Yesterday I covered the background of my recent purchase of a CZ vz. 82 pistol. I had already done the initial cleaning, inspection and range trip, but I didn’t want to make yesterday’s post too long. I have a tendency to be a bit verbose in case you never noticed.
I have to say, although it has obviously seen some use, I was pleased with the condition of the pistol that I got from AIM Surplus. The addition of the second magazine made AIMs deal better than anyone else’s. Most places sell the package with the accessories but only one magazine for around $199. Considering that the magazines aren’t the easiest to find, and generally retail for around $25-$30 when you can find them, AIMs price of $209.95 with two mags is very reasonable.
As an added bonus, it wasn’t smothered in cosmoline as I’m used to with surplus rifles. It was pretty heavily oiled, but it was a lighter oil, not the viscous preservative I expected.
Although not technically “wear”, one sore point that I have is that the importer used some sort of pin punch marking system to impress their importer’s marks. That process caused the finish to chip and flake a little around that area on the slide.
The finish was pretty much completely gone from that area. It seemed like a strange place to see that kind of wear, but I figured it out after a little noodling.
The issue holster, although obviously the product of a “world’s ugliest holster” contest and not very practical for defensive use, pretty much holds everything…including the spare magazine.
After putting the pistol and accessories into the holster it became very obvious that it wouldn’t take too much bouncing around for the second mag to contact the pistol exactly where the unusual wear was occurring. Great for keeping everything in one convenient, military issue package…but not so great for keeping the pistol in pristine condition.
I also noted that the grips seemed to slip around a little. They only have one screw in each side holding the respective grip panels in place. The screws are centered top to bottom, but are toward the rear of each grip. The tops of the grips seemed to move slightly as the pistol was handled and I worked the action. I tried tightening the screws some but I didn’t want to tighten them enough to crack the plastic grips so I never got that movement to stop.
The next trick was to figure out how to field strip it. Having never owned this style of pistol before, It was immediately apparent that it didn’t come apart in any manner with which I was familiar. A couple of minutes on the interwebs, however revealed the secret…pulling the trigger guard down to unlock the slide.
Always one to be helpful (besides, I’ve been threatening to make more of these) I created in instructional video for basic CZ-82 field stripping. I think it’s interesting that the video has only been up on Youtube since yesterday and I’ve already got one comment from someone who found it helpful. I’m glad to be of service.
Anyway, for your viewing pleasure…CZ-82 Field Stripping, courtesy of Lone Sailor Productions:
I also removed the grip panels so I could clean the trigger parts. I didn’t take it any further apart simply because I’m not familiar enough with it yet. Give me a week or two to get over the novelty and I’ll get brave enough to take her down to parade rest.
Another anomaly…the sights consist of two white dots on the rear and a white strip on the front ramp. The white was actually pretty yellow to begin with, but while cleaning, the strip on the front ramp came clean off (pun intended). So basically, I now have a two dot sight with a black ramp. Fixable, but annoying.
I finished cleaning it and got it put back together without further incident.
Wednesday, I finally got a chance to take her to the range. I went to Bob’s gun shop in downtown Norfolk rather than my regular range for the purposes of writing a review on them. Look for that over the course of the next few posts.
While I was there, I picked up some white “sight paint” so I can fix the front ramp. They had some glow in the dark stuff but it was all light activated and none of the glowing stuff was very bright in normal light. I seriously doubt that a bad guy would wait while I hold my glow in the dark sights in the light to “charge them up” in between removing it from its dark holster and popping a couple caps, so I went with the plain white.
Next stop was the range. I stayed pretty exclusively at 7 yards for my initial testing. I was using steel cased Wolf, 95 Grain FMJ. I went through 8 full magazines (96 rounds) without a hitch. Every round fed, ejected and fired perfectly.
I have to admit that the trigger needs some work. Double action is suitably long and heavy for safety and it has a distinct “two stage” feel; and single action is light enough for my tastes, but has too much creep and feels a bit “gritty”.
I love the ambidextrous safety…it is perfectly positioned for me to operate with either hand with a flick of the thumb, but isn’t in a location likely to cause inadvertent operation. The ambidextrous magazine release is also a great feature, but the grip is so wide (to accommodate the double stacked magazine) that I can’t reach it with my thumb without shifting the pistol in my grip. I found it easier to use my middle finger, to press the release on the opposite side than you would normally use…and that was a bit difficult because the spring tension is pretty strong. I think I can make that work better with a little gunsmithing as well.
As far as accuracy…it was very consistent. It shot a bit low and to the left but well within minute of bad-guy in a pinch. And again, I believe I can massage the sights to bring point of impact in line with point of aim with a little tinkering.
Recoil is very manageable. The steel frame makes it heavy enough (it actually only weighs about 4 ounces less than my full sized .45 ACP with composite frame) that the muzzle flip and recoil were not bad at all and I had no trouble firing accurate double taps.
Next, the grip movement that I noted while cleaning and inspecting was very apparent while shooting. I don’t know if this is specific to my pistol or if it is a common ailment, but it is definitely detrimental and needs to be addressed. The bad thing is that I find the grips shape and form to be VERY comfortable for shooting. The only problem is that they seem to be pretty flimsily made and with only one attachment point, they bend and flex too easily.
Finally, the trigger irritated my index finger while shooting. It seems to have relatively sharp edges which may be what was causing it…or it may have just been because of the flexing grips making it slip in my hand…I’m not sure.
The bottom line is, though I’m happy with my purchase, I don’t think she’s quite ready for prime time as a defensive pistol yet.
Step one is going to be grips. Replacing them may alleviate or eliminate a couple of the other problems…namely the “bitey” trigger and the point of impact/point of aim misalignment.
While I’m waiting for the grips to come in, I’ll be figuring out the intricacies of the trigger mechanism so see if I can smooth out the sear/hammer engagement. I’ll also see if I can find a way to slightly lighten the tension on the magazine release.
After the grips come in, if the trigger bite is still present, I’ll smooth off the edges and see if I can’t cure that malady and finally, if the new grips don’t help with point of aim, it will be time to start monkeying with the sights to get them in line.
It sounds like a lot, I know…but I can be pretty picky so don’t let my evaluation stop you from picking one of these up…especially if you want one just as a shooter, and not for defensive use.
The final thing I’ll be on the lookout for is in IWB holster. Bob’s had a couple of left handed models manufactured by Uncle Mike’s but didn’t have every size. None of the ones they had fit perfectly, although one would do if I don’t find anything better. If anyone knows of a brand/size that works well with this pistol, please share. Otherwise, I’ll let you know what I come up with when I find something.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this purchase. It is not perfect (as I expected in a surplus pistol) but it fits all my requirements and I don’t think any of its weaknesses are insurmountable with a little effort and elbow grease. Once all is said and done, I think I’m going to be very happy with this purchase. I’ll keep you up to date.