Firearm & Gear Reviews

Quick Review: CZ P10-C

As my first true CZ pistol, the P10-C has been a positive experience so far. I use the word “true” because I have owned for some time a Canik TriStar T-120 which is a CZ75 clone. The T-120, like the P10-C, is an excellent shooter and an exceptional pistol for the price, and for all intents and purposes a CZ. The Canik however was enough for me to realize that I wasn’t particularly interested in buying a “real” CZ pistol. As anyone who has a passion for firearms knows, CZ has a reputation for making fantastic pistols. And they are deserving of that reputation. They are beautifully crafted firearms and known to be reliable and accurate shooters. They can be found across the world in duty and competition holsters. One of their primary design aspects that makes them a solid and accurate pistol is the fact that the slide rails ride on the inside of the frame. While this has its advantages it also contributes to a slide that is less tall than typical, therefore potentially harder to manipulate. Hence one of the most common criticism of a CZ pistol. Count me among them. I like a meatier slide to grab onto. It’s a small thing (no pun intended) but it makes a big enough difference to me. The P10-C doesn’t suffer from this criticism because its slide does not run inside the rails but rather traditionally on the outside of the frame. What makes the P10-C even more unique though is that it’s CZ’s first striker fired pistol. What’s difference does that make to me, not a great deal. I shoot a variety of both hammer fired and striker fired pistols, I like them both. Generally speaking though I like the simplicity of striker fired pistols preferring no safety or decocker. None of this however was my motivation to buy the P10-C. I bought it because I was curious, because it’s a CZ, because I liked its compact FDE frame, and because it was cheap. Around $375, making it one of the most inexpensive handguns I own. Second only to the previously mentioned Canik T-120. Apparently the P10-C was designed specifically to compete with the Glock 19. Even insofar as being able to fit most Glock 19 holsters. I don’t own a Glock 19 but I do have a well used Glock 17. In this regard, there is no doubt that the CZ is a viable competitor and with a difference in price of $100 or more, one can make the good argument that it’s a superior option.

The CZ P10-C is a lot of bang for the buck (yes pun intended) and is simply a well designed and executed firearm. With 250 rounds through the barrel It has been 100% reliable with a variety of ammunition including my hand loads. It’s remarkably easy to shoot and control considering its size and weight. Not that it’s a particularly compact firearm , it’s just smaller than what I typically shoot. Nevertheless the recoil is exceptionally easy to manage and on several occasions I’ve found myself dumping a mag faster than I comfortably can with any of my other handguns. And with decent accuracy. I can’t exactly say why, I just like shooting this gun fast. The trigger likely has something to do with this guns shootability. It’s a very good trigger out of the box and outstanding for a gun at this price point. In fact, just about any review of this pistol since it’s release has made particular mention of the trigger. Some reviews have been absolutely glowing when it comes to the trigger. P10 Trigger.jpgIt’s a good trigger. Some take up, firm wall, breaks at around 4 and a half pounds, very short reset. Solid. Strikes me as just about a perfect duty trigger. The trigger does have one peculiarity. It almost feels like creep at the wall before it breaks. It’s not really creep though, it just feels like the break should happen sooner. The break just feels heavier than it actually is. Something you just have to feel to appreciate.
Nevertheless, it’s an excellent trigger. It’s a lot like the stock trigger in my Canik TP9SFX in fact. In its stock form it exhibits most of the same qualities including a pretty substantial amount of take up. And like the TP9SFX, aftermarket triggers appear to address this take up without changing much else. That in of itself speaks to the quality of the stock trigger.

So yeah, I like this gun. No regrets about buying it. I intend to shoot it a lot, and suspect I will upgrade the trigger, making it even better. I do have a couple of issues with the P10-C though. And they aren’t minor really. Though I am hopeful they will work themselves out in time and with use. The first is the slide stop. It’s ridiculously hard to manipulate. Releasing the slide requires me to change my grip on the gun and then press hard. Real hard. It has gotten slightly better but it has a long way to go. If it doesn’t loosen up on its own I’m going to have to find a way to fix it or replace it. The magazine release suffers with the same issue. Not only does it require a lot of force to use but it needs to be depressed at the right angle. Considering that one of the P10-C’s selling points is that it’s fully ambidextrous, at least one easily manipulated slide stop and magazine release shouldn’t be to much to ask out of the box. p10 backstrap 2My final criticism is somewhat more subjective. The texture of the grip is harsh. I read similar criticism before I purchased the gun and dismissed it, I like a rough grip. If it’s not rough enough I often use some kind of grip tape to give me additional texture. The grip on P10-C however is just downright uncomfortable. The backstrap in particular is simply too aggressive for my taste. Textured with raised squares that are flat-out sharp in your palm. I put gloves on after my first magazine, it was that irritating. I will be installing some Talon grip tape first chance I get. This time to smooth out the grip rather than add additional texture.

The CZ P10-C is an excellent handgun even with its flaws. I am hopeful (and reasonably confident) that both the slide stop and magazine release will break in as other owners have reported. In the meantime it just give me an excuse to shoot it more to break it in. As a direct competitor to the Glock 19, it’s the easy winner. There is already strong aftermarket support for the P10-C which may have been the Glock 19’s only advantage. If I could carry in the People’s Republic of Maryland I would already have a holster for it. Instead it will be taking a place as one of my primary home defense handguns and very likely one of my favorite range pistols.


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