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Slicking Up A CZ Sharptail


David Cardin
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Does anybody know of any cowboy gunsmiths that have experience slicking up a CZ Sharptail?  I know Longhunter sells them slicked up new but I'm not sure he is working on any that weren't purchased from him.  Plus I was wanting to see what my options are.  I would appreciate any leads or experience you might provide.

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I sent him a new Sharptail (had not purchased from him) and Jim did the action work for me with no issues.  Fast turnaround.  The work he did was outstanding in my opinion.  

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I bought a CZ Sharptail 20 gauge SXS with single mechanical trigger for my wife to shoot. Had a smith work on it, but he said that the gun would not be the best for CAS due to the mechanical triggers. He worked on it but due to the the break action having to reset the mechanical triggers, it is still a little too hard for my wife to break open as weak is she is. Love the gun, and she still wants to try using it when she starts competing.

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Yes, I really like the Sharptail.  I've already had some work done by a local smith but I wanted to see if there was anybody who had a lot of experience (besides LH) that could really make it as slick as it can be.  I agree that the mechanical triggers are a little stout and I am wondering if there is a fine balance between making them lighter to reset without going disabling them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Longhunter did my CZ sharptail 20 ga and I am very happy with it. This is my second gun through him and I have to say he is a real class act, highly recommended,

 

Eldorado Slim

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I'll be real interested to see how well the CZ Sharptail shotguns hold up over the next couple of years.  They are pretty and look to be well made.  Hopefully, they will be a reliable replacement for the dwindling supply of SKB's.  

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9 hours ago, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

I'll be real interested to see how well the CZ Sharptail shotguns hold up over the next couple of years.  They are pretty and look to be well made.  Hopefully, they will be a reliable replacement for the dwindling supply of SKB's.  

the Sharptail is well built with quality steel and should last a lifetime. Built by a company know for its quality guns.

J.M.

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I posted this on another thread but it seems appropriate here too ...

 

Agree with all comments regarding the 12 ga Sharp-Tail Coach Gun -- I bought mine new and did not have Longhunter slick it up because I could do much of the work I wanted done myself.  Before the work, I had to break it open over my thigh with two hands -- utterly useless for SASS.  What I did to it was: (1) tuning the cocking rods by VERY CAREFULLY shortening them just a few thousandths of an inch and making them identical in length -- the idea (as best as I could figure it out) was to slightly delay when the force/resistance of the hammer springs is first encountered so that the downwardly rotating barrels have some momentum to help with the cocking action; and (2) using a Dremel tool with multiple buffing pads of successively increasing fine-ness to polish every single metal surface that contacts any other metal surface, including the full length of each cocking rod and the full length of the extractor rod (and also using thin rods wrapped with very fine abrasive paper, the insides of the channels in which all three rods run, one in the barrel assembly and two in the receiver), but I did not polish the hammer faces; and (3) slightly opening up the chamfer of each chamber; and (4) polishing the chambers.  None of this was terribly difficult but it is absolutely critical in step (1) above to not shorten the cocking rods too much or else they will not be long enough to actually cock the hammers far enough rearward to engage the sears.  Don't ask me how I know this.  After doing all of the four steps the gun was running almost where I wanted it, and then putting several hundred shells through it got it right there.  Oh, I also did a step (5), but it is totally optional: I swapped in a lighter spring for the original top lever spring.  

 

I don't know how much more Longhunter does, but he's a pro and I imagine he does more, and also that he does all of it better than I did, but it worked out well enough for my needs.   I'm very happy with my Sharp-Tail Coach Gun.

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47 minutes ago, Nostrum Damus SASS #110702 said:

I posted this on another thread but it seems appropriate here too ...

 

Agree with all comments regarding the 12 ga Sharp-Tail Coach Gun -- I bought mine new and did not have Longhunter slick it up because I could do much of the work I wanted done myself.  Before the work, I had to break it open over my thigh with two hands -- utterly useless for SASS.  What I did to it was: (1) tuning the cocking rods by VERY CAREFULLY shortening them just a few thousandths of an inch and making them identical in length -- the idea (as best as I could figure it out) was to slightly delay when the force/resistance of the hammer springs is first encountered so that the downwardly rotating barrels have some momentum to help with the cocking action; and (2) using a Dremel tool with multiple buffing pads of successively increasing fine-ness to polish every single metal surface that contacts any other metal surface, including the full length of each cocking rod and the full length of the extractor rod (and also using thin rods wrapped with very fine abrasive paper, the insides of the channels in which all three rods run, one in the barrel assembly and two in the receiver), but I did not polish the hammer faces; and (3) slightly opening up the chamfer of each chamber; and (4) polishing the chambers.  None of this was terribly difficult but it is absolutely critical in step (1) above to not shorten the cocking rods too much or else they will not be long enough to actually cock the hammers far enough rearward to engage the sears.  Don't ask me how I know this.  After doing all of the four steps the gun was running almost where I wanted it, and then putting several hundred shells through it got it right there.  Oh, I also did a step (5), but it is totally optional: I swapped in a lighter spring for the original top lever spring.  

 

I don't know how much more Longhunter does, but he's a pro and I imagine he does more, and also that he does all of it better than I did, but it worked out well enough for my needs.   I'm very happy with my Sharp-Tail Coach Gun.

 

You did all the work that’s usually done and you can take pride in knowing you did it yourself.  Another benefit is now you know how everything works together if/when something breaks.  Good job and best of luck.

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I read the article in the rifleman and it said it was designed for CAS so I bought it I took 3 men and a boy to open the action. I called 3 cowboy gunsmiths, one didn’t return my call, another on told me to sell it and the 3rd one said he try and fix it. I got it back and there was no way I could use it, It was better but but still it to hard to break open. I sold it at a lgs. I lost $250 but I didn’t want to sell it to another cowboy. Beautiful well made shotgun. But it worked out ok because l bought a Lassiter tune 87 clone that I love. After I sold it gunsmiths started working on them. Patience is a virtue I don’t have 

.

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I currently run 2 stoegers but I am seriously considering the CZ Sharptail from Longhunter to replace them.

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I have a CZ sharptail I got from Longhunter tuned.  I really like the gun but I am going to do one more modification and that is to bob the top corners of the extractor.  With those corners on there it wants to spread the shells when I am trying to load it on the clock.  Other than that it is a great shotgun.

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Jan Hawkins, yes it made a big difference in that it did not split the rounds apart in my hands.  I have really reduced my flubs since getting it thinned.  That being said, if you get to where you are loading just fine with extractors in original condition do not change.  

 

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I haven't done mine yet but that is exactly what I am going to do to mine.

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On 8/8/2021 at 9:08 AM, Nostrum Damus SASS #110702 said:

I posted this on another thread but it seems appropriate here too ...

 

Agree with all comments regarding the 12 ga Sharp-Tail Coach Gun -- I bought mine new and did not have Longhunter slick it up because I could do much of the work I wanted done myself.  Before the work, I had to break it open over my thigh with two hands -- utterly useless for SASS.  What I did to it was: (1) tuning the cocking rods by VERY CAREFULLY shortening them just a few thousandths of an inch and making them identical in length -- the idea (as best as I could figure it out) was to slightly delay when the force/resistance of the hammer springs is first encountered so that the downwardly rotating barrels have some momentum to help with the cocking action; and (2) using a Dremel tool with multiple buffing pads of successively increasing fine-ness to polish every single metal surface that contacts any other metal surface, including the full length of each cocking rod and the full length of the extractor rod (and also using thin rods wrapped with very fine abrasive paper, the insides of the channels in which all three rods run, one in the barrel assembly and two in the receiver), but I did not polish the hammer faces; and (3) slightly opening up the chamfer of each chamber; and (4) polishing the chambers.  None of this was terribly difficult but it is absolutely critical in step (1) above to not shorten the cocking rods too much or else they will not be long enough to actually cock the hammers far enough rearward to engage the sears.  Don't ask me how I know this.  After doing all of the four steps the gun was running almost where I wanted it, and then putting several hundred shells through it got it right there.  Oh, I also did a step (5), but it is totally optional: I swapped in a lighter spring for the original top lever spring.  

 

I don't know how much more Longhunter does, but he's a pro and I imagine he does more, and also that he does all of it better than I did, but it worked out well enough for my needs.   I'm very happy with my Sharp-Tail Coach Gun.

So I take it ya took too much off the first time? Where did you find replacement cocking rods?

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I'm afraid I did.  Good news was that CZ-USA was extremely helpful, and sent me a new set of rods gratis.  They were also very helpful in connection with my failed attempt to lighten the hammer springs -- and this one takes a bit of explaining. 

In the original design of the Sharp-Tail action, each hammer had its own separately removable hammer spring that simply fit over a hammer spring guide rod.  The spring abutted a collar portion of the guide rod at the hammer end, but was free at the rear end and simply sat in a cup-shaped opening with a central hole for the guide rod to pass through (and reciprocate in) the hammer spring retaining plate.  This allowed a user to trim the springs, maybe half a coil at a time, to lighten the force required to break open the gun, but not so much so as to cause light primer strikes.

Huglu figured out that guns were repeatedly failing in the following precise manner: after some number of shots, the rear end of the spring was getting worn and was becoming wedged in that central hole of the retaining plate, resulting in the operator being unable to fully break open and cock the gun.  So, without telling anyone about it, the design was changed -- and the current design is not shown in the parts diagram in the user manual that comes with the gun, nor in the online version (last time I checked).  Instead of the hammer spring riding freely on the guide rod as a separate part, the hammer spring is now part of a "complete" assembly including the guide rod, the spring, and a new retaining collar that is tack welded or crimped or both (I'm not sure) to the rear end of the guide rod.  The spring is held in a compressed state in this assembly.  The collar fits into an appropriately sized opening in the redesigned hammer spring retaining plate.  This arrangement is seen nowhere in the product literature (again, last time I looked).  And it makes shortening the hammer springs nightmarishly difficult.  I built a jig to hold each spring in a compressed state but with the rear end of the spring uncompressed so that I could work on removing a tiny bit.  It worked, but due to the stiffness of the spring, as soon as I shortened it just a coil or so, it was too short for the fixed length of the assembly.  Light primer strikes was the result.

I discussed what I was going to do with the tech rep at CZ-USA before I did it, and he sent me a pair of assemblies just in case what we though might happen actually came to pass -- a good thing he did, too.

We also talked about why Huglu doesn't design a SASS parts kit that would substantially lighten the force needed to cock the gun when new and right out of the box, given that cowboy action shooting is clearly one of their intended market segments for this gun.  He agreed and said he was going to raise the issue internally.  Did he? Who knows.

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To give a more concrete idea of what I'm describing, here are the parts in the original design.  Hammer springs 32 simply slide over the rear end of hammer spring guide rods 31.  Hammer spring mounting plate 17 is secured to the frame and holds everything together.

 

 

Capture.JPG.d0247be81d96d8bdaf2a801e72aa6ca5.JPG

 

 

 

 

Here's what the actual redesign looks like, in which you can see the end cap with its collar that is permanently attached to the rear end of the hammer spring guide rod, and which collar, rather than the spring itself, sits in the redesigned hammer spring mounting plate:

 

1314624596_20210118_133715(1).thumb.jpg.2f94cd9fa6532ad7303021a019a1605a.jpg

 

I hope this makes sense.

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Care to share ashot of what was done to get it to stay open, rather than closing back the little bit they do.

I have a Zenith (Turkish made Tedna) that I have lightened a little but not an expert on SxS and need a little enlightenment.

Pretty sure the designs are almost identical. Sure looks like it. Drawing of parts even looks the same.

Edited by The Rainmaker, SASS #11631
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5 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Care to share ashot of what was done to get it to stay open, rather than closing back the little bit they do.

I have a Zenith (Turkish made Tedna) that I have lightened a little but not an expert on SxS and need a little enlightenment.

Pretty sure the designs are almost identical. Sure looks like it. Drawing of parts even looks the same.

I don't think there's anything that can be done about that.  It is the effect of overtravel of the hammers when they are being cocked.  The cocking rods rotate the hammers back slightly past the point where they will engage the sears; then, when you let off on the force of breaking open the gun, the hammer springs start moving the hammers forward again -- until they are stopped by engagement by their respective sears.  And when the hammers rotate forward, they push the cocking rods forward as well, and the rods want to rotate the barrels towards battery (since this is exactly the opposite action of breaking open the gun to rotate the hammers backward to cock them).  In theory, you could shorten the cocking rods by the EXACT amount such that the hammers would be engaged by their respective sears at EXACTLY the point of maximum deflection of the barrels, but if you get that wrong by a thousandth of an inch, or if any of the surfaces of any of the hammer face, either end of the cocking rod, the anvil, or the working face of the fore-end that pushes the anvil, wear down by a thousandth of an inch, the gun won't cock at all and you'll be back to square one with a new set of cocking rods to shorten all over again. 

The other obvious solution is lighter hammer springs that don't have enough ooooomph to push back hard enough to start closing the gun, but are not so light that you start getting light primer strikes.  As I said in a previous post, that one is a real devil to deal with and, having failed once, I've given up on it because I cannot see how to shorten the captive hammer spring in its assembly without making it too short to do its job.  The spring in its relaxed state (which cannot be known because it is captive) MUST IN ALL CASES be longer than the distance between the collars that capture it -- there can be no slack whatsoever.  That much I've figured out.  But how much shorter they can be without ruining their function, I was unable to figure out with just one set to work on.  The REAL solution is for Huglu to provide sufficiently long but slightly lighter-force spring assemblies, as I discussed with the CZ-USA tech rep.

The single mechanical trigger of this gun is very simple and very reliable, but it has its drawbacks, too.  Everything is a tradeoff.  Just one more thing: I am NOT A PROFESSIONAL GUNSMITH.  I am a hobbyist amateur gun owner who happens to be an engineer and has a great workshop and loves understanding these mechanical tools we all enjoy so much.  I do whatever work on them that I feel comfortable doing.  Don't take anything I say as gospel, or as the best or only way to accomplish any result; I'm just reporting what I think, and what I've done.

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1 hour ago, Long Hunter SASS #20389L said:

JFYI, due to customer request, we now bob the top corners of the extractor on all our CZ's. All we need now are more CZ's to come in.

Yep..... been wanting one Jim, but yer always out of them. Guess I'll just suffer with my Browning until the supply gets caught up. It works good, but it's not as PURDY as the CZ.  :D

 

Snakebite

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3 hours ago, Long Hunter SASS #20389L said:

JFYI, due to customer request, we now bob the top corners of the extractor on all our CZ's. All we need now are more CZ's to come in.

Yup, I was looking at your site, hopefully next year will see me being able to order a CZ from you!

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