The CZ 75 B SA is a no-frills hammer fired single-action only metal framed pistol chambered for 9mm that CZ unfortunately discontinued in 2018. It’s a shame because this handgun punches well above its weight–not only is it accurate but it was also fairly affordable. I first became acquainted with the CZ 75 B SA in 2015 and fell in love with it. Though my handgun shooting wasn’t as sophisticated then as it is today, I noticed that this single-action CZ 75 variant was extremely easy to shoot well. Compared to the Gen3 Glock 17 or 19 I used to shoot then, its all-steel construction also mitigated felt recoil which improved the shooting experience.


The CZ 75 is one of the most important hammer fired 9mm pistols designed in the last quarter of the 20th century; it’s on the same tier as the 1911, Beretta 92, Glock and the Browning Hi Power. Just like these other handguns, the CZ 75 became popular around the world which means that finding both cheap copies and upmarket clones of this Czech design isn’t difficult. The most notable about this Czech handgun family is that the slide rides inside the frame–not over the frame like most other pistols. The CZ 75 borrows this cue from the Swiss Sig Pistole 49 (P210). CZ shooters love to debate as to whether this slide configuration is the secret-sauce for the CZ 75’s performance, but according to renowned gunsmith Bruce Gray, maximum inherent accuracy isn’t predicated by where the slide actually sits. However, he mentioned that the CZ 75 / SIG P210 inside-the-frame scheme lends itself to easier fitment of the slide and frame in terms of consistency, even on a mass-production scale. And any shooter can appreciate repeatability and consistency in any firearm. The base model has seen many variants, versions and trims in various calibers and configurations. The original design has been tweaked and revised; it evolved into the second generation “B” model, with a firing pin block starting in 1993. The standard CZ 75 B can be had in the original TDA configuration, a decock-only configuration (BD) and the single-action only configuration–the specific gun this article is written about. It’s also important to mention that the CZ 75 is the parent of CZ’s popular SP-01 and Shadow 2 models. I only mention this because my love affair with the CZ Shadow 2 started precisely because of the CZ 75 B SA. CZs get their “hipster affinity” reputation not only for their alternative slide and frame configuration, but also because their owners tend to come off as extremely passionate. Calling the CZ 75 family a cult-classic wouldn’t be wrong either.


I fell in love with this gun because of how easy it is to shoot well and in those days, I still lived in California. California is famous for its beaches, mountains and its gun-control. There, the freedom-hating left-coast Politburo limits which handgun models ordinary citizens are allowed to buy (courtesy of the inane California Handgun Roster). The CZ 75 SA was on the roster at the time, and that solidified it in my book because beside being easy-shooting and affordable, it was legally available. This pistol isn’t perfect in stock configuration, but even today, I still think it makes for a great beginner’s gun mounted optics not withstanding. Because this gun is specifically a single-action piece, it’s straightforward to operate. It also came with a pair of ambidextrous safety levers, making it left-handed friendly.

We’ve had this specific gun in our family since 2016, and while it hasn’t seen a crazy firing schedule, it conservatively has at least 1000 rounds of both factory ammo and handloads. We’ve never had reliability issues with it, but like any other mechanical device, it is subject to a maintenance schedule. Fortunately, those for CZ 75s are well-known. Ammunition wise, we’ve only cycled 124-grain or 115-grain rounds through it. I don’t tend to stock or handload much 147s, so I can’t speak to shooting those through this pistol. European guns tend to prefer 124-grain bullets anyway. I’m aware that many dedicated CZ competitive shooters tend to load their 9mm cartridges closer to 1.10” COAL (cartridge overall length) for these guns’ chambers, but I’ve never had issues with my 1.150” COAL loads through this gun (or my Shadow 2 for that matter). 


At closer distances it really isn’t unreasonable for a shooter of decent skill to put all their shots through the same hole. Besides the way it’s built, the pistol points naturally and its single action trigger is easy to manage. I’d wager that its breaking weight lies somewhere between 4-5 lbs. By eyeballing it, its trigger has roughly 8mm of pre-travel until it reaches its breaking point. A gentle increase in pressure is enough to break the trigger without much disruption–there’s not a rough transition. With deliberate practice, getting used to the CZ 75 B SA’s trigger and breaking the shot in one continuous motion isn’t difficult either. Once the shot breaks, there’s no creep or over-travel; however the length of reset is fairly long, and it feels like it’s just a tad over 1cm. It’s somewhat reminscent of the reset on a double-action trigger. The trigger face on this model is more angular and not curved like on the standard TDA or BD versions. I prefer it. 

The grip profile isn’t any different than the standard 75 B. The top of the backstrap has some radiusing that ends with a short beavertail that does a good job at keeping the web of the hand separate from the ring hammer. Both the frontstrap and backstrap are smooth with no additional texturing while the standard plastic stocks include some moderate texturing. These plastic stocks also have some moderate coke-bottle contouring, but it’s not bombastic. Unless one upgrades the pistol with more aggressive grip panels or uses chalk, keeping a solid purchase during rapid fire may be challenging. Another sensible and easy upgrade here might be the addition of some grip tape. Because I’m more used to the grip angle of my CZ Shadow 2, the one on this 75 B SA feels more basic and less-developed. I’ll admit that I never cared for the fact that the OEM grip screw takes a Phillips bit. It looks cheap.  

Close-up of the top of the slide


I love the glare-reducing ribbing on the top of the slide; it always classes up any pistol. The included standard sights are fairly basic, and though they work, I really despise the cream yellow-colored fill in the “dot” of the front sight. It’s not a bright, attention grabbing color and has no place on a front sight. The color fill on the rear sight dots was the same way, but I filled those in with a sharpie years ago, and this helps somewhat. Frankly, upgrading the stock sights would be highly recommended. An issue that pertains to not only this pistol but its entire family is that because the slide rides inside the frame, there’s not a lot of real-estate to grab onto when manipulating the pistol quickly. The CZ 75 B SA includes only one set of milquetoast serrations on either side of the slide towards the rear.  


CZ 75 B SA
There’s aways that one flyer!

Slow fire with this gun is fantastic, even with the less than stellar OEM sights. In stock configuration, this gun is great for deliberate and steady target shooting. This gun will make short work of any NRA B8 target at any distance, and ditto for untimed skills assessments like Dot Torture where accuracy is critical. For rapid fire performance, the CZ 75 B SA leaves something to be desired. In fairness, it’s no Shadow 2 either and this gun is less sophisticated and substantially cheaper. This isn’t to say that the CZ 75 B SA isn’t can’t do work in capable hands, it absolutely can. For the sake of this writing, I dusted the gun off and cycled a box and a half of 115-grain factory ammo. Not surprisingly, it was challenging to track the slide with that dull colored cream front sight, but I still managed 0.20 splits when shooting doubles or Bill Drills. In rapid fire, this trigger takes some getting used to, and that’s something that’s easily done by deliberate practice with the gun. The lack of checking on the frontstrap, backstrap and stocks can become a liability. In rapid fire I noticed that the gun tended to slide around in my hands a bit. I don’t think any of this is a problem for beginners getting uses to shooting and taking shots at their own paces, but anyone who might want to shoot this gun more seriously would do well to upgrade the grip and use grip-chalk like I mentioned above. Fortunately, upgrading the OEM stocks and sights isn’t difficult since the CZ 75 has been a dominating force in the world of performance pistol shooting.  


The CZ 75 B SA is a descendant of one of the most influential double-stack hammer fired 9mm pistol series, and this no-frills user-friendly gun shines best as a general purpose shooter and range-gun. It’s a great beginner’s gun too since its easy-shooting ways can certainly help build up a newbie’s confidence at the range–a crucial element needed to meaningfully build up shooting skills. After all, shooting performance is extremely mental, and cultivating a sense of confidence is paramount to success. For deliberate rapid-fire performance, the CZ 75 B SA honestly needs upgraded sights and grips, but fundamentally accuracy and performance around found in this gun’s DNA. The original SP-01 Shadow, the Shadow 2, the Tactical Sport Series, the Czechmates, the Parrots and beyond after all, are just souped up CZ 75s. So too bad the Czech firm discontinued this basic all-metal single-action 9mm shooter.   

P.E. Fitch
I am a shooter first, and a writer second. IG & Twitter: @pfitch45