By Chris A. Choat
The CZ 75 pistol has been around, in various forms, since 1975. It was not originally available to the U.S. shooting public but finally did come to our shores after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Prior to that, shooters here that wanted one were forced to settle for one of the copies made by other companies like Fratelli Tanfoglio of Italy. The gun was copied freely because at that time neither the original designers nor CZ filed for patent protection abroad.
Today, CZ-USA brings the gun to the United States, along with a full line of CZ rifles and shotguns. They even have the law enforcement only Scorpion EVO3 submachine gun and the Bren 805 select-fire rifle.
The subject of this article is one of CZ-USA’s newest models of the CZ 75, the P-07 Duty Suppressor Ready model. The P-07 Duty model is a compact polymer-framed CZ 75 variant that has a redesigned trigger mechanism called the Omega system. This new pistol has some of the same features of the original model 75 but it also has some major differences as well. The first thing that you notice is that the P-07 frame is made from a polymer, not machined from steel as is the original CZ 75. It does however keep the same grip angle of the original gun that most shooters still think is ideal. It fits the hand very well and points naturally. The P-07 has a squared and hooked trigger guard that shooters seem to either love or hate. It has heavy, molded-in stippling on the sides of the grip as well as on the sides of the frame right above the trigger. This is a natural position for the shooters thumb if he or she uses a thumb high shooting hold. The pistols grip also has ridges molded into the front and back strap, as well as the front of the trigger guard, making it seem that the gun literally sticks to your hand. The gun also features a length of 1913 Picatinny rail molded into the frame just in front of the trigger guard. The P-07 Duty is a compact model with a 3.8-inch barrel making a perfect high capacity carry gun. While the P-07 Duty is available in either 9mm or .40 S&W, the Suppressor Ready version is available in 9mm only.
The pistol is fed from 16-round magazines with the mag release located in the usual place just behind the trigger. The magazines are blued steel with a polymer base plate and follower. There are round count holes at the 5, 10 and 16 round positions. The magazines feature mag release cuts on either side and the mag release button can be changed to either side of the frame without the need for additional parts so that it is ambidextrous as well. The magazines fit flush with the bottom of the frame and drop free of the frame when the button is pushed. The pistol comes standard with two magazines.
The P-07 Duty is unique in that it is double action with a decocking lever but it can also be set up as a single action pistol so it can be carried cocked and locked like a 1911. The best part is that the gun comes with all the necessary parts to change it back and forth with nothing else to buy. The conversion takes about a minute to switch from double to single action or vice versa. The ambidextrous levers on either side of the frame act as either decocking levers or safety levers depending on how the gun is set up. Trigger pull on the test gun broke at 9 lbs 1 ounce in double action and 4 lbs 3 ounces in the single action mode. The trigger pull is very smooth and feels less than what the trigger pull gauge read. The Omega System trigger uses less parts than other trigger systems and therefore makes the trigger pull exceptional.
The Suppressor Ready model of the P-07 comes with an extended barrel threaded 1/2 x 28, which is the standard for 9mm suppressors in the U.S. It also comes with extra tall sights that will allow for the user to get a good sight picture even with a suppressor mounted. The rear sight is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation.
The gun was tested with two suppressors from Thompson Machine; their 9mm Isis-2 with recoil booster as well as their 9mm Poseidon micro suppressor. The Isis-2 is cataloged as a 9mm suppressor but it will work with a variety of calibers including rimfire, centerfire calibers below 9mm and Subsonic 300 Blackout. When used on a rimfire or 300 Blackout rifle a threaded backcap can be exchanged for the recoil booster. The recoil booster is only needed with semi-auto pistols that need the extra boost to overcome the added weight on the end of the muzzle. The Isis-2 is a mono-core suppressor, which means the “guts,” i.e. the baffles and the spacers, are machined from one piece of 6061 T6 aluminum. This technology enables the suppressor to be easily taken apart and cleaned. The Isis-2 is a bigger suppressor with a total length of just over 9 inches with attached booster and a diameter of 1.375 inches. Even though it is a larger suppressor, it weighs only 7 ounces. On the other end of Thompson Machines’ 9mm suppressor spectrum is the tiny 9mm Poseidon. The Poseidon has got to be one of the most advanced sound suppressors being marketed today. This suppressor is just slightly over 4 inches long and has a diameter of 1.25 inches. It is very lightweight at just 3.8 ounces and is also a mono-core baffle suppressor. The suppressor is so light and small that it functions with all semi-auto pistols without a booster thus shortening up the overall package. The Poseidon can be used wet or dry and with or without a neoprene wipe. For those not familiar with wet suppressors they are designed to be shot with a coolant, either water or wire pulling gel, inserted into them before they are shot. The coolant cools the hot gases faster making the suppressor much quieter. The Poseidon was designed to be used on .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, 9mm and .380 ACP weapons. The design is unique in that it incorporates a two-piece end cap that, when used with a neoprene wipe, seals the ablative medium (coolant) in the suppressor so that it doesn’t run out or evaporate. This has always been the downside of wet suppressors. This suppressor is also made from 6061 T6 aluminum and it, as well as the Isis-2, are both finished in matte black to match the finish on most tactical pistols. Thompson Machine also offers their suppressors in Flat Dark Earth color as an option for a slight price upgrade. Both of these suppressors are scary quiet and whether you are using them on nighttime varmints on your property on in an “on duty” capacity you can’t go wrong with either of these units. One of these combined with the CZ 75 P-07 Duty make for a very deadly combination.
During the test firing of the CZ, several types of ammunition were used. These included some light 115 grain FMJ target reloads all the way up to 147 grain hollow point subsonic. We also included several brands of 9mm personal defense ammo with some +P stuff thrown in as well. In fact, we tried everything we could think of to try to get the gun to have a failure to feed or fire but were unsuccessful. This pistol literally fed and fired everything we put in it. It even handled 9mm military ammunition, which is known for its hard primers, without a hitch. Accuracy is very good and while this author thinks the trigger pull has a lot to do with it, there is also a design element that helps produce very tight groups. The gun is designed so that the slide rides inside of the frame rather than outside the frame as in other pistols. This allows the bore axis to sit lower in the hand and recoil that feels like the gun comes straight back instead of the muzzle flipping up. All of this translates into the shooter concentrating more on shot placement than on controlling the gun. It also makes for extremely fast second shots. For whatever reason, the gun points very naturally and is extremely accurate.
In conclusion, not only is this a very good looking gun, but it is a very accurate gun with a great trigger pull, shoots any ammo that you can stuff into it and is as well-made as any handgun you will find. On top of this it has a retail price of only $528. That price is a bargain for just about any handgun these days let alone one that has the features of the P-07 Duty Suppressor Ready.
P.O. Box 171073
Kansas City, KS 66117-0073
Phone: (913) 321-1811
Fax: (913) 321-2251
172 Center Street
Panacea, FL 32346
Phone: (850) 408-5161
Fax: (850) 984-5483
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V17N3 (September 2013)|