What happens when an Austrian and a Czech face off? We put the Glock 17 up against the CZ 09 to find out!
There is no shortage of 9mm handguns with polymer frames and all the modern accouterments. The biggest name has been and most likely will remain to be Glock. Glock was a big trendsetter that helped moved the industry forward into polymer frames and striker-fired guns. Glock Safe Action Pistols have been massively successful and now serve in dozens of militaries, hundreds of police forces, and millions of civilians. Seriously millions, the Glock 43 itself has sold over a million units. So who can step to the king?
What about the CZ P09? Let’s see how this Glock vs CZ competition shakes out!
The most obvious difference is the way these guns work. The Glock 17 is a striker-fired gun operating with a partially cocked striker. When the trigger is pulled, the striker is fully cocked, then released and the weapon is fired.
The CZ P09, which uses CZ’s famed DA/SA design, is hammer-fired. The CZ P09’s first trigger pull will be a longer, heavier, double-action pull. After the first shot is fired, the hammer will remain to the rear, making it a single-action weapon with a shorter, lighter trigger pull.
Is striker-fired better than hammer-fired? That’s up for debate and not germane to this particular Glock/CZ throwdown, as that is a matter of personal preference.
What we can talk about is the quality of their triggers and compare them within their respective systems.
The CZ trigger is long and heavy on the first shot, no way to get past that. However, the single-action trigger does leave something to be desired. There is substantial pretravel for a single action trigger. The reset is also very long for a single action firearm. I updated mine with a Cajun Works trigger years ago to fix these problems and I've been pleased with it ever since.
Glock’s trigger is great right out of the case. It’s not a match trigger, but it is extremely functional and useable. The reset is short, tactile, and audible. My main complaint is the plastic trigger and trigger safety. When I’m shooting a lot in one day, it tends to start to rub my finger the wrong way and becomes uncomfortable. After replacing it with a trigger from Suarez industries, the problem was corrected.
When comparing stock triggers, the G17 is definitely more pleasing.
Glock - 1 CZ - 0
What’s the first thing most Glock owners change on their guns? The sights. Stock Glock sights are unbecoming of any handgun, especially for self-defense. Their plastic fragility screams 'makeover' before you can even pull it out of the box.
The CZ, however, comes with metal sights, and my model came equipped with night sights which glow in low-light conditions. CZ sights are rock solid and pushed as far to the rear of the slide to allow the shooter to get as long of a sight radius as their arms will allow.
Stock Glock 17 models lose some slight sight radius. The Glock 17 MOS models feature sights pressed back considerably further.
I believe CZ’s sights to be more capable and better made all around.
Glock - 1 CZ - 1
There are some traits of a gun that are purely subjective, I completely appreciate and respect that as I share my opinions here. Things like the grip angle of a gun, as well as the presence or lack of finger grooves, is not objectively bad in most cases. The Gen 5 guns got rid of the grooves so that choice is now a consumer one.
Outside of the grip angle and the finger grooves, there are other major differences. The CZ P09’s grip is better designed for a high grip. The gun incorporates an excellent trigger guard undercut, as well as a nice long beavertail. You can choke up on the gun and maintain excellent control over it.
Maybe it's just me, but the Glock does not encourage such a grip. If I choke even a little too high, I’m going to get a healthy amount of slide bite. It breaks the skin very quickly and is not exactly pleasant.
Controls-wise, the Glock is the simpler gun. It has a slide lock and a trigger. The P09 has a slide lock, a trigger, and a decocker or manual safety. The P09 comes with the ability to swap the decocker with a manual safety that allows you to carry locked and cocked like a 1911. Both the decocker and safety are ambidextrous.
The P09’s slide lock is also massive, textured and easy to reach with the thumb. Speaking of easy to reach, the magazine release on the P09 can be activated without having to shift my hand. The Glock 17 requires me to shift and to find a tiny nubbed that is nearly flush with the frame.
In comparing the Glock vs CZ and their respective ergonomics, I find the P09 to be superior.
Glock - 1 CZ - 2
Price is always a major consideration to shooters, so let’s look at the price difference between the P09 and Glock 17. The Glock 17 is in its 5th generation currently, with plenty of Gen 4s still on the market.
We’ll go with stock options without any crazy features, and I’m using a few big-name websites that sell guns across the net. First, the Glock 17 Gen 5 is retailing for approximately 530 bucks give or take. The CZ P09 comes in at 460 at most outlets. The Glock 17 Gen 4 is only 499 at most outlets.
While Glock models seem to be much easier to find, the CZ is slightly more affordable.
Glock - 1 CZ - 3
If you want to customize your gun, then the Glock is the way to go. Every company in the world seems to make Glock parts. You can build a Glock and hardly ever use any Glock parts. You can even do a Polymer 80 Glock build, which I have done myself. You’ll have no issues finding holsters, barrels, triggers, magazines and more.
The P09 has a dedicated following, but the aftermarket is minuscule compared to Glock. Without any argument when it comes to the aftermarket and our Glock vs CZ competition, Glock has them licked.
Glock - 2 CZ - 3
My preference is the CZ P09, I love this gun. That being said, the Glock 17 MOS is certainly not far behind. Both are well made and reliable. They are excellent home defense guns and even well-suited for concealed carry if you can handle a duty-sized gun. Going with either firearm will put a rugged, reliable, and proven gun in your hand.
Ultimately, there is no way you can go wrong choosing either of these firearms!
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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