Author Topic: CZ Pistol Finishes  (Read 14234 times)

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Offline Radom

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CZ Pistol Finishes
« on: November 08, 2002, 12:46:11 AM »
CZ-USA currently imports the CZ 75B in stainless steel and carbon steel.  All other non-polymer models are carbon steel pistols, which come in five finish options:

1) Black Polycoat
2) Glossy Blue
3) Satin Nickel
4) Dual Tone
5) Dual Tone Polycoat

CZ-UB has also manufactured 75/85 series pistols with the following finishes in the past:

6) Matte Blue
7) Enamel
8) Parkerization


1) Black Polycoat: This is the default option and the least expensive finish. There are several models that only come in this finish: CZ 75B SA, CZ 75BD, CZ 75 DAO, etc. According to CZ-USA and the anecdotal experience of CZF members, this is the second-most durable finish overall. It is susceptible to being chipped if struck hard enough. Apparently, kydex holsters will "cut" this finish, much as is seen on Glocks. Theoretically, it is maintenance-free, but silicone cloths do give it a more glossy appearance. Polycoat is a form of polymer plastic that is applied with an electrostatic process. Cleaning solvents that are not to be used on plastic should be avoided.

2) Glossy Blue: This finish (and all of the other premium finishes) adds about $20 to the MSRP in the U.S. Glossy blue is very attractive, but it is definitely the least durable. Also, this finish truly is more "glossy" than some other brands' blued finishes, so fingerprints and the like show up very clearly. This is actually helpful, since the elements and oil from your skin will damage it. One can see the areas that require cleaning. Leather holsters will damage this finish. Tannic acid from the leather corrodes the bluing, as will some solvents. Bluing must be treated with oil or similar products to protect the finish. (This is all true of bluing in general, not just CZs.)

3) Satin Nickel: This is the most durable finish. Like stainless and the polycoat finish, it is theoretically maintenance free. Also, like these, some maintenance will keep it looking more attractive to the eye. Over time, oil from the skin, powder residue, etc. will dull the finish, but a light touch-up with Flitz metal polish will restore its appearance. Satin nickel is a coating over carbon steel, not stainless steel. Like the polymer, it is weatherproof, etc. The external controls (safety and slide release) on satin nickel models appear to be black polycoat. My understanding is that a holster cannot hurt this finish, but Kydex might "cut" it over time as well.

4) Dual Tone: This is a matte blue slide on a satin nickel frame. The external controls appear to be matte blue (but are often black polycoat). It is visually quite striking, but the blued portions still have the maintenance drawbacks of all blued finishes.

5) Dual Tone Polycoat: This finish is unique to the limited production CZ 75B Tactical. This finish is a black polycoat slide on an olive drab polycoat frame. The external controls appear to be black polycoat. Like the premium dual tone finish, this combination is quite striking, yet this version retains all of the advantages of the polycoat finish.

6) Matte Blue: No entire pistols with this finish are being imported by CZ-USA at this time. This was a fairly common finish on Type A and "transitional" pistols in the 75/85 series imported by other firms before 1995. Pistols with this finish are still manufactured by CZ-UB, but it appears that it is being phased out in favor of the black polycoat. Matte blue causes some identification problems. It is very difficult to distinguish it from black polycoat or enamel unless representatives of each are lying side-by-side. One way to be certain on an older import is to field strip the pistol. Matte blue will show up on the internals, but polycoat and enamel do not (bare carbon steel shows on the inside of the slide). Like all blued guns, matte blue pistols require regular maintenance every time they are handled.

7) Enamel:  Before CZ perfected its polycoat finish in the early 1990s, a finish of enamel or lacquer was often used in its place.  This was a common finish from 1979-1986.  This is the absolute worst finish CZ has ever used.  Normal holstering and firing will wear this finish quickly; it is thin and brittle.  On the bright side, it is maintenance free.  Like the polycoat, it will look better if lightly oiled.  

8) Parkerization:  Some Type A CZs from the 1980s are Parkerized, which is a type of phosphate coating.  This is a very desirable finish to find on a used CZ from this period, as the enamel and matte blued models are usually in need of refinishing.  Parkerization is maintenance free, but it does not benefit as much as some of the other finishes from superficial cleaning.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 10:22:47 AM by FEG »
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