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CZ 45
1947Manufacture-CZ45
CZ-45 of 1947 Manufacture.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovakia
Production history
Designer Jan Kratochvil
Designed 1945
Manufacturer Česká Zbrojovka
Produced 1945–present
Variants CZ 45, CZ 92
Specifications
Length 5 inches / 127mm
Width .61 inches / 15.5mm
Height 3.58 inches / 91mm

Cartridge .25 ACP
Rate of fire Semi-automatic pistol
Feed system detachable 8 round, single stack, box magazine
Sights simple groove top length of slide
CZ92 PICT0020

CZ-92

The Vzor 45, commonly known as CZ 45 is a compact blowback operated semi-automatic pistol chambered in .25 ACP. It was made in Czechoslovakia and later in the Czech Republic. Derived from the CZ-36 following World War II, the CZ-45 is currently manufactured by Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod as the CZ-92.

In 1945 the CZ-36 was redesigned by Jan Kratochvil to make it easier (hence cheaper) to manufacture and became the Vzor 45 (model 1945) but is generally known as CZ-45. The safety lever which had sometimes appeared on the CZ-36 was eliminated (though a few early model 45s were manufactured with a safety lever). The changes included the addition of a side plate to simplify assembly and a magazine safety. The CZ-36 had a connector from the trigger to the hammer that ran on the left side of the magazine, whereas the CZ-45 has a Browning style stirrup-shaped connector that runs on both sides of the magazine.

The overall design of the receiver, slide, guide rod, and recoil spring are very similar to the earlier Browning .25 design. The barrel mount is also like the Browning, with a single lug that rotates into a slot in the frame. The trigger pivots on a pin.

When the trigger is activated and the hammer is down, the connector is pulled forward, rotating the hammer backward into cocked position. When the hammer reaches full cock, it is freed to fall and strike the firing pin, which ignites the cartridge. The hammer is not cocked by the slide—technically speaking, this is a self-loading repeating pistol, not an automatic or semi-automatic. Other than the heavy double-action trigger pull, the only safety mechanism is the magazine safety. When the magazine is inserted, it moves a bar which allows the connector to engage the sear. When the magazine is removed from the gun, the bar disconnects the trigger from the sear. Disassembly is similar to the Browning. Remove the magazine and make sure the chamber is empty. Draw the slide back about 1 centimeter and rotate the barrel clockwise a quarter-turn. Remove the barrel and slide forward off the receiver. Other than the guide rod and recoil spring, there are no small parts that come loose.

The CZ-45 holds 8 rounds in the magazine and has a simple groove down the top of the slide for sighting. Its great merits are its simplicity and reliability, ease of field-stripping, and accuracy—despite its primitive sighting groove and double action only trigger.

The only design weakness in the CZ-45 is a brittle firing pin (like the CZ 52). This gun should never be dry fired.

In 1992 the gun was slightly redesigned, given a magazine release behind the trigger and a futuristic grip, and is now sold as the CZ-92. Unfortunately, due to the Gun Control Act of 1968, the gun can no longer be imported into the U.S., as it is too small. After the GCA blocked further importation, US Manufacturer Intratec started producing a near-exact clone called the Protec, though the build quality is somewhat lower.

CZ-45's are somewhat rare in the US resale market and go for about $250 in good condition and up to $500 in mint condition. CZ-92's are virtually non-existing in the US and go for higher prices, despite the limited applications of the .25 ACP as a self-defense round.

The CZ Custom Shop in the United States is planning to produce a limited run of US-made CZ 92's. A prototype was shown at the 2011 SHOT Show. CZ Custom aims to have the US-made CZ-92 included in the CZ Catalog at the 2012 SHOT Show. It is not confirmed if the chambering will remain .25ACP or possibly switch to .32 or .380.

The modern successors to the Model CZ-45 are the Seecamp .25 and .32, the North American Arms .32 and .380, and the Kel-Tec P-32 and P-3AT.

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