Range Report: CZ 75 (“Pre -B”) — 9x19mm Para

The CZ 75 has been made in several configurations, the earliest being the “Pre -B” (story here) and one of these was what was given to me and which I took to the range.

My Kind Benefactor had the temerity to apologize for the wear on the finish — like that has ever been a concern of mine — but even the guys at the Merchant Of Death, hardened gunnies though they are, were oohing and aahing over the thing, playing with it and trying out the trigger.

I’ll talk a little bit more about the gun itself later, but let me set the scene for the workout.  I made several decisions before the gun even arrived:

  • I’m only ever going to shoot heavy hollowpoints out of the thing, and never the cheap 115gr FMJ ammo because I despise it.
  • So I chose SIG’s Elite JHP 147-gr offering:
      …because that was the cheapest ammo of those specs I could find.

There are a couple of issues with the CZ pre-B 75 guns, but only one of which might be problematic (for me), and that is that their magazines are not compatible with those used in the later CZ 75 B models (and their sub-variants).  I discovered that the pre-B mags are like hen’s teeth, but this is not a concern for me because I intend to carry the 75 as a backup piece, its 15-round mag replacing the S&W 637’s 5-round cylinder.

Anyway, so this is the background to the workout below.  I only had two boxes (all I could afford at the moment), and I had to hold back 15 rounds for the carry mag, so all I had was 25 rounds to play with.  So instead of blasting away (as is my wont), I had to go all South African Army and watch my ammo count carefully.  Here’s how it went, at 7 yards (20-odd feet) distance:

The double-action trigger pull on the CZ 75 is okay, a tad stiff — more like a WWII P-38 than (say) a Glock — but it doesn’t really matter because as a self-defense piece, and not being constrained by department policy, I’m going to carry it cocked and locked like my 1911 so I don’t have to think about it:  safety off, and away we go.

The single-action pull is lovely:  a smooth take-up but no stop before the bang, which for this 1911/BHP user is going to take a little more work.  It did catch me unawares a couple of times during the session, to be sure, with a couple of annoying flyers, but no matter because MOAR PRACTICE oh boy.

I had intended to do a side-by-side with the 1911, but by the time I caught myself, I only had four rounds left.  Never mind, thinks I, let’s just do four rounds of the 9mm, and four rounds of the 1911 carry ammo:

(This is all I carry and shoot these days in my 1911, because heavier .45 boolets (e.g. 230gr FMJ) do a number on my aged wrists after a few mags thereof, and these soft-shooting Normas are both accurate and deadly — “MHP” stands for “monolithic hollow point”, whatever that means.)

Here’s the 4-round comparison, aimed at the “head” portion of the target:

All were fired in what I call “aimed-rapid”, i.e. bang [beat] bang [beat] etc., and the left-hand hole in the .45 group contains two shots, as it happens, the first two I fired.  (Many thousands of practice rounds helps with this kind of thing.)

I noted that I’m shooting the 75 a fraction high after the first shot, something I’ll be watching in future practice sessions.  (The first shot in the above target is the bottom-left hole.)

The grouping is… acceptable — for me anyway.

This SIG ammo is about 58c/pull, the Norma about 50c.

The difference between the two guns in felt recoil is almost imperceptible.  The 75 is surprisingly hefty and tames whatever recoil the heavier 9mm rounds generate.  In terms of size, it almost fits in my 1911’s holsters, but for the larger trigger guard.

Speaking of which, this is one way you can tell the immediate difference between the CZ 75 and the CZ 75 B:

Note too the bobbed hammer of the later B;  those two features and the incompatible mags (grrrrr) are the major apparent differences between the two.

As for me:  I now carry a 1911 with 24 rounds (three mags) of .45 ACP, and a backup CZ 75 with 15 rounds of Europellet in its single magazine.

That should work.


  1. If I may, what type of holster(s) are you using? My EDC is medium size no plastic and even so the IWB is not that comfortable plus tends to lower the belt on that side Have considered the 1911 or Hi Power for daily but that makes the issue worse. To point I am considering using suspenders for the belt. Am about your size/age/weight too. Tks.

  2. Nice write up! I had no idea that the pre B and post B pistols did not have interchangeable magazines. There is a CZ75 for sale at work used for under five benjis. It’s tempting but not if mags are a problem to obtain.

    The CZ75 and the Hi Power are definitely on my short list to pick up as are a Sig 229 or 226, Generally I’m not such a fan of DA/SA pistols. I prefer the same consistent trigger squeeze from a 1911 or even one of the newer plastic fantastics (gasp!).

    Enjoy the new pistol!


  3. > I’m only ever going to shoot heavy hollowpoints out of the thing, and never the cheap 115gr FMJ ammo because I despise it.

    This may help.

    For some really odd reasons I settled on Speer Gold Dot HP in 9mm about 20 years ago. (https://www.speer.com/ammunition/gold_dot/gold_dot_handgun_personal_protection/19-23619GD.html)

    Then I needed “practice ammo” and found Lawmans in 147 grain TMJ https://www.speer.com/ammunition/lawman/lawman_handgun_training/19-53620.html

    Notice the ballistics lower down on the page. Identical (as listed) out to 50 yards, and REALLY close at 100.

    It’s sometimes hard to find, but the Lawman’s TMJ is about 1/3 or less the cost of the hollow points.

    1. That Speer ammo is about 50% more spendy than the SIG, which cost me just under $20 retail at the Merchant Of Death.

  4. Kim – check out target sports U.S.A. for ammo
    They ship and have good prices.

    Nice gun but I hate manual safeties on handguns.

    I like both striker fired and DA SA guns but have a slight preference, 51 49 to DA SA

    I’ll take a classic Sig (P229 P226) any day over the CZ or High Power

    I will agree for recoil and ammo capacity this is better than a snub revolver but I do find myself carrying my Ruger LCR snub more than anything due to it being so easy to carry. Light weight and hides easily. It does have a 5 round capacity and recoils harshly but it’s a Get the fuck off me gun.

    Enjoy the CZ. The only thing better than a gun is a free gun.

  5. I now carry a 1911 with 24 rounds (three mags) of .45 ACP, and a backup CZ 75 with 15 rounds of Europellet in its single magazine.

    I think that is commonly know as: “Loaded for bear…”

  6. VERY nice! I picked up a 75b a few years back, and I love the bloody thing. Laser beam accurate, and the trigger is… decent, but I was spoiled by my SIG-Sauer P228.

    IIRC, the big difference between the 75b and the pre-B is that the 75b has a firing pin safety while the pre-B does not.

    And I’ll bet money that “MHP” stands for “Monolithic Hollow Point.”. It’s probably pure copper alloy (i.e. no lead), hence the light for caliber weight and (I assume) relatively high price tag.

    1. D’oh! You already spelled out the acronym. That’s what I get for speed reading pre-caffeine.

  7. “Incompatible” ? Just a challenge for a skilled metalworking hobbyist.
    This is America, after all.

  8. Very nice pistol! And as for the group sizes, you’re getting consistent sizes between the two, so it should be a good backup gun. And any one of those shots would be enough to make a goblin reconsider his choice of occupation.

  9. “never the cheap 115gr FMJ ammo because I despise it”

    I’d love to hear the background on this comment. I also carry and shoot only 147gr in 9MM and my reason has always been, essentially, bigger is better, even at the potential sacrifice of expansion. As I understand it, 147gr in a short barrel is basically sub-sonic and below expansion threshold for most loads. Yet I still carry it. (I like the Federal HST, although I seem to have a ton of Winchester Ranger still in stock.)

  10. From CZ Parts “*very old CZ 75 models used magazines that were slightly thinner – you can get classic 16rnd magazine for CZ 75B and remove little bit of the material off to make it work with older CZ 75 as well*
    From what I read on other places that means sanding the mags to make them fit. Also Megcar mags may work, might be worth a try.
    If you do please keep us informed.

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