Zed Is Not Your Friend

27-Jun-10 – 08:00 by ToddG

As an instructor, I strive to be a good student. Good students are always learning. And last week in Canada, I learned that CZ pistols (pronounced “see zed” in Canadiese) are as reliable as a Ford.

A Ford Pinto, that is.

There were four CZ75-pattern guns (one Tangfolio and three genuine CZs) used by three different students over the course of the week, and every one of them had reliability problems.

The owners were great students and never let the pistol problems interfere with the class. They had fantastic attitudes and shot very well when their guns worked. But from failures to feed to failures to extract to failures to eject to failures to lock back to premature lock back, we saw the whole spectrum of handgun malfunctions from those guns.

The Glocks in the class didn’t have any consistent problems. Even the two S&W 3rd Generation pistols ran well except for some grip and lubrication hiccups. In fact, the only gun that had more problems was a used, second-hand Para P14.45, and who is surprised by that?

CZ pistols are both popular and successful in the world competition arena. They’re also very common among various militaries throughout the globe. But here in the U.S., they’ve never really earned a serious share of the market. They have a reputation for reliability and durability problems. And after four straight days of watching them choke, I’d say it’s a well deserved reputation.

In fairness, one student got his gun working 100% on day four after replacing the extractor spring. The pistol had a little under 14,000 rounds through it when the troubles began. If that had been the only CZ that suffered such trouble during the classes, it would be excusable. But all four?

The CZ is a shootable gun. The CZ Shadow I shot had an excellent trigger and was accurate enough for me to hit an 8″ range marker at 100yd. The owner (class host Rob Engh) reports that he’s easily averaging 0.17 splits and on some drills turning in 0.14 and even 0.13 splits with that same pistol!

Nonetheless, if a gun can’t be depended upon to go bang when the trigger is pressed, it’s a paperweight. Speed and accuracy mean a lot less when you’re prying a stuck case out from underneath an extractor claw.

I’m sure there will be CZ fans who will talk about their personally owned guns that have gone x-number of rounds without a problem. And I don’t doubt it. But when put to the test under the stress of a high volume shooting class, these guns simply couldn’t make it. Not one, not two, but all four.

Zed is not your friend.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 116 Responses to “Zed Is Not Your Friend”

  2. All I’m saying is that the folks I know and respect, know and respect ToddG and his abilities, which is good enough for me.

    Dave, I don’t know you from Adam, except for what I’ve read here – I can appreciate some of the insights that you’ve shared, such as magazine issues, gun maintenance, operator errors, etc. That said, I think part of the problem is that when a respected instructor/expert source shares some real stats, explaining away the problems by requesting trial track records and CZ’s opinion is off-topic.

    The bottom line is that the guns weren’t reliable.

    Maybe the CZ pattern is a great blueprint for building heavily customized things like the BrenTen/Fortis/Vltor, but even this opinion veers in the land of off-topic’d’ness…

    For the record: I don’t think I ever called anyone a liar…

    Ever find out what happened with Pete Milionis and CZ?

    By Less on Jul 7, 2010

  3. Less,

    Maybe the CZ pattern is a great blueprint for building heavily customized things like the BrenTen…

    Not really, no. 😉

    By Tam on Jul 7, 2010

  4. Tam,

    Obviously you’re a LIAR!

    Don’t you know that the BrenTen was awesome because Jeff Cooper blessed it with the blood of virgins and it was on Miami Vice?!


    (In all honesty, I defer to you on a lot of stuff too, as a “been there, done that” sorta gal…)

    By Less on Jul 7, 2010

  5. Kev should go on the comedy circuit. With Tam.

    By Bax on Jul 7, 2010

  6. LOL, nice that we can hash this thing out.

    By KEV on Jul 7, 2010

  7. ” but I think CZ has lost interest in this particular blog, as testing observed, (this blog and thread has been reviewed by CZ-USA senior staff, BTW), was not scientific in any manner whatsoever”

    How is reporting observed experience not scientific? People didn’t figure out how dogs mate by putting a dog together with one each of every other animal on the planet to see which pairing made puppies. 8)

    “the blog is misleading using disingenous phraseology to state he watched 4 guns fail over 4 days”

    So I’ll admit that I take this comment personally, as I do not appreciate people suggesting I’m being dishonest. Over the course of four days I saw four different pistols have problems. Over the course of a year I see hundreds of students. That doesn’t mean I see hundreds of students every day, does it?

    In fact, I specifically stated in the original post that the FOUR guns were used by THREE students. One would think that was a clear indication that not every drill was fired with every gun.

    Chris — “How big a box?

    You didn’t indicate anything more than “ammo.” If a 50rd box arrives from Smyrna, you’re getting a tattoo on your forehead if we have to drug you, hold you down, and let a tattooist have his way with you against your will.

    Tam — “Other than that one shot, your gun sucks.”

    If I were on Facebook, I would Friend you.

    Less — “All I’m saying is that the folks I know and respect, know and respect ToddG and his abilities, which is good enough for me.”

    On the one hand, I genuinely appreciate that. On the other, you should probably start hanging out with a better class of people. 8)

    By ToddG on Jul 8, 2010

  8. Tam, as usual, wins the thread. 8)

    By Mark on Jul 8, 2010

  9. Had no idea that CZ owners were just like 1911 owners…..

    By Bax on Jul 8, 2010

  10. On the one hand, I genuinely appreciate that. On the other, you should probably start hanging out with a better class of people.

    Isn’t this what Tam calls “Damning with faint praise?”…


    By Less on Jul 8, 2010

  11. Had no idea that CZ owners were just like 1911 owners….

    Fanboys are fanboys, no matter what they shoot.

    I’m off to start a thread at Glocktalk about the recoil spring issues on the new 4th Gen Glocks. BRB.

    By Tam on Jul 8, 2010

  12. Meh. My recoil spring started working properly after 300 rounds. However, I was the first to let people know there was issues. Very happy with my Gen4 G17 now.

    By LittleLebowski on Jul 8, 2010

  13. Replace “Gen4 G17” with “CZ-whatever” and your comment will blend seamlessly into the rest of this thread… 😉

    By Tam on Jul 8, 2010

  14. I owe Todd a hearty thank you for pointing out (quite effectively, I might add) an error in my mindset a couple years ago when I was just starting out and didn’t know what I didn’t know. It’s definately had a postive effect, so thank you again. (Todd, I posted under Will_H_1400 on Calibers and didn’t last long).

    By Will on Jul 8, 2010

  15. Tam, I don’t know; I don’t see the CZ guys running out to warn others about problems witnessed firsthand with a new weapon. I documented the failures on a few forums and then did the 2k rd no cleaning, no lube test. Documented the one FTL in that test and am at 2250 rds without cleaning or lube so far – planning on continuing the little test.

    I don’t have blind faith in the weapon nor do I take it personally when folks point out Glocks have issues. However, in my case, the Gen4 G17 has broken in and runs quite nicely for me. As Todd warned me before I bought it; it needed break in time for the stiff recoil spring or feeding of hotter ammo.

    By Bax on Jul 8, 2010

  16. Will — So I guess you signed up for an NRA class? Good for you!

    By ToddG on Jul 8, 2010

  17. Sorry, I had left this one alone, as it was plain nothing I said was taken seriously or at face value, no problem. I was also attempting to be polite, and use facts, not theory or inaccurate data, but I guess I failed.
    [quote]Yeah, Dave, you pretty much have: you’re engaged in a religous defense of your favorite toy, and nothing will keep you from altering the reality to meet your fantasy. In short, your credibility is zero.

    If you’re an example of the average CZ user, I’m glad I stuck with Glocks.

    Congrat, dude: you’ve shamed your tribe.
    Thank you for that searing insight, I shall now commit suicide. :) Well, since I value your opinion as much as you value mine, perhaps not. 😀
    Todd, I apologize for insulting you and your school, your methods or anything else. Please, continue to have a nice cold day up there, be safe, and enjoy life. I won’t bother you again, either with facts or fantasy, depending on who is reading. :)
    Less, sorry, never heard back, I think Angus is off winning another match in another somewhere again. If I called you a liar, I do apologize, my bad.

    Fare thee all well, stay safe.

    By Dave on Jul 9, 2010

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