Author Topic: CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds  (Read 15518 times)

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Offline mainmech48

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« on: March 21, 2002, 09:29:18 AM »
Like many of us, my first experience with the CZ-platform was with an EAA clone in 9mm. The ergos were what really hooked me: I'd never had a pistol that seemed to fit my hand as well.

While it has given me outstanding service over the years, I kept carrying my 1911's. Call it the "mystique" of the .45 ACP cartridge if you will, but I found that I was more comfortable with it when my personal-favorite behind might be in jeopardy.

I tried one of the Italian .45's when they first were introduced. While the "feel" was there, the accuracy was disappointing and there were some reliability issues with some of the better defense loads.

I've had my 97B for a couple of months now, and while I've only put about 500 rnds through it so far, I'm very impressed with it. It has some minor glitches in the trigger action that may be peculiar to my gun, but its reliability and accuracy couldn't be much better.

I've had some real problems with the "Wolf" brand ammo in my Springfield Champion and my Para Ord C7.45. Mostly FTEs after a couple of rounds fired. It may be partially due to the tight chamber specs, but I'm inclined to believe that the lacquer on the cases is the main culprit. It seems to build-up under the extractor very quickly and keep it from getting enough "bite" to pull the case completely free. Function is 100% in both pistols with any other commercial ammo that I've tried.

The CZ went through 200 rounds of it without single malfunction of any sort. This pleases me no end, as I now have a source for practice and plinking ammo that is not only cheaper than I can reload it, but I also don't have to spend all that time scrounging through the grass for the empties!

The 97 has proven to be 100% reliable with everything that I've tried so far, from 200 gr. lead bullet reloads to Cor-Bon  P's. Hollow points, SWC's, or ball: it doesn't seem to have a problem with anything. I haven't tried bullseye "softball" loads yet, but that's really only an academic concern as I only anticipate using major-spec ammo in it.

Accuracy has been impressive, if you take into account my bifocal-clad eyes and the less-than-stellar trigger action in both modes. Any out-of-the-box .45 that I can routinely put 5 rnds into less than 3" at twenty-five yards with iron sights excites me anymore. This one does it with almost any brand of commercial ball, and I've gotten some groups of just over 2" with 230 gr. "Hydra-Shocks" when I do everything right. The gun may well shoot better than that, but I don't think that I can.

I'll be taking it to Neil Keller to have an ambi safety (I'm left-handed) installed and the trigger action slicked-up in late April or early May. He's in the APG, the AH "Top 100" AND he's in my home state so I don't have to double my costs to pay for UPS' internal theft problems. Sweet!

It remains to be seen just how the polymer finish will hold-up over time. I've read the posts and what literature that I can find on it but I'm still a bit skeptical. If it shows a tendency to chip-off, I'll try sending it off to Robar for NP3 or something. Has anyone had any experience with aftermarket finishes on CZ's yet? I'm curious as to how difficult it is to strip the polymer, etc.

Sorry for the long post. I let my enthusiasm get me carried-away. This one looks like a definite keeper!


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2002, 05:15:46 PM »
Wow! great praise for the superb 97B. Long post like this
are highly encouraged!

Nice that it will shoot 200 gr. I'm undecided on what practice ammo to reload. 230 or 200. i like them both.

185s?? I might as well be shooting a 10mm...or 40

a local guy is getting near 1,200 with his 1911 and the
REM 185 jhp over H110. That like 30 grains of powder!

I don't need that from a .45, i have 2 TENS!

The 97B has a very tolerable trigger from the box, not
gritty like the 75B. An action job would prob help yours.
NP3 or other teflon-like coating would prob work even better.

Good to hear that your 97B likes Wolf. It's for sure a
cheaper way to go than the $15.00 Hardball found here. is still in the works..


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2002, 07:29:03 AM »
Great review. To the point and very informative.


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2002, 01:38:18 AM »
my cz-97B doesn't like wolf .45   :-(

Offline jwc007

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2002, 09:57:34 AM »
The main problem with the Russian made Wolff Ammo is that the lacquer coating on the steel cases will melt slightly when it comes into contact with a warm chamber.  This causes a case sticking problem.  I have had to pry the shells out of some of the pistols of our students at our Safety and Marksmanship Training classes at our range.  Its OK as long as you do not get your pistol too warm.  Not my choice for a Combat Match.

Sorry you had problems with your Tanfoglio .45.  My EAA .45 Witness has been very reliable to the point of being a prime defensive weapon.  I shot a Combat Match with it last weekend and did very well.  In fact I think it gave me a little bit of an edge over the others!  Maybe it's just the confidence it gave me!  I knew it would run if I did my part.
"Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego." - Yoda

For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"

Offline raystattoostudio

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2004, 12:00:55 AM »
I wouldnt put that Wolf Crap in an AK or an SKS on a dare, let alone a weapon that I value. I tried that junk in my Taurus PT 92 a few years ago and I was sorry I did. As for their supposedly new coating they are using I still think it is Junk and would rather spend the few extra bucks to make sure I dont have ANY problems with my ammo.


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2004, 11:07:04 PM »
that green laquer finish is the only draw back to Wolf...its dirty and that gives it a bad seems to fire better than the wbox...pretty much all dealers have or will start getting new polymer cased ammo...pretty much any 762x39 ammo you get going forward is going to be polymer...i just put 200 rds of polymer wolf hp thru the sks and was very impressed when i took her apart.

i cant understand why a person would refuse to put wolf ammo thru a was build to shoot all that !@##ty carosive ammo from WWII and to be cleaned in a pond...wolf has to be be much nicer than that


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2004, 04:00:09 AM »
The steel casing on the Wolf brand ammo is also a potential source of problems, as it is tougher on the extractor -- given that extraction is going to be harder as the lacquer builds up.

I did a poll on The High Road a while back, and asked for those with experience.  About 80 folks replied.  About 25 had had no problems at all, the rest had had a range of problems from broken extractors, to guns failing to cycle, to slides "glued" shut from buildup.

Almost everyone I know who has shot the ammo  in handguns made in the West (i.e., not ex-Communist Block guns designed with steel-cased, lacquer coated ammo in mind) has loved it for a while -- because it is cheap -- and quit using it, because of problems.

There are too many other "Cheap" brands available for almost the same low price to bother.   Read the FAQ area for ammo recommendations.

Offline hutch1510

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2005, 06:08:06 PM »
GREAT post mainmech, i always like to hear other peoples experiences with these guns.............. as to the wolf comments///wolf ammo is not laquer finished anymore and has a polymer finish that does not melt, it works fine and i shot 200 rds today through my 1911 and 97B with out a hitch and was accurate to boot,,,


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2005, 07:06:03 PM »
You're right about the new Wolf being polymer covered.  I'll agree, too, that it is open to question as to whether steel-cased Wolf is the source of busted extractors in the guys shooting the stuff.  There's a lot of smoke, and maybe some fire.   I don't know about the rest of your comments, though.

All the surplus GI ammo I've ever encountered was brass, not steel cased.  Some of it was corrosive, though, including surplus GI .45.  I've got a pretty good collection of various calibers, etc., and no steel there.   The US may have used steel-cased ammo, but there was never a LOT of it available on the surplus market -- so a lots of folks shooting it is arguably stretching it, a bit.  Except in AK-47s, etc.  (But that's not GI Surplus.  Soviet or Chinese Communist surplus, but not GI...)

A number of gun makers have specifically said that using Wolf will void their warranties.  This includes a number of makes of r the Colt AR-type guns.  More smoke?
The only steel-cased ammo I've ever encountered was made in the Communist Block for CB weapons designed for it, including the Makarov and maybe a few others.  Works great in Eastern Block weapons.
What other guns and ammo did you have in mind when you said, "tons of guns shoot steel case, from ww2 til today including USGI 45 acp ammo, bla bla bla.... get over it.... "

The CZ line was designed around the Sellier & Bellot 124 gr hardball round -- and CZ will confirm that.  That was brass-cased, not steel.

Offline hutch1510

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2005, 02:05:37 AM »
the only problems wolf ammo had was the laquer finish, and the fact they possibly up til 2000 had a mildly corrosive primer,,, both these have been alleviated, they are now full non corrosive and the polymer finish does not melt and works fabulous,,, yes warranties were void for the old problems mentioned with laquer finish, AR15's many have tight chambers and such,,,,, but anyway, a gun does not get designed for steel case or any other case.......if your extractor is soft steel, thats a guns fault and not ammo casing.... besides the polymer finish eases things ... i have 2 cases in front of me i brought home just to look in better light, ... no blow by and such,,,, people just read everything then preach it like the gospel... GUARANTEED 98% of comments on wolf are from rumor post and not experience.... YES old laquer wolf was bad as the laquer finish was stupid and horrible.... YES it was the finish not the case,,, YES the new polymer finish is very nice,,,, i aam in military been in 10 yrs, have like 3 ar15's and a host of friends who have em and shoot alot of wolf,,, no problems with the polymer finish..... BUT they were smart enough not to use the laquer when it was around,,,, anyway ...... i'll be shooting my 97b alot more just got it,,,, and when get 1000 rds i'll try and do a post much like this one...

Offline hutch1510

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2005, 02:26:03 PM »
yes the U.S military during ww2 used steel cased ammo for practice, also in 1954 WRA produced 45acp lot# 22000-22007 in june 1954 made with "mild" steel and id (reloadable) these steel cases were used for national matches in 1955 no less.... anyway all this info is on the CMP website and a very reliable source,,,, just go to google and punch in ww2 steel case 45 acp ammo, and ODCMP website will come up... anyway as stated YES there were problems with wolf,,, but it was laquer not the fact that it was steel cased.... anyway the steel is quite mils and extractors as a general rule are hardened in all decent guns.... there really is no problem using modern wolf..... but this is about the CZ97 not wolf ammo.... i just needed to mention mine works fine with wolf, and has no problems with it.... .....also i need to apoligize for my attitude towards the steel case ammo, i just quit smmoking and am very irritable.... i let myself get away with it...


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2005, 06:14:54 PM »
The government made 7 lots of ammo.  X thousand rounds, in 1954.  Thousands were probably shot in national matches that and the following year.  That can't leave a helluva lot to go into the surplus markets.

That really doesn't sound like "tons of guns shoot steel case, from ww2 til today including USGI 45 acp ammo, bla bla bla...."

I think you've overstated the case a bit.

But I will try to keep an open mind about the advisability of shooting steel.  

Offline hutch1510

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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2005, 06:40:37 PM »
i did'nt overstate anything,,, and wasnt trying to prove anything.... my point was simple.... theres nothing wrong with steel cased ammo....  and the 7 lots is just the collectible stuff worth money...... not the regular  steel cased ammo used for traing for which there was TONS more.......if you think steel case is bad, state why? because general experince with people using it shows nothing wrong strange or anything,,,,, it's just what natural resources are avail ....the problem with wolf ammo was the laquer, and yes extractors would break,,, not because of steel casings but rather the laquer acted as superglue when hot and would tear up an extractor,,, this is now solved with the polymer casing... yes i think brass is better, but not worth 2X as much when practicing,,, my 97 loves the wolf and is accurate with it to boot.... i wouldnt let rumors make me pay twice as much for  ammo,,, especially when plinking or practicing as most people use ball ammo for.... .


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CZ 97B: Impressions After the First 500 Rnds
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2005, 04:02:11 PM »
I don't really know if steel cases are bad.  In all of my comments, I've tried to state it in a way to show that there is debate on this point.

I do know that the old Wolf's lacquer caused problems, but as you note, that's gone away (except for New Old Stock in inventory.)

I was in the military in the 60's and never saw steel-cased training ammo.  I'm pretty sure they haven't used it since then.    I've got a number of friends who were career military; none of them are familiar with steel-cased GI ammo.

I've been a collector of C&R weapons for years, and still haven't run into ANY steel-cased GI ammo.

Now, I admit that my lack of exposure to steel case ammo doesn't mean it wasn't made -- but I do feel pretty comfortable in questioning  your assertion that lots of folks have used GI steel-cased ammo.  

That WAS your claim, I think.

That's the part I think was overstatement.  

Your point -- that steel case is OK -- may be correct.