Author Topic: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions  (Read 637 times)

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Offline bmo

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Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« on: October 23, 2017, 03:32:35 PM »
Picked up this pretty nice pre-B 85, dated '89. Looked carried a lot, but shot very little. Some surface rust and minor pitting here and there externally. Internals were pretty decent once I detail stripped and cleaned all the gunk out. Looked like the cop or whoever used it only bothered cleaning the slide and barrel, the trigger spring broke when I was dry firing it after getting it home lol :D

Anyway, I read the old thread regarding modifying the magwell to work with newer style magazines. Currently my 16 and 17rd Mecgars will fit and function (already shot it over the weekend), but don’t drop free. After filing a little on the upper and lower portion of the magwell per the thread, they will almost drop out. The 16rd mags do if I don’t have the sear cage in, and that brings me to my question. From what I can see, the mags get held up by the sear cage and not so much the magwell itself. Would I hurt anything filing down the front of the sear cage? I planned on getting a new one anyway because the ejector had some damage on it under the ejector, like a mag had been way overinserted.

Additionally, the slide seems to hang up on the newer style mags a tiny bit when racking the slide. Like a slight bump right before the slide hits the hammer. Can’t tell what it’s hanging up on. Like I mentioned they did work at the range, but I have a feeling it’ll damage something if I continue to use the new style mags. Any ideas what the hangup could be?

Second order of business is sights. Gun shoots way low and the previous owner hammered the crap out of the front sight in an attempt to, I presume, raise the POI. Hammered to the point it mushroomed on the sides and there was no light that could get through the sides looking through the rear sight. Which shops can mill the slide to use a 1911 front? I’ve read that was possible.

Thanks for any input :)




« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 03:39:37 PM by bmo »
CZ 75 SP-01 Kadet
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Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 08:56:46 PM »
Picked up this pretty nice pre-B 85, dated '89. Looked carried a lot, but shot very little. Some surface rust and minor pitting here and there externally. Internals were pretty decent once I detail stripped and cleaned all the gunk out. Looked like the cop or whoever used it only bothered cleaning the slide and barrel, the trigger spring broke when I was dry firing it after getting it home lol :D

Anyway, I read the old thread regarding modifying the magwell to work with newer style magazines. Currently my 16 and 17rd Mecgars will fit and function (already shot it over the weekend), but don’t drop free. After filing a little on the upper and lower portion of the magwell per the thread, they will almost drop out. The 16rd mags do if I don’t have the sear cage in, and that brings me to my question. From what I can see, the mags get held up by the sear cage and not so much the magwell itself. Would I hurt anything filing down the front of the sear cage? I planned on getting a new one anyway because the ejector had some damage on it under the ejector, like a mag had been way overinserted.
The 17 rnd MecGars are problematic in pre-b's. With some filing, 16 rnd MecGars work perfectly in mine. Once you get to the point where the sear cage is protruding, the only thing I know to do is a little more filing on the bottom portion of the channel to tilt the mag slightly when seated. I haven't tried filing the sear cage. I gave up on the 17's, and when the 16's dropped free I called it good. Another option is trying an oem SP-01 18 round mag(might be too loose now) 
Are you using the original mag spring(brake)? If the mag drops free without it, you can get one of these:
https://cajungunworks.com/product/24-mag-guide-full-size-hvy-duty-competition/

Additionally, the slide seems to hang up on the newer style mags a tiny bit when racking the slide. Like a slight bump right before the slide hits the hammer. Can’t tell what it’s hanging up on. Like I mentioned they did work at the range, but I have a feeling it’ll damage something if I continue to use the new style mags. Any ideas what the hangup could be?

Second order of business is sights. Gun shoots way low and the previous owner hammered the crap out of the front sight in an attempt to, I presume, raise the POI. Hammered to the point it mushroomed on the sides and there was no light that could get through the sides looking through the rear sight. Which shops can mill the slide to use a 1911 front? I’ve read that was possible.
Cajun Gun Works and CZ Customs can fix you up, CGW can also fit your gun with an improved barrel bushing.
Thanks for any input :)





Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 09:20:03 PM »
I did not have to file on my sear cage.  I've read CZ makes several different sear cages, so maybe that can make a difference.  I only removed metal from the frame below the sear cage, at the rear of the frame.

Now, all the 16 round magazines I've tried (lots of them) work fine.  I also bought some of the MecGar 19 round magazines and of the 8 or 10 I bought, I had 2 that will not even go up in the mag. well far enough to lock in.  They get tight about 2/3'ds of the way in and stick.  Trying to force them farther makes it really tough to pull it back out when you take the "duh" hat off and realize it will never fully insert.  Those 19 round MedGars that won't fit into the Pre B CZ85 work fine in my CZ 75 Compacts and my youngest son's CZ 75 SA (so I traded them to him for a some of his 19 round MecGars that would work fine in my Pre B CZ 85 - of I'd have kept them for the CZ 75 Compacts, sooner or later I'd have got one hung up in the Pre B CZ 85 - that's how it works.)

Too bad about that front sight.  That one is different than the one that was on mine.  Mine was just grooved across the rear angle like a 1911 sight.  Yours seems to have a depression in the center that would be perfect for some nice white enamel paint.

I really like a CZ 85.  Enough to turn one of my CZ 75 Compacts into a CZ 85 clone (well, compact clone).
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline bmo

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 01:57:41 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys. I spent some more time filing the magwell and was able to get the 16rd Mecgars to drop free. I can live without the 17rd mags working. Likely the coating those mags have that causes the extra tolerances compared to the 16rd. I figured out the hang up I was experiencing was the actually the slide catch pushing the slide stop into the slide on an empty mag. So no problem there thankfully.

Now I suppose my only complaints are the front sight and the barrel fitment which I forgot to mention. I’m assuming most of you guys with the surplus guns have probably seen the YouTube video about fitting a barrel on a pre b, by a user named “mosin virus”. My original barrel has the same side to side play his does in the video. I imagine a new barrel is in order. If you haven’t seen the video, essentially, once my barrel is in the locked position in the slide, you can rotate it slightly left and right. When in battery, you can move it at the muzzle end too. I wonder if a new bushing would help as well? This could turn into an expensive cheap gun  :-\. I suppose for now I’ll grab a new barrel, then see about getting the front sight milled.
CZ 75 SP-01 Kadet
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 05:32:23 AM »
I replaced my barrel.  After a good cleaning I saw the barrel was pitted quite a bit.  After shooting it and cleaning again I found the chamber was also pitted, worse than the barrel.

I did not replace my bushing.  I had plans to, but when I saw how the front sight was installed I just left it alone.  Then I read that some (all??) of the Pre B models use a different bushing and method of installation vs. the B model guns.  If I remember, the Pre B guns have a bushing that is threaded into the slide??  Unless I misunderstood what I thought I read.

Fitting the barrel wasn't hard at all.  I used a stone instead of a file.  Slower, but in spite of my difficulty in waiting on parts, I do like to take the time to make sure everything works once it's installed.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline Earl Keese

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 06:24:04 AM »
Before investing in a new barrel, I would file the sides of the front sight to make it semi usable. Shoot some rested 25yd groups and see what the gun will shoot. If it will shoot a reasonable group, I'd have CGW fit their 10x bushing when they cut the new dovetail. Fit a proper set of sights and call it good.

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 07:22:29 AM »
Before investing in a new barrel, I would file the sides of the front sight to make it semi usable. Shoot some rested 25yd groups and see what the gun will shoot. If it will shoot a reasonable group, I'd have CGW fit their 10x bushing when they cut the new dovetail. Fit a proper set of sights and call it good.

Absolutely.  Also, you mentioned side to side movement at the chamber?  What kind of shape is your slide stop in?  If the barrel isn't being pushed up into the slide hard enough it may be due to slide stop (pin/shaft that sticks through the frame and barrel lug) wear.  If the slide stop isn't worn then it may be wear in the lug itself.  Not sure you can do much to fix that.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline bmo

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 09:37:59 AM »
Before investing in a new barrel, I would file the sides of the front sight to make it semi usable. Shoot some rested 25yd groups and see what the gun will shoot. If it will shoot a reasonable group, I'd have CGW fit their 10x bushing when they cut the new dovetail. Fit a proper set of sights and call it good.

Yep that’s exactly what I did prior to hitting the range actually. Sight picture isn’t too bad now. The sights I can live with but mechanically, the barrel lockup just affects accuracy too much unfortunately. I benched the gun and it was shooting like 8”+ at 25yds. Granted it wasn’t in a ransom rest and I was just using a bag and the table in my stall, but I’m not THAT bad of a shooter  ;). I want to get the accuracy issues resolved before I get some new sights so I know at least the accuracy will come down to me, and not the gun.
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Offline bmo

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 09:42:35 AM »
Before investing in a new barrel, I would file the sides of the front sight to make it semi usable. Shoot some rested 25yd groups and see what the gun will shoot. If it will shoot a reasonable group, I'd have CGW fit their 10x bushing when they cut the new dovetail. Fit a proper set of sights and call it good.

Absolutely.  Also, you mentioned side to side movement at the chamber?  What kind of shape is your slide stop in?  If the barrel isn't being pushed up into the slide hard enough it may be due to slide stop (pin/shaft that sticks through the frame and barrel lug) wear.  If the slide stop isn't worn then it may be wear in the lug itself.  Not sure you can do much to fix that.

Slide stop looked okay to me, but I’ll have to inspect it a little better along with the lugs in the barrel. I tried using a spare extended slide stop I had lying around and noticed the same play when the barrel was in battery. On an empty gun of course, I could move the barrel at the muzzle end with only finger pressure. I wouldn’t call it side to side movement, but with the slide off the gun, and he barrel in the locked position in the slide, if you place your finger on the locking lugs, you can rotate the barrel left/right in the slide. So mechanically the lockup has issues. I’m thinking new barrel first before a bushing. I had planned on getting a threaded barrel for it anyway, so that will hopefully kill two birds with one stone.

I remember in your thread on your 85 actually, the picture you showed of a newer barrel compared to the original, the sides of the hood are extended on the new one. I think that’s what prevents the rotation issues I described. I’m no engineer though so that’s just a guess.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 09:48:13 AM by bmo »
CZ 75 SP-01 Kadet
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Offline bmo

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 09:44:29 AM »
Really appreciate the input guys :)
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 12:24:24 PM »
You could be right about the barrel design change leading to a more positive lockup between the barrel and the slide.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline bmo

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 10:41:59 AM »
Ordered a new threaded barrel. I’ll report back after I get it and get it fitted.
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Picked up a Pre-B 85. Thoughts and questions
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 01:46:20 PM »
Now you'll "need" a suppressor.

I keep telling myself I'm going to get a couple, just haven't spent the money and filled out the paperwork.

Just go slow on the metal removal, wipe it off before each test fit (test fit often) and it's okay if it's a little tight to start with (meaning when you think you're done, if it's good and snug when in position in the slide that's good.)

I think I've read here that you'd like to it to be snug enough that when your turn the slide right side up, the barrel will stay in position, but come loose with finger pressure when you push down on it.

I got my CZ 85 barrel just a tad loose.  I got my CZ Tactical Sport .40 just right.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

 

anything