Should You Buy the CZ-97 .45 ACP?

Take out a few sodas here hopefully.

Not too bad. Let’s see if we hit that gong way out there. Oh yeah!

Awesome. Well guys, welcome back. This is Eric here with Moss Pawn and Gun. Today we’re going to be talking about the CZ-97. I know we haven’t really been doing a ton of handgun reviews. We’re definitely going to try to remedy that and move along a little bit. The way we do handgun reviews is pretty unique, I think, compared to, you know, some of the other stuff that’s out there. Usually I buy the gun, I spend about – between six months to a year shooting it a little bit. I’ve had this particular gun about a year. I’ve probably put about 800 rounds through it in the course of a year, just kind of shooting at some and enjoying it.

Interesting thing about the CZ-97 is it’s not a terribly old design, 97 being the year that the gun was developed. They are made in the Czech Republic by CZ. Awesome guns. This particular one is an ’08 model. They’ve made some rolling changes to the guns a little bit moving forward, but it’s a double stack .45 ACP, semi-automatic, locked breech. It’s got a very unique bushing system for the barrel. Some of you guys are 1911 guys. The bushing system is actually a threaded boss that threads into the front of the slide. They made some changes. We’ll show you some differences.

I’ve got this gun, which is an ’08. It’s got black plastic grips, or actually those are rubber grips. This is a ’98, so this is a second year production CZ-97. Pretty awesome there. This particular one is a safety only. A lot of the early ones that just had a regular old safety, if you want to drop the hammer, you can thumb it like on a 1911 if you want.

The guns are a little chunky. They got pretty good size to them. If you got larger hands or if you just like a beefier, larger gun, they really do fit the hand quite nicely. My wife has kind of dainty, small hands and she still enjoys shooting a 97. Although it is kind of a larger gun, she doesn’t mind it.

This particular gun you might find to be a little bit familiar. This is one that we had in the “Five Awesome .45s” video. This gun was for sale at Moss for the longest time and it just sat in the case. I decided to pounce on it and check it out. I am a fan of the 97. Generally what you’ll see with a lot of our YouTube videos is that we tend to do videos on guns that we like a lot. And the 97, I own these two. I mean I’ve had them for quite a while, just haven’t gotten around to doing a video on them just yet.

We’re going to shoot it a little bit more for you here and just kind of talk as we go. Feeds from a ten-shot magazine. As far as I know, there aren’t any magazines available that are of a higher capacity than a ten-shot mag. You got a ten-shot, double stack magazine.

Now this particular gun, this 97, this newer one also has a decocking mechanism. You pull down, hammer decocks, and you got double action. Let’s try running the double action a couple of times, very smooth, and then we’ll talk a little more.

All right, I’m going to drop the hammer each time and just try this double action.

All right, let’s try a double action on one our pops there. That’s kind of a small target. See if I can hit them double action.
All right, so double action’s very smooth on this gun.

Very nice. All right. See if we can take out our gopher. He’s just smirking at us down there. Shoot him a little bit here.

All right, let’s see if we can peg him in the head. I’m going to cheap my aim up a little bit, see if I can take his head off.

Little turd.

There we go, a little bit higher.

Not too shabby. All right, I’m going to finish out this mag. Then Chad’s going to have a go on it, take a few shots and we’ll talk a little bit more about it. Generally the features on the gun are pretty awesome. It’s a painted finish. It’s not a blued finish. It does have a loaded chamber indicator, as you can see right here. It’s actually a little tip that just kind of pops up when there’s a round in the chamber.

The way that the barrel bushing on these things screw into place, it makes for a very good, tight barrel fit. Everything’s nice and tight. This gun is loaded right now. If I grab my thumb and just push down on the barrel, it is not moving. I mean, you’ll see on some inferior semi-automatics, especially on 1911s, if the barrel fit is not really good, you’ll get a little bit of rock. That can equate to the accuracy suffering a little bit as well. Gun’s not running too bad. Of course, no malfunctions or stoppages.

I just love CZs. I mean, I’ll admit, some of their newer guns over the years have kind of – I don’t want to say – I really don’t want to say that the quality’s not good, because the quality’s excellent, but sometimes when CZ releases a new gun – I don’t know, it’s like sometimes it’s not quite ready, but they just sell them anyway. Like on my P-07 Duty, we had a few issues with fit and finish there. This was a brand new 97 I bought and I haven’t had any problems out of this gun. Of course this older 97 – in fact, let’s shoot the older one real quick here. Both the guns shoot to a very similar point of aim, but let’s go ahead and run the old one here. This gun is broke in just fantastic.

Not too bad. Both the guns are running nice, no malfunctions there. 97’s just a great gun. Now let’s see, features-wise, on the older one. Really other than the different style of bushing system that’s on the newer version versus some of the older guns, the guns are pretty much identical. Same loaded chamber indicator, same extractor. The newer version has forward cocking serrations that are machined on the slide, whereby the older version’s a nice, clean, simple setup.

This particular gun just has standard dot sights. This newer gun here has night sights. You do get factory night sights. At least on this particular gun I purchased, it does have factory night sights. Overall, pretty simple gun. After Chad is done shooting, we’ll bust them apart and show you the internals, show you how they’re made. Pretty simple. We’re going to top off some mags, and then Chad’s going to have a go and we’ll move on.

Take out our pop ups there. Oh yeah.

Finish this mag out and I’m going for some – uh-oh

Just past the back.

There we go. Take out that gopher some more.

Ever tried hitting him in the head? Let me see if I can take a few headshots. Head on that gopher’s about three inches wide, about 15 yards away. Let’s see if we can nail him here. Just past the back of his head.

Just over the top.

There we go.

Headshots on a gopher. Big old .45 slug would do some damage.

Big old .45. Take out a few sodas. Take a few shots at longer range there, about 75 yards.

Just got the bottom of him.

There we go.

I think I shot the top off of that one. He had a little geyser going on.

There we go.

Let’s see, I think I got one lone soda left.

I’m going to take a few shots to the 75 yard shoot still gong here. Got an 18 x 24 way out there. Let’s see if we can hit that thing.

Let’s see – Figure out where I’m going here.

There we go.

Little devil’s getting hot.

I got a few shots on there.

Not bad. Tell you what, there’s just something about a CZ. I love the 75s, 97s. A few more shots. Oh yeah.

Not too bad at all. Good stuff. Well guys, I definitely want to thank you for watching today’s video. We have a lot more handgun reviews on the way. The way that I approach handgun reviews is I try to really look at the practical accuracy of the gun, the way it fits my hand.

In terms of what I think about the gun, it’s definitely favorable. I love the 97. I own two of them, as you can see. I like them just fine. Grip, some people might not like the size of the grip, being a little bit on the large side. If you don’t have large hands, it might not be the gun for you. Best thing to do with any handgun, no matter what any review says that you look at in a magazine or on YouTube or whatever. Just go to a store and put your hands on the gun and check it out and see if you like it. You know what I mean.

It’s a lot of personal opinion that goes into primarily handguns. Rifles, we can all kind of generally size in on something relatively easy in terms of what we think about it. Handguns are one of those things that is really more of a personal choice in terms of what you like, because there’s so many different handgun variants out there. Not only from CZ, but many brands, all different types of brands. There’s going to be a lot of differing opinion out there. I definitely don’t want it to sound like this is the best thing since sliced bread for you, because it may not be the best thing since sliced bread for you.

The 97 is a gun that I really like a lot. I know I’ve mentioned that already but – double stack .45, ten rounds of .45 ACP in your hand, a full-sized Duty style gun. It’s got good weight to it, nice and heavy, very good construction. I do like the way that the slide rides in the frame, as opposed to many other pistol designs where it’s the opposite. The slide rides inside of the frame, makes for a very good fit between the slide and the frame itself in terms of those rails fitting together nice and solid. Tight barrel bushing. Pretty good overall, good quality gun.

Pricewise, they’re a little bit on the expensive side. Most of the 97s are going to run you between about six and seven hundred dollars, so certainly on the upper end of the spectrum in terms of what you expect to pay for a .45. Most of your entry-level 1911s these days bring about five or six hundred bucks for a decent one. Just to put that in perspective, that’s kind of where this stacks up. Guys, thanks for watching again. We’ll catch you next time.