Tom's CZ-27 as given to me for review.
I had a chance to examine a pistol belonging to my old friend Tom, a CZ 27 .32 ACP. Being a newly "annointed Cruffler" I was pretty excited to get the chance to examine this C&R goldmine. It was given to him many years ago by another friend of ours (who was much older than us and whom I can only assume has passed on due to his ill health last time I saw him 20 years ago....RIP Smage) and I don't think Tom has fired it in years. He has been asking me the past year about recommendations for a weapon for home defense so I decided to take a look at what he already has in the house and see if it would be a candidate for the roll already.
The CZ 27 was produced in Czechoslovakia in 1927 as an improvement on the CZ 24 and CZ 22 model pistols, of which the basic design was based on a license CZ (Ceska Zbrojovka) had for the Mauser model 1914 pistol. After the German occupation in 1938 it was produced en masse for German Army and police forces. Its production continued into the early 1950's for export to various nations with a total of about 650,000 guns produced, most while under Nazi rule. The model Tom presented me with is a German Occupation model that should of had a phosphate/parkerized finish per the serial number. Unfortunately a previous owner has painted the exterior of the gun with some type of spray on finish. This does detract from the collectors value (as well as making it harder to make out the German proof marks (Waffen Amps) but does not detract from this pistol being a functioning weapon. The slide has an easily identifiable "fnh" marking on the slide (denoting it was produced at the Bohmische Waffenfabrik armory in Prague) and a few small German Wehrmacht Eagles on various parts (denoting armament inspectors proofing and acceptance) again attesting to its validity as a German manufactured model. Although apparently most manufacturing records were destroyed either during or shortly after the war, based on various sources and threads I have researched I would probably be safe in saying this particular pistol was probably made between 1944 - 45, with 1945 being where I would put my money at.
The pistol itself is an all metal frame and slide design with a phosphate/parkerized finish and plastic grips. It's a tad over 6" in length and a tad under 5" in height. It weighs in empty at 24 ounces, but in the hand it does not seem that big or heavy at all. Its also fairly thin and would be quite comfortable for an IWB holster wear. It is a straight blow back design, as are many of the designs of this period using the .32 ACP (aka 7.65 mm Browning) cartridge. It utilizes a single action trigger and also has a unique two piece safety that only blocks the travel of the trigger and does NOT provide any type of drop safety or other firing pin block. This was of little concern back then when pistols of this type were carried with an empty chamber in a flap holster anyway. It also utilizes a magazine safety (also only a trigger block). It has a heel mounted magazine release which is fairly common on European guns. As Americans we often worry about being able to quickly drop and reload magazines, viewing the magazine as a expendable piece of equipment in the "heat of battle". The European view is more of that where the magazine is a part of the "weapons system" that consists of the pistol, magazines and holster or other carrying device. As such, the heel mounted release forces the user to retain the magazine with the weapon. As the majority of pistols were issued to police and military officers where they would not be the primary weapons system, this is an realistic expectation to place on the shooter. The magazine holds 8 rounds in a single column configuration. Due to the lack of a firing pin block or other drop style safety, I would not recommend carrying this weapon with 8+1 capacity with a round in the chamber. Speaking of the magazine, the pistol was presented to me with a single magazine and holster. I believe these would of been issued with 2 magazines, one for carry in the weapon and one for the magazine slot on the holster, a common characteristic of holsters of the period. The holster seems to be of good leather and condition, although showing wear at certain expected points.
|No its not a CZ-27, its the P-32, but it|
shows how 7 rounds of .32 ACP can
fit in the palm of you hand at under 10
ounces...that is definitely carry capable!
From what I have been reading and seeing online, it appears most .32 round in around the 60 grain range will penetrate between 6" -12", which is below the FBI 12" minimum penetration threshold used in most testing when fired into ballistic gel. The depth generally relates to the use of either FMJ or HP type ammo in the weapon. I would think at the energy levels that this round seems to hover at, that bullet design to maximize energy transfer would not be as big and issue as trying to gain that few extra inches of penetration to reach vital organs, as all energy will indeed most likely remain in the target as over penetration and exit is not a concern. However, that's just my opinion, and I do carry HP rounds in my .380, which many consider itself to be under powered for personal protection. According so some date I have read, the .32 (60-63%) and the .380 (67-70%) have about the same effectiveness in actual use as far as 1 stop shots go...both the numbers reported in that source seemed a bit high to me, but then again maybe after being hit once with one or the other the offender didn't want to have that happen a second time! Here is a short video of a 60gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP .32 ACP round into gel just for kick and giggles and to show you that the .32 ACP is not to be considered an obsolete or weak round. It is, after all, better than carrying nothing. I used these same rounds on the range to verify the pistol would feed HP rounds and to check for accuracy.
Everyone claiming a .32 is a weak round, please step in front of the muzzle and hold all comments until after testing is complete. Thank You.
As I have pointed out before in my article on Stopping Power, this round is capable of any of the 4 types of means of stopping attacker, with psychological probably being the most effective here. I mean, nobody wants to get shot to begin with.
|Its going to take more than a |
few patches and runs with a
brass brush to get all of that
out..other than the carbon, the bore is in good shape!
|A mix of hardened carbon, grime, lint,|
rust and crud are soon to be a memory
on this pistol
OK, a disclaimer. I screwed up. Tom had given me a box of lead rounds that supposedly went with the pistol. The box said .32.....S&W! The .32 S&W is a different rimmed round than the .32 ACP designed for revolvers. I totally did not pay attention to detail here! But suprisingly the weapon still fired, but did not feed reliably with these, which isn't a big surprise I guess after all. It seemed to go all the way into battery even with the rimmed case. I got lucky though, you should never use ammo other than what was designed for your weapon...learn from my mistake!!
|See the difference on the boxes? I didn't!|
|3 yard group with the 60gr Speer GD JHP rounds, other|
than the flyer, this seemed to be a good round for the gun.
|3 and 5 round groups using Speer Gold Dot HP, again|
not bad accuracy from these considering the small sights
|5 and 25 yard groupings with both good and "oopsie" ammo...gotta pay attention folks!|
As far as recoil goes...what recoil? This pistol shot very softly due to a combination of both the round and all metal construction. Most users will be comfortable shooting this.
I did have some feeding issues with the Winchester ammo (and definitely with the .32 S&W stuff!). Out of about 40 rounds fired between the Winchester and Speer ammo I had a couple of FTF issues. The bullets nosed up before they got to the chamber and the slide closed on them. Upon a closer exam of the magazine it appears the one feed lip is a bit worn and out of shape, which may be allowing rounds to loosen and turn up before they should. I normally fire a weapon on the range in 5 round strings (most 9mm and other centerfire bulk ammo package their rounds 5 to a row, seems like a good number to shoot a string with to me) but on one of these malf's I definitely remember loading the mag all the way full. The extra spring pressure on the rounds combined with the bad lip may of caused the issue. I have found a few places on the net that seem to sell replacement magazines for this pistol, but few seem to have any in stock...a semi-obscure pistol that hasn't been made in 60 years, go figure.
|bad feed lips probably contributed greatly to the feeding issues|
|Typical mis-feed...nosed up round probably coming |
off of the feed lips at a bad angle
Even if he does get another weapon for that home defense role this is still a nice, if slightly diminished, historical piece that still has some sentimental value for both him and I.
Oh, and here is the video ol' Sootch00 did on it...it has a good video tutorial on disassembly in it...