The Handguns of CZ

The Handguns of CZ
The CZ-75 Compact.
The CZ-75 Compact.
CZ’s 75 has been around for almost 40 years and today there is a wide variety of different options. The 75 Compact, shown here, is a short-recoil operated semiauto that is small enough for concealed carry.

Here's a look at some of CZ's oustanding pistols.

The P-09 has a polymer  frame and a magazine  capacity of 19 rounds in 9mm.  It is also available threaded for a suppressor and has a decocker that can be converted to a manual safety.
The P-09 has a polymer frame and a magazine capacity of 19 rounds in 9mm. It is also available threaded for a suppressor and has a decocker that can be converted to a manual safety.

The CZ 75 is one of the most successful handguns of the modern era and it is the weapon of choice for law enforcement and military officers around the world. This short-recoil operated semiauto first appeared in the mid-1970s and it was a major hit immediately. The 75 has proven to be very reliable and accurate, thanks in no small part to its superb balance. Today, CZ offers over a dozen variants of the 75, including several small versions ideal for personal defense.

For those who are shopping for a concealed carry gun, the CZ 75 Compact has all of the features you’d expect from the full-size gun like SA/DA operation, a large manual safety and decocker, and a wide, double-stack grip. The 75 Compact comes with a steel frame, which is slightly heavier than other carry pistols in the CZ line (about 33 ounces), but that weight helps reduce recoil.

If you’re looking for a lighter carry gun, the CZ P-01 in 9mm is ideal. The alloy frame reduces weight, and at 28 ounces unloaded the P-01 is large enough to reduce recoil and shoot accurately but still light enough for carry. There’s also a conversion kit to turn your 9mm or .40 S&W 75 into a .22 for cheap, low-recoil practice.

Competition shooters also have several options available as well, including the IPSC-ready CZ-75 Tactical Sport. Designed for competition, the Tactical Sport offers competition-ready features like an extended magazine release and competition hammer. The magazine well is large so that it is easy to make rapid mag changes during the heat of competition, and the front and rear straps have heavy checkering for a secure grip.

If you want to step up another level, try the CZ 75 TS Czechmate. This semiauto pistol is designed for IPSC Open or Limited division competition and it offers a long list of features like an ambidextrous slide racker, four-port compensator, four magazines (three 20-round, one 26-round) and much more. The price for the Tactical Sport is $1,310, and the feature-loaded Czechmate sells for $3,317.

The Dan Wesson RZ-10, (that's 10mm).
The Dan Wesson RZ-10, (that's 10mm).

The P-09 is one of the best full-size, high-capacity, polymer-frame 9mms on the market. It’s very well balanced, accurate, and the grip is comfortable. In addition, the P-09 has a large magazine capacity – 19 +1 in 9mm – so you’ll cut down on time between reloads and you’ll always know that you’ve got plenty of firepower on tap.

The P-09 also comes with a decocker that can be transferred to a manual safety, and there are new versions that come with a flat dark earth frame, and another version that is threaded for suppression. MSRP on the P-09 ranges from $530 to $577, making it one of the best buys in full-size polymer guns.

Dan Wesson, which is owned by CZ, is offering a full lineup of 1911 handguns for every need and budget. Some of the standouts in that lineup are the Razorback RZ-10, which is chambered in the mighty 10mm Auto and comes with defensive sights, cocobolo grips, a 5-inch ramped match-grade barrel, a smooth front strap and much more.

The Razorback is an ideal gun for defense (for those who can handle the recoil) and will also serve as a close-range hunting gun. Also from Dan Wesson is the compact ECO, a 25-ounce concealed carry 1911 available in either 9mm or .45 ACP. It has a solid one-piece guide rod and a flat recoil spring rated for an incredible 15,000 rounds. MSRP on the Razorback is $1,350 and the ECO is $1,662.

This article is excerpted from Gun Digest 2015. To get your copy click here.


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  1. I have the P09. It shoots like a dream and is accurate as snot. I was shooting at what I thought was a foam block at 35 to 40 yards only to discover it was cinderblock. Since I had 20 rounds in the pistol I kept shooting at the block as the ammo kept making the block smaller and smaller. Less than 20 rounds later it was pretty much gravel.

    Everyone that has shot the pistol have been impressed with its accuracy and shocked at its accuracy. Its low bore axis makes the pistol recoil and ability to get back on target outstanding.

    If anyone thinks the CZs are flimsy or cheap should remember they are what the Eastern Bloc countries arm their military with.

    One of the things that CZs are noted for are their triggers. There are few pistols with triggers like the CZ right out of the box. The P09 with its Omega system allows you to select SA/DA decoker or set the pistol up with a SA safety.

    Now, CZ has introduced its “Glock Killer” the CZ-10C (available in 9 and 40). I haven’t fired one yet, but its trigger is great and for a $100 less than Glock 19. The person I know who tested (1,000+ rounds) his CZ10 says it handles any 9mm ammo without a hitch. He says it is not quite as accurate as his CZ SP-01, but better than his Glock 19.

    While the CZ-10 is not really a Glock killer, at least not yet, CZ is going to sell a tons of them as they would give the G-19 more than a run for the money if they cost the same…except the CZ-10C costs $100 less than the G-19! Add to that, the CZ-10C (C means compact) is meant to be a conceal carry pistol too like the G-19.

    The guys that shoot with my daughter and know their pistols have tried to talk her out of her CZ-75. No way she says. Once you have shot a CZ-75 it will be the pistol you compare all your other 9s against.

    The only complaint I have against this article is that they calling attention to what I regard as the best deals on the market today. It will make it harder for me to get the CZ I want!

  2. I have had CZ guns for along time….i have yet to have an issue with one…ever. my favorite and i have a few is the 83… old one has never failed to go bang and and is easily concealed. A 75 is the best feeling/fitting gun in the hand ever made.

  3. The later model CZ 75/85 guns had a cheapening move that did away with the firing pin stop plate. The firing pin is only held in by a cheap flimsy sheet metal roll pin. When I got my CZ75 compact it came with a bag full of plasticky snap caps because if you dry fire this gun with the cheapening modification the sheet metal roll pin will snap and the firing pin will fly out and hit you in the eye. Neat eh?

    Also the aluminum frame CZ compact comes with a hideous plasticky op-rod that actually bends up at a 45 degree angle when you jack the slide back. Do not replace this plasticky op-rod with a custom steel rod or you will damage the frame. You can replace the plasticky op-rod on the steel frame Compact Gun though. I threw my plasticky rod right into the trash where it belonged because I had a steel frame gun.

    The Plasticky CZP09 is one of the few CZ guns that does not shoot very accurately. Even the glitzy reviews in some of the Gun Magazines proved this in the accuracy tests or should I say lack of accuracy. Other people “on line” also complained of the lack of accuracy with this gun.


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