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The first CZ-branded pistol to be made in the USA is set to be the 1911 A1 seen above. With a forged steel slide and frame, stainless barrel, a couple usability tweaks over the original A1 design, and tighter fit tolerances than the original gov’t model, it sounds like a nice piece. We’ll be visiting CZ’s SHOT Show booth next week to check it out in person and to find out what else is in store for 2015. For now, CZ’s press release follows. . .


2015 brings the launch of the first pistol made in the USA that bears the CZ name. The CZ 1911 A1 is an homage to the past, a 5” government sized model built as a modern incarnation of the original 1911 A1. That original was adopted into US service in 1924, ‘improving’ on John Moses Browning’s original design. Our version makes several small ‘improvements’ as well, swapping the checkered plastic grips for checkered walnut, adding serrated slide stop, magazine catch and mainspring housing and using a stainless steel barrel. For the sake of the shooter, we elected to forgo the lanyard loop, and added a taller set of sights that are easier to use, with the front dovetailed in so that it can be swapped more easily. Though there are a number of changes, we feel the CZ 1911 is still true enough to the original service pistol to wear the A1 name.

Built with much tighter slide-to-barrel and slide-to-frame tolerances than vintage models, the result is much improved accuracy without compromising reliability. Built without a trigger safety, the trigger itself is aluminum, with pull specified at 5 lbs., give or take a pound. Its forged carbon steel frame and slide are finished in a black oxide and it ships with two 7-round magazines.

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  1. Should be a very stable shooter. And for home defense, I the dirt bag is still standing after dumping a mag into him, it is heavy enough to use as a wicked club 🙂

    • The 97 is a freakin’ great pistol. If you like .45, and you like steel, you’re almost certain to love the CZ 97. In the high gloss blue finish, which isn’t always available, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

    • Absolutely love my 97b, but rather than making me want one of these any less, it makes me want one more.

  2. Tighter tolerances are what made modern iterations of the 1911 unreliable, so WTF are they tightening up the tolerances over the A1 for to begin with?

    • That’s a gross generalization. True in some cases, yes, but not true in at least as many more. A 1911 doesn’t have to rattle like a box of rocks to be reliable. At least not in 2015. Back in the day, if you demanded that the major parts were interchangeable (which they [the gov’t] did) and you needed to mass manufacture 1911s at multiple factories, then there was no choice but to have loose tolerances. CNC machined by a single company and checked before shipping, there’s no reason not to tighten things up. Closer barrel-to-bushing, barrel-to-slide (locking lugs), and slide-to-frame fit can make for a much nicer-feeling gun that shoots a whole lot straighter without causing any reliability issues like it would have decades ago when a box of random slides from multiple manufacturers was slapped on a box of random frames.

      • A tight, reliable 1911 would have been doable a century ago, but that would require paying a skilled gunsmith many hours to hand fit everything and few people had that kind of money. Not to mention autos had a bad reputation for reliability (deserved or not) and most of America favored revolvers, so the market for high end autos was pretty limited. A century of technological develop later and most people can afford a precision fitted 1911 for about a weeks pay.

        • His next design was the Hi-Power, which was far better. My grandfather carried it during his stint WWII, after learning to hate the slopfest-low-cap 1911 during WWI.

        • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the Hi Power being massed produced by multiple companies with inter-company interchangeable parts for one of the worlds largest militaries.

        • Many of the final design issues of the Hi-Power were made by FN after Browning died in ’26, and even then, more changes and tweaks were made after the patents on the 1911 ran out in 1928.

          So while JMB did start the design of the Hi-Power, he didn’t finish it and what you know today as a Hi-Power isn’t wholly JMB’s design.

        • Hi-Power has been adopted by several dozen militaries all over the world. I’m pretty sure it has been mass produced.

  3. Yes, there already are many, many 1911’s out there to choose from. Still, there’s always room for high quality products, and high quality is probably the first thing that comes to mind when I think of CZ.

    • Doesn’t make me want it any less, just more frustrated. ESPECIALLY given that the design and materials are over a century old…shouldn’t it be entitled to be grandfathered in, no matter who builds it?

      • The evolving ‘Progressive” Handgun Roster restrictions need to be quashed for their lack of true ‘safety’ efficacy and expansion into the realm of unnecessary firearms restrictions that only create an illusion of safety.

        The newest requirements are simply predicated on ever more restrictive, ineffective, ‘safety’ standards actually intended to curtail, over time, the available selection of more modern, just as safe, or more safe, handgun choices.

        It’s the ‘grabbers in charge’ era of CA DOJ firearms policy.

        Under the current regime, ‘safety’s’ got nothing to do with it.

    • Show me a $550 1911 with a forged slide and frame… Even at $850 I’m not sure there are many others. None spring to mind. I’m sure they’re out there, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Anyone?

        • $907 is the lowest Colt 1911 MSRP. You can’t seriously be comparing the MSRP of one company to going market rate of another. The CZ will probably be $700-750 at competitive retail. I’ll certainly concede that $850 and $907 are in the same ballpark though for sure, and plenty of folks might prefer that dancing pony on their 1911.

          I’m also guessing the CZ is not a “series 80” (firing pin block), which is preferable to most anyone. As for what’s inside, I don’t know about the CZ yet. I know the Colt Series 80 models use a whole bunch of cast parts, including sear and disconnector. The extractor used to be cast/MIM but I think they changed that.

        • I honestly don’t know why someone would want a Series 80 pistol. IMO, the S-80 changes were a solution in search of a problem…. or more accurately, they were inserted into the design by lawyers.

  4. Why would this be made and marketed under the CZ brand when Dan Wesson is owned by the same company? No CZ hate here, I carry a P01 daily and also own a 75b. CZ just seems like the wrong rollmark to put on this pistol given the other options.

  5. Now let’s look at the rules of new gun availability:

    Year one – none available anywhere at any price
    Year two – a trickle at prices 20-40% above MSRP – eagerly purchased by people who immediately put them up for sale on Gunbroker at twice MSRP.
    Year three – reasonable supplies at or just below MSRP because “everybody has to have one”
    Year four – everybody has one for sale at a good discount.

    I’ll see you in about 2019.

    • About that… Might wanna get hopping on the ones still for sale commercially. I have to say I’m sad to see it discontinued before I’m ready to expand into .45

  6. CZ in itself are my favorite platform’s bar none. As a 10mm shooter, if they could do a 10 in the 97 platform as alot of 10mm shooters would throw money in a second.

    • Same here, CZ 75 based pistols point and shoot like no other. I would buy one in a second. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the original Bren 10 was a CZ “inspired” design.

      • Yes, the Bren 10 was inspired by the CZ75. The Bren project was new but didn’t have the chance to get the bugs worked out and bankrupted. Norma loads were spot on, not the pistol. I see the 97 as a more robust pistol than the Bren or CZ75 for obvious reasons. The Witness line Elite Series on up are fine.

    • As I related recently, I shot the tightest 15 round group (at five yards) of my lifetime with a 97 (decocker). Even though it’d be a new caliber for me (yes, I never owned a .45) I would have bought the gun on the spot except for one thing.

      It jammed several times in just one box of ammo.

      The idea of chambering it in 10mm is interesting, to be sure. Not sure what I’d feed it though.

      • The 97 does have a rep for being a target pistol that’s picky about the ammo it’s fed. Doesn’t like hollow points, doesn’t like certain overall lengths and bullet shapes. Totally reliable with the ammo it likes, and a freaking tack driver. But the general dislike of hollow points and sensitivity and such basically relegates them to target shooting and gun games…

        BTW it is possible to convert a CZ 97 to 10mm if you’re dedicated enough:

        • This particular 97 was a range rental, firing the range’s ammo. It’s quite likely it was bone dry or filthy or both. But since I didn’t know for a fact that’s the only reason it failed… no go. (I’ve tried guns there that did just as poorly (e.g., the RAMI), but ended up buying the model when I made sure they knew beforehand the gun had to work, and they made sure it was cleaned and lubed. A hundred fifty rounds 90 slow and 60 rapid with no failures was a heck of a lot better than multiple instances of failure and actually feeling the slide slam home after the bang in fifty rounds.)

          I attributed the accuracy of this trial to the fact that for once in my life I could actually SEE the front sight dot against the black target. (I seriously doubt I shoot better than my guns do.) The fiber optic is enough to compensate for these 51 year old eyes (that are so FUBAR my optometrist doesn’t even TRY to sell me on LASIK). Too bad fiber optic has a rep for falling apart. Anyhow, figuring that I and the gun worked well together when the gun did its job of frigging chambering the round, I was happy with that part of the equation, but not the other. Now you’ve given me more info that inclines me further away from buying the thing. I did need to hear that. Thanks.

  7. A 1911 with tighter specs that the original GI 45 is asking for trouble. The GI specs are what makes the 1911 reliable. CZs tighter specs won’t be like Cabot but it can create reliability issues. That aside, Every reputable firearms company knows it needs a 1911 in the catalog. A hundred years from now people will be defending themselves with John Moses Browning’s masterpiece. Glock won’t even be in business unless they are making phasers. If Jean Luc Picard had a 1911 he wouldn’t have been captured by the Borg.

  8. You know… I just don’t know why companies churn out 1911s like their tapioca. It’s a great gun, don’t get me wrong. There’s dozens of old designs that would sell if someone would just start making them.

    I suppose most gun makers are more interested into what they know will sell rather then something that they have to take a bit of a chance on.

      • A good example, yes. But I was thinking of slightly more… exotic. Maybe something like a C96 or a Luger. Or hell, for more modern guns like the Desert Eagle or the TEC-9. All of these are pretty much range toys, but either expensive or hard to get.

  9. *facepalm*

    This will be another overdone finicky piece of crap, only this time CZ’s own name is on it. Way to sh!t on your own good record, guys.

    • I kinda doubt it. It looks like they’ve kept things simple, and CZ-USA does have access to 1911 expertise in the form of Dan Wesson, which it owns. I’ll put $5 on the line and bet you that these end up being solid, well-sorted pistols. And no, I have no advance knowledge and only found out about it this morning. And yes, I’ll literally PayPal (or snail mail) you $5 if they end up being finicky pieces of crap 🙂

      • I really do hope you’re right about this. For all that I slam ’em I wish to hell there was such a thing as a 1911 I could trust *before* buying it and finding out the hard way. (Yes, I know ANY brand or design can have a lemon, but I’ve learned simply through keeping my eyes open that it’s MUCH more likely with 1911s. One can buy CZs, Glocks, Sigs, et. al. knowing a lemon is unlikely but with a 1911 the probability that you’re going to have to find someone to unload the thing on is much higher. And I really can’t, in good conscience, sell a POS to someone without his/her understanding of what’s up.)

        I carry CZs, either 75s or their derivatives (and now I have to specify that last part, dammit). Furthermore, I buy the cocked-and-locked variety. Hmm, all steel, operates like a 1911 should with one exception (a 1911 owner doesn’t have to do anything differently with a 75. The only difference from the user’s standpoint is the 75 has second strike.) Clearly I’d be a natural for a 1911–if only I had ever seen one that f*cking worked. But you know, I’ve seen too many incidents of people bragging on their 1911 never failing, then personally seeing it do so within the next 15 minutes to actually trust peoples’ accounts of how reliable their babies are. I don’t think they are lying, I think they genuinely forget their guns’ failures. So I’ll not buy a used (thus presumably vetted) one either.

        Certainly if someone can actually do it, CZ can. Well… they certainly have good engineers at their factory in Uhersky Brod. Are they working on this? If it’s local (i.e., American) talent, is it engineers, technicians, and workers who have the attitude that they aren’t going to let a POS out the door if they can help it, or is it marketing-oriented assclowns who figure there are a bunch of suckers out there who’ll jump on 1911s and overlook the failures? Or just as bad, themselves so in love with the idea of John Moses Browning as God (you know the type) that they’ll overlook their own failures?

        In principle, I’d take that bet, hoping to lose. The problem becomes, how do we score it?

        There WILL be people who buy one and have trouble with it. There WILL be people lucky enough to get one that works. (And before tdiinva starts babbling about Rock Islands, I’ve recently been informed that at least one 1911 I saw fail was in fact a Rock Island–a friend of mine who was with me actually gives enough of a damn to find out what model something is; to me I just see a 1911. Today I’d ask what it is, but frankly, for some reason, I don’t see a lot of 1911s at the range! So even if tdiinva is, on the whole, right about them, Rock Islands aren’t immune.) We’ve all seen people assert that a certain specific brand of 1911 is a piece of crap because theirs was, and others who swear theirs worked right out of the box (which, comma dammit, is how it should be). So anecdotal data will be worthless for several years; after which we’ll be able to get a vague sense for just what percentage of them are crap.

        We *could* go on the basis of what will be an inevitable TTAG review, provided it tried a large enough variety of ammo, including hollowpoints but to my mind it wouldn’t really settle the actual question. You (or whoever gets to play with the gun) might have just got lucky or been fed the special reviewer model. (Sadly, the only way I can think of to avoid the latter issue would be to actually *buy* one, personally.) I might be willing to do this, on the understanding that the bet is REALLY about how the review goes, not whether or not the gun is a decent model overall. (Conversely, if the gun reviewed was chosen by the manufacturer, and then really does suck, a la Cabot, I guess we would know something, and it wouldn’t be good.)

        I personally would want to hear about what happened with *thorough* checks of about ten guns (multiple types of ammo including a variety of different hollow points)–the good news is I don’t need to see an accuracy test on every one, just functionality, both slow and fast–if more than one is a jam-o-matic out of the box (well OK lube it before firing), a 20% failure rate, forget it. If exactly ONE is, check another ten; if they are ALL good (i.e., a 5% lemon rate) then there’s a decent chance we actually have a winner here. Sadly I don’t see anyone with the budget to thoroughly try out ten guns with all sorts of different kinds of ammo.

        So I ask, what’s the standard of your proposed wager to be? If it is the TTAG review, I wouldn’t consider it as necessarily settling the real question, though I might be open to a slightly different bet, that “the CZ 1911 will pass the TTAG review” that specifies beforehand A) straight out of the box (except one’s allowed to lube it) and CZ’s magazine(s), and B) the amounts and types of ammo. Personally I’d like to see five different commonly-available and popular varieties each of ball and hollowpoints, both rapid fire (at least 30 rounds, preferably 60) and slow fire (same amount), but that’s negotiable if it’s not doable C) specifies that so much as one stoppage of any kind with the supplied mags means the gun loses. I might relax this if it’s clear that there’s exactly ONE kind of marginally-SAAMI ammo it just hates but works flawlessly with the rest. I’ll add D) if it’s really, hideously inaccurate (and we’d have to agree beforehand what that means), the gun loses–I personally don’t care about “tackdriver” as much as I do “looks like it will work when you need it to,” but really atrocious accuracy should be penalized. As I said, it wouldn’t settle the real question, but actual success on the gun’s part with that many different kinds of ammo would be a STRONG indicator and is an objectively scoreable criterion (unlike anecdotes) and is feasible (unlike testing 10 or maybe 20 randomly selected guns).

      • A related point:

        and CZ-USA does have access to 1911 expertise in the form of Dan Wesson, which it owns

        And what is Dan Wesson’s actual rep for functional reliability? I’ve heard nothing about them one way or the other (except people wishing they’d bring back their revolvers). I *have* read them bragging about hand fitting but to me that’s actually a bad sign, meaning tight tolerances, etc. *IF* I thought I could trust it, the Razorback would tempt me. As it is, I’d be afraid of mine turning out to be finicky and requiring a brand of 10mm ammo that’s unfindable.

        • Dan Wesson’s rep is solid. I know that every now and then a pistol escapes the factory that doesn’t run well, but their customer service is possibly the best in the industry. Their warranty department apparently does a lot of sitting around on their asses so turnaround is extremely quick should it have to go back for some reason. I shot a Valor out of the box and it did not have a single hiccup of any sort, including with reloads. The company’s philosophy is minor hand fitting, meaning things are CNC machined to close enough tolerances that hand fitting isn’t really necessary. The slides are lapped to the frames for smoothness, and then the small parts receive some hand fitting/polishing as needed.

          …and Dan Wesson revolvers are back! I’ve been shooting a new 715 (.357/.38) for a couple months now and it’s what you’d expect from DW, which built it’s good reputation on its revolvers.

          At any rate, I highly doubt the CZ 1911 will be as tight as a DW. RE $5 bet, I was thinking of basically just aggregating all of the feedback found online after it’s available for a few months and seeing what people say. Is anyone having problems? People with problems are pretty dang vocal on the forums and such.

        • After I wrote this pair of responses I spotted your link to your review of the Dan Wesson. It certainly does SOUND like they have the right idea here. If that translates to this 1911 it will shame all the other “basic” 1911 manufacturers into maybe improving their crap products. (Though that hasn’t worked with their Dan Wesson models; we still have Cabot type sh!t out there (much less otherwise good guns that take a thousand rounds to break in) in spite of this example.)

          Here’s my counterproposal: OK, major problems reported by more than one person: I win, Lots of good comments, no bad commentary, you win. Lack of comments (i.e., no data) or only ONE distinct complainer, we call it a push, neither one wins. We wait a year from when it starts being seen in the wild.

          Make sense?

        • Haha yeah, it makes sense. But maybe we can just wait for a critical mass of feedback, including high round counts through a sufficient number of guns. Not sure what this is, but I’m sure we can agree one some sort of “know it when we see it” number. I mean, if 3 months from now there are 100 range reports on forums and 20 “professional” reviews (excluding gun magazines and anyone sponsored or otherwise suspect in the honesty or motivation department) and we’re seeing a pretty clear trend towards champ or crap then maybe we don’t have to wait a year. I’ll put the $5 in the bank now though and at the end of the year it might be worth $5.00001 with all of the interest 🙂

  10. Unfortunately, we downtrodden gun owners in California will not be able to buy one of these until we defeat the idiotic not unsafe handgun roster. Come on Pena vs. Cid or in the meantime, SSE V2. Need one of these.

  11. So I instead of innovating the next new product they make a 1911? Great. What’s next? They gonna make an AR-15?

    • They’ve been doing a lot, actually. After I posted this, CZ sent me their “New and Updated for 2015” distributor flyer thing and there’s a ton going on there. I’ve written another post based off of it because there’s so much in there that I think it’s newsworthy. And RE an AR-15… no… they’re releasing the 805 Bren in the U.S. this year, which is way better. And the Scorpion Evo 3. And lots of other cool stuff.

      • I know that 805 Bren just absolutely LOOKS badass (wonder if there will ever be a 308 version?). I’ve never seen them compared side by side or anything like that. The Skorpion doesn’t excite me for some reason, to each their own.

  12. I predict a lot of CZ fans will pick this up just to say they have a 1911 from CZ. Something to add to their collection.

    I have been very happy with my Auto Ordnance 1911 GI. Fit and finish are excellent.

    • I am a CZ fan and my going in reaction was the opposite, I didn’t want CZ sullying their own good name offering yet another craptastic 1911 (see above for that convo). Now I am going to wait and see.

  13. Very cool. CZ is on my extremely short list of gun makers where I feel comfortable buying anything they make on an impulse. I don’t own a single CZ that hasn’t been a great weapon, nor do I own a single CZ where I didn’t feel like I got a lot for the money I plunked down for it. Awesome company.

    I really don’t need another 1911 though…but “need” is a very subjective word.

  14. If it were a 9mm 1911 I’d be sold. My 75-SP01 is a fantastic gun. I’d trust CZ to put the same quality into a 1911 as well. Just don’t like shooting 45 for cost reasons nothing else really personal against the cartridge.

  15. Like Porsche making SUV’s. CZ makes a gun that the faithful deem as questionable, maybe even objectionable (rails on the OUTSIDE!–say it ain’t so!). But these companies are in business to make money. CZ definitely believes this to be a money maker, therefore it goes into production. I won’t buy one, but I won’t stop buying CZ guns because of it.

  16. I don’t care if its another 1911.. After 10 years of shooting I’ve grown very fond of my CZ’s. A p-01 and a 452 mil trainer are in my safe. I’d love to shoot cz’s offering. I don’t own a 1911 but always wanted a standard one. Made in America. Could be my first

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