CZ has a long history of releasing great guns that are often a bit underrated. For every Shadow 2, you have an underappreciated gun like the SP-01. One of the most underappreciated series of firearms from CZ was the P series. The P07 and the P09 specifically. The CZ P09 is one of my all-time favorite handguns, and it really doesn’t get the love it deserves.
The New Series
The CZ P or duty series was CZ’s attempt to enter the modern market. While the CZ75 was popular around the world and with sport shooters, it was beginning to show its age. The world embraced polymer, and so did CZ. The P series, which assuredly stands for polymer, wasn’t CZ’s first foray into the world of polymer, but it was a little more successful than the CZ-100.
CZ has always been mostly known for the CZ 75 series, and that has led to some interesting branding. The first of the P series was the compact model, a.k .a. the P07. These were originally known as the CZ 75 P07 Duty. Thankfully, CZ recognized that and dropped the CZ 75 moniker. It became the P07 Duty. A bit later, CZ released the P09, a full-sized model of the P07.
CZ kept to their famed DA/SA design with these weapons. This makes it one of the few DA/SA polymer frame pistols out there. The P09 series has a 4.54-inch barrel and an overall length of 8.1 inches. The gun weighs 31 ounces and is a comfortable 1.46 inches wide. That width isn’t the grip but the widest part of the gun, and that’s where the slide lock sits.
The gun came in both 9mm and 40 S&W. I have the 9mm variant, and the magazine holds 19 rounds and fits flush. The gun came with two +2 magazine extensions, bringing the capacity to 21 rounds. One of the more interesting features of the gun is the ability to choose between a manual ambidextrous safety and an ambidextrous decocker. The user can swap with ease for their preferred option.
The CZ P09 Ergonomics
CZ has always excelled in the ergonomics department, and the P09 is no different. As someone with big hands, the P09 just fits me. My thumbs don’t pin down the slide lock, and the safety or decocker is huge. I use the decocker personally. Everything about the gun is huge and easy to use. If you’re going to be duty gun size, why make anything small?
The controls are all very easy to reach. The magazine release is one of my favorites. It’s just a quick swipe of the thumb downward and a press inward. You can press the magazine release without ever even coming close to breaking your firing grip. Plus, the slide lock can be used as a slide release due to its size, which makes it easy to reload on the fly.
The gun comes with three different backstraps, and the medium fits fine as far as I’m concerned. The grips are designed to allow for a nice high grip on the gun, which improves control and comfort. Overall, it’s a gun that’s not afraid to be big and easy to use.
At the Range With the P09
One of the first things you’ll realize is how little recoil and muzzle rise the P09 exhibits. The slide of the gun is quite small, and much like the original CZ-75, the slide rails are inside the frame. This lowers the bore axis, but more importantly, it reduces the slide weight, which reduces the weight of the slide slamming rearward. This reduces recoil and keeps recoil down when shooting.
Low recoil means fast shooting, and fast shooting is fun. Plus, it tends to be necessary for tactical shooting, competition shooting, and any shooting that requires speed and accuracy. Speaking of, the long-sight radius of the gun makes it easy to hit your target. The single-action trigger helps, as does the cold hammer forged barrel.
The double action is a pretty standard double-action design. It’s not super light, but it is smooth and to the point. The reset is somewhat long for the single action, and the Cajun Gun Works trigger kit really cleaned up my trigger. Still, even the stock trigger is absolutely fantastic. It makes shooting targets out to 25 yards plenty easy, and even beyond, with a steady hand, you can hit IPSC and USPSA targets.
Sadly, they never made an optics-ready variant. I might still get mine sent off to Cajun Gun Works to get the slide milled. With an optic, this thing would be unstoppable. Speaking of unstoppable, the P09 series are super reliable and extremely capable guns. They can eat the crappiest ammo you got to the nicest JHPs without complaint.
Getting One Now
I don’t see many CZ P09s these days, but when I do, they are almost always a bargain. I only paid 450 for my FDE with the Night Sights model. The P10 series has largely overshadowed the P09, but if you want a DA/SA pistol without spending a fortune, then it’s tough to beat the P09 series of handguns. It’s a full-sized gun that’s not afraid to be full-sized, and there is something to be said about that.