TriStar’s latest addition to its ever-growing pistol lineup is enough to spark a case of déjà vu. One glimpse at the P-120 is certain to elicit the feeling you’ve seen this handgun someplace else.
Chances are you have, but it was in the original iteration of the single-, double-action pistol – the CZ 75. Since the handgun from the Czech Republic was introduced more than a quarter century ago, its reliability and usability has spawned plenty of fans and imitators.
TriStar has teamed up with one of the most lauded manufacturers of CZ clones to import the P-120 to America. The Turkey-based Canik 55 is a NATO-certified small-arms manufacturer who has become a major supplier for European militaries and law-enforcement agencies.
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The P-120 offers shooters an affordable full-sized steel-framed 9mm pistol that does not break the bank. While the gun is light on the price tag, it isn’t on features. The P-120 comes with nearly all the bells and whistles you’d expect out of a much more expensive gun.
Perhaps the gun's biggest attention getter is its relatively light weight. Unloaded, the pistol weighs in just a shade less than two pounds, tipping the scales at 30 ounces. This makes the P-120 walk a thin line as a personal-defense weapon.
The pistol is certainly within the appropriate weight limits for many concealed carry patrons. Perhaps the only modification that might be needed by some is a heavy-duty belt. But for others, the P-120 might be too much to tote around on a daily basis and would be better – like many full-sized pistols – finding a home in a nightstand.
The gun’s weight, along with its 4.7-inch barrel has the potential to make the P-120 a pleasant gun to shoot. The mass of the pistol should be enough to reduce recoil and muzzle flip, while its barrel length is conducive to producing tight groups. As an added bonus, the six lands-and-groove rifled barrel also opens ammunition options, as it is compatible with lead and jacketed bullets.
The P-120 boasts an extended beavertail to protect the shooter’s hand from the hammer. And it comes outfitted with deeply textured polymer grips, making the gun easily manageable. This is an asset when the much heavier double-action is utilized.
As to be expected, the 19-round pistol has been reported to have a rather large difference between single- and double-action trigger pulls. With the hammer down, the trigger pull comes in around the 10-pound mark; cocked, the gun’s trigger pull drops to around five pounds. The pistol has a three-dot sight system with the front pinned and the rear drift adjustable.
While the gun has many features that have the potential to win many shooters over, it could hit a wall with dedicated southpaws. The gun is not designed to be ambidextrous with all of its controls – thumb safety, magazine release, slide release – all situated on the left side.
The P-120 has fore and aft cocking serrations making it easier to manipulate, no matter the situation. It is available in black or chrome and comes with a Cerakote finish. This feature, along with chrome-plated internal parts, helps make the gun impervious to the elements.
If the intrinsic elements of the pistol are not enough to sell shooters, TriStar has thrown in plenty of perks. The P-120 comes in a hard, protective case with form-fitting foam. The gun is shipped with a basic cleaning kit and comes with two 19-round Mec-Gar magazines. It also comes with a lock and magazine loading aid, to boot.
The P-120’s most intriguing aspect, however, is its price. Presently, the handgun's MSRP is $489 for the black finished model and $509 for the chrome. This is right around $100 less than the CZ 75’s present MSRP.
The P-120 looks to have everything a shooter might want in a steel-framed gun. And at the price, TriStar has given few reasons why shooter couldn’t add one to their gun cabinet.