Long Live Hammer-Fired Pistols
Admittedly, CZ’s hold a very dear place in my heart. My first hammer fired gun was a CZ-75B. My first competition gun was a CZ Shadow 2. My first pawn shop pistol was a Tanfoglio TZ-75, an Italian CZ-75 clone. There was a period in time where I collected as many CZ-75 variants and clones as I could get ahold of.
It’s been about 3 years since I’ve touched a hammer-fired CZ pistol as I’ve moved on and joined the striker-fired gang. Hammer-fired handguns look beautiful, they’re incredibly easy to shoot but something in me seems to believe they’re becoming dated platforms. I know many people are going to stop reading right now but hear me out.
Most hammer-fired pistols either come in a double-action/single-action combination complete with a de-cocker or safety. While the single-action trigger pull is usually nothing short of a religious experience, the double-action is where the problem lies. Most double-action triggers pull at a weight of 8-10 pounds. That is a substantial amount of force but it can be mastered with practice.
Alternatively, you can opt to keep the pistol in single-action but with the safety engaged. However, when you draw, you have to remember to take the safety off which adds an additional step into the process.
CZechs & Balances
While the CZ P-09 isn’t a new handgun, it’s one of the newer iterations of the CZ-75 platform and introduced some modernized ergonomics and features but it remains a hammer-fired gun. I have put many thousands of rounds through the P-09 and while I love it, I can’t say I’d ever carry it out on a hog hunt or would ever reach for it over one of my striker-fired pistols.
The P-09 is a perfectly balanced, full-sized, hammer-fired handgun. It’s the big brother to the CZ P-07. The P-09 boasts a polymer frame and steel slide housing a 4.5″ barrel as well as a Picatinny rail. It features a 19+1 capacity and ships with 2-3 magazines depending on the retailer. This comes in handy as CZ factory magazines are notoriously expensive, usually in the $40-$60 range. The P-09 includes the famous Omega Trigger system which is a joy to shoot. CZ does many things right and their triggers are near the top of the list. My version of the pistol is equipped with fixed 3-dot sights but there are night sight and suppressor height night sight models available. In addition, the P-09 ships with the de-cocker installed but a safety is included which is pretty painless to swap out.
At a $550 MSRP the CZ P-09 stays true to CZ’s reputation for bringing a lot of value at a reasonable price.
The Wonder Nine Evolved
As I’ve developed as a shooter over the years, I’ve come to terms that my hands aren’t actually as large as I think they are. They’re not small but they’re certainly not Shrek-sized. Glock 19’s and Glock 34’s feel equally comfortable in my hands. However, the CZ P-09 is entirely too big for my ethnically ambiguous man-mitts.
For example, when reloading the CZ P-09, I’m unable to comfortably reach the slide release without adjusting my grip on the handgun. That’s weird. I don’t remember that. Reality is cruel.
Shooting the P-09 is incredibly fun, smooth and I have yet to find an ammo type a CZ won’t chew through. The single-action trigger, while not as crisp and polished as the CZ Shadow 2…..it’s still better than most single-action triggers on the market at a fraction of the price.
The famous low-bore axis on CZ pistols lends an incredibly natural point of aim. This combined with the added weight and length of the metal slide helps stay on target with fast, follow-up shots making this a great first handgun to introduce new shooters to centerfire pistols with.
The P-09 is without a doubt a fantastic pistol. But it’s held back by the limitations inherent to most hammer-fired guns. The double-action pulls in at 8.5 pounds while the single-action has a much easier 5.5-pound pull. Drawing this hand-gun to engage a target in double-action was difficult and I found that I wasn’t as fast or accurate as I am with striker-fired pistols, notably the CZ P-10c.
I think this is why CZ has continued to push their striker-fired P-10 series over the P-09 and P-07. They’re more modern and easier to shoot. That’s not to say hammer-fired pistols should go away- not at all. It’s clear where consumer demand has pushed manufacturers and it’ll likely come back in the future but for now, I would recommend one of CZ’s striker-fired pistols over the P-09 or P-07, especially if you’re a first-time gun owner. If you’re a collector, the P-09 is a must-have as it’s one of the latest iterations of the venerable CZ-75.