CZ's P-07 Polymer Carry Pistol

The European 1911?
14

David found the P-07 easy to control free-handed and utterly reliable.

In Europe, the CZ-75 is what the 1911 is to American shooters. Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod (ČZUB), a Czech Republic firearms manufacturer, produces some of the finest-made firearms in the world. The company makes pistols, rifles and shotguns for the military, hunting, sporting and personal protection arenas. In the U.S., CZ firearms are imported by CZ-USA.

The most popular of the Czech handguns, the CZ-75, was introduced in 1975. I first came to know this style of pistol through the EAA Witness and the SAR B6 and K2 models imported by European American Armory. My experience with these CZ-75 clones led me to like them, trust them and recommend them to others. I’ve owned several EAAs and SARs, but I never actually owned a CZ-manufactured version until recently.

The original CZ-75s are all steel and ship in several models including the 75, 85 and Compact with differing features such as size, finish, capacity and caliber. In recent years, the ČZUB factory has introduced several polymer-framed models. A mid-size pistol, the CZ P-07, caught my eye as I pondered adding a true CZ pistol to my collection. I’m thinking “P” stands for polymer and I think the “07” has something to do with size, since the P-09 and P-10 are bigger and the P-01 is smaller.

I’ve had it for a couple of years now, and I really like this gun. I know what you’re thinking, “David, you like all guns!” Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve handled guns I don’t like, and others about which I’m indifferent. To get my attention, a handgun has to: feel good in my hands, fit me properly, have good easy-to-align sights, have a quality trigger, operate flawlessly, be chambered in a caliber that makes sense for its purpose and be comfortable to shoot. The CZ P-07 meets all these requirements.

But if a handgun has already met your needs and many of your wants, there’s got to be more, right? Otherwise, it’s just another gun. The P-07 has a bit of a futuristic look about it, but also manages to scream all business. When I got mine, they only came in black, but now you can order P-07s in tan and green.

The CZ P-07 is a descendant of the fine Czech handguns popularized throughout Europe.

Ergonomics

The P-07 is all CZ-75, yet it’s different. CZs differ from most of the guns we’re familiar with in that the slide rails are inverted. The slide attaches to the inside of the frame unlike most semi-automatic handguns where the slide attaches outside the frame. Does this make a difference in how the gun operates? Not really. The rails on a CZ are full length so there is good solid contact. The configuration makes the slide a bit narrow, so it doesn’t provide quite as much grip area for cycling the slide. I admit that’s a bit of an issue, but I like shooting the gun so much I figured out a method of handling it that works for me.

The P-07 ships with different-sized back straps, so I was able to customize the grip to my hand size and shape. When I pick it up or pull it out of a holster, it naturally finds the right place in my hand, ready to go with no shifting around. The sights line up, and I can easily put my finger on the trigger with the proper positioning.

There is a Picatinny rail that’s just shy of 2" long for mounting a light, laser or combo. The trigger guard is squared off in front with a bit of a tang, and the back part of the trigger guard is raised to allow a high grip. Very nice. Both sides of the grip are recessed near the top as a natural fit for your thumb and forefinger regardless of which hand is your dominant hand. The designers in the CZ shop obviously worked with this gun for a while, tweaking here and there and passing it around until they all agreed it was ready. They did a great job. The weight of the slide, the thickness of the frame and the texture of the grip all come together to make it a perfectly balanced shooting platform.

The slide lock lever doubles as the take-down control. Align the notches
on the frame and push the lever through the frame.

In the P-07 kit, you’ll get a sturdy plastic case with three magazines, two additional
back straps and a cleaning brush. Also included are parts and tools necessary to
convert the de-cocker to a safety.

Controls

The slide lock lever, which doubles as a takedown lever, is big with a surface that’s easy to work, yet flat so it doesn’t interfere with concealment. There’s a de-cocker, which with a little bit of DIY gunsmith work can be converted to a safety, allowing those who want the ability to carry the P-07 “cocked and locked.” The extra parts required for the conversion come with the gun. The grip surface has just the right amount of aggressiveness to make the gun easy to hold without hurting my hands.

CZ added something to this gun I’ve not seen on other handguns. There are grip serrations on the frame similar to the ones on the slide. The frame serrations are about midway on the gun, just ahead of the slide lock. I found by using the frame serrations with my left hand, I can more easily retract the slide with my right hand.

The P-07 is designed and sized for concealed carry, though police all over Europe carry it as their duty gun. It’s 7″ long including the beavertail and 5.25″ high. Frame width is 1.07″ but when you include the ambidextrous de-cockers it’s 1.45″ wide at that point, almost exactly the dimensions of a GLOCK 19. Total weight unloaded is just under 28 oz.

The top of the frame is rounded on the sides and in front. The controls on the side of the gun are as flat as any I’ve seen on a handgun, yet they’re easy to operate because of their size and texture. The slide lock/takedown lever is large with two ridges on it for traction and the de-cocker is flat and ambidextrous.

The reversible magazine release is rectangular with tiny ridges that make operating it easy. The manual says reversing it is a job for a gunsmith, but if you’re handy, it’s not hard to do. The key is to carefully contain the detent and spring that will fly across the room if you’re not careful.

The CZ P-07 is the first CZ to have what they call the Omega Trigger system. All the trigger parts are interlocking in nature, allowing full disassembly and reassembly without the need for gunsmithing experience or tools. Trigger operation is smooth with a pull measured by my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge averaging 10 lbs. DA and 4 lbs. 10 oz. SA. The take-up in DA mode is about 1/4″. In SA mode, I measure about 1/2″ before encountering resistance.

Disassembly for cleaning is standard for all CZ-type handguns. Remove the magazine and make sure there is nothing in the chamber, then look for a pair of marks on the left side of the gun near the rear of the slide — one on the frame, one on the slide. They are tiny vertical strips you align by retracting the slide just a skosh. The hammer has a half-cock position helping take the pressure off the slide while you align the marks. With those marks aligned, you push the slide stop lever through and out of the frame from the right side. I use the base of a magazine to accomplish this task. With the lever removed, the slide slips right off the front of the frame. Compress and lift out the recoil spring/guide rod, then lift out the barrel and you’re done.

On CZ-style pistols the slide goes inside the frame on full-length rails.

The flat controls aid concealed carry but are large enough they’re easy to use.
The de-cocker can be converted to a safety with the included parts.

Closing Arguments

I have used various brands of common defensive rounds with the P-07, including Inceptor ARX, Speer Gold Dot, Federal Train & Protect, Fiocchi JHP and Hornady FTX. If I do my part the P-07 will shoot one ragged hole with any of these rounds at close encounter ranges up to 10–12 feet. Moving out to 15 yards, it will still keep the rounds where I want them to go. I’ve probably put close to 2,000 rounds through my P-07 and have not experienced any type of malfunction.
It’s funny how the pond between the United States and Europe has led to the adoption of different “classic” handguns. While the 1911 is the quintessential pistol here, the same can be said about the CZ-75 family in European circles. It’s a heck of a pistol and I’m glad to see them finally catching on in these parts.

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