Revisiting the CZ P-09

Follow-up Shots are a Breeze with the CZ P09

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.

CZ Sure Knows How to Make a Handgun

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.

It’s Been Years Since I’ve Shot the CZ-P09 and I’ve Certainly Missed It

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…’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.

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About the author: CitizenHush is the Bob Ross of 2A Twitter. A Virginian by birth but Texan by the Grace of God, Mr. Hush enjoys firearms and firearm technology.Dislikes include: Strong opinions on Cast Iron skillets, politicians, and Brass Goblins. When he’s not blasting feral hogs in Central Texas, you can find him either on the range or living his best life as a suburban ranch hand.

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  • bob December 22, 2021, 2:37 pm

    how the hell can a pistol be “outdated”.if it works,it’s relevent!

  • Stephentrinkle December 21, 2021, 11:28 pm

    left hand is paralyzed from a stroke so holding pistol and racking slide is almost impossible. Suggestions please I guess reviewing over is obvious but I like the 1911 best

  • Hank 714 December 20, 2021, 6:30 pm

    As someone that is old enough to remember shooting CZ DA/SA pistols in the late 80s or early 90s, I don’t agree that CZ triggers are always done right. Those unobtainable and expensive 75s had gritty, noisy triggers and super wide grips, and were difficult to handle for those reasons. I like my EAA Witness 10mm a lot tho, with some slender and cool grips from LOK, and aftermarket sights.
    Hammer or striker is just a personal preference, like leather or kydex.

  • Mark December 20, 2021, 11:55 am

    Great article. I too had a P7 and just recently sold it to fund another long distance piece. If there was another squeeze cocker introduced at a reasonable price, I would buy it in a heartbeat. It was the only striker fired pistol i ever cared to have on my side. I definitely prefer a hammer, and I love my HK45, both a safety and decocker. Shoots better than any other double single I have shot. This topic is really a Ford vs Chevrolet issue, I hope that the industry never abandons the hammer. As for introducing a new shooter, I would never start them out with a striker fired pistol, but I also think that everybody should be taught on a standard transmission for the same reason. Learn to operate the one that requires more skill, and you have that skill for life.

  • Don December 20, 2021, 11:35 am

    I love my DA/SA hammer guns but my biggest problem is the transition from the long, heavy trigger pull on the first shot to the short, light release for the second shot. At the range it’s no big thing but under stress I could see my second shot going off before I’m ready – or maybe going off when I don’t want it to! At least I know the first round is staying in the gun until I want it to leave.

  • Todd December 20, 2021, 11:33 am

    Exposed hammer – Check!
    Polymer lightness – Check!
    Manual safety – Check!
    Czech – CHECK!

    What’s not to love?


  • DRock December 20, 2021, 9:10 am

    Two thoughts-
    1- What does your hand being too small have to do with hammer fired pistol?
    2- Taking off a thumb safety is not an additional step.
    Keeping your strong hand thumb high on the draw (to allow your support as much real estate on grip as possible) as you form your grip the thumb comes firm and takes safety off. It’s part of the action of establishing a solid grip before firing.
    Keeping your thumb above the safety accomplishes two things. It insures your strong hand doesn’t push the support down the grip, and it prevents safety from being inadvertently activated, during a string of fire. Additionally adds some leverage in keeping muzzle flip down.
    I find I shoot some guns more naturally, and struggle with others, but striker or hammer fired doesn’t seem to make a difference.

  • Ken July 5, 2021, 1:18 pm

    As a navy Corpsman in Vietnam I eventually got comfortable carrying a 1911 in a shoulder holster with hammer back and no thumb safety… just relying on the web of the hand safety. I rolled out every night for twenty five total months.

    Back in the world I carried a 1911 Mexican Carry with the thumb safety on… but often found that the rubbing up against my body often disengaged the thumb safety… that was scary but nothing bad ever happened.

    At some point I went to a Sig 220 because of the decocker… felt safer that way. That led to Berettas, CZs and other single/double pistols that one can carry without a holster.

    At some point I discovered Clipdraws so as my waist expanded over the years I could carry Mexican Carry without the fear of my pistol sliding down my pant leg… only happened once with a High Power.

    I’ve tried and own many of the popular striker fired pistols. I really like Glocks but I really dislike holsters… and although I’ve worn Glocks without a holster I could not stop worrying about the 5.5 lbs. open trigger.

    So… my typical carry guns are Sig 226s (.357 Sig) and CZ 75s (9mm) and and sometimes a Beretta 96 (.357 Sig) … all with a Clipdraw.

    I don’t favor smaller pistols.

  • Mauser6863 July 5, 2021, 10:51 am

    My first hand gun that I purchased with my own money was a 45 ACP Colt Commander in 1981. After having the ramp polished/throated and the sights replaced and new grips, new flat mainspring housing installed, I owned a gun designed in the early 1900’s that could reliably (mostly) feed ball ammo. I made the mistake of listening to the older generation, who told me the only effective handgun rounds are 45 ACP and 357 Magnum and the “ONLY” choice in 45 ACP was Colt and S&W in 357.

    I wanted 100% reliability with any ammo and I didn’t want to have to pay to “Make it Right” and to be able to safely and effectively carry with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. STAR Pistols, the then new Beretta 92S, Walther P4/P38K and the S&W 39/59 were about it. Out of all of those the P38K seemed like the right choice, but not for the $900 to $1,000 price tag at that time.

    I picked up a gun magazine and read about the SIG Sauer P226 in the 1980’s when people were just starting to hear about them. Picked one up for $550 on sale and it was 100% of everything I dreamed and hoped a gun would be. It was accurate, safe to carry loaded with a round in the chamber, held 15 rounds and would eat any ammo I could find. It needed nothing extra and I didn’t even change the grips.

    Then I made two mistakes, I fired a H&K P7M8 in 1992 and it was amazing, same trigger pull each time of around 2.5 to 3lbs. Squeeze cocker/slide release was amazing. It was literally like a gun made in the future, Super low bore axis too, Best handgun I have ever fired or owned. Had to sell two guns, including the P226 to afford the $1,000 sale price. 2nd mistake was that I sold the gun in 2002 to afford my wedding and honeymoon. I fixed that 2nd mistake by getting divorced in 2020.

    Back in the 1980’s the CZ75 was a legend, banned from import, hailed by Col. Jeff Cooper in print articles, etc. Only way you could get one is if a Soldier in Germany bought one back or a Police Officer with a Dept. Letter was allowed to bring one back from Europe. When the SIG Sauer P226 was $550, the H&K P7M8 was $1,000, the CZ 75 was a whopping $1,200. With zero parts or dealer support in the U.S. The CZ75 was therefore a “No”.

    In A.D. (After Divorce), I purchased a CZ P10S Optics ready and a CZ BREN 2. I can’t say enough good things about both these guns. Like them better than my “old” Glock 19X and FN M4. Today the CZ75 seems dated like the Colt did, so while I like and admire the pistol, I don’t think I will ever own one.

    • Kane July 6, 2021, 9:35 am

      “I fixed that 2nd mistake by getting divorced in 2020.”

      Great line

  • Ben July 5, 2021, 10:22 am

    It was refreshing to read a well-thought-out article that gave the pros and cons of the subject at hand without rancor or bias. Plus, it was an interesting read.

  • Skip July 5, 2021, 9:10 am

    Your right, I did stop reading the article.

  • Todd July 2, 2021, 12:22 pm

    It is wonderfully refreshing to read a recreationally informative article that while entirely opinion based – does not alienate one side or the other.

    To write-up a pistol which is not specifically favored by the writer and yet not derided by him is very pleasant to read.

    To stay ahead of readers’ criticisms without pre-alienating them is quite a literary gift on the part of the writer as well.


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