CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 12

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 7, we reinstalled the hammer strut, hammer, sear, auto safety, ejector, and disconnector.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 8, we reinstalled the trigger, trigger bar and trigger spring.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 9, we reinstalled the mainspring and plug and the safety assembly.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 10, we reinstalled the slide stop and trigger guard latch pin.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 11, we reassembled the magazine catch and reinstalled the trigger guard.

In this edition, we’re going to reassemble the slide.

The slide reassembly is pretty straight forward. I didn’t remove the front sights so I don’t have pictures of reinstalling that.

The extractor spring goes into the well on the right side of the slide.

Then the extractor goes over the top of that.

I know that this picture is fuzzy, I apologize. After placing the extractor and spring into the slide, I used a punch through the extractor pin hole to hold the extractor and spring in place; then I clamped the slide into the padded jaws of my vise. That holds the slide and also keeps the extractor aligned properly for reinstalling the pin. Once it is clamped tightly, the punch is removed from the hole and the pin is driven in place. The hole in the slide may be peened or swaged at the bottom, so it will probably be easier to install the pin from the top.

Once seated correctly, the pin should not protrude past the top of the slide…

…nor should it protrude past the bottom. If it sticks out too much on the bottom, it will interfere with the movement of the slide.

Next is the firing pin and spring.

The “pointy end” of the firing pin slides into the spring, then the are both placed into the hole at the rear of the slide.

Then use a punch or some other tool to push the firing pin in enough for the firing pin stop to go in. It goes rounded side toward the top of the slide.

Once the stop is far enough down, remove the punch and then push the stop all the way down until the rear of the firing pin locks into the hole in the stop.

Then drive the rear sight in from right to left and center it on the slide.

As I said, I didn’t take the front sight off, but it is simply tapped into place and the roll-pin driven in.

Finally, put the slide back onto the frame. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures of this while doing it because I’d recently finished my “CZ-82 Field Stripping” Video…which includes this part of assembly. It occurred to me that, for the sake of thoroughness, I should include reinstalling the slide onto the frame in these posts, so I went back and took pictures later. If you notice that the grips are already installed in these pictures, even though we haven’t covered that yet, that’s why.

Installing the slide onto the frame is simple. First, ensure that the trigger guard is pulled down into the “unlocked” position.

Slide the recoil spring over the barrel.

Catching the recoil spring and compressing it with the slide, slip the barrel through the hole in the front of the slide.

The slide will stay angled up as you move it rearward, compressing the recoil spring.

When the slide is completely to the rear, the rails will engage the frame and it will pop down into position.

Release the slide and allow it to return to its fully forward position.

Press up on the trigger guard to lock the slide in place. You should feel a definite “click” and the front of the trigger guard should move up a good quarter-inch or so.

And there you have it.

Next time we’ll install and review the Marschal grips that I bought for it and I’ll review and evaluate the changes, corrections that I made and I’ll discuss how I feel about the pistol now that I’ve had it for a while, been carrying it regularly and have put a few hundred rounds downrange.

Final Post of the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 11

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 7, we reinstalled the hammer strut, hammer, sear, auto safety, ejector, and disconnector.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 8, we reinstalled the trigger, trigger bar and trigger spring.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 9, we reinstalled the mainspring and plug and the safety assembly.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 10, we reinstalled the slide stop and trigger guard latch pin.

In this edition, we’re going to reinstall the magazine catch into the trigger guard and then reinstall the trigger guard onto the frame. As a reminder, in Part 2, we described how to lighten the magazine catch spring. Since doing that I’ve been very happy with the tension on the magazine catch which was very heavy to begin with.

The first step is to assemble the three components that make up the magazine catch.

The small “T” shaped part is the Magazine Catch Lever and goes on top of the larger part…the Magazine Catch…

…and then the spring goes over the plunger on the magazine catch.

On the trigger guard housing, the magazine catch push button is inserted from the side with the larger, oblog hole toward the flat face of the trigger guard housing (away from the trigger guard) and the notch on top.

Center it in from left to right.

Next, slide the catch assembly into the flat face of the trigger guard housing. The small magazine catch lever should be on top when installing. The base of the “T” of the lever will slide into the notch in the magazine catch button.

Next is the magazine catch lever pin. It has an indentation on one end forming sort of a “head”. The “head” should be down when installing.

You’ll have to push the magzaine catch in to get the pin to go through but it should be a loose fit. It should slide right in. Only insert the pin until it is flush with the bottom of the trigger guard housing. If you put it in too far, it will interfere with the trigger guard pin. Release the pressure on the magazine catch and the spring tension will hold the pin in place.

Next, install the trigger guard housing onto the frame.

And tap in the trigger guard housing pin.

Almost done. All that’s left is to reassemble and reinstall the slide, reinstall the grips and test it out at the range.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 10

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 7, we reinstalled the hammer strut, hammer, sear, auto safety, ejector, and disconnector.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 8, we reinstalled the trigger, trigger bar and trigger spring.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 9, we reinstalled the mainspring and plug and the safety assembly.

In this edition, we’re going to reinstall the slide stop.

The trigger guard latch pin is also an integral part of the slide stop installation so it will be installed in this edition as well.

First, the slide stop goes easily into its hole in the frame from the left side. Note the hole in the slide stop shaft.

After the slide stop is fully seated, the hole will be basically right up against the edge of the frame. It is a little hard to see in the pictures so I used an arrow to point it out.

The straight end of the slide stop spring slides into the hole in the slide stop shaft.

Next, get the trigger guard latch pin started into its hole. It should be inserted from the left side of the frame and the part with the small “nipple” should be inserted first.

After the pin is started, use needle nose pliers, a dental pick or other instrument to push the slide stop spring up into the frame and out of the way of the trigger housing pin. Then push the pin the in until it contacts the other side of the frame.

As soon as the pin is in far enough to prevent the spring from popping down below it, you can release the spring.

Then tap the trigger housing latch pin the rest of the way in. It should go in fairly easily until the right (smaller) part starts to go into the hole on the right side of the frame. At that point, it should require a tap or two to seat it.

After the pin is fully seated, the recessed ring around the pin should be visible toward the left side of the frame. The crooked end of the slide stop spring pops into that recessed ring to hold the spring in place and maintain spring tension on the slide stop.

Now the slide stop should held in place by the spring. You should be able to push it down easily, but it should pop back up under spring tension when released.

That’s it. Next we’ll install the magazine catch into the trigger guard housing and install the trigger guard housing onto the frame.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmigthing Part 9

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 7, we reinstalled the hammer strut, hammer, sear, auto safety, ejector, and disconnector.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 8, we reinstalled the trigger, trigger bar and trigger spring.

In this edition, we’re going to reinstall the mainspring and cap and the safety.

The only trick with the mainspring was to be sure that the hammer strut was in the right place before putting the mainspring under tension. You can’t really see what’s going on up there with everything in place so you kind of have to do it by feel. The strut should be pretty well centered and straight in the frame to be sure that it engages the hammer properly.

The first thing I did is slide the spring onto the hammer strut.

Then the cap over the end of the spring.

Then, while keeping slight tension on the spring, I used a pick to straighten and align the hammer strut. While keeping a bit of tension on the spring, I checked the hammer operation to make sure the strut was engaging it properly. You may have to futz around with it a bit to get it just right, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

After you’re sure the hammer strut is aligned and engaging the hammer properly, continue to keep a little pressure on the spring to hold it in position until installation is finished.

The easiest way I found to compress the spring was to put the end of the cap against my bench and then press the pistol toward it to compress the spring. Before compressing the spring, make sure the cap is turned so that the slot aligns with the pin holes in the frame.

Once the cap slot aligns with the holes in the frame, simply slide the pin into place. This pin is a loose fit, it is held in by the mainspring tension and the grips. It should not have to be driven in and put a finger under the bottom hole to keep it from dropping completely through as you slip it in.

The safety is also a fairly straightforward operation.

The first step is to install the safety latch spring. It is a very small spring that fits into a well on the right side of the safety (it looks like the left in these pictures because the safety is upside down).

Then the safety latch goes into place and presses against the spring. There will be some spring tension so be careful while installing the latch to keep it from shooting across the room. The spring especially is pretty small and would be easy to lose.

Once the latch is in place, it snaps into the body of the safety so it holds itself in place once positioned.

The safety fits over the “beavertail” section of the rear of the frame behind and below the hammer.

After the safety is in place, install the safety pin. It may need a tap or two to get it completely in place, but shouldn’t require a lot of force.

Center the pin and…done.

Next up, we’ll install the slide stop.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 8

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 7, we reinstalled the hammer strut, hammer, sear, auto safety, ejector, and disconnector.

In this edition, we’re going to reinstall the trigger parts.

As usual, click all pix to make bigger.

First, it’s hard to see how they go together when installed in the frame, so lets take a look at the components and how they go together before we install them.

This is laid out exactly as they should go together (albeit upside down).

There are holes for the trigger spring in both the trigger bar and the trigger itself.

As you are putting the parts together, be sure the spring is oriented correctly and that the spring arms go into the holes in both the trigger bar and trigger.

To assemble, first put the trigger bar in through the magazine well.

It may take a little finagling, but shouldn’t be too difficult.

The rear of the trigger bar will seat into the notch in the riveted on plate on the right side of the grip frame.

You have to push the front of the trigger bar down below the frame to install the trigger spring and trigger. To keep from occupying a hand to hold the trigger bar in position, I used a jeweler’s screwdriver to hold the trigger bar down in the proper position.

The trigger spring is now installed with the coil down and the arm of the spring into the hole in the trigger bar.

Next, holding the trigger out straight, slide the trigger into place ensuring that the other arm of the spring goes into the hole in the trigger.

At this point, I used a dental pick to hold the three pieces in position. If you don’t do this, you will have to try to hold all three pieces while inserting the small pin into the holes. Basically, there are two holes in the trigger bar, two holes in the trigger and the coil of the spring that all have to be properly aligned to get the pin to go though. I found that lining them up with the dental pick and then sliding it out as I slid the pin in made it go very smoothly.

The pin does not fit tightly…it is held in by the frame so it shouldn’t need to be driven in, it should just slide into place. Wiggle the dental pick around if you need to as the pin is going in and the pick is coming out to get all the holes aligned as the pin goes in.

Then remove the jewelers screwdriver that was keeping the trigger bar propped below the frame, turn the trigger down into position (if the trigger bar, trigger and spring were all installed correctly, there should be some spring tension), align the trigger pivot hole with the holes in the frame and install the trigger pin. The trigger pin will need to be driven in but shouldn’t require more than gentle taps to get it in.

There you have it. Next up: Installing the mainspring and safety.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing, Part 7

[Update] I changed the section on reinstalling the ejector. There was a long gap between performing it and blogging about it and I simply didn’t remember one part of it correctly. Something jogged my memory and I’ve now corrected that section. Sorry for the inconvenience.[/Update]

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6, we covered the basic trigger job.

In this edition of CZ-82 gunsmithing, we’re going to start reassembly.

As usual, click all pix to make bigger.

First, drop the hammer strut down into the mainspring well.

It will just kind of flop around in there until we get a couple of other components in so don’t worry about positioning too much, just keep it from falling back out.

Next, the hammer lever pin slies into the hole in the hammer body.

It’s a loose fit and the lever should be able to swivel freely. The lever should be installed toward the front of the hammer.

Next, drop the hammer and lever into the frame.

Don’t install the hammer pin yet, just let the hammer and lever rest in the frame.

The next step is to install the sear. It has a channel (the arrow points to this area) with ears on either side. The ears straddle the frame when installed.

The sear goes in from the bottom one of the “ears” that form the channel on the outside, one on the inside of the frame. The flat face of the sear goes forward.

This picture doesn’t show it, but the hammer should be forward when installing the sear.

Once the sear is in place, partially install the pin, just enough to keep the sear from falling out, don’t push it all the way in yet.

Next the sear spring is placed in the sear.

When properly installed, the bent arm of the sear spring will be to the rear and laying atop the arm of the sear. The straight arm of the sear spring will be pointing up.

Once the sear sping is installed and positioned correctly, the coiled part of the spring should be aligned with the sear pin holes. Push the pin the rest of the way in to secure the sear and sear spring.

At this point, install the hammer pin.

When installed correctly, the end with the small “nipple” will be to the left.

Now for the fun part. This was the most challenging part of the entire re-assembly process.

With the ejector upside down, place the auto safety into the bottom of the ejector.

The “hammerhead” part of the auto safety should go to the rear, or away from the arm of the ejector.

I ended up using a small piece of toothpick to through the pin holes of the ejector and auto safety to hold them together while assembling. I cut the toothpick piece down so that it would fit inside the frame, then, when I was driving in the ejector pin, the piece of toothpick was driven out. This maintained their relative positions until they could be secured by the pin. After having tried several things to get it together, I was a bit frustrated at this point and ended up not taking any pictures with the piece of toothpick holding them together.

While holding the auto safety and ejector together (preferably with the piece of toothpick that I described) place them atop the sear and sear spring.

It may be easier if you hold the frame upside down and raise the ejector into position.

There is a very small crease in the bottom of the auto safety that engages the sear spring. The sear spring not only holds pressure on the sear, but also on the auto safety. It is IMPERATIVE that the auto safety be installed correctly and that the sear spring engages it properly.

You may have to lift up the front of the ejector slightly and use a dental pick, jewelers screwdriver or other object to manipulate the spring into the right position on the auto safety. There is also a small hole in the top of the ejector through which you can see the spring. You may be able to manipulate the spring through that hole to get it seated correctly.

After you have pressed the ejector and auto safety into place, using your fingers to place pressure on the hammer and to operate the sear, make sure the sear engages and releases the hammer correctly, that the sear and the auto safety both are under spring tension and pop back into position after being pressed.

I had a heck of a time getting the spring to stay in the right place and engaged with the auto safety. it took me several tries to get it to align and operate correctly. Ultimately, the toothpick trick helped me get it but it still wasn’t a piece of cake. Be patient, if it doesn’t work, raise the ejector up slightly, re-align the auto safety withe the spring and push the ejector back down again. Try it as many times as you need to because if this mechanism doesn’t work correctly, the firearm will be unsafe and/or inoperable.

After the ejector and auto safety are in position and you are sure that the sear spring is properly seated and working correctly, drive the ejector pin in, thereby driving out the piece of toothpick used to hold it together for assembly.

Finally, install the disconnector into it’s well in the frame.

And then install the pin that holds the disconnector.

At this point, the hammer strut should still be rattling loosely around inside the mainspring well, but it should be prevented from falling out by the various parts and pins we just installed.

Next time, we’ll install the trigger components.

Next Post in the series.

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New Video

At the request of a reader via e-mail, here is how the CZ-82 magazine is disassembled and reassembled:

This text will be replaced


Hope it helps.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 6

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, we removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5, we removed main spring, hammer, sear, and associated other fire control parts.

In this edition of CZ-82 Gunsmithing, we’re going to perform a basic trigger job (I was initially going to begin doing the reassembly posts, but this became long enough as it was so I decided to wait on that).

Disclaimer: I am not recommending that you perform this task yourself. I am only recounting what I did. This is very delicate work requiring extreme patience and care. If it is done incorrectly, it could make the pistol unsafe and/or inoperable. I am not a professional gunsmith so I cannot guarantee that any of the methods that worked for me are the “correct” methods or that there isn’t a better way. This post is for informational purposes only. Any actions that you take, and harm of any type that may result from such actions are your responsibility alone.[/Disclaimer]

The trigger pull is one of the most important considerations in accuracy with any firearm. There are several aspects of trigger pull that can be addressed in a comprehensive trigger job.

The take-up is the slack in the trigger before it engages the sear. This aspect is only really applicable in single action firearms as the “takeup” portion of a double action trigger cycle incorporates the motion that cocks the hammer and (in a revolver) rotates the cylinder.

Basically, the only way to adjust the takeup is to change the distance that the trigger must travel before the operating mechanism contacts the sear. On some firearms this is easily accomplished, on some it is impossible without replacing, modifying or manufacturing parts.

I was satisfied with the takeup of my CZ, so I didn’t even attempt it on this firearm.

Another aspect of the trigger pull is the pull weight itself. This is a measurement of the maximum amount of force required to be applied to the trigger in the process of releasing the hammer. It is usually (at least in the US) measured in pounds of force. The pull weight can be affected by many things, but is primarily dependent upon the springs in the action. The trigger spring, the sear spring and the main spring all tend to resist movement of the sear and contribute to pull weight. Some springs may be replaced by lighter weight replacements. Some may be adjusted by removing coils or grinding the spring itself to reduce the thickness of the coils. It is very important not to remove too much too quickly. Removing coils can result in a spring that is too short to be effective. Lightening springs too much can result in light hammer strikes or failure of the trigger or sear to reset.

Pull weight may also be affected by the hammer to sear engagement angles. I’ll discuss that further when I discuss that aspect of the trigger job.

Next is Creep. Trigger creep is felt when the sear is actually moving but the hammer has not yet been released. This is typically one of the most easily adjustable aspects of the trigger/sear relationship. It is adjusted by changing the amount of sear engagement. The goal is to have zero creep. This is not always possible with every design so minimizing creep and making any existing creep as smooth as possible is of paramount importance.

At the end of the creep, is the letoff. The letoff should be immediate, sharp and crisp. This results from clean angles and sharp contours on the sear/hammer contact points. Burrs, rounded edges and uneven angles result in gritty, mushy or inconsistent letoff.

Finally, overtravel is the distance the trigger travels after letoff. Overtravel can be an important aspect for accuracy if one properly “follows through” the trigger pull, but it is even more important for rapid fire shooting as the further the trigger travels after letoff, the farther it will have to travel when released to reset.

Again, the overtravel was acceptable on my CZ so I didn’t even evaluate how it could be adjusted.

The two things that I wanted to adjust were the amount and smoothness of the creep and the letoff. Before this work there was considerable ceep and it was gritty and rough in feel. The letoff was also not crisp, but felt “mushy”. In “cleaning up” those two aspects, I also reduced the trigger pull slightly but that was not a major concern.

Before we can talk about how to adjust these issues we have to understand how the CZ trigger works. These pictures are not perfect, as they were (obviously) taken with the hammer and sear removed from the pistol and I had to paste them together for illustration purposes…but they should give you an idea of how they work together.

NOTE: These pictures have been edited and, in the process, some of the edges have become blurred. They are only to give you an idea of the areas that need to be worked on, not what they should look like when completed. If I ever disassemble my CZ again, or buy another one that needs to be worked on, I’ll try to get better pictures. [/Note]

This represents how the hammer and sear are seated with the pistol cocked, when installed.

the sear was actually pasted into the photo and my picture of the sear was in the wrong orientation so it is “flipped” and actually a mirror image of what it would actually look like.

This shouldn’t matter because the area of interest is the contact point between the hammer and sear. This picture shows how they are seated, even if it isn’t perfect.

This animated gif (click to make bigger and see animation) is in the same orientation, but only shows the contact points. Please forgive the rudimentary graphics…that’s the best I can do with my limited artistic ability.

This depicts “positive” hammer to sear engagement. As the sear (the angle on the right) is moved by pulling the trigger, it actually pushes the hammer back slightly until it releases, at which point the hammer falls. In a “neutral” engagement, the hammer would remain stationary throughout the release of the sear. with “negative” engagement, the hammer would actually move slightly forward as the sear is moving.

The goal is to attain slightly positive engagement. Neutral engagement is generally considered acceptable, though slightly positive is safer. Negative engagement is to be avoided and is considered unsafe.

I don’t know if I can explain this well enough with words but I’ll try. The hammer is being constantly forced against the sear by the pressure of the main spring. If the engagement is negative, the angle is such that the hammer pushing against the sear is trying to push the sear out of the notch. Basically, the sear is going “downhill” and, so is relatively easy to “squirt” out. With positive engagement, the angle is opposite and is such that it is actually capturing the sear. The force of the hammer spring, because of the angle, is trying to force the sear deeper into the hammer notch, rather than trying to force it out. Neutral engagement is exactly that…the angle is neutral and is neither trying to force the sear in nor out. As I said, neutral engagement is acceptable, but for a margin of safety, the standard practice is to attain a slightly positive engagement angle.

If that explanation is not clear enough, let me know in comments and I’ll see if I can come up with a better explanation with illustrations.

At any rate, the more positive the engagement, the stiffer the perceived trigger pull will be as a result of the hammer having to be pushed back against the force of the main spring during sear release…so you want the engagement to be positive…but very slightly so.

The type of engagement is controlled by the angle of contact between the sear and the hammer. Typically the surfaces should be matched so that the angles fit together as smoothly as possible, but this is nigh unto impossible without special jigs to perfectly match the positions that the hammer and sear will be in when installed. I’ve found that, if all of the surfaces are properly polished and the angles are straight, the angles matching perfectly is less important…at least on the few firearms I’ve done trigger jobs on…and every one is different.

In order to make for the best trigger pull, the contact surfaces must be polished as smoothly as possible and the hammer/sear engagement should be VERY slightly positive.

To this end, I first adjusted the contact angle. With this hammer/sear configuration, the angle of the contact point on the hammer has the most control over creating positive engagement. The problem is that the notch on the hammer that the contact point is inside is very small and hard to get into. I ended up using some fine emory cloth wrapped around a the blunt end of a fine exacto knife blade to fit in there well enough to remove material. A wedge shaped fine stone would have worked better, but I don’t have one…yet.

Patience in this evolution is the key. If you take off too much, you can’t put it back.

What I found was, I could put the hammer and sear back into the pistol during the process, “pin” them in place with small pin punches and put pressure on them with my fingers while moving them to immediately see the results of my work.

Make a few strokes, put them in and test them. Take them out. Make a few strokes. Rinse, Lather, Repeat…until I got it right where I wanted it. The movement of the hammer to the rear as the sear is moved should be visible under magnification, but barely perceptible, if at all, with the naked eye.

It is also very important that every stroke with the abrasive be at the same angle, changing angles between strokes will cause uneven surfaces and a “gritty” or rough feel to the trigger pull.

Once the angle is correct and the surface is completely even and flat, the next step is to polish the contact surfaces of both the sear and the hammer with the finest stone or emory cloth available and then finishing with polishing compound on a polishing wheel in my dremel tool. That also was challenging because of the angle and size of the hammer notch, but with patience, I got it done.

It is extremely important to maintain a nice sharp “edge” on the end of the sear where it contacts the hammer. It should contact the hammer notch all the way across its width evenly and be perfectly straight.

I always use magnification when doing this fine work so I can see as much detail as possible. I picked up a variable magnification “head strap magnifier” from Harbor Freight tools on sale for $4.99 over a year ago. The lights don’t work very well, but I don’t need them anyway. Pretty close to the best $5 I’ve ever spent.

Anyway, the key, as I said before, is patience and attention to detail.

Once this is finished, the creep and letoff were very smooth and crisp, but the creep distance was still too great. I adjusted this by gently stoning down the edge of the hammer notch until the sear was barely inserted into the notch.

Again…patience is paramount. Once you’ve removed material, you can’t put it back. Take a few strokes, install and test. Take a few strokes, install and test. Repeat as necessary.

The edge of the contact area on the hammer is equally important to keep straight and sharp so be careful, use magnification, take it slow and don’t go too far too fast. With this hammer/sear setup, it is impossible to completely remove the creep and if you go too far, you may make it so sensitive that banging or bumping the gun may release the sear. This shouldn’t cause the pistol to discharge if the automatic safety is in place and working correctly, but it will cause the hammer to fall and the next shot to be double action. Insufficient engagement could conceivably cause “hammer follow” and uncontrolled double taps as well.

After all was said and done and the pistol was back together, I was VERY pleased with the result. The creep is minimal to the point that it is almost unnoticable. The trigger pull is very smooth and the letoff is crisp and clean.

Just the way I like it.

Next time we’ll start reassembling our CZ-82.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 5

Yes, I know it’s been awhile. I should be able to get them knocked out fairly quickly now that life has settled down some (for now).

To recap what we’ve covered so far:

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4, removed the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.

In this edition, we’re going to remove the mainspring and then the hammer, sear and other associated fire control parts.

At this point, your pistol should be disassembled to the degree that this warning is unnecessary, but just in case: Be sure the magazine is removed and the chamber empty before beginning any work. Also, all of the rules ALWAYS apply. Even if the firearm is partially disassembled, always ensure that the muzzle is pointing in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger.

With that out of the way…and, as usual: click all pictures to make bigger.

The Mainspring is easy to remove. The mainspring plug pin is not pressed in, it is a loose fit, you actually have to be careful not to lose it because it can fall out as soon as you relieve the tension of the mainspring from the plug.

Basically, press in on the mainspring plug until the tension is relieved and then push the pin out.

Then gently let the plug back out until the mainspring is no longer under tension.

I say gently because if you just relax the pressure all at once, you’ll fire the mainspring and plug across the room with authority. If your shop is anything like mine, it could take weeks to find them.

Pull out the plug and the mainspring.

Next is the hammer, sear and remainder of the fire control group.

First, drive out the ejector pin. On mine, both ends of this pin were painted red to double as an indicator when the safety is in the “fire” position. It’s convenient, because when in safe, the safety covers the pin. This pin is also swaged or peened into place so it may be difficult to drive out. I used a starter punch to break it loose and then the pin punch did the job from there.

Actually, that’s oversimplifying. The pin is rather small and I didn’t have a starter punch small enough. After breaking the pin punch that was small enough to fit the pin and hole, I took a larger punch and ground the tip down to form a makeshift starter punch. This worked perfectly…but it meant that I had to buy two new punches…to replace the one I broke and the one I ground down…such is the life of the amateur gunsmith. Nobody every said this was supposed to be easy…just fun.

Next, using a flat bladed jeweler’s screwdriver or something similar, pry out the small plate and pin on the right side that holds the disconnector in.

It shouldn’t be too tight and, once you get it started, it should pull right out.

Then the disconnector lifts free from the frame.

At that point, the automatic safety may just fall out as it is no longer being held in. Either way, the ejector may now be gently pried up and out of the frame and it, and the automatic safety, removed.

Just for identification purposes, this is the automatic safety and the ejector after being removed.

Next, remove the hammer pivot pin.

It shouldn’t be tight, but you may have to use a pin punch to get it started.

Once the hammer pin is removed, don’t try to pull the hammer out yet, but now you can move it around to get it out of the way of the sear.

Next, using your trusty flat bladed jeweler’s screwdriver again, pry out the plate and pin on the left side that holds the sear. Be careful of the sear spring because it is held in by this pin and will fall out after the pin is fully removed…don’t lose it.

Also, take note of the orientation of the spring and how it fits with the automatic safety before taking it apart. I’ll try to show the proper orientation in the assembly posts, but sometimes pictures can’t show it well enough.

Also, it may be easier to remove the sear if the hammer is all the way forward. After the pin is removed, the sear should pull down out of the frame.

It’s hard to get perspective from this picture because it’s such a tight zoom, but I wanted to show that the sear actually straddles the frame in one place so it must be pulled down and forward to remove. This is looking at the left side of the sear and grip frame, from front to back.

Looking at it like this, the muzzle would actually be pointing over your left shoulder.

Next, the hammer and hammer lever pull up out of the frame.

And finally, if the mainspring strut didn’t fall out when you removed the hammer, it is pulled from the frame.

There are a few other things that “can” be removed if absolutely necessary, but not easily and I wouldn’t do it except for replacement. Those are the Barrel and barrel pin, the trigger bar disconnector which is riveted on (and, obviously, the rivet), and the steel ball that is swaged into the frame to provide positive locking for the safety.

And, there you have it.

One CZ vz.82 (some assembly required).

In the next post of the series, we’re going to perform a basic trigger job and then start reassembling the fire control group.

We’re getting there folks, thanks for bearing with me.

Next Post in the series.

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CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 4

This will be my last post before leaving tomorrow morning. The next time you hear from me should be from the Bustling Metropolis of Louisville KY while attending the NRA convention and the Second Amendment Blog Bash.

In the first post of the series, we Introduced the CZ-82 to our collection and identified the areas that needed work.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1, we discussed the loose grips issue and disassembled the slide components.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2, we disassembled the magazine catch and lightened the magazine catch spring tension.
In CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3, we removed and disassembled the safety and disassembled the slide.

In this edition of CZ-82 Gunsmithing, we’re going to remove the slide stop and spring, and then the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.

As always, we’re picking up where we left off last time with a partially disassembled CZ-82 so if you are starting with a complete pistol, make sure your pistol is unloaded, then start from the beginning to get to this point.

Click pix to make bigger

The slide stop is very easy to remove in and of itself, however it also incorporates a wire spring that engages on the trigger guard latch pin.

The spring catches in a lip in the trigger guard latch pin (at the arrow).

The first step in removing the slide stop is to push the pin spring out of the lip so that it is no longer engaged in the pin.

Then drive out the trigger guard latch pin with a pin punch.

Note that one end of the pin is machined to a smaller size than the main part of the pin. This means that the hole on the right side of the frame is smaller than that on the left and that the pin can only come out from right to left (it actually appears to be from left to right in this picture because it is looking up from the bottom. When I say “from right to left” I’m always referencing it from the pistol upright and the barrel facing away from you).

The wire spring is then pulled out of the hole in the slide stop and the slide stop pulls easily from the frame.

Done.

Next is the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar.

They are not difficult to remove either, but are a bit trickier to reinstall so pay close attention to how they are oriented when taking them apart.

First, use a pin punch to drive out the trigger pin. This one was not tight at all and may not even require a punch to get out.

Once that pin is removed, you can lower the trigger and fold it back out of the way to get a good look at the trigger spring.

It is a coil spring that the trigger bar pin passes through and provides tension between the trigger and the trigger bar.

As you can (hopefully see) there are holes in both the trigger and the trigger bar for it to pass through when installed.

After you’ve gotten a good feel for the orientation for the spring (or have taken pictures for future reference as I did), remove the trigger bar pin.

This pin is also a loose fit and may just fall out on you. When assembled, it is up inside the frame which is what keeps it from falling out under operating conditions.

Once the trigger and trigger bar are separated, they can be pulled free of the frame. You may have to do a little maneuvering to find the right angle to get the trigger bar out, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

One more shot of how the trigger, trigger bar and trigger spring go together. It may be easier to see without the frame in the way.

That’s it.

In the next exciting edition of CZ-82 Gunsmithing, we’ll remove the mainspring and then the hammer strut, hammer, sear, disconnector and associated other small bits and pieces which will complete the disassembly posts.

Next Post in the series.

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