Opinions on the CZ 97BD


March 14, 2010, 05:28 PM
A friend of mine at my range wants to buy full-size non-1911 .45 for under $1000 with a decocker

He is a big CZ fan, he had the 75B while in Marine Training and loved it
he asked me to find some info on the 97BD and i cant find any reviews
does anyone have significant range time with this gun,enough to give a detailed review
your help will be much appreciated:cool:

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March 14, 2010, 05:42 PM
I've never fired one, but handled them many times at gun shows/gun stores. The CZ 97 is a big pistol. I own a 1911 and S&W 4506 and it feels bigger than both.

If it doesn't feel too outsized for you, I would guess it is a fine pistol.

Sig P220, Ruger P90 and P345 are other possible options.

March 14, 2010, 05:50 PM
Huge pistol. I have medium sized hands and I can barely hold it correctly. I love CZ's but this one just doesn't fint.

March 14, 2010, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the info
this guys hands are pretty big so i don't know how well it would fit
this guy is a ex-marine so he knows about most of the guns you just pointed out i'll tell him about ur suggestions but thanks a lot

March 14, 2010, 06:13 PM
btw as far as accuracy, and overall reliability how does it perform im not familiar with the big bore pistols form CZ im a 9mm man myself

March 14, 2010, 06:32 PM
Can't speak to the accuracy of the 97BD, but every CZ I've ever fired has been ridiculously accurate.

March 14, 2010, 06:40 PM
Extremely accurate big gun. One of the most underrated 45 ACPs on the market. You used to be able to find them for under $400 all the time.

March 14, 2010, 06:51 PM
What about the trigger is it decent enough that it wont hamper the ability to shoot well

Fat Boy
March 14, 2010, 08:17 PM
I was able to shoot one a while back at the local range, and found it easy to shoot accurately. Fit, finish, and overall construction was what I would expect from CZ; excellent.

It is a big gun, no question- but then I like big, heavy, steel guns- carries 10 rounds in the magazine, if I recall correctly-

March 14, 2010, 09:24 PM
Bullseye Shooter,

I am a big CZ97 fan. I have a fairly high mileage 97 that is approaching 7,000 rounds. The pic below is a best group with my CZ before I accurized it; the accuracy is even better now. On a good day, I can keep 5 rounds under an inch @ 25 yards from a sandbag rest.

On the CZ forum, I posted a hand size "how to" if you're considering a 97. Yes the 97 is big, to big for some folks. I recommend measuring your hand as follows: spread your shooting hand fingers as far apart as possible and measure the span from the tip of your thumb and little finger. The minimum comfortable measurement for the 97 seems to be around 8.75". My hand measures 9.25" and the 97 is perfect for my grasp. Hope this helps.

March 14, 2010, 09:26 PM
here's some reviews-


All I know, is that I have handled this pistol, and It is HUGE. If you have NBA player hands, this is the gun for you. That's all I really know about it.

March 14, 2010, 09:52 PM
It is huge, and in double action mode I have to significantly alter my grip in order to get a good purchase on the trigger. That makes it a no-go for me, but otherwise they're supposed to be great shooters.

He should also look at the FNH FNP45.

March 14, 2010, 09:55 PM
I would say I have medium sized hands and the gun fits me fine. I have had mine for 3 years and it is one of my favorites. VERY accurate and well built, like a CZ should be. Its a fantastic gun.

March 14, 2010, 10:12 PM
are there any reviews on the newer decocker version of this

March 14, 2010, 10:26 PM
not much, but here's this-




It's a somewhat expensive little (or big) guy.

March 14, 2010, 10:31 PM
Bullseye Shooter,

The only difference between the B model and BD is the decocker. Everything else is exactly the same.

March 14, 2010, 10:41 PM
thanks thought CZ would change things up because the BD came out almost 14 years after the B
wow... the only thing they changed was they made the grips rubber

March 15, 2010, 04:10 PM
I love my 97B - accurate, reliable, and an easy shooter. I have medium-sized hands and I put a Hogue rubber wrap-around grip (about $15) on mine and the reach to DA and SA is fine for me. You can easily attach the grip by dropping it in boiling water for about 1 minute and then drying it quickly and attaching it to one side of the grip and stretching it quickly over the gun and attaching to the other side - a piece of cake and I like these grips much more than the standard wooden grips on the 97B.


March 15, 2010, 04:46 PM
thanks Kent
i think the decocker verision comes wit rubber grips now lol

March 15, 2010, 04:58 PM
I think the BD also comes with Nites.

The BD is under the CZ-USA Law enforcement banner, but anyone
can buy them.

Like the P-01 and P-07 Duty.

The big .45 would be great for a person who wanted to carry
it on patrol.

However, I've found the 97B to be too big and heavy for me to carry
but others do it daily. I miss my MMCed 97B on some days.
More 97B info:


I'd personally like to get a 97BD as a house gun, and to have a .45
acp to shoot when my brother comes to town with his Ruger .45.
Other than that, I'll stick to my 9mms for carry.

Best of luck with your friends eventual purchase.

March 16, 2010, 03:56 PM
Other than handling one, I have no experience with the 97. I've always wanted one and came close to buying one more than once but the one thing holding me back is the numerous times I've read where it is "picky" about ammunition; especially non-hardball stuff. I insist on pistols working "out-of-the-box"; I'm not into fluffing, buffing and tweaking to get a gun to run right. But, it bears repeating: I have had no personal experience with this gun and am only reporting what I've seen on the (always accurate ;)) internet.

March 16, 2010, 06:26 PM
I have seen at least three or four threads on the Internet where people have sheared off the locking lugs from the barrel.

Every other review I have seen is that they are great guns. I am thinking about buying one, but may go the FN route instead.

March 16, 2010, 09:37 PM
I too have read about a few barrel lower lugs having problems, but I have also read the slide stops break at around 1,500 rounds, that the polycoat is cheap paint, that the 97 will not feed anything other than ball ammo . . . . . .

My 97, at nearly 7,000 rounds feeds LSWC's effortlessly, still has the original slide stop, the polycoat (which is actually a ceramic resin) is holding up extremely well, and will feed HP's if you don't use one with a cavity wider than the feed ramp.

I have owned a boat load of .45's, and nothing, IMHO, is built any better, nor is there anything more solid and durable than a 97.

April 9, 2010, 03:39 PM
I own a 97B (later model with front slide serrations - not the BD with decocker) that I got for less than $400 off of GunBroker. It was VERY lightly used and came as a stock factory setup. I also own a CZ75b SP-01 Tactical which is responsible for infecting me with the CZ virus. I have made some changes to the 97B to make it more to my liking - namely, I ordered the BD rubber grip panels from CZ (about $25 as I recall) since I liked the rubber on the SP-01 so much. They also effectively make the grip slightly thinner and more comfortable. I have med-lg. hands so getting a proper grip on the 97 is not a problem for me; but I don't recommend it for those with small hands. I also did not like the stock slide release on the 97B and ordered a SP-01 release from CZ after a local gunsmith said that he could do a very slight modification to it in order to make it fit the 97B. It works like a champ and I am now able to operate the slide without shifting my hand as I did before. The final modification I did was to put a custom Bedair stainless guide rod into the gun (incredible quality, great price, adds weight to the front to help limit muzzle rise).

I have fired several .45's including 1911 types and I prefer the weight and feel of the 97B. I tend to like metal guns vs. polymer (I do own a S&W M&P40 and think it's a great gun) so the 97B feels great to me. Others might think it too massive and heavy. You have to try it yourself to make that determination. It is VERY accurate and, due to the mass, makes double-taps and follow-up shots as easy as possible for the .45 caliber. All in all I really like the 97B and I have had no reliability issues with it at all. I did send the barrel back to CZ and they polished the feed ramp and chamber for free which put an end to the occaisional hiccups using hollow point ammo. CZ has been great for customer service over the years. Their guns are an incredible value and can hold their own with big $ custom rigs for accuracy.

April 9, 2010, 06:04 PM
I owned one also and I have medium sized hands. Yes, it is a big pistol but that equates to less recoil and improved accuracy for a very forgiving round anyway.

I can shoot it more accurately than my Glock, Colt 1911 and my Sig 220. Great gun, if you can hold it without dropping it, you can shoot it without dropping it. ;-)

April 9, 2010, 06:32 PM
I have had no reliability issues with it at all. I did send the barrel back to CZ and they polished the feed ramp and chamber for free which put an end to the occaisional hiccups using hollow point ammo.

Even though CZ resolved your problem, it's not exactly accurate to claim that you've "had no reliability issues at all". It seems that, in fact, you did...

The Lone Haranguer
April 9, 2010, 07:11 PM
I held - and hefted - a non-decocking model. Just too big for my hands, which are medium-sized. I would't mind seeing a single-stack version.

April 9, 2010, 10:05 PM

I stand corrected...

I have fired 9,000+ rounds through the 97B - approx. 60% of them hollow point. Early on I had 2 fail to feed of inexpensive, steel-cased range ammo which prompted me to take advantage of CZ's free "fluff and buff" service to correct the issue. My SP-01 (and many other factory standard pistols) come with polished feed ramps and chambers out of the box. CZ is a company that monitors their products performance in the field and realized that the 97B would benefit from that treatment and offered it as quick-turn-around free service (they also covered shipping). I have experienced far more positive performance from the 97B than negative and still feel that, for the money spent on the gun, it offers an incredible value. I don't use the gun as a personal defense weapon, nor as a duty weapon for professional purposes.

I originally wanted the 97BD (the decocker and night sights would match nicely with my SP-01 Tactical) but I was unable to find one at a price that I was willing to pay. They were brand new on the market when I bought the 97B and they were commanding a premium when you could find one.

April 10, 2010, 01:46 AM
CZ...If you read post no. 21 in this thread, you'll understand what my concern is. You certainly should have no complaints with the performance you have recited with your Model 97. That kind of reliability ought to make even a Glock owner genuflect. :D

April 10, 2010, 09:27 AM
SwampWolf - While a fan of the CZ's, I also own quite a few others - including several Glocks. I can't imagine carrying the all-steel CZ's on a daily basis vs. a totally reliable and MUCH lighter Glock. The CZ's tend to be something I grab when headed to the range where the added mass and nice ergonomics help to make up for my accuracy shortcomings (of which there are many!). There is no question that Glocks are, and always will be, a benchmark for reliability and utility that few others are able to match.

April 10, 2010, 04:46 PM

I love mine and have written what I consider to be an honest review from my perspective on it from my point of view.

If anyone knows where I can get a set of sights for it please point me to the link.

I would like to know what Marine training your buddy went through that allowed him to shoot a CZ97. As a recently retired Marine I have never seen a CZ on any Marine Corps range.

June 4, 2010, 02:23 PM
I have a CZ75BD which I like very much and shoot most. That's also the reason when I want to upgrade to .45ACP, I look into CZ first, espcially I live in California with 10rd limit on mag and feel I will be outgunned by criminals with my 10rd 9mm if I get into a self-defence situation. My only issue with my CZ75BD is the mag will not free fall when mag release is pressed and I have to pull the mag out which slows down my tactical reload. I don't know if it's just my gun or it's the same with all CZ design. Do you have this issue with CZ97? Thanks.

June 4, 2010, 03:34 PM
Steve Bedair makes awesome guide rods, and he also sent me a slightly blemished (forward face was cut at an angle) rod for my PCR when I ordered one for the Kadet Kit I was using with it.

Oh sorry I forgot he didn't charge me for it. You hear that people spread poor experiences more than good ones, I like to fight that tide when I can.

June 4, 2010, 03:42 PM
My only issue with my CZ75BD is the mag will not free fall when mag release is pressed and I have to pull the mag out which slows down my tactical reload. I don't know if it's just my gun or it's the same with all CZ design.

Many, if not most, CZ pistols come equipped with a magazine brake. This "feature" can be defeated by judiciously flattening it or removing it altogether. Personally, aside from the need for a super speedy reload needed for combat style games, I kind of like the idea of not losing a mag in the event the magazine release button gets accidently depressed.

June 5, 2010, 04:01 AM
I love my 97. I paid 500$ for it brand new years ago and don't regret a thing. I've probably got 2500 rounds through it. I did have to send it to CZUSA to get the loaded chamber indicator replaced, but function of the gun never faltered. I recommend them to anyone looking for an all metal, non 1911 handgun. It is more accurate than I can shoot. It isn't much trouble to hit a 18" circle target at 100 yards. I never shoot it off of a bench, so I can't truly say how accurate it is. I did have feeding issues with wide-mouthed hollowpoints. I kinda like having stuff that not everyone else has. Most people would go straight for a 1911. I guess I just like the looks and questions that arise when I put it on the table. Everyone that has shot mine has agreed that it is a soft, accurate shooter.

November 23, 2010, 03:23 PM
The CZ-97BD also has a wider feed ramp the the orginal CZ-97B it is noticable when these are held side by side.

November 23, 2010, 03:57 PM
Not to advertise another web site, but take a look at the CZ forum


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