By R.K. Campbell
The original CZ 75 may be the most proven handgun ever; having been proven durable in service and in hundreds of test programs world wide. The CZ 75, like the Browning High Power, is a classic. However, the steel and walnut pistol is quickly being replaced in service by polymer frame pistols and CZ would be left out of the ballgame (and the bucks) if they did not market their own polymer frame pistol. The CZ P-07 is a polymer frame pistol that bears a resemblance to the original CZ. The outline and the manner in which the slide rides inside the frame are similar. Nevertheless, this pistol would be tested on its own merits, and not assume it would be as reliable as the original. While the polymer frame pistol is popular there are many shooters who prefer a double action first shot handgun. Many military and police originations prefer the type. The new P-07 is available with both a double action/single action and also a double action only action. The test example is a double action first shot pistol with a decoking lever, which seems to be the most popular type.
One of the first things noticed when handling the P-07 was its apparent compactness and is more compact than similar polymer frame pistols. The slide riding inside the frame helps in this regard and lowers the bore axis, which also results in less muzzle flip and less recoil. Unlike the steel CZ 75, this pistol is devoid of sharp edges. The nylon hose test was performed by running the hose over the pistol to check for snags. This pistol is not as smooth as a bar of soap but it is less likely to snag than most. The pistol feels good in the hand, with adequate stippling for good adhesion when firing. At first it appears as if there is not enough slide to get hold of when cocking. It does take some acclimation but the cocking serrations at the rear of the slide are more than adequate for the task. This is a compact pistol but at 27.0 ounces it weighs more than similar pistols. There is a lot of steel in the slide. The frame feels good even for a two hand hold. The trigger guard looks odd, as few manufacturers use a square guard these days. Just the same, the guard has enough space for gloved hand use. The pistol uses the standard Glock/SIG type lockup, butting the barrel into the ejection port.
While the 1.5 inch wide slide is of the modern over-built type, the combination of a high grip strap and low riding slide lower the bore axis appreciably, making for a controllable handgun with little muzzle flip. The action is different from the CZ 75; a new action the company calls the Omega. This action is smoother than the original CZ. The CZ 75 is a great pistol, but the trigger action was developed in the early 1970s and may be due for an update. The Omega Acton breaks smooth at an estimated eleven pounds double action. The single action trigger is a crisp four and one quarter pounds, free of the modest backlash once exhibited by all CZ pistols. The sights are high visibility types well suited to personal defense.
Several boxes of Black Hills Blue Box were collected – the inexpensive remanufactured line, for initial testing. The loads were in the common 115 grain ball configuration. There isn’t a lot of leather available at present for the P-07, but an Uncle Mike's paddle holster was used with good results on the range being able to effect a good sharp draw from this fabric paddle. Concentrating on drawing and firing quickly from five to seven yards resulted in getting good hits. The double action trigger is smooth enough that these hits were no problem. Drawing the pistol, holding it in a death grip, pressing the trigger straight to the rear produced a hit. That is really all there is to double action shooting. And plenty of practice.
Winchester USA ball ammunition was used for the majority of the firing session. Practicing drawing, firing a double action shot, then decoking and taking another, the author was rewarded with good center hits. Double taps and triple taps were also run on targets and extended the shooting to eight inch gongs at fifteen yards. Several hundred rounds were expended in this evaluation. A caution: I pinched my hand when practicing rapid magazine insertions. The grip is comfortable but it is compact and the cut out style is designed more for compactness than for speed loads. This is a pistol that demands concentration. In the hands of a trained shooter it will perform well. Without concentration you may not realize how good a handgun you really have. This pistol follows in the steps of the SIG P 225 and the Glock 19 as a compact 9mm service pistol in the European tradition. In my opinion the CZ is the best of the three. As for the hooked trigger guard, it does offer a good surface for stability when the Surefire X 300 light is attached. We fired a number of rounds with the light attached with good results.
As for accuracy, the P-07 displayed excellent accuracy. In deference to the compact size and abbreviated sight radius, the groups were fired at 15 yards. Results were very good. 850 rounds were fired without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire or eject. This is a pistol you can count on. We did have a complaint. The take down sequence is the original CZ 75 sequence, more complicated that most. The slide is withdrawn a few millimeters and the slide lock is removed. The slide then runs off of the frame. The slide lock was very tight. The recoil spring popped off of the barrel easily but was very difficult to replace. Overall, the sequence is more dated than with other modern pistols. A CZ fan will live with it, but we wonder how many other consumers will be willing to. Overall, the pistol’s combat abilities outweigh this inconvenience. This is a pistol that will save your life if you do your part.
This author is under no illusion as to the effectiveness of the 9mm Luger. A good strong JHP such as the Cor Bon 115 grain JHP is indicated. The Cor Bon load maximizes the caliber. I have investigated the effectiveness of the 115 gr. bullet at high velocity and I have to admit this loading leaves little to be desired. A counterpoint for those wishing more penetration is the Cor Bon 115 grain DPX. If you must limit penetration, the 100 grain PowRBall is not only a sure feeder it breaks nearly 1,400 fps even from the CZ’s 3.8 inch barrel.
5 shot groups, 15 yards, measured in inches
Cor Bon 115 gr. JHP...... 3.25
Cor Bon 115 gr. DPX...... 2.25
Cor Bon 100 gr. PowRBall...... 3.6
Ultramax 147 gr. JHP...... 2.5
Fiocchi 124 gr. XTP...... 2.15
Fiocchi 147 gr. XTP...... 3.25
Winchester 115 gr. USA FMJ...... 3.5
Winchester 147 gr. Bonded Core...... 2.25
Winchester 115 gr. Ranger JHP...... 3.0
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