First Look at the CZ P-09 Duty

I have been a fan of the CZ P-07 Duty since CZ Custom's Angus Hobdell pulled Pat Sweeney and I aside at a SHOT Show a few years ago and showed off the brand new pistol.

Chambered in both 9mm and .40, this polymer-framed pistol has an external hammer and is about the size of a Glock 19.  For its size, it holds an impressive number of rounds—16+1 in 9mm, and 12+1 in .40 S&W.  This DA/SA automatic can be had either with a decocker or a safety, so it can be carried cocked and locked.

Not only do I like the way the P-07 looks, with its squared-off trigger guard and beavertail, I like the way it shoots.  It has a low bore, and the trigger pull from the factory is rather good, both in single and double action.

As someone who likes to shoot and carry full-size pistols, I was very happy to have the opportunity to play with two pre-production versions of the new CZ P-09 Duty chambered in 9mm.  If you imagine the P-07 spent the winter working out and taking vitamins, the result is the P-09, a full-size version of the proven design.  Right now this pistol is in pre-production, and is not expected to be commercially available until January 2013 or so.  .40 S&W versions are planned.

The original P-07 had a 3.8" barrel, and the pre-production versions of the P-09 I had an opportunity to examine had what appeared to be a 4.3" barrel.  The grip is longer as well, and instead of 16 rounds of 9mm the magazines hold an impressive 19 (although in production versions I was told this might be officially reduced to 18 as that last round can be a little difficult to slide in).

The P-09s had interchangeable backstraps, and the one in the photo has the small backstrap installed, which is rather flat.  The large backstrap provides the distinctive CZ-75-type hump.  The P-09 also has forward cocking serrations on the slide, but otherwise the big pistol is identical in features and operation to the P-07.

Jason Morton of CZ showed up with two pistols, one with a decocker and one with a safety, allowing the pistol to be carried Condition One, cocked and locked.  I don't know if I would choose a P-07/P-09 with a safety, as it is a little small and flat for me and I am not confident I'd be able to hit it under stress.

Production models will have a slightly thicker beavertail than the one you see in the picture to better withstand abusive military/law enforcement drop tests, but my hope is that the engineers at CZ change nothing else with the pistol before it goes into full production, because I really liked it.

Everyone who shot the pistols loved them.  Between the good triggers and sights and longer sight radius and extra weight (I had no scale but estimate the P-09 tips the scales around 2 pounds) the pistols were just a joy to shoot.

Retail price is guesstimated to be about $500, which makes the P-09 a real value, and I can't wait to get my hands on one to test at length for Handguns Magazine.

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