View Full Version : Wolff 15# recoil spring issue on CZ 75 Pre B

September 18, 2011, 03:07 PM
I've read several posts on several sites about similar issues but the answers didn't settle my concerns so I'm posting here. Forgive me if this is something that has already been beat to death.

I recently bought a 1987 CZ 75 Pre-B and I ordered a Wolff recoil spring for it. The spring the gun came with seems pretty weak and I know old CZs are undersprung to begin with so I got a 15# spring for it. Now, I know 14# is the standard weight but since my defense load is +P and I often shoot higher pressure NATO rounds, I figured going up to 15# would be good enough to handle the occasional high pressure without being too stiff (I don't shoot a lot of +P or any kind of other hot loads other than NATO ball).

Well, the Wolff 15# spring is considerably longer than the stock spring and when I install it it doesn't stay straight. The steel guide rod is firmly seated and the spring is not tapered on either end so I know it's not an issue of being wrongly installed. When I rack the slide back I can feel the spring catching on the frame, which of course requires a harder pull on the slide to bring it all the way back. Needless to say I am not instilled with confidence.

I have seen some people say that it's normal and to give the spring time to set, but I have seen others say that it never got right. Right now the pistol is sitting in its case with the slide locked back, I'll leave it like that a few days or until I get to the range to test for function.

I would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences...

chris in va
September 18, 2011, 05:36 PM
I seem to remember others having the same issue, something about clipping coils...I'm sure someone will be along to give exact details.

Walt Sherrill
September 18, 2011, 06:06 PM
The reason the spring doesn't stay straight is that Wolff's springs for the CZ are really Wolff's springs for the Tanfoglio/Witness line. Those springs are built for a larger-diameter guide rod. They really don't offer a true CZ recoil spring. If you clip coils, you'll end up with a seriously undersprung gun. Don't go there.

Note, too, that all coil springs (recoil, mag, etc.) are longer before they're installed, but will soon shorten (take a set) and function just fine. You can't compare a new spring to a used one and make any judgements.

While they won't stay straight, they will function properly, so if other things are working right, don't worry about it. If you hear a bit of noise, or see scuffs on the barrel or frame (both are likely), chalk it up to normal functional wear, and worry about your shooting technique, instead.

If you feel you must have a straight spring, get the recoil spring for the Browning Hi-Power, which is a perfect fit for the CZ guide rod. I've been running an 18 lb. BHP spring in my 85 Combat for a couple of years. I haven't put thousands of rounds through it, and the slide is harder to rack, but it seems to function just fine. When I bought that spring, 18 lb. was the lightest they offered; they now have lower weight springs for the BHP.

Note, too, the Browning springs can also be had with variable rates: you can get a 14 or 15 or higher pound spring that is lighter/easier to open, but which gets progressively stiffer as the slide moves backwards. Overall it will be the rated pounds.

Older CZs were undersprung (in that they generally had a 12 lb. recoil spring rather than a claimed 14 lb. spring), but they functioned just fine with those "lighter" springs. (I speak from years of experience with both pre-B and B model CZs, of all varieties.) Had CZ just said their springs were 12 pounders, I doubt that anyone would make claims about "weak" springs.

I would argue that CZ gets a bum rap on the internet claim that they are generally undersprung, or that CZ springs are "notoriously" bad. That hasn't been my experience through many thousands of rounds in many different models since the late 1990s, both B and pre-Bs, full-size and compacts, etc.

The one spring you really might want to swap out is the extractor spring, and a extra-strength version of that is also available from Wolff. But if you keep the extractor channel in the slide cleaned out, even that swap isn't needed. (CZ has since changed to stronger extractor springs, too, on their new guns -- and offered Wolff extractor springs when the change was first introduced.)

September 18, 2011, 07:15 PM
Thanks, Walt. So what weight BHP spring would you say is equal to the 14# CZ spring?

September 18, 2011, 07:42 PM
CZ sells 14# and 16# recoil springs for their 75Bs. Why not use a CZ spring instead of the Wolf? Do 75B springs not fit pre-B models?

September 18, 2011, 08:37 PM
CZ sells 14# and 16# recoil springs for their 75Bs. Why not use a CZ spring instead of the Wolf? Do 75B springs not fit pre-B models?

Habit I guess. I use Wolff for all my guns and at the same time I bought a magazine spring and a recoil spring for a S&W 4006.

September 25, 2011, 02:52 PM
Just wanted to post an update. I've had my CZ sitting in its case with the slide locked back for 6 days straight now, and upon checking it today the Wolff recoil spring is still bent and still catches on the frame. I have removed the Wolff spring and reinstalled the original CZ spring. I'm chalking this one up as a loss and throwing in the parts drawer and ordering a standard CZ 75 recoil spring from CZ-USA. I am keeping the Wolff firing pin spring installed, that one is the same size as the original.

Walt Sherrill
September 25, 2011, 03:06 PM
Sorry HogManMagnum: I didn't see your question.

Use the BHP 14 lb. spring -- I think they offer that, now -- or the variable rate 14 lb. spring.

The Wolff spring you've purchased will work fine -- you'll hear or feel some rubbing, but it won't cause problems. I've used a bunch of those, and I guarantee you that you won't see a change in performance when using them.

Changing out the firing pin spring is probably a waste of time on the newer models, and probably also on the pre-Bs. Wolff started that practice when offering heavier recoil springs, supposedly to make the firing pin spring HEAVIER when the recoil spring was heavier. This was to prevent any "inertial" discharges caused by the slide slamming forward, and the firing pin continuing forward. Since the 75B (and all "B" series) CZs have a firing pin block, that pin isn't going to go forward until the trigger is pulled. I've never heard of a pre-B having a problem with inertial firing pin movement, either.


October 8, 2011, 05:35 PM
Thanks, Walt. I just wanted to add that, even though I was going to get a CZ spring from CZ USA, I ended up ordering a 17# BHP spring from Wolff since I also needed some springs for another pistol. 17 lbs seem more than I think I need but I hear of so many people running CZ 75s with 18# springs and having no problems with standard ammo that I don't think I'll have an issue.