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Like many in the gun buying community, I follow fads with firearms and buy into marketing hype. I had a couple skinny 9’s, and sold them. I have a pocket .380 and try to leave it in my safe whenever possible. I had a grip of GLOCKs, and sold them. I did the government 1911 thing for a while, wanting to carry what I compete with until I wore a hole in my favorite pair of jeans from that ridiculously long muzzle in my IWB holster . . .

The 1911 represented my first serious exposure to steel-framed guns. I got into guns during the height of GLOCK’s dominance on the competitive circuit, so plastic frames obviously made the most sense. I shot my GLOCKs to the left (my issue, not the gun’s), and I couldn’t hammer out the hellacious split times many could on follow-ups.

I switched to steel-framed guns as they became en vogue and holes started magically appearing down range where I wanted them to. All of a sudden I could call my shots. My sights settled back on target more consistently.  The flex in plastic frames kept me from using as much grip strength as I should have, and that made all the difference.

I couldn’t be bothered with buying new pants semi-annually. I wanted to carry a steel/alloy framed gun. I wanted more capacity than my 1911 offered. I didn’t want a grip safety. I wanted a shorter barrel on a slide thickness approximately the same as my 1911. I wanted a manual of arms similar to my 1911 competition blaster. Basically, I wanted a 2011 set up for carry. But since I didn’t have an extra two G’s sitting around to buy an STI, I explored other avenues.

On the Production/SSP side of the house the CZ SP01 became more and more common. It made sense; they are super easy to shoot and accurate. The 75 platform basically feels like a 1911 (or a Hi Power) and has obscene practical accuracy in my hands. Oh, did I mention the most important part yet? Satisfying my inner peacock. Like a woman buying pretty underwear who no one will see but her, I wanted a blaster with character. I wanted something I could festoon with obnoxious G10 grips in outlandish colors, or something that oozed classic cool dressed up in wood. Enter the CZ 75B Compact.

Short(er) barrel? Check. Grip Safety? None in sight. Interchangeable grips? You betcha. Telepathic accuracy? Indubitably. You know the best part? It’s how the 75 pattern pistol handles recoil. I could never run my G19 like the hog leg-esque semi autos I run in competition. The 19 and the 75B C are nearly identical dimensionally, but the 75B C shoots like a much larger gun. That’s a cliché, but it’s absolutely the truth.

The 75B C is also approximately 50% heavier than a G19, so be warned. Intellectually, the CZ is thicker than my 1911 (or G19 for that matter), but I don’t notice it. It’s easy to get a nice firing grip on an IWB holster and deploy rapidly and consistently, which is more than I could say for my stint with skinny 9s.

Do I miss my 45’s or feel out-gunned with my baby bullet 9s? Not at all. I have 15 of those suckers on tap in a platform that becomes a veritable bullet hose at a moment’s notice. The 75’s are boss for delivering rounds on target quickly. And this little compact has me eying the CZ catalog to pick out my next gaming gun.

(See the rest of the posts in this series here. Send your What I Carry and Why submissions with a photo to [email protected] with WICAW in the subject line.)

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  1. Now that is a dream carry gun. It is a real looker and shooter. If I were six inches taller or bigger around, I would seriously consider a CZ75 PCR. Thanks for this write-up!

  2. Could it be that your ability to fire the CZ more accurately than the Glock can be attributed to the trigger, and maybe the mass, and not because of the “flex” of the Glock’s composite frame?

    • I can shoot a glock well, but the grip I use on CZ’s and 1911’s is a lot stronger. When I do it in a hurry I start to feel the grip flex a bit then back off, the CZ’s and 1911s don’t bend. The trigger doesn’t help, sure, but I got pretty nice triggers on my game Glocks for a while.

      • My grip on steel frame guns is more solid, it doesn’t shift in my grip slightly during trigger manipulation so it settles down more consistently. The slide moves faster as well so sights are back on target a little bit quicker. Since it’s slide in rails there is less reciprocating mass. you’d think that would be an academic difference only, but you really can feel it in your hands if you know how to drive a gun.

    • I’m envious. I’ve already planned out my bevvy of CZ’s. I’d like to own at least 5.

      I really like the tactical sport. That gun is a great value.

  3. I know someone with one of the PCR models, their’s isn’t as pretty as this one (but grips are replaceable). It’s a joy to shoot, and very accurate, but it is pretty hefty. She carries it in her purse (and yes, I’ve discussed why off body carry is not ideal), and the weight is noticeable. But having the extra rounds over my single stack Shield is probably a comfort.

    I’ve been hankering for a CZ for a while, maybe I need to make that a little more of a priority, they certainly seem to be a sweet piece of hardware.

  4. “Oh, did I mention the most important part yet? Satisfying my inner peacock. Like a woman buying pretty underwear who no one will see but her, I wanted a blaster with character.”

    lulz. That is a boderline BBQ gun. I think you sold me and everyone else who has commented so far.

  5. I carried CZ75D PCR for about 4 years until CT made me have to have less than 10 bullets. I’ve never picked up a factory gun that fit my hand so nicely as that one.

      • I personally do not like the RAMI. I’d just as soon buy 10 rounders than another gun. That said I have transitioned to carrying a revolver and for EDC at work purposes it is a better fit.

        I have also have a pre B CZ85 that I got for $250 because I couldn’t buy the mags with it.

  6. I bought one a couple of years ago and here are the no bull crap pros and cons.

    The original design had been modified by doing away with the slide stop plate to save money. The new design simply holds in the firing pin in with a flimsy sheet metal roll pin. Dry fire the gun and the sheet metal roll pin will break allowing the firing pin to fly out the rear end of the gun. CZ even gives you a bag of plasticky snap caps so you will not break the gun.

    The steel frame CZ75 compact is a very heavy gun to carry every day but you can get the aluminum frame version. CZ went to a plasticky op rod which was probably more to save money rather than prolong the life of the aluminum frame as many guns in the past had steel op rods and aluminum frames. My steel frame gun had a plasticky op rod as well and I promptly threw it right into the trash as it would curl up 45 degrees whenever the slide was drawn to the rear. It did not impair function but it did cause me to throw up when seeing this so I went on line and bought a stainless steel op-rod but it is not recommended for the aluminum frame CZ compact.

    The safety on my Compact did not work because of a very weak detent, this surprised me because my 1980’s CZ 75 has a strong detent so I could not use the manual safety on the newer compact because it would just fall back into the fire mode.

    The single action trigger pull has plenty of creep but I expected this because my much older CZ75 full size gun has it too.

    Reliability was good but accuracy was poor and did not compare to my Glock 19 or Walther P5 or Walther P99 or HK P30 or Sig 228. Still the little CZ blaster is accurate enough for close range blasting so I have kept it.

    • Oh darn–plastic parts? That’s kind of a downer for me, guess I’ll stick with the all-steel comblock milsurp for awhile yet. Still a nice-lookin’ gun tho.

    • The FP roll pin can break with excessive dryfire. That is a downside. you can also use an O ring to deaden the impact of the hammer on the firing pin. I always use snap caps for dry fire practice, regardless of handgun design, and would recommend it to anyone.

      They also added a firing pin block, which is why they changed the design, early models don’t have a firing pin block or the associated lifter in the sear cage. My example and the ones I’ve handled have all had good, positive safeties, not that I’d use them for a double action gun anyway.

      Similar to the 1911, and spending 1911 fire controls kit kind of money, you can make CZ triggers ridiculously nice. It’s not necessary, but for gaming it is recommended. I’ve spent that kind of money on other platforms triggers for competition with less effect.

      The accuracy of this example (and all CZ’s I’ve shot) is very good. Noticeably better striker guns I’ve owned (which were acceptable in their own right), and probably on par with my production 1911.

      • The new firing pin block had absolutely nothing to do with dropping the original firing pin plate. It was done to cut corners and save money but naturally not lower the price. Many other designs of auto pistols have passive firing ping safeties and they do not have a delicate sheet metal roll pin holding in the firing pin.

    • I’ve got 10,000 rounds through a 75 sp01 shadow with a plastic guide rod that shows no signs of wear. My shadow and my tristar c-100(75 compact clone with aluminum frame) have both been dry fired more than a reasonable person would with no issues relating to the firing pin( I did break the original trigger return spring).

  7. I also go left with boxy plastic pistols. I have always attributed this to being a left eye dominent righty. My sight line always drifts to the left over the flat top. Curvy slides make two eyed sighting right down the barrel very natural. I just point and shoot.

    I don’t get the grip safety hate. I have never heard of one failing. A grip safety, which JMB considered the primary safety on the 1911, allows you to safely carry a holstered gun in condition 1 and makes administrative handling more secure in XD series pistols. Any pistol with a grip safety is safer than one without one without sacrificing ready to shoot capability.

    • I got sand in a grip safety at the beach and it nearly siezed it up. It was an extreme circumstance, but turned me off to my 1911 for carry. I would be OK with the 1911 design probably 99% of the time.

    • “I don’t get the grip safety hate. I have never heard of one failing.

      In addition to the failure mentioned above, here’s one. It’s not a mechanical failure of the safety itself, but a failure of that safety “system” in a real gunfight:

      Justin Schneiders got into a gunfight while using a Wilson 1911. In that gunfight, he was shot in both hands. While returning fire, his wounded hand could not compress the grip safety, though at the time, he thought he had had a malfunction.

      When he did his malf drill, he ejected a live round and essentially realized what the problem was and got back in the fight. That ‘failure’ could have gotten him killed, however, as the bad guy was still armed and shooting.

      “A grip safety … allows you to safely carry a holstered gun in condition 1”

      I, and many others, routinely and safely carry Condition 1, Cocked and Locked, with a pistol that does not have a grip safety, so a grip safety is not a prerequisite of safe Condition 1 carry.


      So long as the gun is in the holster where it should be and so long as I don’t screw around with it and break the actual “four rules,” a grip safety doesn’t add anything in practical terms.

      I get that you are a 1911 fan-boy, but really, please recognize this for what it really is: nothing more than your personal preference (which is cool) and not some absolute, science facty based “reason” that one gun design is “better” than another. You don’t have to “justify” your choice to prefer one particular gun just like no one else should have to try to convince you why their choice is valid for them.

      • To be fair to TDI, usually when he starts talking about grip safeties, he’s urging Glock owners to switch to XDs as additional insurance against the possibility of “Glock foot” caused by something depressing the trigger of the gun as it is holstered. When he is speaking in that context, of a gun with no way to “lock” it, I agree he has a point; a grip safety can serve as a “safety net” for that day when you won’t quite be cautious enough.

        Unfortunately, just this once, that isn’t the context, and you (JR) are right in pointing out that it’s simply not a factor in a cock-and-lock-able design.

  8. Wow! Who knew so many CZ lovers would come out of the wood work? I too am a big CZ fan. My first exposure to CZ was back when I worked at a gun range that had one. That thing got used hard but it was very reliable and was as accurate in my hands as any 1911. I went deep down the 1911 rabbit hole for several years and have fallen for almost every fad in the polymer pistol evolution. I like most guns, including may made of polymer, and will continue to own pistols from different manufacturers for different reasons. But my very favorite pistol to just go shoot and carry has to be my CZ 75C for similar reasons stated by the author.

    The biggest negative is the seemingly limited availability of holsters and accessories for CZ pistols. As popular as they seem to be, you’d think there’d be more aftermarket support than there is.

    • Try being left handed and trying to find a holster… It seems the market has opened up a bit more now than it was about 5 years ago.

    • To Some Guy and couple others: I have a 75B Compact and have learned IWB holsters made by Don Hume and Bianchi for the Glock Model 36 will fit the CZ perfectly. No kidding; there may be other Glock 36 leather that also fits, but the Hume and Bianchi IWB’s are just right. If you’re fortunate enough to know J.W. O’Rourke of Hartselle, Alabama, his excellent Glock 36 IWB is another perfect CZ 75B fit.

  9. My cz 75 c clone is a Tristar c100 it cost around $300. It is as perfect as a pistol can be. It outshoots anything I have ever shot, I talking about you Kimber.

  10. +1 for CZ

    EDC = CZ P-07 w/ tritium. 15+1 rds of 9mm. Thin for the capacity, carries well.

    Trigger is good in both double and single action.

    • no, I carry at half cock, or whatever CZ calls it. If you block the hammer with your off hand thumb, pull the trigger, then remove your thumb the hammer settles down into a notch (same notch the decocker models decock into). The manual safety cannot be engaged with the hammer down. Not sure how you could unintentionally engage the safety on it.

        • I don’t believe they make an 85 compact, though I could be mistaken

          The only use for the 85 model number (again if I’m not mistaken) is 9mm full size with ambi safety. The 40 cal C75 is ambidextrous by default. (CZ model designations are even crazier than Glock’s are).

        • No, they don’t. Would be sweet if they did, but generally their smaller guns are set up for one side vs. another. I believe you can add an ambi safety to any safety model.

  11. I recall some letting me take a compact/subcompact CZ 9mm for a test drive. I’m pretty sure he said that the frame was alloy vs. steel. What model would that have been?

    • CZ 75D PCR – Police Czech Republic, a variant with an alloy frame, a different slide shape w/ front cocking serrations. It was a handful of ounces less, I want to say like 28 oz vs. 33.

      CZ 75 P01 is an alloy framed full length dustcover gun with a light rail, decocker only, different slide shape, thicker frame.

      Those are the aluminum ones.

  12. The timing of THIS article is my karma.
    I just let a CZ75 compact walk outa my LGS last weekend after hemming and hawing for two weeks about getting it.
    I fell in love at first hold.
    THE BEST pistol is own is a CZ 40B, (and i have some nice iron). Every one that has shot it has commented positively on the experience.
    Thanks for the “push”.
    The next one will not get away…

    • I don’t know of anyone in the gun community who isn’t an enabler. This is a really fun gun to shoot, it carries wonderfully, it’s super accurate, and you can dress them up with grips. I might have gone with a PCR if the duo tone wasn’t an option as I’m a slave to vanity.

  13. Excellent carry choice! The CZ 75 series pistols fit my hand like a glove and shoot great. In my opinion they and the Browning Hi-Power are the most natural pointing and comfortable feeling semi-autos, like a natural extension of your arm.

  14. I carry a Tristar/Canik C-100. With the aluminum frame it is lighter than the Compact. The fame also has the same profile as the Compact and is not as bulky as the PCR. It also has a manual safety like the Compact. CZ 75 Meprolight sights are on it as well as VZ grips (matches my Shadow). The nice part is the holsters for my 75 Shadow work with it as well as the magazines, I use CZ Compact holsters for carry, exact fit. Also the hammer, and firing pin springs are the same as CZ so I can easily tune the double action pull. The only thing I miss is the Kadet kit is not compatible.
    One trick for any CZ Compact is to use a full size magazine with w SP01 base pad. Fills in the gap nicely

    • Yeah I’m going to get a set of mags for competition to shoot some CCP with this gun and I’ll use those mags provided they are legal, if not I’m going to get one for my pocket mag.

    • sootch00 has an Omega video that A/B’s the traditional 75B action to the 75 Omega action. There’s a difference obviously, I’m not at all prepared to expound on it.

  15. Oh yea… Now your talking. My EDC is my P07 ….utterly reliable with thousands of rounds through it. I’m larger than average so I can conceal it easly in a SHTF gear IWB holster. My easy chair gun hidden in the magazine rack is a P09 loaded with 19 rounds. This is my competition back up gun also. My comp gun is a Shadowline Orange. Words can’t describe how easy it is to shoot. I’m holding a 75 compact in my safe for a friend who is traveling, she won’t sell it to me but I will end up getting one. Great artical….love the cz’s….best pistols for the money for me….

    • SHTF made my holster for this gun. the ACE Gen 2 is hands down my favorite hybrid holster I’ve experienced. Compact design, well made, well designed. No material to rub on establishing a firing grip. Stout leather backing, well formed kydex. Throw some UltiClips on it and you’re ready to rock and roll.

  16. “wore a hole in my favorite pair of jeans…” Exactly what happen to me with my Surefire EB2. Wife stitched it up though. She now does it every quarter and on the fourth time i buy a new pair.

  17. You saved me the trouble of writing my own article.

    I don’t compete with race guns or anything like them, but I carry a CZ-75 Compact during winter time, it’s not a two-tone and it doesn’t have wood grips, but it works! Summer time I am more likely to open carry and do a full size.

    I’ve occasionally used a RAMI for times when I need to conceal and can’t just throw a jacket on. I can make that sucker disappear under an untucked shirt, aliengear holster. (It’s possible I could do likewise with the compact, I’ve never tried it even though I have an aliengear for it as well.

    When I am talking to someone who knows the glock model numbers, I will (jokingly) refer to my full size as a CZ-17, the compact as a CZ-19 and the RAMI as a CZ-26. Mag interoperability is just as good as it is with Glocks. The one in 40 is of course the CZ-22. (You can theoretically find a compact in 40 as well, and I’ve seen RAMIs in 40 also.)

  18. I carry the CZ 75 P01 daily… and I mean daily. From the standpoint of reliability, accuracy, concealed carry (I use the thin aluminum cz custom grips) good sight picture. DUDE! what’s not to like, seriously. LEGIT

    • My friend carries a P01 and my carry gun is a P01. They are just an all around great pistol. Good size, accurate, 14+1, and not too heavy. I’ve even been bringing mine to 3 gun style shooting competitions because I like it so well. The P09 has been sitting at home even though it has a 5 round capacity over the P01. Although if I add a red dot to my P09, I might have a lot more fun with it.

  19. If you like the 75 compact, try a Sphinx sub-compact. A wonderful little gun with great capacity. Similar in size to a RAMI.

  20. How do you feel about the smaller slide in failure drills? The only reason I don’t carry a CZ (although I have been eyeballing the CZ PCR pretty hard lately) is the fact that I don’t feel like I have enough slide to grab during a stovepipe or any other time I would need to perform a “tap, rack, bang”.

  21. Speaking of underwear, I just about shat mine yesterday at Sportsman’s Warehouse while checking the prices of various magazines. At least $40 – $50 for most, and God help the poor sap who owns a SIG. Convinced me that a good ol’ revolver is the only way to go. If I ever go back to a semi, it’ll have to be a 1911 or a Glock just because extra mags are still barely affordable at $20 – $30. Hard to believe, but if some thug got the drop on you and relieved you of all your hardware he’d probably drop your EDC down the nearest sewer and go pawn your mags instead!

    • MecGar makes the CZ mags so the MecGar mags are available for about $22 and they work great. is a great source for MecGar stuff

      • About the only thing I’d do is buy the rubber base plates (this applies to any and all CZ mags, this isn’t a comment only about MecGar aftermarket). The metal ones will bend on the corners if you drop the mag–even an empty mag–on a hard surface.

        When I realized this and made the switch, I had to actually cut one metal plate off the mag, it had become bent so badly.

        That, and a tritium dot night front sight on my full size, are the only after-market mods I felt a CZ needed.


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