January 12, 2004, 08:36 PM
Does anyone shoot a CZ=83 in .380? I just saw one while perusing Gunbroker. Looks like a nice CCW piece for hotter weather. Any info? Thanks.


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George Hill
January 12, 2004, 09:50 PM
Similar design to the Mak... but much higher level of refinement and finish. They are very good looking and feel good in the hand.
I'm not big on .380s, but this is one I would consider.
The other ones are the Beretta 84/85, and the SIG P232.
I'd like to get a Mak one day, but in the regular Mak caliber.

Stephen A. Camp
January 12, 2004, 09:51 PM
Hello. I bought one of these a year or two ago and while I've shot it some, I just don't shoot .380 ACP all that much. Finally decide it was time to really see what the thing might be capable of.

The Pistol: The CZ83 is most often seen in .380, but I think some examples are around in 9x18 Makarov. If memory serves, the pistol was also offered in .32 ACP, but I could be wrong on that.

Like the larger CZ pistols, this is a conventional DA/SA pistol that allows for "cocked and locked" carry should that be desired. The generous tang prevented the spur hammer from biting me, despite my somewhat large hands. The DA pull is long, but extremely smooth and quite light. The trigger is not grooved. This was surprisingly good. The SA pull is light, but like the CZ75, the hammer's pushed back very slightly in the SA pull before it falls. This precludes the crisp "glass rod" break most often seen on tuned 1911s. This does not mean that the SA pull's hard to use; it isn't. It is a straight blow back as are most .380 pistols.

Sights are fixed and the same as those on the CZ75/85 B pistols, i.e., very usable and easy to see at speed. They're the 3 Dot variety and have the "glow in the dark" paint. I'd be happy with plain black-on-black.

This picture shows the sights, ambidextrous, frame-mounted thumb safeties, but does not show the ambidextrous magazine release located at the rear of the trigger guard.

Original-capacity magazines in .380 were 13 rnd, but my gun came with two 10 rnd mags that were easy to load and appeared quite well-made. This pistol also has the hooked trigger guard that's checkered on front rather than the older, rounded one. (I prefer the rounded.) Stocks are black, partially checkered plastic secured with one Phillips head screw on each side. (I think these screws look "cheap" and would much prefer slotted or hex head given my druthers.) The pistol has an external slide release.

The slide release is not ambidextrous and well-positioned.

Ammunition: There is a wide selection of ammunition around for .380. I used one FMJ round in the test with the rest being JHPs. Ammunition used:

Fiocchi 95 gr FMJ
PMC 90 gr JHP
Federal Classic 90 gr JHP
Federal 90 gr Hydrashok JHP
Winchester 95 gr "Deep Penetrator" JHP
Corbon 90 gr JHP +P

I do not have any personally chronographed figures for any .380 loads, but the Corbon is rated at 1050 ft/sec with the others a bit shy of 1000 ft/sec. Rounds were ejected to the right about 18 ft or so.

Shooting: Ten-shot groups were fired with the above loads at 10 yards, standing w/2-hand hold in slow-fire, single-action and the same for the 25 yard test.

Sights were dead-on. Top left: Fiocchi ball, Bottom Left: PMC JHP, Top Right: Federal JHP, Bottom Right: Winchester JHP, Middle: Corbon JHP, Top Middle: Federal Hydrashok.

The gun "shoots." The PMC shot the tightest group with the rest about equivalent. For what it's worth, I've not been able to get PMC's JHP to expand in any informal expansion tests.

Since many folks use Federal's 90 gr Hydrashock as their defensive load in this caliber, I opted to use it for the 25 yard target.

I think it is plenty accurate enough for defensive purposes. I did have one malfunction with this load, but none with any of the others. One round failed to fully chamber. Test your defensive ammo regardless of your pistol choice. I found this surprising as chambering rounds off full magazines was "slick" and without hesitation with any of the rounds tested. The Hydrashock round that hung up was the 4th round.

The following group was fired as quickly as I could get on target using the Corbon +P 90 gr JHP at 10 yards. It consists of 5 "controlled pairs." Since this gun does allow for cocked and locked, I fired only the first round double-action. It is the low one!

Recoil is not "sharp" as has been reported by some, but I suspect this is with the smaller .380 pistols.

Observations: The CZ83 is easy to shoot and shoot well. While it is large for caliber compared to many of the smaller and more potent 9mm & 40 caliber pistols, it does have enough bbl to take advantage of what velocity the .380 has. Though NOT on my short-list of preferred defensive rounds, I'd likely use the 90 gr Federal Classic JHP for this purpose of the ones tested. This round's "worked" in various informal expansion tests, at least to my satisfaction. I've not "tested" the Winchester round. I might also test it and the Remington 102 gr Golden Saber for this caliber if serious about it.

Metal fit and finish was quite satisfactory and the blue was even.

If interested in a .380 ACP pistol, even though it doesn't have the almost mandatory decocker, I suggest looking long and hard at this pistol.

Comparison to Makarov: This is likely the one to be made by many folks. For those interested, a range report on the Mak can be found via the link below.

The CZ has the lighter trigger pulls in both SA and DA.
The CZ has cocked and locked capability; the Mak does not.
Out of the box, the CZ has better sights.
Neither pistol has an internal firing pin safety. The CZ's is retained via the traditional firing pin retaining plate.
The Makarov is a bit more powerful.
Magazines for the Mak are much less expensive.
CZ magazine holds 10 in current form; Maks hold 8.
No magazine disconnect in either pistol.
The CZ comes with more visible sights than the Makarov, but the latter pistol can be bought under $200 while the CZ's costs around $300. Better sights can be put on the Makarov should the owner desire and the cost difference becomes negligible.

While I find the CZ83 more "refined" than the Makarov, I do like the feel of the Makarov better when fitted with Pearce grips.

Some of the above is subjective and based on a small number of pistols, 1 of each. The picture below shows the CZ and Makarov together for size comparison.


January 12, 2004, 09:51 PM
I have A CZ 83 in 9mm Mak, and it's one of my favorite mouse guns. Very accurate and has not jammed in over 500 rounds. My one complaint would be the magazines, there suppose to hold 10 rounds, but the springs in the mag are so tight I can only get 8 rounds in the mag.

If you get one consider the 9mm mak( 9X18). More power than a .380 so better for a CCW. Now that Ohio will allow CCW mine will be used for that role.

January 13, 2004, 12:24 AM
I have an older model in blue with nites. Wish Hakan would make magic with 83 grips. I carry my CZ83 loaded with XTPs in the hot summer weather. Hides well under a vest in a HBE Switch holster.

The .380 does have less power than a 9mm luger or 9mm MAK, but
the 83 gives me 13 rounds with another hi-cap as a spare. Nice
firepower if needed.

I know a guy in S. Africa who carries one year round. Easily the best
triggers of any CZs excepting the Race Guns. Smooth DA and a very
light/crisp SA for cocked and locked fans. The '83 has superb ergonomics//Fits most anyone..especially female shooters. Low recoil makes for very fast follow up shots.

With a .380 you will have to be very cold. Using the Zipper technique
ala John Farnam and others...and the CZs accuracy is there for it.
CZ83UT has shot some outstanding groups with his. The CZ is probably more reliable than most .380 caliber guns. I've never heard a complaint
about them feeding ball ammo or most JHPs. They also seem to have
a very low percentage of problems with durability.

Having owned the MAK version, i found the Barnaul JHP to be quite
peppy! The CZ83 was 100% reliable with all ammo, including Wolf.

As for power..I don't see that the MAK is That much more powerful than
a good .380 HP. For some folks this could be an issue. Finding a MAK
chambered '83 is also a problem as they are no longer imported.

The Cz83 lives up to the CZ legend..Shoot one and see what all the people rave about:)

January 13, 2004, 06:29 AM
Well, Ive had 3 and well over 5K rounds through them. NOT 1 GUN RELATED FAILURE in that time. They are held in very high placement among CZ's and that says alot. If your looking for a 380 then you just found your gun................................
My first one group'd 1.9" @ 25 yds with 5 rnds of Win S-Tips..not bad for a little 380.........:D

Shoot well

January 13, 2004, 07:12 AM
"Similar design to the Mak... "

Totally NOT similar.

See the differences in the article in this topic.

The construction is 100% different.

IMHO one of the best .380 ACP (or 9x18 Mak, or .32 ACP) pistols (especially for its price), but it is a little too big for its ammo.

My test on the .32 ACP version is here (Hungarian Only):

January 13, 2004, 08:40 AM
>>I have A CZ 83 in 9mm Mak<<

I was wondering where you got this, as I didn't think they were imported into the US? That's something that would appeal to me over the typical .380 normally found here.


January 13, 2004, 09:01 AM
Thanks. That's good info. I'll check one out.


January 13, 2004, 09:23 AM
If you want a CZ83 in Makarov 9x18....your best bet is to post your wants on the Pocket Pistols section of the CZForum...........
If anyone has one for sale youll find it there..................

Shoot well.

January 13, 2004, 09:27 AM
Thanks E.!!!

Baron Holbach4
January 13, 2004, 10:46 AM
Thank you, Mr. Camp, for another outstanding range report.

I own two CZ83s, one in nickle and one in blue. I also own and have shot the Bersa Thunder and Beretta 84. I found the CZ83 a far more accurate shooter than the Bersa or 84. Indeed, Mr. Camp is correct when he states that the CZ83 "shoots."

January 13, 2004, 05:09 PM
I found my 9mm mak CZ 83 on at a dealer in Georgia. I have seen several CZ 83's in 9 mm mak on both and in the last year. The cost is around 300.00$.

The pistol was new, but I have also noted several that were used.

January 13, 2004, 05:19 PM
Oh boy, Phils at it still. Before anyone gets excited about CZ83 Maks off of Auction Arms/GunsAmer/Etc......please call them and double check to see if they have them in stock. Just a bit of caution.............K?

Shoot well.

January 13, 2004, 05:37 PM
Stoney- Thanks for the info. I'm a regular "looker" in both Gunbrokers & A.A., so I'll keep an eye out.

>>Oh boy, Phils at it still.<<

Eric- That's how you get repeat business!!:D

January 13, 2004, 05:52 PM
I notice that "ton80" guy (The Gun Shop in Atlanta) is listing them on Gunbroker for $339.00. Don't know if this is a good price or not? I also notice he's listing them for $319.00 on his website, so I guess I answered my own question.

I could also be interested in a good used one as well, as long as it's in 9x18 MAK.


January 13, 2004, 08:35 PM
That's (The Atlanta gun shop) were I got my CZ from. Looks like he raised his price a little.

January 13, 2004, 09:09 PM
Yeah, I guess thay have, but not by much. I did email him as to availability and he said he DID have these in stock. We shall see. :-)

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