By Mike Pannone, originally posted in the Defense Review
I was at my local range shooting a few months back, and one of the club members came up to watch some of the drills I was shooting on steel. He looked at the pistol and the exchange went like this: -”It sounds like you’re having a good day. What are you shooting?” -”CZ P-07.” -”Never heard of it? How does it run?” -”It’s the best pistol nobody knows about.” My first experience with CZ pistols was in the Special Forces Qualification Course as an 18B – Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. In our light weapons portion, we had various Eastern Bloc pistols, the CZ 75 being one of them. I saw them again only a year later in Thailand while conducting training with the Royal Thai Special Forces. They had some extremely worn CZ 75’s but every one of them ran great. I was impressed with their durability and accuracy considering the shape they were in. Since fielding in 1975, over 1 million CZ 75’s have been made, and it is the most common pistol in use worldwide by military and law enforcement organizations. Fast forward 15 years to when I shot an SP01 at my local range in Tucson, AZ for the first time. I was instantly hooked, and within a week went to the CZ Custom Shop in Mesa to have them build me up one. 20,000 rounds on that gun alone and 5 years later, and I bought a 9mm P-07, my 7th CZ pistol. But this one is different. The P-07 Duty is a relatively new (2009) polymer-framed pistol from the renown Czech weapons company Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod, and marketed in the US by CZ-USA. It’s extremely well priced for a high quality pistol from a big name company ($496.00 MSRP).
The CZ P-07 Duty tactical pistol is a locked-breach, short-recoil operated design with a firing pin safety and an integral M1913 Picatinny railed dustcover. The hood of the barrel locks into the slide like a Glock or Sig and is unlocked via a camming surface below the chamber that mates with a camming surface on the locking block in the frame again like a Glock or Sig. The pistol’s Omega trigger system is a simplified version of the CZ-75 trigger mechanism and has a frame mounted safety or de-cocker that is end-user-convertible, depending on which you prefer. It’s comparable in size to a Glock 19 and has a new magazine design allowing a flush fitting magazine of 16 rounds. The stats for comparison: Dimensions:
|CZ P-07 Duty||Glock 19 (G19)|
|Weight||1.7 lbs||1.31 lbs|
|Overall Length||7.3 in||6.85 in|
|Barrel Length||3.8 in||4.02 in|
|Height||5.1 in||5.00 in|
|Width||1.5 in||1.18 in|
|Capacity||16 + 1||15 + 1|
Reliability and Durability
The P07 Duty I have has proven to be extremely reliable and durable. I have more than 7000 rounds through it and have yet to encounter any pistol-related malfunction. By “pistol-related” I mean a mechanical failure of a properly maintained pistol with quality ammunition and good magazines. Any unmaintained weapon will eventually fail, and magazines are always the most failure-prone part of a quality firearm. Recently, I shot 900 rounds of Wolf 9mm ammo that was given to me. Over three sessions in 3 consecutive days without cleaning or lubricating the pistol (just to see how it would do), there were no issues, even though the guns internals were absolutely filled with un-burnt powder residue. The only stoppages were 2 failures to feed, where the round stopped on the feed ramp due to mud-like fouling. The “tap” of a “tap-rack” drill released the slide each time. As far as durability is concerned, in 7K rounds, all I have done is clean it on average every 500-700 rounds fired and put more ammunition in it.
Accuracy and Shootability
My P-07 pistol came with white-outline sights, which I immediately had replaced with a fiber-optic front and metal combat fixed rear at the CZ Custom Shop. It is also available with tritium night sights for those so inclined. A staple of my pistol training is to start and end each session with a string of 25-yard slow fire on a standard NRA B-8 target. I have been able to post mid-to-high 90’s on this, but I haven’t gotten a 100…yet. I have several 97’s and a 98, with the lowest score being a 92. A former teammate from Special Forces who is also my senior instructor at CTT-Solutions (Kyle Raisbeck) just purchased one with tritium sights and told me he can reliably hit an A-zone steel at 50m with little difficulty right out of the box. Mine has performed likewise.
I’m a fan of double action first shot pistols for carry as the longer and heavier first shot is an inherent safety like a revolver and if reasonable in weight is not a detractor at all. I like DA/SA, SA and striker fired pistols equally but for different reasons with different applications. One sage piece of wisdom I learned long ago; the pistol you trainproperly with the most is the most effective one for you.
The fairytale that this or that trigger is “the best” comes from people who would have you believe if you have the “right gun” it makes a big difference or can make up for poor training. Having shot the Beretta M9 extensively in SF (and having heard every complaint about it under the sun)I have long since learned that double action is not obsolete, outdated or undesirable but contrary to common myths and misconceptions it is simply different. Case in point: with a Beretta 92F-pattern gun (actually an Elite II), Ben Stoeger won the 2011 USPSA Production class National Championship.
Here are trigger-pull weights right out of the box on a brand new CZ P07 Duty with 100 rounds through it. The average trigger pull (of ten) on a Lyman trigger pull gauge:
- Double action- 6.75 lbs
- Single action- 3. 28 lbs
Shooting all double action I was able to hit a 6” plate at 25m support hand only 6/10 strong hand only 7/10 and freestyle 10/10 when I took my time. One-shot draws at 10m from surrender position and a Blade-Tech Eclipse holster, I was able to average 1.22 seconds. From surrender, four 5-shot strings on a 6” x 11” A-zone plate @20m, average time was 3.65 seconds with 18 out of 20 hits (90%) and no more than 1 miss in a string. My shot-to-shot slide-lock reload times on an A-zone average for 20 repetitions was 1.63 seconds with 6 shots dropped of 40 (85%). Even if I blow it completely, I can still keep it under 3.00 seconds. The pistol handles well in every regard: accuracy, single shots from the holster for speed and strings of 5 at 20m. Some informal video’s I took during training from my YouTube Channel for reference: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC55QQT56x_RtqZy1fZ_p4cA
- Reliability – 7000+rds without a malfunction (bar extremely fouled gun using 900rds of Wolf ammo with no maintenance)
- Durability – 7000+rds without any parts breakage • Safety – double action first shot, de-cocker and firing pin safety
- Shootability – speed drills are on par with any other guns in its class
- Accuracy – capable of shooting solid 25 yard Bullseye scores stock. The gun far exceeds the accuracy of some big name pistols with a much higher price tag.
- Capacity – comparable size with Glock 19 but holds one more round
- Cost – $496 vs. $600+ for comparable high quality mid-size pistols
- Holsters – I am extremely happy with the Blade-tech Eclipse and Kyle has been just as happy with the Raven Concealment Systems Phantom.
- Extended capacity base pads – CZ makes readily available high quality +2 plates
- Sights – (fiber optic and tritium)
- Flashlight – I use an X300 with the DG-11 tape switch and it fits well.
- Customer service – CZ-USA has been easy to work with, and in my interactions they have been nothing but polite, prompt and professional. The CZ Custom Shop is staffed with high-level competitive shooters from world champion shooter and icon of USPSA Angus Hobdell to multiple shooters that are USPSA rated Master and Grand Master class competitors. This is a refreshing change, and it makes getting work done or getting a new gun infinitely easier. And, they build guns you’ll want to hand down to your kids–after you’re gone, though.
I am convinced that for a personal protection firearm, the CZ P-07 Duty combat pistol is equal to anything out there and better than most. The reliability, durability, safety, shootability, accuracy, capacity and cost make it a win in every category for a self-defense/concealed carry pistol. The smooth double-action first shot is an inherent safety and is less likely to be inadvertently actuated under stress by a less experienced shooter. For an experienced shooter, it is a pleasant gun to carry and shoot, handles extremely well and is truly bomb-proof durable. At $496 MSRP (and readily available for less than that), it’s a steal. Truly the best gun nobody knows about .. that is until now.
~ by Mike Pannone, originally posted in the Defense Review
About Mike Pannone Mike retired from the Army’s Tier 1 assault force (1st SFOD-Delta) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. He then served as PSD detail leader for the State Department in Baghdad and Tikrit. He served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province during the spring-summer and fall of 2005. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship, foreign weapons and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol Shooting. Mike also consults for several weapons and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.
You can visit Mikes website at www.ctt-solutions.com
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