by TJ Parmele
Like many of you on this forum, I have made the discovery of the Curio & Relics Federal Firearms License (C&R FFL) and how one can order firearms over the Internet from a distributor who has this license. I am going to give a review of what I think the best value on the market is at this point.
Let me introduce you to the CZ-82.
Designed by the Czech Engineer Augustin Necas, the CZ-82 (military designation vz.82) was manufactured by the Czechoslovak firm of Ceska Zbrojovka from 1982 through 1994. The CZ-82 replaced the 7.62x25mm Tokarev vz. 52 pistol in Czechoslovak military service in 1982.
The CZ-82 is a compact, TDA, semi-automatic pistol with a blowback action and fixed barrel, chambered in 9X18 Makarov. The pistol is made from carbon steel with a matte black finish of some kind that doesn't reflect light and seems durable enough to the casual range user. The staggered double-stack magazine holds 12 rounds + 1 in the chamber for a total of 13 rounds. For convenience, both the frame-mounted thumb safety and the magazine release are ambidextrous. The safety is easy to reach and the allows the gun to be carried in the single action mode similar to the 1911. The mag release is easy to reach as well. The 3.8 inch barrel is chrome-plated and features polygonal rifling. This nifty design replaces the traditional lands and grooves rifling design with a rounded, smooth polygonal pattern which gives the bullet a tighter spin, which equals greater accuracy. The CZ-82 weighs 28 ounces and change empty, and with a full magazine it weighs 33 ounces. The CZ-82's ambidextrous safety is frame mounted and easy to reach, like the 1911's. .
I found the gun to be very accurate. The sights are fixed, with windage adjustable rear sights. The front sight is a simple blade with a white dot. These are easy to acquire, and follow-up shots are simple and pleasurable to shoot with the Single action trigger. I can put a 1 inch group together at 7 yards, which is pretty good for me. I can't speak for how others would shoot this, only that the pistol pointed naturally for me.
The trigger is hard to describe without a trigger scale. The double action pull is smooth but tends to stack. It's not bad for a military issue formerly Commie pistol. The best thing I could compare it to is a Makarov pistol's DA pull. This one though is lighter, and not as long. The single action is a joy to shoot, with the trigger breaking cleanly without much overtravel.
This has to be the easiest gun I own for disassembly, whether milsurp or modern.
Take out the magazine
Ensure that there is no round in the chamber.
Pull on the trigger guard, it will move slightly down.
Pull back on the slide and then slowly lift it forward (much like a Makarov, or PPK disassembly)
Put the slide down, and take the recoil spring off of the fixed barrel. That's it.
Reassemble in reverse order (I hate this description).
The CZ-82 is also Curio & Relic eligible when the BATF decreed it as such in October 2007 at the request of a military museum curator (one of the ways to get a firearm on the C&R list the BATF maintains).
The CZ-82's 9MM Makarov chambering is a step above .380ACP for self-defense. (A very small step--ed.) 9MM Makarov ammo is reasonably cheap and there are some companies like Hornady that are making self-defense rounds for it. The CZ-82 is compact, and easy to conceal.
The pistols on the market right now are being sold and shipped from 169-229 dollars (depending on the condition).
The CZ-83, which is the commercial variant of the CZ-82, is offered in .380 and .32 ACP and sells for a little over 400 dollars.
As of this writing in February 2009, the CZ-82 is easily one of the best, if not the best bargain on the market. For a little over $200 you get a solid, reliable, ambidextrous handgun of decent capacity that is ambidextrous, is concealable, fires an inexpensive cartridge, is Curio & Relic eligible, and comes with two magazines, a cleaning rod, and a holster. Below are some of the photos of mine complete with scratched grips back in November of 2007.
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