CZ P09 Review

Let’s play a game. 

Name five modern duty pistols off the top of your head.  

Great, now how many are striker fired designs?

Most of them right?

CZ, the Czech company known for the famous CZ 75 design, has decided to change it up a bit.  The CZ P09 ($499) is their latest take on a modern duty pistol…and it’s hammer fired.

CZ PO9 FDE
The venerable CZ company has put a lot of love…and a lot of effort…into their new duty gun.

We’re going to go over everything you need to know about this Czech beauty, and give you an idea of what the venerable Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod (Aka CZ) has unleashed upon the world with their newest duty gun.

Starting with…

A Little Background on the CZ P09

 Some quick stats on the CZ P09.   

  • DA/SA action
  • Picatinny Rail for accessory attachments
  • 19 round capacity (15 in 40 S&W)
  • Comes with two magazines and two +2 extensions for ( Totals 21 rounds in 9mm and 17 in 40 S&W)

Czech Yourself

I’m a big fan of the CZ 75 series of handguns and have long enjoyed my classic CZ 75 B, including the fact it is made of metal.

I don’t dislike polymer pistols…but I found it hard to believe that you can replicate the famed ergonomics of the CZ 75 with a polymer frame.

Even though I was hesitant, I had a little extra cash and decided to modernize my CZ collection.

CZ PO9 at Range
The more modern CZ P09 is as much a product of classic CZ styling as it is modern sensibilities.

I’m a CZ enthusiast, and I tend to prefer DA/SA guns.  I carried the Beretta M9 during my time in the Marines and came to love hammer fired, DA/SA, guns.  The CZ P09 is very similar to the CZ 75, but it has a few differences.

The CZ P09 is a modern, duty-sized weapon.  This means it’s a full sized firearm, with a large capacity, and is easy to handle when firing for extended periods of time.

This specific model is my personal firearm and is chambered in 9mm.  The weapon comes in four variations, the standard all black, the suppressor ready model, the urban grey suppressor ready model, and my two tone FDE frame variant with night sights.

CZ PO9 Review
CZ P09 in Urban Gray

Why Buy a CZ P09?

The CZ P09 fits a variety of roles rather well.  Its modern design makes it a solid fit for police and military use.  Its large capacity and polymer frame keep the weapon up to date with other similar duty sized firearms.

The CZ P09 is also a great choice for a home defense handgun.  Its large size, and capacity lends itself well to the role, and it’s reliability make it a safe choice.  The ability to mount a light to the picatinny rail makes it easy to use regardless of the time of day.

Many will say a weapon like this is too big for concealed carry.  For a lot of people this may be true.

However, I’ve carried it concealed both IWB and OWB.  I’m also 6 foot 5 inches tall and weigh 250 pounds…so this may not be the best option for everyone. 

At the end of the day if someone is comfortable with carrying a full sized firearm the CZ P09 is a solid option.

Fit and Feel

The finish is a hard blackened finish that is applied evenly over the weapon.  The slide features both forward and rear grip serrations that add some extra purchase when manipulating the slide…perfect for a defensive scenario when your fine motor control might leave something to be desired.

CZ PO9 Disassembly
CZ P09 Disassembly

The polymer frame is stippled for increased grip, and right above the trigger is a stippled section to place your trigger finger.

Everything locks together smoothly.

There is no play between the slide and frame, the trigger is all-metal and semi flat, and the hammer locks forward and rearward nice and tight.

CZ put a lot of time into completing this pistol and it shows.  They modernized the CZ design where it needed to be modernized, but kept what worked from the classic CZ 75.

Ammo Used

Ammo wise I’m a cheapo.  I go with cheap ammo that works for target practice.

I’ve put steel case Tula, aluminum cased Federal, brass cased Winchester White box, and brass coated steel rounds from Freedom Munitions.  It’s all functioned perfectly fine.

However, when it comes to self-defense ammo, I tend to spend more money for high quality ammo.  I swap defensive ammo about every six months.

 When I swap to new ammo I fire the old ammo…a good practice if you’re serious about carrying.

I’ve put 20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot 124 grain ($23.75) through it without issue,  50 rounds of Winchester Ranger 115 grain ($50.75), and then 50 124 grain Sig jacketed hollow points ($15.75).  None of them had any issues. 

CZ P09 Accuracy

I’m not a bullseye shooter so I don’t get out there and measure targets with calipers.  Nothing wrong with doing it that way, but it’s not my way.

At ranges from five yards to twenty-five yards the CZ P09 performs.  The benefit of a full sized firearm is just how far you can shoot effectively with it…and this one can put rounds on target from a surprising distance.

At five yard to seven yards I can make one ragged hole.  At 10 to fifteen yards I can consistently make headshots on an FBI Q target.  From 20 to 25 yards I can make 50% of my headshots on average, and at the same time demolish the torso section.

That’s more than good enough for self-defense scenarios.

Recoil on the CZ P09

The slide sits very low compared to other modern guns.  The P09’s slide is so small and sits so low because the slides ride inside of the frame.  Most pistol’s slides ride over the top of the rail.

The benefits is lowering the bore axis, which reduces muzzle flip.  This makes it easier to stay on target when firing rapidly.

CZ P09 Slide
CZ P09 slide rails

The recoil impulse of this pistol is pretty unique.  It goes rearward and slightly up.  Normally with an average height bore axis the feeling is up and slightly rearward.

Because the weapon barely rises when firing you can get your sights back on target quickly.

Concealing the CZ P09

I prefer to carry full sized firearms when I can.  Although I cannot always carry this gun due to simple clothing requirements, many people would have trouble carrying this firearm concealed, and I’m a bit of an outlier.

To the general population this firearm is nearly impossible to comfortably carry IWB, but if you’re someone who can handle OWB carry, then this is a great choice.  Not sure what holsters to get…check out our complete Concealed Holster Guide.

Holstered CZ P09
OWB Carry with CZ P09 is totally possible…IWB is another story

Resources

The CZ series of firearms have a cult like following.  They aren’t as popular as Glocks or Smith and Wessons, but their enthusiasts love them.

There are lots of videos out there to teach you the ins and outs of CZ firearms.  I’ve installed a trigger upgrade and a short reset kit with nothing more than a punch and some Youtube videos.

Specifications

From CZ’s website:

Weight – 31 ounces

Barrel – Cold Hammer Forged

Barrel length – 4.54 inches

Safety – Interchangeable Ambidextrous, Decocker/Manual Safety

Sights – Three dot white / Night sights / Suppressor Height

Final Thoughts on the CZ P09

The CZ P09 is a classic take on CZ’s styling, updated for modern duty gun requirements.  If you’re looking for a full size polymer gun that goes bang every time…and isn’t on every other belt in the world…you could certainly do a lot worse than the P09.

Reliability – 5 out of 5

The CZ P09 continues the CZ 75’s tradition of reliability.  Even using cheap rounds the CZ P09 is incredibly reliable.

I haven’t had any malfunctions with the firearm and have had zero failures to extract, eject, or have the magazine fail in anyway.  I honestly haven’t kept an ammo count, but I’ve had the weapon for two years and it’s one of my favorite to shoot. There has been at least 500 ball rounds fired without issue.

Accuracy – 5 out of 5

We covered this more a bit above, but it’s a combat pistol and is mechanically accurate enough that you won’t outshoot it.

Ergonomics – 4 out of 5

The slide does not offer as much space to grip as a traditional firearm.  For some this makes manipulating the slide difficult, especially when attempting to clear malfunctions. With time and training it can be overcome.

The grip is quite wide compared to the CZ 75.  To be completely honest I was partially right when I said CZ could not replicate the ergonomics of the metal gun. The metal frame CZ 75 B is the superior weapon ergonomically.

With that said the CZ P09 is still quite ergonomic.  The grip is fatter than the CZ 75, but it fills my hands well.  The gun comes with a small and medium backstrap to slightly customize the weapon.

However, swapping back straps can be a pain.  Without writing the manual, it involves applying a lot of pressure to the lanyard ring while simultaneously pushing a pin out. Do the process in reverse to swap grips.

Looks – 5 out of 5

Well this is subjective, but I think the firearm looks great. Compared to a standard plastic fantastic it stands out well.

Customization – 3 out of 5

The CZ can’t touch the Glock or even the Smith and Wesson in customization.  It’s just not popular enough for lots of 3rd party support. However, CZ Custom and Cajun Gunworks offer high quality upgrades for most CZ Firearms.  I installed a short reset kit and some other parts from Cajun Gun Works and love it.

Bang for your Buck – 4 out of 5

The standard CZ p09 can be had for under 500 dollars. Between $450 and $500 for a new gun isn’t uncommon.  My FDE variant with night sights was $530 and I love it.  I’m knocking a point off because magazines are over 40 bucks apiece.  (Mec Gar makes great CZ P09 mags and I’ll buy all of them.)

Overall Score – 4.5 out of 5

The CZ P09 is an overall excellent handgun.  It’s a modern option for those who desire a polymer frame, hammer fired, DA/SA gun.  It’s taken the CZ 75 platform and brought into the modern era of defensive handguns.  The P09 is a great handgun, and it performs where it needs to.

5 Comments

  1. ive had a cz p=09 for about 17 months now ,it has never failed to feed or jammed and I use all kinds of 9mm ammo ,the gun is as accurate as a sig 229 which costs almost 3 times as much ,looking at a new p-09 in s&w 40 caliber ,then ill put my glock 22 away.i have over 6k rounds through my cz p-09 no problems at all ,I would highly recommend this pistol to anybody that gets into gunfights like me.

  2. Re. CZ polymer v. their steel frame gun, both 9mm and both full size barrel:
    Polymer has a shaper transient, plus greater magnitude of muzzle rise. I respectfully request readers qualify and quantify the above differences..

  3. The CZ 209 looks like a lot like the Sig P-226, except for polymer construction. Would be great to see review of Sig P226, and comparison of the polymer vs all metal in similar style (hammer fired) pistols. Thanks.

  4. No one mentioned the gritty, excessively long trigger pull. CZ p 09 has the worst trigger I have ever felt.

  5. My trigger is gritty and seems to rub on something in double action, (like Richard’s). Most people rave about the trigger. Did we get duds?

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