Author Topic: Do CZ Pistols Require a Break-In ?  (Read 627 times)

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Offline Wobbly

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Do CZ Pistols Require a Break-In ?
« on: October 30, 2022, 12:17:51 PM »
I have owned numerous models and watched CZ pistols for about 20 years now. The overall quality of the parts, materials and assembly is VERY high. If anything, their assembly seems to be somewhat tighter than most pistol makers. Most of the time you will find that after-market "trigger jobs" and "feed ramp polishing", jobs that are requirements for some brands, are completely unnecessary due to the high level of CZ fit and finish.

Most new CZ pistols will run great, right out of the box, but occasionally 1 out of every ~20 may require a short "break-in" period. Should you experience any feed or action issues on your first range trip, then the new owner has 2 options:

Option 1. Any new CZ gun may be sent back to CZ-USA to be fitted and corrected. This is free, no-cost option, but it may entail some extra waiting. We suggest you call CZ-USA and get the details.

Option 2. Even if you decide upon Option 1, we highly suggest you go though the following check list in hopes of saving yourself some time and trouble. In order these steps are:

• Initial Cleaning
Field strip the gun. Many European-made CZs will come with a thick, pasty "grease" coating on many internal parts. This will need to be thoroughly cleaned off for best operation. This "grease" is a shipping compound for salt water protection, and is not a lubricant. Key points to clean are the inside of the chamber and barrel, the slide rails (L and R), the barrel bushing, and (by sliding off the bottom cap) the inside of the magazines and the magazine follower. For cleaning tools we suggest a soft cloth and small brush coated in CLP or similar cleaner/lubricant.

• Lubrication
There are numerous very good gun lubricants on the market. We are not here to recommend one over another. However, many of these can be expensive and hard to find. One common excellent lubricant that we can recommend is very, very low viscosity synthetic automobile motor oil, such as 0W20 or 5W20. We recommend 1 drop on each of the slide rails, 1 drop on the barrel bush, and 1 drop on the underside of the slide where the top of the hammer slides during ejection. It is the nature of automotive oils to migrate to other moving parts rather than drip off. Within a week you may see this oil migrate into the hammer and trigger mechanisms.

The need for slide rail lubrication is especially important for the rails on all-metal guns.

• Firing
After initial cleaning and lubrication the new owner will want to make a range trip. For best results it is VERY important that the ammunition used be of a specific bullet shape and weight. For all CZ's we highly recommend the lowest weight, highest velocity Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammunition available. For the 9mm CZ this means 115gr FMJ. Suggested sources are CCI Blazer Brass, Winchester White Box, Federal American Eagle, Fiocchi, etc. A distant second choice would be 115gr Lead Round Nose (LRN).

• Initial Issues
Most common start-up issues can be quickly corrected....
- Some feed / ejection issues are fixed by simply trying different Recoil Springs for the given ammo you favor
- Thorough cleaning in and around the Extractor; its Spring and the Groove it resides in can solve a lot of ejection / stovepipe issues

For the first 500 rounds the owner should avoid all non-FMJ bullet shapes (including Conical, Flat Point and Hollow Points), and all heavy weight projectiles. (147gr projectiles are specifically an "iffy" proposition for the 9mm CZ chamber. Manually testing ammo in the chamber is highly advised BEFORE purchase. For more information, read THIS  ) If you are still experiencing issues after 500+ rounds and several thorough cleanings, you can always revert back to Option 1.

In our experience, CZ pistols start running their best after a full break-in period of 5000 rounds, spread over multiple range trips and multiple cleanings.


Hope this helps.


Many thanks to many members who helped proofread and suggest edits to this article, including: M1A4ME, DenStinett, Tok36, and others
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 01:55:27 PM by Wobbly »
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