František Koucky and his brother Josef were already influential firearms designers in Czechoslovakia when they were hired by Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod to come up with a semiautomatic pistol chambered to 9mm Luger. The result was the CZ 75, one of the most popular pistols of all time.
The CZ 75 was part of the “wonder nine” phenomenon of the mid 1970s as law enforcement transitioned away from revolvers. Over the years this all-steel pistol with its high capacity, staggered magazine has been produced in a wide array of versions—both duty/defense and competition guns.
It was love at first sight for me when I first tested a CZ 75 15 years ago. The slight arch on the grip reminded me of the Browning P-35, and I liked the safety and the overall quality of the gun.
The brand-new 45th anniversary CZ 75 B really impressed me. This special edition is intended as a celebration of the manufacture and distribution of a pistol that has been embraced by civilian, military and law enforcement shooters around the globe.
Presently, 1,000 45th anniversary guns are being made for the United States, while 100 are being shipped to Europe. Suggested retail price is $1,720.
If you’re a collector of fine firearms, this one is for you. The gun is a 75 B, the version that made its debut in the 1990s and features a firing pin block (hence the “B”). It’s highly polished and finished in a deep coat of blue, and you’ll see the attention to the details that only master gunsmiths can accomplish.
All of the nooks and crannies around the frame, trigger guard and backstrap are polished uniformly for a custom look. On the top of the slide, a set of tritium sights provide an excellent sight picture—if you ever get the urge to shoot the pistol.
The engraving places the anniversary CZ 75 B at the top of the list of high-grade guns. Deep engraving has been cut on both the slide and the frame in a traditional pattern that should please the most discriminating collector. It sports a special series of serial numbers, starting at 45TH0000, on the frame, slide and barrel. Emblazoned on the frame above the grips are “45th Anniversary” and “1975–2020.”
For contrast, operator controls like the safety lever and slide release are polished and finished in a silver color. The grips accomplish the same mission, with contrasting light-colored wood that repeats the engraving pattern found on the frame and slide. It comes in a sturdy, black case with a combination lock, and inside you’ll find a second polished steel magazine.