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CZ SP01 Tactical Review

The CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical is the latest evolution of the venerable CZ 75 series, which is renowned as one of the best double-action single-action handgun models ever made. The focus will be on the Tactical model first and foremost in this CZ SP01 Tactical review.

CZ SP01 Review Right

We’ll also touch on other SP-01 variants as they pertain to the success (or shortcomings) of the Tactical.

Role

With 17 9mm rounds with a flush-fit magazine and 19 rounds with the included plus-two extension, the steel-framed CZ SP-01 Tactical is no slouch. 

CZ SP01 Review Magazine

The SP-01 being an all-steel pistol is definitely designed for duty or competition use.

Most handguns these days have a lighter aluminum alloy frame, but this ends up being a massive gun in terms of both size and weight. 

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It could be used for concealed carry.

But you’re going to have to be a very dedicated carrier to want to conceal the CZ SP-01. 

The ergonomics and weight give the CZ SP-01 Tactical a unique combination that would also make it an excellent home-defense pistol.

We’ll cover why later in the review.

What Makes It Unique? 

The CZ SP-01 Tactical and standard SP-01 are unique because it’s reasonably priced all-steel frame double-action single-action firearm. 

These just aren’t that common. 

The only other option you’re likely going to find would be the higher-end Tanfoglios and the CZ Shadow 2.

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These will both cost at least 30 to 40 percent more than the SP-01.

Grip/Ergonomics

The 75 series is known for its excellent ergonomics and the SP-01 is no different. It copies the standard CZ 75 ergonomic set-up when it comes to the grip. 

Since this is an older design, it does not have removable backstraps like many modern pistols. Instead, it has old-school grips made of a rubberized material that are actually quite nice. 

CZ SP01 Review Grip

They have a cheaper feel, but they can easily be replaced. You can get grips made of G10, wood, carbon fiber, or almost any other material you can imagine. 

Beyond changing the grip material, there are also different size offerings in that category. 

Depending on your preference, you can get wider or slimmer grips options.

The stock grips are a really good in-between style that’ll work well for most shooters’ hands.

One thing that’s nice about the CZ 75 series is that it works equally well for people with medium- to extra large-sized hands. 

If you have really small hands, this gun could cause some issues for you. The main ones being trigger reach and reaching the other controls on the firearm.

Beavertail CZ SP01 Tactical Review

The beavertail on the CZ 75 SP-01 is extremely ergonomic. 

CZ SP01 Review Tang

One thing you will want to keep in mind is that if you’re carrying this inside the waistband (especially at appendix), the beavertail could be a little bit sharp and pointy, especially from the top.

While it has nice, smooth, rounded edges on the bottom, if you hit it wrong, you could hurt your hand. 

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You’re going to want to make sure that you come up low and underneath to avoid all possible injuries. 

Texturing

There’s machine checkering on both the front- and backstrap of the CZ 75 SP-01.

I’m not sure how effective it really is. It’s a very small rectangle on the front strap with a similar small rectangle on the back. 

CZ SP01 Review Frontstrap

I wish that checkering would extend a little bit further around the fillets on the side of the grip.

I think the texturing is narrow so they could machine a flatter pattern and keep machining costs down. 

It would’ve been great if the texturing extended further to the sides, but I understand. 

CZ SP01 Review Backstrap

What really saves this gun in this stock configuration is the texturing on the rubberized grips. It provides a good, solid grip on the gun that isn’t going anywhere as long as you do your part. 

The tacky, rubber-like feel seems to really work to hold your hand in place.

CZ SP01 Tactical Review General Feel

Overall, the ergonomics and grip of the CZ SP-01 Tactical are absolutely awesome. 

The grips on the other CZ SP-01s are going to be identical. 

If you have really small hands, I would be hesitant about this design. As I said earlier, if you have medium to even triple-XL hands, this gun will likely work well for you.

Slide

The slide on the CZ SP-01 is going to be my biggest complaint. All CZ 75-style firearms have really short slides. 

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I would prefer to see a taller slide on this gun as it would make it much easier to manipulate. 

If you like using an overhand cupping method to rack the slide, you might have a bit of issue doing it with this gun. I like to use the pinch method with the 75 series slides due to the difficulty of the other technique. 

You only have around three-eighths of an inch of serrations to grab with the CZ SP-01 slide. 

CZ SP01 Review Forward Serrations

It does have front and rear serrations that work fine for a press check, but it’s still not as easy as guns with a taller slide.

The reason the slide is so short on the CZ 75 SP-01 is due to the internal frame rail designs. 

Most handguns have the rails on the inside of the slide. The rails on the CZ SP-01 fit inside the frame itself. This means you have less real estate to manipulate the slide.

It probably isn’t a huge deal because you likely won’t be reloading the gun very often. 

Even in competition, you will normally top the gun off with a fresh magazine in between targets.

Controls CZ SP01 Tactical Review

The controls on any gun are very important and the CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical is no exception. This review will cover its controls in depth.

Decocker

The CZ SP-01 Tactical is a decocker variant. That means it does not have a safety like the regular CZ SP-01. 

CZ SP01 Review Decocker

The decocker on Tactical is ambidextrous with identical controls on both sides of the gun. It’s easy to reach with your firing hand thumb, or you could use your support hand thumb to drop the hammer. 

If I don’t break my grip, it actually hurts to press down the decocker since I’m using the underside of my thumb with a nerve right there. 

Your hand may be shaped differently and not give you this problem. 

That being said, by simply breaking your grip, it’s much more comfortable to decock the firearm.

Safeties

The standard CZ 75 SP-01 has a safety that does not allow you to decock the hammer mechanically. You have to manually drop the hammer by holding it and then pulling the trigger.

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This is not nearly as safe as the Tactical. If you’re going to run this gun with the hammer down and double-action, I definitely suggest getting the Tactical variant. 

If you want to run it cocked and locked, you can get the regular SP-01 instead.

Magazine Release

The magazine release on the CZ 75 SP-01 is easy for me to reach with my large hands. 

CZ SP01 Review Magazine Release

If you have medium hands, you’ll still likely be able to reach it without breaking your grip. With smaller  hands than that, you will almost assuredly have to break your grip to reach this release. 

The magazine itself has all the edges nicely rounded so it’s not sharp and won’t poke your thumb anywhere when pressing it.

Slide Stop CZ SP01 Tactical Review

The slide stop on the CZ SP-01 Tactical is located right above the trigger at the same position as most other guns. I can just barely reach it with my firing hand thumb, but you can also use your support hand thumb to press it down. 

CZ SP01 Review Slide Stop

If you have medium or smaller hands, you might not be able to reach the slide stop, but if you are trying to lock the slide back manually, it’s very easy to use your thumb to press it up. 

The Tactical has a nice flat ledge on the bottom side that makes it easy to press the slide stop into the ‘up’ position.

Magwell

There’s the slightest bevel on the magwell of the CZ SP-01. It’s not going to help you very much with reloads, but it is better than nothing.

CZ SP01 Review Magwell

If you’re using this as a competition pistol in a division that requires a lot of reloads, this could be an issue.

Overall Ergonomics

Overall, the ergonomics of the CZ SP-01 are quite good and are the highlight of this review.

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The ergonomics are easy to use for anybody with medium- to large-size hands, but even if your hands are extremely large, the gun will still work well for you. 

That’s what’s so impressive about the CZ 75 series ergonomics.

Trigger

The CZ SP-01 has, as we stated earlier, a double-action single-action trigger. 

CZ SP01 Review DA Trigger

The trigger starts with a double-action pull. When you go to pull that trigger, you’re going to feel a light bit of take-up of around three-eighths to a half an inch before pulling the trigger back about another half-inch before it breaks. 

That pull is going to be fairly smooth with very little creep. 

I really like the CZ double-action single-action triggers. The company normally does a really good job with their stock factory options, but if you want to get them smoothed out and upgraded, there are tons of aftermarket companies that offer kits and upgraded trigger parts. 

From the reset, the trigger is let out fairly softly. 

It’s not very authoritative like some other guns. At that point, you’re going to have a little bit of very light creep before you hit a wall and have a nice rolling break for the single-action trigger pull. 

I personally really like the single-action pull. It’s just nice and really easy to shoot.

Aesthetics

In my opinion, the CZ 75 SP-01 isn’t the most aesthetically-pleasing gun. 

CZ SP01 Review with a magazine

It looks nose-heavy with its front rail and very thin slide. Despite the lines on the grip itself being absolutely beautiful, they just don’t match with the rest of the gun. 

This is a very utilitarian-looking firearm that I would not exactly consider a show piece.

Sights

The sights on the CZ SP-01 are marginal. It has a red fiber optic front with a rear that includes two painted-in luminescent dots. This is a very weird combo, and, in my opinion, CZ made the rear sight notch way too shallow and narrow as well. 

CZ SP01 Review Sights

I would really appreciate a larger notch in the rear sight. If that was the case and the sight was completely blacked out, I would definitely keep this in its factory configuration. 

As it is, I will probably replace the rear sight with a Dawson so I can just get a better picture.

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One thing unique about this CZ SP-01 is that the front sight is attached via a roll pin. There aren’t many sights that are attached this way. Because of this, there aren’t many aftermarket sight options for the Tactical.

Red-Dot Options

Unfortunately at this time, CZ does not have a factory red-dot option for the 75 SP-01 Tactical or for anything in the SP-01 series of guns. 

The closest you can get would be getting a CZ Shadow 2 optics-ready pistol.

Shooting

The CZ 75 SP-01 is a joy to shoot. 

I’m really a fan of how the CZ 75 series of pistols shoot and the SP-01 Tactical is no exception. The heavy frame really helps dampen recoil making this gun a very soft shooter and its excellent factory trigger pulls are also a plus. 

Now I’m not a trigger snob, so if you are one, you’re likely going to want to improve the trigger pulls on this. 

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For the average person, this factory double-action single-action trigger is pretty darn good and you’re going to get good results on target with it.

Aftermarket 

The aftermarket for the CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical isn’t as large as some of the other CZ pistols, but there’s still enough. 

You can get aftermarket grips, sights (though there may be less of a selection there as we mentioned before), and trigger kits. 

Maintenance 

Maintaining the SP-01 isn’t that hard as you just have to take it down like any other CZ 75-base gun. 

CZ SP01 Review Takedown

As always, make sure the gun is unloaded and then pull back the slide so it matches up with the rear notch in the frame. The slide will have to be pulled back approximately a quarter-inch to do this. 

Once you’ve done that, you can drive the slide stop out from the right-hand side, pull it out, and let the slide come forward for disassembly and cleaning of your firearm. 

CZ SP01 Review Dissasembly

To put it back together, just reverse the order of the above steps.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, the CZ SP-01 Tactical is an overall great gun. It could work for duty use, competition, home defense, or even concealed carry if you’re very dedicated, though it is a little bit heavier than what most people are going to want to carry concealed. 

If you want a heavy all-steel gun that’s double- and single-action, you’re going to be hard pressed to beat the CZ SP-01. 

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The light rail up front gives you the option of mounting a light; the heavy weight makes it a soft shooter; and the ergonomics make it a really good option for a home-defense gun that may require equal accessibility for shooters with multiple different sizes of hands. 

Let us know your thoughts on the CZ SP01 Tactical Review below.

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