AI4FR Virtual Militaria Items Tour 

German Items

 

This Czechoslovakian model Cz.27 was manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka or Czech Armory. It is a semi-automatic pistol has been chambered for the 7.65 Browning(.32 ACP) cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as a single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer and is of the blow back design. The sights includes a blade front sight and a V notch rear sight that is drift adjustable for windage only. The Cz.27 is fed by a single column 8 round detachable box magazine. The manual thumb safety is located in front of the left grip. The safety is engaged when the lever is in the downward position and can only be released by a push button located directly below the safety lever. The pistol has a 3.82 inch barrel with 6 grooves using a right hand twist. The sidearm has an overall length of 6 1/2 inches and an unloaded weight of 25 ounces. On the pistol's butt there is a European style heel magazine release. The checkered one piece Bakelite grip is dark brown in color and sports the company logo at the top on each side. This firearm does employ a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired.

The pistol on this web page is more correctly known as the Pistole Modell 27(t). A name given to it when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. The (t) in the title indicates tschechoslowakische or Czechoslovakia. In the Czech republic it is called Vz.27 which is an abbreviation of vzor 27 or Model 27. I refer to is as the Cz.27 so as to stick with the name that has been adopted erroneously by most U.S. firearm collectors and distributors and to stick with the naming scheme that was used by the Ceska Zbrojovka for post WW2 commercial arms.  The letters "CZ" is an abbreviation of "Česká Zbrojovka" meaning Czech Armory. While there are some exceptions to this rule, normally only weapons adopted by the Czech Republic military will have "vz." in the name.

This Cz.27 has a non-original nickle finish. German officers from WWII were often presented with a decorative finished side arm and some times they did it on their own behalf. Is that how this pistol got its finish? I have no way of knowing. American G.I.'s would at times have a nickle or chrome finish applied to weapons they brought back from the war as well. As a matter of fact, in post WWII Germany there was a cottage industry set up for doing this very thing. Another possibility is that this pistol was imported into the U.S. a few decades ago and the former owner wanted a shiny sidearm. I guess what i am saying is that if you are ever in the market for such a piece, always buy the item and not the story. There is no way of telling when this finish was applied to the pistol. As far as I know, it could have been done in the 1960's, was a treasured WWII bring back pistol, once belonged to a high ranking German officer or any of a number of other reason that can be thought of. Either way, it is not original. The original finish for these pistols was either a high polished blue, military blue or phosphate.

The Czechoslovakian model Cz.27 is the descendant of two earlier CZ pistol designs, the model 22 and the model 24. All three of these pistols look very similar in their exterior appearance. The internal workings of the model 27 are considerably different then the two earlier models though. For example, the model 22 and 24 incorporate a locked breech relying on the rotation of the barrel through about 20 degrees to unlock it from the slide, while the model 27 is a simple blow back design. Both the model 24 and 27 employs a magazine safety device which means that the pistol will not fire unless the magazine is inserted. An easy way to tell the Cz.27 apart from the Cz.22 and Cz.24 is to look at the finger grip slide serrations. On the Cz.27 they are vertical while on the two other models they are slanted forward.

There was a touch over 450,000 of the Cz.27 pistols that were produced under the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. In 1945 the Czech Ministry of Defense ordered 45,000 of the Cz.27 pistols to be used by the Sbor Narodni Bezpecnosti, or National Security Corps. The Cz.27 has been exported to at least 28 different countries to include such nations as Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, England, India, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and Venezuela. In 1949, the Cz.27 was phased out and replaced by the Cz.50. By then, the production had reached to over 620,000 pistols that had been produced. There are two rare variations of the Cz.27 to include a .22 long rifle version and a version for the use with a silencer.

The history of Ceska zbrojovka of Uhersky Brod dates back to 1936, when based on a political decision by the National Defense Council, it was established as a branch plant of Ceska zbrojovka located in the town of Strakonice. On January 2, 1937 production of military and civilian arms commenced. The first products were aircraft machine guns, military pistols and small bore rifles. Then during the Nazi occupation period the plant was forced to produce and repair military arms for the German war machine.

Beginning in 1945 the plant returned to the production of military and civilian arms. In 1950 the Company became a separate state enterprise called "Presne strojirenstvi Uhersky Brod" or The Precision Machine Tooling Company located at Uhersky Brod, and was subsequently reorganized into a number of specialized directorates. In the 1970s and 1980s the Company merged with Agrozet Brno, where it engaged in its traditional production of arms while also taking over the production of parts for tractors and aircraft engines. In the mid 1980's, a restructuring process began, with an emphasis on the production of arms. Then on July 1, 1988 the Company split from Agrozet Brno and became known once again as Česká zbrojovka, s.p.

In 1990 production for the Czechoslovakian armed units ceased and the newly available manufacturing capacity was put to use in manufacturing arms for hunting and sporting purposes, as well as exports for police and military units. In the early 1990's, production of tractor parts was discontinued, and the production of aircraft parts was curtailed, this opened up space for the production of more recreational arms.

On 1 May 1992, the National Property Fund of the Czech Republic established the joint stock company Ceska zbrojovka a.s., Uhersky Brod in accordance with a privatization project. The Company has been granted the requisite authorization by the Office for Civil Aviation to manufacture and repair aircraft engine parts. The Company’s automotive industry manufacturing operation has received certification per CSN EN ISO 16949 standards. Today the company is located in Kansas and can be reached at CZ-USA, P.O. Box 171073, Kansas City, KS 66117-0073.

  

 The photographs on the left are of the front and back of this Czechoslovakian model Cz.27, while the pictures on the right show the top and bottom of the pistol. The Cz.27 incorporates a one piece grip design. It is very common to find the Cz.27 with a grip that is cracked or broken due to careless disassembly. The grip on this pistol has suffered such a fate. 

The magazine that is pictured with the pistol is not original and was made by an unknown manufacturer in Mexico. It is stamped on the back as follows, "MEXICO" and then underneath that is "CZ". I can find no markings on the magazine to identify the manufacturer.

The full serial number can be found on the four main parts of the pistol. The serial number is located on the front right side of the receiver, on the top rear of the slide, on the underside of the barrel and on the lock plate cover that is located on the left side of the pistol above the grip.  

The photograph on the left is a picture of the top of the slide which has been stamped as follows, "BOHMISCHE WAFFENFABRIK A.G. IN PRAG". Then next to this is a German Waffenamt or Weapons Office inspectors stamp with the number 76 underneath it, and then next to that is the full serial number. The serial number is not shown in the picture. The German occupation name for the Ceska Zbrojovka or Czech Armory was Bohmische Waffenfabrik A.G. So the stamping on the top of the slide translates to Bohemian Weapons Factory Corporation in Prague. The abbreviation A.G. indicates Aktiengesellschaft or literally translates to corporation. A description of the Waffenamt 76 is described in the text for the pictures below.  

The picture on the right is of the left side slide inscription and reads as follows, "Pistole Modell 27 Kal. 7,65". This slide inscription indicates that the pistol is the Model 27 and the caliber is 7.65 which is also known as the .32 Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge. The abbreviation Kal. indicates Kaliber or Caliber. The Cz logo which has been molded into the grip at the time of manufacture can be seen in this picture as well.

Cz.27 variations.

The markings and finish are different on this pistol design depending on when it was manufactured and for whom. Generally speaking, the pistols will be found in one of the following configurations.

The pistols produced under the German occupation of Czechoslovakia are found in 3 major variations according to the slide legend. The first variation is as seen above and will normally be found on pistols in the serial number range of 20000 through 475000. These pistols will have a nice high polish blued finish, while the smaller parts such as the trigger, extractor and hammer will have a straw finish. This variation will have a milled magazine release and a milled sideplate that is numbered to the receiver.  

The second variation which has become known as the Dual Tone finish variation is found in the serial number range of 200000 through 245000. This variation will have a phosphate frame and a blued slide giving it a dual tone appearance. The smaller parts such as the trigger, extractor and hammer will have a straw finish. The markings are the same as the first variation except that there is no serial number on the milled sideplate or on the right side of the receiver. The Waffenamt has been omitted from the top of the slide.

The third variation which has become known as the fnh variation due to the slide inscription is found with a phosphate finished receiver and slide, while the smaller parts such as the trigger, extractor and hammer will have a straw finish. The left side of the slide is marked as follows, "fnh Pistole Modell 27 Kal. 7,65". There is no inscription on the top of the slide except for the serial number which is also found on the right side of the receiver. This variation will be found with a stamped sideplate with no pin. The sideplate does not have a serial number stamped on it.

The markings found on the pistols that were intended for the Czechoslovakian military will have "CESKA ZBROJOVKA  A. S. v PRAZE" stamped across the top of the slide. The left side of the slide is stamped as follows, "Pistole Modell 27 Kal. 7.65". The inscription "P Mod 27" will be found stamped on the bottom of the magazine for all of the pistol variations above.

The pistols that were sold commercially will have the letters "CZ" with an arrow through it stamped on the left rear of the slide along with the last two digits of the year of manufacture. The commercial models will also have the letters "CZ" and an arrow through it stamped on the underside of the barrel, on the left side of the receiver above the grip and also on the bottom of the magazine.

The above descriptions are a rough outline to help you identify your pistol. It is possible to find the Cz.27 pistol with other inscriptions besides those outlined above.

  

  

  

The picture on the left is a close up of the Waffenamt or WaA 76 that is found directly above the grip on the right side of the receiver. The WaA 76 is the Waffenamt that was used for Böhmische Waffenfabrik A.G., Werk Strakonitz bei Prag Czechoslovakia. The purpose of these Waffenamt stamps was to prove that each firearm and its components met the quality standards set forth by the Heereswaffenamt or Army Weapons Office. In order to carry this out, inspectors were assigned to individual firms for large corporations or to a specific area if there were several smaller manufacturers. These inspectors and their Waffenamt or WaA for short were responsible to the Heereswaffenamt rather than the manufacturer to which they were assigned. Each weapons office can be correctly identified by the individual acceptance stamp they used. The Waffenamt or Weapons Office inspectors stamp with the number 76 underneath correctly identifies the army weapon inspectors of this pistol as being assigned to Böhmische Waffenfabrik in Prag Czechoslovakia or Bohemian Weapons Factory Corporation in Prague Czechoslovakia.

The WaA 76 has been stamped in three places on this firearm. On the right side of the receiver as seen in the picture above, on the top rear of the slide and on the underside of the barrel.

The photograph on the right is of the slide opening and here we can see the barrel has been stamped with the German military test proof mark which is a Nazi eagle holding a swastika in a circle.

  

  

  

These next two pictures are of the same mystery marking that was found in two different places on this pistol. For these pictures the grip has been removed although only a very tiny part of the marking was covered by the grip in the picture on the left. The marking in the picture at the left was placed on the pistol by an electronic etching tool and was not stamped or scratched into the pistol. The location of this mark is on the right side of the pistol and directly behind the trigger guard. The photograph on the right is of the unknown mark that was found underneath the grip. This mark is located on the bottom left edge of the pistol and helps to identify the first part of the etching that is seen in the left picture. This mark was not stamped on to the pistol, but rather it was engraved.

It appears that the mystery marking reads as follows "41341 B 24 YIB II"  Any of the numbers or letters after the "41341 B" mark could be some thing other then what I have typed here. I would greatly appreciate hearing from any one that might have a suggestion as to what the marks indicate and when they were applied. It is not the serial number. Could it be a unit or factory identification mark? Have other similar pistols been marked in the same fashion and location? If you have some thoughts on this then please contact me by the link at the bottom of this page.

  

  

Resource:              

German Handguns by Ian Hogg                

German small arms markings by Joachim Gortz & Don Bryans                               

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger               

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson                  

Mauser military rifle markings by Terence Lapin               

Handbook of military rifle marks 1866-1950 by Richard Hoffman & Noel Schott

Ceska zbrojovka website located at: http://www.czub.cz/en/Default.aspx  

      AI4FR                                                                                                                                                                                                  AI4FR                                                                                                       AI4FR

Copyright © John Whitt 2017 All rights reserved.