CZ 75B Review: The Czech Republic’s Best Kept Secret

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The CZ 75B is an old firearm, in fact this year CZ will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary with an exclusive limited edition CZ 75B pistol. In 1975, when the CZ 75 was produced as a duty sized handgun, it could truly claim to be one of the first wonder nine semi-automatic handguns. The wonder nine’s were characterized by being full sized duty weapons, featuring a higher than average capacity for the time, and of course being in 9mm.

The CZ 75 was the brainchild of renowned Czechoslovakian weapons designer Frantisek Koucky. He was given near free reign to design a new 9mm Parabellum pistol. The result was the child of not only Koucky, but took design influences from the Browning Hi Power and the Sig P210.

Little could Koucky know that his pistol would become one of the most widely copied pistols in the modern world. Its popularity was owned to its ease of handling, its reliability, its excellent design, and due to the fact it was secretly patented. The secret patent kept the weapon hidden for a time, but was not recognized by the rest of the engineering world legally.

Dozens of companies produce CZ 75 clones around the world, including the United States, and Italy. These pistols vary greatly from simple standard clones, to the expensive open competition guns. The multitude of different clones out there have created a large market for holsters, accessories, and upgrades for the CZ 75. However in this author’s humble opinion the best CZ 75 pistols are still produced by CZ.

CZ 75B Technical Data

Caliber9 mm Luger
9x21
.40 S&W
Magazine Capacity16
16
10
Trigger mechanismSA/DA
FrameSteel
GripsPlastic
SightsFixed
Overall Length206mm
Barrel length114mm
Width35mm
Weight1000g
BarrelHammer forged
SafetyManual safety
Hammer safety notch
Firing pin block

The Design

The CZ 75 features a very unique design that aids in how the weapon handles. The CZ borrows the Browning linkless cam locking system from the Hi Power. Its most distinct feature comes from the Sig P210, the slide rides inside the frame rails rather than the outside. This contributes to a tighter lock up, a tighter frame to slide fit, and a lower bore access which all attributes to greater accuracy and lower recoil.

Handling

The CZ 75 is now known as the CZ 75B with the B added to denote a firing pin block. The CZ 75B is a double action / single action design which features an exquisite factory trigger. The Omega trigger system is by far one of the best stock triggers in a handgun, especially one that costs under five hundred dollars. The most common model comes with a safety that can only be engaged when the trigger is in single action mode. There are DB models, which feature no safety but a decocker.

The model being reviewed features the safety. The safety is very easy to use, and can be engaged and disengaged with ease. The safety allows for the weapon to be ‘locked and cocked’ and carried safely in single action mode. Using the safety is as easy as sweeping it with your thumb.

Right off the bat when the gun is in your hands it just feels natural. The grip is just perfect, it feels incredibly natural, not something I often say. The grip allows you to get a nice and high grip, but remains comfortable. Even though the pistol is a double stack 9mm the long grip helps spread the bulk out a bit. This gives a nice and thin grip that effortlessly conceals a 16 round magazine.

The sights are a bit small, but they are precise and easy to use. The natural feeling you have pointing the weapon aids in lining the sights up perfectly. The single action trigger is so crisp and clean and combined with the weapon’s inherent accuracy, makes it one of the most accurate, easy shooting stock pistols in the world.

Getting some trigger time.

Like I said the pistol is one of the easiest shooting pistols there is. The low bore axis aids in reducing the muzzle flip, allowing the weapon to be controllable in rapid fire. In fact keeping the sights on target is easy for even a beginner. The recoil is reduced significantly compared to modern polymer pistols.

The all metal frame is quite a bit heavier than the plastic fantastic polymer pistols, this may make it more difficult to carry, but it aids in reducing felt recoil. The combination of the light recoiling 9mm round, the low bore axis, and the heavy weight makes this a very easy shooting pistol.

I am consistently able to produce three inch rapid fire groups off hand, and sub 2 inch groups from a rested position. Again I am not a professional shooter; I could never out shoot this pistol with my own meager skills. There is a reason why pro shooters like Doug Koenig and Eric Grauffel win IPSC World Championships with the CZ 75.

Of course I can never stop bragging about this pistol’s trigger. The double action is not really anything special. It’s a bit heavy, but very clean with little creep. The single action however breaks consistently and cleanly, and it’s lightweight. There is minimal travel and the reset is short and audible.

Reliability

The gun is one of the most reliable weapons in the world. The weapon’s design, like most Cold War era weapons, is very robust. The weapon is no daisy; it can handle any ammo you can shove in it. This includes the cheap steel and aluminum cased stuff. It shoots flawlessly. The only note on ammo is that the best accuracy I achieved came from 124 grain loads.

Outside of just shooting reliably the weapon will last. There is a reason CZ 75s from 1975 are still functional weapons. They are built and designed to be tanks. It is not uncommon to see CZ 75’s lasting tens of thousands of rounds without issues. CZ’s website claims a life of 30,000 standard 9mm ball rounds without issues. I haven’t had a chance to personally verify the weapon’s life span, but many pro shooters have reportedly fired 50 k worth of rounds and only had to change the barrel, not for function but to maintain precision.

Parting Shots

The CZ 75b with the omega trigger is by far one of my favorite guns. It’s an incredible value and often costs less than Glock and Smith and Wesson polymer pistols. The CZ 75 B is an amazing pistol that has had 40 years of success for good reason. Its ergonomics, its accuracy, and its robust design make it an outstanding pistol.

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About Author

Travis Pike is a veteran Infantry Marine and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. He lives deep in the woods of North Florida, where he can shoot at his leisure. He has been hunting since he was 8 and has always enjoyed the outdoors. Travis is an NRA certified instructor and loves teaching others anything and everything about firearms. He splits time between writing, running a training course, and of course a 9 to 5 job. He is a vocal gun rights activist. When he’s not writing, shooting, or working he is often found sipping craft beer on his porch

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