CZ recently bought Colt. Can you imagine that? Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod (ČZUB) the firearms manufacturer in the Czech Republic, responsible for some of the finest-made firearms in the world, now owns one of America’s premier firearms companies. CZ makes pistols, rifles, and shotguns that are held in high esteem in the military, hunting, sporting, and personal protection arenas. The most popular of the Czech handguns, the CZ-75 of which there are many models and many clones, was introduced in 1975.
The original CZ-75s are all steel. They come in several models such as the 75, 85, and Compact with differing features such as size, finish, capacity, and caliber. In recent years, the ČZUB factory has introduced several models with polymer frames. A mid-size model, the CZ P-07, caught my eye as I pondered adding a true CZ pistol to my collection.
CZ P-07 Features
The CZ P-07 has a bit of a futuristic look about it, but frankly, it looks all business to me. Mine is black, but they also come in OD. It comes with the different-sized backstraps that are commonly offered with modern firearms, so it was no trouble to ensure it fit my hands. When I pick it up or pull it out of a holster, it naturally finds the right place in my hand, ready to go with no shifting of my grip. The sights line up, and I can easily put my finger on the trigger with the proper positioning.
The slide lock lever, which doubles as a takedown lever, is big with a surface that’s easy to work, yet flat, so it doesn’t interfere with concealment. There’s a decocker, which with a little bit of DIY gunsmith work, can be converted to a safety, accommodating those who want the ability to carry the P-07 “cocked and locked.” The extra parts to accomplish the conversion come with the gun. The grip surface has just the right amount of aggressiveness to make the gun easy to hold onto without hurting my hands.
The appearance of this CZ is all CZ-75, yet it’s different. The CZs differ from most of the guns we’re familiar with in that the slide rails are inverted. By that I mean the slide attaches to the inside of the frame. With most of the semi-automatic handguns, unless they’re CZ clones, the slide attaches outside the frame. Does this make a difference in how the gun operates? Not really.
The rails on a CZ are full-length, so there is good solid contact. The configuration makes the slide a bit narrow, so it doesn’t provide as much grip area for cycling the slide. I admit that is a bit of an issue, but I like shooting the gun so much, I figured out a method of handling it that works for me.
CZ added something to this gun I’ve not seen on other handguns. There are grip serrations on the frame similar to the ones on the slide. The frame serrations are about midway on the gun, just ahead of the slide lock. I found that by using the frame serrations with my left hand, I can more easily retract the slide with my right hand.
The overall appearance of the CZ P-07 is designed for concealed carry, though police all over Europe carry a CZ as their duty gun. The top of the frame is rounded on the sides and in front. The controls on the side of the gun are as flat as any I’ve seen on a handgun, yet they’re easy to operate because of their size and texture.
The slide lock/takedown lever is large with two ridges on it for traction. The de-cocker is flat and ambidextrous. The magazine release is rectangular with tiny ridges on it that make operating it easy. It is also reversible. The manual says reversing it is a job for a gunsmith, but if you’re handy with your hands and basic tools, it’s not hard to do.
You can find several YouTube videos on the procedure. The key to it is to carefully contain the detent and spring that will want to fly across the room if you’re not careful.
The gun is sized right for concealed carry. It’s 7 inches long, including the beavertail, and 5.25 inches high. Frame width is 1.07 inches, but when you include the ambidextrous decockers it’s 1.45 inches at that point — almost exactly the dimensions of a Glock 19. Total weight unloaded is just under 28 ounces.
The CZ P-07 is the first CZ to have what it calls the Omega Trigger system. All the trigger parts are interlocking in nature, allowing full disassembly and reassembly without the need for gunsmithing experience or tools. Trigger operation is smooth with a pull as measured by my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge averaging 10 pounds double-action and 4 pounds. 10 ounces in single-action. Take-up in double-action mode is only 1/8-inch. In single-action mode, it’s almost ½-inch with the same amount of reset.
There is a Picatinny rail that’s just shy of 2 inches long for mounting a light, laser, or combo. The trigger guard is squared off in front with a bit of a tang. The back part of the trigger guard is raised to allow a high grip. Very nice. Both sides of the grip are recessed near the top as a natural fit for your thumb and forefinger regardless of which hand is your dominant hand.
The designers in the CZ shop obviously worked with this gun for a while, tweaking here and there, and passing it around until they all agreed it was ready. They did a great job. The weight of the slide, the thickness of the frame, and the texture of the grip all come together to make it a perfectly balanced shooting platform.
Disassembly for cleaning is standard for all CZ-type handguns. Remove the magazine, and ensure there is nothing in the chamber. Then, look for a pair of marks on the left side of the gun near the rear of the slide — one on the frame, one on the slide. They are tiny vertical strips you align by retracting the slide just a skosh.
The hammer has a half-cock position that helps take the pressure off the slide while you align the marks. With those marks aligned, you push the slide stop lever through and out of the frame from the right side. I use the base of a magazine to accomplish this task. With the lever removed, the slide slips off the front of the frame. Compress and lift out the recoil spring/guide rod. Then, lift out the barrel and you’re done.
At the Range
I have used various brands of common defensive ammunition with the P-07, including Speer Gold Dot, Federal Train & Protect, Fiocchi JHP, and Hornady FTX. If I do my part, the CZ P-07 will shoot one ragged hole with any of these rounds at close encounter ranges up to 10–12 feet. Moving out to 15 yards, it will still keep the rounds within 3–4 inches. I’ve probably put close to 2,000 rounds through my P-07 and have not experienced any type of malfunction.
Conclusion: CZ P-07
I’ll wrap this up with a story that speaks to the CZ P-07’s appeal. When my P-07 was new, I had a friend who was gun shopping. I went to the range with him with a bag of handguns for him to try. He decided he wanted my P-07. Not a CZ P-07 but MY P-07. I told him we would order him one, but no. That wasn’t good enough. He wanted to take mine home with him, even offered me real money for it. I didn’t let it go, and he was able to get his own within a week. However, that just lets you know it’s a pretty special gun.
The CZ 75 has certainly earned its place. Although it is heavy due to its steel construction, its design and features have made its way to several models offered by competitors. So how does the CZ P-07 rate in your book? Share your answer or review in the comment section.