Author Topic: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?  (Read 284 times)

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Offline DeanD

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Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« on: August 10, 2018, 06:59:28 PM »
Obviously the CZ-85 was designed/adopted in 1985 but I don't know what year the 85 Combat came out.  I have an early CZ-85 Combat made in 1988 and the serial number is a simple three digit 809 with no prefix.  I would think that manufacture as low as the 800 range would have been in the first year.   Anyone ever seen an 85 Combat made before 1988?
This one is a European gun in the green box, no import markings, probably a GI bring-back. 

Offline Psyop96

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Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 11:03:13 AM »
Does your SN have a couple of zeroes in front of those three numbers? The early years of serial production models had 5 digit serial numbers with zeroes filling in the front digits; started on 14.6.85 per Pazdera book and also has a photo of a CZ 85 Combat model with SN 00005 from 1986.

Would love to see photos, please. 

Here’s a thread from last year on another CZ 85 Combat from 1988.
https://czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=87012

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2018, 12:15:02 PM »
There were CZ-85s (i.e., pre-B) before the B models were introduced, and the difference between these and the later 85 Combat was that they had different sights and didn't have an extended mag release.  Some of the sights were fixed; don't know about whether ANY were made available with adjustable sights. 

Adjustable sights were a work-around "fix" used by CZs for guns being exported to the U.S., to get the "points" needed to make the guns "importable".  (The lack of a firing pin block had to be made up somewhere else, and the adjustable sights did it.)

Offline Psyop96

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Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2018, 03:11:57 PM »
Here’s the photo of the early 1986 Combat from the Pazdera book with the first type of adjustable sights (the Lux also had them). Neither of the three named models were marked with those designations on the pistols. The Combat had the squared-off trigger guard while the Lux and fixed-sights Standard models had the rounded type. You can see where the windage screw on the old adjustable rear sight style more or less occupied the area on the slide where the firing pin retaining pin would later be located. By 1989, the squared-off trigger guard was made standard on all types of the CZ 85. With respect to the seemingly  low SN sequences from 1988 for both the OP’s and the other thread, I don’t have a good feel for the SNs on the early 85s.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 03:24:12 PM by Psyop96 »

Offline DeanD

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 10:32:28 PM »
Mine has the same early adjustable sight as the one pictured above, narrow spur hammer.  I stand corrected, my serial number is 00809, it does have two zeros before the three digit number.  My memory just gets haywire sometimes. 

I am wondering if some were made in 1986 but very low volume in 86-87 sold in Europe like mine was, hence the 809 sn which could have been early 1988. The imports didn't start into the US in volume until AAL started importation in 1993 (several of the guns were '92's) so it would make sense they were in no particular hurry to make them when still under Communist rule and unable to export to the West.  The Wall didn't come down until late Nov 89 and 1990-91 was a transition time politically and economically. Czechoslovakia broke in half and the factories transitioned from State control to private enterprise. 

I once had a .40 S&W Caliber CZ-75 (not a 75B) that had been bought in Canada.  My research at the time indicated that about 400 or so were made in .40 and some exported to Canada and the rest sold in Europe.  CZ then stopped making them for a couple of years or so before they started volume production on the.40 cal (about 1998?) and by then they had switched to the 75B configuration.  I had several folks on this Board state unequivocally there was no such thing as a non-B .40 until I posted pictures. So stranger things have happened.  Just speculating here.  Was sure surprised to see an XXX number on a 1988 pistol...was more surprised that it was unfired!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 05:06:00 PM by DeanD »

Offline DeanD

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 05:08:28 PM »
Edited my post above.  Mine is 5 digits with the first two being zeros.  Sorry about that! 

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 05:28:17 PM »
Did CZ start making frames with the flat front on the trigger guard before the B model came out?  My Pre B CZ85 (don't remember the year it was made or the serial number) has a rounded trigger guard. 

I'd thought (incorrectly it now seems) that the flat front on the trigger guard was late in the production of the Pre B's, just before they transitioned to the B models.

Actually, the rounded trigger guard is a feature I prefer.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 08:09:57 PM »
Quote from: M1A4ME
Did CZ start making frames with the flat front on the trigger guard before the B model came out?  My Pre B CZ85 (don't remember the year it was made or the serial number) has a rounded trigger guard.

I'd thought (incorrectly it now seems) that the flat front on the trigger guard was late in the production of the Pre B's, just before they transitioned to the B models.

Actually, the rounded trigger guard is a feature I prefer.

I don't remember ever seeing a pre-B 85 with the squared off trigger guard, but saw a number of (and owned at least one) Pre-B 75  with the squared trigger guard. 

Some of the last pre-B 75s looked just like the current 75B, except for the roll pin through the slide (and the absent firing pin block.  A number of them 75s with squared trigger guard could be seen on this forum in the late 90's.  The polycoat of the early versions (both pre-B and B models) was not very good -- it could be melted by using some of the spray cleaners.  Later versions of that finish/coating became increasingly robust.  The latest version is very good.

I always wanted one of the RETRO versions of the 75B that looked like a pre-B (rounded trigger guard, different slide stop, etc.) but was still a true B model with the firing pin block.  Never found one -- and didn't jump on one when they were first introduced. 

Offline DeanD

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 11:11:21 AM »
I received a reply from CZ in the Czech Republic regarding the start of production of the 85 Combat:

"Otherwise, the serial production of the CZ 85 series started on 14 June 1985.
This model was from the start produced in three versions, i.e. Standard, Lux and Combat."


Since they started production on 14 June 1985 and I have CZ85 00809 made in 1988 then obviously production was very low for the first few years.  That is kinda interesting to know for anyone who picks up a 1985-87 CZ 85. 

I don't recall ever seeing a pre-B with a squared trigger guard either.  I have had the "transition" 75's that had the squared trigger guard and most of the B features that Walt mentioned.  Interestingly most were roll-marked "Model 75" but had one made near the same time that was marked "CZ 75". 

Picture of some early ones, top one is a 1991 made AAL import.  Matte blue.

European "Model 85" in the middle is a 1987 last year of the wide hammer, slide is polished blue, frame is polymer.  I have seen several of those. I recently sold that gun and don't know the serial number but recall it was very low, now I wish I had written it down or kept more pictures but after I sell a gun I just delete everything.

Bottom one is the 1988 85 Combat but just marked "Model 85" still.  I don't know what year they added "Combat".  It is a European pistol in the green box, finish is matte blue.  Commonly mistaken for parkerizing.  Serial number 00809.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 11:17:20 AM by DeanD »

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 02:01:20 PM »
Quote from: DeanO
I don't recall ever seeing a pre-B with a squared trigger guard either.  I have had the "transition" 75's that had the squared trigger guard and most of the B features that Walt mentioned.  Interestingly most were roll-marked "Model 75" but had one made near the same time that was marked "CZ 75".

At one time it was believed  by members of the CZ Forum that CZ didn't always serialize their weapons until the were ready for final assembly and shipment.  That was the story we got years ago (in the 90's and early 2000s, when the subject came up.  Don't know if that was true, but it could explain why different guns seem to be serialized inconsistently with the time of production or the features present on the gun.   

I think, back then, that CZ also had an inventory of different components -- like frames, slides, etc. and if otherwise compatible, they'd be pulled off the shelf and put together to meet shipping needs.  (The fact that they had left-over 40B uppers arguably led to the creation of the 40P (which used a P-01 frame with mods)). 

I think there was also a  much-later (but before the 40P) run of 40Bs, after they had seemingly been discontinued. 

Offline DeanD

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 06:41:01 AM »
I just saw a CZ85 on Gunbroker that was made in 1988 but still had the wide hammer.  I suppose all changes happen in a transition and don't follow calendar years exactly but prior to this one all the 1988's I have seen were narrow hammer.  Those surplus beat up CZ's on Gunbroker are interesting to look at for features and year.  There is a 1979 short rail 75 on there that has a rear sight with windage adjustment screws, can't tell about elevation but I think it is fixed.  Different than any sight I have seen, not like the early Combat. Regular style rear sight with a blade.  Beautiful blued CZ but the price is off the chart.

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 02:22:56 PM »
One of my pre-Bs (and in hindsight, I realize that it may have been a short-rail model) had that WIDE HAMMER kept it from working with my Kadet Kit.

When I first joined the CZ Forum, maybe 20 years ago, there were still pre-B  Kadet Kits available.   I haven't seen one advertized in years.

CZ has certainly come a long way, since then.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 07:24:09 PM by Walt Sherrill »

Offline DeanD

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 03:38:20 PM »
I bought two Kadet kits about 1996-98 time.  CZ-USA was in CA at the time before the move to KC, Kansas.  Didn't know there was a difference in the late ones but mine took very little fitting. 

Offline Psyop96

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Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2018, 05:05:37 PM »
I just saw a CZ85 on Gunbroker that was made in 1988 but still had the wide hammer.  I suppose all changes happen in a transition and don't follow calendar years exactly but prior to this one all the 1988's I have seen were narrow hammer.  Those surplus beat up CZ's on Gunbroker are interesting to look at for features and year.  There is a 1979 short rail 75 on there that has a rear sight with windage adjustment screws, can't tell about elevation but I think it is fixed.  Different than any sight I have seen, not like the early Combat. Regular style rear sight with a blade.  Beautiful blued CZ but the price is off the chart.
Currently on GB, there’s a 1988 year proofed Model 85 (Standard) with the serial number range (081xx) that is quite different than your Combat model from the same year. I have seen a couple Standards with SN in the 07xxx range and also from ‘88. It makes me wonder whether certain blocks of SN ranges were assigned to the three different types of Model 85s back then.

That type of windage adjustable sight occasionally shows up on “Short rails” and early 80s Pre-Bs.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 01:49:52 AM by Psyop96 »

Offline Walt Sherrill

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Re: Anyone know date of manufacture of first CA-85 Combats?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 07:28:15 PM »
I wonder if some of the CZs with unusual things -- like windage adjustable rear sights -- might not be some of the Frankonia*-modified guns that were available thorugh U.S. Army Post and Air Force Base Exchanges in West Germany during the Cold War.  Sometimes the modifications were substantial, and other times they were very modest. 

*I don't know a lot about the Frankonia firm, but the did some nice work on the CZs they sold