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Converting Old Browning Model A-5s

Newer versions of this famous shotgun use roll pins instead of screws to hold certain action parts. Here’s how to convert early Auto-5s.

Glock Mods: An M1911 Man Branches Out

I’ve worked with the 1911 for many years, and sometimes that experience has been helpful with other pistols, such as the Browning Hi-Power, for example. Sometimes the differences between pistols are hard to spot, and other times we find similarities between handguns that at first seem very different. Another example: If you can work on the Savage 1910, you can work on the Astra 400, and you won’t be confused by the H&K P7M8. But the Glock? Ah, the Glock is an altogether different creature. Sometimes my 1911-based reasoning produces positive results with the Glock, and other times it does not. With the Glock so popular with law-enforcement and now proving itself in competition—winning the first top-class award at IPSC—we’re going to see more and more Glocks turned in for improvement. And at the very least, we should be familiar with the similarities and the differences between the Glock and “old Slabsides.”


Semi-Annual FBI Report Confirms Crime Down As Gun Sales Up

The FBI's semi-annual uniform crime data for the first half of 2013 confirms once again what the firearms community already knew, that violent crime has continued to decline while gun sales have continued to climb.

GunBroker.com Names January 2014's Best Selling Firearms

GunBroker.com has released its list of Top 5 best-selling firearms for January 2014, topped by Smith & Wesson's M&P semi-automatic pistol.

CZ 75 B SA 9mm

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The single-action CZ 75 B was one of the finer 9mms we've tried. It fit our hands well, pointed superbly, was reliable, comfortable and pleasant to shoot. The only flaw we found in this sample was a trigger that needed work. This gun had an ambidextrous safety that did not interfere with the shooting hand. The only control other than a two-position hammer (no half-cock position, and none needed) and the trigger was the slide lock, which was also the takedown lever.

From the 08-01-2008 Issue of Gun Tests

Model Name:75 B SA 9mm
Manufacturer:CZ USA
Model Number:75 B SA 9mm

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So ya wanna buy a 9mm handgun, eh, sport? Suffice to say, you’ve got a lot of choices. You might begin your search for, say, full-size autoloaders. Then narrow it down to action type, single or double. Factor in whatever aftermarket items you need or want, and finally look at how much you are willing to pay for the package. All that narrows the choices still more. If you insist on a single-action auto, or more specifically, if you insist on a gun you can carry cocked and locked with the same trigger pull for each and every shot, your choices in 9mm get pretty small. Two prominent choices are the Browning Hi-Power or one of its clones, and the CZ 75.

Lest we forget, several makers including Colt have issued 9mm versions of the1911 in various forms. Also, many of the DAO pistols will give you the same trigger pull every shot. Recently Gun Tests magazine tested the Charles Daly version of the Hi-Power against a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar, and though they liked the Daly, it lost out to the Cougar because of its painful bite to the hand that feeds it, and because of a few other items Daly could have fixed, but didn’t. So they kept looking for better 9mms.

Here’s what they learned:

We had heard about the CZ 75 for many years. One of our group is good friends with the Colorado gunsmith Don Fisher, who has done extremely well in national-level IPSC competition with the CZ 75. Fisher went so far as to develop his own wildcat cartridge for the CZ 75, which made it "major" caliber, competing with the 45 ACP. The late Jeff Cooper also liked the CZ 75 but for its cartridge, Cooper preferring the 45, in which caliber the CZ is not made. And a certain editor of a magazine dedicated to testing guns indicated he might have a CZ 75 stashed somewhere. So if a gun has that level of fans, we thought it would be a good idea to run a CZ 75 through our mill—but not just any CZ 75. We chose the CZ 75 B SA ($576), the last two letters standing for Single Action. This CZ 75 has features of what ought to be intense interest to those who want to shoot in competition with "minor" caliber, and for home defenders alike, as you shall see.

We tested with four types of ammunition. They were Black Hills 147-grain JHP Subsonic, Winchester USA BEB 115-grain TC, Fiocchi 115-grain JHP, and with Independent 115-grain ball. Let’s see what we found.

CZ 75 B SA 9mm, $576

The CZ comes in a plastic box

One of the most endearing features of the CZ was the extended tang, which kept the hammer from biting our hands. This is what the Hi-Power desperately needs. This was a very comfortable gun to shoot.

with a trick catch. Once you have figured out the catch (press on the box inside the handle) it’s easy to open. Before that, it’s almost pry-bar time to get this catch undone. The gun’s finish is called "polycoat," which is a waterproof and corrosion-resistant polymer. It seems to be very durable, gives a non-glare, smooth black finish, and looks great. That’s the only finish available for this version of the CZ in either 9mm or 40 S&W, though other CZ 75s have glossy blued or satin-nickel options. The 40-caliber and all other finishes are extra-cost options. The factory website (czusa.com) has details.

Our test gun came with two 16-round magazines, a (wonderful!) loading-assist tool, cleaning rod, bristle brush, snap caps, and a four-shot target facsimile fired at 25 meters that indicated a spread of less than 4 inches, and impact less than an inch from the aim point. There was also a three-year warranty card numbered to the gun in the box.

The grip panels were checkered black plastic. We’d probably put wood on it if we owned it, for cosmetic reasons. The front and back straps are entirely smooth. We’d have liked checkering, but the shape of the grip was essentially perfect for all our test crew, and no one complained about any lack of traction on the gun. The front of the trigger guard was flattened and serrated for those who like to put a finger there. The curve of the guard let the shooter get a very high grip on the handle. Perhaps best of all this gun’s features was the extended tang that kept the hammer from biting the web of the hand. Browning take note!

The trigger was flattened in the middle, and its position at the break was identical to that of a 1911. The DA version of this gun has a curved trigger that breaks somewhat farther back in its travel. The DA version, by the way, may be carried cocked and locked. Thus the DA feature is simply an added attraction, along with a bit less weight.

The CZ’s fixed sights were excellent. The sight picture was as good as it gets, the picture presenting three light-green dots to the shooter. The front sight is pinned to the slide, and presumably there are different-height options. We couldn’t find any on the website, but any competent gunsmith could install a higher or lower front blade as needed. We didn’t need it. Our gun shot precisely where we aimed it, at 15 yards. The rear sight was dovetailed to the slide. Its front edge was a bit too sharp, but not a dagger.

The gun was slick and

The CZ's barrel had a long ramp, which some shooters have found greatly increases feeding reliability. We know a gunsmith who carved a custom barrel out of a .375 rifle blank for a wildcat cartridge based on the 9mm case. It worked extremely well.

smooth on all the places that would catch on holsters or hands. The ejection port was large and smooth-edged. The top of the gun had a prominent serrated rib between the sights. Workmanship throughout was superb.

The CZ 75 is not a lightweight. Where DA CZ’s have a cut in the slide sides, near the muzzle, the SA version has the full slide width extended to the muzzle. This adds weight but reduces muzzle flip. The SA version has an ambidextrous safety, and its magazine drops free when you punch the release button. IPSC and other action shooters will appreciate all those items. This is the first ambi safety one of our picky testers could tolerate. The safety levers are set forward far enough that they don’t interfere with the strong-hand knuckle. And it’s easy to keep the thumb on top of the safety lever as you fire, because the slide is above the thumb and doesn’t drag on that digit.

At the range we opened the ball with 147-grain Black Hills, which gave about 2.5-inch groups. With the Winchester BEB we got our best accuracy with the CZ, groups averaging 1.5 inches at 15 yards. By this time we knew the creepy trigger was hurting us. The trigger pull averaged 6.6 pounds, and varied from 5.5 pounds up to nearly 7.0. Clearly something was not right, and the gun’s groups showed it. We had the gun go off several times before we were quite ready, as the varying trigger gave us fits. So that is the first, and as it turned out, only thing we’d look into on this gun.

Report Card: There were zero failures of any sort with the hefty CZ 75 B SA. Our shooters liked the gun a lot, but all of us want to try the DA version of the CZ 75 before we’d commit to buying this one and doing the needed trigger job on it. While the DA version does not have an ambi safety, it’s lighter and has the extra option of a DA pull. We decided we’d try to test one of those in the near future. Meantime, we gave this gun a hearty B+ for its finer qualities. It’s a fine handgun, and action shooters will love it.

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Reader Comments

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I have never fired a CZ-75, but it is on my wish list. I have owned a EAA (Tangfolio) Witness. The all-steel witness line is an obvious copy of the CZ line. I loved the grip-feel of my CZ copy. Shooting the real thing sounds like fun.

I've owned a CZ-75 B for several years, and it's one of my favorite firearms. Being all steel it's a little heavy for daily carry, but that pays off in long life and lower felt recoil. My son owns the 75 D (decocker) and we both agree on the grip- possibly the best angle and shape we've ever held. I often wish my 1911, and other handguns had the same feel.

I have an '80s CZ 75. I love it and will never get rid of it. Shoots to point of aim with a smooth trigger and has never failed. with it's deep gloss bluing and superb fit and finish it's also a work of art and very easy on the eyes. An added attraction for me is the role stamped "Made in Czecheslovakia" on the slide, a country that no longer exists as it was. It's companion piece is my Hi-Power in flat black, also a no fail. I put a set of Uncle Mike's soft rubber grip panels (no longer available) on her and it stay anchored solidly in my hand. For what they are, a finer pair of 9mm pistols are not to be found anywhere, in my opinion

Thank you for this article, as I have forwarded it to a few of my best friends, who I constantly argue with about my favorite handgun. I own the CZ 75 BD and the CZ 83. These are the two most accurate and easy to shoot handguns I own. I just love the feel and weight of them. I purchased the CZ 83 in .380 instead of the Sig and the I am glad I did. Whenever I go to the range with my friends I am always showing them these two handguns and arguing with them about their 1911's in comparison. I hope everyone gets a chance to shoot these guns.

Shoot the CZ75b in .40 cal and the EAA Witness in 9mm and .22. The CZ is the nickle finish, too flashy for many, but I think it's soooo purdy.

The Witness is a clone of the CZ and has identical weight and feel. Which is damn near ideal in my eyes. Have NEVER picked up any handgun which just felt so right in my fist. They are natural pointers and a whole lot more accurate than I am.

The Witness was a jam-a-matic for the first 200 rds or so in both calibers. Since then it has run like the CZ - which is flawlessly. The CZ has never had a failure of any kind. And I prefer the .40 over the 9mm for a variety of reasons. I don't find it too "snappy" in that all steel frame. It's my IDPA gun.

A beautiful, ergonomic, accurate, and dead reliable piece in meaningful calibers. Oh, and it is a flat bargain when compared to pieces of comparable quality. What else do you want?

I forgot, you get to choose DA/SA, SAO, or the decocker model, ambidextrous or not. Black or that pretty nickel. Just like Burger King!

Your erratic trigger pull seems unusual - other CZ 75B SA's I've used (including my own) have had smooth, light pulls with almost no take-up. They've been the best triggers I've tried, except for custom 1911's.

I own a CZ 85 B (ambidextrous CZ 75 B) and am very pleased with it. It is more accurate than I am and simple to operate. It is a bit heavier than your Glock or other polymer framed guns but it is made of steel after all. I like it because it fits well in my hand and points naturally. It doesn't bite the web of my hand like a stock 1911 does. With the right holster and belt it can be comfortably carried concealed. I bought a really nice Milt Sparks Versa-Max 2 in horsehide with sharkskin trim on ebay which I love. I also have the choice of carrying either cocked and locked or DA/SA which is my choice. I bought it in 1989 when I was stationed in Berlin, Germany for $250.00 at the American Rod & Gun club. It was one of the best purchases I ever made.

I am a firearms certified instructor - I teach police and civ. I am requesting decals and patches to be sewn onto my jacket, placed on an advertising board, and equipment holders of all kinds. Would be interested in providing your co. free advertising. PLEASE FORWARD TO Mail to: B. ROTHSCHILD P.O. BOX 700 LAKE VILLA, ILLINOIS 60046 PHONE: 847.471.4808


I am a firearms certified instructor - I teach police and civ. I am requesting decals and patches to be sewn onto my jacket, placed on an advertising board, and equipment holders of all kinds. Would be interested in providing your co. free advertising. PLEASE FORWARD TO Mail to: B. ROTHSCHILD P.O. BOX 700 LAKE VILLA, ILLINOIS 60046 PHONE: 847.471.4808


Lets forget all the typical oohs and aahs and look at a truthful critique based on actual testing.

1. The gun does have a cheap cast frame but the average guy does not know the difference between quality forged frames and cheap castings so this is of no consequence to him.

My CZ is one of the original 1980's guns that were made before they cheapened them by doing away with the firing pin retaining plate. This resulted in firing pin breakage from dry firing because the pin is now held in by a cheap hollow roll pin that takes the full force of the forward moving firing pin. Dry firing snaps them right off and CZ supplies free snap caps when you buy the newer cheapend guns.

My Gun has a very gritty trigger pull in single action. My Gun also has a very weak firing pin fall as well, which was probably done to reduce trigger pull, by reducing the power of the main spring. Accuracy was outstanding once you mastered the creepy trigger pull. Trigger reach was way to long for all but people who have fairly long fingers. I do, but I can just barely reach the trigger for double action shooting. The guns slide being of the narrow Sig P210 configuration makes racking the slide difficult even when not under stress. The older spur hammer on the 1980's guns was much easier to cock in a hurry than the newer rowel hammer guns.

Still the gun is made of steel even if it is a casting rather than modern junk plastic so it does have more quality in it.

I also have one of the new model cheapened guns and the safety detente is so weak it makes the safety useless as the safety is too easily and accidentally brushed off. This is not the case in my older 1980's gun that had better workmanship. The newer model gun also has the same gritty single action pull as my older 1980's gun has.

I own a 75D.PCR. What a great hand gun. Also just recently picked up new .380 83 for my wife. I have confidence that if needed they will both preform as needed. CZ,s are as good as they get. I am a pretty good judge of hand guns. I carried a 1911 in Viet Nam.

I don't know to much about this hand gun or it's maker will have to make more checking out on this one I do know that I just bought my sweet better half a Bersa Thunder 380 so she would leave mine alone and they are really a nice gun. CZ75D I also carried a 1911 in Nam along with a couple other hand guns being a tunnel rat and own 3 1911's by diferent maker now all 45 acp. God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future. Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry. Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

I have a CZ75B Omega Trigger 9mm and a CZ75 Compact 40S&W. Both of them are fabulous firearms. I've had the 9mm for 3 1/2 years, never had any issues with it; yes, very accurate. The 40 Compact has been flawless except the magazines do not eject very forcefully. Don't think I am quite as accurate with the 40 as the 9, but it is a very comfortable. 40. Highly recommend trying a CZ75 in 9 if you haven't, you'll likely be surprised. It has been one of the most popular firearms for police usage in Europe (not sure if it still is),

I have a CZ75B Omega Trigger 9mm and a CZ75 Compact 40S&W. Both of them are fabulous firearms. I've had the 9mm for 3 1/2 years, never had any issues with it; yes, very accurate. The 40 Compact has been flawless except the magazines do not eject very forcefully. Don't think I am quite as accurate with the 40 as the 9, but it is a very comfortable. 40. Highly recommend trying a CZ75 in 9 if you haven't, you'll likely be surprised. It has been one of the most popular firearms for police usage in Europe (not sure if it still is),

I have had a CZ 75 B for a couple of years and think it is great. The ergonomics are very good and the trigger, at least in my case, is superior to my Ruger P89 and Berretta 92fs

I find the trigger on par with my Beretta, but definitely better than my P85; after all, the Ruger is the T34 tank of the gun world; utterly tough and reliable and no beauty queen, lol! It's my "truck pistol"

I got two pistols based on the CZ75. The first is a 75B with a custom trigger parts from Cajun Gun Works. It is probably one of the sweetest pistols I own. The second is a factory stock SP01 Tactical with a trigger pull second only to an old Nagant revolver. The pull is heavy and gritty and no amount of work that I'm able to do myself has helped much. Heck, the Nagant has a better SA trigger.

My son bought a CZ75B SA some years back for competition in local matches. He did very well with it. Then one day he let me try it... Sounds crazy, but I traded one of my 1911's and some cash for a new CZ75B SA just like my kid's. Now (glances quickly around) I find I prefer it to my 1911, especially now when ammunition is so very expensive. It's accurate, has a great trigger, and with night sights (Meprolight) it's become my bed gun. I still have my 1911's, its just that I can afford the ammo for the CZ a lot easier than I can afford ammo for old slabsides, and I do love to shoot. At my age (65) the reduced recoil is also welcome, very much so. Now I can use my hands after a 200 round practice shoot. With the .45acp, I couldn't for a while. Good stuff, CZ.

In the past, the CZ was the "Communist Block" another lower cost alternative to the Browning Hi-Power, to my mind. As they have gained acceptance, I noticed even lower cost "EAA" (Tangfolio, Italian) made guns that chose to copy CZ rather than Browning! I Bought and practiced with an EAA in .45 ACP for years when doing corporate security gigs. It performed flawlessly and was much more comfortable to grip and shoot than the Glock 21 (and most other double-stack .45s) Cost, Grip feel, and Recoil are all big factors to me. I since sold it and got a Glock 22 (don't start "wild Romainian") Given the opportunity, I would by another steel EAA or CZ if the price was right.

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