Author Topic: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?  (Read 341 times)

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Offline Metal Wonder Nine Guy

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How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« on: January 10, 2019, 06:55:05 PM »
So as we know, imports from Communist Countries were pretty rare back in the Cold War. How hard was it to get one of the early 75s back in the 70's and 80's? Were there a lot of hoops to jump through?

Offline bang bang

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 07:51:46 PM »
So as we know, imports from Communist Countries were pretty rare back in the Cold War. How hard was it to get one of the early 75s back in the 70's and 80's? Were there a lot of hoops to jump through?

whats alot of hoops?

I bought mine back in the 90s and just did the regular 4473 paperwork.

finding a 75/85 wasnt the issue, finding a blued 85 was.

i would have bought one sooner, but wasnt old enough.

but i did .


Offline briang2ad

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 08:04:00 PM »
I think I know what he means. I'm not an import expert but importing from an Eastern bloc country was nearly impossible - unless it was Yugoslavia as they were not part of the Warsaw Pact.  GIs were able to get them through the Rod and Gun Clubs.  They were generally available in the FRG through the Franconia catalogue stores, but I don't think American citizens could go that route.  So generally, those from the 70s and 80s are GI bringbacks.  There were other importers who got a trickle in in the 80s.  A company form Montana (Bauska) was one.  In 1989 after the velvet revolution, Communism fell in Czechoslovakia and things between east and west became easier and more came in.  So in the 90s you saw many more and they became much easier to get.

Some of this is here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CZ-USA


Offline Bricktop

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 09:08:45 PM »
So as we know, imports from Communist Countries were pretty rare back in the Cold War. How hard was it to get one of the early 75s back in the 70's and 80's? Were there a lot of hoops to jump through?
i would have bought one sooner, but wasnt old enough.
Which means you're too young to grasp the question.

I recall them being tough to lay your hands on stateside during the Cold War and a little pricey when you could, hence the appearance and popularity of the Tanfoglio clones as well as the Baby Eagle. (And the Bren Ten.) There also wasn't a reliable importer until AAI entered the scene.

Offline double-d

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 07:39:47 AM »
I'm not an import expert but importing from an Eastern bloc country was nearly impossible - unless it was Yugoslavia as they were not part of the Warsaw Pact.  GIs were able to get them through the Rod and Gun Clubs.

 Yep, I purchased 3 Pre-B's from my gun club (military base in the Mediterranean). 
 Purchase was super simple and the firearms were cheap (bnib $225 each).  The difficult part was garnering importation approval by mail with BATF.  Honestly took over two years to get approval (apply, receive disapproval, reapply, disapproval, etc. etc). Finally in '87 I received approval on my ATF Form 6's, which also had a huge stamp stating NOT FOR RESALE.   
 I still have one of them in my immediate possession, the other two are on permanent loan with siblings :)

 I also purchased some high end rifles (many actually) at that same Gun Club for stupid cheap prices......... and those were much easier to import.
 Will save details on those rifles for Steyr Mannlicher, Sako & Voere forums.

Hope this gives abit of insight from my experience.

Offline skin

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 03:42:27 PM »
 Bought mine in Sicily rod and gun club cheap. Mailed it to my home of record. No problem. It was the only one I saw until the late 80's. The only reason I bought it was because of an article from Col.Cooper.

Offline briang2ad

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 03:54:38 PM »
My first I bought form an Army colleague.  I could have gotten one, but I did not frequent the RG Club as ai usually had no money.  Married one income.  My bring back was a SW 28. 

Later I bought one from that colleague, and really through a friend that serve with him. The enamel finish was horrible and brittle.  But she is now gunkoted and a beauty.  He got it for about $225, and I paid $350 from him - about a price of a new Glock back then.

The Germans could get them on the marker as stated, but if course they had their own limtations.  Yes, getting the form 6 and getting them back over here COULD take time.  Some GIs ended up selling them to fellow SMs because you COULD NOT bring it back without the form - period. 

Offline Radom

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 01:17:24 PM »
Bauska of Montana brought in some pistols in the late 1980's.  Bauska as an importer is long gone.  Internet legend holds that the BATF shut Bauska down.  A quick Westlaw search shows that one Jack Bauska of Montana may be the most litigious man in the 20th century.  Assuming this is the same Jack Bauska as Bauska Imports, them draw your own conclusions. 

I don't really understand the intricacies of the BATF regulations and import restrictions in the '70s and '80s.  Bottom line: Czech weapons could not be imported directly into the U.S.  The servicemen and women in West Germany had access to Frankonia pistols, which were viewed as "custom" pistols originating in West Germany.  These were very high quality CZ pistols that were further modified by Frankonia (a West German firm).  My understanding is that most of the early CZ 75 variants are derived from Frankonia's ideas and modifications, including the 85 Lux and the 85 Combat.  HOWEVER, there are also some "Frankonia" pistols that are more or less stock CZ-UB pistols. 

The really premium CZ clones, Sphinx and ATM of Switzerland, are based on Tanfoglio parts, but derived from CZ/Frankonia concepts. 

Before Action Arms began importing CZ-UB pistols in 1992 or so (I've seen people on the internet claiming earlier dates), you only had a few options: 1) a Bauska import; 2) a Tanfoglio; 3) an IMI (made mostly from Tanfoglio parts); a very expensive Swiss pistol (made mostly from Tanfoglio parts); or a "Frankonia" pistol.

You may be able to buy an old surplus CZ 75 NOW, but this is because of the sourcing and changes in international relations.  Younger folks probably forget that there were major restrictions with trading arms back/forth with South Africa in my lifetime.   
The artist formerly known as FEG...

Offline Bricktop

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 08:21:45 PM »
Bauska of Montana brought in some pistols in the late 1980's.
Not late '80s, those came in 1984-86.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 08:48:08 PM by Bricktop »

Offline briang2ad

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 08:53:19 PM »
To my knowledge the pistols we GIs got were not Franconia ‘custom’, but standard CZ 75s with either enamel, blue, or parkerized finishes.  These were sold through the rod and gun clubs.

Offline Bricktop

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Re: How difficult was it to get a CZ-75 back in the day?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 09:34:44 PM »
To my knowledge the pistols we GIs got were not Franconia ‘custom’, but standard CZ 75s with either enamel, blue, or parkerized finishes.  These were sold through the rod and gun clubs.
They were not and he is wrong. The only CZ75s here in the U.S. during the Cold War were the stuff the USGIs brought back from Europe purchased at the PX/BX (I don't recall seeing them in Asia, but I might not've been running in the right circles), the odd Bauska imports (which I didn't think were all that hot back then), and the occasional exotics that made their way into magazine articles courtesy of Jeff Cooper. I came close a time or two to breaking down and buying an F.I.E.-imported TZ-75 which was supposed to be NEARLY as good as an actual CZ-75 (this was quite a time for knockoffs, with the Beretta 92FS and Taurus PT-92, Browning Hi Power and F.M. Hi Power, Colt SAA and Italian clones, etc.), but the reviews were very mixed at the time (1986 or so) with the guns either being an absolute bargain or absolute junk, with no in-between.

This is a pretty good read on the CZ-75 and related clones during the Cold War: https://gundigest.com/more/classic-guns/research_cz75

 

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