CZ‘s new P-10 C pistol is intended to take the Glock 19—the standard bearer of polymer-framed pistols—head on. But unlike some other pistols that also seek the wide, middle market of shooters that buy the G19, CZ’s design team was not bashful in incorporating certain Glock features as is, modifying and improving others, and offering something new when shortcomings of “Glock design dogma” just didn’t cut it anymore in the current ultra-competitive pistol market. It’s refreshing to see that CZ didn’t go the clone route in its attempt to capture the G19’s market share. Make no mistake—the P-10 C is its own gun, not a Glock knockoff.
Ready To Strike
The CZ P-10 C is a compact, striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol with a 15+1 capacity. It uses a double-action-style trigger that cocks and releases a pre-tensioned striker, a system popularized by Glock and incorporated into the Smith & Wesson M&P series and several other designs. Offered in 9mm and .40 S&W, the CZ P-10 C currently has an MSRP of $499 versus $699 for the Glock 19 Gen4.
The P-10 C is 7.3 inches long, 5.2 inches tall and uses a 4-inch barrel. These are near identical dimensions to the Glock 19, except the CZ is slightly taller and 2.35 ounces heavier. This added weight is likely due to its much wider barrel locking lug and use of steel in areas where the G19 uses plastic (e.g., the magazine release). The width of the P-10 C is 1.26 inches, owing to the bilateral slide lock levers compared to 1.18 inches for the G19 with its single left-side lever.
Besides the trigger and pre-cocked striker, the P-10 C adopts the Glock front accessory rail. This allows Glock owners with an investment in lights and lasers to use them on the CZ. The P-10 C also uses a texture on its grip consisting of raised square-shaped cubes with flat tops closely reminiscent of the Glock Rough Textured Finish (RTF) to ensure a solid hold on the pistol.
The CZ also borrows and improves upon the Glock slide lock plate used to disassemble the pistol and trigger. Glock’s slide lock plate has never changed despite the fact that it is so tiny that an aftermarket tool is made to make the process easier. The P-10 C uses the same takedown procedure as a Glock, but the tabs are far easier to use, something those with limited dexterity or fat fingers will really appreciate. The CZ also shares the pivoting trigger safety made famous by Glock that prevents the trigger from moving even if the pistol is dropped. However, the trigger face is less curved than a Glock’s. CZ’s research indicated that shooters preferred this shape, and straight triggers certainly do have a following among competitive shooters.
A thick plastic recoil spring guide and flat spring are used. The internal parts of the P-10 C appear to be robustly designed, with dual steel trigger bars and dual trigger bar springs rather than a single one, as with the G19. The steel magazine release is durable, as is the barrel, which has a very wide locking lug that engages the front frame insert. The barrel is cold-hammer forged, which makes for a stronger and longer-lasting barrel than those that are broach-cut from bar stock.
The slide is milled from a single billet of steel. Its top edges are beveled to reduce bulk and weight, with front and rear serrations. The slide rides on rails that are integral to a front and rear insert rather than being molded into the frame like the Glock, making repairs easier because you don’t have to replace the entire frame, which is the serialized part.
The P-10 C is intended to allow safe carry with a loaded chamber using a firing pin block that is much different than the spring-loaded plunger used on many other designs. According to CZ-USA, this patent-pending design also makes for a cleaner trigger pull.
The P-10 C has good ergonomics, starting with a comfortably shaped grip with very functional texturing that gives you a solid hold. You can also change out the backstrap by simply removing a single roll pin with a punch. Three different backstrap sizes are provided to enhance comfort and facilitate a straight-back trigger pull.
The slide stop and magazine release are ambidextrous. The slide stop levers are larger and much easier to activate than the abbreviated, difficult-to-use versions found on Glocks and M&Ps, which aren’t intended to be used to chamber a round from the slide-lock position. The P-10 C manual states that a round can be chambered by activating the slide stop or retracting and releasing the slide, and I prefer the former because it is quicker and can be done with one hand. Clearly, easy-to-access levers matter. The CZ’s large levers will also prove their value when clearing a double-feed stoppage when one hand is incapacitated because this clearance is best done with the slide locked open, and pushing a small lever can be difficult.
The front of the P-10 C’s triggerguard adopts the shape of the Glock’s, but the guard itself is longer to accommodate the added thickness of a winter glove. Large triggerguards are important for safety during winter use since more space in front of the trigger will help prevent an accidental discharge. This is more important with lighter triggers and those with shorter travels.
The low-profile sights on the P-10 C show careful engineering and are better in several respects than the plastic white-dot front/white-outlined rear set used on most Glocks. Made of durable steel, the CZ’s sights are set up in a white three-dot pattern. The dots are slightly recessed; surface-painted dots get dirty quickly from gunpowder residue and are vulnerable to abrasions that diminish their crisp, easy-to-see appearance. The P-10 C’s rear sight can also be adjusted easily for windage while a Glock’s can’t. Simply loosen a hex-head screw and shift the sight by hand. To adjust for elevation, you can replace the front sight blade by loosening a setscrew. CZ-USA also sells tritium night sights for the P-10 C that can be installed without an expensive sight pusher. Lastly, the CZ P-10 C’s sights are designed to be easier to aim with, with almost a quarter-inch longer radius than the G19.
Finally, the steel magazine also fits the CZ P-07 series pistols. It has an orange high-visibility follower as well as a thicker baseplate to help seat it fully during rapid reloads.
Like all CZ firearms, this pistol was test-fired at the factory and shipped with a 15-meter test target showing a 2-inch, five-shot group that printed 1.5 inches high using Sellier & Bellot ammunition. These results were confirmed with my own shooting from a benchrest. The best five-shot group at 15 yards was just an inch with Winchester’s 147-grain WinClean brass-enclosed base (BEB) rounds. All of the test loads shot 1 to 2 inches above the point of aim, but the front sight can be easily changed for those who desire perfect point of aim/point of impact alignment.
The pistol’s reliability was perfect, even with hollow points. The P-10 C even cycled when I intentionally limp-wristed it. The trigger has a feel characteristic of pre-tensioned striker-fired pistols, but a bit less of a springy, which CZ attributes to a firing pin capture that differs from the prevalent spring-loaded plunger type. The trigger weighed 5.3 pounds according to my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. There was no discernable overtravel.
The P-10 C sits low in the hand, which reduces muzzle rise and makes sight recovery quicker for follow-up shots. The grip angle helps the gun point more instinctively than a typical Glock, which tends to point slightly high. Verify this for yourself by quickly extending the pistol towards the bullseye without referencing the sights.
Fully loaded magazines could be inserted with only moderate force with the slide closed, which is important for tactical reloading and is not as universal a feature as one would expect. The magazine release buttons have checkering, which makes them easy to discern and didn’t interfere with my grip. However, they are smaller and require more pressure to activate than I prefer on a tactical pistol. My sample pistol’s right-side mag button sat closer to the grip than the left side and was quite difficult to activate, especially when fully loaded, though CZ explains that the issue will be solved as the mag release is broken in. Empty mags pop out quickly under spring pressure rather than simply dropping free, which is a plus.
Here To Stay
In the end, CZ’s first striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol is reliable with solid construction, ambidextrous features, easy-to-change sights and a long-lasting hammer-forged barrel. It adopts the appealing simplicity of a Glock but offers improved ergonomics and a few additional worthwhile features at a much lower price.
CZ P-10 C Specs
|Barrel: 4.02 inches|
|OA Length: 7.3 inches|
|Weight: 26 ounces (empty)|
|Finish: Matte black|
CZ P-10 C Performance
|Atlanta Ammo 115 Elite JHP||1,175||1.38|
|Winchester 124 PDX1 +P||1,190||1.00|
|Winchester 147 WinClean BEB||985||0.75|
*Bullet weight measured in grains. Velocity measured in fps by chronograph. Accuracy measured in inches for best five-shot groups at 15 yards.
For more information, visit cz-usa.com.