The CZ-Colt Z40 dates from 1998. The pistol was developed by CZ together with Colt. Colt wanted to make a good double-action pistol but had never managed to master the double-action technology. Colt thought it could solve this by having another manufacturer develop and make this weapon. Colt could obviously not ask Smith & Wesson, its main competitor, for help.
Therefore it opted for the Czech company CZ. In 1998 this resulted in the introduction of the Z40. It is a 12-shot double-action-only pistol in .40 S&W caliber with a barrel length of 111 mm and a fixed combat rear sight. The blued weapon has a light metal frame and a steel slide. It is mainly meant as a service weapon for the army and police.
It is curious to see that the left of the frame is entirely made by Colt, i.e. with the Colt name and the inscription Colt Mfg Co., Hartford CT USA while the words “Made in Czech Republic” on the right of the pistol show where the pistol was made. Colt sold the weapon on the American market for a short time, but the cooperation with CZ soon foundered. In 1999, Colt removed it from its range.
In the same year, CZ decided to start selling the weapon itself. This was obviously not without problems either, because CZ ceased production of this model in 2000.
The Colt Z40/CZ.40B pistol mechanism was fully adopted from CZ-75 line of pistols. After CZ/Colt deal collapse, the pistol was made by CZ for an another customer, but in limited numbers.
When Radek Hauerland worked on the trigger mechanism for COLT Z40, he at the same time got ready SA/DA and Decocker versions of this pistols. Therefore it was easy to later produce all these trigger mechanism versions, and also the caliber conversion down from .40 to 9×19 was very easy to make. Besides the Colt Z.40 and CZ .40 B pistols, there was an another model based on COLT Z .40 design produced in 9 x 19 cal and called the CZ LE 9.