other but both groups were 2 1/4 inches! Nice. It is killer accurate.

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