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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was trolling the bottom end of Gunbroker a month ago and found a CZ99 Yugoslavian pistol at $215. This isn't the lowest price around, but it isn't bad (CDI Sales in Kentucky gave great service). I cleaned up the gun and shot it on three separate occasions.

The CZ99 uses features from the Walther P88 (frame/controls) and the SIG P226 (slide and barrel). However, there are a number of features that look like...an XDM!

  • Barrel configuration. XDM is more robust, but the CZ99 is beefier than my Czech CZ75B;
  • Some of the firing mechanism looks similar, but the CZ99 is a DA/SA/decocker only;
  • The internal slide is very similar, except the XDM's internal extractor is much larger;
  • The slide is thick and heavy with square three-dot sights that align easily.
The CZ99 is thick. A tape measure showed it is 1/4 inch thicker in diameter than my stock Beretta 92S grips, and the 92 has a reputation for being fat. I have average sized hands and find with a two handed hold I prefer fat grips because of how they absorb recoil. More on that later.

My initial trip to the range taught me several things.
  1. The CZ99 is very easy to shoot. The DA is typically long and heavy. However, on this gun the SA is scary light; I estimate it at 2.5 pounds. This means no worry about trigger break; I think about squeezing, and there's a 9mm hole in the target.
  2. This gun is decently accurate. 7 yard groups were easy to hold under 2 inches with just elbows for a rest.
  3. That big fat grip and humongous slide eat up recoil like crazy. This thing has less felt recoil than any all-metal center fire handgun I have fired, including the CZ75B, Beretta 92S, and my Stoeger Cougar--all guns with reputations for low recoil. I kid you not--the CZ99 makes them feel like they slam me around, and I don't think 9mm kicks much.
This gun also had a quirk: About once every 20 rounds, it would FTE, leaving a case in the chamber and one on the feed ramp. While I have gone 50-100 rounds without a FTE, the problem comes back regardless of ammo, grip, or cleanliness. Subsequent examination suggests a VERY soft extractor. I deflects easily with finger pressure.

I liked the first one so much--extractor not withstanding--that I sold an unused rifle and bought two more ($470 out the door plus $25 at my FFL). These two had more bluing and some minor quirks of their own. I got to put about 300 rounds through them today, and they all average about 2-inch 7 yard groups. The latter two have crisper, heavier triggers, but still about 4 pounds SA. One pistol fails to lock on the last round about 10% of the time, but not with my Dremeled 92 magazine (stock 92 magazines only need a "D" shaped hole cut in the face of the mag--another similarity to the XDM). The other likes to chuck the last piece of brass in my face, as if to say, "That's all, man, feed me!"

One last comparison to the XDM: The CZ99 fits my XDM holsters like they were made for it--even in molded kydex.

If I understand correctly, the bunch from Cole's is actually Israeli surplus, and they all show significant wear; but man, are they fun to shoot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I knew that was coming. Should have known better to post without pics. Here is an example:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

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Oooooh. Hell. A friend had one of these that I think EAA imported.

Not a bad pistol.

I keep thinking they came from South Africa originally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are partly correct. They were designed in Yugoslavia and released in 1989. They were then licensed to Israel (Golan Pistol) and South Africa (TZ-99). The later pistols, CZ-999 and EZ9/EZ40 series are all based on the CZ-99 (which is based on the SIG/Walther, which are based on...etc....).

Coles now has an ugly gun special for $195 plus $21 shipping. No, I have no connection to Coles. That's just where I found them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! Cool they are, little they ain't! Holds 15 in a standard magazine, but will take any Beretta 92 Magazine if modified with the "D" slot.

I didn't mention--the slide stop and decocker are handled by one ambidextrous lever. Hint: Don't operate the decocker with the grips off!
 

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Nice, unique in a way. I did carry open carry my Sig 228 today and it's like carrying a kettle bell on my side but Sig's and the clones, are fun to shoot no doubt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For stupid, gun-mag reasons, I never considered a SIG before. Shooting the CZ99 makes me want a SIG P220.

They also have a lanyard bar at the bottom of the grip. One of my pistols came with a big split ring on the loop. Removed forthwith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another thought is that you can expect a fair amount of machining marks internally. The good news is that all three of my samples were well-used to the point where any rough spots were worn down. However, anyone expecting a finely fitted work of art will be disappointed. They are also typically quite gritty. I don't know if this is desert dust or storage grime or a unique powder residue (or all three?), but a good clean and lube is a must.

What generally surprised and delighted me was the light SA trigger, good accuracy, and ease of recoil. The big three dot sights are also easy to pick up. For those who believe in a "truck gun" or just an interesting range toy, I think these things are worth the low cost even with 30% finish loss--most of which is on the aluminum frame and the sharper edges of the steel slide.

I forgot to mention--the barrels are chrome plated. I measured the averages of four loads at seven yards (five shot groups), and they came out at 2.28 for all three pistols (total 12 groups). The most accurate pistol was averaging 1.82, with the smallest group coming from a handload at just over an inch. None of the loads were tailored to the gun; 115-grain Blazer Brass and Remington green box, and two plinker grade reloads with 122-grain Lead TC's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I shot two of them again yesterday. Too much fun! Here's a decent ten shot group with reloads:
 

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Will it take P226 mags?

It looks very similar to the SIG P226.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't checked P226 mags, although I recall some conversation about it. They will definitely take a Beretta 92 mag with a D-shaped hole cut in the proper location.

They do look a lot like a SIG. Probably nowhere near the fit or finish, but very robust and nice shooters so far. I love the big three dot sights and continue to be pleasantly surprised by the single action pull on all three pistols.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I had to do some gunsmithing with one of the CZ99's today. My first one (#1) has a light SA trigger, as in, if you fire a harder trigger for a while, then switch to this it's "whoops! It went off!" light.

Today I was sharing time with my XDM 9mm conversion barrel and breaking in a new Steyr M9-A1 (another story). After about 20 rounds, the hammer started following the slide down. Five double action shots showed the capgun-like trigger was still easy to shoot accurately, but something was wrong. I could cock it to single action, but the slide would not keep it cocked.

I took it home, took a deep breath, and started disassembling it. Other than the trigger mechanism, trigger bar and decocking levers, it is REMARKABLY like an XDM inside. After examining the hammer-sear relationship, and learning a Stoeger Cougar Compact spring was woefully underpowered, and two reassemblies, I stoned the sear nose more steeply, evened out the wear, and reassembled it. Hooray! It's up to about three pounds with just a hint of creep, and the hammer cocks and operates normally, and passes the push-off test.

There is one blog out there that says not to take off the decocking levers. I call B.S. If you carefully remove the springs, the decocking levers simply friction fit into each other--and you have to remove them in order to remove the trigger bar.

The hammer spring is strong and very difficult to compress. I put the hammer strut in a vise, compressed the spring on the strut with some Channellock pliers, and slipped a 1mm punch into the slave hole on the strut. Without the pin, there is no way you're compressing the hammer spring to reinstall the hammer.

I know--few people care about an uncommon pistol--but when you realize how close to an XDM they are and how fun they are to shoot, I may just look for a new model or a CZ999/EZ-9 next year. Cheers if you actually read this!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Got bold and dove into the trigger mechanism on all three pistols. Mostly just to clean, but after the above gun went DAO I had to stone the sear to get it back to DA/SA.

The hammer plunger is definitely a casting, and it has uneven spring rub marks on its length. I stoned the plungers only until they were smooth at the contact points. I also tried a cut-down 92S hammer spring on one model. Even compressed so it would barely fit, it was a lighter and smoother pull. 100 rounds down range today and no FTF.

My next experiment on these will be to try a SiG guide Rod and recoil spring. With a safe of 12 other auto pistols, these are the most fun to shoot. Good SA triggers, great recoil absorption, and highly visible 3-dot sights (although could benefit from some Glo-On).

And now, back to your normally scheduled programming...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another 100 rounds through CZ99 #1 today. Did encounter my usual three failure to extract, but it has helped me clear that jam quickly. You can't just tap/rack/bang because there is usually a shell in the chamber and one in the ejection port. I have to lock the slide back, drop the magazine, shake out the offending case, reinsert the magazine, and drop the side.

Incidentally, my Stoeger Cougar had its very first jam today in about 1000 rounds, of the exact same type. I was shooting my dirty Unique and LRN combo, so none of the four pistols I brought escaped its treachery.

Also got my Remington 788 .243 to group. I shot five kinds of 100 grain with four powders and couldn't get better than 1.25 average. Today I tried the Hornady 87 bthp under a starting load of H4350, and got consecutive 5-shot groups under .70 center to center. Mind you, this is with old brass and using a carpeted 4x4 for a rest, and a 40 year old Bushnell Banner, so I was pretty tickled.

Carry on, and keep shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
IMG_1470.JPG Got to shoot today. 20 quickie reloads and 50 cheap JHP before popping over to the rifle range. The CZ99 shoots lead just fine, but it likes jacketed bullets better:

Another thing I am beginning to notice; this pistol sometimes has FTE issues, but no failures today in about 75 rounds. Really starting to wonder if R-P brass is the culprit. My Steyr M9-A1 chokes on R-P, too. Today's brass was all Blazer (reloads) and Federal (Independence 115 JHP).

I also tried out my filed SiG guide rod and recoil spring. Worked fine; seemed to make it shoot about an inch lower. All I did was take about .020 off the diameter of the rod base. Both the rod and spring were OEM SiG parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hickok45 reviewed the CZ99 last week. I'm just geeked.
 
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