CZ-75 History, New Models, and Engraved Examples

cz75proto

As a CZ-75 fan, it was great to visit the CZ factory in the Czech Republic. One of the highlights of the trip was examining the first prototype of the CZ-75 as well as the first serialized production model and the one millionth pistol made.

Alice Poluchova, president of CZ-USA, gave us an overview of what makes the CZ-75 such a popular firearm and discussed some of the newer models based on the 75 design. Thirty-six years after it was first introduced, it’s still being copied widely, not to mention produced in great numbers by CZ.

CZ-75: Past and Present

Also, I had a chance to examine some beautiful engraved CZs in 9mm and .45. Words can’t describe their beauty – watch the video!

Hand Engraved CZ Pistols

Here are photos of some of the handguns discussed in the videos:

CZ-75 Prototype
Prototype of CZ-75

CZ-75 Number 1
First serialized production CZ-75

CZ-75 Number 1 Million
Millionth CZ-75 made

Engraved CZ-75
Engraved CZ-75

Engraved CZ-97
Engraved CZ-97




Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


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  • Edwin

    I absolutely love the videos you do, but please do something about the audio quality. Get a hand microphone, either a hand one to hold, or a shotgun microphone that goes on top of you camera.

  • Brian P.

    Oh my God, what perfect timing. I just recently started looking into the CZ-75 and CZ-97, and I’m loving everything about them. Those engraved ones are BEAUTIFUL!

  • Mobious

    The original pre-b version is something I want to look for one day.
    But one that doesn’t have import markings and in good condition…

    They originally used the highest grade of steel for a handgun but is
    that the same for any of today’s CZs?

  • justin

    the CZ-75 has always been on my list of guns I want, but as I hear more about it. It keeps creeping up the list.
    Since I bought the Hi-Power last month, the CZ-75 is at position #3 behind the M1 Garand and the 1911

  • Jesse

    I love my CZ-75BD. It’s an amazing gun.

  • drewogatory

    The CZ 75B SA is one of the greatest bargains out there, especially here in California. Easily the equal of modern Hi Powers at almost half the price, plus no @#$%^%$ mag drop safety to ruin the trigger pull. Absolutely top, top class customer support from CZUSA as well.

  • Jeremy

    Woah, those engraved models look fantastic. Especially the -97 B.

  • Mark

    I’ve got two CZs. My CZ-75 PCR is, hands down, out of the box, the most accurate handgun I have fired, and I have fired more than a few. Many of my friends, including several Sig Sauer owners, have acknowledged that. I’ve never had a stoppage and it is small enough to carry with a jacket or overshirt. The big brother is a CZ-85B (Combat). I like it a lot, it’s accurate, adjustjustable sights and large capacity, but I never really bonded with it like I did the PCR. I am seriously considering a Springfield XDm in .40 and I think the CZ-85B will be part of that deal.

    CZs are great guns.

  • Jeff

    Wait, there’s a .45 version???

  • JT

    Really enjoyed the videos. But…I’ve noticed that every time you go to a European firearms manufacturer, their people have no muzzle discipline whatsoever. Is it a European thing? I would think that their laws and firearms culture would be so stringent so that people would handle guns at least as well as people in the US.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      JT, I can assure you muzzle discipline at the likes of SHOT Show stateside is also awful (and I am guilty of it as much as any other attendant). It is complacency, and it is wrong, and again, I am guilty of it.

  • JT

    Next time you see them I would really like to know if they ever plan on producing retro-style grips to copy the original CZ-75. Right now you’ve got to buy an airsoft gun and convert the grips to get the original style.

    A reproduction CZ with the original frame architecture would be really nice too ^_^

  • Sean

    Cool

  • subase

    Hmm really expensive and gorgeous engraved carry pistol, tacti-art?

  • jdun1911

    Without a doubt the CZ75 is one of the best pistol every made. No pistol collection is complete without one.

  • Jim

    Those are some fine examples of CC75’s. Its a great pistol, although heavy to carry.

    Its also not a completely original design, in fact it the design may have been stolen from Colt Firearms during the cold war.

    In 1969 Colt released some sketches of a new 9mm pistol they were going to make. It was to be called the Colt SSP-70 and it was planned to make it in stainless steel with double action, 15rd mag, slide in frame, safety switch on frame…… the CZ75s overall shape resembles it and the hammer is eerily similar.

  • http://ukgunblog.blogspot.com/ ukgunblog.blogspot.com

    Love the CZ75, thanks for the write up and great videos.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Jim,

    All of the Colt SSP protypes I’ve seen have had slide mounted safeties. They also had a frame-mounted takedown lever, and if I remember correctly, modular lockwork assemblies. The locking lug is also different from the CZ75.

    There really isn’t much in the CZ75’s design that wasn’t seen in other pistol designs years before Colt’s Robert Roy began development of the SSP.

  • A french follower

    I’m in love with the second engraved CZ oO

  • JT

    Oh, ok. I don’t really go to trade shows. Probably just a lot of bad memories of overzealous range officers sprinting at full speed to lecture me, because I turned the muzzle on a locked-open gun 15 degrees to the left or something like that.

  • Tinkerer

    Jim

    Almost every firearm out there can trace some of it’s features from earlier designs. And about the CZ-75 (Introduced in 1975 but with desgin beginning in 1969) resembling that Colt SSP-70 (proposed in 1969), regarding some of their common characteristics (15 rounds, slide-in-frame), I must say:

    -the double stack magazine dates back to the Savage 1907 with 10 rounds, the Browning High Power of 1935 had it with 13 rounds, and the french MAP PA-15 had 15 rounds in 1966 (the first pistol to have more rounds than the High Power, if we discount the Trömmelmagazin for the Luger Langpistole, or the various Mauser C96 with 20 rounds mags).

    -The Slide-in-frame design can be traced back to the 1949 SIG P210, the 1935 french Model 1935A by Charles Petter, or even the same Savage 1907 that first introduced the double stack magazine.

    (BTW: the Colt SSP-70 had it’s safety switch on the slide, not the frame. http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/usa/colt-ssp-e.html )

  • jdun1911

    You show me a completely original 100% design and I show you a lier.

  • taylor

    JT, if you are looking for reproduction original grips for the cz-75, you should look at vintagegungrips.com They make both the original and newer styles, and you can even get them in different colors.

  • TwoZero

    Persionally I like the looks of the -First serialized production CZ-75 – Better than the new models…

    Whish they would introduce a retro model.

  • cc19

    CZ is the most prominent brand in my collection with three – Pro-tek 1 (CZ Custom PCR), CZ75 pre-B (ion bond refinished), and a rare, “short-rail,” from ’79.

  • Matt G.

    That -97 is beautiful.

    TwoZero- I’m with you, that first one looks way better. I’ve always disliked shiny blueing. Looks like paint. Much prefer matte black.

    JT- it has to do with exposure. When a country’s culture and leaders completely shun firearms the people have no basis on which to base their behavior around guns. Once they’ve been told it’s empty they trust it will stay that way. For those of us exposed to guns, who learn to respect them, we understand that they are to be handled carefully.

    That’s not to say all or even a lot of Americans handle guns better than Europeans, but the percentage is higher. Hell I’ve been muzzle swept by a loaded AK withthe safety probly off several times at the range.

    But regardless of country any trade show is usually full of people who were either sent there from the sales department and don’t know jack other than to tell what’s in the brochure, or were hired as a temp to look good behind the counter and hand out fliers. Most often the only people in the room who shoot are the ones on the outside of the counter.

  • JT

    @taylor

    Great find. Been looking for grips like that forever. Sure beats having to buy an entire airsoft gun, then taking my chances with fitment. I think my dream CZ-75b is getting closer.

  • Edwin

    The images in this post are all dead. :(