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Old 07-25-2019, 03:53 PM   #1
Les
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Cautionary Tale CZ 75B

I own 4 CZ 75B pistols which are my favorite handguns to shoot... followed closely by Browning HPs. The CZs have been extremely reliable and trouble free. I've had a trigger spring break and until recently no other problems ever. That's after, literally, thousands of rounds in competition and informal shooting with friends.

The recent problem, a potential safety hazard, was a stuck firing pin but it was stuck in the "sticking out" position where if the slide were pulled back to load a round, there would probably been the equivalent of at least a slam fire and perhaps even unintentional full auto. The firing pin was stuck sticking out toward the chamber of the barrel. It was stuck firm enough in that position that I could not push it back into place even with a small flat piece of wood between my finger and the firing pin.

So, what caused the problem? If you look at the attached photo taken at my work bench, you'll see the firing pin laying in front of the slide. It is setup much like an exploded few of how the firing pin, firing pin spring, firing pin block (without it's spring showing) and the roll pin fit in the slide. The problem was the roll pin had worn just enough from the groove in the firing pin hitting it (over thousands of rounds) that the firing pin got wedged on the roll pin and it (firing pin) was wedged with it sticking out about 1/8" toward the chamber of the barrel. I wish I had saved that roll pin to show in this post but I didn't. Anyway, it was an easy fix but a potential dangerous situation if I don't always obey the 4 basic safety rules which I always do. At the very least it would have been a bit disconcerting having my CZs unexpectedly go full auto.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:03 AM   #2
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Hi Les, How did you notice it was sticking out ? Was it something you usually do, or during cleaning or just a lucky coincidence, Mike
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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A bit of luck more than anything. I probably would have caught it before any competition because I usually check and re-lube my pistols, if needed, the night before... I rotate through my 4 CZs so they may not be shot for a month or so and even with the thicker lube I use (Lucas) has a tendency to migrate over time. Anyway, I was teaching a CCDW class. The store I work for has several firearms available for that ("blue" guns, S&W without the firing pin, etc.) but I also bring a couple of mine. I was going over the difference between single action and double action using my CZ. When I pulled the hammer back I noticed the backend of the firing pin was down inside the slide. The day before class, I had been practicing drawing and getting on target, transitioning on multiple targets and a few dry fires. That's when I believe the roll pin finally gave out.

After thinking about it awhile now, I should also mention what I think exacerbated the problem and may even have been the cause although it took many years to do so. In short, it was a lot of dry firing, mentioned above, over the 7 or so years I've owned this particular CZ. Without a cartridge in the chamber, the only thing that stops the forward momentum of the firing pin after the hammer hits the backend of that firing pin is that roll pin. I'm mainly a parts changer and I'm nowhere near being a gunsmith so that's all supposition on my part.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing this, Mike
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les View Post

The recent problem, a potential safety hazard, was a stuck firing pin but it was stuck in the "sticking out" position where if the slide were pulled back to load a round,...
I had a similar problem with a 1911. My issue was with a piece of metal, a coil of the firing pin spring broken off I believe, that got trapped in the firing pin spring compressing it.

I was doing reload training with snap caps. I was also thinking a slam fire could have happened with live rounds, but the way I found it was you couldn't chamber a round (snap cap in this case) since the protruding firing pin wouldn't allow the case to slide up. The firing pin trapped the round in the magazine.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtq View Post
I had a similar problem with a 1911. My issue was with a piece of metal, a coil of the firing pin spring broken off I believe, that got trapped in the firing pin spring compressing it.

I was doing reload training with snap caps. I was also thinking a slam fire could have happened with live rounds, but the way I found it was you couldn't chamber a round (snap cap in this case) since the protruding firing pin wouldn't allow the case to slide up. The firing pin trapped the round in the magazine.
After the fact and after I posted, it occured to me that a round might not chamber because the firing pin was in the way and wouldn't let the round chamber. When that firing pin was stuck in the out position, it was sticking a lot farther out than it would normally go to strike the primer. Your post confirms what I was beginning to think.

I already had one roll pin on hand which I got either from CZ USA or maybe the CZ Custom shop... don't remember which. I decided to try Cajun Gun Works replacement pins for the other 3 CZ pistols. It differs from the factory/CZ Custom roll pin in that it has a slight gap on one side. Cajun says it acts as a buffer for the firing pin and also they won't guarantee their extended firing pin without it. I don't know if the Cajun pin is any better (or worse!) than factory. Also Cajun says that gap should be installed in the facing up position. Anyway, guess I'll find out if it's better or worse long term. I'm going to make it a habit to just replace those pins every couple of years... an easy 5 minute job.
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