Author Topic: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??  (Read 963 times)

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Offline billt

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CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« on: December 07, 2018, 07:20:53 AM »
I've had a brand new CZ-97B sitting in the box for a while. It is the old model 97-B with wood grips. Today I decided to field strip it, lube it up, and get it ready for the range next week. When I disassembled it I found the factory stock plastic recoil spring guide rod to be badly warped in a bowed position.

The slide racked OK out of the box. But after I field stripped it to lube everything up, (the gun was filthy and dry as a bone from the factory), and reassembled it, I couldn't get the slide to rack. It was binding up after it went back an inch or so. I had to take off the slide and rotate the recoil spring and guide rod so the "bow" in the guide rod went up into the slide, instead of down toward the dust cover like I had it. With the bow in the rod pointing down it seemed to be causing an interference issue. The slide then racked as it should.

The bottom line here is that I'm not at all satisfied with the cheap, warped, flimsy plastic guide rod supplied with this pistol. I'm almost afraid to shoot it, for fear the guide rod will rotate 180 degrees through firing, and tie up the gun. Or possibly even damage something. I can't be the only guy that has had this condition develop with this gun, and it's factory stock, flimsy plastic guide rod. So I'm considering purchasing a Stainless Steel Guide Rod like this one from Cajun Gun Works.

https://cajungunworks.com/product/stainless-steel-guide-rod-97bbd-tactical-sport/

Has anyone else had this issue with their CZ-97-B? And have you gone to a Stainless Steel Guide Rod as a solution? Is there a downside to going to a steel guide rod? I'm thinking this is nothing but an easy parts swap. There isn't any "fitting" so to speak. And the Stainless Steel Guide Rod will not warp and deform like the cheap plastic factory model has. I can't believe a premier gun company like CZ would supply a pistol like this with such a cheap, flimsy part from the factory. Thoughts?

Offline SI VIS PACEM PARRABELLUM

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 05:55:02 AM »
 I never had an issue with the guide rod being warped but I also replace ALL the polymer guide rods with stainless versions as soon as I acquire a new pistol. Stainless is just my preference.

Offline IDescribe

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 06:31:02 AM »
The guide rod isn't really force bearing, so there's nothing inherently wrong with a polymer guide rod.  They don't wear out.

People who have preferences prefer the metal guide rod.  It is my preference, but I don't consider it a critical upgrade. 

I think the answer to your question may be no.  Expect to receive lots of responses from people saying they prefer the SS guide rod, but I suspect you're not going to get many if any who say they have the same problem you have.

Also surprising it was "bone dry" as CZs are known for getting packed in Cosmoline.  Makes me wonder if a gun store owner took it out for a test drive.  ;)

Offline nicky

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 07:01:40 AM »
I had a 97B dated 1998 and never had a problem with the plastic guide rod getting warped.

Offline CaliforniaGunner

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 07:26:13 PM »
I bought a satin (steel) door hinge pin from Lowes and have been using it as a guide rod with the stock spring in my 97B.  Works like a champ. Got the idea from another on this forum. It just happens to be the perfect size. But most would likely get the CGW's steel rod, probably worth the money I'm sure.

I don't like plastic guide rods, just paranoid like others. Had a bad time with a lower end gun that had a plastic guide rod and just don't care for them. I'm planning to upgrade my SP01 to the CGW steel guide rod and spring.

- Gunner

Offline billt

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 05:54:15 PM »
My new Stainless Steel Guide Rod arrived a few minutes ago from Cajun Gun Works. It took all of 2 minutes to install, and fits perfectly. Tomorrow it's off to the range. This is why I don't like plastic guide rods. This is inexcusable on a brand new firearm.


Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 09:56:17 PM »
Some years back, SIG made a big change from metal to plastic guide rods. SIG owners had hissy fits about this degradation of the SIG standards and quality, and continued to raise hell for quite a while.  SIG finally went back to metal... for a while. 

As best I can tell, SIGs now come with plastic guide rods in most models.  (I had a P226 X-5 for a year or two, when the X-Five was one of the top-of-the-line SIGs.  That model had a very sophisticated, multi-part guide rod, and almost all of it was plastic.  The use of plastic was arguably NOT an attempt to increase profits.)   

Nearly all new guns without regard to the maker or the coutnry -- industry wide -- come with plastic guide rods; a lot of them are captured guide-rod assemblies, where the spring can't be replaced unless you replace the whole assembly.   

When the 97B was first introduced, I heard of one member of the CZ Forum who had a problem with a  NIB CZ 97B with a mis-positioned plastic guide rod; when he opened the box and was going to clean and lub it for his first range session, the owner couldn't get it disassembled.  That was the first of TWO problems I've heard about with the plastic guide rods in 97Bs. The other was earlier in this message chain.

Why  use plastic?  Many people familiar with the material say that the plastics used have greater lubricity (i.e., less friction) than the steel alternatives.  There is no need of lubricants.  And with many of the guide rods or recoil spring assemblies are damaged, they seem to continue to work -- because the guide rods are MOSTLY used to make assembly and disassembly of the gun, for field take-down, easier.  They are not high stress parts, and guide rods, regardless of what they are made, seem to have almost NO impact on the gun's accuracy or performance as long as the springs used are competent.

With the compact CZs, the plastic guide rods tend to bend when used because of the stresses applied to them as the shorter slides move to the rear.  Those who replace the polymer guide rods with steel guide rods seem happy with the change, but at one time CZ warned against using steel guide rods with alloy-framed guns -- saying that using steel guides rod had been seen to cause frame wear at the receiver stop position (where the base of the guide rod stays when the slide goes to the rear.  I don't know if CZ still says don't use steel guide rods with alloy-framed guns , but in the early 90s we were warned that steel guide rods in alloy frames could lead to damage that was not covered by the warranty -- and CZ would not sell a steel guide rod to an owner of a compact with an allow frame -- if the knew it was alloy.  There may be times and guns where plastic/polymer guide rods may be better than metal. 

Aesthetically steel guide rods are prettier -- particularly if they're made of stainless steel. 

Offline Sams1

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 11:11:33 PM »

Apparently, plastic/polymer guide rods are common nowadays with the major brands as well (and perform reliably).  I, for one, consider the warped guide rod shown a rare exception.  They're not pretty/sext for sure but they do work just fine.

Steel rods are also heavier - this should not be ignored.  Some say the extra weight in the front assists in reducing muzzle rise and helps in muzzle recovery.  Others say it just makes the pistol heavier.

Your miles may vary...

Offline larryflew

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 02:53:28 PM »
Guide rods are made of Delrin and don't require lube. The complete bolt assembly on high end paint ball guns are also Delrin.
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NRA life since the 70's
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Offline IDescribe

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 07:41:07 PM »
There is a somewhat understandable prejudice against polymer or even MIM parts in guns.  But in practice, they're fine.

The pic of the guide rod in question, I am surprised that caused the problem atteibuted to it and wonder if that bend is instead a result of the problem - - maybe it wasnt properly seated?   I don't know.


Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 08:44:23 PM »
The guide rods in the compact CZ-75B models, back when I had a couple, would really BEND when cycling  -- it looked strange when the slide locked back; They weren't perfectly straight when the gun was field stripped.   

Like the poster above, I wonder whether the BEND was the cause of the problem, or just a result of it?


Offline daved20319

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2018, 12:33:25 PM »
Before getting back into firearms a couple of years ago, I was heavily into adult air guns.  Started with a Gamo, a cheap spring piston gun.  Not bad, but needed some work to make is shoot like it should.  This led to my first tune project, which later led to a new hobby, machining.  The point is, most of these type rifles benefit from a tune-up, and the first part of that is turning a new spring guide out of, wait for it, plastic!  Specifically, Delrin.  Keep in mind, these things have really big, heavy springs, and are producing forces far in excess of what even the heaviest of recoil springs have to handle.  In 10 years of playing with them, I never had a plastic spring guide break, or even show much wear, can't say the same for some of the metal ones.  Face it, guys, polymer technology has come a long way in the last few decades, and in a lot of applications, plastic is a better option than steel.  Later.

Dave

Offline Radom

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 02:24:30 PM »
I've had a brand new CZ-97B sitting in the box for a while. It is the old model 97-B with wood grips. Today I decided to field strip it, lube it up, and get it ready for the range next week. When I disassembled it I found the factory stock plastic recoil spring guide rod to be badly warped in a bowed position.

The slide racked OK out of the box. But after I field stripped it to lube everything up, (the gun was filthy and dry as a bone from the factory), and reassembled it, I couldn't get the slide to rack. It was binding up after it went back an inch or so. I had to take off the slide and rotate the recoil spring and guide rod so the "bow" in the guide rod went up into the slide, instead of down toward the dust cover like I had it. With the bow in the rod pointing down it seemed to be causing an interference issue. The slide then racked as it should.

The bottom line here is that I'm not at all satisfied with the cheap, warped, flimsy plastic guide rod supplied with this pistol. I'm almost afraid to shoot it, for fear the guide rod will rotate 180 degrees through firing, and tie up the gun. Or possibly even damage something. I can't be the only guy that has had this condition develop with this gun, and it's factory stock, flimsy plastic guide rod. So I'm considering purchasing a Stainless Steel Guide Rod like this one from Cajun Gun Works.

https://cajungunworks.com/product/stainless-steel-guide-rod-97bbd-tactical-sport/

Has anyone else had this issue with their CZ-97-B? And have you gone to a Stainless Steel Guide Rod as a solution? Is there a downside to going to a steel guide rod? I'm thinking this is nothing but an easy parts swap. There isn't any "fitting" so to speak. And the Stainless Steel Guide Rod will not warp and deform like the cheap plastic factory model has. I can't believe a premier gun company like CZ would supply a pistol like this with such a cheap, flimsy part from the factory. Thoughts?

I suspect that this was not a new gun.  New CZs come swimming in oil.  Most of them come in a plastic wrap to keep the oil away from the packaging material.   
The artist formerly known as FEG...

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: CZ-97B Warped Plastic Guide Rod ??
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 10:04:20 PM »
Quote from: billt
The bottom line here is that I'm not at all satisfied with the cheap, warped, flimsy plastic guide rod supplied with this pistol. I'm almost afraid to shoot it, for fear the guide rod will rotate 180 degrees through firing, and tie up the gun. Or possibly even damage something. I can't be the only guy that has had this condition develop with this gun, and it's factory stock, flimsy plastic guide rod. So I'm considering purchasing a Stainless Steel Guide Rod like this one from Cajun Gun Works.

...And the Stainless Steel Guide Rod will not warp and deform like the cheap plastic factory model has. I can't believe a premier gun company like CZ would supply a pistol like this with such a cheap, flimsy part from the factory. Thoughts?

That your 97B wouldn't rack might suggest that when you reassembled it after cleaning, you didn't get the end of the plastic guide rod positioned so that it would go through the front end of the slide.  If the tip of the guide rod isn't going through the front of the slide, it's going to warp and keep the slide from moving fully to the rear when manually racking the slide or when firing the first shot. 
    I checked a copy of an older 97B manual, and the manual doesn't really address that point, so it might be natural for someone (who hasn't worked with guns using full-length PLASTIC guide rods) to NOT pay attention to that part of the reassembly process --or appreciate what could happen if the guide rod tip isn't where it should be.
Straighten the guide rod out and position it properly when you reassemble the gun after your next field strip and you shouldn't have any more problems until your steel guide rod arrives.   :)

I have a full-length guide rod in a custom AT-84s (which is a near clone of the smaller CZ-75) and that guide rod is literally a PAIN to install when reassembling the gun after cleaning.  Especially if I use a heavier recoil spring.  That was never a problem with my 97B.

You may not have noticed it, but steel/metal guide rods -- especially full-length guide rods -- are not used in a lot of guns, nowadays.  Converting to plastic may not be only a cost-saving effort -- as plastic guide rods have greater lubricity (an innate slickness) not found in steel guide rods.  They're used in both low- and high-end service pistols and also in many semi-custom and custom guns.  (My most recent bigger-dollar handgun was a beautiful SIG P226 X-Five Competition, and even it had a plastic guide rod.  It was a multi-part assembly that included a spring internally, along with the standard guide rod seen in most SIG handguns; and except for the springs nearly all of the guide rod assembly was plastic.) 

A lot of gun owners THINK steel guide rods are better, and plastic is cheap, so they demand steel, and gun makers give them what they want. (About 15 years ago SIG switched to plastic guide rods, and SIG owners and buyer's went on a rampage.  Sig went back to metal assemblies for a while, but nearly all of their guide rods are now made of plastic, again, and there are still complaints, but nearly as many, and plastic is widely used.) 

I do know that full-length guide rods are not considered critical for a high-end or very accurate 1911s, even among very particular Bullseye shooters.  Somewhere on my hard drive I've got a copy of a pretty thorough study done by a group of 1911 experts, comparing high-end 1911  performance, evaluating a number of different guide rod designs, but also including the JMB-basic short guide rod.  The guns, all well-made and finely fit, were evaluated all performed about the same.  The folks doing the evaluation used all sorts of measurement devices and Ransom Rests in their testing.  While it didn't matter with 1911s, there may be something special about the CZ design that makes the full-length guide rod more useful in a 97B than in a 1911.   But even then, if the gun is not well fit with components that function consistently when cycling, the guide rod isn't going to matter.

That said, I don't know of any disadvantages to using a steel full-length guide rod in a STEEL framed gun, but I know of no real advantages, either.  If it makes you feel better about the gun, go for it.



 

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