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Pistol Review: The CZ 97 BD

Think of the CZ 97 BD as the super-sized version of the renowned CZ 75 pistol, along with a decocker. Overall, the CZ 97 B combines one of the most popular calibers in the U.S., .45 ACP, with one of Eastern Europe’s most legendary pistol designs, the CZ 75.

As the big brother of the CZ 75, the CZ 97 B operates almost exactly as the 75 B with respect to the single and double action, block safety, and magazine brake.


Like the CZ 75, the CZ 97 B utilizes a short-recoil operated, locked-breech design with a linkless cam locking system similar to the Browning Hi-Power. In simple terms, the barrel and slide are locked together when the pistol is fired. Upon firing, the barrel and slide remain locked as the slide recoils rearward.

One reason CZ pistols are so popular is the ergonomics and the 97 BD is no exception. While larger than the 75 model, the 97 still fits almost any hand size while providing a secure and tactile grip. CZ also outfitted the 97 BD with thin aluminum scales that slim the grip down, making it comfortable even for those with smaller hands.

The 97 BD shares many of the features of the B model, including its hardy black polycoat finish and thin aluminum checkered grips. Besides the decocker, the BD also adds a set of 3-dot tritium night sights.

Other features include a screw-in barrel bushing, loaded chamber indicator and a double-stack magazine holding 10 rounds.


  • Chambering: .45 ACP

  • Magazine Capacity: 10

  • Magazine Type: Staggered

  • Frame: Steel

  • Grips: Thin Aluminum

  • Trigger Mech: DA/SA

  • Sights: Fixed Tritium

  • Barrel: Cold Hammer Forged

  • Barrel Length: 4.65 in

  • Weight: 41.3 oz

  • Overall Length: 8.3 in

  • Height: 5.9 in

  • Width: 1.4 in

  • Safety: Decocking Lever, Safety Stop on Hammer, Firing Pin Block Safety, Loaded Chamber Indicator


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