CZ 75: One of the best Wonder Nine pistols ever

Author: Ian Hogg

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The CZ 75 pistol was introduced in 1975 as a military-style weapon produced worldwide for commercial sales. It was produced in the Czech Republic by the Ceska Zbrojovka company. It is, by far, the best gun manufacturer to come out of the former Soviet Union or communist block. They’re on par with HK, SIG, and any US manufacturer.

It is a company with a century or more of history building quality firearms in eastern Europe. Even during the post-war years when Czechoslovakia was part of the Warsaw Pact, CZ produced very good designs.

Mechanism

CZ 75 uses the familiar Browning action of locked-breech in which the barrel has lugs above the chamber which engage in recesses in the slide; a shaped cam in a lump beneath the chamber moves across the slide stop pin during recoil, thus pulling the barrel down and withdrawing the lugs from the recesses, so freeing the slide to move to the rear and complete the extraction reloading cycle.

CZ 75 BD Police is equipped with loaded chamber indicator, reversible magazine catch, lanyard ring, checkered front and back strap of the grip and serrated trigger as standard
CZ 75 BD Police is equipped with a loaded chamber indicator, reversible magazine catch, lanyard ring, checkered front and back strap of the grip, and serrated trigger as standard (Photo: XY)

Design

CZ 75 pistol differs slightly from the usual Browning design by having a deep-waisted frame and the slide guide rails inside this section so that the shallow rear portion of the slide moves within the frame.

The external hammer is cocked during the recoil stroke in the usual manner, but a double-action lock permits firing the first round from a hammer-down condition. The safety is on the frame and merely locks the trigger and hammer; there is no hammer-drop facility. The sights are fixed military patterns, and the foresight is relatively small, making deliberate shooting rather difficult.

CZ 75 pistol
CZ 75 is a good and reliable service pistol (Photo: Pinterest)

Nevertheless, the CZ 75 pistol is accurate and consistent, and with adjustable sights fitted, would make it a reasonable competition weapon. The fit and finish are good, and the double-action trigger movement is particularly effective. The pistol will accept practically any military or commercial ammunition without malfunction.

Underrated pistol

99% of people, at least in the US, who aren’t gun people, have never heard of Česká Zbrojovka. Of those who may have, probably three-quarters would say, “A Czech gun? It’s got to be a piece of shit. How could it stand up to Colt (1911, from which it takes its cues), S&W, Ruger, and Glock? Give me the Glock 17, and let’s call it a day.” I know. I was one of them.

User thoughts

The fact is that a CZ could go up against a Glock all day and likely come out on top. Yes, it requires slightly more care, as the frame is steel, not a polymer, so you have to oil it after you throw it in a lake, fish it out, and fire it. But that hefty frame and the internal slide design make for a 9mm with far less recoil than a current striker-fire plastic piece. Not knocking polymer striker-fired; I own several.

They’re way better for concealed carry, as you’d have to have some strange anatomy that would allow you to carry the full-size 75 without anyone noticing. But follow-up shots are almost effortless with the CZ compared to a Glock or even 1911.

Variants

CZ variants of the CZ 75 include dozens of the pistols designed and manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka in the last 40 years, including:

  • 75 Steel Full Size (CZ 75, CZ 75 B, CZ 75 BD, CZ 75 BD Police, CZ 75 B Omega…)
  • 75 Compact (CZ 75 Compact, CZ P-01, CZ 75 SemiCompact, CZ P-06, CZ 40-B/Colt Z-40, CZ Z-40P)
  • Sub Compact (CZ 2075 RAMI, CZ 2075 RAMI BD, CZ 2075 RAMI P)
  • Competition (CZ 75 SP-01/SP-01 Tactical, CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow, CZ 75 Shadow 2, CZ 75 Standard IPSC, CZ 75 Tactical Sports, CZ 75 Champion, CZ 75 TS Czechmate)
  • Polymer (CZ P-07 Duty, CZ P-09 Duty, CZ P-09 Kadet)
  • CZ 75 Automatic (automatic pistol version)

There are also newer and improved versions of the CZ 75 in the form of CZ 85 and CZ 97 pistols.

CZ 85 B is an updated version of the CZ 75 with a firing pin block that is also ambidextrous
CZ 85 B is an updated version of the CZ 75 with a firing pin block that is also ambidextrous (Photo: XY)

Over the years, the pistol was copied by many gun manufacturers worldwide. Among the most known and popular derivatives of CZ 75 were also Tanfoglio TA 90, JSL Spitfire Mark II, and Sphinx AT-2000.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Manufacturer:Ceska Zbrojovka a.s., Uhersky Brod, Czech Republic
Type:Locked breech, double-action semi-automatic
Caliber:9 mm Parabellum
Barrel:4.72 in (120 mm)
Weight (empty):34.5 oz (980 gm)
Magazine capacity:15 rounds
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1 thought on “CZ 75: One of the best Wonder Nine pistols ever”

  1. Thank you for this article Sir. It was very reassuring to read, as I am hoping to buy a used CZ 75 BD Police version soon. I’m also familiar with your previous works on weaponry, etc. (Ha,ha) I’m more of a Falstaffian type myself. Best of luck, Carl

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