First off, the CZ Parrot gets its name because of its colors. Almost every component of the Parrot is a different anodized color. From the gold and yellow grips to the blue C-More mount, it is an eye-catching gun to even the most conservative of gun enthusiasts. Everything about this gun is just plain cool.
Built for speed, this race gun is ultimately a CZ Czechmate. The differences include a special low-profile skeletonized trigger and, of course, the colors. What is hard to understand is why the Parrot does not come with an extra barrel for the compensator like its Checkmate sister, but its rarity makes most overlook that drawback. CZ only makes 10 Parrots a year, and only five of those are distributed to the U.S.
Built for Competition
The Parrot is designed and built for competition shooting, specifically USPSA and IPSC. Out of the box, it comes ready for both Limited and Open divisions. In its Limited configuration, the Parrot is fitted with match-grade iron sights, and a really neat tidbit about the front sight is the fact it is barrel – not slide – mounted, which has several advantages.
Saving the front sight from getting thrashed by slide movement increases longevity but also allows shooters to get back on target quicker. Switching over to Open division would require a compensator-ready barrel, but CZ supplies the four-port compensator, C-More optic (Eight MOA), and C-More frame mount with adjustable thumb rest and slide racker.
In the Box
The Parrot is initially set up in its Limited configuration, which makes sense due to the lack of a compensator-ready barrel. Standard, the Parrot comes with four magazines, three 20-round mags and one 26-round mag. Of course, all have anodized base pads (the 20-round versions sporting the color red). In the box, you’ll also find all the extra screws and Allen wrenches you’ll likely need when running a gun hard. It is not uncommon to have screws back out or break, so the fact CZ has prepped the future owner for this is pretty awesome. These include:
Allen keys for assembly/disassembly
2 slide stops
4 disassembly/slide-stop pins
TSO thumb rest
C-More windage/elevation lock screw and Allen keys
Holding the Parrot, you can easily understand what makes it so special. Everything is extremely well machined and has very tight tolerances. CZ does an incredible job of engineering a handgun that holds very naturally in the hand, with a deep beavertail and high trigger undercut.
The one grip I have about the fit and finish is the flared magazine well. It can be smoothed out more where it meets the frame. Still, the grips are made from one solid piece of aluminum and are coupled with checkering on the frame. An incredibly light competition trigger – coming in at just over 1 pound – means no custom shop work is needed for this baby. Even small upgrades, such as the oversized magazine release and integrated C-More mount/thumb rest, all show its competition readiness.
How Does It Shoot?
Things to know about shooting this gun include its ammo requirement. When set up in Open configuration with the compensator, the Parrot requires ammunition with a major power factor. The minimum major power factor for USPSA is 165, and IPSC is 160. Power factor is calculated by the bullet weight (in grains) multiplied by the muzzle velocity (in fps) and divided by 1,000.
Typically, major power factor ammunition is reloaded, but it can be found from specialty ammunition manufacturers. For common ammo types, major power factor is similar to +P or +P+ ratings. In its Limited configuration, the Parrot still wants very hot ammo. We cycled 70-, 124-, and 147-grain ammo during testing, and it wasn’t quite happy with those rounds. I’d recommend trying 115 grains and maybe even changing springs if attempting to shoot factory ammunition.
This is very normal for this gun. Because of its tight tolerances, you can expect a break-in period before the slide lag goes away and it starts really picking up the pace and cycling factory ammo easily.
As you can surmise by now, the Parrot is designed to perform. The heavy weight ensures smooth transitions and low-felt recoil. The sights (both irons and optics) are perfect for staying on target, and you get a trigger that is about as light as you can (safely) get to make double-taps a breeze.
The Parrot and its Czechmate sister are purebred race guns and are revered by those within the competition world. Often, this is the firearm one typically treats themselves to after meeting a certain level of classification or as a work bonus. I feel confident in saying everyone who shoots a Parrot and knows what they are doing will smile with trigger-frenzied delight.