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DOCatRU 05-10-2004 08:39 PM

CZ 97 recommendations from owners

I am thinking about buying a CZ and want to keep it in .45 to match my 1911's. Asking for recommendations from those who own, or have shot the CZ 97.

How's the fit/finish on the gloss blue vs the black polymer?

Do you have the night sights?


Any other points of significance are appreciated.


Carlos 05-11-2004 06:54 AM

CZ 97B
There is an entire forum section devoted to the 97B at www.czforum.com I love my CZ97B! If you simply "hold" one at a gun store, it will feel "too big". Shoot one & you will see that it actually fits most people's hands quite well! I liken it to guys who simply sit behind the wheel of a truck or SUV for the first time & decide they could never drive something that big. Sure they can!

My 97b has been VERY reliable. I like to tinker with things so I converted it to Single Action (just like a 1911!) with a factory CZ SA trigger. The DA trigger was fine; its just that I would never use the DA function & I was looking for a better competition trigger. My mod mad the SA better - but not by very much. The SA/DA is very smooth on this gun.

The gun is exceptionally accurate! For the $400 I paid for it (used in MINT condition w/ 4 mags) it shoots like a $1500 1911! It has a real barrel bushing & it is a "threaded" type that locks up tight!

I do not have the night sights. The stock sights are very clear & high READ: easy to pick up fast! No need for an aristocrat rib or bo mars on this puppy!

The poly coat finish has held up OK' although it is not as pretty as blueing (what is?) but I think it is tougher than blue. Unless you own a polycoated gun already, you will REALLY want the blued gun. I am more of a function over appearance guy & I got a deal on my particular gun (no choice of finish). The grips are absolutely beautiful checkered (walnut?) that look fantastic! These grip belong on a show gun (not on a gun you shoot all the time). Really nice feature!

It works 100% with all factory ammo & feeds SWCs just fine w/o any mods. If you reload, here is one caution for you: the throat is very short (may be why its so dang accurate!) While the throat is just fine w/ any factory ammo, I managed to load some home made .45 ammo long enough to jam the bullet right into the rifling! (very dangerous condition!) The load I made was: Montana Gold 200 grn Jacketed Flat nose Soft Point loaded to 1.260" OAL. These loads fit in the magazine just fine so I naively tried to chamber one. I used that very long OAL b/c its the magic OAL for 230 grn hardball. The loads previously worked great in my S&W 625 .45ACP Revolver & in an STI 1911, but they were dangerous in the CZ 97B. It took quite a bit of work to get that bullet out of the throat. Would this happen w/ some 1911s? Maybe - the 1911 I had was designed to shoot long loaded ammo so it had a long throat.

One more modification: I made a Full Length Guide Rod for mine out of a 4" Stanley brand door hinge pin. Sounds nuts but it works. If you shoot 230s or hot ammo, the 97b could use a heavier recoil spring. I love my 97B & you will be surprised how well this gun shoots!

viking442 05-13-2004 10:55 PM

Carlos covered it real well. I only have a few things to add. :)

I got my glossy blue 1998 CZ 97B just last month and I absolutely love this gun. It is a tack driver. :) Every bit as accurate as my Kimber Stainless Gold Match II.


Some things I had to do to the gun to set it up the way I like:

1. Installed a stainless steel full-length guide rod (replaces the half length plastic POS)
2. Modify the magazine brake for drop free magazines
3. Install CZ 75 Hogue finger groove grips to make the grip thinner and improve trigger reach (using a hair dryer to heat the rubber helps stretch the grips enough to get them onto the 97B)
4. Polish the feed ramp and chamber

I have over 1,000 rounds of 230gr ball through my pistol with no malfunctions. Zero. :D

My only gripe... but it can be fixed... The CZ 97B has one major problem. Out of the box it does not like HP/FP ammo. Because of the way the feed ramp is shaped and the fact that the magazine catch does not seat the magazines high enough into the gun... it tends to get HP/FP rounds stuck on the ramp. Reshaping the feed ramp and getting rid of the "hump" at the bottom can solve this problem.

Walt Sherrill 05-14-2004 07:10 AM

I was one of those who bought it and then found that it didn't really fit. I traded it away. (I got it from a guy who felt it was too big. They guy I traded it to, also traded it away because it was too big. These are all hard-core CZ nuts, so there's more to it than just a few guys with small hands. My hands aren't small and my fingers aren't short.)

Since then, a couple of grip-makers (found on the CZ Forum) have come out with thinner grips, and I think that would have made the gun more suitable for me (and some of the the other guys. Had there been that option available to me back then, I might have kept it.

I have a large-frame Witness Sport Long Slide in .45, and grip size is NOT a problem with it -- and they use the same mags.

If if fits you, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better value, more handsome, or more accurate out-of-the-box .45 for anywhere close to the price.

The gloss blues are very pretty, but I've given up on blued guns. The polycoat is also surprisingly attractive in the 97B models.

Solid gun and exceptional value. Just BIG.

WalterB 05-20-2004 09:44 AM

I have the 97B in polymer but am considering having it refinished in black chrome or some such shinier finish.
I find this pistol to be one of my most pleasurable .45s to shoot. I shoot it about as often as my Les Baer, and much more often than my Glock 21.
My only problems have been a failure to go into battery when dirty which has been improved by a full length guide rod (from a CZ40),a heavier recoil spring, and Oh Yeah- cleaning the pistol. The other problem has been having the first round nose dive into the feed ramp with a full magazine when using truncated cone lead bullets, which is probably related to the feed ramp configuration as noted above.
All-in-all, this gun is a pleasure and I certainly would give up the Glock before I would give up the 97B, and would would have to think about the Les Baer.

CMA 06-04-2004 09:17 PM

CZ 97B
Carlos pretty much covered what I would have said. CZ97Bs are great pistols for the money. I have never had a failure of any kind with a CZ97B. I make FLGRs out of bolts and use 20 or 22 pound recoil springs. I polish the feedramps. Other than that, they are stock. Here's mine:


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