There are those who love CZ pistols and their clones, and there are other people who are wrong. Well, that isn’t really true, but it is fun to say. Anyhow, a common complaint about CZ pistols and their clones – some of which are very, very good – is working the slide.
CZ pistols are failry notorious for this. The slide rides inside the frame rails and bore axis is a bit on the low side. That’s great for minimizing felt recoil, but there’s less real estate to grab onto in order to rack it.
What would seem to be the done thing is to just pinch hard, which does work. However, some people don’t have the greatest hand strength and then there are people who just like figuring out a better way to do things.
Work smart not hard, as the saying goes.
Should you be curious about the best way to rack a CZ pistol (or the clones) here are a couple of tricks for dealing with the lack of grippable surface.
First is to change how you rack the slide.
Most people grip the slide serrations. It makes sense because that’s what they’re there for! However, the older designs of CZ pistols tend to have relatively small slide serrations in terms of width, depth and height; they’re small and very fine, which means they can be harder to get a good grip on.
On the CZ-75-pattern pistols (the full-size, the Compact, clones like the Tri-Star/Canik C100 and S120) there is a bevel toward the front of the slide, a design aspect inspired by the Browning Hi Power. Grip that instead.
The reason that works is that you have a bit more real estate to grab there, but also because you’re closer to the recoil spring, and therefore are moving the slide a shorter distance.
However, that trick doesn’t work for all CZ pistols nor for all clones, such as the EAA Witness, IWI Jericho/Magnum Research Baby Desert Eagle. What to do in this instance?
Another good trick — and this works for all semi-auto pistols — is to stop relying only pulling the slide to the rear. Instead, you want to push and pull simultaneously. The trick is to start pulling the slide serrations with the off hand and push with the hand that’s holding the grip.
This is similar the charging technique that is said to be used by the Israelis. (A few different trainers out there have some differing information, but the push-pull aspect appears to be a common thread.) They bring the pistol up to chin level with the slide pointed toward the target, grab the slide and punch the pistol forward. That racks the slide and presents in one fell swoop, at which point they commence firing.
I’ve tried both with actual CZ pistols and clones (and even a Baby Eagle) and both techniques make racking the slide easier.
What about you though? Any CZ or clone owners that have their own insights? General comments or observations? Let us know!