GUN OF THE WEEK
by Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the CZ-75 service pistol. The CZ-75 is arguably the finest 9mm service pistol ever produced. Others will cite, with significant justification, the SIG 210, the Browning P-35 (on which this pistol is somewhat based) and the Glock 17. All are fine pistols.
This pistol was developed by CZUB (Cheska zbojovka Uhersky Brod) in the Czech Republic in 1975. It features all-steel construction and a hammer forged barrel. The rifling in the factory barrels is unusually deep and unusually square which seems to aid in accuracy. I know mine shoots much better than I can hold and back in the day when I got it I was a better than fair pistol shot.
The weapon was originally developed for export. When development was begun, in 1969, the Czechs were still using pistols designed for the .30 Tokarev cartridge. It was largely designed by Frantisek Koucky, what had just retired but was lured back to CZ with an interesting offer. He had absolute freedom of design to develop a whole new gun from scratch. He did a hell of a job.
The gun was not even available for sale in Czechoslovakia until 1985. It was adopted by their armed forces in 1989.
I bought this particular one years ago when Czechoslovakia was still inhabited by Commie bad guys and importing from there was a no-no. An importer in Montana got a couple of hundred of them thru Canada and managed to sell a fair number before the feds shut him down. I was lucky enough to snag one. I have shot it a lot, as you can probably tell from the somewhat battered finish. I had to trim the hammer spur a tiny bit as it bit me when I shot it and I put a decent set of grips on it. The factory ones were seriously ugly. The factory sights are actually decent. It is a selective single-double action pistol. It can be carried cocked and locked, or with the hammer down and the first shot fired double-action. It holds 15 rounds in the magazine. The earlier models do not have firing pin blocks. The newer ones, with the B series designation, have this feature.
Variations of this pistol are still in production. The development of the pistol was kept secret and was never officially patented, even in its home country. Consequently copes and clones are available out there. I still like the original.