OK, when we left off last time I was in the midst of suffering from a bad case of CZ fever. I had just picked up and fallen in love with a 9mm CZ D PCR. At the time I made that purchase, Bill's Gun Shop and Range also had several more CZ's on the shelf, one of which was a full-sized CZ 75 with a polished stainless finish and night sights. As this was the first CZ I had ever seen that sported night sights and, since I was deep in the mist of the CZ fever, I decided to go back the next weekend and pick up the full-sized stainless model with the night sights. However, while I was there I decided to pick-up the .45 caliber model 97B that was also on the shelf. I have owned one before, but this one was different. The first thing that I noticed was this screw-on barrel bushing up front. I did not recall mine having a bushing, at least not this one.
The second thing that caught my eye was the glossy blue finish. With the exception of the one nickle-plated model I owned (twice--if you haven't read the last review go back to get the explanation) all of the others have had a polycoat black finish that was nice but dull compared to this glossy blue. In this world of Parkerized finished slides over polymer or anodized alloy frames it was nice to see a full steel handgun with a great blued finish.
The third thing I noticed was the trigger pull. CZ's have always had good triggers on them; this one was very good in Double Action and excellent in Single Action. The "B" in the CZ 97B model designation means that there is no decocker on the pistol; you can carry it "cocked and locked" for Single Action or you can ease the hammer down and carry it in the Double Action mode. The DA pull averaged 8.95 pounds and the SA came in at 5.85. Both the DA and SA pulls were clean and short. So, let's cut to the chase; I obviously bought it. One of the first things I wanted to see was whether or not the DA pull would cause me to throw the shot. When I fire a SIG I have a tendency to throw that first double action shot off to the left a good three to four inches at 21 feet. So I decided to fire two full magazines (20 rounds) all in the Double Action mode. After each shot I kept the muzzle pointed down range and carefully lowered the hammer.
I took quite a chewing out by some reader when I posted this photo on one of the gun forums. He let me know in no uncertain terms that one shot does not constitute a group and accused me of trying to foist some type of flim-flam scam on the American public. Maybe he missed the orange burst next to the target that states "I know enough to quit while I am ahead" and didn't realize this was kind of a joke. Whenever I shoot a first round at any kind of a real distance and ping the center of the target I reel that baby in, photograph it and save it for the scrapbook because no matter how many additional rounds I fire at that target it ain't gonna look any better than it does right now! This as well as the next two targets were shot with UMC 230 grain FMJ ammunition.
Going back to 50 feet here is what two magazines +one in the chamber look like. You can see now why I pulled the first 50 target down after the first shot hit center.
As ammo was getting a little scarce I only had one box of defensive ammo which was Magtech 230 grain +P Jacketed Hollow Point loads. This was what I used to shoot the target above at a range of 30 feet.
In all of my shooting trips with this pistol there have been no failures to feed or extract.
If you are looking for a large, all steel .45 caliber handgun for when the chips are down you are not find a better handgun than the CZ Model 97B. The fit, finish, reliability and accuracy belies the price of $600 and change.
For one last look, here's the film noir version of the first photo above.