CZ Model 75B .40 S&W Pistol

By Anthony Curtis

CZ 75B
Illustration courtesy of CZ-USA.

The CZ 75B is the flagship handgun of Ceska Zbrojovka of the Czech Republic. These firearms are distributed in America by CZ-USA. According to CZ, the CZ 75B service pistol is used by more governments, militaries, police, and security agencies than any other pistol in the world.

The CZ 75 was designed in 1975. It shares many characteristics with other well-known pistols such as the Colt 1911 and the Browning Hi-Power. Features include short recoil operation, tilt barrel with radial locking lugs, 10 round magazine, three dot sighting system, and hammer forged barrel. DA/SA or DAO models are available in 9mm Luger or 40 S&W.

A version with a de-cocking lever is also available, as is an ambidextrous model called the CZ 85B. There is a .45 ACP model called the CZ 97. All of these pistols feature the heft of all steel construction.

Here are the specifications of my CZ Model 75B:

  • Action = autoloader (single or double action)
  • Caliber = .40 S&W
  • Capacity = 10+1 rounds
  • Grips = composite
  • Sights = 3-dot
  • Overall length = 8.1 inches
  • Barrel length = 4.7 inches
  • Height = 5.4 inches
  • Width = 1.4 inches
  • Weight = 2.2 pounds
  • 2006 MSRP = $525

Although I own several long guns, I had never owned a handgun. After looking in several shops and handling many pistols, I assembled some criteria that I felt would make a perfect starter gun for myself. The features I wanted included DA/SA operation, full size, steel construction, exposed hammer, accuracy, reliability, caliber .40 S&W, and reasonable price.

The CZ 75B met all these, but I had yet to see one. A friend at a local gun shop agreed to sell me a CZ for $400, which is about $100 less than MSRP. This price was substantially less than most of the other pistols I was considering, such as the Browning Hi-Power and the myriad of 1911 clones, so I ordered the CZ 75B pistol.

After receiving my CZ, I promptly disassembled it and cleaned off the packing grease and wiped it down lightly with Rem-oil. Disassembly was a snap even though I had never owned any type of pistol.

Visually, the CZ 75B is similar in appearance to the Hi-Power. When you pick it up the first thing you notice is it's substantial heft, and then you notice the ergonomic grip, which fits my hand quite nicely. The side panels of the grip are a hard checkered composite. It points like a finger, and the weight helps keep it steady. I selected the black polycoated finish, which is a black matte and thus far has been very rust resistant.

The standard sights are the three dot variety, but are not tritium. Tritium night sights are available from the factory or after market if desired. The slide release and safety are simple and easy to use, but shooters with small hands might find the slide release a little hard to reach with their thumb.

At the range the CZ 75B has been a joy to shoot. As I mentioned, this is my first handgun, but off-hand at 25 yards I can put all 10 rounds in a 5x7-inch circle. I have put about 200 rounds through my CZ so far, including full metal jacket and various sizes and weights of jacketed hollow point bullets.

The double action pull for the first shot is long and heavy compared to the rifles and shotguns to which I am accustomed, but it is comparable to other pistols of this configuration. The single action pull for subsequent shots is reasonably crisp with just a hint of creep. Recoil is minimized by the pistol's weight. I feel that it is a good pistol to learn with because of its relatively low recoil and shootability.

I would highly recommend the CZ 75B as a first class, affordable handgun. Because of its weight and overall dimensions, it would probably not be a good choice for concealed carry. CZ offers the compact P-01 and sub-compact CZ 2075 RAMI, which would be better suited for concealed carry purposes.

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Copyright 2004, 2006 by Anthony Curtis. All rights reserved.