This is an article about the best CZ pistol. CZ has a long and storied history of producing very high-end products for a mid-market price point.
There has always been a top-quality product coming out of Czech Republic based manufacturing companies. They tend to do things quite well in the weapons of war segment of the market. It’s always been this way. The Czech firearms and ammunition companies take a lot of pride in quality control and precision.
That’s maybe an odd thing to champion about a company, but in the midst of a host of companies in Eastern Europe that generally don’t have the finest tolerance protocols, companies like CZ shine. The quality production techniques and high-end tooling has been a holdover since before the Czech Republic was the Czech Republic.
In recent years, and with a global mindset, CZ has made brand acquisitions and built a brand that is as much an American firearms staple as it is an Eastern Bloc behemoth in the industry.
With additions like Dan Wesson, the company has adopted a position in the American firearms market that extols the virtues of tight tolerances and is capable of catering to the highest tiers of the market, while still offering excellent value for money spent.
Best CZ Pistols
Dan Wesson 715 Revolver
Dan Wesson, while it’s always been a niche player and had a certain finesse to it, had some production issues in years past, which in part led to the dying out of the brand name amongst mainstream consumers. Yes, you could find excellent quality firearms from the company here and there, but they weren’t always consistent, and they weren’t plentiful.
CZ had a plan. They have delivered on that plan and turned the Dan Wesson name into something much grander than they had been before. The edgy new designs based on tried and true original concepts and the resulting synergy of CZ manufacturing procedurals and Dan Wesson heritage have combined to make the brand a huge success in the past 8 years or so.
This “new” Dan Wesson is a uniquely CZ creation, despite having storied roots in America. Now this American brand from an ever increasingly American superpower (CZ), has helped the Czech Republic company become an American Success story itself.
The 715 is a very elegant revolver in the aesthetics. But it’s the heavy, strong build quality that separates it from the pack. The barrel shroud and grips can be replaced easily to customize the gun.
The shroud is an important feature too, with the extra weight taming excess recoil and giving a distinct look to the revolver. It also helps to create a sublime balance in the firearm.
There is a 6-inch barrel and the revolver weighs about 3 lbs. which means that recoil is not a problem. The normally snappy .357 Magnum is a breeze to shoot, though the gun is a bit heavy. The balance helps to make it easier to shoot on targets and in real world scenarios.
The 715 is known for its accuracy, and the full-sized handgun can easily be redeployed outside the range as a defensive or hunting firearm.
The all stainless-steel construction makes it extremely easy to maintain.
- Beautiful aesthetics
- Customizable grip and shroud
- All Stainless steel
- Very accurate with a nice trigger
CZ USA – Scorpion EVO 3 S2 Micro w/Brace 9MM
A legendary pistol for special operations and law enforcement, comes to the civilian marketplace and it is a great pistol for a variety of things. Specifically, it’s tactically oriented, and fits well with the home defense market, but it is also one of the most fun pistols you’ll currently find on the market for casual range use.
You could put it in the same category as other sub guns that include the HK MP5K and the UZI. It’s also got the same sleekness of the Steyr TMP. Admittedly it is not the most accurate gun in fast fire scenarios, it still has one of the better build qualities of all the tactical fast firing guns.
You can equip a brace to help with handling during rapid fire and to increase the overall footprint of the gun making it a breeze to control for all shooters. This is a pistol however and even with a brace, it is illegal to use it in a “shoulder-fired” way.
The magazines also enhance the reliability and the 4-inch barrel gives good balance for the diminutive gun. The sighting system is very good, but let’s not mislead here: this is not a gun made to punch out the X-ring, it’s made for rapid firing and having fun, or for use in a tactical scenario where the largest amount of lead needs to be put on target in a close quarters battle type situation.
The tactical features like a gloved finger guard and great magazine capacity relative to the size of the gun mean that it can also deliver on those tactical promises for those implementing it in such a setting.
- Good center of gravity for the niche segment
- Easy to control
- Great magazine capacity for size
- Incredibly reliable
- Some accuracy issues for dedicated target shooters
CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical
The most iconic firearm in the CZ lineup, but purpose-built to be a tactical operator’s sidearm, this is the gun you take when you need full duty functionality without compromises.
It’s simple and subdued, but undeniably made to be practical in duty scenarios. It was changed slightly to make it compliant with NATO engineering requests for a contract pistol (the gun utilizes some of the P-01 design ideas), and the gun delivers on toughness, practicality and mainstream fitment for the general population.
But these particular enhancements are not what made the CZ-75 so famous. Built on the Browning tilting barrel design and similar to the Hi-Power design, the CZ has taken the liberty necessary to make it a standout pistol over the years. This is especially true when you evaluate the fit and finish, and the overall harmony the gun presents.
It has slim lines, a low bore axis and a low center of gravity compared to most mainstream options. It is also very accurate. The rounding of all edges removes snagging form the list of problems faced by most carry guns, especially on de-holstering.
Furthermore, the way the gun shoots and handles muzzle flip and getting back on target equate to a special shooting experience. The sight plane is massive despite the gun not feeling like a full-sized weapon. The barrel is 4.72 inches in length and the trademark accuracy of the CZ75 is in full effect. The rubber grip panels offer exceptional control in sweaty, adrenaline filled conditions.
The grip panels combine with front and backstrap checkering and very good overall balance. The gun looks beefy but handles with svelteness.
- Great looking pistol
- Minimalist design
- Intuitive design for most shooters
- Superb accuracy
- Amazing finish (Black Polycoat)
- No Real Cons
CZ 805 Bren S1 Carbine
Normally this is a battle rifle. It’s a proven platform for soldiers in several countries. The Bren 805 however, also has a pistol variant. And this one is a fun to shoot, accurate, and offers a deadly combination of small size, potent centerfire rifle ballistics and proven reliability.
The 11 inch barrel and the fact that the gun was manufactured as a pistol means it’s openly available to the broad market. It can also be SBR’d (turned into an NFA legal short barreled rifle), with the proper tax stamp and registration. For home defense it’s a nearly perfect gun, if you are settled on the 5.56 round, but don’t want the AR platform.
The overall manufacturing of this pistol is of premium quality. The small size and the inherent reliability make it an easy choice if you want to use the caliber for home defense.
Full rails on both the top and the bottom mean you can customize the gun heavily and will help to allow you to tailor the balance of the overall tactical package you end up with.
The frame and overall design is very rigid and there is little to negatively affect accuracy or reliability in use. At 5 lbs. it’s a very good sling mounted pistol for tactical shooting needs, especially given the plethora of loads for the 5.56 and the ability to move around with the pistol in close quarters.
The magazine capacity potential is also an obvious benefit. You can utilize all standard and high capacity magazines with this pistol.
- Monolithic design has very good rigidity contributing to spectacular strength and low flex
- High capacity magazines
- Rifle caliber in a pistol format
- Proven history in rough conditions
- Heavy for a pistol
- Very focused on the job duty spectrum
A tactically driven wonder gun that has less popularity than the specs and capabilities of the pistol should dictate.
It’s hard to think of a specification that this gun leaves out. The entire build screams of utility and capability. From the threaded barrel which will accept a suppressor to the sights that pair well with a suppressor to the extended controls, and beyond.
You can find a very durable finish on the gun and the looks are extremely good. The urban grey finish is a mix between Flat Dark Earth and grey. The rail beneath the full-length dustcover and the deeply recessed handhold combine to get you a low bore axis and a very balanced pistol.
That contributes to better first and follow up shot accuracy and easier controllability. A 3.8 inch barrel and the lower center of gravity means you are going to have a lot of help hitting the right spot on the target. But that accuracy doesn’t come at the expense of compactness.
The recessed areas on the gun, including around the trigger guard and on key snagging areas of a defensive pistol help to make de-holstering and gloved hand use, easy tasks. It’s a compact masterpiece that is made for hard use but achieves exceptional accuracy.
17 rounds of ammunition and excellent magazines, that are among the most reliable factory magazines, means you can count on the CZ-P01 in austere conditions that require immediate threat mitigation.
It’s also good for just shooting on the range. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite having a very tactical slant. One of the best features of the P01 is the trigger pull. In the case of this model, it has a modular trigger group, which is not a common theme among competitors and offers easy maintenance and consistency unlike some other options you have available on the market.
- Graceful and yet, very approachable
- Sublime trigger
- Tight tolerances and very good accuracy
- Durable and compact – perfect for daily carry
- No real Cons
Proven .45 ACP power and consistency, in a proven pistol design and a full-sized product that feels like a compact because of the way it handles.
This double/single action is a rare breed it seems, in a market full of striker fired polymer framed guns. This is one of the best DA/SA triggers on the planet too. The smooth action and decisive feel of the engagement means you know exactly what you are doing and there is no second guessing on the actuation.
The entire interface is more manual than a lot of the competition. It gives a certain mechanical feel to the gun and keeps it very hands on. The CZ97 is a larger caliber, large sized CZ75. Simply, the platform is legendary. It has a magical way of being centered in the hand and tightly aligned with the natural point of your arm.
The lower bore axis and direct point of the gun means you get really good controllability. The .45 Auto is less muzzle snappy than the 9mm even. It rolls backward rather than jump up at the muzzle exit. That means this centered, balanced feel of the CZ97 is very easy to handle for people who are normally not interested in larger calibers.
Ten rounds, great quality magazines, and a full-sized barrel, on a gun that feels smaller than it is, means you get great stopping power, but good handling too. Smaller hands can accommodate the frame, despite it being larger in girth and height than the other guns on the platform.
The famous black polycoat is very durable and good looking. A perfect companion for concealed carriers, even if this gun, because it’s larger than most, is best suited for carry by larger framed individuals (but easily handling in firing by smaller individuals).
- Super easy to handle for a full-sized full power firearm
- Durable finish
- Good looking
- Manual controls that make sense
- Sights could be beveled and positioned better for concealed carry
CZ P-10 Centerfire Pistol
It’s hard to fault this gun, even if it isn’t as pretty as the other products in the CZ lineup. The fact that it offers all of what other striker fired polymer framed guns and costs are in line with industry peers and that it does have some interesting features makes it a nice option.
As far as CZ goes, it’s important to understand that this is an innovative product, and they take it seriously, despite the fact that they are not typically producers of this type of firearm. It’s been a long time coming though, too. This is for those people who want the brand that CZ has built over the many decades, but also want to venture into the striker fired world.
The low-profile sights and highly geometrical design allow for better holstering and de-holstering and sets it apart from a sea of black plastic guns. The gun itself might not be as pretty as the other CZ’s in the lineup, but it’s got a unique style compared to the other polymer striker fired guns.
There are subtle design cues that help the user understand how capable the gun is, like the squared larger trigger guard and the stippling and serrations. The rail allows for good accessorizing and the controls are better placed for tactical shooting than some of the heavyweights in the market. The deep hand seating position is a huge improvement over other styles of polymer framed guns.
The barrel and the trigger are also defining characteristics for the P-10. The trigger is better than Glock’s and S&W’s. The barrel is as well. For the money it’s a hard pistol to beat, even though it’s not “taken off” in overall volume compared to other mainstays.
- Easy to understand and safe
- Great trigger considering it’s a striker fired gun
- Excellent lo-pro sights
- High capacity
- Good ergonomics and engineered angles
- Lacks some of the soul of the other CZ offerings
Dan Wesson Pointman Nine PM-9
Dan Wesson’s Pointman 9mm is a special gun for the 1911 platform. It’s got great stopping power, and yet it doesn’t utilize the “standard” .45 ACP in the slim framed 1911 platform. The tuning is high end and the standard features are better than most full custom guns on the market.
The last 8 years or so of Dan Wesson’s 1911 lineup has been pretty innovative. They adopted an early model in the 10mm caliber and had several blockbuster .45 offerings that went “viral”. That line has prospered in the growth of the market, despite a lot of 1911’s losing ground to newer designs.
The Dan Wesson offerings are truly a semi-custom but feel like a full custom because of attention to detail and finishing. The tolerances are exceptional. The pricing is steep, but its nowhere near the price of a one-off build. Interestingly, it’s nearly as good as a full custom. And in the 1911 world, now, it’s hard to not produce a fully featured gun from factory because the improvements are so well solidified in the space.
All that said, very few makers, even if they can match surface level features, can match the quality out of factory that the DW 1911’s can since CZ got involved.
A beautiful inclusion that is more than just aesthetic, is the top slide ribbing, which offers practical usage and amazing looks.
- So good looking
- Basically, a custom gun
- Great concept with a full-sized slim frame 9mm with heft and weight to it
- Getting pricey, despite being such a high-end gun for the money
CZ has become an American legend in much the same way it solidified its place as an Eastern European superpower. The attention to detail and innovation which combines with a top tier tooling set and excellent production protocols delivers very good guns for a mid-market price point.
The American market, the most robust in the world, is eating this kind of precision up. And it’s not just Eastern Bloc wage structures that make up the value, as many of these firearms are produced here in the USA. CZ has helped to put forward a philosophy and manufacturing delivery system that creates top quality products for reasonable prices. Much the same way Browning can deliver certain guns at below market price with above market engineering and fit and finish.
If you would have asked the early CZ pioneers if they’d like to be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Browning, we are sure they’d be delighted. Such is the case with the modern CZ pistol – it’s a fine firearm and has a legacy to match.