Because of my gunsmithing posts, I get a lot of e-mails from people asking questions, hoping for help with a problem, or just shooting the breeze about their experiences with their guns.
Recently, a reader and fellow CZ-82 owner wrote to tell me that my experiences with the “snappy” recoil of the CZ may indicate a worn out recoil spring. That actually had never occurred to me because I associate a worn recoil spring with feeding problems…which I’ve never had…but it actually makes sense when you think about it.
Anyway, he is experimenting with various weights of Wolff replacement recoil springs and I asked him to write up his experiences for a blog post. He has graciously provided the following information for public consumption with more to come as he continues his experiments:
CZ-82 Recoil spring replacement
Posted by Aeroc
Click all pix to make bigger
Curtis asked me to write a short article about my experience with the CZ-82 9×18 pistol and the replacement of the recoil spring. Now most people who have purchased this fine weapon do not realize that their gun may be 20 years old and never had the recoil spring replaced. One way you can tell is by the distance the brass is thrown after firing. If it goes 20-30 feet, you need a new spring. This problem also adds to the snappy recoil that is experienced by most owners, and can cause early wear on the firearm by having it literally beat itself up with each shot.
While I was reading about my new purchase and read about the snappy recoil and came across a post stating that if you replaced the spring with a new spring, the recoil would soften up considerably. According to the poster marakov.com recommended a 19lb. makarov spring. Available at Wolff springs as well as Midway USA. So I ordered the 19 lb. spring since at the time Wolff springs had nothing specific for the CZ-82.
When the spring arrived I noticed a few things. First the replacement spring was longer than the original spring as seen in picture 1; the original is on the bottom. Also it was a bit tighter around the barrel than the original spring but slid on well enough and still had plenty of clearance.
I took both springs to the range and compared the feel. I fired 1 magazine with the original spring to get a feel for the recoil again. Then I fired a magazine of ammo with the replacement spring. I found a definite reduction in recoil with the replacement spring by approximately 30%. But there were some cons, it was significantly more difficult to chamber a round (a female friend of mine could not pull back the slide at all). The first 40 rounds of Sellier & Bellot ammo fired without a hitch. But then some problems started happening on the last round of the magazine: feed errors started to occur and jammed the gun buy pushing the FMJ bullets up and catching on the top of the chamber. The spring might be too strong or I have a faulty magazine. Since me and my friend were out of ammo we would have to wait for another day at the range. My thoughts were first I hope it’s not the magazine. Second well if it is the spring at least it was only a couple of bucks and a good experiment.
I then went home, and checking Wolff springs page a few days later under their new product page was CZ-82 specific springs! I guess they got enough requests so they decided to start making them. One of the things I like about Wolff and its website is that it lists the factory rating for the original spring and which springs it produces for a specific firearm, which for the CZ-82 is a 14.5 lb spring. They were now producing that spring as well as a 16.5 lb. and 18.5 lb spring. You can buy them separately or you can purchase a tuning pack with all 3 included plus 3 extra power replacement firing pin springs.
I quickly ordered the tuning pack. It arrived just 2 days later (Wolff springs does an excellent job shipping things quickly) and I happily opened the package (See pic. 2). I did notice that the package for the springs had a 16 and an 18 lb spring not a 16.5 or 18.5 lb spring, not that it matters just wanted to point out the difference in the website versus the product received. The 3 little springs are the replacement firing pin springs.
As you will notice in picture #3 they are the same length as the original recoil spring. The directions state to install the 18 lb. spring then to work down to the spring power that supplies the slide behavior you wish. So I installed the 18 lb. spring and waited for a day to go to the range, and the money to buy the only available 9×18 ammo available in town ($27 for 50 rounds….ouch, that’s more expensive to shoot than most of my other guns right now) Now I did order some Brown Bear steel cased ammo for $9.95 but need some ammo to compare it to, so I also ordered some Fiochi ammo and will compare the 2 while firing to see if I can replicate the feed errors that occurred with the makarov spring using the new CZ-82 springs.