Written by Phillip Chambers

CZ 75 Compact Review

The CZ 75 Compact is the baby brother of the full-sized CZ. The CZ pistol has a reputation that precedes it, reliability, accuracy, and a tried and trusted design. How do the different CZ pistols compare? All of them are fine weapons but depending on your needs, one will stand out from the others.

The compact version strikes a different balance, some strengths of the big brother need to be sacrificed in order to improve on its shortcomings. We will run through the differences of the compact version so that you can determine what is suitable for you.


Caliber: 9mm
System: Single Action / Double Action
Magazine: 14
Barrel Length: 3.75 in
Weight (with empty magazine): 32.8 oz
Trigger Pull: 3.5 lbs
Length (Overall): 7.24 in
Width (Overall): 1.38 in
Height (incl magazine): 5.03 in

Origins Of CZ 75 Compact

The full-size CZ 75 went into production in 1976 in Czechoslovakia. From its inception, it was snapped up or copied by armed forces and police agencies the world over.
The CZ is a full-steel pistol and is perfectly suitable for general purpose army and civilian uses. Its weight and size are not ideal for concealed carry though. Particularly if you want to carry a gun on the inside of your belt.

Hence, the need for a less bulky and slightly lighter version. The CZ 75 compact retains all of the design elements that made the big brother a cult favorite, just with a shorter barrel, lower height, and reduced weight.

The CZ 75 and its variants have traditionally been chambered in 9mm parabellum. However, the Compact is also available in 40 S&W.

Just like the full-size version, the compact is also popular with sections of army and police services around the world that require concealed carry weapons for various reasons.

Choosing A CZ 75 Compact

If you are not a big fan of polymer pistols and you are looking for a single/double action pistol that is suitable for open or concealed carry, then the compact is definitely worth considering.

As a rule, you can expect to sacrifice accuracy and magazine capacity when opting for a compact carry pistol.

The CZ compact retains its relative reputation for accuracy and due to its double-stack magazine, capacity is only slightly reduced.

Although the compact is also lighter, it’s still a steel pistol, so the recoil is not increased dramatically.

Apart from concealed carry, the CZ compact is also ideal for women and anyone that has fairly small hands.

The best weapon for self-defense is a gun that you are comfortable with and can shoot with good proficiency.

CZ 75 Variants

CZ 75b: Second-generation CZ with the introduction of an internal firing pin safety and ring design hammer.
CZ 75 Semi-Compact: A full-size CZ with a 20mm shorter barrel and slide.
CZ 75b SA: Single action trigger mechanism. Available in 9mm or 40 S&W.
CZ 75 P-01: Designed for use by law enforcement with an under-barrel accessories rail for gun torches and laser sights.
CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow: Adapted to feedback from police and army representatives from around the world. It does not have a firing pin block and the grip and safety have been modified slightly.

The CZ Compact fits into the family by providing a shorter, lighter option. Its 40 S&W variants may produce higher recoil but again, its weight results in the recoil being pretty manageable.

Competitor Pistols

Depending on what you want from a compact auto pistol, the CZ has competition from different perspectives.

If you are looking for a high-capacity compact, then the gun will be competing against the likes of the Sig Sauer P365, Springfield Hellcat, Taurus G3c, and the Ruger American Compact.

In terms of magazine capacity, the CZ still comes out at the head of the class with a 14 round standard magazine. The majority of the alternative compacts are ranging from 10 to 13 round magazines.

If you want the advantages of an all-steel pistol but still want something a little smaller and lighter, then the CZ is competing with its cousin, the CZ 2075 Rami. You will lose some magazine capacity unless you purchase an extended clip, which may negate the advantage of a smaller size.

The trend in concealed carry guns these days is a polymer. If going light is one of your biggest selection criteria, then the CZ is up against all of the compact polymer pistols and the subcompact pistols.
A common comparison is the CZ 75 Compact vs Glock 19 debate. In terms of height and size, the two guns are very similar. The obvious difference is the weight, with the Glock 19 winning out easily.

Shooting-wise, the CZ takes the gold. It has lighter recoil, better accuracy, and ergonomics. If you are big into accessories, then the Glock 19 will gain an edge once again.

As far as price goes, the Compact competes in the $500 to $650 dollar range. The pistol is closer to the top of the competing range but its quality and durability justify the greenbacks.

I don’t think the price is cheeky.

Who Uses The CZ 75 Compact?

Although the compact version is not as prolific as its big brother, the pistol is still used by armed forces and law enforcement in many countries around the world.

Naturally, civilian shooters looking for the flat shooting reliability of the CZ in a smaller package go for the compact.
The debate around concealed carry is hot and lively. Some would say that the CZ Compact is not a “true” concealed carry weapon due to its weight.

This boils down to personal preference. If you intend to carry a weapon 365 days a year, in a range of different clothing, then perhaps the CZ would not feature on your top five list.

The CZ compact remains a high-quality auto pistol for self-defense, certainly good enough for occasional concealed carry.

For virgin shooters, it’s an excellent choice. The accuracy and light recoil makes it great for teaching your kids how to shoot and women with smaller hands will find it a pleasure as well.

CZ 75 Compact Accuracy

The CZ 75 platform is known for its accuracy. The majority of auto pistols have slides that fit over the frame.

The CZ platform has a slide that fits inside the frame. This results in the frame riding low during firing and in general, the internal process involves less “wriggle” and barrel rise.

The Compact will lose some accuracy compared to its full-size counterpart but as far as compacts go, its accuracy is tops. What sort of practical accuracy can you expect from the compact version?

The CZ is put to the test at typical self-defense distances of 5, 7, and 10 yards. The most notable difference in practical accuracy between the full size and compact will be experienced at 25 yards.

Average shooters can consistently achieve 2.5-inch groups when using rapid-fire drills at the 7 and 10-yard distance.

You may be a hotshot marksman but that is good practical accuracy for your dad and sister.

Accessories And Modifications

One complaint about the CZ compact is that it has a fairly limited range of accessories compared to other popular auto pistols.

This could be due to the general CZ philosophy of “no-frills” simplicity.

The options for sights are quite limited but there are many good trigger and grip modifications on the market.

The most common modification is the trigger because the factory trigger in double action can be heavy for some shooters.

If you are planning on carrying your CZ compact concealed or open, then the holster will be your most important addition.

The CZ 75 Compact holster options are decent. From leather, Kydex, and other synthetic fibers, you will find a holster for open or concealed carry that suits your preference.

Due to the weight of the CZ Compact, it is important to have a gun belt or a belt that is sturdy enough to support the gun and prevent uncomfortable movement.

Any reasonable wide belt made from rigid material would be suitable for the CZ compact. It is not necessary to purchase a specifically made gun belt.


  • Light recoil for a compact pistol
  • Rounded edges for better concealed carry
  • Great ergonomics. Comfortable grip and “solid” in the hand.
  • Easy disassembly
  • Excellent accuracy


  • In double-action, the trigger press can be a bit heavy
  • Size of the dots on the sights may be small for some
  • Still heavier compared to other compacts on the market

The weight of an all-steel gun will always present trade-offs. The compact is certainly far better for concealed carry than its big brother.

You need to determine what is more practical for your purposes. Great accuracy and quick recovery for follow-up shots, or feather-weight carrying.

Overall Review

How good is the CZ 75 Compact? I have chosen to assess the pistol from a few perspectives. Firstly, it is competitively priced compared to alternatives in the market.

Secondly, how much of a sacrifice must you make in accuracy and magazine capacity when contrasted with a full-size gun?

The CZ compact does not lose much in capacity and accuracy, which is a heavy selling point.
Thirdly, its handling and ease of shooting make it ideal for teaching your children and mother-in-law how to shoot.
Lastly, for everyday concealed carry, it may well be on the heavy side. For open carry and occasional concealed carry, I think it’s perfectly acceptable.

If you wanted to buy one gun that can satisfy a range of needs, then the CZ 75 Compact is a great contender. It’s built to last and can stay in your family for a long time.

Overall Review 4.5/5

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