type has its adherents. The
original CZ cannot be placed on safe with the hammer down, the
long double action pull is seen as sufficient safety.
Even a double action fan would admit there is much
utility in the original type safety. When moving from one firing
position to the other, or during combat movement, the pistol may
quickly be placed on safe without decocking. After all, the
tactical doctrine of the DA pistol has always been a long double
action first shot for safety and after the first shot you are in
a gunfight! Just the same, either type works well. Overall, for
civilian concealed carry, the decocker variants are probably
preferred. A variant of the CZ recently adopted by
Czechoslovakian police forces has proven quite popular in
America. This piece features a decocker and is chambered in 9mm
Luger caliber. This pistol has gone through tremendous military
and police testing, firing thousands of rounds without
malfunctions. Moreover, during the selection process the test
pistols were disassembled thousands of times and detail stripped
and reassembled hundreds of times.
The piece is proven more so than practically any other
modern 9mm pistol.
Naturally, the reputation of this pistol
reflects well on the CZ line. As a rule full size pistols are
more reliable than compact pistols, due to differences in slide
velocity and recoil spring technology. For a compact pistol to
exhibit such a showing is remarkable. It is important to note
that my test pistol differs in two important particulars from
the European test pistols. My example is a .40 caliber pistol
and the CZ 75 Compact used in this test features the original
cocked and locked type safety. I prefer this action and I strongly
prefer defense calibers that begin with a 4. The .40 Smith and
Wesson is a good defense cartridge. For most of the last
century, police were issued the .38 and later the 9mm for
several reasons. Foremost is the fact that training was never
available in sufficient amounts, and non-interested personnel
simply could not handle a caliber larger than these small bores.
Superior training, time, and investment in human resources
allowed some agencies to adequately train officers armed with
.357, .44, and .45 caliber handguns, but these were rare
agencies. The .40 caliber changed this situation.
trainers know that handguns over 35 ounces become a burden
toward the end of a shift, and many who recommended heavier
handguns were not street cops. The .40 is light enough, as it
can be chambered in modified 9mm frame handguns. Yet, the
cartridge is controllable with practice but offers considerably
improved wound potential. The .40 has been a success story.
Civilian shooters may prefer the 9mm or the .45 but cops
overwhelmingly have voted for the .40.
The .40 is not my favorite cartridge, but one I respect.
I have deployed the .40 professionally and taken game
with the cartridge. The
single whitetail deer I have taken with the .40 was immediately
taken down, four legs in the air, with a single round. The .40
performed remarkably well.
most makers of 9mm caliber handguns, CZ adopted their pistol to
the .40 Smith and Wesson cartridge. The CZ .40 caliber pistols
are appropriately strengthened for the additional pressure and
momentum of the .40 Smith and Wesson. The .40 is a high pressure
cartridge, unlike the low pressure .45, which is in common with
the 9mm, but the .40 is also a high momentum round. Some pistols
converted to the .40 have been less than successful. The CZ has
we find the test program the 9mm pistol was subjected to
laudable, a similar program should be given the .40 caliber
version as it is a new pistol for all intents and purposes. My
example is a well balanced pistol, weighing in at about 36
ounces. This is a pistol similar in concept to the SIG P
229, a pistol that is about the perfect size for constant wear
on a duty belt but at the same time very reliable, accurate, and
capable. For some time I have used the 1911 for personal defense
and little of anything else, not being one to buzz about like a
honeybee in a clover patch in search of the perfect handgun.
The 1911 has been in my hands often and never let me
down. Just the same, I am not blind to change, and the CZ 75
compact is by any measure an excellent pistol. I embarked upon a
field test of the CZ 75 compact that left me impressed.
A field test is a curious activity necessary for the
health and livelihood of gun writers.
I am not concerned with running a combat course as much
as with quickly hitting with a combat pistol at moderate range,
but the CZ 75 will do either. This is as good a pistol as any of
its size. Overall the Baby Eagle versions of the CZ have a more
comfortable grip, but I am certain some hand sizes will be more
comfortable with the CZ. That is why we have so many handguns,
to satisfy everyone. Of one thing I became certain, the CZ is
more accurate than I can hold.
much time in the game, trainers and writers alike fall guilty to
misconceptions, and some have a more acute case than others.
The CZ is a type popular with many shooters whatever
anyone’s opinion of the ideal fighting pistol. And those
choosing this pistol are well able to defend themselves.
began with 500 handloads. These are put up in Starline
brass. This is first class brass, used by many of our
top makers such as Black Hills and Cor Bon. I used
a moderate charge of Titegroup and the Rainier
Ballistics 155 grain bullet, producing 950 feet per second.
Results have been good. The bulk of these loads were fired in
familiarization and in combat drills. At seven yards, a full
magazine would cut one ragged hole. The piece shows excellent
hit probability at all ranges. It is no mean feat to stay on a
man size target at fifty yards with this pistol. Recoil is
clearly more abrupt than with a similar size 9mm pistol, but
considering the horsepower we are handling, reasonable. The
piece is controllable. No one able to master the 9mm should have
difficulty with this well balanced handgun.
I field stripped and cleaned the piece after
five hundred rounds, finding a minimum of powder ash. The
Rainier bullet left little if any copper wash in the barrel.
Next, I settled in to full power factory ammunition. This
included the Speer Gold Dot 155 grain jacketed hollow
point, the Federal American Eagle 165 grain full metal
jacket bullet, and the Speer 165 grain Gold Dot.
The American Eagle load is designed as a practice load
for the increasingly popular 165 grain weight and it performs in
that capacity well. I also had on hand the Fiocchi 170
grain Major, a special loading designed for
competition to insure the .40 makes ‘Major’.
fed, chambered, fired and ejected normally. As may be expected,
the Fiocchi Major and the 155 grain Gold Dot load produced the
greatest recoil. The Gold Dot bullet is loaded hotter than many
in this weight and as a rule gives excellent results in any
test. The balance
of expansion and penetration is ideal. I found hit probability
good when using these loads, and long range accuracy improved
over my handloads. Here are the results of a slow fire session.
The pistol was carefully bench rested off a solid rest, and I
took my time in firing five round groups. I fired three with
each loading and took the average for results. However, I have
to state that the CZ handed the author one brilliant 1.75 inch
group with the Federal 165 grain practice load. As I said, the
pistol is more accurate than I can hold.