There are plenty of classic firearms that still hold their own today. The CZ 75 is one of those guns. The CZ 75 is popular, but the SA is lesser-known and often overlooked. Unfortunately, the pistol has been discontinued, but you can still find these on the used market and CZ produces several great alternatives.
CZ 75 Background
There are several great articles that go into the history of the CZ 75, and I’ll link to a good one here, but here’s a little background on the pistol. A Czech design, the CZ 75 was first introduced in 1975 behind the Iron Curtain. Given the nature of politics of the day, it was years before the CZ 75 was available in the U.S., and clones were being manufactured as soon as people started noticing success with the design.
CZ 75 SA Features
The CZ 75 Single Action is one of the biggest values in the handgun world. For around the cost of a standard CZ 75, you get a crisp single-action trigger, with an adjustable, flat trigger face. This, combined with the inverted slide rail design of the CZ 75, makes for an incredibly fast shooting pistol.
The SA variant features the same manual safety found on the standard CZ 75 (save models with a decocker), but there is no double-action firing mode. I’ll be honest, the thumb safety leaves a lot to be desired. It’s sloppy and mushy with no audible or tactile click!, but it functions. I’m not sure if this is the same on all examples, but that’s how my model is.
The rest of the pistol is standard CZ 75. The three-dot sight picture works well. The sights are a little small and narrow compared to modern options, but that helps some with shooting longer distances. Additionally, the lines milled into the top of the slide help to cut down glare when shooting in bright conditions.
Magazines are plentiful, and Mec-Gar makes dependable aftermarket options — both flush-fitting and extended. You’re looking at 16 rounds of 9mm with standard magazines if you live in a free state. The CZ 75 shows its age with its lack of an accessory rail. However, this makes for a sleek and attractive design, but it limits the pistol’s functionality.
CZ 75 SA Specifications
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 16+1 rounds
Barrel length: 4.6 inches
Overall length: 8.1 inches
Height: 5.4 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Weight: 36.1 ounces
Accuracy and Handling
On the range, the CZ 75 SA is an absolute tack driver. If you do your part with proper trigger pull and sight alignment, the pistol will too. Firing standing at 12 yards, I was able to get groups about the size of my fist. I’m sure a more experienced shot could tighten this up a bit. Overall, I was happy with the accuracy I was able to achieve.
The handling is where my love for the CZ 75 starts to dwindle. Don’t get me wrong, the pistol shoots like a dream, but when looking at the firearm as a combat pistol, I have one hang up. The inverted slide rail design leaves very little room at the rear of the slide for racking the pistol or clearing any malfunctions — a common complaint. Being left-handed, this is even more of an issue because it’s difficult to use the slide release to charge the pistol, so I primarily depend on slingshotting it.
As I stated earlier, unfortunately, the CZ 75 SA has been discontinued. However, there are still a ton of excellent alternatives from both CZ and other manufacturers. Sticking with CZ, the 75 Omega is a solid option. This is the same basic pistol with a double-action/single-action trigger. The Omega variant features parts that allow you to easily swap between using a manual thumb safety or a decocking lever. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern and tactical, the CZ SP-01 should be on your shortlist. This is a similar design with full-length frame rails and a DA/SA trigger.
Additionally, if you look outside the CZ family, the Tanfoglio Witness series should be considered. Patent design issues at that time allowed many clones to sprout up, and these pistols are nearly identical in form, function, and quality.
Even the popular Shadow and Tactical Sport lines are based on the CZ 75 design. CZ pistols are some of the best-handling, flattest-shooting competition pistols on the market. Like the standard models, there are also a number of great competition options made by Tanfoglio.
Conclusion: CZ 75 SA
The venerable CZ 75 still holds its own today. Robust, accurate, and reliable, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tested pistol design. If you see one of these single-action variants, jump on it, or find one of the great alternatives on the market.