Hand-Picked Daily GUN DEALS, and Exclusive Coupons Codes >>>

[Review] CZ-75: Checking Out a Czech Classic

The CZ 75 is one of Czechoslovakia's finest exports. If you've been thinking about picking one up, we've got all the info you need to make a decision.

What’s better than a classic, steel framed American pistol?

How about a steel framed Czech pistol?

CZ 75 Slide
Looks pretty sharp right?

Of course, I am talking about the CZ-75.

The venerable CZ-75 is a classic design that still serves in many militaries around the world…and its a great addition to any firearm collection.

Today, we’re going to take a long look at what makes the CZ-75 so popular and so special.

Most importantly, we are also going to cover why the CZ-75 and it’s subsequent designs are some of the most underrated firearms on the market.

Table of Contents


History of the CZ-75

The Koucky Brothers…that name ring a bell?

CZ 75 Profile
The Koucky brother’s baby…the CZ-75

When I say John Browning, you know who I’m talking about.  The same goes for Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, and Samuel Colt.  Gun guys and gals recognize these names and the guns associated with them.

The Koucky Brothers, not so much.  They are, however, very prolific gun designers.

They designed semi-automatic rifles, machine guns, and an impressive line of bolt actions rifles.

And of course the CZ-75.

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The CZ-75 is the most well known of the brother’s designs.  What’s interesting is that with the CZ-75 the brothers were given complete and total freedom to design the pistol.

 This luxury was rare back then, and its still something that most gun designers don’t get unless they have their own shop…which usually means they don’t have the money to do everything they want.

This freedom led to the most copied pistol of all time.

Unfortunately, due to the soul crushing weight of the Soviet Union, the Koucky brothers’ CZ-75 was under a ‘secret’ patent.  This meant no one in Czechoslovakia could patent the pistol, but there was no patent protection abroad.

Soviet Russia Pikachu
Soviet Russia is a rough place

Anyone could build the handgun and sell it without tossing a dime to the Koucky brothers.  This led to a variety of companies cloning the design.  Companies in Italy and Turkey still make CZ-75 clones to this day.

What is interesting is the most well respected CZ-75s are still built and sold by CZ.  It’s odd that a gun born behind a wall of Communism exemplifies one of the tenets of Capitalism…if you build the best one, people will come (and buy it).

Design of the CZ-75

So what’s kept the handgun so prevalent for so long?

It’s the design.

Some kind of magic was imbued on the CZ-75 when it was designed.  The pistol is remarkably comfortable in the hands of almost all who hold it.

The CZ-75’s grip is one of the most comfortable on the market.  It’s thin…like the Koucky brothers knew that comfort was important.  Plus the CZ-75’s controls are all within easy reach of the operator’s thumb.

The most distinguished feature is the fact the slides rides inside the frame rails.  Traditionally the slide will ride on the outside of the frame rails on a semi-automatic handgun.

This design lowers the bore of the handgun.  It arguably also contributes to tighter lock up, which contributes to greater accuracy.

CZ 75 Internals
The CZ-75 is a double action / single action design, with a Browning linkless cam locking system and is short recoil operated.

At the time this pistol was cutting edge.

In 1975 the ‘wonder nine’ fascination hadn’t started just yet, but here the CZ-75 is.  It’s 16 round magazines, DA/SA design, and the fact it was chambered in 9mm puts it in the same ranks as all those other nines you’ve probably thought about buying in 9mm.

Safety on the CZ-75

The safety on the CZ-75 is interesting…and one I can appreciate.

CZ 75 Safety
CZ-75 Safety

I genuinely prefer a decocker over a manual safety on my DA/SA guns.  The CZ-75 has a manual thumb safety, mounted on the frame.

The safety will not engage when the hammer is down and the weapon is in double action mode.  The safety will engage once the handgun is in single action.  This allows for safe ‘locked and cocked carry.

There is also a half cock position to allow safe decocking of the handgun.

The Modern CZ-75

The modern CZ-75 has changed a lot since 1975.

Modern models of the CZ-75 are technically the CZ-75B.  The B stands for block, which means firing pin block.

CZ 75B Designation
CZ-75B Designation

This makes the gun drop safe, and safer in general.  My specific model is the CZ-75B Omega.

The Omega designation refers to the simplified trigger system.  Omega trigger is smoother and easier to upgrade.

While writing this article I discovered CZ has discontinued the Omega trigger in the CZ-75B series.  It’s still in use in other CZ firearms.

My CZ-75 is also finished with something called polycoat.  Apparently back in the day the standard CZ-75 had a terrible and weak enamel finish.

CZ 75 finish
CZ-75 polycoat finish

The polycoat is a baked on polymer finish that seems to be pretty strong.  I don’t baby a gun I own unless it’s an antique.

I toss them in range bags and I go shoot.  With that in mind, there isn’t a single gouge or any minor scratches in the finish.  There are also stainless steel, and two-tone models available.

On the Range

This is where the CZ-75 shines.  It’s one of the softest shooting guns I’ve ever handled.  

I teach a lot of new shooters, and most of these shooters have never fired a handgun.  I always start with a .22LR handgun.  The first centerfire handgun my students will ever touch is the CZ-75.

Recoil and muzzle rise is minimal when shooting standard 9mm rounds.  The inherent design of the gun and the all metal construction are both responsible for low recoil and muzzle rise.

The thin and ergonomic grip is perfect for almost any hand size and the manual safety will often make new shooters more comfortable…Glock triggers are scary to newbies.

CZ offers a number of different sight configurations for shooters.  This includes night sights, adjustable target sights, and the standard luminescent 3 dot sights.

This system has the standard sights and they are functional enough…they aren’t fancy but don’t need to be.  They catch the eye, are easy to line up, and let me punch holes in paper where I want them.

There is a lot of air in between the rear sight posts and the front sight, which can throw new shooters off.  I do wish they were a little bigger, but they’re easy enough to adjust to.

CZ 75 sight picture
CZ-75 sight picture

Accuracy is always subjective to the shooter.  Mechanically you’ll never outshoot this gun.  Due to its ergonomics, the CZ-75 is very easy to shoot.

However, the double action trigger is quite long and heavy.  It’s certainly far from impressive, especially compared to some of CZ competition built models.

The single action is a different beast altogether.   It’s very smooth, with a short take up, and a clean break.  There is no discernible wall before the break, which leads to increased trigger control.

Shooting the CZ 75
Shooting the CZ-75

The downside is the reset is a bit longer than I like in single action.  The trigger doesn’t reset until it is almost fully released.  This thing feels like miles of reset compared to a 1911 or my favorite, the Walther PPQ.

I will say this longer reset is good for new shooters who need to practice trigger control.

Reliability is another positive factor.  Eastern European firearms all seem to share a very high level of reliability and the CZ-75 is no different.  It seems to soldier through every single round I put through it.

This includes crappy steel cased ammunition I purchase in bulk to torture guns.

It digests and eats it all.

CZ 75 Mags
The CZ-75 is one of the more omnivorous guns out there.

CZ-75 Aftermarket

The CZ-75 isn’t as famed as the 1911 or the Glock in the United States.  However, due to its massive overseas success, there is a pretty broad aftermarket for the gun.  There are a variety of holsters, magazines, and internal upgrades one can make to ‘improve’ their handgun.

If you want to upgrade that is, its not necessary.

I’ve personally used Cajun Gun Works on my CZ P09, specifically the short reset kit and I love it, and Cajun Gun works.

I’ve also heard fantastic things about CZ Custom.

Magazine wise there are options.  CZ obviously produces a wide variety of magazines, including the standard 16 rounders.

They also produce a nice, but expensive 26 round magazine.  Mec-Gar produces some of the highest quality non-OEM magazines, and they are also the most affordable.

at GunMag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

I don’t conceal and carry this gun, but concealed carry holsters are widely available.  Galco ($73.56), Alien Gear, Tagua, and more produce holsters for the CZ-75 firearm.

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It’s a big gun, and more power to anyone who wants to carry it…it’s just a little heavy for me, personally.

By The Numbers

Accuracy 4 / 5

While mechanically this handgun is extremely accurate and was my choice to pass numerous NRA qualifications…it has one flaw.  The sights are small, and the air between the rear and front sight posts makes mistakes easy.

Ergonomics 4 / 5

It loses a point for that very long and very heavy double-action trigger.

Reliability 5 / 5

The ultimate test for any handgun is to throw cheap steel case through the gun in some substantial numbers.  

at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

That’s been the bulk of the ammo fired through this gun and it never hit any major issues.

Customization 3 / 5

As a rail-less handgun you will be limited to what you can do to customize the gun.  You can customize the internals with either Cajun Gunworks, or CZ Custom parts.  If you don’t want to dig into the internals you can swap the grips out and that’s about it.

Looks 5 / 5

This is somewhat subjective, but an all metal pistols always looks good to me.  The polycoat finish is very evenly applied, and super strong.  Even after a few years of hard use it still looks new.

Value 5 / 5

I picked my CZ-75 B up for right under 500 dollars.  For roughly the same price as a Glock you are getting a well made, all metal pistol.  It’s also reliable, and easy to shoot for beginners.  

Overall 5 / 5


The CZ-75 is still a solid and well-built pistol. It still serves with numerous security and police forces to this day. Sure, it lacks a rail on the standard models but it’s ergonomic, tough, and dependable. For that, we can’t recommend it enough.

at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What about you folks? Do you Czech yourself on occasion? Have any questions about the CZ-75? Check out our review on the CZ SP-01 variant.

The Best Gun Deals, Coupons and Finds

Subscribe to Pew Pew Tactical's sales and deals email.

32 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    toby ladd

    was told by customer service they would send a return or fix label to me, they let me set 5-6 days waiting, i called to ask if it was sent and they told me they dont have parts and did NOT let me know this until i called them. very poor customer service!

    March 3, 2023 3:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Myprecious feels

    I’ve shot the 75 and really liked it, so I bought the 97b. For a full frame 45, it’s amazing. Accurate and the recoil feels like an air rifle. If you like the nine you should try his big brother. Cz also makes amazing shotguns

    February 13, 2020 5:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      Agreed! My 97b is amazing, my 512 shotgun is great. Very happy with all of my CZ.

      February 13, 2020 6:04 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Cunty McShitterman

    I have several CZ 75 pistols. All have been extremely reliable and accurate. My favorite carry is the PCR bit heavy but I prefer it over just about everything else. Recently I got my hands on an Israeli surplus Pre B finish is mostly gone and I had to replace all the springs, extractor, and barrel bushing. She shoots like she's brand new now.

    October 20, 2019 9:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I just love your name!!

      March 14, 2020 3:58 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John handrahan

    Cz/dan Wesson is the worst company I’ve ever dealt with. They did a slide cut and lost my slide, RMR, and back up sight for my discretion that I never even shot. They sent my stuff back and didn’t ensure it for anything more than 200. It was lost. They decided not to replace the additional parts and charge me again for my slide at a “discount”. Something I already owned. I shipped it to them and it was in their custody. Now I have no gun. No one should ever do business with such a shitty company.

    October 18, 2019 12:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a 75B in .40 s&w DA.. I’ve had it for 18 years. CGW just put tritium sights on it for me. One of the many awesome upgrades they do.
    I have many other pistols including a 1911. The SA isn’t 1911 great but Is really good. DA trigger pull really isn’t that bad and smooths out over time. Once you get used to it you can shoot DA great. It so easy to stay on target and accurate. I would think anyone who shoots one that is been shot a lot would want one. Mine has a little more than 3000 rounds thru it. Can’t remember more than two FTEs and never a jam. 10 round mags. All cheap ammo and some steel case.

    February 28, 2018 9:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott wilyard

    I just bought a cz 75 b im in California so I have time to wait before I get ,I was wondering can I have the omega trigger put in this model I am new to this pistol

    February 24, 2018 7:11 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Cunty McShitterman

      No. You would need the CZ75 Omega for that. But Cajun Gun Works makes some great aftermarket triggers that can suit all your needs.

      October 20, 2019 9:38 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Nice review of one of the world’s finer sidearms. I purchased my own CZ75 back during the time in which Secret Service agents and some CIA operatives were carrying them. My pistol was shipped with a factory fired target indicated to have been fired-2 ten round groups- at 25 meters. It shipped in a rather colorful but cheaply made chipboard carton containing 2 extra magazines- all 3 are 16 round capacity- a bore brush, and military flap style holster which retains the cleaning rod and bore brush. The out of box trigger pull measured slightly over 12 lbs in DA, with subsequent follow up SA trigger pull at approximately 4-4 1/2 lbs, Trigger was far and away the SMOOTHEST DA and SA I have ever experienced from a factory pistol. Accuracy was, and still is, very, very nice.
    Based on my experience with my first CZ75, I have purchased 5 more CZ’s invthe ensuing years- 2 more pistols, and 3 rifles. All have returned high value for the dollars spent.
    My first CZ75 is a pre-decocker model and sports a proprietory bajed polymer finish(according to factory handbook) which has held up extremely well over the last 35= Years.
    CZ quality continues to sell their product for them, one reason minimal advertising is paid for by the company.
    I love my CZ’s, in case you couldn’t tell

    January 12, 2018 7:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Haha, couldn't tell :-).

      January 14, 2018 12:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Fred Gorbin

    Very fair review. I replaced my front and rear sights with tritium sights that are larger and easier to line up. Long trigger reset will be obvious to anyone familiar with shooting modern striker fired handguns. And yes, this steel beast is on the heavy side. I love shooting my CZ-75b, but it's not my everyday carry.

    That said, I love the CZ-75b. I admire it's design and the slide that rides inside the lower frame allowing the shooter to grip the pistol up closer to the bore line and reducing muzzle flip. It deserves the respect afforded to every other classic pistol design.

    December 30, 2017 5:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Travis, would you please explain why you're saying that the sights cause accuracy/precision issues because there is "too much air"?

    If I understand correctly, you're referring to the daylight visible on either side of the front sight when viewing the sight picture.

    If so, how is this a downside to them? Shouldn't that be an advantage? That's how virtually all Precision sights are designed, isn't it?

    October 23, 2017 10:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dennis W, bechtel

    I think that I am gonna buy at least three more cz pistols ,have two po9's and I love the way they shoot tight groups and they are among my fav.pistols to carry and shoot at the range,i also have a huge colt collection,we don't shoot any of these ,left to me by relatives that passed away ,colts break cz pistols just keep on shooting.

    May 12, 2017 7:17 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Doug H

    I love my CZ75B. I've used it in IPSC in the 90's and got strange looks. Then I started noticing a lot of new CZ's turn up for competition. CZ also offers a 22lr Kadet as a complete pistolor a conversion kit.

    May 12, 2017 7:09 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Chuck from GA

      I don't know, but it sounds like you don't know what you're talking about. Nobody in their right mind would use a CZ for IDPA or IPSC (just ask any 1911 shooter and they'll tell you that!). I think you're probably a Hi-Point shooter that saw one of your friends use a CZ75 in the past, and decided that you would like to someday be as cool as your buddy! Good luck with that !

      May 17, 2017 11:33 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Doug H

        Thanks Chuck! Thats rich, coming from the guy that introduced me to the CZ75. Get back to work! I may need to "borrow" some cash one day P.S. I want that factory OK red dot equipped CZ75b back!

        May 24, 2017 7:47 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Really glad Doug clarified. Sure looked like you were just being a jerk. Hahahahaha

        October 23, 2017 10:01 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Don Kovacs

    Living in the retarded state of Connecticut I cannot legally posses any magazines with over a 10 round capacity. Are any available for the CZ75?

    May 12, 2017 7:02 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Doug H

      Yes. The CZ is available w 10 rd mags. MecGar also makes aftermarket 10's.

      May 12, 2017 7:11 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    I shall purchase one of the following four guns. All are "CZ 75 B" models, similar priced, steel frame 9mm semi-auto, 4.6" barrel ("perfect" length IMO).

    The first has no suffix, the last three have suffixes as listed.
    "Omega Convertible" swap from decocker to safety operation: http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-75-b-%cf%89-convertible-omega/
    "BD" decocker: http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-75-bd-9mm-black-16-rd-mags/
    "SA" single action: http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-75-b-sa-9mm-black-16-rd-mags/

    Use is home protection, target practice, unlikely for Concealed Carry. I have no CCP and it's not currently high on my priority list. Please clarify single v. dual action. In the rare case it makes a difference, huge hands, XXL. I have more experience with rifles than pistols. My spouse may shoot it, but not often.

    I prefer the option of upgrading the trigger, even if I never do it.

    Advice welcome to help me choose one from the above list. Really looking forward to getting one of these guns.

    Thanks again for this blog! I'd love to take Pew Pew's class.

    May 11, 2017 10:46 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Travis Pike

      Single Action is like the 1911, and I wouldn't suggest it for carry over the DA/SA design. It has a better trigger, but the DA/SA design has the ability to restrike if the round doesn't ignite right away. Also the single action has a very light trigger, which is great for comp, but under stress a little extra weight can help prevent an ND.

      From the models listed above I'd go with the Omega convertible, or the decocker model for home and self defense. Don't forget to check out out P09 review for a polymer option

      May 28, 2017 9:35 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    Ignore above user error! I viewed "new for 2017" products. Steel frame 75 series proudly displayed under "Handguns." Duh! Sorry! Please return to your normal programming!

    May 11, 2017 10:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    Correction above: there is one 75, with SP-01 suffix, w/fiber-reinforced polymer frame.

    May 11, 2017 9:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    I want this gun because it's the first I learned of a reliable metal frame 9mm for substantially lower cost than my prior favorite, a $900 1911 Springfield.

    Unfortunately, the 75 does not appear on CZ's website. The only metal frame semi-auto 9mm is the $1300 stainless Shadow 2.

    Explanations welcome!

    May 11, 2017 9:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joseph Jones

    I have at least briefly sampled an estimated twenty or so gun blogs. By infinite margin this is my all time favorite, and the only I enjoy reading regularly. The mix of non-nonsense comment, lack of amateur fan boy garbage, and light hearted views (no self-importance) make this a great place to learn.

    Guns can be an intense subject. This blog makes the learning fun while transmitting a lot of useful info.

    Well done. And no, I have absolutely no relation to the blog whatsoever, and my only relationship to guns is as an amateur hobbyist.

    May 11, 2017 8:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks so much Joseph...that's a pretty awesome compliment :-)!

      June 5, 2017 12:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I fell in love with CZ's overseas during my tours in OEF and OIF where I got to see it up close, carried by foreign militaries. I have a few now, the SP-01 tac being my favorite and today added the P-10C to my ever growing CZ collection. Just like the models before it, the P-10 does not disappoint! Great article, but all you had to say was CZ!

    May 11, 2017 7:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    My first handgun was the CZ75SP01, which was the number one 9mm in numerous "Best of" internet sites. It's pretty heavy compared to plastic guns, but sure is a sweet shooter.

    May 11, 2017 7:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    CZ's are DEFINITELY underrated. Some people haven't even heard of it. The first handgun I bought was the CZ 75 SP-01. It has the rail and looks (in my opinion) much better than the 75B. CGW and CZCustom are definitely the premier and best aftermarket sites for CZ's.

    May 11, 2017 6:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Love my CZ 75B. I rarely clean it and shoot it a lot. 2000+ rounds and zero malfunctions. Can't complain with that. I tease my 1911 fan boy buddies that I need to get a 1911 so I can get more proficient in malfunction drills.

    May 11, 2017 6:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    CZ makes some sweet handguns. I have several and love them. Looking to acquire the CZ P-10C FDE soon.

    However, your holster recommendatoin needs some work. "The Federal Holsterworks ($19.99) is a great entry-level holster." No. It's not. It is a one-size-fits-none, single clip, flopping around, Chinese sweatshop-made POS. Why the hell would I put my $600 firearm in a $20 "holster"? Oh yeah. I wouldn't.

    May 9, 2017 2:51 pm
Join the community! Log in
Please provide a valid email address.
Password is required.
Please provide a valid display name.
Please provide a valid email address.
The password should contain at least 8 characters with at least one number or special character.
Please accept in order to continue.
Trouble logging in?
Type your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
Please provide a valid email.
Type your new password and hit button below to confirm it.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We already have an account registered for email address () which is linked to your Facebook account.
To log in type your Pew Pew Meter password below.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We noticed that you have previously logged in with your Account which is linked to the same email address () - we can link both of your accounts together.
In order to link your accounts, hit button below and log in to your Account with the same email as above.

Account in Pew Pew Meter means more

Check what do you get by creating an account
Check and save your reviews!
Bookmark and compare your favorite firearms
Manage your newsletter subscription
pew pew tactical logo

new here?

Personalize your experience.
Select what level shooter you are!

pew pew tactical logo

level up your gun knowledge

Thanks! We'll send you the latest guides and training tips geared towards your level.

pew pew tactical logo


You'll now receive newsletters of our best articles on techniques, guns & gear.

$47 value

yours free!

targets targets

practice targets

printer icon printable

our 9 favorite targets and drills


practice targets

printer icon printable

enter your email to download

We'll only use the information provided according to our privacy policy.

success icon

Ready to Download

Click below to begin your download

download pdf