CZ P-09 Review: Thoughts from a Tactical Hipster

by Travis Pike

August 25, 2020

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I have a confession. I am a tactical hipster. I drink craft beer, I wear Dixxon flannels, and I love CZs. The CZ 75 design has been altered and changed and adapted, and the CZ P09 is one such adaption.

Today we are going to be reviewing one, and this specific model is the 9mm, with an FDE frame and night sights.

CZ P09 Specs

  • Capacity 19
  • Caliber 9mm
  • Overall Length 8.1″
  • Barrel Length 4.54″
  • Height 5.79″
  • Weight 31 ounces

CZ P09 Background

The CZ 75 is a legendary design, and the CZ P09 is a direct adaptation of that weapon, but the design is quite a bit more modern.

The P09 was designed to update the classic CZ 75 in a simpler and more affordable platform.

And it uses a polymer frame, which is quite a significant departure from the standard CZ designs.

The polymer frame design incorporates a modern Picatinny rail, as well as interchangeable backstraps.

This allows the CZ P09 to accommodate different grip sizes.

This brought the old school CZ 75 model up to current standards and allowed it to become a direct competitor to Glock, S&W, FN, and many more.

The standout feature is that the gun retained the CZ’s DA/SA design and the slide riding inside the frame rails.

The CZ P09 is a big fella, and this full-sized gun carries 19 rounds in its flush-fitting magazine, and with the included plus two extension you get a tremendous 21 shots in a full-sized pistol. This is a design that is focused primarily in the realm of duty and home defense. Dedicated concealed carriers could make it work, but it’s not something that’s viable for everyone.

The CZ P09 has been adopted around Eastern Europe, and CZ even tossed in a design for the United States Army’s MHS contest, but it was quickly out of the running due to its design. Outside of military and police forces, the CZ P09 is an excellent home defense handgun and offers the modern features necessary for such a task.

CZ P09 Features

CZ-P09-Features
1 Swappable Safety/Decocker

Choose how you want to carry.

2 Interchangeable Backstraps

Custom fit to your hand.

3 Two Included Baseplates

Always nice to have extras.

4 Simplified CZ Omega Trigger

Long reset for a single action

5 Front and Rear Serrations

Makes gripping the slide that much easier.

CZ P09 – Our Take

The CZ P09 certainly fills the hand and provides you a lotta gun to grip. It’s not obnoxious or too wide to be comfortable. The P09 is a well-balanced gun that I think people of all sizes could handle. The additional backstraps range quite a bit in size, so we have something for everyone. I have big hands and use the medium-sized backstrap.

Like most CZ handguns, the ergonomics are on point. The grip is incredibly comfortable and allows for complete control over the gun. The trigger guard has a high undercut, and that paired with an aggressive beavertail makes a high grip comfortable and slide bite free. The controls are also straightforward, but also very large.

The ability to swap between a manual safety or a decocker allows the most discerning shooter to decide how they want to outfit their weapon. With the safety, you can carry locked and cocked 1911 style with a single action trigger pull. The decocker allows you to never have to worry about a safety as part of your manual of arms. Swapping from decocker to safety and vice versa is very simple to do, and the manual explains it enough so that anyone can do it.

I prefer a decoker. The general design makes the decocker or safety ambidextrous. It’s also not afraid to be nice and large and easy to engage. The slide lock is the exact same way and is one of the few guns that my big thumbs don’t pin down with my natural firing grip.

How the P09 Shoots

The CZ P09 is a solid little shooter that’s plenty accurate. From 25 yards, I can ring a popper with boring regularity and land good and effective shots into the body of a silhouette target. Going further than that, and you start becoming more minute of bad guy accurate. I’m still hitting the popper at 35 yards, but just barely.

At 50 yards, even if I aim for the chest of a human-size torso, I can still hit the torso, albeit not exactly where I want it.

Like all DA/SA guns, the first-round trigger pull is rather heavy, around ten pounds, followed by a lighter 4.5-pound single-action trigger. The reset is very long for a gun with a single action trigger. That’s one issue with the Omega trigger. I personally swapped mine out with a short reset trigger system from Cajun Gun Works, and that made a massive difference in how the trigger felt and improved my accuracy.

The stock trigger does leave something to be desired, and I admittedly do expect a little more from CZ.

It’s a Blast

The CZ P09 is a ton of fun to shoot. The minimal muzzle rise and soft recoil make it very comfortable and controllable. The gun handles very smoothly, and the full-size frame and the weight associated with it disburses recoil well. This is a gun I often use with new shooters when stepping up from a 22 LR pistol.

The control offered by the gun makes it a natural for combat-oriented shooting. Shooting fast and accurately is easy at the right range. You can control the weapon and pull off fun stuff like the Collateral drill on two targets at near point-blank range with excellent accuracy.

Does it Eat?

Oh boy, it sure does. One of the good things about guns designed in Eastern Europe is the fact they tend to be inherently reliable. They also tend to be heavy, unergonomic bricks, but CZ does defy that. The P09 eats it all.

This includes heavy JHPs designed for defense, lightweight fmjs for plinking, and even the cheapest and dirtiest steel-cased garbage you can find on the bottom rung of ammo tiers. I’ve owned this gun for about four years now, and it’s been through the wringer.

Between my own hipster-like love of CZs and the fact, lots of new shooters have tried their hands with the gun, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen any malfunctions. Even the magazines are robust and seemingly resistant to dust, dirt, and sand. I say this because they’ve been dropped in each numerous times.

Yeah, But How Much Does it Cost?

Fair question and the good news is that it’s rather affordable. The models vary in price a bit, but the basic model can be found for around 400 bucks. That’s a great value for a great gun. Four hundred bucks put it below many of its competitors.

The downside is when you look at the entire cost of ownership, things get a little pricer. Magazines go for around 50 bucks, and that stacks up swiftly. Also, parts, pieces, and customization options are a bit rare and also somewhat expensive.

CZ P09 Pros and Cons

  • Excellent Ergonomics
  • High Capacity
  • Options to Tailor Gun to User
  • Affordable Initial Investment
  • Expensive Magazines
  • Limited Aftermarket
  • Long Reset with Stock Trigger

Report Card

Reliability

Never have the gun, or the magazines had any issues functioning. This is regardless of the ammo type or shooter’s skill.

A
Accuracy

With the stock trigger, the accuracy is acceptable but doesn’t live up to the gun’s true potential. Especially on that first shot. After installing a lighter trigger with a short reset, the difference was night and day.

B
Shootability

The CZ P09 is quite easy and fun to shoot. Recoil is minimum, as is muzzle rise, and this results in an easy shooting gun regardless of skill. After a long day of training with a concealed carry gun, it’s nice to come home to the P09.

A
Ergonomics

I would like a slightly more aggressive grip texture. Other than that, I have zero issues with the way the gun handles and feels. Especially when it comes to the slide lock and my big thumbs.

B
Value

The gun itself is quite affordable and more so than most guns in this category. The downside is the magazines, which cost a quarter of the gun’s price.

B

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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CZ P-09 Starter Pack

So, you’ve decided to join the CZ revolution and pick up a P-09. Well, I don’t blame you. It’s a good, reliable pistol ready to go bang when you need it to. However, do you have everything you’re going to need to get started? Here are the basics:

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit on Amazon
  • Shooting Glasses: Protect your eyes with the best shooting glasses you can get. Not sure what to choose? Here are our top picks for the best shooting glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: When you’re out at the range, you’re going to want to definitely protect your ears. Even the quietest of loud noises can permanently damage your hearing. Check out our Best Ear Pro article to get the skinny on the best options for you.
  • Storage: Vaultek Lifepod on Amazon

CZ P-09 Gun Deals

Looking for the best gun deals on a new CZ P-09? Finding one can be pretty tough nowadays. That’s why we’ve scoured the internet to bring you these juicy leads.

Disclaimer: Priced at time of writing. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Upgrades and Accessories for the CZ P-09

There’s not too much customization to do with these pistols outside of a few expensive aftermarket replacements. After all, CZ gives you quite a few extra straight out of the box. However, if you do plan on carrying this pistol, you’re going to want a top-notch holster. 

Our favorite happens to be from Neptune Concealment. They can custom build your holster to just about anyway you want it.

Best Holsters for the CZ P-09

HolsterDetailsCheck Price

Neptune Concealment Custom Holster
  • Custom Made Kydex
  • Can Be Built to Accomodate Laser/Light
  • Very High Quality and Comfortable
Check Price
We the People IWB Kydex
  • Fully Adjustable Cant/Ride/Retention
  • Built from High Quality Kydex
  • Made for Easy Reholster
Check Price
R&R OWB Kydex Holster
  • Affordable
  • Partial Sweat Guard Backing
  • Made in USA
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your CZ P-09

With one magazine holding 19 rounds, it’s super easy to burn through a lot of ammunition in this pistol. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well for your wallet if you’re shooting working ammo. Be sure to pick up some cheaper ball ammo when you’re getting in your range time.

Range Rounds

MagTech-9mm-Ammo

MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Brownells $0.23
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Working Ammunition

Barnes-9mm-Ammo

Barnes 9mm 115 GR Ammo

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Palmetto State Armory $0.92
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $1.15

How to Care for Your CZ P-09

In order to truly call yourself an owner of this pistol, you’re going to need to learn how to complete diassemble and reassemble the weapon. After all, how are you going to swap out to that safety option or even clean the gun when it time?

Fortunately, AshburnArmorer put together an awesome video on how to really get down and dirty with the CZ P-09. 

Important Links and Manuals for Your CZ P-09

Need more information on the CZ P-09? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of info available right at your fingertips. We recommend checeking out these links to see more about this weapon and what it has to offer.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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