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.

I actually had…

…a few free minutes tonight for blogging so I wanted to catch you up on a few things about this trip.

First, remember that whole “beautiful Washington State” comment from my post last week when I arrived here?


Here you go…

click to make bigger

Secondly, I had some free time last weekend and since I was in the area of a couple of my favorite bloggers I wanted to finally meet them.

To that end, on Saturday, I drove up to Whidbey Island, home of gun-blogger extraordinaire and the godfather of the E-Postal matches, Mr. Completely. He covered our activities pretty well in his post on the subject but I wanted to add my thanks for his and his lovely bride’s hospitality. He let me shoot several of his guns including the big guy: the Ruger .480, and the infamous Econo Race Gun.

As an added bonus, we even got an opportunity to introduce a young shooter to the joys of big bore revolver shooting, albeit with relatively low powered loads.

Then we set up and operated Mr. Completely’s cowboy fast draw gear outside the Friends of the NRA banquet hosted by his gun club…which is a great facility by the way.


I highly recommend it for anyone looking for some friendly competition and good old-fashioned fun.

Anyway, after an eventful and fun filled day topped off by dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Completely, I headed back to my hotel. To start the day off, I had to get up at 4am to be sure to make the 6:30 ferry to Whidbey Island. Was on my feet pretty much all day, then caught the final ferry trip back to the correct side of the Puget Sound at about 10:30pm…and the ferry crew-person had the audacity to act nonplussed about the fact that I fell asleep in my car on the ferry and she had to wake me up to get me to drive off the ferry (and out of the rest of the ferry rider’s way).

At any rate…Sunday, I headed to Outback steak house in Tacoma to meet with a couple of other bloggers. First up, Earl of Just the Library Keeper lives in Tacoma. A very interesting man and fellow biker trash gunny, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to meet with him. Also, it just happened that a local Virginia Beach blogger, Big Bad Wolf was in the area for business as well. Wolf and I have been reading and commenting on each other’s blogs for a while now but we’d never had an opportunity to meet. We both thought that it was a bit strange that we both had to travel 4,000 miles to finally get that chance. Imagine how our surprise was compounded when we realized that we work for different departments of the same company!

Anyway, we had an excellent dinner and enjoyed even better conversation in unmatched company. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Finally, I was able to pry myself away from work on Tuesday evening long enough to hit the Steel Plate match at the Gig Harbor Rod and Gun Club.

What a great group of people and what a fun match. It is a very fast paced, uncomplicated, head to head match. Basically, you’re only allowed 6 rounds per mag (to keep revolvers on a relatively even footing) but as many mags as you need, to knock down 5 steel plates faster than your opponent.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s pretty easy to be fast, and pretty easy to be accurate, but to be fast and accurate is…not so easy.

Suffice it to say that I’ll need a LOT of practice to get good at this.

For your viewing pleasure, your match Champion, Rob. This wasn’t his best run, but you can get an idea of how fast he was.

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I didn’t want to have a whole bunch of ammo left because I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring it back with me so I only bought one box each for the Ruger and the CZ. That meant that I ran out of ammo before the final round. Three of the members (including match champion Rob) allowed me to borrow their guns and ammo so I could finish out the match. Did I mention how great a group of people they are?

Anyway, I got a chance to shoot a Springfield XD, a Glock 34 and a custom 1911. Interestingly, I shot the Glock the best. I’ve tried several of the smaller Glocks and never really liked the feel of them, but the full sized 34 really worked for me. I shot my best run of the day with it. I’m going to have to revisit Glocks at least for match shooting if not for a carry pistol.

The bottom line is that I had a productive and, although I miss my wife, dogs and home terribly, enjoyable trip. I got to meet some bloggers I’d never met, got to meet some shooters, got to try some things I’ve never done before and some pistols I’ve never fired before…oh, and I guess I got some work done too.

As much as I’m dreading the flight home…I can’t wait to get there and get back to my lovely wife and my regularly scheduled life…such as it is.

Catch you on the flip side. I’m out.

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.


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.

CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 3

I know it’s been a while since the las CZ gunsmithing post but, as many of you know, I’ve had a lot going on.

I’m still caring for the wife following her surgery last Friday, but she is doing surprisingly well and isn’t requiring as much waiting-on as I’d anticipated.

This weekend is the 2A Blog Bash so I’ll be leaving for Louisville via Indianapolis on Thursday morning so I don’t know when I’ll get the next one up. It may be a while again.

In any case, without further ado:

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 this edition, we’re going to remove the safety and disassemble the slide.

As usual, click all pix to make bigger.

Also as usual, this post takes up where the last one left off so it assumes the pistol is already partially disassembled. If you are starting from a complete pistol, please remove the magazine and ensure that the chamber is empty before beginning.

The safety is actually very simple and easy to remove.

Just drive out the pin…

…and pull it to the rear and off.

There is a little bit of disassembly to be done.

The silver “safety latch” seen in this picture is what provides positive locking in the safe or fire positions. It is spring loaded and presses against a steel ball that is swaged into a recess in the frame.

It is only held in by the pressure of the spring and pops right out. Then the safety latch spring is pulled out of its hole in the safety.

Pretty simple.

The only trouble I had was getting the pin moving to remove it. I had to use a starter punch to break it loose, but once it started moving, it came right out with a pin punch. The rest was cake.

I decided to add disassembling the slide to this post as well just because neither the slide nor safety were very complicated and made for fairly short posts. If you haven’t removed the slide from the pistol yet, see Post One for field stripping instructions.

The first thing to remove from the slide is the firing pin.

The firing pin is spring loaded and is held in by the firing pin stop. To remove the stop, press in on the rear of the firing pin and then slide the stop down and out of the slide.

Have your palm over the rear of the slide before completely removing the stop or you’ll fire the pin and spring across the room.

Next is the rear sight. It is peened in place and shouldn’t move easily but can be drifted out of the dovetail in the slide. I’ve since heard that it should be removed from left to right but I didn’t know that at the time and I did it the opposite. I’ve experienced no ill effects from doing it the “wrong” way so take it for what its worth.

I clamped the slide in padded vise jaws to do this in order to keep the slightly rounded slide from shifting while trying to drift off the sight.

The front sight is held in by a single pin but I didn’t remove it because I had broken the pin punch that I needed to do it and hadn’t replaced it yet. There is really no reason to remove the front sight anyway unless it’s being replaced.

Next is the extractor. It is held in by a pin that runs from top to bottom through the slide. I drove the pin out from the bottom and, as you can see, I clamped the slide in the vise again. This served the purpose of holding the slide stable while driving out the pin, but it also served another purpose as well. The extractor is under spring tension and using the vise to hold the slide compresses the spring, removing the tension and preventing it from being ejected from the slide once the pin is free.

I should also mention that this pin was pretty tough to get out. I ended up having to use a starter punch to get it out as far as I could and I still ended up breaking a pin punch driving it the rest of the way out. I don’t like having to beat on itty-bitty gun parts that hard to get them out…but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

After the pin is out, be sure to carefully and slowly open the vise jaws to keep the extractor and spring under control.

That’s all there is to it.

In the next CZ post, we’ll remove the slide stop and the trigger, trigger spring and trigger bar. I may try to get that one in before leaving on Thursday but I can’t make any promises.

Next Post in the series.

CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 2

Welcome to the latest edition of CZ-82 Gunsmithing.

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 this edition of CZ-82 Gunsmithing, we’re going to disassemble the magazine catch and lighten the catch spring tension.

Of course, I’m starting this project with the pistol already field stripped and the grip panels already removed. If you are starting with a fully assembled pistol, be sure to remove the magazine and verify that the chamber is empty before beginning.

As usual, click all pix to make bigger

The first step is to remove the trigger guard. That’s simply a matter of removing one pin.

Many of the pins in the CZ-82 are not tight. Other components hold them in so they don’t need to be. That makes disassembly much easier than some pistols.

I did have to tap the trigger guard pin a little to get it moving, but once it broke loose, it came right out.

Once the pin’s removed, you may have to do a little jiggling and aligning to get the trigger guard to pull out, but it shouldn’t take any appreciable force. It’s just a matter of getting it freed from the trigger guard pin in the frame and angling it right to get it to come out.

Once the trigger guard is out, disassembling the magazine catch only involves one pin as well.

The pin that holds the mag catch in has a lip on it. Pressing in on the mag catch releases tension and then a pick or jeweler’s screwdriver can be used to pry the pin out.

Once the pin is out, the mag catch pulls out of the face of the trigger guard.

It’s actually very simple how it works.

The small T-shaped part on the top acts as a lever. When the mag release button is pushed in either direction, it moves the bottom of the “T” to the side which tilts the lever. One of the top arms of the “T” presses down on a ledge on the catch itself and pushes the catch back, overcoming the spring pressure and releasing the magazine. Very simple, but effective.

The pin, of course, acts as the pivot point for the lever, and holds the whole thing together.

Here’s a view of the catch parts taken apart.

The magazine catch button is then just pulled out the side of the trigger guard.

And there you have it.

I didn’t take any super-duper closeups of the button cylinder itself, but there is a notch on the top that catches the bottom of the “T” shaped lever in the catch. That’s what tilts the lever when the button is pushed. The edges of that notch seem to get a lot of wear and tear. If you’re having problems with the mag catch not releasing in one direction, feeling “grabby” or hanging up, I’d check the edges of that notch and smooth them out a bit if needed. If they get too bad, I could see the release button having to be replaced so don’t take any more metal off than you absolutely have to. The top arms of the “T” piece, or the ledges on the catch could also be problem areas.

Since the mag catch is so simply designed, lightening the spring was simple. Many people lighten springs by cutting off a coil or two and that is a possibility, but it changes the overall length of the spring. In this case, I don’t think it would be a good idea because the spring’s so short already, shortening it more could adversely affect operation.

In my humble opinion, a better way to lighten spring tension is to make the spring coils themselves thinner, and, therefore, not as strong. How do we do that? Easy…with a bench grinder or belt sander.

Sorry for the blurry picture. I’m sticking with the crappy camera excuse. I try to take multiple shots of each thing so at least one might come out good, but I still sometimes fail to get a decent one and the monitor on my camera is so small, I can’t tell it’s out of focus until I pull it off the camera and look at in on the computer at full size…which is usually too late to re-stage the shot.

But I digress…

My grinder is a “mini” grinder and the stone is fairly fine. If you use a full sized bench grinder or a belt sander, be very careful not to take too much metal off too quickly.

I used a dental pick to hold the spring. Use something that will keep the spring from flying off if you happen to lose control of it for a second, but small enough that the spring can spin on it.

You want the spring to spin freely as you’re grinding so that it stays even all the way around.

This spring was VERY tight so I had to take quite a bit off to get it to where I wanted it. Be patient, go slowly and put things back together and test it often. You don’t want to go too far and weaken the spring to the point that the mags won’t stay in when inserted.

I ended up taking almost half the width off the coil metal to get it to the right tension.

But now that I’ve got it down to where I want it…it’s just about perfect.

Still nice and tight and holds the mags firmly, but releases easily with one finger when the button is pressed.

Reassembly is pretty much the reverse of assembly. I’m going to do this series just like I did the M1 Carbine series. I’m going to do all the disassembly and maintenance posts, then start with it completely disassembled and do all the reassembly posts, ending with fitting and installing the new grips and the range test, so if you’re looking for the reassembly instructions, be patient. I’ll get them posted as quickly as I can in my “spare” time.

I hope you enjoyed and got something out of this edition of CZ-82 ‘smithing. We’ll be back in a flash with the next exciting episode: Removing the Safety. Same Bat Time…Same Bat Channel.

(I’m dating myself, aren’t I)

Next Post in the series.

Baby’s gotta new pair o’ shoes

I got my new grips from today. I was supposed to get them yesterday, but I was in the garage when the mailguy tried to deliver them. He didn’t ring the bell; he either knocked, or just left the notice, but I heard something outside, by the time I got to the window he was driving away and the notice was in the mailbox. Anyway, that just meant I had to wait one more day and pick them up at the post office today.

Click pix to make bigger

I had finished putting the CZ all back together last night so all I had to do was put the new grips on and take her to the range. I did have to relieve some wood from the inside because they were interfering with the magazines, but it was very minor fitting and good to go.

I’ll post more details (and pix) about the fitting issue when I get to that point in the series. I just wanted to make a general statement that I had gotten them and daddy like. Daddy like very much.

They are gorgeous and they are nice and solid. No slipping at all. I didn’t have much time for a range trip so I only took one box of ammo with the intention of testing the work I did and adjusting the sights.

Mission accomplished.

The grips feel great. I got the sights where I want them, the trigger is smooth and crisp and no more “finger bite” when I shoot. All of the things I mentioned in my initial post that I wasn’t happy with have been fixed and I now have a very serviceable, easy to shoot, easy to conceal, back up/deep conceal pistol.

My son has an orchestra concert tonight so I probably won’t have time to get the mag release ‘smithing post up until tomorrow. Guess which pistol I’ll be carrying tonight?

Oh…and I’m supposed to get my new computer tomorrow too…life is good.

CZ-82 Gunsmithing Part 1

This is going to end up being another series of posts similar to my SKS series or M1 Carbine series.

Once I’ve gotten the entire series posted, I’ll probably offer a CD of those posts for donors to the computer fund like I do for the SKS and M1 Carbine posts.

The first post of the series should actually be the range report and field stripping instructions that can be found here.

In this edition of ‘smithing the CZ-82, we’re going to briefly discuss the loose grips problem and then disassemble the slide.

In the original range report post linked above, I related how the grips seem to slip when firing which detracts from accuracy and makes the whole gun feel “cheap”. In comments, Phil mentioned that over tightening the grip screws can cause the grips to crack and become loose. Tom suggested using metal or plastic to shim the grips to tighten them back up again and Clint had already mentioned which is a grip maker in Hungary that makes wood replacement grips for several pistols, including the CZ-82/83.

I tried the shim trick first. I removed the grips.

Then I traced their outlines on a piece of thin aluminum I had lying around.

At first I tried to make it cover the entire outline of the grips, but it didn’t take long to figure out that it would interfere with the controls and/or magazine.

After cutting the top and bottom, the front strip was too small to try to keep it in place under the grip so I settled on a shim that ran up the back of the grip with a hole for the mount screw.

I won’t say that it didn’t work, but I wasn’t satisfied. It did tighten the grip up a little, but it still had some movement. Granted, I didn’t epoxy the shim in place, so it may have been better had I done that…and a thicker piece of aluminum or plastic may have worked better so I wouldn’t rule this technique out completely, but I wasn’t happy with the results. I already had a line on wood replacement grips and I’m not overly fond of the cheap plastic anyway so I ordered a set of Marschal grips and dispensed with the idea of making the old plastic ones work.

I do like the ergonomics of the original grips so the new grips that I ordered, I just requested duplicates of the originals, just in wood instead of plastic.

With the grip issue put aside for the moment, on to the next item: disassembling the slide.

Completely disassembling it shouldn’t be necessary unless something breaks, but I wanted to clean it good and I wanted to at least break the rear sight loose since it needed adjustment anyway.

First, the firing pin is easy to remove.

You simply press in on the spring loaded firing pin with a punch or even your finger.

Then slide the retainer up.

Be sure to put your finger or palm over the firing pin before completely removing the retainer or you will shoot the firing pin across the room.

Then pull the firing pin and spring out. That’s all there is to it.

Next I drifted off the rear sight. It wasn’t too difficult even though it was staked in place. I put the slide in my padded vise jaws because it kept trying to roll around otherwise.

I was going to remove the front sight also, but I broke the pin punch that I needed for it and haven’t gotten a new one yet.

There is really no good reason to remove the front sight unless you’re replacing it, but it’s held in by a single small pin.

Finally, the extractor and spring. They are held in by a pin that runs from top to bottom through the slide.

Clamping the slide in the vise this time served a dual purpose: the obvious one of holding the slide in place while driving out he pin, but also the vise held the extractor in place so it and its spring wouldn’t shoot out after the pin came out.

I drove the pin out from the bottom.

And then carefully removed the slide from the vise, catching the extractor and spring in the process.

That’s enough for one night. In the next edition, we’ll remove the trigger guard, disassemble the magazine catch and lighten the magazine catch spring.

Next Post in the series.

I know…

…I keep threatening to get some CZ-82 posts up and I haven’t yet. Have I mentioned how busy I’ve been lately?

I just wanted to mention that my new Grips from are on the Mail truck and I should have them today. I’m hoping to be able to finish putting it together today and maybe even have time from a quick range trip.

While doing that, I also couldn’t resist posting one picture:

Click to make bigger

This was last night, after finishing the trigger job and before starting to put it all back together.

One Česká zbrojovka vz.82…some assembly required.

Sorry for the nasty towel on the bench. I didn’t realize how cruddy it looked until looking at the picture just now. When I’m working, aesthetics don’t always occur to me. I need to wash that towel and break out a different one.

The towel keeps small parts from bouncing and/or rolling around if I drop them, absorbs excess cleaning/lubricating chemicals and keeps them from puddling up, and using light colored towels helps in being able to see small parts laying around. But it does get to looking quite ugly very quickly on a workbench.

Oleg Volk I most definitely am not.


It is 1:15am and I’m just getting ready to go to bed.

4 hours of sleep just doesn’t do it for me like it did when I was younger…but I just seem to keep doing this to myself.

I was working on the CZ (finally) and wanted to get the trigger job finished up before knocking off for the evening.

I have to say, I did a pretty darn good job if I do say so myself. Based on just dry firing, the trigger is much more smooth now with not nearly as much creep. I’m thinking I’m going to become quite fond of this little pistol.

I also smoothed out the edges of the trigger to cut down on that “bite” that I was talking about. We’ll see how that works out.

Be looking for some in-depth posts about the CZ in the near future…I’ve almost got her right where I want her and I think she’s going to become a very serviceable carry piece.

CZ-82 Report

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 only place on the pistol with what I would consider to be visible wear was on the front of the grip just where the trigger guard and grip meet.

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:

This text will be replaced

What do you think of my fancy intro and credits???

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.

Luckily, my friend Clint read my mind and left a comment to my post yesterday linking to an aftermarket grip manufacturer. A new set of well-made grips is going to be priority number one.

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.

Next post in the series.