CZ-52 Problem

Discussion in 'Czech Firearms' started by Cyrano, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    This is a problem that has me scratching my head. I have a CZ-52, NRA VG or better, with two issue magazines. From what I can tell, the pistol hadn't even been fired enough to work the moving parts in before I got it. I'm firing milsurp ammo out of it.

    This is where it gets strange.

    Intermittently, not even as often as once per magazine, I have a failure to feed. The slide strips the round out of the magazine okay, but then fails to fully chamber it. What's worse, the slide either locks up or sticks when it does this.

    The procedure I've evolved to deal with it is to drop out the magazine; smack the rear of the slide with the lock from the pistol case (hitting it with the hand won't do it, and the slide WILL NOT retract to the rear to eject the round), and after the slide goes fully into battery, to fire the round. Spent cartridge ejects normally and with great vigor. Reinsert the magazine, cycle the action, and continue shooting.

    It does this with either magazine. It does not do it at any one point in the loads remaining, such as with every fourth round. All the ammo looks sound and is not gritty or anything like that. I've field-stripped the pistol for cleaning and have followed the instructions in the online manual for cleaning and lubing it half a dozen times, and the problem persists. I've polished the rails and the grooves with Simichrome. I've tried half a dozen different lubes, from Gunzilla to silicone to lithium grease, and it still does this.

    I've run close to 500 rounds through it, so by now it can be presumed to be broken in; yet it still continues this irregular failure to fully feed which results in a jam. Anyone run across this problem before?

    Has anyone got an idea as to what I can do to fix this problem?
  2. Mmmm,

    as this gun has gone through five hundred rounds the problem, whatever it may be, is beyond the realm of normal use to have the parts better fit one another.

    You cannot depend upon this gun in an emergency situation.

    I would get back with the seller and the manufacturer to exercise whatever warranty or replacement rights you may have at this point. Be assertive in this endeavor.

  3. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Examine the brass after firing for any telltale differences between some rounds that cycled properly and some of those that failed to cycle properly. Might be some clues there. Also have you experimented with different brands of ammo?
  4. Iron_Colonel

    Iron_Colonel G&G Enthusiast

    Wow, this sounds highly suspicious for a necked down cartridge!!! I'd think it's a mechanical problem. Do you have weak mag springs? Have you tried a different mag? How about a recoil spring for the pistol? The guns are old after all, and the spring could be fatigued. Your sure your roller locks are engaging properly? No unusual wear marks or anything like that I presume since you have lubed it up it sounds like numerous times, and surely would have noticed something. Are the mags original Czech? I have heard of some aftermarket mags that don't work well.

    Looks like you've got some options for some recoil springs:

    Springs for CZ 52 Semi-Auto Pistols
  5. cold queso

    cold queso G&G Regular

    is the finish gray parkerizing or a dark bluing?
  6. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    Colonel, with great trepidation (you know what a mechanical klutz I am) I disassembled the magazines, swabbed them out with mineral spirits, swabbed them again with Gunzilla, then reassembled them. The follower presses down just fine with a pencil and loads easily except for the last two rounds, which are harder to get in. I think nothing of this because every magazine I load feels like that. I'm using original Czech issued magazines only. Like you, I've heard the warnings about the Triple K aftermarket magazines being jam-prone and poor feed-prone.

    I haven't replaced any parts on it yet. Do you think a new recoil spring would make a difference? There are no wear marks on the rollers that I have seen.

    cold queso, the pistol has the grey parkerized type finish. Would this make a difference? The rails and the grooves on the slide are bright steel color. Does this tell you anything?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  7. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    that pistol is over 50 years old. replace the recoil spring. Wolff makes some in different weights. if I remember corectly, I put a 19 pound spring in mine.
  8. Iron_Colonel

    Iron_Colonel G&G Enthusiast

    Well if you haven't shot it since cleaning those mags out then try tha tfirst. But if it's having issues, then you ought to try some new recoil springs and see what works. I had the same problem with one of my Luger P08s and I replaced the mag spring, and the recoil and firing pin spring with Wolff's kit they sell for it. Man did that tighten it up and it shoots great!
  9. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    Cyrano, you may be running into a feed angle issue wherein the top round is being stripped off at too sharp of and angle to slide under the extractor properly and then binding when it hits the feed ramp. The next time it happens (or if you have a case that you know was a FTF), look around the rim for any nicks or gouges on the face and in the groove. A lot of times this is easily cured by gently flaring or reshaping the feed lips on the mags. My PA-63 had a similar problem with some of my handloads that were loaded to max O.A.L. and the bullet hit the feed ramp quicker than the short factory ammo did and would do the same thing. I used fine emery cloth wrapped around a large pencil to remove the rough edges from both mags and then used a drill bit pushed up between the feed lips to raise the front edge of the lips so the round could tilt a bit more coming out of the mag. I've put over 1000 rds through it since then without a single hiccup.
  10. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    Toolman, the point is that I can never know when it's going to fail to lock up properly. It can be the first round, or any round. The magazine may run smoothly, or it may not. I'm thinking the Colonel is correct and that what I need to do is order a new recoil spring. I'll check the ramp of course, but as the problem is not consistent it's devilish to doiagnose.
  11. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    My only CZ52 problem is I don't get to shoot it enough.

    How do you know they are issue mags? They could be second party from whoever sold you the pistol.
  12. LKermit

    LKermit G&G Newbie


    The problem may be your ammo. I first ran some '53 Bulgarian through my pistol, and it was failure after failure of one type or another, jams almost every other round, and even one squib round. Luckily I knew what to do when I heard that funny sound.

    I bought some '83 Romanian ammo and all the problems went away. One failure to fire in over 500 rounds. No ejection problems, no jams.

    The cases of the Bulgarian had mostly cracked around the little dimples, telling me that the cases were irregular sizes, leading to failure to go completely into battery. The things you may have read about '53 Bulgy ammo are true; it is junk.

    Someone else posted about trying different ammo. That is where I'd start.

  13. seattle fog

    seattle fog G&G Addict

    I was going to suggest an ammo issue as well, but if you've run 500+ rounds through it I suspect that you've used different runs of ammo already.

    Here's my thought process ( in no particular order): new springs - as mentioned, Wolff has a package for this.
    Change of ammo.
    Get a new mag and test it for the problem...more range time. :)
  14. Dennis

    Dennis G&G Evangelist

    Does the roller locking cam slide back and forth with out binding? a small brass shaveing from a case rim worked its way in to mine and was a persnickity problem untill i sprayed it out with carb cleaner.
    I saw the brass shard it looked like a small fingernail clipping
    I would suggest S&B ammunition they are the best quality but kinda expensive.
    how does the chamber look and divots?
  15. Daffy

    Daffy G&G Newbie

    You may also want to try spinning your mag springs around (front to rear, not bottom to top) as the may have been put in backwards. I've run accross this before in surplus rifle mags. This can make the bullet tip down.
  16. These are the only aftermarket mags I have found that are worth a darn: CZ 52 Magazine 7.62 cal for sale : Brand New CZ52 Mags 8rd

    They say right in there that these are not Triple-K, but the name of the webpage says Triple-K (strange yes). They are good Teflon coated mags, smooth edges.

    I am not a gunsmith but that sounds like a roller problem. I would definitely replace them with aftermarket ones like these: Harrington Products CZ-52 Hardened Rollers

    Get a new spring while you're at it. Although the #18.5 one I have makes the slide quite a bit harder to pull back, the reliability and softer recoil is worth it. The original was maybe #10 after all these years and caused a lot of feeding issues. I did a lot of work myself with mine (link to thread elsewhere where I describe the work):