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Replacing the Slide Release and Grips on a CZ-52

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Here's my CZ-52 with the original slide release. As you can see, there's no thumb tab to manually release an open slide. The intent is that when you replace an empty magazine and then rack the slide back, the spring automatically moves the slide release, and the slide returns to position. That's the intent. In real life, this doesn't always happen -- hence, the new slide release.

Note that I've already replaced my stock grips with some rosewood grips I found on Ebay. Although this page is mainly concerned with replacing the stock slide release, you can also follow these instructions to replace your stock grips as well.

First thing -- remove the magazine and check the chamber! Next, I removed the single U-clamp that holds the grips in place. Actually, I should've removed the slide first -- but I mixed the two steps. No harm done.

I find it almost impossible to remove the U-clamp without scratching the wood on the grip. You can't move the clamp by hand -- you have to stick a screwdriver to pry it up. Every time you do, you'll lose a little bit of wood. So ... don't do it too often!

After removing the clamp, the grips should pop off. You may have to "get them started" by sticking a pry tool (thin blade screwdriver) between the grip and the frame. Do this near the back of the grip if

The grips may not lift straight up -- there's a little undercut on the front edge ... you'll have to lift from the rear first. you have to.

Next, I removed the slide. I probably should have done this before removing the grips. Once it's off, set it aside for now.

Ah-hah! I learned something! My rack was locking back and would not release. I thought this might have been because my slide release spring had gotten lost when I changed the grips originally. Looks like the spring is still there -- but look, it's set in the wrong place! The spring shouldn't be on the bottom of the slide release ...

... it should be on top like this! Frankly, I could just reassemble everything right now -- my "slide not releasing" problem is likely fixed. Still, I think the new slide release adds a nice feature -- so I'll continue installing it.

There's a single pin holding the slide release in place. Flip the frame on it's side (slide release down) and use a pin punch to remove the pin. I had to give mine a few hard whacks to get it started. Once you push the pin all the way through, LEAVE THE PIN PUNCH IN PLACE!!!! This is important because the take-down release is held in place with the same pin. Since the pin punch is now holding the take-down release in place, if you remove the pin punch, your take-down release may pop out of the frame!

Here, I'm holding the pin that was holding the slide release in place. Note how the pin punch is left in the frame.

Remove the slide release. Pull it off the pin punch and angle it out of the frame.

Here's my old slide release next to my new one. Note how the new one has a thumb tab to make it possible to manually release a locked slide.

Angle the new slide release into place, placing the hole over the pin punch. Frankly, mine felt real gritty after doing this. I took it off and cleaned off the frame and the back of the release. I lubricated both parts and replaced them. It worked much better, but still had a slight gritty feel. I think I could have polished the back of the new slide release to make it smoother.

Be sure and set the slide release spring so that it's on top of the end of the slide release!

Replace the pin -- be careful to slowly let it replace the punch pin so that the takedown release stays in place. Once I pushed the pin in manually about halfway, the punch pin dropped out and I pounded the slide release pin back into place.

Pin replaced. Note the large thumb catch on the new slide release!

Time to start putting things back together. We'll start with the grips.

Note that the front of the grip has a slight angle cut into it. Because of this, you won't be able to press the grips straight down into place. You'll have to slide them into the front first, then press down on the back of the grip.

Once your grips are snapped in, slide the U-Clamp back into it's notch. Note that the U-Clamp can go in the "right way" or the "wrong way". Note the angle on the clamp to select the "right way".

Once the grips are back on, replace the slide -- and you're done!

My new slide release works -- but I sometimes have to use two hands (one to slightly move the slide backward, the other to press down on the thumb tab on the release) to release the slide. I think that polishing the back of the slide release may have made a difference here. Oh well, I'll put that on the list for the next time I have to remove the grips!

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