CZ 75 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol: A Modern Legend


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

September 16th, 2010


Click links below for video!

640x480 WMV format (58.6 MB)
320x240 WMV format (19.6 MB)





Click pictures for a larger version.


CZ 75 shown atop an early-'80s Italian Tanfoglio copy.



CZ 75 comes with hard plastic storage box, cleaning rod, bore brush, two magazines, cable lock, and instructions.







CZ 75 displayed very good accuracy with most ammunition tested.





Disassembly is quick and easy.





Sixteen-shot steel magazine.










There are not very many auto pistols that reach legendary status. Models come and go every year, but not too many have the staying power to be in production for decades. A few come to mind; the Browning Hi Power, Colt 1911, the Walther PPK, the Luger, and the broom-handle Mauser. Those latter two are more famous for being very different and advanced for their time period than for being anything really special. Of course, the Colt 1911 is the most famous and copied auto pistol in the world, and if imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then the CZ 75 also qualifies for legendary status.

Introduced in 1975, the CZ 75 was developed in Czechoslovakia, well behind the Iron Curtain. If it were not for the writings of Jeff Cooper, the CZ might have went unnoticed in the Western world, at least until the fall of the Iron Curtain several years later. Mr. Cooper was greatly fond of the design, recognizing its strong design features and good ergonomics early on. Mr. Cooper pushed for the development of the CZ design in a 10mm cartridge, which culminated in the now defunct Bren Ten. The Bren was an excellent pistol, but never got fully off the ground as a production gun. Vltor Weapons Systems of Tucson, AZ is trying at this time to bring back the Bren Ten as the Fortis Pistol, and many folks are eagerly awaiting the production of that weapon, myself included.

The CZ 75 has several design features that make it worthy of imitation. The internal slide rails impressed me many years ago as a better way to build an auto pistol. The double action trigger design also features a single action mode that allows for cocked-and-locked carry, just like on a 1911 or Hi Power, but the double action feature is still there for those who prefer a double action first shot. The grip design of the CZ 75 feels great in my hand, and most others have the same opinion after wrapping their fist around the CZ. The tang extends over the web of the hand, protecting it from hammer or slide bite. The CZ 75 has a right-handed-only thumb safety, but the later CZ 85 adds an ambidextrous safety for those left-handed shooters such as myself. The trigger reach on the CZ 75 can be a bit long for those with small hands, but in single action cocked-and-locked mode, the trigger is easy to reach, even shorter than on most 1911 pistols.

The CZ 75 design uses the Browning short-recoil tilting breech design, with a kidney-shaped slot below the barrel through which the slide latch pin passes. The barrel has multiple lugs atop to engage recesses milled into the slide. The lock-up is very tight, with little if any discernable play between the slide, barrel, and frame. Reliability is paramount in a fighting pistol, and the CZ design has excellent reliability. It is also one of the most durable designs extant. It is just extremely hard to wear one out by shooting it.

The current CZ 75B incorporates a firing pin block, to prevent firing if the weapon is dropped onto its muzzle. The firing pin cannot move unless the trigger is pulled. The 75B also has a flat-front trigger guard that is laterally serrated for the placement of the forefinger of the support hand. It was once very popular to hold a pistol in that manner, and I still prefer to do so today. The CZ 75B has a very good set of sights, using the three-white-dot pattern. The rear sight is drift-adjustable for windage correction.

Besides the aforementioned Bren Ten, there have been a few other very successful copies of the CZ 75 design, and some are still popular today. The EAA Witness pistols are very good, reliable, strong pistols, and are some of the better CZ copies. The Magnum Research Baby Eagle, the Israeli BUL, and the Italian Tanfoglio pistols all owe their heritage to the CZ 75. All have made subtle changes to the design, but none are improvements. The simple, reliable CZ action with its ability to be carried cocked-and-locked is still the best method of operation, in my opinion.

Critical specifications for the CZ-75 are listed in the chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their widest parts. The maximum width is measured across the slight ambidextrous thumb rests. The height includes the sights and magazine base. The trigger pull on the CZ was a little gritty at first, but smoothed out after a few dozen rounds. The single action pull is very good, with a smooth release, and the double action pull is smooth and even throughout its travel. The trigger pull is listed as pounds of pressure.

Weight 34.8
Height 5.46
Length 8.12
Slide Width 0.93
Maximum Grip Width 1.39
Frame Width 1.00
Maximum Width 1.42
Trigger Pull (SA) 5.1
Trigger Pull (DA) 8.2
Trigger Reach (SA) 2.75
Trigger Reach (DA) 3.04
Barrel Length 4.59
Magazine Capacity 16

I fired the CZ-75 with every type of 9mm ammunition I had in stock. I also fired a variety of ammunition over the chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX is a hollow nose homogenous copper bullet. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented flatnose bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall, a specialty hollowpoint bullet with a polymer insert to insure expansion and to prevent the hollow nose from clogging with clothing or other material. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of ninety-one degrees Fahrenheit and sixty-one percent humidity. Accuracy was tested with the CZ clamped into my Ransom Master Rest, with the target set at twenty-five yards. Group sizes are listed in inches.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Group Size
WCC NATO FMJ 124 1126 1.500
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 115 1413 1.625
Buffalo Bore +P+ JHP 124 1294 2.000
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 115 1302 1.500
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 147 1150 3.500
Cor-Bon +P JHP 115 1310 1.250
Cor-Bon Pow’RBall 100 1355 2.250
Cor-Bon +P DPX 115 1161 2.250
International Cartridge FP 100 1220 3.120

The CZ 75 proved to be one hundred percent reliable with every type of ammunition fed it. No failures to feed, fire, or extract were experienced. It ran perfectly, just as I expected it to do. Accuracy was also very good, as can be seen in the chart above. The CZ preferred the lighter weight bullets for best accuracy, and I also prefer the 115 grain class of bullets for best performance. With some loads, the CZ 75 displayed match-grade accuracy, and even did extremely well with surplus WCC military ball ammunition. The CZ 75 is built primarily of steel, and is easy to shoot, and easy to shoot well. Recoil is light, and the grip handles the recoil very well, for the ability to get back on target quickly. The CZ 75 is a dandy sidearm; a rugged and reliable fighting pistol. Weighing in at just over thirty-four ounces, the pistol carries well on the belt, and packs seventeen rounds of 9mm firepower.

The CZ 75 is still made today in the original location, in what is now called the Czech Republic. CZ firearms are distributed in the United States by CZ-USA, located in Kansas City, Kansas. The CZ 75 and its descendants are highly reliable, very well-built pistols that rose from an obscure beginning to become one of the best auto pistol designs in the world.

Check out the entire line of CZ rifles, pistols, and shotguns online at

For the location of a CZ dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the CZ 75 online, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:

To buy this gun online, go to:


Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.



Click pictures for a larger version.


The legendary CZ 75 pistol.



Grip panels are checkered black plastic.





Very good three-dot sights.



Unlike most double-action pistols, the CZ 75 can be carried "cocked and locked".



Magazine release.





CZ 75 design uses internal slide frame rails.



Firing pin block.



Slide release.