The CZ 75 – A Cold War Classic

The CZ 75 is one of the most legendary handguns you may have never heard of. It’s the most reproduced handgun in the world, and the design has served countless police and military forces. The CZ 75 was one of the first wonder nines. Wonder nines being 9mm handguns with a higher than average capacity. The CZ 75 was built in what is now the Czech Republic and at the time they were deep behind the iron curtain of the Soviet Union. The gun only had bizarre ‘secret’ patents which opened it up for reproduction around the world.


These days a wide a variety of companies produce the design under their own name and you see models out of Turkey, Isreal, and Italy. However, the only real CZ 75 from the Czech Republic from a little firm called CZ.

Inside the CZ 75

The CZ 75 is an all metal frame gun in a DA/SA configuration. Although due to its popularity you can find the gun in DAO and SAO configurations. The CZ 75 is traditionally a 9mm gun, but 40 S&W variants also exist. The standard configuration features a frame mounted manual safety that will only engage when the hammer is cocked to the rear. Other variants feature a de-cocker instead of a safety.


This particular model is the CZ 75B Omega edition. B stands for firing pin block, and also means the gun has a full-length dust cover. The Omega trigger system is also easier to work on and upgrade. Where it gets a little confusing is there are two different Omega triggers. This is the standard Omega trigger and then we have the convertible Omega trigger that allows the user to swap between a safety and a decocker.

The road the CZ 75 and its variants have traveled is long and twisting. There are dozens of different sizes and model options out there but for clarities sake, this review is about the full size, 9mm, CZ 75B Omega model. The handgun ships with two 16 round magazines, but higher capacities are available.


Length – 8.1 inches
Barrel Length – 4.6 inches Width – 1.4 inches
Caliber – 9mm
Action – Semi-Auto DA/SA
Weight – 2.2 pounds

The CZ75 is a big gun. It’s a heavy gun, and its a working gun. It’s robust and well made and compared to modern guns its a hefty gal. The slide is very, very small compared to modern guns. This is because the slide rides inside the frame. This reduces the height of the slide and the bore axis a fair degree.


On the Range

I love this gun. If I need to impress someone with my shooting skills I go with the CZ 75B because of how easy it is to shoot well with. It’s also my go-to for new shooters when I teach a basic pistol course. Just recently I took a fairly new shooter who was very intimidated by the whole idea of a handgun.


I loaded the CZ 75B up during the range portion and had her hitting dead center before the magazine was empty. The reason why is that the gun is super easy to shoot and why I love it is due to a number of factors.


At 2.2 pounds we know this gun is heavy. Weight reduces recoil, and reduced recoil makes a gunner faster to shoot and more forgiving for new shooters. The muzzle rise and recoil are both light and easy to deal with.



Second, the ergonomics of the weapon are amazing. The grip is thin, especially for a double stack, and it feels amazing in the hand. The safety is easy to reach and intuitive to use. The trigger is heavy in double action, right around 10 pounds. The single action is a very crisp 3.5 pounds. The reset is a bit long but manageable.


The gun fits every hand I’ve ever placed in and modern gunmakers could learn a thing or two from this 40-year-old design. The grip fills the hand and is round perfectly. It contours and feels natural. This makes it an excellent pointing weapon. It took the Glock 80 lower receivers to get this good of a grip. The magazine release is bulbous and easily reached, and the magazines drop free like champs. My only complaint is the cheap plastic grips are cheap plastic.

Reliability is rock solid, as you’d expect from an Eastern European firearm. It eats everything from brass to steel and does so with style. The gun doesn’t choke when it’s filthy either. I’m notoriously lazy about firearm cleanliness. I usually clean them when my hands get dirty just from holding them.

The CZ 75 is one of those guns that just lasts and has remained around for so long for a reason. The design is brilliant, simple, and effective. It’s the child of the famed SIG P210 and the legendary Browning Hi-Power and its reputation is well deserved.

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CZ 75 Republika’s display case with a portrait of the first Czechoslovak president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and the Czech Republic’s coat of arms. | Photo courtesy of TFB

Recently, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic gifted President Trump a Special Edition of the CZ 75. Read more about it on The Firearm Blog.

About the Author:

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.

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