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CZ 75 Compact Review

In this post, we do a CZ 75 Compact Review.

You’re likely familiar with the CZ 75 handgun. The CZ 75 is the second most copied handgun in the world. It follows the 1911, which is the most copied handgun in the world. The CZ 75 was designed in the ’70s and Czechoslovakia by the company CZ. CZ is known for making quality firearms.

The CZ 75, it’s probably its most well-known design. During that time period, the Czech Republic was under Soviet control.

CZ 75c Left side

Despite that, the Czechs had a little more leeway in their firearms design than most of the other countries. So they didn’t go with the standard Makarov pistols but instead decided to design their own firearms. The CZ 75 is most ubiquitous for its use with Spetsnaz commandos. The CZ 75 Compact is just a shorter and slightly smaller barrier than the CZ 75.

Role-based off size

CZ 75 Compact would probably be considered for many, for a range toy or home defense firearm. The downside of the CZ 75 for a home defense firearm is it does not have a light rail. So it is not a gun you can easily mount a light to. It can also work well for concealed carry. Its grip size and overall size of the firearm is similar to a Glock 19.

One thing you might want to consider before deciding to carry this gun is it does weigh a lot more than similar size guns. This weight is an advantage when shooting, but it’s an indefinite disadvantage when carrying it.

Features 

The CZ 75 Compact has a 15 round magazine, and will also hold some CZ 75 14-round magazines. If you want the magazine to fit perfectly flush with the grip, it’ll only hold 14 rounds. The most common CZ magazines have a base plate that sticks out around an eighth of an inch.

This firearm will take any CZ 75 series mags. You can easily shoot 16, 17, 19 round, and even the 20 round plus CZ 75 magazines.

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Magwell

CZ 75c Magwell

The magwell on the CZ 75 has no bevel to speak of whatsoever. So when you’re reloading it, you have to get that reload perfect every time. If you don’t get it perfect, there’s no bevel to help you save a botched reload. 

Grip/Ergonomics

CZ 75c Grip 2

The ergonomics and the CZ 75 are probably its most well-known attribute. This gun is just incredibly comfortable to hold in the hand. Their ergonomics are somewhat based on the Browning Hi-Power, but in my opinion, they’re slightly improved over that gun.

I say that as a massive Browning HI-Power fan. You have removable grip panels on the CZ 75c. So you can adjust the size or circumference of the grip, by going with thinner or thicker grips.

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

There are also a large variety of aftermarket grips that you can vary the aggressiveness on. Most of these grips are made out of G-10 and you can get them with light or heavy aggressiveness. The side grips that come on the CZ, 75 are hard plastic that has checkering on them.

They honestly work well enough and they’re not slick. They feel a little bit slick on as far as the micro-texture. From the macro and overall standpoint, they’re just aggressive enough to give you a good grip on the gun. 

CZ 75c Front Strap

The front strap and backstrap on the firearm, do not have any checkering or texturing whatsoever. They’re completely slick, but the grips do a good enough job of keeping the guns still in your hand. And the finish on the frame of the firearm is also somewhat aggressive, like a really, really like sandpaper.

Something probably north of 2000 grit. But it’s aggressive enough that you don’t have to worry about the gun going anywhere. I really like the texturing on the frame of this firearm. 

CZ 75c Backstrap

Beavertail

CZ 75c Tang

There is a nice beavertail in the back of the CZ 75 grip that really molds well into the guy. Despite this gun being a double-stack firearm, it feels like it’s much thinner than it really is.

I think CZ did an excellent job designing a gun that will work well for both small and large-handed shooters. 

Sights

CZ 75c Sight Picture

The factory sights on the CZ 75 are nothing special. It looks like the sights have not been updated since this gun was designed in the 1970s. It’s just a basic three-dot sight that has a small rear notch and a very small front.

These sights aren’t great by modern standards, but they are usable. I find they have decent accuracy when just shooting and playing around at the range. If I were to carry this gun for concealed carry or use it for serious defensive use, then I would definitely want to upgrade the sights.

CZ 75c Rear Sight Side

Aftermarket 

Now a big downside of the CZ 75 series is that there aren’t a lot of aftermarket sight options. You can get aftermarket sights from the CZ Custom Shop or Dawson Precision. But those are really your only options on this gun. There are more CZ sight options for guns like the CZ P-10C and P-07, which are more modern. 

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Dawson Precision does have enough sight options that will probably keep most people happy. If you want fiber optics, blacked-out target sights, or night sights then they have you covered. But if you want something like Trijicon HDs or AmeriGlo Glock sights that have that really bright orange or yellow front while still having night sight capability, then the CZ 75, probably isn’t going to be the gun for you.

Red dot options

Mounting a red dot to the CZ 75 Compact is not going to be easy, and the reason for this is the slide is extremely thin. That means to mount most red dots, you’re going to have to mill a custom adapter plate that will extend the width of the mounting surface on the gun.

Now, new red dots, like the brand new Trijicon RMRcc and the HOLOSUN 507K series are much thinner and can probably be directly mounted to this firearm.

There are shops such as Cajun Gun Works, CZ Custom Shop, and Primary Machine that will mount red dots to this pistol. And I forgot to mention Fire For Effect LLC. They’ll also do a great job mounting, a red dot to your CZ 75 Compact.

Controls

Safeties 

CZ 75c Safety off

The CZ 75 Compact has a thumb safety on it. The thumps safety is not on the left-handed side of the gun so a right-handed shooter can activate it and deactivate it using their primary hand thumb.

The safety itself is well-positioned similar to a 1911 style safety and it’s easy and positive to manipulate. You don’t feel like the safety is going to inadvertently be pushed off, but at the same time, it’s not hard to press it up or down at all. 

CZ 75c Safety Engaged

When you’re shooting the gun, you can easily place your thumb on top of that safety and you use it to apply some downward pressure on the firearm. You can run this gun in two different configurations, as far as conditions when carrying. You can run this gun cocked and locked with the hammer back and the safety engaged, or you can manually decock the hammer and let it ride at half-cock with the safety off.

The safety will not go on when the gun is on half-cock.

Mag release

CZ 75c Magazine Release

The magazine release on the CZ 75 Compact is not on the left-hand side of the firearm so a right-handed shooter can depress it with his firing hand thumb. I have to break my grip to drop the magazine on the CZ 75 Compact using the standard grips. If I had thinner grips, I could probably drop the magazine without breaking my grip.

I have medium to large size hands, so most people will likely have to break the grip to drop the magazine on this firearm.

CZ 75 Compact Slide stop Review

The slide stop on the CZ 75 Compact also functions as a takedown pin. The slide stop sits a little far forward for most people to reach with their thumb, myself included. And the safety also slightly blocks it as well.

So for most people, you’re only going to be able to access the slide stop using their left-hand support thumb.

CZ 75c Slide Stop Rear

Many call this the Vickers method of reloading and I find it works perfectly well for this gun. That method was developed around the 1911 and considering this gun is an older firearm design itself. It seems more appropriate to use a slightly older technique when manipulating this firearm.

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Overall Ergonomics

Overall, the ergonomics on the CZ 75 are excellent. The grip feels fantastic in the hand. You have adjustment with the replaceable grips and there’s really no downside on this gun when it comes to the frame. The biggest knocks on this gun are the slide.

CZ 75c with Magazine

The slide on the CZ 75 series is very narrow and that narrow slide makes it hard to manipulate the firearm. The slot is not only narrow, but it’s also very short. Many will say the short is due to the low bore axis on the CZ 75 series, when in fact that is an incorrect assumption. The bore axis on the CZ 75 series isn’t super high, but it is not low either.

The bore axis is measured from the top of the web of your hand to the center of the bore, and on the CZ 75, the center of the board actually sits fairly high on the gun, much higher than say a gun like a Glock 19. What the CZ 75 is unique in that it uses internal frame rails to hold the slide in place.

These frame rails mean that the slide doesn’t have as much exposed area on the outside of the gun, thus it’s harder to manipulate. This is my biggest complaint of the CZ 75 series.

CZ 75 Compact Trigger Review

CZ 75c Trigger DA

The trigger on the CZ 75 series is actually a really excellent trigger. We’ll run it through as if you’re using it in the double action, single action method as that will cover both the double-action and single-action trigger.

From the double-action with the trigger partially cocked, you’re going to feel slight take-up. Then once that take-up you’re going to feel a very smooth but heavy, double-action trigger pull that is just very consistent until the trigger breaks. 

CZ 75c Trigger SA

Now from the reset, you’re going to feel a very positive click and a slight spring outward motion as the firearm resets. From there, you’re going to have some slop in the trigger that will go back slightly until you hit a wall. And from there, you’ll have a rolling break that is a little bit longer on the CZ 75.

You can feel a little bit of creep in that rolling break. So the single-action trigger on the CZ 75 Compact isn’t excellent, but it’s still a good trigger. There are lots of aftermarket manufacturers that can fix it for you.

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Aftermarket

The aftermarket for the CZ 75 Compact is going to be mostly focused on trigger parts and the grips. You’re not going to find many sight options as we covered earlier and there are sufficient trigger options. CZ Custom Shop, Cajun Gun Works, and a couple of other companies all offer trigger enhancement parts for the CZ 75 series.

Lok Grips makes a lot of grips for the CZ 75 Compact, as well as a couple of other G-10 grip manufacturers and plenty of wood and carbon fiber, et cetera, options on the market. 

Maintenance CZ 75 Compact Review

CZ 75c Fieldstrip

The CZ 75 Compact takedown is a little bit old school and not completely to my liking. It’s a little bit harder to take this gun apart than say something like a Glock or a SIG P320 but it’s still a relatively simple gun to take apart.

You’ll want to remove the magazine from the firearm, pull the slide back to ensure that the gun is unloaded. Once you’re sure that the gun is unloaded, you’ll look at the rear left side of the firearm and you’ll notice there’s a little index mark on the end of the slide. That index mark, when you pull it back, we’ll match it to an index mark on the end of the frame.

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

Once those two are together, you can then push your takedown pin out from the right-hand side of the gun. It will help to have a pin or a punch to do that. Once that takedown pin is out, you can slide your slide forward and then take out your recoil spring assembly and your barrel, clean and lubricate your firearm, and then reassemble.

It’s not as easy as a Glock to if that’s what you’re looking for you’ll want to dock points in the CZ 75 Compact Review.

Aesthetics

The specs on the CZ 75 Compact are going to come down to opinion. In my opinion, the measurement from the bottom of the frame to the top of the slide is too small at the front of the firearm to make this a truly elegant-looking gun. There are definitely some features on it, such as the well-rounded shape on the grip that begins to make the firearm look elegant, but the nose of the gun just looks really small and disproportionate.

If it weren’t for that, I’d say this is an awesome-looking firearm, but I’m going to have to dock it some points for that.

CZ 75c Right Front

CZ 75 Compact Review Shooting

Shooting the CZ 75 Compact is where you really realize how amazing this gun really is. The heavier weight really comes into its own, and the short slide also plays a large role. Right off the bat, I’ll say that I’ve handled this gun to multiple people at the range, and they’ve gone out and ordered one the next day after shooting it.

The short slide cycles fairly quickly, and it doesn’t move a lot right to left, so the gun just traps very well. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever shot a gun that just shoots as quickly and accurately as this firearm. The double-action trigger is really smooth, and even though it’s heavy, it’s very easy to use. And the single-action trigger isn’t bad at all either.

The ergonomics are just excellent and this gun is extremely soft shooting. It feels more like you’re shooting a .22 than a 9mm. If it weren’t for its weight, I would have a hard time not making this firearm my concealed carry firearm. It just shoots so well. The only reason I don’t carry it is the weight. I have to say, if I was to have this gun milled for a HOLOSON 507K, or an RMRcc, then the CZ 75 Compact might become one of my favorite guns to shoot, period. 

CZ 75 Compact

CZ 75 Compact In-Stock
New and Pre Owned

And I have a decent-sized collection. The CZ 75 is one of those standout firearms that unfortunately due to the times, don’t make sense for a lot of people for concealed carry considering the weight, but it just shoots amazing. If you’re looking for a gun that is fun to take to the range and won’t blow the bank, then you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better gun than the CZ 75 Compact. I hope you’ve enjoyed our CZ 75 Compact Review.

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This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun.

I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.

2 Replies to “CZ 75 Compact Review”

  1. Paul Fernandez says:

    I bought a CZ 75 compact 9mm pistol yrs ago used from a local gun shop. Always had various 1911 .45acp pistols. When I picked it up and wrapped my hand around it,was such a comfortable feel I bought right on the spot. Purchased a CZ Sport 9mm pistol not long after that. This was the first 9mm weapon I ever owned,and wish I had discovered these handguns long ago. Reloading for handguns over 40yrs,and this weapon never jams,either with factory or my own handloads. This is one pistol I would carry and depend my life on.

    1. Harrison says:

      They really are great guns!

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