Gun Review: CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange

By David Blanton

The CZ Tactical Sport is a very familiar model in Europe amongst those who participate in IPSC competitions. It’s a big heavy gun with a steel frame and a crisp single action trigger that is pretty easy to shoot fast and accurately. The CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange is the dressed-up brother to the “bare bones” Tactical Sport model…which is the equivalent of comparing “just” a Corvette to a Corvette Z06.

CZ 75 tactical sport orange

The semi-automatic CZ 75 tactical sport orange 9mm pistol (Courtesy CZ USA)

The Tactical Sport Orange is the bigger brother in the venerated CZ 75 lineup. It shares the action with the original 75 series pistols without a firing pin block, but sports a wider grip to accommodate wider magazines. That means more capacity for the same grip length.

From the factory it comes with an ambidextrous manual safety and a very crisp, light, single action only trigger.  Being bred for racing it comes with all the accoutrements you would want in a thoroughbred iron-sighted race gun – target sights, flared magwell, oversized controls, and aggressive checkering.

The CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange shares a frame with their top-of-the line competition guns, the Czechmate.

 

The CZ 75 Tactical Sport 9mm features handsome aluminum grips in a striking orange, an adjustable metal trigger (as opposed to plastic on the base model), a flared aluminum mag well (again, plastic on the base model), a drilled and tapped frame featuring a thumb rest, and better checkering on the front and back straps. The whole package comes in a quality pistol case worthy of transporting a race gun like this.

The fit in the hand of the TSO is pretty good right out of the box. The grips are thin, but large-handed shooters will have an easier time gripping them than the smaller gripped CZ 75s.

The beavertail is nicely sculpted and the trigger guard undercut puts the gun — which already has a low bore hight — exactly where you’d want it to be in the hand. The beavertail and backstrap are a little narrower than on a widebody 1911 or 2011. As a result, if you’re shooting this beast in its available .40 S&W chambering, you can expect it to beat you up a little more than a 2011 might.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The aggressive checkering on the front and back straps is very much appreciated. The checkering on those pretty aluminum grips, though, is mostly ornamental.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The grip panels that ship with the gun, while gorgeous, are relatively thin and a little on the slippery side. This isn’t a gun that’s going to ride in a concealment holster against your skin, so concerns about them being “too aggressive” aren’t quite as prevalent as would be more for most guns.

The trigger is about as good as you can make a non-1911 trigger. There is a little bit of wiggle on the sear/hammer engagement – but not much in the way of slack. You can dial in more slack if you want via the adjustable trigger. This example breaks at just under 2 pounds and is very short with very little overtravel. The reset is somewhat weak but very short.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The adjustable sights are excellent – a fiber optic front with an adjustable rear. The face of the rear sight is serrated and black making it easy to ignore as you look through the notch to your front sight and the target.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The tall shoulders on the rear sight are great for cutting a target in half and rapidly acquiring the front sight. Now’s probably a good time to mention the fact that the 5.23” barrel provides an immense sight radius.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

For most handgun-distance targets, if the fiber pipe is in the rear notch at all and held over the target generally you’re going to wind up with a solid hit – or very near.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

As a result of those good sights and a competition trigger the CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange gives you a gun with great accuracy.  Warming up shooting 5-shot groups off hand at 20 yards I was able to print a near cloverleaf group with the occasional fliers. Not that impressive to bullseye folks I’m sure, but I’m a red dot shooter.

That’s not boasting of my marksmanship, it’s intended to underscore the point that this gun is easy to shoot. At the 50 yard line on C zone steel I went 8 for 10. Feeling saucy at 50 I was able to connect on the plate rack better than half the time. If you do your part – the gun will do it’s part.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The magazine well that comes with the gun is appropriate for the IPSC standard division box, but is probably a little undersized for USPSA. The magwell isn’t blended to the frame and would benefit from it (at least on this midi2019 example).

Magazines sometimes hang up as the mag catch presses in on them during insertion, but when reloading in haste you don’t notice it. With very little dry fire practice I was able to rip shot-to-shot reloads of sub 1.2 seconds on a 10-yard target.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The magazine release button is similar to the one on the Shadow 2. It’s adjustable in three different positions to accommodate your particular grip. The button is easily accessible without breaking your firing grip on the pistol. Pressing the release button almost rockets empty magazines from the pistol.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The magazines that come with the Tactical Sport Orange are quality typical of all of CZ magazines…mostly. They are 126mm long and clad in aluminum orange base pads that are suitable for IPSC competition.

In their base configuration they’ll accommodate 20 rounds of 9mm. With the addition of aftermarket 141mm baseplates, the magazines will take 21 rounds, suitable for USPSA competition. If you’re competing, you’re going to want that 140mm base pad.

CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange 9mm Pistol

The pistol’s thumb rest is a little undersized and pretty far forward for most shooters’ hands to get much of your thumb on it. Resting your thumb on the thumb stop puts it in contact with slide stop. Thankfully, the TSO comes with a couple of the Czechmate-style slide pins that frees up space on the frame. Running the pins and not the stop will not allow the slide to lock back.

Believe it or not, that’s a good thing for competition. I would probably recommend anyone considering running this pistol in competition use the provided pin in lieu of the slide stop.

Because of the thumb rest, you likely won’t be carrying the TSO in a Kydex holster. This type of gun will most often ride in a skeletonized race holster such as the Double Alpha Racer, Race Master, Alpha X, CR Speed WSM II, Safariland 014, or others that secure the gun by the trigger guard.

You can make Kydex work and accommodate the little thumb rest, but drawing a 5.23” gun to clear leather is going to be slower by a hair than just clearing the trigger guard. Obviously, there are plenty of concerns with skeletonized holsters, but in my testing using an Alpha X, it was easy to get used to the trigger lock and in very short order I would subconsciously disengage the trigger lock before performing reps.

The CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange  is the full, off-the-shelf competition package. It’s a three pound gun with a two pound trigger, an oversized magazine release, a generous magazine well, a 5.23” sight radius and target sights that’s fast and easy to aim, easy to shoot, easy to load, and easy to love.

Specifications: CZ Tactical Sport Orange

Caliber: 9×19 or .40 S&W
Capacity: Three 126 mm magazines – 20 rounds 9 or 16 rounds 40
Weight: 47.3 ounces
Barrel Length: 5.23”
Overall Length: 8.86”
Height: 5.9”
Maximum Width: 1.77”
Trigger: 2 lbs
Sights: Fiber Optic Front / Adjustable Target Rear (black)
Controls: fully ambidextrous magazine release and slide stop. Grip Safety
MSRP: $1837 (about $1750 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
No issues. CZs have short throats so some reloads will choke it that won’t choke other guns, especially .40 S&W loaded long for 2011s.

Accuracy * * * * *
With its light, crisp trigger and long sight radius, hole-in-hole accuracy is certainly possible with this gun.

Ergonomics * * * * 1/2
The sculpt of the TSO is very comfortable, especially in 9mm. Being narrow across the back makes it less comfortable when shooting .40 S&W but given the pistol’s weight and low bore height, it’s ultra smooth in 9×19.

Customize This * *
There are very few CZ aftermarket shops – you’ve got Cajun Gun Works and CZ Custom – though there are plenty of race holster options available from all the major makers.

Overall * * * * 1/2
For the casual shooter willing to lay out the cash, the TSO is near perfect right out of the box. The competition shooter is going to want to put some more money into it. For my money, at this price point, I might consider potentially saving for a low-end 2011, but the the TSO doesn’t really disappoint.

 

All photos courtesy the author unless noted. 

 

comments

  1. avatar PTM says:

    A friend of mine has one of these and had the trigger worked on. It is really amazing.

  2. avatar MyName says:

    That is a lot of coin for a CZ 75 but, that is a really nice CZ 75. Very tempting.

  3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “i’d have a caesar.”

    1. avatar Idaho Boy says:

      Get this guy a Puppers.

  4. avatar Can't C Me says:

    Capacity for 3 magazines!

  5. avatar Ghost of Barry Goldwater says:

    “…an adjustable metal trigger (as opposed to plastic on the base model)”

    What 75 has a factory plastic trigger?!?

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      the cubic zirconium omega.

    2. avatar canuck_in_ca says:

      The Tactical Sports has a plastic trigger too. First thing I changed. Not really necessary though since plastic doesn’t flex much when you need just 2 pounds of pressure to make it go.

      1. avatar Ghost of Barry Goldwater says:

        Wow. Did not know that. Thank you!

  6. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

    Well, it would be easy to find in dim light, since everything else is black. But then, I don’t buy anything orange, except pumpkins. I’ll pass.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      No oranges?

      1. avatar Ron says:

        Oranges have been deemed racist by our leftists betters in the media so they’ve been banned from sale, ownership, growth, and consumption. Anyone using an orange in the aforementioned ways is subject to a federal hate crime punishable by 2 years in prison.

    2. avatar Idaho Boy says:

      This would make it easier to hide out in a pumpkin patch and ambush The Great Pumpkin.

  7. avatar Ginder12 says:

    How about a Langdon Tactical build for $1800.00

    1. avatar Jack Crow says:

      I run.a TSO in .40 for USPSA Limited class. You would be hard-pressed to outclass a TSO in that type of competition with a Langdon.

      That isn’t a knock on Langdon- it is a recognition that this is a purpose-built platform, and it does this one thing superlatively. As the author notes, its only competition is a 2011 gun that will cost double or more what the TSO does.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    The grips would need go but it is a truck pony.
    Looks like a water pistol with those grips.

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I don’t shoot competition anymore. When I did the guys I shot with shot street guns out of street leather. Anything else you started with a penalty. I’m sure this is a nice pistol. I always liked the idea of the CZ-75. Brent Ten was based on it. Still. No thanks.

  10. avatar canuck_in_ca says:

    I got a CZ TS a few months before it got discontinued. Definitely one of the most fun guns on the CA roster. The trigger is amazing. Mine is down to 1.5 lbs after a few CGW and CZC mods to make it TSO like. The most accurate handgun I own, and I have a HK USP9 with the competition trigger and a Manhurin MR 73 with the trigger adjusted way down. I would have bought the TSO if it had been available. LOK makes great grip panels BTW.

  11. avatar Daniel S. says:

    I’ll keep the $1200 and stick with my CZ75 D Compact PCR w/ CZ Cocobolo grips, and buy lots of ammo with that savings!

  12. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    Does anyone have info on how the CZ compares to the Walther Q5 Steel Frame?

    1. avatar Jack Crow says:

      The Shadow 2 is probably a closer analog, if you are going to run iron sights for production class. I have both, and while I like the Walter (the PPQ line is probably my favorite pistol line) the CZ outclasses it. The Shadow 2 has the disadvantage (to some) of the DA pull to staTry, while the Walter has that glorious trigger pull the whole time. The CZ single action pull is better than the Walther, though, so… Both are great, but I don’t know anyone who has switched to the Walther for production. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist, I just haven’t seen it. Production around me is still dominated by CZ, Sig P-320, and Glock.

      I haven’t seen a Walther in Limited, so can’t comment on it directly against the TSO in competition. Again, I own both, and would take the TSO over the Walther. I can’t think of something the Walther does better than the TSO in Limited.

      If you are going to run optics on the Walter, then you are in Open or Carry Optics; in Open, you won’t see any Walthers, but it is competitive in Carry Optics. I don’t shoot Carry Optics, and don’t have much familiarity with it in that context.

  13. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

    Advice sought, I should IDPA local only, I will never win nor advance to regional work due to my age. I do like to shoot it to keep my sharp. I normally use a SA XDM 5.25 which is not a bad pistol, but I keep dreaming of a good CZ75 for the low bore axis a and a better trigger. This orange is not the one for me, too expensive and too big of a grip, plus is not IDPA kosher. Is the CZ Shawdow 2 a better choice? I have medium hands, prefer to shoot 9mm. And yes, I realize both guns are going to shoot a lot better than I do. I shoot static paper targets very well, basically suck at practical shoots, happy to anyplace but the basement.

    1. avatar binder says:

      For $1200, yes. I have a older 75 Shadow (no rail) and love it. If I’m going to upgrade, that would be the one. Keep in mind, the thing weighs over 16 oz more. than your XDM

      1. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

        I don’t mind bind the weight. I put a new trigger in my XDM which I why I can shoot it well on the first shot. The second fast shot tends to wander off and I think the extra weight should help that. I also don’t grip up high enough on a draw. I am hoping the natural high grip of the CZ may help.

    2. avatar Jack Crow says:

      I agree with Binder. The Shadow 2 is a real sweet spot for competitive pistols. I don’t shoot IDPA, so I don’t know all the rules, but assuming the Shadow 2 is legal for the division you shoot in, I don’t think there is a better gun on a per-dollar spent ratio for competition.

  14. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

    Also wishing for an edit button – hopefully the typos don’t bother anyone.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      Click the “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.” box before you post the comment. This will give you a 5 minutes window to edit the post.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        for all that you’ve amassed, your truly still a giver.

  15. avatar Greg says:

    If it’s not designed by Browning or Stoner. I’ll pass on it.

    1. avatar Roy says:

      This might be the most fudd statement I’ve seen here.

  16. avatar Ben says:

    Wish I could find one in stock.

  17. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I have a EAA Gold Team Witness in 9×21 from the early 90’s that has a mag capacity of 21 rounds. 9×21 can be loaded to major power factors in IPSC.

    The CZ-75 action is an excellent basis for guns like this.

  18. avatar BusyBeef says:

    The reason I love my CZ Custom Shop Shadow 2 is because it’s so SLIM.
    If you’re shooting production you’ve only got 10-rounds anyways and if you’re shooting Carry Optics you can run extended magazines (to a point).

    No stage has more than 32 shots – so whether you’re running 20 or 26 round mags, you still need at least one mag change.

  19. avatar Bennyboy says:

    Let freedom reign! (I know it’s ring but I’m switching it up for 2020)
    Wouldn’t this gun be sweet if next year it had lavender grips?

  20. avatar GunSmyth says:

    My TSO was super nice out of the box. Trigger was 1.5 lbs and after adjusting the pre and over travel screws it’s just magic. I like the factory plastic trigger grip and feel. I have shot tons of pistols over the years and I still think the TSO is the best. The only con I can see is the mag-well ramp isn’t the best.

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