Author Topic: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85  (Read 1121 times)

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Offline LarsL

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New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« on: April 10, 2020, 09:36:53 PM »
Hi CZ 85 Fans,

My name is Lars and I have a CZ85 that I bought in Germany when I was an officer in the army stationed over there.  I was there before the Wall cam down, during the fall, and then afterwards.  I bought my CZ85 before the wall came down from an Airman who in turn had bought it from a German national.  Since US nationals/military personnel were not allowed into the "East" except under certain circumstances and going through protocols as well as checkpoints (e.g. - Charlie), there was no way to get a newer Czechoslovakian made firearm back then except like I have described.  The German National though may have had different rules applied to him.  He clearly had either gone to Czechoslovakia and bought it over there or had some other connections that allowed him to acquire the pistol.  In any event its now in my possession.

It is a pre January 1, 1993 model; I'm recalling that I bought it myself in around 1989 or so.  It has "MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA" on the left hand side of the Frame just in front of the Slide Lock/Release.  On the right hand side is serial number 03903.  Anyone tell me what vintage this pistol is?

It has not been fired much by me since I bought it (maybe 100 rounds) because I am more of a hunter and not so much a pistol guy.  Recently I have gotten reacquainted with my CZ85 as well as a Colt 1911 .45 that I bought last fall.  Buying that 1911 has me wanting to shoot my pistols and enjoy firing them.

Now to a question I have for the group here.  I have never been very satisfied with the magazines that came with my pistol.  They look poorly made, cheap, and fit very loose.  They will disengage and fall out while I am firing my pistol.  One of them I can pull out of the magazine well just by giving it a slight pull whether I have rounds in it or not.  Also, the slide will not lock back when I finished firing the last round.

I just ordered and received some magazines for my 1911 because I was not totally satisfied with the ones that came from Colt.  I bought them from Wilson Combat and while ordering those, I bought 4 magazines for the CZ85.  The 1911's are Wilson Combat brand magazines but the CZ85 magazines are Mec-Gar brand magazines.  They look very nice and are well made.  They say CZ 75 B on the package.  When I tried one out, I could engage it about 3/4 of the way into the magazine well before it would get very stiff.  I used some degree of force (not excessively so) to push it in and while the action would work (I did not have rounds in the magazine), I could not get the magazine out without the use of a screwdriver (I was gentle) to pry it back out.  Needless to say I won't try that again.

So are the Mec-Gar magazines the wrong ones?  Is the CZ 75 B labeling a clue as to why?  I assume that CZ75 magazines and CZ85 magazines are the same and useable in both pistols.  Finally, is there a high quality CZ85 magazine from a reputable company that I should buy?  What are my choices there?

Thank you in advance for the advice and information.

Cheers,
Lars

Offline Psyop96

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New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 11:09:31 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have a CZ 85 pistol with a nice ownership trail to it (the military MWR rod and gun clubs was a source for servicemen). The 2-digit year of the proof should be stamped in an oval above the extractor. With that serial number, it is likely from 1988.

It’s surprising to hear that you have poor quality magazines as you have described. The original magazines should be of good quality, fit and function. The current manufacturer of magazines for CZ is Mec-Gar as CZUB no longer make the magazines. They make the magazines both with and without the Mec-Gar brand on the magazine such as the ones supplied with a CZ pistol. Unfortunately, the newer magazines like the ones you bought do not fit the older CZ 75/85s from the 1980s. However, the 18-round magazines designated for the CZ SP-01 should fit in the older magazine wells with no problem.

The slide not locking back could be a function of the older type magazine follower and spring not being able to engage the slide stop. Would love to see photos of the pistol and the magazines.


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« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 12:05:15 AM by Psyop96 »

Offline rdcinhou

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 03:03:22 AM »
Howdy & Welcome to the Forum from Texas, Lars!

My CZ85 is a Pre-B S/N 03475.  It was manufactured in 1987.

I agree with Psyop96 that yours most likely was made in 1988.

I've purchased older used CZs that came with wrong magazines before.

It may take some time to find the correct ones.

I'm away from my home for an extended time otherwise I could take down the precise measurements and post pictures to help you find the correct ones.

Once again Welcome!  You've come to the right place!
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Offline LarsL

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 04:52:44 PM »
Hey guys,

I check the little oval stamped area on the right hand side and I see an 87, so it looks like maybe it was a tail ender from that year.

Lars

Offline LarsL

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 04:54:50 PM »
I will follow up with Mec-Gar.  Thanks again for the responses from both of you.  I will take some pictures and post.

Lars

Offline Gunnerdad80

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2020, 05:09:42 PM »
Post some pics when you can please.  :D

Offline bang bang

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 11:47:46 PM »
welcome,

Anyone tell me what vintage this pistol is?

if you look near the ejection port you will see 2 digits.  that will be the year of mfg.

Now to a question I have for the group here.  I have never been very satisfied with the magazines that came with my pistol.  They look poorly made, cheap, and fit very loose.  They will disengage and fall out while I am firing my pistol.  One of them I can pull out of the magazine well just by giving it a slight pull whether I have rounds in it or not.  Also, the slide will not lock back when I finished firing the last round.

Sounds like the mags may not be OEM or that they were rode hard and put up wet. 

I just ordered and received some magazines for my 1911 because I was not totally satisfied with the ones that came from Colt.  I bought them from Wilson Combat and while ordering those, I bought 4 magazines for the CZ85.  The 1911's are Wilson Combat brand magazines but the CZ85 magazines are Mec-Gar brand magazines.  They look very nice and are well made.  They say CZ 75 B on the package.  When I tried one out, I could engage it about 3/4 of the way into the magazine well before it would get very stiff.  I used some degree of force (not excessively so) to push it in and while the action would work (I did not have rounds in the magazine), I could not get the magazine out without the use of a screwdriver (I was gentle) to pry it back out.  Needless to say I won't try that again.

You may STOP and dont force the issue with the mags.   

Some hints you can try.

 > remove the grip panels and see if those are causing any binding.   Its low hanging fruit of a check.  but do not force the mag.


So are the Mec-Gar magazines the wrong ones?  Is the CZ 75 B labeling a clue as to why?  I assume that CZ75 magazines and CZ85 magazines are the same and useable in both pistols.  Finally, is there a high quality CZ85 magazine from a reputable company that I should buy?  What are my choices there?

You may need to search/buy some older PRE-B CZ mags.

however, since you dont have a location in your profile, what i recommend maybe moot.  but you can cherry pick what you want to do.

1.  Look for a gun show/shop in your area that has MANY CZ mags.  I would call first and ask.  then ask if you can bring in your CZ and try each mag for fit.  Again, without forcing the issue.

2.  Also look for some larger cap mags.  I noticed on mine that they appear to fit looser in my older and Pre-Bs.

3.  If you have a CZ shop in your country, you can look/see if they have any PRE-B mags and buy from them.  but they wont be free and wont be as inexpensive as Mec Gars.

4.  If you have any shooting friends that have CZ 75/85s and many mags, you can ask them to see if any of theirs fit.  Maybe offer to swap/buy some new ones for the ones that fit your gun.



Offline Frenchkat

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Re: New Member with Czechoslovakian CZ85
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 11:25:04 PM »
Good Evening (it's evening here in Miami, FL),

As others have posted, it was available to US military personal through the MWR Rod and Gun (Bottle) clubs.  I bought an 85 in 86 at the Nuremberg, Germany Rod and Bottle Club while stationed there.  The gun was for my brother who is a lefty.  I paid around $350 for it in 86.  He had the gun until last Oct. when he returned it to me.  He said someone offered him $1200 for it when he used it to qualify on the police range.  His only son is not a gun person (nor a person you'd want to have a gun).

It's been fired very little and is in the original box.  SN: 00128  I was able to get to a range with it last month and was very pleased with it.

There is another guy who posted here that his SN: is 002XX (IIRC).  I think his was 88.  However, his pictures shows a squared off trigger guard.  What does your trigger guard look like, squared or rounded?

Keep us posted about magazines.
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