CZ P-07 vs P-01: Which Railed CZ Compact Should I Get?
If you’ve decided you want to get a CZ for a CCW but want it as tactical as it is practical, the two choices that will quickly emerge are the CZ P07 vs P01. You’ll have a hard time choosing between the two, because a lot of the on-paper aspects are like incredibly close…though some aren’t.
Both pistols, though, are double-action. Both are railed, so you can attach a laser or light. Both have decent capacity despite being compact (both are in the same class as the Glock 19) and are highly packable.
Which, though, is better? That depends a lot on you and what you want in a carry gun…
CZ P07: Wonder Nine For The Digital Age
The CZ P07 – and its full-size counterpart, the P09 – is a 21st century take on the Wonder Nine, the high-capacity 9mm format that the CZ-75 is still one of the leading examples of. Steel or alloy has given way to advanced polymers. Right-side controls have given way to ambidextrous ones. Hammers have given way to str…well, not on this gun.
The CZ P-07, formerly the P-07 Duty, is a compact service pistol, small and light enough to carry daily but packing full-size firepower, with a 15+1 capacity of 9mm. Instead of the famous CZ-75 control scheme, the standard model comes with ambidextrous decocking levers. However, it also comes with CZ’s Omega trigger system, allowing the user/owner to swap the decocker for a manual safety should cocked and locked carry be preferred.
The P-07 has a polymer frame with a 1913 rail for mounting a laser or light. Standard sights are white 3 Dot. Both are adjustable. The trigger guard is also a bit on the large side, easy for gloved hands, and exchangable backstraps for greater comfort. However, CZ pays attention to the details and the oft-heralded ergonomics remain excellent. Just like the 75, the slide rides inside the frame rails for tight lock-up and a low bore axis, making for easy, intuitive and accurate shooting.
The gun has a 3.75-inch barrel, standing 7.2 inches long, 5.3 inches high and 1.46 inches wide. However, that width is mostly the ambi controls; slide width is a hair over 1 inch, so it’ll carry IWB. Weight is 27.7 ounces, a tad heavy but well within the realm of carry pistols.
MSRP starts at $510, which is quite reasonable.
Old School Appeal…With Modern Appointments: CZ P01
The CZ P01, however, has the modern feature of a full-length rail (plus a few other things) but keeps the greatest hits of the CZ-75 intact. You still have the metal frame and palmswell of the CZ-75 frame. You still have the rounded grip of the 75. The slide rides inside the frame for tight lockup and easy shooting.
However, the frame is a lighter aluminum alloy, so it’s lighter than even the CZ-75 Compact. The slide is actually different, as it’s the same as that on the CZ-75D PCR Compact. The controls are right-hand only, and are from the PCR. Thus, it has a decocking lever rather than a safety. That said, you can order the P-01 Omega Convertible model if you want ambidextrous, swappable controls.
Sights are also 3-dot, with a pinned front post and dovetailed rear sight.
The gun has the same length of barrel, 3.75 inches. It stands 5.03 inches tall, 7.2 inches long and 1.38 inches wide but that – again – is mostly the controls and the grips. The frame is about 0.9 inches wide, so it’s actually quite svelte. It carries 14+1 of 9mm and weighs in at 28.1 ounces, which is incredible given it has a metal frame and its polymer-framed counterpart – the P-07 – only weighs about one-eighth of a pound less. That’s not much difference in base dimensions when it comes to the P07 vs P01
However, it has a party piece: the P-01 is NATO certified as a combat arm and actually replaced the PCR as the official sidearm of the Czech police force. The tests included firing successfully after 4,000 dry fires and 3,000 decockings. The gun also had to successfully fire after 1,350 field strips and 150 detail strips. All parts have to fit in any randomly-selected P-01 pistol with no failure to fire.
NATO tests also include drop fire tests, and firing after the drop tests. They are fired after being frozen for 24 hours, then heated for 24 hours at 126 degrees Fahrenheit. Function tests are also done after immersion in mud, sand, and without oil.
In short, this gun is built to take being beaten like a rented mule and keep on coming. Very few guns get this certification, so it’s no joke. That’s quite the value for $627. The Omega version doesn’t cost any more, incidentally.
Choosing Between Them: CZ P07 vs P01
How to choose between the CZ P07 vs P01?
On paper…that’s hard. Controls are the same, and the P-07 only carries one more. Weight is near as makes no difference the same, size is barely any different – though the P-07 is a hair thicker at the slide – and both guns are known for being iron-tough, accurate, reliable and far more pleasant to hold and shoot compared to pistols of a similar size and class, such as the M&P Compact 2.0, Glock 19, Walther PPQ and so on.
If you wanted my opinion (whatever it’s worth) frankly choosing between these guns is the devil’s own job. I prefer the fit and feel of the P-01; classic CZ pistols are some of the most ergonomically excellent handguns on the market and I have a strong preference for them over many others. However, the P-07 does have a slightly better double-action trigger. Not that the P-01’s is lacking; it’s not. It’s just that the P-07 pistols that I’ve handled all had a smoother pull with a bit less take-up.
But if I had to choose just one? I’d get the P-01, but only for the reason that I just subjectively like the fit and feel of it. In no way is the P-07 a lesser pistol. In fact, I rate the P-07 over many other handguns of its class in terms of features, build and everything else. However, I’m a sucker for classic CZs, so I just wouldn’t be able to say no.
For you? Well, you’ll have to make your own decisions. A carrying capacity of one more round is not exactly a deal-breaker, but for some people it might be. The P-07 is cheaper by about $100 or so, but that’s not so much that it makes a huge difference. What’s going to set one apart over the other?
It’s the little details, you see.
But what are some of those little details that you should know about?
The P-01 has grip panels; the P-07 has stippling. Some people prefer the latter over the former, some the former over the latter. Aftermarket panels; wood, thinner composites, whatever you want can be had easily. Stippling, though, is as it comes from the factory.
The base sights on the P-01 are smaller and lower-profile; some reviewers have had problems with sight picture acquisition. Aftermarket sets are available, but that is something to bear in mind.
The P-07 has much more aggressive slide serrations, which actually is related to a known complaint about CZ pistols and their clones: slippery slides. Their guns are notoriously hard to get a good purchase on for some, which turns some people off of CZ pistols. They aren’t impossible, but not as easy as many other guns. Some folks will likely prefer the one with the deeper slide cuts.
However, the P-01 has the classic CZ-75 ergonomics and they are legendary for good reason. You may, though, find you prefer the feel of the P-07; that’s going to be up to you.
Handle both of these guns and shoot them, if you can. The one that feels best and is the most accurate for you is the one to acquire, after all.
Have you shot these firearms? What did you like, and what didn’t you?
Let us know in the comments below!