CZ-97b vs polymer framed pistols in .45 ACP


January 4, 2011, 12:45 AM
I'm looking for a .45 ACP duty weapon. A CZ-97b has caught my attention. Upon some research I have read of their low recoil and superb accuracy. I have read several reviews and comparisons between 97b and 1911 style handguns, but what I have yet to find is a comparison to a polymer framed full-size pistol like the Glock 21 or the XD-45.

The negatives I have heard about the 97b is the large grip size and that some are ammo selective when it comes to hollowpoints. First off, I have no problem with polishing the feed ramp to fix this problem which I've read works quite well. Second, I have large hands so no need to describe the "huge" grip of the 97b or the ergonomics of the gun. Every person is different so I don't think anyone needs to state "the glock 21 is a brick" or "the XD fits like a glove" type of comments. Nor do I care about capacity. The 97b holds 10+1 and the Glock and XD hold 13+1 I know. 11 rounds of .45 ACP is plenty of firepower for my liking.

What I do wish to know is how recoil compares. The CZ is an all-steel gun so does it have noticeably less recoil in comparison to say a Glock 21? (I use this gun as an example because I have experience with it). Also, what about it's trigger in SA? I know the first DA pull of the CZ is long, but how does the SA pull compare as far as length and smoothness to the Glock/XD trigger?

Thanks for any information and opinions I can get!


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January 4, 2011, 05:08 AM
97B is a fairly big gun and is quite heavy for a duty gun, accuracy is outstanding so as any other CZ line of pistol. It wasn't picky with ammo, so ammo selection shouldn't be a problem. But to carry this big girl all day will be nasty. Looks like a polymar gun will fit your need.


January 4, 2011, 01:48 PM

I've had an XD and a Glock in 45. I've so had an M&P, FNP, Taurus, and an HK in 45. Your question, for me, is easy to answer. There is no comparison in felt recoil between the CZ and any polymer 45. The CZ is extremely effective at doing 2 things with the recoil impulse: 1) Weight - absorbs the recoil, 2) Ergonomics - the CZ has a large grip for a reason, to distribute the recoil forces out. And it works. Very well.

People laude the HK's recoil spring reduction system, but the CZ has a quite a bit less recoil when shooting the HK and the CZ back to back. I can shoot my CZ for hundreds of rounds very comfortably, more so than any other 45 I own. But that's me.

About the hollow points, yes, the CZ can be finicky. The solution is not to merely polish the feed ramp. The problem is the feed ramp is very narrow. If you try a HP with a wide cavity, it will catch or engrave on the outside edges of the feed ramp. Also, a very wide HP cavity can lightly contact the slide stop on the LH side, which angles the bullet to the right. Either way you'll get a failure to feed.

The solution is to use a HP with a narrow nose, or use a FMJ for absolute reliability; you could also use expanding FMJ ammo. My CZ feeds the H&G #68 200 LSWC like butter and these can be loaded to defensive levels as another option.

January 4, 2011, 02:24 PM
Thanks for that information. I've read that the new 97bd's have a wider feed ramp than the 97b's so that could possibly be a solution to feeding wide cavity hp's... but I'm doing some research on it.

The reason I'm so concerned with the felt recoil in comparison is because I used to carry 1911 style pistols, until I shot the Glock 21. My follow up shots with the G21 were much faster because of the ergonimics of each pistol. The 1911's are similar in weight to the CZ-97b, but the G21 has a big, heavy slide and wide grip which makes it a better shooter for me even though it is significantly lighter. If the CZ handles even better than the G21, then I will practice with it even more at the range, plus I keep hearing about this "amazing accuracy."

Walt Sherrill
January 4, 2011, 02:35 PM
Be sure to handle one before you buy.

My hand isn't small, but I found the large grip of the CZ-97B a challenge, but the large grip of the Witness .45s was not. (Thinner grips, which weren't really available when I had mine, would probably be a solution.)

January 4, 2011, 02:50 PM
I absolutely love my 97B (

The grip is as big as I can handle, but OK. 1911's fit me like a glove. (Wide but short hands) Recoil is similar to 1911's, but with the wider grip it seems to be easier to shoot a lot, but there isn't a big difference in my opinion. It has been a while since I fired a XD .45, but if my memory serves me, the CZ97B recoil is much more pleasant, although the XD is not bad.

I do not carry it, but have carried a full size 1911 and the weight isn't a big issue, although obviously a aluminum frame 1911 is easier on you long term, as would a polymer gun.

January 4, 2011, 05:33 PM
For duty, go light!! Go G21SF.....Recoil is spread out over its wide grip, just like the CZ. Your familar with the Glock line up, so thats a big plus, no safety to learn on the Glock, no long first pull like the CZ has. The CZ97 has its place, the range, I would never want to carry one all day! But you might:D

My CZ75B-SA is my hands down most accurate gun, and my favorite gun, I am by no means a CZ snob:)

January 4, 2011, 05:41 PM
plus I keep hearing about this "amazing accuracy."

And that's a fact; one of the main reasons I like a 97.

January 4, 2011, 07:11 PM
I would say the weight is not that bad I carry a cz 75b on and off duty which weight 2.2lb and the cz 97b weights 2.5lb so theres not a lot of difference there and I have no problem what so ever with the weight if you like the fell of the gun and the grips are not a problem its a great buy.

January 4, 2011, 08:06 PM
Had 2 97s, ended up selling both of them. Very accurate, and pretty low recoil for the round. Never got a chance to shoot the BD, both of mine were just Bs. Had a problem with one, it was really picky with mags (even factory CZ mags). It may have been a bad batch of mags, but they worked in one and not the other (had a tendency to self-eject after about 3 rounds). As far as weight and size, I'm 6'4", at the time about 215 lbs, and I felt weird hauling around that big of a gun. My full-size 1911 seemed easy to conceal after a couple of walks with my 97.....

Oh, and accessories were hard to find....

January 5, 2011, 02:36 PM
i shot an xd45 yesterday at the range and it sucked to shoot. one magazine had the webbing in my hand hurting. i wont go bigger than .40 in polymer...(m&p40 = awesome)

January 5, 2011, 11:45 PM
Well it seems the consensus is the 97b is more of a range gun and the polymer's are more for duty due to weight and ability to shoot all types of hollowpoints.

So is the 97b better than a 1911 for a range gun? (I may want to still buy one regardless!) I know it's almost comparing apples to oranges but in terms of recoil and accuracy how do they compare? I already know SA vs DA/SA and the safties and the grip sizes, etc...just wondering how they compare shooting side-by-side. Which is more fun....especially on the hand?

January 6, 2011, 12:00 AM
I have the SA XDm 4.5 in .45 ACP and I love it. I recommend it over the XD as it has design improvements that allow you to reliably shoot SWCs if you're so inclined. I have made two modifications to my pistol: I have installed a stainless steel recoil spring guide ($25) and a Powder River Precision "Match Easy" trigger kit (around $100). The pistol comes with a "Match Barrel" and mine is accurate. I have a 200 gr. RNFP handload that easily shoots under 1" 5 shot groups @ 50. Another benefit are the three interchangeable backstraps that allow you to fit the pistol to your hand. I use the medium after trying the largest. The smallest came on the pistol and I have fairly large hands.

Recoil is manageable and I prefer the .45 vs the .40 when it comes to polymer pistols. I get more of a push than a muzzle flip. My defense load is the 185 gr. Golden Saber +P and I handload the 185 gr. Golden Saber.

The trigger kit may not be practical for you in a duty pistol but there are pistolsmiths that can give you a carry trigger at a fairly reasonable price. Check out My pistol will rival the 97B in accuracy, but again I have the trigger kit installed. I find the biggest aid in having eliminated the triggers overtravel more than anything else. The factory trigger wasn't overly heavy but I wanted to get the most of the match grade barrel. The stock pistol weighs 31 oz with empty magazine so it is heavier than a Glock but light enough for all day carry for around $600.;)

January 6, 2011, 12:08 AM
I love my CZ what a nice package in 45 acp for the price.

Two reviews involving the CZ97b

January 6, 2011, 12:30 AM
Another .45 polymer frame to keep in mind is the Ruger P-345. Mine is accurate enough. It comes with 8 round magazines so it's a 9 round pistol. A lot of value for the $.;)

January 18, 2011, 01:01 AM
I ended up buying a glock 21 at the gun show this past weekend. Got a good deal on a lightly used one for $430 out the door. Found 3 extra new mags for just $15 each as well!

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