CZ99 Yugoslavian 9mm Pistol – Back from the brink
CZ99 Yugoslavian 9mm Pistol – Back from the brink
TL;DR – Bought an inexpensive, uncommon Yugoslavian pistol that didn’t work. Fixed it.
I’m much more a rifle shooter than a pistol shooter, but for some reason lately I’ve been craving more pistols. Like my rifles I like to collect things that I will actually use and shoot, but in most cases I try to purchase something that has some war history behind the design as well. Over the last few years I’ve been studying more about the Balkans War that started 20 years ago. As I have studied that war I get even more of an interest in firearms that were used in that conflict. The CZ99 pistol was used during that conflict. Some time later Iraq issued the CZ99 as well.
I’d given my only double column 9x19 pistol to my best friend years ago – he has since passed away but his family still has it. After 15 years I started to get a desire for another 9x19 pistol.
Like many of you I’d surf the gun auction sites when I had time. At one point last year I’d found a very nice TD Arms CZ99 listed for about $350. It was relisted several times. By the time I could justify the cost it was gone. Last week an unfired (since leaving factory) TD Arms sold for almost $700.
Last month I found a very beat up looking CZ99 listed. The auction photos were very low grade, but I could make out the Made in Yugoslavia and TD Arms importer markings. TD Arms was the first US company to import the design sometime in the 1991-1992 time period. I remember seeing them at local shows back then – the ambidextrous design had an appeal. About 3000 were imported before the war. The Balkans war stopped the import of the CZ99 pistol for some time.
I’d read a lot of very favorable reviews of post-war EZ9 and CZ999 pistols and I’d also seen others post “RUN” when people would ask about this pistol design and how contractors in Iraq weren’t impressed with them. Still, the design intrigued me.
It was obvious the pistol in the auction was quite used, which to me was cool since I dig the BFPU look. The seller described the action as “good” but the seller had a “you win it you own it” policy. I took the risk and threw a bid at it - $188. No one outbid me. At worst I could sell off the parts.
The seller packed it well and shipped it quickly. I was greeted by the odor of cosmolene when I first opened the box. I was pleased to find that the only import marks were the TD Arms markings. I’d learned Century has or recently had some used CZ99 pistols and I thought this one might have been marked by them. Century is known to apply their own serial number to firearms that already have a serial because redundant serial numbers are redundant redundant. Who knows what the story is on my pistol.
I’d obtained a manual for a very similar EZ9 pistol before the CZ99 arrived. I magnified the exploded view on a copier.
I spent time going over the pistol and learning how it operated. I like how the double and single action trigger break feels.
The finish had pitting from sweat – more on the left side than the right indicating a right handed shooter. The slide’s metal color was similar to the “henna” reddish color of Yugo AKM barrel components made in the same Zastava factory.
The front and rear sights were each drifted to the end of their adjustment. Not sure why, the barrel’s crown looks good. The sights have Tritium vials but they no longer glow.
Front sight too far left. There may be more damage to the front sight than I thought:
Rear sight too far right:
My CZ99 had a firing pin that wouldn’t move and was stuck down below where the hammer could strike it. Great – broken firing pin I thought. I then began to learn how hard parts were to come by since EAA stopped carrying the EZ9. I was beginning to get that sinking feeling I had purchased a “display model.”
I found a very low traffic CZ99 specific forum, joined, then began gleaning information.
I soaked the slide in PB Blaster. Kroil would have probably been better, but PB Blaster was already in the mancave.
After soaking I drove out the roll pin that holds the firing pin and extractor in place. I had to modify a roll pin punch to a smaller diameter to get one to fit correctly. Fortunately the roll pin was not damaged.
Driving out roll pin:
Roll pin removed:
Stuck firing pin:
Pin is not protruding above slide face:
After a few days of light tapping I finally got the firing pin to move forward, then using an AK cleaning kit punch I was able to push the firing pin out. You have to depress the firing pin lock while trying to move the firing pin. Getting the extractor out was a little tricky but it eventually was removed as well.
Firing pin now stuck past breechface - at least it did finally move:
Firing pin now recessed:
This is what the slide disgorged. It appears the firing pin had been rusted to the slide at the rear – probably from sweat. Lots of dirt, grease, rust and neglect here.
Finally out. What a mess. You can see the rust on the large end:
In need of a good cleaning:
Took some fiddling to get the firing pin lock out: