I mention this because I have several CZ-75's in 9 and .40. I also shoot a CZ-97B every week and really like it.
Just bought a new Witness, catalog number EA45WON. This is the full size .45 with the wonder finish. It's virtually the same size as the CZ-75 series, quite a bit smaller than the CZ-97, and the Witness still holds 10 rounds in the magazine.
I'm amazed and impressed. Quality of my Witness is excellent overall. An amazing amount of gun for the money (<$400.00 OTD).
December 25, 2008, 02:37 PM
Someone may be listening...
December 25, 2008, 03:25 PM
cz usa is now offering the CZ97 .45 acp with a decock option, the CZ97BD. it would be sweeeet to have. I am married and not "allowed" to make purchases on that scale, just now, so i can only pine, but you- if you can, do it!
December 25, 2008, 03:59 PM
The 45 ACP is taller than other cartridges, thus the taller/bigger slide on the 97B.
December 25, 2008, 05:08 PM
Owned a 97b a couple of years ago. It's a good shooter if you use FMJ ammo, have hands larger than XL, and don't mind a pistol with lots of bugs to be worked out. The factory ramp job is typically not refined enough to allow JHPs to feed reliably. Commonly a JHP will nose dive into the bottom of the ramp and get hung up. The force of the closing slide causes another problem which is the 97b's propensity to have the magazine fall out of the grip. The magazine catch is a poor design and will easily round off. Once it's rounded off the magazine will never be all that secure in the grip and will likely need replacing. Some guys have actually wielded additional metal onto the catch to beef it up. I did my own ramp job on it and corrected the problem, and you will very likely need a gun smith to do your own. Then of course the grip is one of the thickest double stacked .45acps out there and the DA trigger reach is quite a stretch. Not very easy to operated with gloves on.
The 97b is a nice range pistol, but I think you would be foolish to depend on it as a serious defensive pistol. With a retail price of over $800s now, you can probably pick up a 97b for around $700. You can also pick up a S&W M&P, H&K USP, Glock 21, Sig P220, or other alternatives for that price which will reliably fire JHPs right out of the box, will be lighter and more compact, have better ergonomics, have better magazine capacity,.....etc. The only kudos I will give the 97b is that it is very accurate. I don't have any experience with the EAA Witness or Tangfoglio .45acps.
Owned a lot of CZs over the years and worked on a lot as well. They do a much better job with the full sized 9mms.
December 25, 2008, 06:03 PM
Unfortunatley, I agree. I have a 97B and it's amazing how well I can shoot it, but out of the box, it left something to be desired. I have continuosly tinkered with it, comp hammer, Hogue grips, Custom shop sights, and made a few mods to help it feed ammo better. The accuracy is superb, and this is what has endeared me to the 97. But an out of the box Sig 220 is a much better overall gun.
That's where the Witness shines. Out of the box, it's a better overall DA/SA .45 than the CZ-97, and the Witness is quite a bit cheaper as well. The ergonomics of the Witness are much better too.
A forum member (Wally) has said many times the Witness .45 is what the CZ-97 should have been. This used to p_ss me off, but I realize now, he was right.
December 25, 2008, 08:00 PM
My fullsized Witness .45 in the WF has been perfect. No problems with anything I put through it, even some oddball "cup full of ammo" stuff a friend gave me, has hollowpoints, FMJ's, of all kinds and bullet weights in there and the Witness doesn't care, it just saws through them, mag after mag.
But another friend has a 97B, and it shoots everything too, right out of the box, and is prettier, IMO.
December 25, 2008, 08:58 PM
All the CZ-97 owners I have talked to, none of them say these things, how odd. The CZ-97s I have handled and fired, none of these issues, I must be blessed. I just have Glocks, HK, Sig, Berreta and Taurus fail on me personally. My personal experiance with the USP, (trade name when I was in the business was Useless Sh***y Pistol), was the 6 we had on the rental range - one year later we had two, one on it's way back to join it's buddies at the factory for total repair. The G-rocks, had 3 Glocks fail in my hand, one with a cracked slide. No joy. SiG P220, we had one, loved shooting it, it went back to SiG only once, frame crack. The P232 went back so many times we junked it.
I believe the expression is "your mileage may vary"?
I will say the CZ-97 has a small mag capacity for it's size, and does seem large for what it is. I also sold a few to people with large hands who loved it for that reason. those I sold one to, and those I know who own them, seem to be quite satisified, sorry your experiance was bad.
December 25, 2008, 09:24 PM
It really is the luck of the draw, isn't it?
A friend had a Witness .45 and it choked on everything, including ball ammo.
The next one off the assembly line might be perfect.
There's just no telling until it goes to the range for a try.
December 25, 2008, 09:29 PM
My CZ97 hasn't had the problems Marcus has talked of. It feeds HSTs just fine. Within the first few hundred rounds it wouldn't feed large hollowpoints correctly, but that's an easy fix.
I havn't tried to fix it though. It's doing just fine now.
I'll put a comp hammer in it one day. My 75B has one and it amazing.
I love the CZ97 because it's so accurate. One day I'll dress it up for a limited-10 gun.
December 25, 2008, 09:30 PM
My experience with the 97 was bad too..
The magazine fall out of the grip, once per mag....
December 25, 2008, 09:32 PM
Was the 97 you shot, Chilean, a pre-B model?
December 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
Serial Number A3710xx, Don't know what is a pre-B model.
December 25, 2008, 09:56 PM
I shoot thousands of 45's a year and my pet standard load uses a 200 gn cast LSWC. My 97 eats these loads like candy and delivers superb accuracy. My personal CZ-97 is still my favorite range 45 auto, but I have medium + hands and it fits me like the proverbial glove.
I loaded my 200 LSWC load in my new Witness .45 and they would not chamber, at all. Ball ammo and JHP was fine. I found the mouth of the chamber had very sharp edges and the front shoulder of the case would hit this sharp area. Some very light polishing to alleviate the sharp shoulder solved the problem. Even though it was a problem for "me", it's probably not a problem for the average non-reloading shooter.
I still think CZ should make a .45 on the same basic frame as the 75 series and still offer the 97 as well.
December 25, 2008, 10:44 PM
I agree with that, would be nice to see a 75 framed .45 ACP version. I would like to see the base CZ-75 offerred in several differant calibers, 38 Super, 357 SiG, etc., just not in the cards yet.
December 25, 2008, 10:48 PM
I had an IMI Jericho .45 (aka Magnum Research Baby Eagle), which uses the same action as the CZ. Great pistol. 100% reliable with all kinds of ammo. I used it for action shooting competition and did very well. It is too heavy to be a carry weapon. If they had used an alloy frame, I would have kept it. But my purpose in competing was to have that constitute practice for carrying and I did not want to carry it. Great gun, though. Very accurate and totally reliable.
December 25, 2008, 11:23 PM
The 45 ACP is taller than other cartridges, thus the taller/bigger slide on the 97B.Amazing how Tanfoglio could figure out how to get a 45ACP package into a form factor closer to the CZ75 than could CZ.
I like the CZ97B and have owned three/four over the last decade, but it is simply too much gun for the capacity and weight.
December 26, 2008, 10:40 AM
<Irrelevant stuff removed by Grammaw.> The 97b is a notoriously problematic pistol which has earned its reputation quite legitimately. The very CZ forum that you lurk in for the 97b is full of owner complaints. On this very thread there are more negative experiences than positive. There is no other CZ pistol that goes back to CZ-USA more often for smith work than the 97b.
<Insult removed. Paragraphed for clarity.>
I may be a big Sig fan myself, but I have the honesty to point out to anyone wishing for a long lasting durable performer to stay away from the P220 .45acp, P226(non 9mm), and the P239(non 9mm). Why, because they have bad durability record in Federal service. I have worked on them for many years not only for my agency, but for the Department of Interior as an armorer and processed over a hundred Sigs every year in Federal circulation. That also extends to the training range in which I serve as range master for well over 100 officers each year in not only static, but dynamic courses of fire in which firearms are put through a good level of abuse and are exposed to factors such as blowing sand. <More editing.>
December 26, 2008, 11:05 AM
<Grammaw cleanup> I agreed with some of the complaints about the 97s size and mag capacity, and agreed with the thought of a 75 sized 45. I have several CZ pistols that work perfectly, if they had choked, broken, or otherwise made themselves worthless to me, I would have said so. As for complaints to praise in this thread, count with me - post #5, first mention +/-, positive, post #7, positive want, post #9, (you), negative, post #10, negative, post#11, positive, post #14, positive, post #15, negative, post #18 positive, post #21, ambivilent, only complaint is capactity/weight.
That's, hmm, 4 positive, and 3 negative, plus one ambivilent, all those who posted shooting one.
December 26, 2008, 01:12 PM
Yall either play nice or I'm gonna cover up the sandpile.
December 26, 2008, 01:19 PM
Jeff Cooper once said he was consulting with CZ on a .45 that was NOT the 97. Nothing seems to have come of that project.
December 26, 2008, 01:28 PM
IMHO, the EAA Witness Elite Match is the pistol the CZ97 should have been. Cost is about the same. The standard Witness costs less and is still pretty good, but if at all possible save up and get the Elite Match over the standard Witness.
I've had the opposite problem with 200gr lead SWC reloads -- feed fine in my Witness, poorly in my CZ97B.
December 26, 2008, 08:08 PM
Firstly, the 97B was never designed to be a carry gun, but you could say the same for the Witness Match.
My 97B fed everything I could throw into it.
Thousands of rounds and zero problems.
Glossy Blue (no longer offered ) and a joy to hold and
Mods were. Stainless guide rod.
MMC Adjustable Nights.
Some Trigger work.
Slimline Hakan Grips.
The gun shot like a laser!
Finances forced me to sell it and my equally modded
and impressive P-01. Worst move I've ever made and I regret that day and the reason why. The guys who bought them were
Still, my Witness pistol in 10mm has a slick action with great trigger pull(s) and has been totally reliable with factory ammo and most of my handloads.
However, like the 97B it is both Big and Heavy to carry, with a nod to the Witness for a lower cost.
CZ will never make a 97B or other model in 10mm, no market for it on a global scale. Same thing for the 38 Super, but there have been experiments with the .357 SIG.
December 26, 2008, 10:16 PM
My 97B fed everything I could throw into it.
Thousands of rounds and zero problems.
I went back and checked my records, and I've had four CZ97Bs. None of them would feed 'everything I could throw into it'. All of them would feed hardball and some specific HP (usually Remington GSs). But none of them were truely ammo insensitive, and all of them could be made to choke trying to feed some form of defense ammo or another.
That wasn't why I got rid of them, but it was an annoyance that I haven't had to deal with in my Sigs and M&Ps and other 45ACP platforms.
December 26, 2008, 10:45 PM
There are some bullet types my particular 97 just won't feed from a full mag. If you load 8 rounds instead of 10, I have no problems. There are 3 potential feeding issues with a 97:
1) Slide lock is to large inside the frame. Can cause the nose of the top round to be pushed to the right slightly, hanging up on the raised right side edge of the feedramp.
2) Feed ramp is narrow. Wide truncated cone style hollow points can hit the outside edges of the feedramp causing a stoppage.
3) Magazine causes the top 10th rounds rim to dig into the rim channalure of round number 9, causing a "nose dive" into the bottom of the feedramp.
This is not a condemnation of the 97, quite the contrary. It was designed, in my opinion to feed round nose ammo, and it does this slendidly. I love mine, but I know what it likes.
However, My Sig 220, M&P 45, Norinco and Kimber 1911's will reliably cycle anything. But I shoot my 97 much more.
December 27, 2008, 05:21 PM
Followup on amoredmans comment about a 75 frame .45 acp.
Several years ago I had a Witness .45, before they brought out the large frame, and it was a good pistol. Don't recall any real problems with it and regret selling it. If cZ did introduce a .45 in a 75 frame, I would beat a path to their door.
December 27, 2008, 10:22 PM
If cZ did introduce a .45 in a 75 frame, I would beat a path to their door.
I agree, but Tanfoglio already makes one. In some ways, it's an improvement over the CZ design.
Shot the best 25 yard group I've fired all year with a new Witness .45. My eye sight makes it difficult to shoot well at 25 yards, but I managed to put 8 out of 12 rounds into 2" from a rest.
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