After watching — waiting and studying — CZ-USA has become one of the latest to enter the polymer striker-fired pistol game with the CZ P-10 C, and the years spent waiting have paid off.
CZ-USA P-10 C Review Snapshot
- CZ-USA has joined the list of manufacturers offering a striker-fired polymer pistol
- The new P-10 C offers excellent grip ergonomics and is highly shootable
- The P-10 C's crisp, striker-fired trigger means it's capable of respectable accuracy
- CZ's new pistol proved reliable with a host of ammunition, including steel-cased ammo
With nearly every major handgun manufacturer now offering a striker-fired polymer pistol, the wait for CZ’s offering has been excruciating. After its reveal in late 2016, fans of the famed Czech manufacturer have been standing idly by to get their hands on the newest addition to not only CZ, but to the world of polymer pistols. Having the advantage of time, CZ put a lot of thought into their design and made sure to include all of the features that have been a hit to the market — in their own style, of course.
Focused On Feel
Maintaining the notorious CZ grip angle, the P-10 C is built with “feel” as its primary attribute. The angle is my personal preference, simply because it’s not too steep and it points naturally. Arguably, the aspect of grip angle is 100 percent based on shooter preference, but I certainly know more shooters who prefer sharp over obtuse.
The grip also offers a mild palm swell that dials back what Walther and Smith and Wesson started with their PPQ and M&P, respectively. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but it’s nice to have something different in the gun case when it comes time to make a selection.
Those with “less pronounced thumb muscles” will find that the P-10 C fits very well. If you have the hands of a gorilla like me, you might find that your trigger finger falls a bit too far for automatic placement of the first pad on the face of the trigger. That said, the included three interchangeable back straps will help each shooter tailor that a bit to their needs.
Regardless of your hands’ features, the deep beavertail places your grip very far forward in comparison to other pistols, and that makes recoil recovery an easy proposition. This works in conjunction with the undercut trigger guard and makes returning to target for fast double taps effortless.
The new Czech polymer sports an aggressive studded grip both around the magwell and on the frame to act as a nice landing pad for a shooter’s thumbs. My style of teaching revolves around shooters being able to identify a proper grip by feel and committing certain textures to muscle memory. In other words, when a shooter’s grip is proper, they should feel certain parts of the gun in certain places on their hands. I found this feature to be superb for this purpose.
Anyone familiar with my work knows that I give extra kudos to any manufacturer that acknowledges the other 11 percent of the community — those often-forgotten southpaws — and puts features like this on both sides of the gun. This is not only nice for lefties, but let’s face it: USPSA, IDPA and real life aren’t always shot “strong-handed.”
Also as a nod to the southpaw, you’ll find an ambidextrous mag release and slide stop. Being fully ambidextrous out of the box just makes sense from a manufacturing standpoint, and it’s nice to see this idea catch on.
The Topnotch Trigger
Although it’s taken CZ years to catch up with its competitors in the poly-striker game, the manufacturer appears to have been paying much attention to the other guys’ triggers. With a traditional “safety in trigger” setup, there’s no learning curve on the P-10 C. The new offering also utilizes a relatively straight trigger, much like those found on many of the company’s tactical pistols.
The trigger broke at an average of 4 pounds, 6 ounces as per my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. The break had just a hair of creep to it and reset at about 0.25 inch of travel. As per my testing to date, that puts it second only to the Walther PPQ.
Excited to put some rounds through it, I slapped the pistol into a Safariland Pro-Fit multi-gun holster and hit the range. I utilized five different types of ammo with projectile weights as light as 85 grains and as heavy as 147 grains.
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I fired five three-shot groups with each load and allowed the gun to cool in between types of ammo. All groups were fired in a standing position without the use of a rest, simply because any handgun that needs to be shot from a bench to produce reasonable groups is useless. To some degree, comfort or “shootability” needs to be taken into account as well when critiquing a pistol’s accuracy.
The loads selected were HPR’s Black Ops 85-grain OTF, Wolf’s Polyformance 115-grain FMJ, Black Hills’ 124-grain JHP, Hornady’s Critical Duty 135-grain FlexLock, and Hornady’s Custom 147-grain XTP. Accuracy was on par with other guns of this class.
The P-10 C seemed to prefer the heavier bullets, as groups got almost increasingly smaller with increased bullet weight. The best group was fired with Hornady’s Custom 147-grain XTP round, measuring just .956 inch. We also observed very repeatable consistency with Black Hills’ 124-grain JHP.
In addition to this, I was very pleased to see flawless function and respectable accuracy with Wolf’s Polyformance steel-cased ammo. It’s no secret that I’m a steel-cased advocate, and I don’t consider a gun usable if it cannot reliably fire it.
Also, digesting mag after mag gave me plenty of practice reloading. Reloads were instinctual, which is something I attribute to the grip angle; however, the magazines did not drop free. With some lubrication and use I did see some improvement, but I would’ve liked to see them whizz out of the magwell right out of the box. Further research shows that my results weren’t typical, so I wasn’t too upset and can attribute this to being part of the break-in period.
As for sights, CZ’s new P-10 C has a standard three-dot setup with an enlarged rear notch. The oversized rear notch allows for faster sight acquisition at what many would argue comes at the cost of accuracy. With the employment of a cold hammer-forged barrel and good ergonomics, I wasn’t too deterred by this, and the resulting groups proved that they struck a good balance. Double taps were also very accurate, as the overall design reduces muzzle flip and puts you right back on target without any effort.
Keeping it simple, the P-10 C takes down like most any other polymer striker-fired handgun. Once you’re certain that the pistol is unloaded and the magazine is removed, pull the trigger and hold it to the rear. With the trigger still depressed, pull the slide back slightly. Once it’s in the correct spot, you’ll be able to push down the disassembly buttons on each side of the frame, at which point the slide assembly will come all the way forward and slip right off of the frame.
This will now allow you to remove the guide rod/spring assembly and the barrel. Clean the fouling and lube where metal meets metal, and you are essentially finished. Reinsert your barrel and guide rod/spring, and then all that’s left is to move the slide assembly to the rear of the frame and it will lock back up.
I think CZ definitely put a player into the game of poly guns with the P-10 C, and one would certainly be making a mistake if he or she doesn’t put some rounds through one when selecting a pistol of this style and size. I would’ve liked to see a game-changing reset and trigger pull weight, but it’s certainly one of the better available triggers out of the box.
Ergonomics were outstanding, and I feel that it was a great move to keep the palm swell modest, as it makes it stand out from its competitors who swing at the other end of the spectrum with this feature. I liked that the P-10 C fits many Glock holsters, as the introduction of new guns to the market is almost useless if a shooter cannot carry or compete with one.
Send some rounds through one yourself before deciding on what perfection means to you.
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the 2017 Concealed Carry Special issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.