CZ75B – A Slightly Opinionated Opinion

Back on November 2, 2015 I published an article on the CZ75B Omega (see, http://guntoters.com/blog/2015/11/02/cz-75b%cf%89-omega-review/) and expounded on the virtues of the pistol. In short, the CZ 75B Omega model impressed me. As such, it remains in the stable and is shot little. Primarily, the reason for it being shot little is that I carry a 1911 in .45 acp caliber in one form or another (full-size or lightweight Commander models being the most carried).

Lately, I have been assessing 9mm pistols for CC and have assessed quite a few. And, in fact, some of them remain in the stable, but in “safe” condition. Primarily, the reason is that I carry a 1911 in .45 ACP caliber in one form or another (full-size or lightweight Commander models being the most carried) – not that I am prone to repeating myself.

The 9mm cartridge has improved greatly over the years and, although it is still not a .45 ACP cartridge, I have felt it quite nice to shoot and have had to acknowledge some of the advantage of the round over the mighty .45 acp. So much in fact that I began to think seriously about carrying a platform that shoots the 9mm cartridge. As I said, I do have enough of 9mm pistols, the majority of which are excellent pistols, but they all lacked something – my desire to carry them as a personal defense firearm. As I pondered 9mm pistols in the 1911 platform, and shot a couple of very nice ones (the Springfield Loaded in 9mm I could shoot all day), but the capacity issue was ever present in my mind.

I say that if I ever needed more than eight rounds that I am in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time. I remain true to that statement, but reality slowly creeps into the mindset and things take on a different perspective.

I recently had the pleasure of shooting a CZ75 PO1 at my local range. Although it shot well; albeit, the trigger pivot pin tried to walk out of the frame, I did not care for the polymer frame (personal preference) and the accessory rail (again, personal preference). The pistol was accurate enough for combat work as the usual distances, but it was not a pistol that I wanted to carry – even with eighteen rounds at my disposal. But, the experience got me re-thinking about the CZ75B and it finally took hold.

The CZ75B is what I would consider the flagship of the CZ pistol line. The “B” in the name, of course, refers to the hammer block safety that some folks, like those who would consider an 80-series Colt 1911 akin to slapping the face of John Moses Browning, would be a bane of the CZ75. To which I say, “Männliche Rinder fäkale Materie.” If I blame my poor marksmanship on a part such as a hammer block, I should not be shooting, because I don’t have the intelligence to handle a firearm. Anyway, I am getting off topic.

Maybe I am old school, but I do think that in some ways the old ways are better, which the reason I looked back into the CZ75B.

Looking at some of the features of the CZ75B, you have…

Trigger
A double-action/single/action pistol that can be carried “Condition 1” just like the 1911. If you don’t like to carry “Condition 1” you don’t have to and can carry like you would any revolver. The DA trigger pull on the CZ75B is about 11 pounds and you can easily train though it to move to single-action operation.

Single-action pull weight is in the 5.5 pound range with enough “safety factor” in trigger take-up that gives you enough time to back off the pedal if you need to. The trigger reset is very nice and with a little practice a short trigger pull is yours for the taking.

But Weight, There’s More!
The slide, barrel, and frame are very well-formed steel with a finish that looks like paint, but is well-known for its durability through the years.

The pistol is heavy. Did I say that the pistol is heavy? I am used to carrying a full-size, full-weight 1911 and I no longer carry for 12+ hours shifts. But all that “heavy” is quickly forgotten as you pull the trigger and the weight helps to harness some of that recoil. Couple that with an ergonomic grip and low bore axis and you have a sweet shooting pistol. With the slide fully internal to the frame, it really shortens the pistol’s height and contributes to the accuracy of the pistol.

Adding 16+1 rounds to the mix and you have a handgun that few would want to carry for any long duration. For the CZ75B you definitely need a quality holster and gun belt or a harness system to carry the beast.

I See Dots Before My Eyes!
The three-dots of the sighting system are small and fluorescent (they glow when charged with a strong light). While they are not night sights, they are more than adequate for combat work even to my aging eyes. The CZ75B is just a natural pistol to point, and aside from a 1911, is probably the most natural feeling pistol in my hand. And speaking of “in the hand…”

Git’ a Grip!
The CZ75B comes with hard plastic grip panels. The plastic grips on my CZ75B Omega were swapped out with the CZ rubber grips, but a set of hardwood grips soon found a place on it. T his meant that I had a set of rubber grips with nothing to mount them on. I discovered that Hogue makes a rubber wrap-a-round finger-groove grip for the CZ75. Anyone who knows me, on-line or personally, knows that a Hogue rubber wrap-a-round finger groove grip gets mounted on any 1911 that I carry and any other firearm that I can fit them on. The grip exchange is the only “personal” touch that I give a firearm meant for carry. With that said, the Hogue grips were just “not right” for the CZ, in my opinion; therefore, the CZ75B was outfitted with the CZ rubber grips and life goes on. The one thing that you do not want to play around with on the CZ75B is grip screws. There are no bushings as with a 1911, and stripping the threads in the frame means dollars lost to get things right again.

Finding a Home
The CZ75B could be residing in a holster from “Black Arch Holsters” that was ordered for the CZ75B Omega model. The fit is somewhat snug, but the Kydex shell is perfectly molded to the CZ75B, and the CZ75B nestles nicely just behind my right hip. I do prefer a leather-only holster, as Kydex can take its toll on a pistol’s finish, but the “Black Arch Holster” serves a purpose until it is replaced.

My other option was a holster from Simply Rugged that, due to its open-bottom design, fits a plethora of pistols such as the Springfield XDM, Ruger SR9, SR40, and SR45 among others. Although the holster is adequate, it will collapse as soon as the pistol is removed from the holster, which makes re-holstering a two-handed affair.

Two holsters were ordered from Craft Holsters that are designed to fit the CZ75B; an Open-Muzzle IWB Holster Code: It. 92, and the Shoulder Holster System with Mag Pouch Code: It. OK1.

Craft Holster Open-Muzzle IWB Holster Code: It. 92

Craft Shoulder Holster System with Mag Pouch Code: It. OK1

The Open-Muzzle IWB Holster is form-fitted for the CZ75B, has a reinforced mouth to prevent the holster from collapsing, no sweat shield (preferred), and attaches to the belt via two leather straps. Cant and height adjustment is fixed; however, I found the cant (FBI) and holster height to be acceptable and I look forward to many years with this holster, as I do the shoulder holster rig.

While I prefer the IWB carry for the most part, there are times when carrying in a shoulder holster can be beneficial. For cold-weather carry when several outer garments may be worn, I prefer the shoulder holster. When traveling, a shoulder rig is much handier than carrying IWB. As for both IWB and Shoulder holster carry, dressing properly to aid in concealment must always be taken into consideration.

The shoulder holster system comes with double magazine pouches and helps to offset the weight of the CZ75B with an included off-side strap that secures the magazine pouches to the belt. The shoulder holster system is pre-assembled at the factory. and all I had to do was adjust for a proper fit. I would prefer having a magazine carrier that holds the magazine horizontally with no retention strap, like the Miami Classic II shoulder rig, but the vertical-carry of magazines is acceptable as long as I can get to them reasonably quick.

I’ll report more later on the holsters as they wear in.

The “Tackleberry” Mindset!

Anticipating the arrival of the CZ75B, I pre-ordered a couple of Mec-Gar 16-round magazines for it.

Cartridge Capacity! We cannot forget capacity now can we? The CZ75B comes with two 16-round magazines. However, if capacity is really a concern, larger capacity magazines for the CZ75B can be found. In fact, the 18-round magazine from the CZ75 SP01 fits extremely nice in the frame of the CZ75B. This 18-round magazine has a finger extension that blends in nicely with the frame of the CZ75B, although it does add more length to the grip and it is more costly than the standard 16-round magazines. Carry the flush-mount 16-round magazine for your primary magazine, two 18-round magazines as spares, and you should be ready to almost qualify as a “Tackleberry” operator.

Pinky Pinch!
The one thing that I found is that you need to keep your pinky finger away from the magazine well when swapping magazines, if you have medium to large hands. The base of the magazine likes to pinch hanging pinky fingers when you are pushing a magazine home, if you are not careful. This also applies to the 18-round magazine, as the finger extension is just that – an extension of the base plate.

Ranting Against Rails!
If you absolutely have to have an accessory rail on your defensive pistol, there are models of the CZ pistol line that can accommodate you. This model of the CZ75B does not have a rail. Personally, I can’t stand that darn things and prefer not to have them. With that said; if I had a pistol that was strictly for home defense I might consider a “railed” pistol but, in general, I have no need for one.

Old School is Out?
I read as many articles regarding firearms as much as I can. These wailings against pistols like the 1911, Browning High Power, and CZ pistols being “old school” and not worthy of consideration as a self-defense sidearm, are not really worthy of listening to or reading. Some would say that if you want to defend yourself effectively you need the latest pistol. To be honest, and while I do look to the present and future of firearms design, carry methods, training, etc., I look more to my future existence as a living human being. To be honest, if an 1873 single-action Colt revolver will help get me there, then that’s what I will carry. I believe that the CZ75B will fit the roll nicely of keeping this old hide alive if it needs to be used as such. The CZ75 was intended for use as a “export” pistol, and the pistol was not recognized suitable for use in a “combat” role until around 1989 when it was adopted by the Czech armed forces.

Although compared to the Browning High-Power, which debuted in 1935, the CZ75 was an original design and differs from the Browning High-Power in many ways, some of which I list below:

  • Inside rail system = CZ-75B.
  • Accuracy = CZ-75B.
  • Weight (felt-recoil effects) = CZ-75B.
  • Trigger quality = CZ-75B (with a +1 to the Omega trigger system).
  • Durability = CZ-75B.
  • DA or Condition “1” Carry = CZ-75B (The BHP is single-action only).
  • Roiled Hammer = CZ-75B.
  • Beavertail = CZ-75B.

The way that I see it, along with some others, is:

  • Both are very popular firearms. Both have proven themselves more than adequately accurate for their originally intended purposes. Both have reputations for reliability and fans of either will say that they just have that “special feel.”
  • The Browning Hi Power, as well as most automatics that followed, were definitely influenced by the genius of John M. Browning to be sure, but neither the Hi Power nor the CZ-75 were entirely spawned from his genius. Mr. Saive (Browning High-Power) made some very fine changes to the Hi Power and the two Czech brothers are to be commended for their use of a proven system as well as their other CZ-75 design features.
  • I do not see the CZ-75 as “Son of Hi Power.” Neither do I see this belief as a slam against the CZ. Both designs have proven themselves to be very fine pistols in their own, separate rights.

I certainly would not carry a pistol if I questioned the integrity of the design.

The Shooting Show!

You might ask if I trust this pistol. Of course, if I did not I would not carry it. In fact, I was so confident in this pistol that after my initial cleaning and lubricating of the pistol after bringing it home, a 16-round magazine was loaded with Speer 124-grain GDHP, the pistol enclosed in the Simply-Rugged IWB holster and worn around the house for several days before venturing out among the English.

At first chance, it found itself at the range for a “walk through” although I was highly confident with the pistol out of the box after my initial cleaning and safety checks. By the way, I was carrying in DA mode.

The CZ75B was intended as a “50-meter” pistol (54.68 yards), and I put more confidence in the pistol over my abilities. At seven and ten yards, it is point of aim. At 15 yards it is still point of aim with placing shots as close to my point of aim while running a “Mozambique Drill as I could muster. My head shots were slightly right but still on target at 15 yards, but I attributed that to trigger control rather than blaming the pistol.

I ran three fifteen round magazines of 124-grain FMJ while switching to DA mode after each magazine change. The double-action trigger is smooth with no “gritty” feeling and is on par with any quality double-action revolver trigger. In fact, there is a pronounced “stacking” point if you work the DA trigger slowly – much like that of a typical revolver trigger in DA mode. This “stacking” point provides a little breathing space to line things up before the hammer drop. I found it very easy to quickly bring the trigger to the “stacking” point, pause slightly, and then follow through with the shot.

In single-action mode, of course, there is some take up in the trigger due to the DA/SA design. On my particular piece; however, the single-action trigger is comparable to any striker-fired pistol while being better than most that I have operated. The single-action trigger would be, I would say, very close to a 1911 pistol sans a trigger job; slightly mushy with a crisp break as it works to release the sear. Reset is about halfway through the single-action pull and is both tactile and audible. With practice, one could run this trigger very quickly.

To say that you “throw away the first shot” with a DA/SA pistol is just more expounding of that “Männliche Rinder fäkale Materie” I mentioned earlier.

Do You Need a CZ75B?

The CZ75B is a streamlined, steel-framed pistol that is quick to point and easy to handle regardless of the weight. With the low bore axis, 4.6 inch cold hammer-forged barrel more than capable of maximizing projectile velocity in its short space with excellent accuracy, you have a pistol that can be counted on when it all goes to hell. That is really all you can ask out of a handgun, or any firearm, for that matter.

While I do appreciate other models of the CZ75 line, with their advanced features like accessory rails and lightweight frames, I’ll bear the brunt of the weight of my CZ75B over some of those features. But, my choices are personal and yours will probably deviate from mine.

I will end on this note; should you desire a CZ75B, you can save a few bucks and get a better trigger with the CZ75B Omega model. The standard CZ75B; however, is still a fine pistol. With that said, I since learned that the CZ75B Omega is on the CZ “Endangered List” is has been discontinued.  If you want the “Omega” model, you had better get one quick.  My CZ75B is now a safe queen because of the discontinuance.


REFERENCES:

CZ Handguns: http://cz-usa.com/product-category/handguns/

Craft Holsters, CZ75B, IWB: https://www.craftholsters.com/open-muzzle-iwb-holster-p79

Craft Holsters, CZ75B, Shoulder: https://www.craftholsters.com/shoulder-holster-system-with-mag-pouch-p472

About Taurian

Taurian is an Oath Keeper, veteran, former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Until retirement, Taurian had over forty-seven years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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