Author Topic: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...  (Read 7829 times)

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Offline Southern Forester

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We all know that CZ handguns are fine pistols, superb examples of their art.  While nothing in the original CZ-75 was innovative (the only really innovative pistol CZ made was the 52, and that was at the Strakonice factory, not UB), it provided the sum of established features that made a pistol that out-shone every other "Wonder Nine" of its era.  The CZ-75 could properly be called the next step beyond the Hi-Power.  Yeah, there is the Beretta 92, but that is the next step beyond the P-38.  The Star 28 & 30 were excellent pistols, but they have been no more for more than a decade now.  While Glock and SIG are undeniable in their contributions, they are really a new generation (okay, Glock is, and SIG's 220 in 1976 was still just a single-stack pistol) that is a departure (and of course, nothing new, either).  In the end, the CZ-75 is the ultimate "Old School" 9mm in many views, mine included.  Now, this is not to devolve into an argument that other 9's, including S&W and SA's contributions do not count or are better, etc, etc, etc.  I will concede that CZ is not the end-all-be-all and that others are great (and, gasp, could even be better).  In any case, the CZ-75 is the only member of that group of 75 (eh, of the ten year period around that point) that can be called universal along with the 1911 and the Walther PP.  That is, the CZ in 9mm.

Here comes Tanfoglio.  While I like Tanfoglio pistols in 9mm (have some), in that caliber they are, well, simply clones of the original (though almost always with better triggers).  While it is true that virtually every other 9mm copy of a CZ is made of Tanfoglio parts and is of a Tanfoglio - not CZ - design, they are still images of CZ's creation (using CZ magazines etc).

Where Tanglio deserves to step out into the front lies in that loved and hated round, the 45acp.  While the Bren Ten was the first beefed-up CZ, it faltered and left no lasting legacy (and certainly not in 45), the Tanfoglio was the first large-framed CZ-pattern pistol chambered in 45acp.  It set the standard and, indeed, the large majority of 45acp CZ-pattern pistols are Tanfoglios (by a wide margin over CZ).  For that matter, Tanfoglio was chambering 45acp almost a decade before CZ decided to get into the act.

But the ultimate proof that Tanfoglio owns the 45acp design is the fact that every single 45acp-based pistol, from Springfield Armory's P9, to Adco's TT, to the EAA Witness, to the Baby Eagle, the ASAI One Pro, and even the CZ-97, every single one of them, uses Tanfoglio's magazine.  Naturally, every one of those built using Tanfoglio's parts will of course use Tanfoglio's magazine, but even CZ and ASAI conceded that Tanfoglio magazines were the correct direction.

Some here will claim that proves only that Tanfoglio hit the ball out of the park only with their magazine, which was the correct increase in proportion over the 9mm (but in no way proportional).  Yet the most common action is still Tanfoglio's.  The most popular (and universal) frame design and size is Tanfoglio's.  The ASAI fits like a Tanfoglio not a CZ.  CZ's own frame is frequently considered too big, yet Tanfoglio's is not.  Jericho's and Witnesses fit people when 97's do not.

In the end, we must conclude that CZ is the leader of innovation (arguable, I suppose) in the 9mm design.  Yet Tanfoglio set the pace and still rules the 45acp.  While I personally prefer my 75 Classic over my Jericho in 9mm (and did not keep my COHAI and AT-84 in 9mm), my Tanfoglio's (and One Pro) remain while my CZ-97 has now moved on.  In 45acp, there is no better design, in my opinion, than what Tanfoglio has provided.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 04:36:05 PM by Southern Forester »

Offline mm6mm6mm6

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 10:02:50 AM »
I agree with you whole heartedly!  The only thing I can add is that I also believe Tanfoglio rules the .38 Super as well.  I bought my original Witness because I absolutely love the idea of a 17 shot magazine for a cartridge as powerful as the .38 Super!

Offline larryflew

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 11:11:54 AM »
Well put!
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Offline eric0424

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 02:44:57 PM »
The only thing that sets Tanfoglio apart from some of the other manufactures is their diversity in offering the CZ clone in a variety of calibers that others don't chamber their pistols for.  I don't think there's any one single company that "rules" any particular cartridge.  If I were to give anyone credit for "ruling" the 45ACP it would be the single action 1911 and clones, but even then it's not a single company, it's the pistol design and I wouldn't give it sole credit either.  Without the 1911 following the 45ACP could have faded away before Tanfoglio clones were chambered in it.  When most people hear "45" they usually think either the 45 Long Colt revolvers or the 1911 pistols, when they hear 45ACP or 45 Auto it usually reminds them of the 1911.  I don't think too many people go straight to Tanfoglio's CZ clone when they hear 45.

As much as I like my CZ I wouldn't give them or anyone else sole credit for "ruling" the 9mm either.  Remember that with all these pistols one thing is clear, John M Browning's basic design is still used today, it may have been tweaked a bit from one manufacture to another but it's still his basic design that started with the SA 1911, then was tweaked by Browning to give us the SA Hi-Power.

Open these pistols (1911, HI-Power, CZ75 & EAA Witness) up and compare them to each other, you will see the 1911 roots and how it has evolved over the years and how one company may have made some changes (new chambering, SA/DA, DAO etc.) but really didn't deviate far from the basic Browning design.  Barrel lock-up, tilt barrel feed system, slide stop/release interface, hammer system, firing pin system, mag release, natural point-&-shoot grip angle, ejector, extractor (Hi-Power), firing pin block (Hi-Power & 80 series 1911), feed ramped barrels (Hi-Power) most of these (in some cases all) are still present in a lot of the current pistols being built today.

If Tanfoglio truly wants to stand out with a new pistol design they should consider a non-CZ clone of their own design chambered in 44Mag. (or a shortened version of the 44) without the bulk of the Desert Eagle.  There is nothing innovative about taking a cloned pistol, beefing-up the frame and/or chambering it for the 45ACP, 38Super or any other cartridge, I haven't seen any ground breaking changes from the Tanfoglio.  What does set them apart from CZ is offering the 75 in various calibers and options available from the factory.  The caliber conversion kits are as close as they have come, not my definition of innovative but very convenient and something others don't offer.

Giving any one company sole credit for "ruling" or "owning" a single cartridge long after it was introduced is really hard to do considering where they get their roots and all the changes made over the years that give us the pistols we have available today.

Of course all the above I just posted could be null and void depending on someones definition of innovative or the meaning of catch phrases containing "rule" or "own".
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 07:02:52 PM by eric0424 »

Offline Southern Forester

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 04:38:15 PM »
You  mistake me.  I refer merely to the CZ design.  We call it a clone, and it is when chambered in 9mm.  Yet Tanfoglio, while adapting CZ's design, created the first 45 chambered version.  In that, the 45acp Tanfoglio can be considered the original (and definitive) of the design and the CZ-97 the clone.

Offline jwc007

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 06:46:03 PM »
I can agree with you on the .45 Witness vs. CZ97, as I think that the Witness design was more refined, ergonomic, and reliable. 

Also note that ALL of the Tanfoglio based CZ75 Clones use the late Martin Tuma's Automatic Firing Lock design, which is simpler and has no effect on the Trigger Pull, unlike the "B" Series and newer CZ's.

Had EAA continued importing the original Small Frame 9mm Witness, I might have disagreed with you on the CZ75 vs Tanfoglio 9mm, but the current large frame in 9mm doesn't do it for me, although friends of mine who own them seem to like them just fine.  Sold my original Pre-B about 5 months ago, now.  Not missing it.  Still like my 9mm Series 88 TA90's and like original 9mm frame Witnesses.

My .45 Witnesses are always favorites at the Range and I carried the older Blued one for quite awhile.


1992 and 2004 vintage .45 Witnesses
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 07:06:27 PM by jwc007 »
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For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"

Offline eric0424

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 01:01:35 AM »
You  mistake me.  I refer merely to the CZ design.  We call it a clone, and it is when chambered in 9mm.  Yet Tanfoglio, while adapting CZ's design, created the first 45 chambered version.  In that, the 45acp Tanfoglio can be considered the original (and definitive) of the design and the CZ-97 the clone.

You're saying that because Tanfoglio increased the size and chambered their CZ clone in 45ACP that it is something other than a re-chambered CZ clone.  I don't see how it can be considered original or definitive when it's still just a re-chambered CZ75 copy.  To me they're still clones weather they're chambered in 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACP, 45GAP, 38Super, 9mm Makarov, 10mm or any other cartridge.

If you're saying Tanfoglio should be given some CZ97 design credit because they offered a CZ based 45ACP before CZ, I can see your point, but in my mind they're both still based on the CZ75 basic design and original or definitive credit should fall under the CZ75.

However, I can see your point of view and the reasons why you've come to your conclusions. 

Offline darwinlee

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 06:33:19 AM »
New shooters and officers just now coming into the law enforcement community really don't realize how spoiled they are when it comes to choices in the sidearm they carry.  Many refinements have been made to manufacture process and handguns themselves, not to mention new cartridges such as the .40sw and .357sig.  In 1986 there were not light rails.  It wasn't that long ago when the only reliable or viable option for many shooters was a wheel gun, or having a very expensive 1911 built.  I remember at the local PD here an officer had to be at least a year veteran before he was allowed to qualify with an automatic.  And pretty much the only choice was a 1911 .45acp if you could handle the recoil, or a Browning Hi-Power if you couldn't.  CZ's were very uncommon, and kind of a prize in the competition shooting community as the only way to get them into the country was either as a GI bring back from Germany or smuggled thru canada. 

Very well written.  I agree with the CZ-75 being the next step beyond the Hi-Power, at least in the Jeff Cooper schools of thought.  And though it might not have any obvious general innovation by your perception, it was innovative in the manner of which it brought together the attributes of the hi-power with a double action trigger that could still be locked and cocked single action, and the increased magazine capacity of 2 more shots which was pretty significant for the time as the "wonder-nine" wasn't really brought to coin for the general shooting community until 1986 as far as I remember, which was 10 years after the CZ-75 actually went into production. 

Yea the Beretta is probably the most iconized "wonder-nine" just because it was adopted by the US Army.  Many police departments were still carrying revolvers when the LAPD adopted it.  It really took a while before people accepted the vastly different polymer framed Glock with no external manual safety.  It really took a new generation of shooters and a new spreading "no 1911" virus to hit municipal and county law enforcement agencies across the US.  In many places the Glock is the only choice if you wanted a shorter, consistant, shot to shot trigger pull.  Just now are some other makers catching on and coming out with guns like the Springfield XD (HS2000) and the S&W M&P.  And the Sig is just now the growing trend gun since the dept of homeland security adopted it and Sig is really out there selling to law enforcement agencies.  But you don't see alot of competition shooters out there going over, as your really taking a step backwards going to a DA decocker gun from a striker fired consistant trigger pull from shot to shot type gun.

I think the big nastalgia with the CZ 75 was really brought on by Jeff Cooper and his writings, along with its presence in the competition shooting community.  I never really saw it take on in the law enforcement community.  However I do remember before SV and STI's were the rage, every other race gun that wasn't a 1911 was built on CZ 75 or clone platform.  Many of witness, springfield P9's, sphinx, and tanfoglio's were tricked out as race guns.  But the tanfoglio had its biggest advantage in price and availablility.  CZ's really weren't all that easy to buy until CZ-USA showed up.  At least not in the area and circles I was in.  I remember seeing clones to the CZ in catalogs before I saw CZ's.  The fist time I really saw a real CZ sitting on the shelf it had an ugly A.A.I. import mark stamped on the side of the slide.  I didn't know alot about CZ's at the time and actually thought that it was a "witness" tanfoglio clone gun.  I was pretty naive, and had I known then what I know know, there would be more CZ's sitting in my safe right now.




Offline Southern Forester

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2010, 06:46:13 AM »
I have never read Cooper and again, as stated, am not starting a war between CZ and Beretta (an evolved Walther P38) or Glock or 1911 or what ever.

Yet it remains that in the platform (by that I mean total design), the Tanfoglio is the pace-setter in 45acp and CZ the follower.  The 75 uses the same design firing pin block design as the CZ-52, but it was Tanfoglio that used an FPB first that is of a better design.  Tanfoglio's safety is also a better design and is not needlessly limited.  Modern CZ's have gritty triggers, yet all of my "clones" have had wonderful triggers out of the box.

For me, I still prefer the CZ (my pre-b has such a nice trigger) in 9mm, if nothing else because it is the original.  Yet in 45acp, my choice of caliber, all innovation has come from Italy.  It really is enough that every 45, including CZ, is built using a "Tanfoglio" compatible magazine.

In the end, IBM might have invented the PC, but it is Intel and AMD which makes the processors and Dell, among others, who build machines (IBM doesn't even build PC's any more).

Offline eric0424

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2010, 09:37:14 AM »
Yet it remains that in the platform (by that I mean total design), the Tanfoglio is the pace-setter in 45acp and CZ the follower.  The 75 uses the same design firing pin block design as the CZ-52, but it was Tanfoglio that used an FPB first that is of a better design.  Tanfoglio's safety is also a better design and is not needlessly limited.  Modern CZ's have gritty triggers, yet all of my "clones" have had wonderful triggers out of the box.

The problem I see with that reasoning is the CZ97 has more in common with its CZ75 brother than it does with the Italian clones.  I believe the 97 followed the 75 not Tanfoglio when you consider it uses CZ's safety, fire control components, firing pin block, trigger bar & spring, mag release & spring along with other CZ75 parts.  If Tanfoglio is leading the CZ97 hasn't followed, the only reason the mags fit both the Witness and CZ97 is because they're 45ACP versions of CZ75 magazines and these pistols share the same ergonomics with the CZ75.  If the CZ97 had departed from the CZ75 design to follow Tanfoglio it would have components similar to the Tanfoglio.  I don't think CZ built the CZ97 to answer Tanfoglio's cloned 45ACP, I think it was built to answer CZ customers wanting a CZ in 45ACP.

I did notice that the CZ97 is using a different barrel/breech lock than its older brother, it looks similar to the Glock barrels.  The CZ97 is also using a threaded barrel bushing and recoil spring housing not seen on the CZ75 and a different loaded chamber indicator compared to the CZ75.  I don't know what Tanfoglio is using on the 45ACP clones, the only parts schematics I can find are of the standard Witness and most of the components look like CZ parts.  From what I'm reading lately it sounds like Tanfoglio is using a larger frame and some other components that differ from the CZ pistols they're cloned after, but I haven't been able to find any schematics on the large frame pistols to compare them with the others.

Don't worry about a war, although there are two separate camps on this discussion it's been civil. :)

Offline CZ75BRocks

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2010, 01:28:02 PM »
  As a CZ97B owner with small hands I have to say that last weekend I fired a EAA witness in 45acp.  I can't figure out why CZ didn't take that approach rather than redesign the platform.  The EAA witness isn't perfect.  I shot a "wonder finish" gun.  I don't like bright finishes. The sights were functional but the front looked as if it would be a challenge to replace with Tritiums.  But, the trigger on this gun was very nice and had never had a trigger job. This one in particular had ~500 rounds through it.  So I did some estimating and thought to bring a Witness around to my liking I need to, particle blast and Dura Coat ( $250), Mepro-lights and machine work or front to use 1911 front Dovetail sight ($250). So far I haven't been inspired enough to "bite".

Offline Sheik Yerbouti

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2010, 05:02:11 PM »
Quote
While Glock and SIG are undeniable in their contributions...
I understand Glock.  What did Sig contribute besides stamped sheetmetal slides?
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Offline Southern Forester

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2010, 08:03:53 PM »
Well, there is no Glock that I can tell.  The barrel is a SIG modified Browning barrel.  The CZ-97 has less in common with the CZ-75 than the Tanfoglio does, given its completely different lock-up and threaded bushing.

Yet, regardless of opinion, the Tanfoglio is the central design in 45acp (in this overall design).  Tanfoglio forced CZ to both adopt the firing pin block (after using it in the past) as well as forcing them to adopt the 45acp - and conceding that Tanfoglio's magazine was the one to use.

I so wanted to like the 97.  Indeed, I rejoiced when it was revealed as I could drop EAA once and for all.  Alas but it was not to be.  The Tanfoglio just plain has the better proportions (even with the same mag), better trigger, and an overall less cumbersome design that seems smaller, even though overall they are about the same size.

Davis

Offline eric0424

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 01:19:43 AM »
  As a CZ97B owner with small hands I have to say that last weekend I fired a EAA witness in 45acp.  I can't figure out why CZ didn't take that approach rather than redesign the platform.  The EAA witness isn't perfect.  I shot a "wonder finish" gun.  I don't like bright finishes. The sights were functional but the front looked as if it would be a challenge to replace with Tritiums.  But, the trigger on this gun was very nice and had never had a trigger job. This one in particular had ~500 rounds through it.  So I did some estimating and thought to bring a Witness around to my liking I need to, particle blast and Dura Coat ( $250), Mepro-lights and machine work or front to use 1911 front Dovetail sight ($250). So far I haven't been inspired enough to "bite".

When I decided to step up to the 45ACP I looked at nearly everything in the beginning, several makes of 1911 clones, the CZ97, the Springfield XD, the M&P, even the Tanfoglio clones.  What  took most of these off the table early was magazine capacity, anything under 12+1 rounds was eliminated.  That of course included all the single stack 1911's.  What I finally ended up buying was a Para P14 in Covert Black, it was the only pistol that had all the features I was looking for and had 14+1 rounds of 45ACP.




As for the who-cloned-whom debate regarding the CZ97 and Tanfoglio's clones I've provided links to some PDF documents so anyone can compare the CZ75, CZ97, small frame Witness and Elite large frame series pistols to each other and decide for themselves.

After comparing PDF pics of these three barrels (Glock, Sig & CZ97) at the bottom of this post, it's clear they all three share some similarities which makes my statement of "it looks similar to the Glock barrels" accurate.  If you can't see Glock, then there's no way you can see Sig either.


CZ97 - page 16 for schematic:
http://cz-usa.com/assets/files/cz97_en.pdf

CZ75 - page 17 for schematic:
http://cz-usa.com/assets/files/cz75_en.pdf

Witness clone (small frame) - page 24 for schematic:
http://www.eaacorp.com/Manuals/witness.pdf

Witness Elite clone (large frame) - schematic only:
http://www.tanfoglio.it/upload_dinamici/download/LIMITED/Esp_llimited%28ING%29.pdf

Sig barrel:


Glock barrel:


CZ97 barrel:


Offline Rod Slinger

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Re: The time has come to realize a truth vis-a-vis Tanfoglio and CZ...
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 03:49:29 AM »
: Southern Forester ..........Most excellent post.  What I consider to be the failure of CZ and Tanfoglio is that nether company is making the gun they could or should be making.  Springfield came closest with the P9.  How sweat it would be if they had retained that line.     Mr. Forester how sad that you are not a student of the late  Col. Cooper.  That's like never seeing a John Wayne movie.   

Sheik Yerbouti ........To answer your question on Sig.  Well they showed the industry how to make the HiCap 9mm mag. work. Gave us the Sig barrel lock-up and German precession engineering and manufacturing.  IMO the only thing that keep Sig's first handguns from self destructing was their close quality control.   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