Zev Tech OZ9 Review: Take Competition to the Next Level
Since the patent for the Glock Gen 3 design elapsed, the market has seen flooded with Glock clones. Hence, one of the reasons Glock keeps coming out with new generations. These clones range in price and quality from cheap to premier. One of the best comes from Zev Technologies.
Zev started out as a Glock aftermarket parts company, and they gained a reputation as an upper tier manufacturer. They really stepped up their game when they came out with a completely in-house built gun called the OZ9.
I recently spent some time with a few Zev pistols, and I can say I’m very impressed. Zev did not just copy the Glock design, which a lot of other companies did. Zev took a deep dive and really added some innovative features that made a very good gun even better. Here are some of the things they did to make the OZ9 a fantastic pistol.
Let’s start with the receiver of the OZ9. It’s built on a modular chassis system. Much like the Sig P320 system, the serialized part of the gun is a steel receiver that can be moved around to different polymer frames to give you the flexibility to change your pistol from a compact carry piece to a full-sized competition platform.
The steel receiver runs the length of the polymer frame and includes an integrated locking block and extended rails. This system increases the rigidity and overall smoothness of the recoil impulse. It really has to be felt to be believed. Before shooting it, I didn’t think Zev’s new receiver design could make that much of a difference. But this ended up producing a more controllable pistol with less felt recoil and muzzle flip. The steel receiver also increases the weight and overall balance of the gun, allowing faster and more accurate follow-up shots.
Zev changed the standard Glock grip angle to something more similar that of a 1911. Of course, everyone is different, but the steeper angle on the grip typically feels more natural to most shooters. At least for me, the OZ9 pointed naturally, and the grip gave me improved recoil control.
The grip texture is also well done. I would call it aggressive, keeping your hand locked into position. However, it’s not so sharp that it abrades the hand while shooting or the body during concealed carry.
Rounding out the receiver upgrades are the addition of a metal magazine release and optional magazine well.
In my humble opinion, the Zev trigger is the best Glock trigger on the market. The trigger of my test gun broke at a consistent 3.5 pounds. But it’s not the spongy and twangy break of a Glock. The OZ9 has a short take-up, a little bit of creep, than a very crisp break, and super positive reset. It’s a fantastic trigger, one of the best striker-fired triggers I’ve felt.
Zev also redesigned the trigger mechanism so it is housed in the steel receiver and not the frame like a normal Glock. This allows you to change the modular frame without disassembling the trigger. This is not a big deal, but it’s a nice little convenience and shows Zev was really thinking about the user experience.
After shooting a few different models, I chose the full-sized OZ9 to test. Mine also came with a Zev compensator installed and a Trijicon SRO red dot. I put over 500 rounds through the gun. It ran like a proverbial sewing machine, equally as reliable as a Glock with Magpul magazines. I shot various ammo brands and bullet weights with no problems.
The feel of the OZ9 is something you must try to believe. It’s noticeably better than a Glock. The combination of upgraded features is amazing. I found the recoil impulse soft, the trigger crisp, and the return to zero excellent. You can’t ask much more from a gun.
To really put it through its paces, I ran the Zev in a USPSA match. I had to shoot it in Open Division and Minor Power Factor because it had a compensator and was chambered in 9mm. I checked with Zev Technologies, and the OZ9 can handle the 9mm Major cartridge, but I could not find any in stock. Despite that handicap, and this being my first pistol match in many years, I did quite well, beating a number of Open shooters using Major calibers.
I also chose this model just because I like to shoot guns with compensators. The gun did not disappoint, and shooting it was super fun. The compensator worked well for a single chamber comp. It’s not as effective as multi-port comps that Open Division guns usually have, but it was not really designed for that. All in all, the OZ9 can function as an Open Division gun. However, if I wanted an ideal OZ9 match gun, I would choose just the standard OZ9 without the compensator. It would also make for a fantastic gun for Carry Optics or Production Gun competitions. Its added weight, balance, and rigidity would shine in those divisions.
Now, Zev guns are not inexpensive. They are near the top of the Glock food chain. A full-sized OZ9 with iron sights and a threaded barrel goes for around $1,800. That’s not chump change. However, this is not your grandmother’s Glock.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for enthusiasts to buy a $600 Glock and put in over $1,000+ of customizations. And the slide cuts, Cerakoting, texturing, and trigger upgrades don’t fundamentally change how the gun shoots. The OZ9 is an upgraded Glock in every way. In addition, you get the flexibly of a modular frame to go from a CCW to a full-blown competition gun. It’s worth every penny.