Reviewed By: Randy R on 04/22/2015
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
I remember back when the CZ-75 first came out, they could not be imported to the United States - still well inside the "Cold War" at the time. So other companies sprang up to produce clone versions that could be imported such as Tanfoglio's "TZ-75" and EAA's "Witness", which is still available today. With the fall of the Soviet Union the wall came down and soon America could get its collective hands on the Real Thing!
Kind of like owning a Colt 1911 versus any other of the endless brands of 1911, one doesn't need to qualify the CZ-75 because it's not "patterned after" it IS the original, and that carries a certain charm..."made in the Czech Republic" is kind of cool....
But at some point the gun must perform, and anyone familiar with Czech made firearms already knows they turn out top drawer goods and in fact have led the way in innovative design that others adopt.
The CZ-75 is a sturdy, well built pistol designed with a reverse slide rail arrangement known for strength. The basic design was so good that the designers of the original Bren Ten adopted it for the development of the 10mm! At 35 ounces the service size pistol feels lighter, and with a 10 round mag inserted feels extremely well-balanced in the hand. The plastic grip panels add girth that exacerbates the already longish reach to the DA trigger which will cause anyone with less than a size 7-1/2 hand to have difficulty pulling through that first DA shot unless the hammer is kept at the "1/4" cock notch. However, the pistol has a nice thumb safety that allows "cocked and locked" carry which puts the trigger in a very nice spot that fits the hand perfectly! Grip ergos are superb, and the thumb safety if an easier swipe-off to my hand than the standard 1911 setup. It's positioned further forward which means my thumb pad engages it with maximum leverage, whereas on a 1911 "GI" style safety the portion of the thumb just ahead of the web of the hand does the duty...both work. Since the CZ-75B has a firing pin block, carrying it cocked and locked is perfectly safe...actually one could carry it cocked and UNlocked in holster that shrouds the trigger because the firing pin only unlocks when the trigger is pulled, which isn't much different from all the "safe action" systems around these days.
The overall feel of the CZ-75B is akin to the Browning Hi-Power - slender nose, with the weight centered in the hand.
Field stripping is pretty simple: Remove the mag, clear the chamber, hammer cocked, crack the slide to align the two index marks on the left side and push out the slide stop from the right side. Being new this pistol seems to need something hard to press against the slide stop pin, but it will loosen up over time I'm sure. With the slide stop out, retract the slide slightly, depress the trigger and the entire top end runs forward off the frame. Remove the polymer guide rod (see it's not just Glock that uses polymer guide rods) and flat coil spring, extract the barrel from the slide and the gun is stripped as far as CZ feels the end user should take it. Reassembly is just as easy going in reverse.
With the barrel out I dropped a factory .40 S&W cartridge into the chamber and verified that it is in fact FULLY supported! The barrel looks to have a slightly more angled feed ramp that terminates just at the chamber mouth with a very slight relief, but no crescent shaped feed ramp cut-away as if common on a certain other brand of pistol! With its 4.6" barrel and fully supported chamber, the CZ-75 will have no trouble handling top loads from Underwoodammo and Buffalo Bore. High performance factory loads in .40 S&W put it well into the lower 10mm power spectrum. Recent 200 grain loads that equal most "milquetoast" "Big Box" name brand 10mm are available which make the .40 S&W a serious contender as a field backup.
Sights are nicely "European bold" which is to say they are large and well-defined, yet not as blocky and thick as has become common on guns made in and for the U.S. market. I did find it hard to load the full 10 rounds into the mags, though they both seated with a solid click with the slide closed, and cycle the first round reliably. At the range,100 rounds of Remington 180 grain FMJ fed, fired, and ejected without a hitch. For me the pistol shoots to point of aim, and will print as good as I can hold. Even tried it on some 12" square steel poppers set out at 227 yards and was able to make contact consistently once I had the hold-over figured out.
Overall this is a well-made, all steel pistol that will last many generations and provide reliable service.
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