Author Topic: CZ-75 in .45 ACP  (Read 1275 times)

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Offline schmeky

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CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« on: December 30, 2008, 04:04:41 PM »
I have always wanted a CZ-75 in .45, but CZ doesn't make one.  I have a CZ-97 and love it, but I'm lucky enough to have hands big enough to comfortably grip the 97.  I feel my CZ-75 series pistols have the most ergonomic grip of any pistol I have ever owned and although I love my CZ-75/40 and my SP-01, I still longed for a .45.

On a whim, I bought a new Witness .45, stock number EA45WON, the standard pistol with the "wonder" finish.  The grip size is nearly identical to the CZ 75 series.  On top of this, the magazine holds 10 rounds, which makes me wonder why CZ couldn't do the same thing.  As popular as the .45 is in the USA, and considering the CZ-97 has never been overly popular in the US, a CZ-75 in .45 makes sense, at least to me.   

Upon initial examination of the Witness, a problem, at least for me, cropped up quickly; it would not feed 200 gn LSWC hard cast bullets, my favorite bullet that I have thousands of on hand.  I noticed the mouth of the barrel had a sharp edge on the circumference.  I gently contoured this sharp edge into a gentle radius using 1,000 grit wet/dry sandpaper coated with light oil.  I followed this with a fine polishing compound until the barrel throat had a mirror finish.  On the first try after this radiusing, the pistol chambered my 200 gn LSWC's smoothly.

On the first range outing, I was amazed at how accurate and "shootable" this Witness was.  I was shooting some very tight groups and decided to try a 25 yard target at the indoor range I frequent.  I fired 12 rounds from a seated position with a rest and put 8 rounds into 2"; I am confident I "pulled" the other 4 shots that opened the group up to 3.5"  I was impressed, since my eyesight at this range is compromised by my +.75 glasses I have to use to see the sights.

I am in the process of installing a Fiber Optic front sight set-up; the factory front sight is non-replaceable, so I'll have to modify the current sight.

Looks like a keeper!! 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 04:06:42 PM by schmeky »

Offline Rod Slinger

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 05:16:49 PM »
schmeky.........Hi and Happy New Year.   CZ and Tanfoglio have two different approaches when it comes to bringing out different calibers and caliber conversion.  They also manufacture their guns out of different steels and different casting approaches.   Sense I have 14 Witness guns and one CZ it is not hard to see my bias.  As you point out these differences become more apparent with the 45. 

As for a sight change-out, check out my post on fiber optic sight for the Witness at the top of this page.   If you like what you see I will be happy to talk you through this upgrade.  R S
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline schmeky

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 09:51:18 PM »
Rod,

Thanks for the input, but there's a big problem with my new Witness; the front sight appears to be milled from the slide, i.e. it's not replaceable nor removable.

The fiber optic sight on my new Witness will require considerable effort to accomplish.  I wish this weren't the case.

Offline Rod Slinger

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 01:02:04 AM »
schmeky......The Witness in the pic started out with a front sight exactly like what is on your gun.  I am in the process of installing fiber optic sights on all of my Witness's.   R S
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline schmeky

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 07:31:02 PM »
Rod,

I'm listening.  Please tell me more.  I am afraid what I am about to try may be less than optimal. 

Offline Rod Slinger

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 10:56:22 PM »
schmeky ........This is a copy of an answer to jwc007's question.  This is not as hard to do as it is to explain.  If you choose to go down this road I will guide you step by step. 

jwc007 asked me to go into greater detail on what was involved in installing the sight on my Witness.

At this time I wanted to replace the front sight only.  This meant that I had to find a sight which was made for a different pistol and install it on my Witness.  The first order of business was to regulate the current sight so it would shoot to point of aim.  The gun shot low so it was a simple matter to file down the front sight and bring it to center of target.
Now I was ready to measure from the top of slide at the base of the rib to the top of the front sight.  This measurement was important as I could not use a front sight that was higher than the combined measurement of sight and rib.
I chose a Sig 226 sight which would work if I machined twenty thousandth off the rib and could find a carbide cutter at 70 to 72 degrees.  I chose to cut the sight rib from the ejection port to front of slide.  This resulted in a level sight rib which I find to be pleasing to the eye.  A word of caution before milling the rib you need to level the cutter to the rib not the base of the slide.  By doing this the serrations terminate evenly in front of the new sight.  Next is polishing out the tooling marks left from the carbide cutter.  Now is the time to cut the dovetail.  I also chose to cut a two thousandth recess for the front sight to rest in.  This would make sure nothing could catch under the sight and the slide..    R S
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline schmeky

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 11:40:12 PM »
I have several questions:

1)  The original front sight blade has to be removed, obviously; did you mill yours off?
2)  Have to farm the cutting to someone with a milling machine, corrrect?
3)  Did you get your 72 degree cutter and Sig FO sight from Brownell's?
4)  What was your total cost?  I assume the milling (if farmed out), cutter, and sight could easily total $125.00 or more, correct?

I am looking into modifying my existing sight post by using a carbide cutter and a drill bit.  I would cut a scallop in the middle of the sight post, then drill out as needed to allow the fiber optic rod to be installed.  I could do this for <$50.00, but not sure how it would turn out.


Offline Rod Slinger

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 12:56:38 PM »
schmeky .........Good Questions.   

1.  Yes

2.  Yes unless you have the tools and ability.

3.  No the cutter came from Razor Sharp Grinding and the sight from HiViz.

4.  The cutter was $75.00 and the sight was $15.00.  I will be using the cutter for many guns so this is a small cost for me.   

The Sig sight may not work for you.  On a Wonder Finish gun I would not want to cut down the rib on the top of the slide. But this is putting the cart before the horse.  You select the front sight by answering two question.  First do I want to use my original rear sight.  Second what is the height of the front sight from top of rib to top of sight.

Your idea is a good one but there are two things to consider 1.. I have not been able to find a drill that would drill into a Witness front sight (if you want to know how tough the steel is in a Witness drill on the front sight)  2..The area that the light pipe has to pick up light will be small and this may make for a dim sight.    I hope this helps.   R S
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  Thomas Jefferson

Offline schmeky

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Re: CZ-75 in .45 ACP
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 01:32:21 PM »
Rod,

I really appreciate and respect your input since you've already "been there".  The original front sight on my Witness is a tad high, I estimate a height reduction of .010" may be put mine on the X-ring, this I can determine through gradual height reduction. 

I would prefer to install an Angus Custom shop style FO front sight in which the sight cut is parallel with the slide.  However, I'm open to options. 

I understand your comment on having sufficient exposed area of the FO rod to facilitate good illumination and this is a concern of mine before I make an attempt. 

I plan on picking your brain with this until I decide which way is best.  Cheaper typically costs more in the long run.