First generation CZ 99
|Place of origin||* SFR Yugoslavia|
|Used by||See Users|
|Manufacturer||Crvena Zastava (Zastava Arms)|
|Weight||970 grams in 9×19mm Para |
960 grams in .40 S&W
|Length||Standard: 190mm |
|Barrel length||Standard: 108mm |
|Diameter||188mm (grip diameter)|
|Cartridge||* 9×19mm Parabellum|
|Action||Short recoil, locked breech, tilting barrel (DA/SA)|
|Feed system||15 round double-stack box magazine (9mm), |
10 round double-stack box magazine (.40)
|Sights||three dot Iron sights|
The CZ 99 is a full-sized, semi-automatic service pistol produced by Zastava Arms. It was developed in 1989 to replace the Zastava M57 in the Yugoslavian Military and Police. Design of the CZ 99 was based on SIG Sauer P226 while the frame design was influenced by Walther P88. The CZ 99 is chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W
History[edit | edit source]
In the late 1980s Yugoslavian police and military began looking to replace the aging handgun models they had in use at that time, such as the Zastava M57 and Mod.70.
The development team at Crvena Zastava, led by Božidar Blagojević, was given the challenge to come up with a new design and complete its prototype in a very short time period of only 6 months. Accepting this challenge, the engineering team finished its technical documentation in only 90 days, and the design was finalized shortly thereafter.
The prototype had been completed just in time for the 1990 Las Vegas S.H.O.T. Show where it made its public debut. With feedback collected on the new design, Zastava made several revisions and detail changes, and introduced the second, much-improved prototype, in Germany at the Nuremberg IWA show.
The modified prototype received hugely positive feedback. Zastava then produced two more units for testing in the USA in August 1990. Test results were positive, and it was decided to have the new handgun in mass production by early 1991. A total investment of $2 million USD went into modernizing the manufacturing facilities with state of the art CNC machines, and production began as planned.
The Name[edit | edit source]
Gun was supposed to be named CZ 89 (Crvena Zastava 1989) but prototype displayed during 1990 S.H.O.T. was mistakenly engraved "CZ 99" instead of the "CZ 89" It had never been completely clarified whether the engraver had mistakenly engraved "99" instead of "89" or if the work order had an error in it but either way, new gun was going to the public as the CZ 99.
Design details[edit | edit source]
Design of the CZ 99 was based on SIG Sauer P226, while frame design was influenced by the Walther P88. However, the CZ 99 is not a copy of either, but rather borrows from both designs. frame is made out of PD 33 aluminum alloy while the slide is machined out of hammer forged steel.
Operating mechanism[edit | edit source]
The CZ 99 is a short recoil-operated locked breech semi-automatic pistol that uses a modified Browning cam-lock system adapted from the Hi-Power pistol. The firearm's locking mechanism utilizes a linkless, vertically tilting barrel with a rectangular breech that locks into the ejection port cut-out in the slide. During the recoil stroke, the barrel moves rearward initially locked together with the slide approximately 3 mm (0.12 in) until the bullet leaves the barrel and chamber pressure drops to a safe level. A ramped lug extension at the base of the barrel then interacts with a tapered locking block integrated into the frame, forcing the barrel down and unlocking it from the slide. This camming action terminates the barrel's movement while the slide continues back under recoil, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge casing. The slide's uninterrupted rearward movement and counter-recoil cycle are characteristic of the Browning system.
Features[edit | edit source]
The CZ 99 incorporates fully ambidextrous slide release/decocker (Both slide release and decocker use same lever) as well as ambidextrous magazine release button. It also features loaded chamber indicator and DA/SA trigger (DA/SA + DAO on CZ 999)
The CZ 99 has no manual safety instead pistol can be decocked and holstered safely and can be fired in double action mode by simply pulling the trigger. The hammer may also be manually cocked at any time by the user to fire in single action mode.
Barrel[edit | edit source]
hammer-forged hard-chromed barrel is made from the same material used in the Zastava M84 General-purpose machine gun. In the tests done in the USA in 1991/1992 it was found that it dissipated heat rather well. While this is not a concern with handguns nearly as much as it is with the machine guns, the ability to dissipate heat rapidly makes barrel capable of lasting longer due to a shorther expansion/contraction cycle. Barrel is hard-chromed (inside and out) to protect from corrosion and wear of corrosive service ammunition used by Yugoslavian Military and Police
Variants[edit | edit source]
CZ 99[edit | edit source]
- CZ 99S is a standard CZ 99 with slide mounted safety
- CZ 99 Compact-G The slide and barrel were shortened by 8mm. , leaving it 100mm long (3.94"), compared with 108mm(4.25") of the full size version. Slide shape forward of the breech opening was also changed. First customers of the CZ 99 Compact-G were the Israelis. Deliveries to Israel started around the time the UN sanctions on Yugoslavia came into effect. So the deal had been arranged to license Israel to produce CZ 99 Compact-G at home.
CZ 999[edit | edit source]
|CZ 999 & CZ 05|
CZ 999 Skorpion with custom made grips
|Place of origin||* FR Yugoslavia ( Serbia)|
|Used by||See Users|
|Weight||930 grams in 9mm and 920 grams in .40 S&W|
|Length||Standard: 198mm |
|Barrel length||Standard: 108mm |
|Diameter||184mm (grip diameter)|
|Cartridge||* 9×19mm Parabellum|
|Action||Recoil operated (DA/SA or DAO)|
|Feed system||15 round magazine (9mm), 10 round (.40)|
The CZ 999 is slightly longer than CZ 99 (due to the longer beaver tail). Frame is thinner by 1.5mm and the grip itself reshaped to bring the overall grip diameter from 188mm to 184mm. By doing so designers solved the greatest complaint about the CZ 99 (grip being too wide for shooters with smaller hands). also the overall mass is reduced. Magazines and the magazine capacity remained unchanged.
The most interesting feature new to the CZ 999 is the "action mode selector". Selector is located on the top left edge of the slide, just forward of the rear sight. It allows user to instantly switch to shoot either in DAO (Double action only) mode, or DA/SA (Double Action/Single Action) mode.
Another feature new to the CZ 999 is the "low shot indicator", a pin protruding through the upper right grip screw warning the shooter that there are 3 rounds remaining in the magazine.
CZ 999 project was first announced in 1998. with mass production scheduled for March, 1999. This was delayed and the first prototype was presented to public in 2001, and mass production started next year in 2002.
CZ 999 Scorpion[edit | edit source]
CZ 999 Scorpion is a variant of the CZ 999 without the action mode selector and low shot indicator. Other than having no action mode selector and low shot indicator there are no other known differences between the CZ 999 and the CZ 999 Scorpion.
- CZ 999 Compact is a shortened CZ 999 Scorpion. The length reduction was done all up front, the rear of the gun remaining unchanged. Minor aesthetic differences are apparent like the flat slide top. Internally, a change was done to the locking block (locking insert). The locking block of the Compact is about 2mm shorter. The Compact is 10mm shorter than the CZ 999 pistol. The length decrease reduced weight down to 900gr (9mm) and 890gr (.40S&W) respectively.
-In late 2005, the CZ 999 Scorpion found its way to the USA, marketed as the Charles Daly ZDA
- As of 2013, CZ 999 Compact, and CZ 999 Scorpion are imported by Century International Arms. Available in 9×19mm Para and .40 S&W
CZ 05/EZ[edit | edit source]
The CZ 05 was marketed in the United States as the Zastava EZ. Based primarily on the design of the CZ 999 Scorpion, but with a MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail (picatinny rail) and skeletonized hammer (like the ones found on TOP XX prototypes). In 2010, the CZ 05 was officially renamed Zastava EZ, most likely to reflect the success of the firearm in the US market.
- EZ Compact is a shortened version of full-size EZ pistol. The length reduction was done all up front, the rear of the gun remaining unchanged. Minor aesthetic differences are apparent like the flat slide top. Internally, a change was done to the locking block (locking insert). The locking block of the Compact is about 2mm shorter. The EZ Compact (i.e. EZ Carry) is 10mm shorter than the full-size pistol. The length decrease reduced weight down to 900gr (9mm) and 890gr (.40S&W) respectively.
- EZ Compact Ported/Carry Ported is a Compact model featuring the 3-hole port on top of the slide. Dimensions and weights are similar to the EZ Compact. This model was referred to as "Carry Ported" by EAA (European American Armory) - former importer and distributor of Zastava's products in the USA.
- As of May 2011 EAA stopped importing EZ series of pistols
- As of 2012 EZ and EZ Compact are imported by K-VAR/FIME Group. Available in 9×19mm Para and .40 S&W
Foreign Models[edit | edit source]
"Golan" Israeli company, KSN Industries Ltd. had licensed and purchased plans to produce the CZ 99 Compact G. The name given by the Israeli company to their copy was "Golan". At the Golan's initial public release, there was a bit of misunderstanding among firearms journalists, some of whom had written articles stating that the Golan appeared to be based on a CZ 99, not knowing that KSN Industries was a licensed manufacturer of the CZ 99 Compact. The Golan made a brief appearance in the US market, and was also exported to South America.
"TZ-99" South African company, Tressitu, had also obtained manufacturing rights for the CZ 99 and after receiving the plans from Crvena Zastava they started the manufacture of their licensed copy, named TZ-99. Unfortunately Tressitu went out of business not long after manufacturing of the TZ-99 began, and stocks of completed TZ-99s were stored in a warehouse for several years. Some time in 2001, an American importer bought a certain quantity of that initial production run and marketed them for sale in the USA.
Pistols Based on the CZ 99 Series[edit | edit source]
BB 21 In 1993 after retiring from Zastava, Mr. Blagojević ("Father" of the CZ 99) founded his own company, NB I.N.A.T. (NB International New Arms Technologies). He immediately started work on a new gun, taking into consideration current market trends and requirements of the 1990's. There were details Bozidar Blagojevic wanted to change before CZ 99 went into production but was never able to do so due to the tight schedule allocated for its design and manufacture. The BB 21 is essentially a greatly refined CZ 99, its initial design was completed in April 1994. Several years following that, Zastava Arms released the CZ Scorpion (a prototype of a CZ 999 Scorpion), which possessed a striking resemblance to the BB21.
BB 22 & BB 23 Descendants of the BB21, which feature improvements upon the original design. All the pistols resemble each other externally, but one notable difference was the omission of ambidextrous slide catch/decocker controls. Only the magazine release was retained on both sides. An external safety was also featured on the BB 22. Trigger travel had been reduced in both single action and double action. Thickness of the slide, frame, and the critically large shape of the CZ 99's grip, was reduced to accommodate shooters with smaller hands. The BB22 was offered in all the popular handgun calibers at the time: 9mm PARA, .40 Smith & Wesson, .45ACP and 10mm Auto. Božidar Blagojević had also redesigned the magazines for his new guns, patenting a new spring, and increasing capacity by 3 rounds without any change in length.
- CZ 99 IPSC and Zastava TOP XX Two project models which did not make it to mass production. The CZ 99 IPSC was a project initiated by the Shooting Club of Kraljevo to be the first designated IPSC competition handgun from Serbia. It featured a custom trigger, adjustable sights, oversized controls, optional compensator, and improved ergonomics. The Zastava TOP XX (TOP 20) similarly, was Zastava's attempt to build a sporting competition gun based on the CZ 999.
- Zastava PPZ The next generation of the CZ99 family of handguns, currently in the final stages of design, undergoing reliability testing as of April 2013. The Zastava PPZ will feature a polymer frame, interchangeable back strap, and an extended Mil-Std-1913 rail that will run the entire length of the slide. The gun will be redesigned from the ground up to shoot .45ACP, but a 9x19mm version is also expected, along with .40 S&W. There are also unconfirmed rumors that the pistol will additionally be chambered for an SCHV (small caliber high velocity) cartridge, specifically the 7.62×25mm Tokarev. Magazine capacity is estimated to be 14 rounds in .45 ACP, 15 rounds in .40S&W, 18 rounds in 9mm, and 20 rounds in 7.62x25 Tokarev (based on Zastava CZ 07 / M-07 prototypes).
Users[edit | edit source]
- Iraq bought 18000 CZ 99 pistols in service with Iraqi Army. Out of the 18000 pistols, 3000 are specially engraved presentation pistols and 15000 are service pistols for the officers of the Iraqi Army.
- Jordan bought a number of CZ 99 Pistols in mid-2008
- Serbia CZ 99 is a standard issue sidearm of Serbian Military and a service pistol of Serbian police. CZ 999 is in service in specialized units of the Serbian Military and Police, such as the 63rd. Paratrooper Brigade (63. Padobranska Brigada), the 72nd. Special Brigade (72. Specijalna Brigada), the units of the Military Police (Vojna Policija), as well as the SAJ (Specijalna Antiteroristicka Jedinica) - "Special Antiterrorist Unit".
- Montenegro CZ 99 is a standard issue sidearm of Montenegrin Army and service pistol of Montenegrin police
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to CZ 99.|
- Zastava CZ99 at the Internet Movie Firearms Database
- Official page
- CZ99.org - Unofficial CZ 99 site
- Modern Firearms, CZ-99
- EAA Corp, Zastava EZ Website
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