Field strip the ČZ-52 pistol into its major components for cleaning.

How to Field Strip the ČZ-52 Pistol

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The ČZ-52 Pistol

Field stripping is the term for disassembling a gun into its major components or assemblies. You don't completely disassemble it, but you break it down enough that you can clean and lubricate it. As the term suggests, this is something you might do in the field while further disassembly requiring special tools would be done back at the armory or shop. Let's see how to field strip the ČZ-52 pistol.

The ČZ-52 pistol has become very popular. But just what is it? Let's start with its name.

While the pistol is commonly called the CZ-52, that isn't really its precise designation. The pistol's full name is really the Česká Zbrojovka vzor 52. This is usually shortened to ČZ vz. 52.

Česká Zbrojovka is Czech for "Czech Armory". You would pronounce it as Cheska Zbroyovka, and to be authentic, a Czech would pronounce ČZ as cha zet. The word vzor, commonly abbreviated as vz., means "model".

So, a literal translation of the pistol's full name would be the Czech Armory Model 52. Compare that name to something like the Springfield Armory Model 1911.

Let's break this down into its major assemblies.

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Wear safety glasses while doing this, as some parts are under strong spring pressure and may release when you aren't expecting it.

The pistol is in the holster.
Open the holster.

Start, of course, with an empty pistol!

Remove the magazine and set it aside. Then pull the slide back and lock it open with the slide release so you can carefully examine the chamber.

 Make absolutely certain that the weapon is unloaded. 

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Lock the pistol open on an empty chamber and magazine.

The slide is released from the frame by pulling down on the shallow knurled knobs just above either side of the front of the trigger guard.

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Release the slide lock.

The slide immediately lifts and moves slightly up and forward.

Release the slide from the frame.

Completely remove the slide from the frame.

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Remove the slide.

You can see that the barrel's roller locking block is still in place in the slide.

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Examine the slide and the frame.

You will need a tool to remove the barrel. Harrington Products makes a custom barrel take-down tool that makes this quite easy. Or you might have an appropriate sized punch that would do the trick.

Be careful!

You have to compress the recoil spring to about half of its current length, and it is already under quite a bit of pressure.

It would be easy to launch your take-down tool (especially if it wasn't really the appropriate size and shape for the task), or the entire slide.

Use a barrel removal tool.

You need to move the barrel block toward the front of the slide, first unlocking the rollers and then compressing the recoil spring as the barrel's muzzle protrudes through the front of the slide.

When the block is far enough forward, you can tip the barrel and lift the block out of the slide as you move it back and let the spring gently uncompress.

Notice how far the spring wants to expand. This is why you need to be very careful when removing the barrel from the slide and when replacing it.

Use a barrel take-down tool and remove the barrel.

You can see the firing pin down within the slide.

Harrington Products also makes custom firing pins, both customized competition ones and replicas of the original design. The original ČZ vz. 52 firing pins compounded a poor design with bad metal, and they tend to break after just a few or even one round of dry-firing.

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Check the firing pin.

See Harrington Product's installation page for instructions on how to replace the firing pin and the extractor on the ČZ vz. 52. You would remove this one, a customized design, by using something like a straightened paper clip to depress the retaining pin, pressing down through the small hole in the firing pin's body, visible down within the slide in the picture above.

Use a barrel take-down tool and remove the barrel.

However, this is probably as far as you want to disassemble the ČZ vz. 52 for routine cleaning and maintenance.

If you want to remove the grip panels, do that by removing the spring clip. The grip panels then lift right off.

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Use a barrel take-down tool and remove the barrel.