Monday, July 18, 2011

CZ P-01 Range Report

Ahh, CZ.  Ceska Zbrojovka.  A well made, solid line of firearms from the Czech Republic that has been making in-roads with a lot of sport and defensive shooters for years.  I have to say that I've been pretty impressed with the experience that I've had with them and a friend of mine over at Rock in a Sea of Chaos has a few of these and they're great guns.  The ergonomics are one of the first things I noticed.  They fit the hand pretty well.  They're steel framed, so they have some heft to them and it tames recoil pretty well.


So, I made it to the range with a little bit of a different handgun this weekend, The CZ 75 P-01 (or just CZ P-01).  I asked to borrow this one so I could do a review because I haven't had any actual hands on with this particular model.  I've had trigger time with the larger CZ 75s, but not the CZ P-01.  I have to say, I was pretty impressed.  So, for those of you wondering how to pronounce it, here is a video (not the best audio) from The Firearm Blog of the name of the company being pronounced by a native.

Blue Box of Goodess
And here are some pictures to give you an idea of how it fits in the hand.

It feels good as you would expect a CZ to feel.  It has some heft, but the size is very nice.  I could easily see switching this for a mid-size Glock or XD.  The trade-off would be in the weight with the CZ being noticeably heavier.  You would gain a little bit of recoil dampening with the weight.

This is a double action/single action handgun with a decocker and no safety.  That is different for me.  I have had experience with decockers, but do not own any handguns with them.  The first thing I had to do was orient myself with this style of handgun.  I found later that time spent getting to know the P-01 was very important for safety reasons.  When you start shooting and stop to do some things you realize, "uh, this is cocked on single-action with no safety".  That's where the decocker comes in.  I had to adjust my routine to remember to decock when I stopped shooting or before I re-holstered. 

Or until you shoot it to lock-back
And shooting to lock-back is so much more fun.  The gun comes with two mags that are 14 rounds each.  One thing I noticed was that the grip was pretty large.  All that steel and double-stacked mag goodness made for a pretty big grip to wrap hands around.  For me it wasn't too large, but it could be an issue for some.

The sights were on the small side, but not difficult to use.  Below is the front sight as seen on target.  It wasn't difficult to bring the sight back into play under recoil.  I didn't think that would be the case, but follow-up shots were not an issue.

How accurate were the sights?

Smoking hole
A ten shot group from 10 yards freehand.  That is really not bad at all.  I would attribute that to the sights and single action trigger.  It is really nice to shoot on SA.  Speaking of triggers, the DA pull is firm but smooth.  Exactly what you want.  The SA is light and crisp.  When you are used to shooting either DA OR SA the light, crisp second shot can catch you by surprise.  I hope that didn't show too much.

I also decided to do a video to show the gun under recoil.  It gives the reader a good idea of how the gun acts in your hand.  I threw a mag-change in for good measure.  I was pretty happy with how easy it was to pick up the gun and go.  I thought I did ok for only putting 50 rounds through the gun.

So, I'm not surprised I was happy with the performance of the P-01.  They make a good product and I can definitely see how they have pulled in a following of loyal users.  This definitely goes on my recommended list.

linkback love to SayUncle.  Thanks for the link.


  1. A few? Just a FEW?!?

    Nice report. If it was not for the Decocker and lack of Cocked and Locked capability, I would have bought one of those years ago.

  2. I know, I know but I didn't get my super-secret list of terms and numbers from Brady Campaign. I didn't know the media numbers for "a few", "a cache", and "an arsenal" so I winged it.

  3. The P-01 has an aluminum alloy frame, not a steel frame.