Author Topic: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger  (Read 18818 times)

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« on: August 15, 2005, 09:58:48 PM »
How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger WITHOUT disabling the safety features

most of this has already been covered in a couple other threads But I told a couple other people I'd try and put it all into one post so here it is........ VERY LONG hehehe

Hello, I keep seeing posts on these forums about cleaning up the Trigger pull on the CZ 52, most require disabling the guns drop safety (in other words if you drop the gun it goes BANG) ALL OF THESE METHODS SHOULD BE IGNORED they are what competent gunsmiths call Hack trigger jobs, if you choose to eliminate these safety features intentionally you leave yourself open to criminal charges, ie negligent homicide, should another person be killed as a result of your fire arm discharging or civil suit.

(Negligent homicide is when you with no regard for others safety create a situation resulting in the death of another when you remove a drop safety and that gun discharges resulting in injury or death, you now have zero defense in criminal or civil legal proceedings as you intentionally disabled or authorized that safety feature to be disabled)

First lets address a couple things about the CZ52

I am going to write this off the top of my head so will not be getting into a lot of specific details if ya need more info feel free to ask.

#1 it has an over hardened firing pin so you must buy an aftermarket one right? WRONG at least it is if ya  have a drill press however if ya do have access to a drill press you can file the broken stub flat and then drill it out, and replace it with a needle bearing from an automotive U-Joint epoxy or solder it in place and then grind to the correct length of the stock firing pin, ya now have a hardened firing pin.

#2 All CZ 52s have unsafe decockers. This is a trick statement as ALL handguns have an unsafe decocker and should never be trusted, years ago I as a police officer watched as departments started replacing the trusty .38 and .357 magnum revolvers with 9 mm hi capacity autoloaders most common was the S&W model 39 we had a situation that resulted in an officer having to hold a suspect at gunpoint after backup arrived she covered the suspect while another officer cuffed him after he was secured the officer activated her weapons decocker the gun went boom killing the suspect who she still had the muzzle pointed at!! DO NOT TRUST THE DECOCKER ON ANY WEAPON!!! Always make sure the muzzle is pointed at something you dont mind shooting, the CZ 52 decocker is easily fixed and in fact needs to be fixed since it is also part of your drop safety, if your decocker is defective your gun may also fire if dropped. Ill cover the repair procedure in this article it is very simple and inexpensive.

#3 You dont have the tools to do the trigger job. All you will need is a $20.00 set of ceramic hone stones available at most knife shops often for even less..  a sheet of aluminum oxide 600 grit wet dry sand paper, a sheet of aluminum oxide 1200 grit wet dry sand paper and a $2.00 can of honing oil, if ya want to make life easier a dermal tool or other rotary tool with polishing heads will significantly speed up one part of the process but is not essential.

To speed things up I am going to refer folks to for basic tear down instructions as they have an excellent step by step tutorial complete with pictures..

I am going to lay this out from simplest to more complex, ya can go as far as ya wish the first part will gain a very noticeable improvement with most CZ 52s with a trigger pull on most being about 5lbs we will continue to a 3.2 lb trigger pull my IPSC 1911 PATTERN .45S are set at 2.9 lbs so a 3.2 is about as close as your going to get to a match quality trigger without sacrificing safety or reliability, the gun I use was actually DROP TESTED exactly as the military tests handguns for consideration as a sidearm, it was dropped from a height of 7 feet onto a  plywood surface 4 times without a single sear release (its actually been demonstrated many more times but ya get the idea) I place a primed casing in the chamber to notify me instantly should the firing pin be allowed to move far enough to discharge the weapon it hasnt happened yet!!

STAGE 1 only requires removal of the slide from the frame, now to demonstrate what we are looking to gain cock the hammer and holding your thumb in front to catch the hammer as we dont want to risk damaging it, now gently pull the trigger.. Notice how smooth it is? This is because MOST of the CZ 52 trigger ailments can be traced to the interaction with two items in the slide the first is the RETRACTOR/LOCK that small plunger that cams your firing pin back, it is also half of your drop safty/decocker now the hack method is to eliminate its function and to basically leave it as only being a firing pin retainer but this isnt needed it can easily be worked over to allow minimal interference and still retain your guns safety functions!! At this point if your gun has a defective decocker ya will need to buy some parts.. They are cheap and available from several sources I will list the Numerich gun parts part numbers and prices

To restore a modified or simply defective decocker/drop safety ya only need replace the following parts which are very cheap and available from Numerich gun works

parts you will need;

Firing pin retractor/lock (the lil plunger mentioned in posts above) Item# 241800 price $8.50

Firing pin retractor/lock spring (unless ya are using a lighter spring, otherwise if this spring is too short or broken/over compressed the lock will not function correctly causing your drop safty/decocker to discharge the weapon)
Item # 241820 price $1.20

thats it and in most cases your decocker should function correctly as well...

additional parts some may need to restore altered CZ52s

IF your sear has been altered ya will need a new one that is Item # 242070 price $ 16.05

IF your fireing pin has been altered it is Item # 241790 price $ 20.30 (I recomend just buyin this from MAKROV.COM as they have a better price for the original or only $25.00 for a machined one)

IF ya have a bad hammer due to incorrect modification or simply wear that is Item # 241850 price $21.40

IF your safty has been altered or is worn (rare) that is Iyem # 242060 price $16.25

O.K So now you have a working decocker, the two items most in need of attention are the Retractor/lock plunger and its associated spring, first completely clean the plunger and its spring next completely clean the pocket the plunger rides in and the firing pin channel itself now polish this plunger to remove the rough texture and any possible burrs from its sides and then the surface the small hook contacts (this hook is visible in front of the hammer on your frame yall notice it lifts up as ya pull the trigger, carefully polish its surface as well, you will also need to polish the associated contact surfaces visible on the firing pin or I just simply polish the entire firing pin, now heres where ya have a decision to make, assuming the plunger spring is in good condition and is not collapsed or otherwise defective you can either reuse it OR replace it with a lighter spring to further reduce trigger pull, this spring can account for up to 1.5 lbs of increased trigger pull!! Not always but that is the most Ive noticed being attributed to it in various CZ52s.. Ive used retractable ink pen springs
If you would like to make a lighter spring for your Retractor/lock plunger you can tighten up the coils on  the ink pen spring by wrapping it tighter around a piece of stiff wire, or you can simply buy or scrounge a spring made of thinner wire which will fit in the plunger, if ya look at the plunger spring you will notice that one end is flared this is so they can use a slightly smaller diameter spring Ive used several springs that are the same size as the inside diameter of the plunger without any problems but do make sure they are oiled otherwise the drag against the sides of the plunger can create a very slight increase in tension.

Ya can decide for yourself how far ya wanna take the trigger R&R if ya do replace the spring in the plunger make certain it still works correctly ya should not be able to push the firing pin forward unless the trigger is actually pulled completely also check to make sure it returns the firing pin AFTER the shot by (make sure gun is empty or slide is off the frame) for an empty gun pull the trigger fully to the rear and push the hammer forward to push the firing pin forward now holding the hammer release the trigger next release the hammer ya should hear a faint click as the plungers slanted surface cams the firing pin back into the ready position...

with the slide off ya simply gotta press the plunger with a pen or other object while at the same time pushing the firing pin forward then release pressure on the plunger and next the firing pin it should react the same as if the slide were mounted with a click and the pin visibly being moved back if not the spring is not strong enough and the gun is not safe to use.........

Now reassemble and see how much of a difference yave gained still want more? Then on to .

STAGE 2 this will actually require disassembly of the pistol, BUT dont worry this is one of the simplest guns to dismantle Ive seen yet, there are already sources such as MAKROV.COM that show step by step details on disassembling the pistol so Im only going to point to the areas that require attention again if ya run into a problem and need help feel free to post your questions or drop me a line, Im not always able to answer e-mails in a timely manner however as I travel quite a bit so posting disassembly/reassembly questions here will probably get the fastest help..

O.K Now that ya have a pile of parts on your table. The first step is simply a primer to get ya into the polishing frame of mind, see that rough finish on the face of the trigger itself? Well it doesnt really contribute to the actual amount of trigger pull BUT it will amaze ya how much lighter your trigger feels if you polish that area after your done wipe it down with some FLITZ metal polish and it will be protected from rust for months, This is actually my first step when working over a double action gun

READY SET GO now lets look at the hammer and sear, see those two lil corresponding shelf on each? See how course they are? Thats where all your triggers grittiness comes into the game, note the angle of each shelf these angles MUST be maintained at all cost, gunsmiths use a jig to hold these pieces in perfect relation to the stone but if ya take your time and have steady hands ya can do it without the jig, Ive literally done thousands over the years this way.. Now lets get out the hone stones oh yea heres what your gonna need

THE STONES TO DO THE JOBA set of  ceramic stones fine grit, this set will consist of several 4 or so inch long stone with various profiles to make working over the CZ easier yall want a square a triangle and a round stone, I personally use a set made by Spyderco inc. that consist of the above stones plus a heart shaped one, I think I paid $20 for the set bout 20 years ago but the price has actually came down they are available at most real knife shops and come in a very handy leather case

A can of honing oil, this is very important in order to maintain a clean polished cut its about $1.50 for a lighter fluid sized can

Thats it lets do some polishing

Start with the hammer shelf, ya will see the area where it contacts the sear this needs to be perfectly squared many of them arent and this leads to an erratic trigger release ya will only want to go a max of .002 as the hammer is only case hardened, this step will eliminate that gritty feel, take your time and go slow after its done ya are gonna decide if ya wanna tackle a lil trickier step see how that rounded edge comes into the top of that shelf? This is where your actual trigger creep comes into play, now by cutting that down (it can be squared there is no purpose to it being rounded other than to simplify manufacturing) the most important part is to keep your cut at 90 degrees to the SHELF face ya just polished and keep it even and straight this can be reduced all the way down to within .030 of the back wall of the engagement shelf it doesnt actually make contact at any point with any other piece so the case hardening doesnt matter the height of this determines how far the trigger must travel AFTER it has engaged the sear until the sear actually slips off that shelf, taking it to .030 will leave ya very little trigger creep about 1/32 do not go any lower or ya will have a very sensitive trigger and as we are going to address trigger PRETRAVEL later ya dont want it to get too sensitive if your leery ya can leave off trimming that shelf down until yave had a chance to try the gun with just the polished surfaces.

Now for the sear ya are going to do exactly the same thing ya did with the face of the hammer shelf do not even consider cutting down the sear height it will only make the gun unstable and increase the risk of an unintentional bump fire just polish its face..

NOW ya can reassemble at this point and have a very noticeable improvement in trigger feel OR go a lil bit further this is actually a very minor step but its effect is amazing, polish the trigger bar itself, remove all rough surfaces and use your wet/dry sand paper to polish the sides of the bar removing all phosphate coating this is where a rotary tool with a polishing wheel is really handy, next look at the inside of the guns side plate see the path that trigger bar is traveling in? get out the rotary tool and a diamond deburing bit and get rid of MOST of those rough machine marks along that path, ya can also accomplish this with the sand paper wrapped over a hard object dont worry about completely eliminating the machining marks ya only need to remove the phosphate and round of the rough edges but of course the smoother ya get it the better..

Now polish the sides of the trigger at least where they contact the guns frame, also the sides of the hammer but this isnt crucial it just mostly looks real cool but does help with hammer/frame interference..


STAGE 3 the trigger bar is set by backing it against the hammer pin (which is actually a bolt) to reduce the trigger pre-travel (which is commonly mistaken for trigger creep) ya only need to move the trigger bar further away from that pin and closer to the sear (see why ya dont want to get too carried away with cutting down that hammer shelf <G> it could result in a much lighter trigger than ya want) I used a piece of tubing I found in my spare parts bin that just happened to fit very tightly over this hammer pin then cut it to 1/8 then finished it by sanding the ends until it didnt touch the side plate when I reinstalled the side plate the tubing is .030 thick wall and results in a 1/16 of trigger pre-travel..

NOW if your still reading GOOD cause thats how ya get my e-mail address so ya can tell me how bad of a writer I am!! <BG> or to ask questions etc

please put CZ52 TRIGGER in your subject field so your e-mail gets my attention, if ya are afraid to tackle it on your own ya can snail main me the parts needed and Ill do it for $30.00 or so but Id rather folks be able to squeeze off that first shot and feel the pride of knowing they did that themselves!! After following all the steps above I consistantly end up with a trigger pull of 3.2 lbs on the low end and 4.1 on the high end useing a digital RCBS trigger pull gauge

Offline Otto N Sure

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 11:20:13 PM »

Thank you!  What a service you have provided!  Every owner of a CZ 52 should be grateful for your work!

Otto N. Sure

Offline skucera

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2005, 10:53:25 PM »
Thank you.  These instructions are a keeper.



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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 10:34:05 AM »


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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2006, 04:21:03 PM »
I have seen on websites that sell firing pins. That a choice of compition pins vs "standard" ins will have an effect on the rigger pull

Offline Wallew

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2006, 11:07:54 PM »

Fairly accurate info.  As a gunsmith myself (degreed), I feel compelled to only add a couple of items.

You underplay the results of polishing the sides of pieces and their corresponding frame contact points.  As I have fixed many a firearm in this method.  A few minutes with my stones smoothing edges goes a long way in how a firearm performs it 'cycle of operation'.

AND the HUGE caveat here is that IF you do this and actually use this firearm to protect your life, limb or property AND the DA gets wind of it (remember the cops WILL confiscate any weapon you use in a shooting and test it), YOU WILL GO TO JAIL for modifying your weapon to an unsafe level (DA's words, not mine).

Any time you alter the trigger pull below 5 lbs, you are risking lots of legal problems IF the weapon is used in protecting life and property.

Having said both those things, dstorm is dead bang on the procedures.  OH, the sharpening stones are called "India stones" and for the life of me I can't remember why.  I've had my set for almost nine years and you can't tell that I've used them a lot.  

Over all, an A+, with the CAVEAT listed above.  jim


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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 01:44:49 PM »
Good info thanks again...

Offline torpedoman usn

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2007, 07:53:41 PM »
thanks i'v been preaching polishing the plunger its bore and the firing pin for years to improve the trigger pul instead of installing parts that ruin a good pistol.

Offline texdoug1

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How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 10:06:15 AM »
I just did the stage one last night, and took it out to shoot today.  Wow, what a difference.  I dont even see the need to go any further on mine.  You guys are great!  

Offline generoll

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trigger problems
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 01:45:47 PM »

I thought I'd posted a new thread, but I can't find it so here goes.

I just got a CZ-52 on gunbroker and am having some problems. It seems that when the magazine is in something is causing the trigger to disconnect. I can see the top of some part of the trigger mechanism peeking over the top of the right handguard, but it feels as if the trigger is slipping off the sear without releasing it. I put an aftermarket clip in and the problem was lessened, but something definitely ain't right. Any suggestions?

Offline skucera

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Re: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 01:06:27 AM »
Your original question is located at:

Let's keep this thread focused on trigger improvements for the CZ 52, not on troubleshooting a faulty trigger.


Offline LiquidTrix

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Re: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2011, 01:41:26 PM »
Any suggestions on local sources for the stones? I'm having a tough time finding them.

Offline skucera

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Re: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 11:34:19 PM »
Daryl said his original stones were form Spyderco, and the first hit on a Google search turned up:

There may be other manufacturers and other vendors. 


Offline Hayfield123

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Re: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2011, 10:55:32 AM »
Just read this - because I just bought a CZ 52 from Gunbroker! Can't wait to get it and see if I need to take the steps described.  Thanks for the info!
SMSgt, USAF (Ret)
Jan '67 - Aug '92
NRA Life Member
S&W No.1, 3rd; S&W .38 S/A 2nd; S&W D/A 4th; S&W HE of 1903; Nagant M1895; CZ 52; CZ 82; S&W Mod 15;  Kimber Tactical Ultra II; Taurus PT738; Walther P22; CZ P-06; S&W Mod 19;KAR.98A; Win M1894 38-55; Win M94; Sears Mod 34; H&R 16ga; Win Mod 24

Offline ssample930

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Re: How to correctly improve the CZ 52 trigger
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 05:17:14 PM »
Hi, I am new to the site, and i must say that was a Great write up.  Thanks for your time.