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Before You Buy A Used CZ-75 Compact, Check Out Our Field Strip Walk-Through

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The CZ-75 is one of the more famous European pistols.  Born in Czechoslovakia, it has since immigrated over and found a good home in the concealed carrier’s arsenal.  Built completely out of steel, it’s weighty but extremely reliable.

For those who really like SA/DA functionality, it’s a great competitor to the Beretta 92 Compact.  However, if you do see one in the Used section of the line-up, it’s always recommended that you take it apart to see the true wear and tear.  The reason is simple – a lot of people bought CZs, fired them a bunch, never cleaned them, and finally got rid of them.  Why?  Because CZs are not fun to clean.

But we’ll show you how.
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First – always ensure the firearm is clear prior to disassembly.

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Eject the magazine out of the magazine well and then slide the upper receiver to the rear, ensuring there are no rounds left in the chamber.

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Pull the upper receiver back – ever so slightly.  Depicted below is what the CZ-75’s upper receiver should look like in relation to the lower receiver.  Notice how the recoil pin is only slightly protruding?

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Brace the pistol’s upper receiver in this position with your thumb.  It has to be kept in precisely the correct position in order to remove the slide release pin.

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One of the easiest ways to free the pin is with the soft polymer side of a screwdriver.  With the upper receiver held in the slightly depressed position, tap the pin lightly.  LIGHTLY.  That’s all that should be necessary to push the slide release out.  If this doesn’t work, adjust the upper receiver slightly up or down until the pin does pop out.  And that’s really all you can hope for – it’ll pop slightly out.

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The key to disassembling a CZ-75 Compact is technique. The manual, itself, isn’t much help. This process depicted above and below is much of the reason it’s hard to get a used CZ-75 Compact that was properly cared for.

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Now that the slide release pin is out, we can take a look at why that slide release pin is such a bugger.  Below is what the pin’s eyelet looks like when the upper receiver is at rest.  Notice how there’s an obstruction caused by the barrel?

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And this next picture, below, shows what the upper receiver needs to look like in order to align the slide release pin on the CZ-75D.  If it doesn’t look like that, the upper receiver ain’t goin’ nowhere.

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Alright, the hardest part of CZ-75 basic field stripping and maintenance is over.  Once that pin is out – the rest is cake.

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Now that the slide release pin is out, put your hand on the upper receiver.  The upper receiver should slide off its rails – which end at the tip of the lower receiver.

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You can put down the lower receiver on your bench.  It’s field stripped down to operator level maintenance.  With the upper receiver in hand, you should see the recoil pin and spring and the barrel.

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The recoil pin is the only piece of polymer you’ll find in this gun.  That said, the spring is usually very tight so carefully depress the recoil spring with raunchy jokes about clowns.  Or you can use your fingers, too.

CAUTION:  Try to depress the recoil spring without it being aligned to your eye.

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Now that the recoil spring and pin are out of the upper receiver of the CZ-75D, go ahead and slide out the barrel.

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Once the barrel is out, your CZ-75 Compact is disassembled to the operator level.  And if you’re doing this on a used CZ-75, this is where you’ll see any signs of straight-up abuse.  There are plenty of after-market manufacturers (and CZ-USA) which sell replacement parts if you do find something wrong with the recoil pin or spring, trigger housing group, or hammer assemblies.

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And remember – when you go to reassemble it, the slide release pin is going to be the biggest pain.  Just use that same soft headed screwdriver to LIGHTLY tap the pin in.  Once the pin is almost all the way through, line up the metal tab to the secondary hole and you should be able to push it in.  Newer CZ-75s are a bit harder to push in manually but the older ones can usually be done quite easily.  Hopefully not too easily.

Maintenance Notes:

  • CZ-75s are mostly metal.  That means they’ll require more thorough lubrication.
  • A CZ-75 that’s been used and abused will show signs of rust or deterioration along insides.  It may not be evidence enough of a good CZ-75 Compact if the slide pulls back to reveal a clean chamber.
  • When pulling the slide open, listen and feel the resistance.  The spring should be tight but definitely listen for the sound of metal scratching against metal – this might mean the rails have deteriorated.

Would you like us to disassemble any other pistols or revolvers?  Tell us in the comments section below.

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Categories: Beginners Guide, General
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About G. Halek | View all posts by G. Halek

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun…

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 26 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his Sig Sauer SP2022 in a Dara Holsters Appendix IWB holster.

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  • Braden Storrs

    Looks like a solid pistol, but I love the Walther P99c for this reason. It’s incredibly easy and fast to take down anytime, anywhere, and still is very reliable.

    • James England

      Outside of a less than friendly disassembly process – I have absolutely no complaints about the CZ-75D. That said, I almost ended up getting a Walter P99c and it’s good to hear! I’ll definitely check it out next time I’m at the range.

  • Mike Lynch

    I own several CZ 75s – one of which being the 75D. They are great guns! Dependable, reliable, accurate… as well as easy to disassemble and reassemble. One thing I notice that is not mentioned here is the alignment marks on the slide and frame that make take down and reassembly easy. If you are going by how much of the guide rod is sticking out you are going to be at it a while trying to get the position of the slide right.

    • James England

      You’re absolutely right. I forgot to mention the alignment marks. They’re not terribly hard to find on the side of the pistol and they’re a great guide-rule for the slide stop pin to be released. My CZ-75D PCR is a bit too stiff to come out with a simple thumb push once the alignment marks are matched properly. Other people have had similar issues and it seems to be model specific. That said, it’s really not a pain because something as simple as a plastic pen cap is usually good enough to apply the pressure needed to dislodge it.