CZ P-01 - Detailed review and range report


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Mulliga
October 21, 2006, 09:31 PM
About the gun

I bought a new CZ P-01 for $500 + tax (yeah, it's about $50 too high, but "support your local gun shop" and all that). Made back in 2002 during the AWB, this particular specimen came with two neutered 10-rounders and no NSN code imprint on the gun (which I actually prefer).

The P-01 is a very conservative gun - traditional Browning HP-style short recoil DA/SA with a decocking lever and no manual safety. The frame is forged aluminum, not polymer. Every review of the P-01 seems to mention the NATO testing, so I've just done so. :) Moving on...

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/images/p01profile.JPG

Dry-firing & Inspection

The P-01 trigger is about the same as most other CZs I've tried. DA is heavy and smooth enough to work with, with some initial takeup. SA has the typical CZ camming action, giving it a little takeup and some pronounced creep. It's not going to win any awards, but it works well enough.

The decocking lever takes a lot of travel and force to decock, which is a good thing. It's out of the way and doesn't interfere with shooting at all, yet it can be decocked without shifting your firing grip (though the location is not as natural as a SIG). The slide lock is extended slightly from the standard 75, making it a bit easier to use.

The frame is as wide as my RAMI 9mm, but the slide is the same width as a 75. This means that the slide is harder to reach than a regular 75, since your fingers will have the tendency to brush up against the frame. The P-01 has a standard 1913 rail for mounting accessories (I want to get that bayonet they offer for it :evil: ).

I was first surprised by the presence of a beveled magazine well. Kind of unnecessary in a pistol IMHO (especially in a double-stack 9mm), but it looks pretty nice and is tastefully done. Also note that the lanyard is built into the main spring plug.

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/images/magwell.JPG

The frame is vertically serrated on the front and back straps. All new P-01s come with CZ's soft checkered rubber grips, which I prefer to the slippery feel of the Hogues. The grip screws, oddly enough, stick out from the grips slightly, but it doesn't cause me any discomfort. The magazine release has been extended noticeably from what a normal mag release on a CZ-75 or a 1911 would feel like.

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/images/serrations.JPG

The barrel is comparable to a regular CZ-75 in terms of thickness. Chamber support looks to be identical to the fullsize model, as well. The ramp angle is pretty sound and rounds have very little trouble moving into the chamber. One issue here is the plastic guide rod; in my personal experience with my 75B through cases and cases worth of ammo, the guide rod is far, far less likely to break than a spring. It does look a bit chintzy in my opinion, but if the gun works...

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/images/P01barrel.JPG

Shooting

First things first: the P-01 was completely reliable through 400 rounds (ammo shot was 200 rounds WWB 115 gr. FMJ, 100 rounds WWB 147 gr. JHP, and 100 rounds UMC 115 gr. JHPs). No failures, and the slide locked back when appropriate.

I used a neutered mag, a Mec-Gar 16-rounder, and a highly suspect aftermarket 15-round mag and had no problems with any of them, which can be pretty rare in a bottom-feeder. I mixed up JHPs and FMJs, I shot it one-handed and gangsta style, I shot it fast, I shot it slow, and the P-01 just kept coming. The aftermarket mag's spring was very weak and yet the P-01 ate from it no problem.

Now the disappointing part - this CZ isn't as accurate as my 75B. It's even only as accurate as my 3" barreled RAMI. Using the ammo listed above, I regularly got about 3" 5-shot groups, standing, at 15 yards, whereas with the 75B I can do 2" and under even on a bad day.

Conclusion

CZ has some pretty talented people designing and building guns over there. I've already ordered a holster and yet I'm thinking of running over to a gun store and picking up a holster to carry it in right now - I know the gun is 100%.

Quite frankly, I wished the gun shot more accurately. I think the exposed plastic guide rod (versus the plastic guide rod that's hidden in a 75B) is a minus in terms of looks. I think the sights and trigger, while adequate, could be better. But in terms of ergonomics, I believe CZ still has a product that can compete and win with the big dogs like SIG and HK.

One of my pet peeves is having to monkey with a new gun to get it to work. I'll give some slack to pieces that have shot for thousands of rounds and need new springs; that happens with all guns. But a new autoloader that can't feed from its own mags, or can't feed certain ammo, is not something I personally want to carry. Bottom line is, the P-01 works as advertised.

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Euclidean
October 21, 2006, 09:41 PM
Nicely done sir. I have to admit, something about this pistol intrigues me.

RNB65
October 21, 2006, 10:48 PM
Good review. I've got the P-01's big brother, the SP-01 Tactical. It's currently my favorite handgun in my collection.

Stiletto Null
October 21, 2006, 11:21 PM
I think my choice 9mm will be the SP-01.

And I wish CZ made the P-01 with a manual safety.

armoredman
October 21, 2006, 11:50 PM
I love my PO1, fantastic pistola. Sorry about the accuracy; on a good day with handloads, I can get 2.5 inch groups at 25 yards with mine. OK, a VERY good day.:neener:
I have hit man sized targets at 100 yards, but I sure hope I have a rifle at that distance!

1 old 0311
October 22, 2006, 09:47 AM
I just bought my third P-01. All have been flawless. I did replace the plastic guide rods with a stainless ( I have a few extra for sale if you are inerested .)
I did mount a Kadet kit on one of them. Still get trigger time, but cheap to shoot.

mattf7184
October 22, 2006, 12:13 PM
Congrats. You should send it to Matt Mink with CZ USA to do a trigger job on it. :evil:

Pilot
October 22, 2006, 12:59 PM
Your accuracy issues may be the trigger. My compact PCR with its stock trigger is just as accurate as my 75B.

CZF
October 22, 2006, 08:33 PM
Try some 124 gr Gold Dot JHPs or Silvertips in it. Most P-01s really love those.

abarth
October 23, 2006, 02:07 AM
Mulliga thanks for a nice write up. I have no experience with p-01, but most guns trigger loosen up after about a 600 to 1000 rounds. If I am not asking too much can you do a follow up after a 1000 rounds and see if the trigger and the accuracy improves? I am interested in getting one in the near future, but I don't want to get it if it doesn't perform as good as the 75b.

Mulliga
October 24, 2006, 12:03 AM
First time I've ever owned a CZ with a decocker.

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/PICS/IMG_0398.JPG

http://www.cise.ufl.edu/~akwan/PICS/IMG_0403.JPG

1 old 0311
October 24, 2006, 08:27 AM
Just checked two of mine, the third is in the safe. One is centered, one is off center like yours.

nonquixote
October 24, 2006, 08:51 AM
One hammer hook had to be shortened on CZ decocker pistols to allow room for the decocker mechanism. Both my PCR and 40P are like that.

robctwo
October 25, 2006, 12:00 PM
My P-01 is as accurate as most of my handguns. I've loaded some Hornady hollow points that are very accurate.

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