FINALLY! I've picked up one of, what I think is, the most interesting and beautiful versions of the CZ-75 based handguns made by CZ; the P-01. And it is good.
Seriously. I thought the Walther PPQ in 9mm was a contender for the all-around perfect pistol (and it still is) but the P-01 in 9mm might just be the King (other than the 1911) in my safe.
The CZ-75 P-01 is a modernized compact version of the classic CZ-75 developed by Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod (I hope that's correct). My initial shooting of the lovely P-01 indicates that the pistol is accurate even with it's 3.8 inch barrel. The standard 14 round magazine is a little small but there are a plethora of magazines available for the CZ-75 that should work. Actually it's a little overwhelming trying to figure out what will work but it seems reasonably simple. Like you have with the standard Glock 9mm's, you have a sub-compact, compact and "full-size" where you can use a magazine as long as the grip's length will comply except that there are special versions of the CZ-75 such as the SP-01, the P-07, the P-09 and the Czechmate that introduce a variety of capacities. With capacities of 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 26 round counts from the factory you should be able to find one that meets your needs. The reason for all the options? Well, mostly because CZ has developed various pistols for a variety of uses based around the CZ-75. The CZ-75 has long been a favorite for our brothers on the other side of the pond for competitive shooting. They are also popular over here for the same reason, amongst others.
The gun comes with x2 14 round magazines similar to the magazines from compact versions of the CZ-75 but what separates these magazines is that they have a form-fitted rubber pad on the bottom to increase grip length. Technically, I can get my whole hand on the gun but the rubber pad gives a little more room. This type of magazine is specific to the P-01. Otherwise, the standard 14 round compact magazine should fit which is good as they are usually pretty cheap. I picked up a third magazine with the rubber pad per my norm.
The P-01 appears to be a PCR with a full length dust cover and integrated accessory rail but that is just speculation. There is an Omega Convertible version of the P-01 that includes the Omega trigger system, different sights and ambidextrous safety/decocker. The Convertible part is a system that allows the user to change out the internals from a manual safety to a decocker system based on the users preference. Speaking of user preference, the gun comes with rubber grips but I'm not sure how long those will stay. One of the reasons I went with the P-01 is that I really liked the wood grips that some people have been using. They really bring out the beauty of the firearm. The rubber grips provide a good grip but they just don't have the look. This is a bit of a dilemma as I feel the short barrel and overall length don't help with the recoil making the rubber grips pretty useful. I will be looking into picking up an SP-01 or P-09 for target and competitive shooting.
I'd like to go back to talking about the trigger. The pistol has a double-action/single-action trigger with a decocker. I noticed that when you decock the gun, the hammer drops to a halfway point. At this point the double-action pull is smooth and clean but if the hammer is resting at the lowest point, the pull gets heavy. At the beginning of the pull, there feels like point that you have to overcome that is heavier than the rest of the pull. I may not be describing well enough what I am feeling but I have other double-action pistols that don't seem to demonstrate this. I will try other CZ-75 pistols to see if this is normal.
It should be noted that there are two specifications of the P-01 excluding the Omega version. Originally, the P-01 was submitted for NATO trials which earned it a National Stock Number or NATO Stock Number (NSN 1005-16-000-8619) but a change in the slide stop spring meant that the NSN could no longer apply as the specification changed. Many of the guns that came to the US have the NSN (mine does which makes me very happy) but new guns should not have an NSN since they will have the new spring. You can only have the NSN on the gun if the gun comes in the configuration originally tested.
I have not been able to carry the gun yet but I have ordered holsters for it. I normally go for a Safariland 5198 paddle holster but they don't seem to make one for the P-01. They do have a variety but not the one I want. For the time being I will be trying a Alien Gear OWB and IWB 3.0 once they ship in. Fobus appears to have a paddle holster as well.
I'm very happy that my first CZ firearm and CZ-75 based handgun was a P-01. I can't wait to carry it.