In the gun-writing business, all sorts and kinds of guns come and go. Some are quickly forgotten, some make enough of an impression to generate sharper memories and a relative few (for writers not burdened with independent incomes and collector lifestyles) may end up staying on after the range testing and writing are finished and submitted. Some years back, I worked with the then-relatively-new CZ P-01, a compact, 9mm, double-action/single-action (DA/SA) autopistol first adopted by the Czech national police in 2001 and later approved by NATO in 2003, and it was one of those that fell into the middle category—it made a definite impression, but there was one overriding, little, nitpicky thing about it that kept me from buying it after the dust settled (about which more later).
Made in a foreign land that’s not spelled A-U-S-T-R-I-A and not widely embraced by Hollywood, CZ products seem to be underrated in general, which is unfortunate, since their quality is typically excellent, and their pricing quite competitive. The CZ 75D PCR Compact
is a prime example.
Based on the much-respected, 1975-era, full-sized CZ 75 DA/SA 9mm pistol that sired the line almost 40 years ago, the CZ 75D PCR Compact is a 27.4-ounce DA/SA 9mm with an alloy frame and a 14-round, steel, double-column magazine. With a 3.8-inch barrel, it’s actually a bridge between the same-sized, steel-frame CZ 75 Compact, which has a manual safety, and the alloy-frame P-01, which has a longer frame, a short accessory rail and a decocker. The standard steel Compact can be carried cocked and locked for SA-first-shot carry use, or hammer down in DA mode for a long-trigger-travel first shot. There’s no actual external manual safety on either the CZ 75D PCR or the P-01, however, and the thumb lever on both only decocks the hammer after manually chambering or firing a round.