CZ-97 Owners: What kind of ammo does yours like


May 14, 2003, 02:00 AM
With FMJ ammo, my CZ-97B is very reliable. Even with dirt in the action, as an impromptu test I performed proved. It even eats Wolf ammunition without a hitch.

However, I've had problems finding JHP ammo that will feed properly. Remember, I live in a small area, with one or two gun stores and a pretty anemic selection of ammo. Anything new I want to try I generally have to order.

I tested some black-box Winchester 230 grain once, but I can't remember the actual type.

185 Grain silvertips do not reliably feed.

230 grain Cor-Bon +Ps hardly even chamber.

230 Grain Triton .450SMC JHPs hiccup on occasion.

And that's about all I've tested. Should I send my gun back in to CZ-USA for a reliability tune, or are there JHP ammo brands you can recommend? +P is definately preferred.

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May 14, 2003, 08:35 AM

Over on, the general concensus appears to be that a *stock* CZ 97B will feed only hardball ammo reliably. If you want it to feed flatpoints or hollowpoints, you might have to round off the top of the feedramp towards the chamber.

I reload ammo for my 97B and have found that, even with hardball projectiles, the pistol is VERY sensitive to cartridge length. The pistol seems to choke on cartridges sized under about 1.24"; I load my 45ACP rounds to 1.265" and have yet to experience a single misfeed on my 97B.


May 14, 2003, 05:01 PM
Mine has been 100% reliable with 200-gr lead SWC reloads and all FMJ and HP tried so far. This includes Ranier, Win and Rem 230 gr FMJ (my reloads), S&B FMJ, 200 gr Speer JHP (handload), 185 gr Rem HP (handload), 185 gr WSTHP, Corbon 185 and 200 gr JHP, Fed 165 and 230 gr. HS JHP.

The only changes I’ve made to the gun are the addition of a 16-lb. recoil spring and a FLGR.

Of the 12 45s in the safe I’d say it is a coin toss between the CZ and the Sig 220 as to which is the most reliable/accurate. However, the 97B with Corbon 200 gr. +P JHP is on my nightstand every night.


May 14, 2003, 06:59 PM
That's very interesting. I pulled the slide back on a mag full of Cor-Bon 230grn JHP, released it and...CLINK! Had a hell of a time getting the round to chamber.

I mean, I love this gun, but I want to be able to use JHPs in it. Should I send it back to CZ-USA for a throat/polish job?

Peter M. Eick
May 14, 2003, 07:15 PM
The 97b is very length dependent gun. To long and it jams, to short and it jams. Most JHP's are to short. If you reload (like I do) it is no problem making JHP's that are the right lenght. On my 97b they must be over 1.255 but under 1.272.

Mine is 100% reliable with 200 and 230 grn JHP's. I do not shoot 185 odd grn jhp's in my 45's.

May 14, 2003, 07:17 PM
The only HP round I've put through my CZ 97B has been the 185 grain Silvertips and I've haven't had one problem with them.


May 15, 2003, 06:57 AM
Much as I love this pistol, if it won't feed hollow points reliably, it's useless to me. Great bargain, but firing only FMJ in .45 isn't going to make my day.

In all fairness, I've heard this is a problem with other handguns chambered in .45 ACP.


May 15, 2003, 07:45 PM
It just bugs me, kinda. I mean, I was going to get a Ruger KP90 at first, but the CZ-97 is nicer.

But what's the point of it being nicer if it won't feed defensive ammunition?

I don't know what to do.

Peter M. Eick
May 15, 2003, 08:58 PM
I still come back to say that it is a length issue. You need to figure out what length JHP your gun likes then find ammo that meets that need. I would just start trying different brands and see what works.

I have shot some old CorBon +P in my 97b and it fed fine. (I think it may be the only factory ammo ever fired in it).

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