CZ slide hard to grip?


October 1, 2011, 08:34 PM
I was out shopping today. Specifically I was looking at the CZ Rami and the CZ Compact. Both seemed to be very well built pistols. It did seem to me that there is very little to grip when racking the slide, especially if you are using what I would call an overhand grip on top of the slide with thumb and forefinger of the weak hand facing the rear of the pistol. I'm sure there is a technical name for this method so excuse my ignorance. Regardless, the serrations are minimal and I could see myself losing my grip and raking my palm across the top of the rear sight leaving lots of DNA behind.

So for all you CZ guys, is this just something you work around or am I imagining a problem/challnege that doesn't exist? Not knocking your brand, genuinely curious.

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October 1, 2011, 08:38 PM
Good question, but no, I haven't had that issue with any CZ I've owned yet.

Walt Sherrill
October 1, 2011, 08:41 PM
Some folks seem to feel it is a problem.

I've had a bunch of different guns, and have had a NUMBER of CZs (and Witnesses) and never noticed it to be that big a deal. But I generally lay my hand OVER the slide, using the grip you describe, resting on the slide in front of the sights. Doing that gives the hand something solid to push against. I do this with other guns, too.

Gripping the slide in that manner just seems more natural to me, and any other way forces you to move the gun away from your likely target even farther.

Related issue: some folks like to "Sling Shot" the slide when releasing it -- and it's an approach that has been taught for years.

An acquaintance, a professional shooter (IPSC, etc., with sponsors) has been working as a firearms instructor training and tuning up Special Ops folks at Ft. Bragg. He says that they now teach soldiers to NOT sling shot the slide but, instead, to release the slide with the slide release/slide stop lever.

Why? Turns out there were too many cases of the gun NOT going into battery properly when releasing the slide using the SLING SHOT method, under fire, over in the two big sand boxes. Given the heat or cold, the use of gloves, etc., sling-shotting caused as many problems as it solved. You should still know how to do it, as part of the Slap Rack Bang clearance drill...


October 1, 2011, 09:25 PM
I found the short slide on a CZ-75 (pre-B) to be a problem when trying to clear a feeding malfunction with a very hot gun. There's not much slide to hold onto, particularly when the gun is hot! I've since sold the gun.

October 1, 2011, 09:49 PM
If you are used to a 1911 or other auto where the slide rides outside the frame, it takes a bit to get used to.

October 1, 2011, 11:03 PM
I own 4 CZ pistols and love them, but the slide is harder to rack than other guns. The Serrations are fine, but the height of the exposed slide is thin. This is due to the design of the frame rails over the slide rails. It supposedly results in a lower bore axis, thus decreasing recoil. I'm not sure it works, but the guns are as accurate as heck. I've gotten used to racking the slide on CZs and use them in action pistol shooting. You should not let this perceived problem keep you from buying a great pistol. That said, I'd get a P01 or PCR over a RAMI .

October 2, 2011, 08:04 AM
Well, coming from Mr. Blue I will keep that recommendation in mind. I saw one of the target photos you posted recently after it met you and a CZ. Great shooting!

From my limited investingating so far, the biggest thing the the RAMI has going for it for my use, conceal carry, is the fact that it is smaller than the Compact PCR. Of course that means a slightly shorter barrel too, which one would assume would mean slightly less accurate. Still looking, still investigating. Unfortunately my local rental range doesn't have any CZs on the rental rack.

The list of comparables is very short. Sig 239 and two older S&W models, the CS9 (found one new sitting in a gun store) or possibly the 908 (if I can find one). All are metal framed, have hammers, are DA/SA and are about the size I'm looking for. Those features make for a short list.

The Lone Haranguer
October 2, 2011, 08:09 AM
I have a PCR. It takes a little more attention, but I've never had my hand slip off, "short stroked" it or any other mishaps. The front serrations, I can't find any use for at all.

I could see myself losing my grip and raking my palm across the top of the rear sight leaving lots of DNA behind.
:scrutiny: Are the corners of the sight not rounded? (This is why I don't like some types of adjustable sights on a fighting pistol, BTW.) Also, if you pinch it firmly between the heel of your hand and your fingertips in an overhand grip, your palm should not be contacting anything. (At least, mine doesn't.)

October 2, 2011, 08:20 AM
Never gave it any thought on my P-01. The only slide I don't like racking is my Buckmark.

October 2, 2011, 09:06 AM
not on my omega ... but that is the only cz i have ever played with.

October 2, 2011, 09:39 AM
I've never had a problem with either my 75B or PCR. I find my blowback Beretta M85FS much harder to rack due to the required stiff recoil spring, and small surface area, but its not an issue.

October 2, 2011, 09:51 AM
My CZ75 Compact is slightly harder to rack the slide compared to my 1911. But I recently started using a high quality lubricant (try Slide Glide or Slip Stream) and it did make a diffrence.

October 2, 2011, 10:41 AM
Thanks Nova, good lube is always a must. But the spring tension/slide friction isn't what I was referring to, it was the limited amount of gripable surface when compared to other autoloaders. I was just curious if other CZ shooters noticed and thus compensated in some way. Sounds about 50/50. I wasn't saying this is or will be a deciding factor, just throwing it out for discussion.

October 2, 2011, 10:45 AM
When compared to pistols like 1911s, Glocks, XDs, Berettas, Rugers, and most other modern pistols, some CZs can be a little difficult to quckly rack the slide.
As stated above, it is mostly because of the slide riding inside the frame.

October 2, 2011, 11:01 AM
It definitely has a smaller surface area, but it has never been a problem for me and have never had my hand slip off as a result.

I also agree you would most likely be better off with one of the compacts as opposed to the subcompact.


October 2, 2011, 11:15 AM
It was definitely a deciding factor in selling my P-01. With sweaty hands I found it difficult to secure a sure grip. And with what there is to grip, I found too many sharp edges for my liking.
It really is a personal choice though.

October 2, 2011, 12:42 PM

Barrel Length: 3"
Overall Length: 6.6"
Overall Width: 1.25"
Overall Height: 4.7"
Weight Unloaded: 1.6 lbs.

Barrel Length: 3.9"
Overall Length: 7.2"
Overall Width: 1.4"
Overall Height: 5.3"
Weight Unloaded: 1.7 lbs.

The Lone Haranguer
October 2, 2011, 02:13 PM
Now that I see the picture, the rear sight on the RAMI does look rather high and sharp.

October 3, 2011, 01:32 AM
I've never had a problem with handling the slide on any CZ or witness I've owned, but a friend of mine has problems with my guns every time he shoots them. I have to admit, I really don't get it at all.

October 3, 2011, 03:04 AM
It's all about getting used to it.

October 3, 2011, 03:24 AM
Oldnoob said it right, when its someone elses gun it is hard to get used to it right away unless you have owned one. I can not get used to my friends 92FS but he loves it, on the other side of the coin he has trouble with my P-07 but it is second nature for me.

October 3, 2011, 05:58 AM
I don't like the slide inside the frame idea. I prefer the old standard of the slide wrapping around the frame. You get a much better purchase on the slide

October 3, 2011, 06:31 AM
I own and shoot several models of CZs and for me this is a non-issue.

October 3, 2011, 01:48 PM
I've got an EAA Witness with similar geometry to a CZ, and have shot CZ's many times. I have never had a problem manipulating the slide on any of them, and I put a 20lb spring in mine (10mm needs a stout spring, I'm told).

I could see a problem for those who put their hand over the top of the slide, as opposed to the "slingshot" method of grabbing the rear of the slide from behind.

October 3, 2011, 02:21 PM
I've owned several CZ's and the narrow slide among other issues are why I no longer own a one. In my experience CZ's tend to be above average in accuracy, but below average in relaibility. While you may get to the point where you no longer notice the narrow slide, you will never be able to operate it as well or quickly as the wider slide found on any other gun to clear malfunctions.

For a range gun where accuracy is more important than reliablilty the CZ is an excellent choice. For a SD firearm, they are near the bottom of my list and the narrow slide is a big part of my decision.

October 3, 2011, 03:32 PM
jmr40, are you saying that they jam more frequently, or that you found it harder to clear the jams?

October 3, 2011, 04:42 PM
My new CZ75 Compact's slide is tighter and less grippy than some other pistols I own, but it hasn't been an issue.

I haven't seen many CZ complaints either.
Certainly mine has had no problems with 400 or so rounds of wwb 115g fmj ,147g jhp and Fed value pack 115g fmj in the 3 weeks I've had it.

Walt Sherrill
October 3, 2011, 05:01 PM
In my experience CZ's tend to be above average in accuracy, but below average in relaibility.

I'm curious... what does "in my experience" mean? Are you talking about just one gun that you never really mastered? Have you owned multiple CZs? Are you talking about CZs you have observed in matches? Or, are you making reference to CZs used by your shooting buddies?

I don't doubt that there have been unreliable CZs, but most of the assertions about unreliability (or spring problems) that we read on forums like this seem to come from folks who are passing on their internet knowledge.

You've owned one. What were YOUR reliability issues?

I've had 20+ CZ over the past 12-13 years, ranging form several Compacts, some pre-Bs, several 75Bs, several 85 Combats, a CZ-40B, and a 97B. I've also had a number of Witnesses. I still have 2 CZs, plus 2 clones. Reliability has never been a problem with any of them.

My 85 Combat probably has 10K rounds through it, now. If was my main "go-to" gun during several years of IDPA matches. I've changed the recoil spring, a number of mag springs, and added an extra-strength extractor spring some years back. That's it.

While you may get to the point where you no longer notice the narrow slide, you will never be able to operate it as well or quickly as the wider slide found on any other gun to clear malfunctions.

What may have been true for you may not be true for others...

October 3, 2011, 05:38 PM
As a long time 1911 shooter, I struggled at first with the CZ slide, but soon adapted. My TZ 75 and CZ 97 both run great, as did the P01 and the Witness Elite Match I had. I am going to get a CZ75 one of these days. Reliability issues have never crossed my mind with this future purchase. Neither has the slide running inside the frame.

October 3, 2011, 10:25 PM
In my experience CZ's tend to be above average in accuracy, but below average in reliability.

Walt beat me to it, but I too am curious as to jmr40s experience with CZs.

October 3, 2011, 10:59 PM
I shoot two models of the full sized CZ75, so I'm not practiced with your pistols; but I use the rear sights as stop for my weak hand.
Use your 'hold' against the rear sight. Rack the slide by 'pushing forward' with your strong hand. Don't move the weak hand.

jmr40: you will never be able to operate it as well or quickly as the wider slide found on any other gun to clear malfunctions.

Sounds like a fun challenge. Shoot, clear and shoot again under a shot timer.
Do you live near San Antonio TX? I'll be your Huckleberry.

October 3, 2011, 11:10 PM
CZs and unreliable don't usually go together. While I don't doubt your problems, your problem is clearly an aberration. CZs are known for reliability.

Slide ergonomics that might need some getting used to? That is true. Once I got used to the smaller surface area on the slide, I wouldn't use another pistol for action pistol competitions.

Between CZ, S&W, and Colt I don't need any other brand of handgun. That said, I still have a FNP45 USG and a Springfield XD45 that I won't sell.

October 3, 2011, 11:25 PM
I don't carry unreliable guns or depend on them to do this...

Or, as I said several years ago,

October 3, 2011, 11:32 PM
Nice pics and cute boy.

October 3, 2011, 11:58 PM
He's a little bigger nowadays, and has his own CZ, a 452 Scout. :)

October 4, 2011, 12:08 AM
Nice, Armoredman. I need a son. I love my daughter, but she's a girly girl and may not take to shooting when she's of age (currently 4).

October 4, 2011, 12:26 AM
Can't have mine! :) And don't be too sure, look at Pax and other top notch female shooters!

October 4, 2011, 01:00 AM
In my experience CZ's tend to be above average in accuracy, but below average in relaibility.

Wow, I have only heard of one reliability issue with CZs. That was the early model P-07 in 9mm. Many of those "issues" were people complaining the mag didn't drop free. If they had bothered to read up on the gun they would have known it wasn't a defect. The gun came equiped with a magazine brake.

I own a P-07 and the only issue it had came from over loaded ammo. The guys at my local shop say they've ran CZ-75s and CZ-85s over 10,000 rounds with no reliability issues.

The slide takes getting use to. It is thinner and for that reason harder to grasp. I have always made it a habit to lay my hand flat on the slide to rack a semi-auto. So, it was just a finger angle issue. I haven't had any issue with my hand sliding anywhere. Even after 125 rounds the gun wasn't too hot to grab and rack when practicing reload drills.

October 4, 2011, 01:22 AM
I don't own a CZ handgun, though I'd like to buy one eventually. I haven't had a problem with gripping the slide on any CZ I've handled (I actually thought they were very comfortable), but I've read that some people have a big problem with it. Just depends on the person and what they're used to, I guess.

October 4, 2011, 02:31 AM
I have not had a single problem with my P-07 9mm. Ran 300 rounds of Winchester 9mm NATO through it with a thorough cleaning after every 100 rounds and not a single hick-up. Both mags feed well and drop free with no problems. I even practice with snap caps some malfunction drills and i have not had any issues with the slide. I use the method that 1SOW uses.

October 4, 2011, 11:00 PM
I have the CZ clone Witness in 10mm. I had been trained to use the overhand slide rack in any slide lock situation so that the muscle memory would work on most any semi auto pistol. My Witness proved to be a bit of trouble in racking especially after I put in a heavy Wolf recoil spring. I now use the index finger of my support hand to hook the rear sight and rack the slide. So much for the muscle memory thing.
I love the pistol but after training with a Glock 35 it feels like a boat anchor. Durn she's pretty though.


October 4, 2011, 11:43 PM
Funny how I posted earlier that it was easier to rack the slide on my CZ75 Compact now that I'm lubricating it properly - darned if I wasn't cleaning it this morning, tried racking it and the rear sites took a couple of pieces of skin off my finger!!! :eek:

I see what folks are talking about now that I've got my SW1911 - definitely more room to grip. I shoot each gun about as often as the other, so it is a constant muscle memory mix up and I have to be a little slower on the CZ if I want to keep the rest of my skin!

October 4, 2011, 11:57 PM
The same overhand grip 'against the rear sight' will work on any pistol. My CZ almost never malfunctions to need clearing my reloads, but everytime I compete, the round in the chamber has to be cleared when finished shooting the stage.
Never had any damage to to my hand or problem with clearing through 50K rds of shooting with my CZ.

October 5, 2011, 12:38 AM
I will agree it's harder to grip the slide in CZ's relative to other guns but it's something you can easily and quickly get used to. Since I shoot CZ's on a regular basis I don't notice it so much any more, but I had a Sig P229 for a few weeks and was amazed by how easy the slide was to rack in comparison. It's something to consider but I wouldn't consider it a major disadvantage for these great guns.

October 5, 2011, 10:33 AM
One of my buddies who's strictly a 1911 shooter said the same thing about the CZ slide being hard to grip. He uses the overhand grip, so I showed him how I grab the back portion with a slingshot style grasp. He just looked at me and shook his head as if to say "That slingshot grip is so un-tacticool it's not even funny." Much of it has to do with the mentality of the shooter, in my opinion. He's the kind of guy that always goes in black multi-pocketed cargo pants, underarmor shirts, black combat boots, black shades, etc. I think that one of the weaknesses of the tacticool crowd is that once they see "expert x" do this or that tactic, they adopt it and never feel the need to try any other method because it's not "combat effective". So, to wrap it up, (and to get back to the original point after rambling) I think that a lot of the "getting used" to a gun depends on your mindset and how willing you are to learn the ways in which the gun operates. Just my two cents, anyhow. Take that as you will. Have a nice day, all!

October 5, 2011, 01:29 PM
"I found the short slide on a CZ-75 (pre-B) to be a problem when trying to clear a feeding malfunction with a very hot gun. There's not much slide to hold onto, particularly when the gun is hot! I've since sold the gun."

.......A CZ malfunction>>>:eek:

October 5, 2011, 02:38 PM
Actually, tarheel, I had multiple jams yesterday, FTF, with my CZ SP-01 Phantom. New cast lead bullet, (Lyman 356402), that was apparently overlong, even though it passed the drop test and factory recommended specs, but it did NOT want to load. Several times it failed to go into battery as that long conical bullet fetched up against the top of the throat, so I had to rack the slide to eject it. I used the hated slingshot method, which my instructors at work have been trying to pound out of me for YEARS, and had no difficulty whatsoever getting those bad loads out of my Phantom. BTW, I've told my instructors that I've been shooting since before some of them were born, and I ain't changing what works for me. Drives them nuts.
Oh, and after I got rid of the bad loads, I ran through about 250 other loads with no problems, including Berry's PHP at 1.02 COAL. :D

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