August 2008

A Brace of Full-Size 9mms: Go With CZ’s 75 B Single Action

CZís outstanding 75 B SA needs trigger work, but itís a great gun that weíd buy. Our test crew couldnít work the otherwise excellent Taurus 24/7ís safety, which cost it two letter grades.

So ya wanna buy a 9mm handgun, eh, sport? Suffice to say, youíve 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 we tested the Charles Daly version of the Hi-Power against a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar, and though we 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 didnít. So we kept looking for better 9mms.

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 millóbut 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 pitted the CZ against the Taurus 24/7 Pro ($452), a similar-size handgun with similar large capacity. We had a look at a Taurus 24/7 in 2004, and we thought it was time to see if there have been any changes. Another good comparison would be the new S&W M&P, and one is coming, but it didnít arrive in time for this report. 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. Letís see what we found.

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