Handgun Review: CZ 75 SP-01
It is easy to carry and is probably the best on the market for a full sized pistol promoted as a combat pistol
The full body grip makes it simple to handle and precise to mark
You’ll have no issues here as it functions flawlessly and reloads without any hitches
Already has a night sight option, those who want a laser or light combo will find there is no space
Steel body with a polycoat finish in black and wood (optional) makes it stand out, however does lose a point because of its size
You can get yours for the same price you would expect to pay for an M1911 or a SIG
A good number of pistols have been updated along the way, reinvigorated with fresh new features while staying true to their core.
One of these is the CZ 75 SP-01 pistol, which has become popular around the world and is one of the most owned pistols out there.
In this CZ 75 SP-01 review, we’ll have a look at this tactical marvel of a pistol and get a better understanding of it so we can decide if it is worth a purchase.
Let’s get started:
A Bit of Background
Built in 1975, CZ models were first launched in the Czech Republic and quickly reached other parts of Europe. It wasn’t until ‘93 that they were made legally available in the US, where they quickly found fame among buyers.
The CZ series has more than a dozen variants; this particular pistol is the CZ 75 SP-01 available in two versions: tactical and standard.
You will find a lot of similarities between all CZ models. The company followed the same principles when designing the weapons.
CZ 75 SP-01 review: Build and Construction
Let’s start by mentioning that this CZ variant is available in two options: a 9mm and a .40 S&W.
There is a major difference between the tactical and the standard versions, with the tactical version you get an ambidextrous decocker rather than a manual safety which is a feature of the standard variant.
So, in some ways the tactical version is better, the decocker will allow you to carry the weapon more safely.
Now, let’s pick it up; the first thing you’ll notice about this gun is how solid it feels in your hand. Unlike your Beretta’s or your SIGs, this pistol supports a steel frame and slide.
It’s an all metal pistol, turn it over and you’ll note that the upper and lower side are also solid steel.
While it’s a great thing to have an all metal gun, you may have to compromise a little on the weight department. It is a little heavy at 38 ounces. But, the overall fit and finish compensate for the weight, you’ll find no blemishes on the smooth black finish.
But, do not let it fool you. This is not a service pistol. Those of you who know the feel and touch of a full size pistol may notice that this CZ model weighs as much as a full size M1911.
Let’s take a look inside!
Fully loaded, this pistol has a Farago Approved 18+1 in the 9mm variant. With the .40 S&W caliber, you will, however, note a quick drop in capacity to 12+1.
They haven’t as yet maximized the capacity of the .40S&W caliber to manage more rounds.
CZ 75 SP-01 review: Safety & Features
The CZ 75 SP-01 features a safety mechanism which has no firing pin block. This results in a much improved trigger travel ratio. If you are a regular user, you will easily notice this.
It has a marginally reshaped grip that improves your thumb access to the top handle click.
Magazines are easily loaded due to the recoil spring feature. This is a great feature because slow loading times can be irritating.
The front side is fiber optic while it has a tactical Novak Style rear sight.
CZ 75 SP-01 tactical features a de-cocker while the standard version will have a safety stop on the hammer.
Performance & Operation
Let’s take the CZ 75 SP01 to the shooting range!
The magazine loads easily to full capacity without the aid of a speed loader. It seems to have no problem keeping its slide locked back once all empty.
You might just find the mag release small at first, but out on the firing line, it feels natural.
Its slide catch returns the pistol to battery with a satisfying lock up; you only get this on a full metal firearm.
Towards the back, the ambi decocker easily lowers the hammer to a half cock position.
There is no excessive amount of spring tension when you rack the slide, even though this gun only offers around half the space to grab onto as compared to most other side arms.
You may feel that the trigger is combat ready, but that is expected with this pistol.
It has a long and heavy action pull, you might find it difficult to predict where it breaks at first but as you work on it, the pull will become consistent.
In comparison, the single action pull is way better.
Resetting the firearm is simple and short; the audible click gives you shivers all over.
Accuracy is excellent and it handles all the rounds without a hitch.
Some Other Things You Should Know About It
The CZ 75 SP 01 is a first; measuring at 4.6 BBL it features improved manufacturing technology and also improved ergonomics.
Its NATO approved, and features a 1913 accessory rail right there on the dust cover.
The SP 01 utilizes an extended 'beavertail; this protects the shooter’s strong hand while also allowing a deeper, more secure grip.
It was designed specifically for the military and law enforcement as a duty sidearm. However, it has become popular now and enthusiasts also like to keep it. In fact, it is one of the most popular guns when it comes to target shooting.
Let’s talk sights, the SP 01 has a standard Tru Dot night sight which comes in a three dot arrangement.
A very good thing about the gun is the ability to upgrade it. However, you must keep in mind USPSA regulations. There are certain elements you cannot add or remove from your vehicle. Hence, it is important that you research properly or speak to an expert if you intend to intend your weapon as not being careful can get you into trouble.
Upgrades may be necessary if you want to take part in competitions but the factory version may be enough for target practice and self defense.
Upgrades are possible in terms of recoil spring, mainspring, trigger, competition hammer, firing pin, etc. This can be a great option for people who like to enjoy personalized weapons.
What Do We Think About It?
Overall, it’s a pretty great combat pistol and a good start gun if you are looking for one to get into a competition. Its tritium sights are simple and easy to acquire and are quick on target. Even though the recoil feels easy enough, at times the slide is stiff.
Just something to keep in mind, chambering a round will take some work and grip pressure. This isn’t the fastest gun in the world but that shouldn’t be much of a problem given the purpose it is designed to serve.
Also, the pressure required to perform the job may decrease slightly with wear and tear but do not expect the gun to sustain damage due to regular usage since it is quite durable.
With the tactical model, the decocker works as advertised, people will find de-cocking the hammer simple enough even with their weak hand thumb.
Ergonomics and handling are excellent for a gun that has been with us for over a quarter century. The way it’s designed – the shape, the reach – it’s all there to accommodate different types of shooters.
We can safely say that it’s reliable, well-built, and good looking and a good value for the money. Get your hands on this one if you’re looking for a gun that will be with you for a long time. Thanks to its incredible features, it can be a good option for people who do not know much about weapons and want to learn to shoot.