Everything You Need To Know About The Cz 75

June 1, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About the CZ 75

The CZ 75 is a Czech, steel-framed, 9mm pistol, the flagship model of the CZ handgun line, and one of the most well-known double-action / single-action (DA / SA) pistols ever made. Learn about the CZ 75’s specifications, design, history, and variants.


The CZ 75 is the flagship pistol of the Czech firearms manufacturing company Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZUB, or simply CZ), first designed in 1975 and entering service in the Czech Armed Forces in 1976.

Since then, it became the most common handgun in the Czech Republic and was adopted or approved for use by over 30 governments’ militaries, police departments, and security agencies. It also gained popularity among civilian shooters, from competition to personal defense.

Development History

After the Second World War, brothers and CZUB firearms engineers Josef and František Koucký began developing the company’s new weapon designs. As brothers, they worked together, intentionally signing their patents with their surname only.

In 1969, right after František’s retirement, CZUB offered him a final contract: Create a new 9x19mm Parabellum handgun design anyway he saw fit. CZUB gave him carte blanche to design the gun from scratch without building or reusing any of the company’s previous designs. The result was the CZ 75, an incredibly innovative firearm for its era with many ideas and features still relevant today.

As Czechoslovakia’s service pistol cartridges at the time were the same as those of other Warsaw Pact countries (namely, 9x18mm Makarov and 7.62x25mm Tokarev), the CZ 75 (being a 9x19mm pistol) was initially intended as an export-only firearm.

However, technicalities regarding patent law caused the CZ 75’s patents to be what the Czech government referred to as secret patents. The government prohibited the public from knowing about their existence, yet nobody could register the same design in Czechoslovakia. As a result, a significant number of foreign manufacturers could produce clones and copies of the CZ 75 without fear of lawsuits.

Despite being designed in the 1970s, the pistol did not reach the civilian market until 1985, only officially adopted by its home country’s armed forces in 1989.

Design Details

The original full-size CZ 75 is a short-recoil, locked-breech pistol chambered in 9x19mm, featuring a steel frame, a steel slide, an external hammer, a manual safety lever, and a 15-round, double-column magazine.

The CZ 75 employs a Browning linkless cam system, similar to the one used in the Browning Hi-Power as early as 1935. This operating principle causes the barrel and the slide to lock together when firing via a set of locking lugs milled directly into the barrel and corresponding recesses cut into the slide. This operating system grants the gun improved lock time, improving its accuracy and reliability.

CZ 75s are sometimes grouped into the “Wonder Nine” category, referencing their size, chambering, and high magazine capacity.

They are highly appreciated by civilian shooters, law enforcement officers, and military units for their high reliability, low bore axis, ergonomic grips, and trigger, featuring a crisp single-action mode and a smooth double-action. Legendary firearms expert Jeff Cooper once referred to the CZ 75 as “the world’s best service nine.”

With a steel construction and over 34 oz. of weight, the CZ 75 is not a lightweight gun. Still, the heft is regarded as a positive factor by enthusiasts, granting shooters slightly better recoil control by absorbing the already relatively low recoil energy of the 9x19mm cartridge.

Specifications (CZ 75B)

The specifications of a typical CZ 75B are as follows:

  • Type: Semi-automatic pistol
  • Caliber: 9x19mm Parabellum or.40 S&W
  • Action: Double-action / Single-action ( DA / SA )
  • Safety: Manual, frame-mounted, ambidextrous
  • Sights: Fixed, white dot sights
  • Grips: Black plastic
  • Frame and slide: Steel with a black polycoat finish
  • Capacity:
    • 9mm: 16-round magazine, +1
    • .40 S&W: 12-round magazine, +1
  • Overall length: 8.1″
  • Barrel length: 4.7″
  • Width: 1.4″
  • Weight: 34.3 oz.

Variants and Derivatives

The CZ 75 was declined in a large number of variants and derivatives.

CZ 75 Steel Full-Size Series

  • CZ 75 First model: Unofficial designation for the very first CZ 75 pistol, with shorter slide rails and a more prominent frame and slide step at the muzzle end. Lacks a firing pin safety. This original version was quickly discontinued in favor of the “Pre-B” model.
  • CZ 75 Pre-B: Unofficial name for the redesigned original CZ 75, so named because it precedes the CZ 75B. Features a shorter step and longer slide rails. Pre-B pistols lack a firing pin safety, like first models.
  • CZ 75B: The second generation of CZ 75 pistols was first introduced in 1998 and is now considered the standard model. The B features the now-standard 16-round magazine and firing pin block safety. Additional features include a ring hammer and a squared trigger guard.
  • CZ 75BD: Identical to the B, but features a decocker instead of a safety.
  • CZ 75BD Police: Identical to the BD, but with a loaded chamber indicator to meet law enforcement requirements.
  • CZ 75 B Omega: Modern version of the CZ 75B, replacing the basic CZtrigger control group with the newer Omega trigger system first introduced in the CZ P-07. Discontinued in 2015.
  • CZ 75 B Omega Convertible: Updated version of the B Omega introduced in 2016, with redesigned hammer and sights. Includes a kit letting the user swap between a decocker and a manual safety.
  • CZ 75 B SA: Single-action only version of the B, with a drop-free magazine. Discontinued in 2018.
  • CZ 75 B DAO: Planned double-action-only version of the B, with no external safety or decocker, instead featuring a long, smooth double-action trigger. Only 100 produced (50 in 9mm, 50 in .40) in 2000, now discontinued.
  • CZ P-09 Duty: Full-size version of the CZ P-07 Duty (see below).

CZ 75 Compact Series

  • CZ 75 Compact: Compact model of the original pistol, featuring reduced dimensions (7.3″ overall length, 32.5 oz. overall weight), a slightly shorter grip, and a 3.9″ barrel. It comes with a 14-round magazine in 9mm or an 11-round magazine in .40 S&W.
  • CZ 75 Semi Compact: Features a full-size frame mated to a compact slide and barrel, making it one of the earliest officially produced “crossover” pistols long before the term came into widespread use. First produced in 1994, predating the equivalent Glock 19X by over 20 years.
  • CZ P-01: Aluminum alloy frame version of the Compact, with Picatinny rail and decocker, chambered in 9x19mm only. Adopted by the Czech National Police in 2001.
  • CZ P-01 Omega Convertible: Modernized P-01 with Omega trigger group, updated hammer and sights, and decocker/safety swap kit.
  • CZ P-06: .40 S&W version of the P-01.
  • CZ P-07 Duty: Polymer framed variant with a redesigned trigger control group, a new, more angular frame, and a safety/decocker swap kit.
  • CZ 40B / Colt Z40: Collaboration between Colt and CZUB, features a 1911 style Colt frame and a slide and barrel by CZ, chambered in .40 S&W.

CZ 75 Sub Compact Series

  • CZ 2075 RAMI: Developed from the CZ 40B, the RAMI is a concealed carrying-oriented, subcompact version of the CZ 75. Features a 3″ barrel, an alloy frame, low-profile anti-snag sights, and either a 10-round magazine (9mm) or an 8-round magazine (.40).
  • CZ 2075 RAMI BD: Decocker version of the RAMI.
  • CZ 2075 RAMI P: Polymer-framed version of the RAMI.

Competition Models

  • CZ 75 SP-01: Competition model of the CZ 75, based on the P-01 but featuring an all-steel construction, a full-size frame and slide, a 4.7″ barrel, and either an ambidextrous manual safety or decocker (SP-01 Tactical). Famously used by 2005 IPSC world champions Angus Hobdell and Adam Tyc.
  • CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow: Improved version of the SP-01, featuring design changes intended to improve its performance in production pistol competitions. It lacks a firing pin block, features a lighter recoil spring, reshaped controls, a fiber-optic front sight, and a Novak rear sight.
  • CZ Shadow 2: A further improved version of the original CZ Shadow, featuring a longer barrel (4.89″), a lighter slide, improved ergonomics (reshaped grips and more aggressive checkering), and many other, smaller changes.
  • CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom: Polymer-framed version of the CZ Shadow, featuring interchangeable rear grip panels to fit different hands.
  • CZ 75 Kadet: .22 Long Rifle training and target shooting version of the CZ 75B, sold as a slide and barrel assembly compatible with a standard 75B frame.
  • CZ 75 Kadet: .22 Long Rifle training and target shooting version of the CZ 75B, sold as a slide and barrel assembly compatible with a standard 75B frame.

Other Variants

  • CZ 85: Fully ambidextrous version of the CZ 75.
  • CZ 97: .45 ACP version of the CZ 75, with a slightly enlarged frame and slide.
  • CZ 75 Automatic: Machine pistol version of the CZ 75, notable for its high fire rate and attachment point for a second magazine, allowing it to serve as a makeshift foregrip.

Clones, Copies, and Foreign Derivatives

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most notable CZ 75 clones and derivative products.

  • Norinco NZ-75: Chinese clone of the CZ-75, notable for being an inexpensive but accurate reproduction of the original pistols.
  • Tanfoglio TZ-75 / EAA Witness: Series of Italian-made pistols based on the CZ 75. Many of these pistols have seen extensive use as competition pistols.
  • IMI Jericho 941 / Magnum Research Baby Eagle: Israeli-American derivative, originally intended to accommodate the high-powered .41 Action Express. Also available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.
  • Sphinx Systems 2000 / 3000 / TDP: Swiss-made CZ 75 derivatives, well-known for their excellent craftsmanship.
  • Dornaus & Dixon Bren Ten: 10mm Auto derivative, designed with legendary firearms expert Jeff Cooper. Made famous by TV shows such as Miami Vice.


The CZ 75 is a legendary family of pistols, used and appreciated by shooters of all levels. The CZ 75 is one of the few pistol families to enjoy success among all major categories; law enforcement, military forces, security agencies, concealed carrying, and competition shooting.

IFA Tactical offers a large selection of the world’s best firearms, including the CZ 75 and many of its derivatives. If you’re shopping for a new pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, ammunition, and accessories for your guns, browse our inventory. For any questions or requests, call us at (586) 275-2176.


Is the CZ 75 a good gun?

CZ 75 pistols are highly dependable pistols, regarded by some of the world’s most prominent firearms experts as one of the best handguns ever made.

Is the CZ 75 discontinued?

Although CZUB has developed dozens of variants and modernized versions, if you’re looking for a more classic look and feel, the company continues producing the original CZ 75B to this day.

Would a CZ 75 make a good first gun for an adult who is new to firearms?

If you are looking to purchase your first handgun, a CZ 75 is an excellent choice. Although the metal-framed models are heavier than a Glock or a SIG, the added weight helps you control recoil more effectively.

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