There’s unquestionably a dedicated cadre of CZ fanboys amongst our readership as well as in the general gun-owning community. There are plenty of very good reasons for that. The Czech pistols are time-tested, well-made, ultra-reliable and reasonably priced. In short you get a lot for your gun-buying dollar with a CZ handgun.
I’ve never counted myself among those fans, though. Being someone with unusually small hands, the length of pull on the full-size CZ 75s and was always too much for me to manage. I could barely get my index finger on the trigger for that double action pull.
Sure, I could always carry a DA/SA CZ in single action, cocked and locked, which would eliminate that long, heavy initial trigger pull, but I already own a 1911 that I enjoy and shoot well.
Oh well. Lots of other ballistic fish in the sea, right? As a result, I’d left CZs to CZ guys and stuck to the guns that fit me better. And then I finally picked up a CZ 75 Compact.
The CZ 75 Compact is to the CZ 75 what a commander-size 1911 is to a government model. It’s been chopped in both length and height. The Compact is 3/4″ shorter in length and almost 1/2″ less in height. That shaves about 2 1/2 oz. off the weight of the full-size gun.
Unlike a 1911, though, the CZ 75 Compact is a double stack 9mm that give the shooter 14+1 rounds of capacity in a commander-sized package. The concealed carry-ready Compact ships with two 14-round magazines.
Shooters like me with small hands who may have had to stretch to reach the full-size CZ 75’s bang switch won’t have a problem with the CZ 75 Compact’s length of pull.
The CZ 75 Compact has a frame-mounted manual safety lever on the left side only. Sorry lefties. The pistol also has a passive firing pin block safety.
The long double action trigger pull weight measured a stout 11.25 lbs. Single-action was a much more comfortable (not to mention shorter) 5.5 lbs. There was a tad of creep, but reset was pleasantly short and quick. Follow-up shots are fast and sure. The Compact can also be manually de-cocked and fired from the half cock position.
The takedown process is about as straightforward as it gets….
Line up the hash marks on the rear of the slide and frame, push out the slide stop lever and the slide and barrel are easily removed.
The Compact is just a smaller version of the full-size CZ 75 B. It uses the same linkless cam locking system designed by JMB for the 9mm Browning Hi-Power.
While the standard black finish isn’t anything special, the gun is nicely and cleanly finished with no tooling or chatter marks, inside or out.
In standard CZ fashion, the slide rails ride inside the frame, in contrast to most semi-automatic handguns. That gives the CZ 75 Compact an admirably low bore axis (compare it to a GLOCK or SIG) which, along with the pistol’s 32+ oz weight, greatly minimizes felt recoil.
Our CZ 75 Compact came equipped with night sights. The rear two dot sight is a dovetailed blade type sight that lets you rack the slide one-handed should you need to.
We tested the CZ 75 Compact with a range of ammo including Armscor 115gr ball as well as JHP loads.
The results: more than good enough for government (or self-defense) work. The CZ 75 Compact won’t let you down in the accuracy department.
The DA/SA CZ 75 Compact fills a niche in the everyday carry market. For polymer pistol haters, it’s a steel framed pistol double-stack. For 1911 fans who want more magazine capacity, it’s a commander-sized pistol that gives you 15 rounds of deterrence.
Specifications: CZ 75 Compact
Action Type: SA/DA
Barrel Length: 3.75″
Overall Length: 7.3″
Overall Height: 5″
Weight: 32.8 oz
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Made In: Czech Republic
MSRP: $646 (about $540 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Aesthetics: * * * *
The 75 Compact is an attractive gun. Lots of pleasing angles and swoops. Those plastic grip panels won’t win any beauty contests, but they’re easy enough to swap out. If the gun were mine, I’d probably give it a pair of nicely textured G10 grips. But that’s me.
Reliability: * * * * *
Perfect. As in not a hiccup. The Compact ate and spit out everything we fed it.
Customization: * * * * *
There’s very little you can’t change on a CZ. The Compact’s been out long enough that there are plenty of aftermarket options for virtually every part on the gun.
Ergonomics: * * * *
The CZ 75 Compact rests naturally in the hand. It (is the only CZ that) feels like it was made for me. If only CZ had given it some texture on the back or front of the grip.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
The is an excellent carry pistol. If you’re a DA/SA action fan, like the feel of a steel frame pistol and don’t want to compromise on capacity, this is the gun for you.