Firearms

Range Report: CZ P-07 Pistol — Designed for Concealed Carry

CZ P-07 semiautomatic pistol on a road map

CZ recently bought Colt. Can you imagine that? Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod (ČZUB) the firearms manufacturer in the Czech Republic, responsible for some of the finest-made firearms in the world, now owns one of America’s premier firearms companies. CZ makes pistols, rifles, and shotguns that are held in high esteem in the military, hunting, sporting, and personal protection arenas. The most popular of the Czech handguns, the CZ-75 of which there are many models and many clones, was introduced in 1975.

The original CZ-75s are all steel. They come in several models such as the 75, 85, and Compact with differing features such as size, finish, capacity, and caliber. In recent years, the ČZUB factory has introduced several models with polymer frames. A mid-size model, the CZ P-07, caught my eye as I pondered adding a true CZ pistol to my collection.

CZ P-07 9mm pistol with two spare magazines and extra backstraps
The CZ-P07 ships with a total of three magazines and three backstraps.

CZ P-07 Features

The CZ P-07 has a bit of a futuristic look about it, but frankly, it looks all business to me. Mine is black, but they also come in OD. It comes with the different-sized backstraps that are commonly offered with modern firearms, so it was no trouble to ensure it fit my hands. When I pick it up or pull it out of a holster, it naturally finds the right place in my hand, ready to go with no shifting of my grip. The sights line up, and I can easily put my finger on the trigger with the proper positioning.

The slide lock lever, which doubles as a takedown lever, is big with a surface that’s easy to work, yet flat, so it doesn’t interfere with concealment. There’s a decocker, which with a little bit of DIY gunsmith work, can be converted to a safety, accommodating those who want the ability to carry the P-07 “cocked and locked.” The extra parts to accomplish the conversion come with the gun. The grip surface has just the right amount of aggressiveness to make the gun easy to hold onto without hurting my hands.

The appearance of this CZ is all CZ-75, yet it’s different. The CZs differ from most of the guns we’re familiar with in that the slide rails are inverted. By that I mean the slide attaches to the inside of the frame. With most of the semi-automatic handguns, unless they’re CZ clones, the slide attaches outside the frame. Does this make a difference in how the gun operates? Not really.

The rails on a CZ are full-length, so there is good solid contact. The configuration makes the slide a bit narrow, so it doesn’t provide as much grip area for cycling the slide. I admit that is a bit of an issue, but I like shooting the gun so much, I figured out a method of handling it that works for me.

CZ added something to this gun I’ve not seen on other handguns. There are grip serrations on the frame similar to the ones on the slide. The frame serrations are about midway on the gun, just ahead of the slide lock. I found that by using the frame serrations with my left hand, I can more easily retract the slide with my right hand.

CZ P-07 9mm pistol in a plastic case with two spare magazines and extra backstraps
The CZ P-07 ships in a sturdy plastic case with three magazines, two additional backstraps, and a cleaning brush. Also in the case are the parts and tools necessary to convert the decocker to a safety.

The overall appearance of the CZ P-07 is designed for concealed carry, though police all over Europe carry a CZ as their duty gun. The top of the frame is rounded on the sides and in front. The controls on the side of the gun are as flat as any I’ve seen on a handgun, yet they’re easy to operate because of their size and texture.

The slide lock/takedown lever is large with two ridges on it for traction. The de-cocker is flat and ambidextrous. The magazine release is rectangular with tiny ridges on it that make operating it easy. It is also reversible. The manual says reversing it is a job for a gunsmith, but if you’re handy with your hands and basic tools, it’s not hard to do.

You can find several YouTube videos on the procedure. The key to it is to carefully contain the detent and spring that will want to fly across the room if you’re not careful.

CZ P-07 9mm pistol, right profile
The cocking serrations — front and rear — are aided by those on the frame.

The gun is sized right for concealed carry. It’s 7 inches long, including the beavertail, and 5.25 inches high. Frame width is 1.07 inches, but when you include the ambidextrous decockers it’s 1.45 inches at that point — almost exactly the dimensions of a Glock 19. Total weight unloaded is just under 28 ounces.

The CZ P-07 is the first CZ to have what it calls the Omega Trigger system. All the trigger parts are interlocking in nature, allowing full disassembly and reassembly without the need for gunsmithing experience or tools. Trigger operation is smooth with a pull as measured by my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge averaging 10 pounds double-action and 4 pounds. 10 ounces in single-action. Take-up in double-action mode is only 1/8-inch. In single-action mode, it’s almost ½-inch with the same amount of reset.

left side control on the CZ P-07 9mm Semi automatic handgun
The flat controls aid in carrying concealed and are big enough they’re very easy to use. The decocker can be converted to a safety.

There is a Picatinny rail that’s just shy of 2 inches long for mounting a light, laser, or combo. The trigger guard is squared off in front with a bit of a tang. The back part of the trigger guard is raised to allow a high grip. Very nice. Both sides of the grip are recessed near the top as a natural fit for your thumb and forefinger regardless of which hand is your dominant hand.

The designers in the CZ shop obviously worked with this gun for a while, tweaking here and there, and passing it around until they all agreed it was ready. They did a great job. The weight of the slide, the thickness of the frame, and the texture of the grip all come together to make it a perfectly balanced shooting platform.

Maintenance

Disassembly for cleaning is standard for all CZ-type handguns. Remove the magazine, and ensure there is nothing in the chamber. Then, look for a pair of marks on the left side of the gun near the rear of the slide — one on the frame, one on the slide. They are tiny vertical strips you align by retracting the slide just a skosh.

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The hammer has a half-cock position that helps take the pressure off the slide while you align the marks. With those marks aligned, you push the slide stop lever through and out of the frame from the right side. I use the base of a magazine to accomplish this task. With the lever removed, the slide slips off the front of the frame. Compress and lift out the recoil spring/guide rod. Then, lift out the barrel and you’re done.

At the Range

I have used various brands of common defensive ammunition with the P-07, including Speer Gold Dot, Federal Train & Protect, Fiocchi JHP, and Hornady FTX. If I do my part, the CZ P-07 will shoot one ragged hole with any of these rounds at close encounter ranges up to 10–12 feet. Moving out to 15 yards, it will still keep the rounds within 3–4 inches. I’ve probably put close to 2,000 rounds through my P-07 and have not experienced any type of malfunction.

CZ P-07 9mm semiautomatic handgun with a box of Hornady ammunition on a green and white paper target with five bullet holes
The CZ P-07 is reliable and accurate. This 15-yard grouping is typical.

Conclusion: CZ P-07

I’ll wrap this up with a story that speaks to the CZ P-07’s appeal. When my P-07 was new, I had a friend who was gun shopping. I went to the range with him with a bag of handguns for him to try. He decided he wanted my P-07. Not a CZ P-07 but MY P-07. I told him we would order him one, but no. That wasn’t good enough. He wanted to take mine home with him, even offered me real money for it. I didn’t let it go, and he was able to get his own within a week. However, that just lets you know it’s a pretty special gun.

The CZ 75 has certainly earned its place. Although it is heavy due to its steel construction, its design and features have made its way to several models offered by competitors. So how does the CZ P-07 rate in your book? Share your answer or review in the comment section.

  • Field stripped CZ P-07 handgun with bore cleaner, solvant, and bore brush
  • The slide of the CZ P-07 partially removed showing the inverted rails
  • CZ P-07 9mm semiautomatic handgun with a box of Hornady ammunition on a green and white paper target with five bullet holes
  • left side control on the CZ P-07 9mm Semi automatic handgun
  • CZ P-07 9mm pistol, right profile
  • CZ P-07 9mm pistol, left profile
  • CZ P-07 9mm pistol with two spare magazines and extra backstraps
  • CZ P-07 9mm pistol in a plastic case with two spare magazines and extra backstraps
  • CZ P-07 semiautomatic pistol on a road map
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Comments (11)

  1. The P-07 is the best. I regularly hit the zombie target in the head from 25 yards. The only gun I enjoy shooting more is my grandfather’s 1944 Remington Rand 1911A1. It was his sidearm in the war, and still works like a charm.

  2. I had waited at least a year for the Gen 2 PO-7 to be available. Finally they got 1 in at my local Academy, and I instantly purchased it. Its about 6 years later now and I am still proud of the investment. No issue’s and it is very accurate. I also picked up a SAR clone K2-P that was half the price and it also is impressive. It is however a little bulkier than the CZ but for a backup or truck gun I have no complaints. Love this article and it is dead on! I have several M&P’s but the PO-7 is my go to firearm.

  3. Firstly, I’m a huge CZ fan, I have almost every model. Coincidentally, I don’t have the P07 yet, but I have the big brother/full size P09. I love the P09, smooth shooter and tack driver. I will say, after shooting steel framed CZs, the omega trigger is just OK. Someone really needs to shoot a steel frame CZ to really see why these guns stand apart from the rest. Something magical about CZs, just a different experience when running them.

  4. Look around if you want night sights, my CZ P-07 Duty came with a slightly extended barrel and night sights from the factory. They are out there on the used market if you look around, look for models with a barrel that extends about 3/8″ beyond the end of the slide. This model does NOT have a threaded barrel, the extended portion is completely smooth.

  5. I absolutely love Czech weaponry, and hope to make this one my next. The Singapore police were trying these out for general duty but for some reason didn’t adopt it, going with the Glock 19 instead. Although I do like Glocks, I really think they missed the boat on this one. It’s very nice to have a pistol on the market which includes three magazines, I would like to see it offered with night sights as well.

  6. Do yourself a favor and grab the P Series Upgrade Spring Kit from Cajun Gun Works, it’s the best $30 you’ll ever spend on your P-07 (or P-09) pistol. It really improves the double action trigger pull, with a slight improvement in single action also. They make a short reset kit also but I’m fine with the reset the way it is, if you want to run a P series pistol in competition though it might be something to look into.

  7. I must admit that after trying several handguns at our local shooting range that I have become enamored with all CZ products. I now own both the CZ 75 as well as the CZ PO7 with the later being my concealed carry. You can’t go wrong with CZ handguns. Never known one to fail, when it counts, and I have never had any type of failure or misfire from either CZ.

  8. I’ve got the P-10, the only Tupperware CZ in my collection. I am underwhelmed by it. I’ve never shot the P-07, so cannot comment, but to me, aesthetically and functionally, a plastic CZ is like a plastic Colt – something Mother Nature never intended. By the way, my only plastic Colt is an American 2000. Need I say more?

  9. I should have mentioned the SAR B6 when discussing the CZ-75 and its clones. The SAR B6 is a very close clone of the CZ-75 and another excellent shooting firearm. Until DOUG G mentioned the lower bore axis affect, I couldn’t have put it in words, but I’m reckoning that does have a major impact on how these guns shoot.

  10. The P-07 was my introduction to CZ’s as well. I had been shooting Beretta’s in IDPA competitions and took a friend to the range. She had the P-07 and when I tried it, it felt like noting I had shot before. My rounds were impacting so close to each other and the recoil impulse was moving straight back up my forearms rather than flipping the muzzle. It was a tack driver. So flat shooting and so accurate that I often say, the gun more accurate than I can be. I think the slide in the frame does make a difference (contrary to this writer). It lowers the bore axis which accounts for the recoil impulse moving straight back.
    I too had to have a CZ after that experience. So, after some research I got a P-01, two actually, one black and the other OD green. The latter is my EDC. I use a SP-01 for IDPA now, as well as a 97BD in .45ACP, with which I’ve recorded my best competition score of Zero Down for the whole match. I still don’t have the P-07, that I started out with, in my collection of CZ’s. Mainly because I shy away from plastic guns in general, but a P-07 or P-09 are on my list. As I hope to have one of every model of CZ some day. That’s how much I like and trust these guns. If you haven’t shot a CZ or one of its clones, with the slide in the frame and that low bore axis, then you are missing out. I highly recommend these guns.

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