The basic laws of firearms safety
- A gun is always loaded.
- If you believe that the gun is unloaded, see the first law.
- Never point the gun at anything you do not wish to shoot.
- Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to engage the target.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
Safety / decocker operation and safety issues
The CZ-52 safety has 3 settings:
- Fire (rotated all the way down)
- Safe (horizontal, hammer stays back)
- Decock (rotate up, returns to "safe")
However, that is only the intent of the design. If the decocking notch is worn, the motion of the decocker may raise the firing pin detent and that has the same effect as pulling the trigger in the "Fire" position!
Think carefully about that phrase "If the decocking notch is worn". This is a surplus weapon built in the early 1950s and possibly with much use before you bought it. The only safe assumption is that it is worn!
Do not rely on the decocking mechanism to safely decock the CZ-52, especially if using the CZ-52-2 and CZ-52-3 redesigned firing pin plungers. If your decocking notch is worn, your pistol will likely fire when decocked.
The original CZ-52 design included a rather ineffective firing pin block that becomes less trustworthy with wear. As stated above, all CZ-52s are old and most have seen significant use. The safety disables the trigger, but if the gun were dropped there is a chance that the hammer could fall and strike the firing pin. The CZ-52 should not be carried with a round in the chamber.
The CZ-52-2 and CZ-52-3 firing pin kits effectively disable this relatively ineffective firing pin block mechanism. They instead use a spring return to retract the firing pin. This means that if the decocker is defective, as many are, the decocker is effectively a trigger.
Here is what has come to be known as the "pencil test" of a CZ-52 decocker. It can warn you if your decocker is defective:
Put a pencil into the barrel, eraser-end first. Activate the decocker. If the pencil moves at all, the decocker is basically a trigger!