The CZ 75 is Still an Amazing Pistol 45 Years Later
The CZ 75 is the flagship pistol of CZ-USA and has been a staple among 9mm fans for over 45 years. Originally introduced in 1975, hence the name, the CZ 75 remains viable as a defensive pistol. It’s so widely used that CZ claims its “used by more governments, militaries, police, and security agencies than any other pistol in the world.” While it may be tough to justify that statement, there is no denying the pistol is widely used and enjoyed.
It’s also caught the attention of many competitive shooters for good reason. The controls are intuitive, and the trigger is very nice. Over the years, CZ has made numerous variations of the pistol to fill any niche imaginable for handgunners. I got my hands on a CZ 75 BD to see what all the fuss was about, and I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s dive in.
The Specs Breakdown
The CZ 75 BD is an all-steel gun with plastic grips that tips the scales at 35.3 ounces. With its double-stack magazine, it can hold 16 rounds of 9mm. Put one in the pipe, and you got yourself 17 rounds. That puts it in line with the likes of the Beretta 92, both in terms of capacity (one round short of the 92) and weight (two ounces heavier than the 92.) Coincidentally, both guns were introduced at about the same time.
The gun is a DA/SA pistol, and the trigger is one of the features you’ll often hear CZ fans rave about. The double-action trigger averaged 5.4 pounds on the Lyman trigger gauge, while in single-action operation it averaged just north of 2 pounds. Indeed, the trigger was phenomenal on this gun and something that made me want to keep shooting it on the range. More on that in a bit.
This particular model is the BD version, which means they have placed a decocker in place of the external safety. Other than that difference, it’s the same as the original CZ 75 B model. This certified used gun from the Guns.com Vault also happened to come with upgraded Truglo night sights.
Overall length: 8.1 inches
Barrel Length: 4.6 inches
Height: 5.4 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Weight: 35.3 ounces
The Look and Feel
This is an all-steel gun, so it feels substantial in the hand. The grips fit my hands nicely. They aren’t overly aggressive, though I only fired at an indoor range, I had no issues maintaining a firm grip on the gun. That said, if I was looking to shoot a lot on a hot summer day, it might be a different story. I might opt for the Shadow 2 or SP-01 variant of the CZ 75, both of which feature more aggressive grip textures.
If I had only a single gripe with the CZ 75, it is that the controls are slightly difficult to access for me. All of them require me to slightly readjust my grip to access them. I wouldn’t say that I have overly large hands, so this probably isn’t a problem if you have bigger hands. Even if you’re like me, it’s nothing that couldn’t be overcome with enough trigger time and training if you wanted to compete or even carry this gun.
Overall, the gun maintains an aesthetically pleasing look 40+ years on. It has the look of a classic that never gets old. The sweeping lines remind me of a 1975 Dodge Challenger in gun form. It demands to be taken seriously and wants to go as fast as you’re willing to push it.
Stretching Legs at the Range
This gun shines at the range. It’s fun to shoot and very low recoiling. I ran 500 rounds of S&B through this gun without a single hiccup, so it lived up to the legendary reliability I’ve heard about. It’s easy to see why law enforcement and militaries around the world trust their lives to this gun. Even in rapid-fire, it proved to be exceptionally flat shooting and easy to keep on target.
The double-action trigger had very little resistance getting through to the wall, and then it has a nice clean break. Shooting from the decocked position does shorten up the double-action stroke just enough to make that initial shot easier to put the pad of my finger on the trigger. As I stated earlier, the controls, including the trigger at full reset, are hard to reach with the pad of my finger unless I adjust my grip ever so slightly.
The trigger reset is short and sweet to get back to single action. Once you’re in single action, it’s off to the races if you want because it’s an extremely short and crisp trigger break for the next shot. The gun is really a dream to shoot and very nice right out of the box. With the upgraded night sights, it was easy to get on target. Keeping it on target proved to be a cinch due to the extremely low recoil and heft of the gun. I’m no competitive shooter, but I found it to be a very accurate gun even while doing rapid-fire strings.
How It Fits Into Your Lifestyle
The CZ 75 BD would be a great pistol for anyone looking for a double-stack gun for home defense or competition. The only thing it might lack, which some may be looking for, is a rail for a light or laser. But the SP-01 has you covered if you like the model but need that light or laser. Models like the Czechmate, Shadow, and Tactical Sport were all meant to go to the racetrack if you’re looking for something specific for competition. But the BD, with its decocker, is ideally set up to be an entry point into CZ home defense or competition.
While there are people who carry the full-size version of the CZ 75, I probably wouldn’t be one of them. This particular gun from the Guns.com Vault comes with a holster, so you’re already set up to roll if you wanted to carry it.
While I might not carry the full-size version, I would be interested in trying out the Compact version or the 2075 in the future for carry purposes. These are more ideally suited sizes for what I’m used to carrying.
After 40 years, it seems that the CZ 75 gets more innovative all the time with new variants. There is a CZ 75 for you no matter what your niche. It would make for a great home defense pistol or range gun. It’s fun to shoot, and the numerous models means there are lots of third-party accessories to customize it.
If you’ve never shot a CZ 75, I highly recommend treating yourself to a range visit and at the very least renting one. If you want to jump in with both feet, then we have plenty of CZ 75 models available here.
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