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Old September 23, 2012, 03:40 PM   #1
Sparks1957
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CZ 97 : Opinions and experience?

I'm thinking about looking into a CZ 97 as a next purchase for a .45 range gun. I'm curious to know your experience with them.

I'm not sure yet whether I want the BD (decocker model) or the straight 97. I actually am growing to like the cocked and locked capability of my 75B, after a long while of buying SA/DA guns with decockers.

I keep hearing that the 97 is huge, but I have fairly large hands with long fingers, and I certainly don't plan on carrying this.

Let me hear what you think of them.
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Old September 23, 2012, 04:42 PM   #2
geetarman
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I have one. I liked my SP01 so much, I went looking for a .45.

The CZ custom shop is less than 5 miles away so I went over there and Angus Hobdell was there.

I looked at some of the custom guns and he asked me a few questions and told me I ought to look at the CZ97.

It is a big gun and he told me the trigger would improve with use or he could put in a competition hammer and spring kit and remove the firing pin block and make it really sweet.

He was right. The gun is a real shooter but it is not a small gun.

It is not overly large in the grip but it is not a little gun.

Typical CZ. The internals are finished to function. They are not works of art. What needs to be finely finished is and the cosmetic stuff is not.

There is no question the gun runs. My gun has been modified enough that I would not carry it. Even if I put all the parts back in it, I would not carry it.

If I was looking for a CC gun, I would look at a G19/G30.

You will like the screw in barrel bushing and the accuracy and reliability but you probably will not like the size.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:56 PM   #3
Walt Sherrill
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Along with the SIG 220, one of the best out-of-the-box .45s available in terms of accuracy and reliability. (That comment is not mean to disparage H&Ks or Glocks.)

As noted, it's big. (Mine was simply too big for me.) The similar Witness models have a noticeably smaller grip.

Check out CAJUN GUN WORKS for mods that make a very good gun better, including a refined trigger that shortens the pull length a bit.

http://www.cajungunworks.com/
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Old September 23, 2012, 07:48 PM   #4
hAkron
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Also look into the Sarsilmaz SAR K2-45. It is similar in many ways to the CZ97, but it's a lot cheaper and holds 14 rounds
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:51 PM   #5
marine6680
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I had a witness in 45... I have smallish hands and did not find it too large.

Even if the CZ is a little bigger, if you have average sized hands or bigger, you should be fine I would think.
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Old September 24, 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
chris in va
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I have one, and also had a 75bd for years.

Believe it or not the two are nearly identical in size...height, width and length. One difference is the LOP distance due to the longer 45 cartridge. This gives the perception of being wider, but it's not.

The full dust cover also makes it seem bigger. It is somewhat heavier than the 75bd.

Now one thing you'll have to get used to is the barrel angle . Both the CZ and Witness have sights that are not in line with the slide, as the barrel is actually lower in the front than the chamber end. I still can't get a straight answer why it's designed that way.

I used mine in matches to good effect. Really it's up to you whether you want the option of 'cocked and locked' or not. Don't forget to get a 15# hammer spring right away!

Also grip choices are limited. The wonderfully famous 'coke bottle' grip shape is lacking on the 97, but I was fortunate to find Nill grips at Numrich for $50 that restore the ergo's we all know and love.
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Old September 24, 2012, 06:38 PM   #7
Mr.RevolverGuy
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I love my CZ97

Absolutely love it, I have written two articles about it.

http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=323

and

http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=861
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Old September 25, 2012, 10:58 AM   #8
dgludwig
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I've always liked the way the CZ Model looks and how it feels in my hand (I do have larger than average sized hands). Though I have no experience with shooting this pistol, I have read/heard that they can be finicky in terms of function when using anything other than hardball (fmj). I'd be a lot more prone to get one if I had reason to believe that what I've heard/read is not typical.
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Old September 26, 2012, 12:27 AM   #9
chris in va
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The earlier models had issues with hollowpoints because the feed ramp is exactly the same width as on the 75 9mm series.

However, I noticed my 2011 model is throated and polished, and feeds XTP's just fine. Haven't tried other hollowpoint designs. The barrel bushing is also indexed all the way around.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:35 PM   #10
schmeky
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The 97's barrel ramp and throat have been dramatically re-engineered by CZ. The ramp is further from the mag, is lower, deeper, and the chamber throat has been increased/radiused as well. Looks like it will feed a much greater variety of HP ammo. With a little professional polishing and contouring, it would likely feed most anything. Yay!

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Old September 26, 2012, 10:12 PM   #11
chris in va
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Good picture...interesting.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:38 PM   #12
dgludwig
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schmecky's photo reveals what seems to be a very big difference in terms of dimensions between old and new. Looks like it would make a favorable difference in the feeding propensities of the CZ 97 pistol. Thanks for posting it.
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