The CZ-75 on air

The CZ-75 on air Part 2

Classic CZ design and performance in 4.5mm caliber

By Dennis Adler

A nearly perfect copy of the 9mm CZ-75, the ASG CZ-75 air pistol is marked in European caliber 4.5mm. While 4.5mm is often associated with pellet-firing air pistols, it is the same caliber as .177 which is generally used for BB-firing air pistols; the two are interchangeable. The ASG CZ-75 combines the designs of the standard CZ-75 model with the extended capacity magazine base plate used on the CZ-75 SP-01 tactical model.

A nearly perfect copy of the 9mm CZ-75, the ASG CZ-75 air pistol is marked in European caliber 4.5mm. While 4.5mm is often associated with pellet-firing air pistols, it is the same caliber as .177 which is generally used for BB-firing air pistols; the two are interchangeable. The ASG CZ-75 combines the designs of the standard CZ-75 model with the extended capacity magazine base plate used on the CZ-75 SP-01 tactical model.

There is no question that the CZ-75 is one of the best built pistols in the world. CZ has developed more than 35 variations for military, law enforcement, and civilian use, including specific models for sports and competition shooting.

The accurate details in the ASG CZ-75 are reflected in the slide and magazine release levers and the thumb safety. The triggerguard and hammer designs are based on the standard c.1975 CZ-75 model; later CZ-75B models have a round, skeletonized hammer and a squared-off triggerguard. This air pistol has a more “classic” CZ-75 look.

The accurate details in the ASG CZ-75 are reflected in the slide and magazine release levers and the thumb safety. The triggerguard and hammer designs are based on the standard c.1975 CZ-75 model; later CZ-75B models have a round, skeletonized hammer and a squared-off triggerguard. This air pistol has a more “classic” CZ-75 look.

To disassemble (fieldstrip) the 9mm CZ-75 and .177 caliber models, the procedure is identical. After removing the magazine and clearing the gun, the hammer is cocked and the slide is pushed back just slightly to align the registration marks on the slide and frame. Once aligned, all that’s required is to press the slide release shaft protruding on the right side of the frame, which pushes the release lever away from the left side of the frame, allowing it to be easily removed. Push the slide a little further to the rear and then pull it forward off the frame.

To fieldstrip the 9mm CZ-75 and 4.5mm models, remove the magazine and clear the gun, cock the hammer, push the slide back just slightly to align the registration marks on the slide and frame. Once aligned, press the slide release shaft protruding on the right side of the frame (this moves the release lever away from the left side of the frame) then remove it. Push the slide a little further to the rear and then pull it forward off the frame.

All CZ-75 models are robust looking pistols with a streamlined, military bearing, set off by a large thumb safety and slide release, a heavily buttressed triggerguard and large, hand-filling grips. In comparison with a standard CZ-75B, the 4.5mm air pistol vs. the 9mm semi-auto, comes in with the same capacity (16+1 in 9mm, 17 in 4.5mm), both have metal frames, plastic grips, a DA/SA trigger system, fixed sights (the CZ has white dot sights, the airgun’s are flat black with a serrated front ramp), the 9mm’s barrel is 4.6 inches in length, the smoothbore airgun barrel is 4.25 inches, the weight is a modest  1.95 ounces lighter, at 33.25 ounces vs. 35.2 for the 9mm. Overall length is the same at 8.1 inches, and the airgun’s height is slightly greater than the CZ-75B at 5.76 inches with the CZ-75 SP-01 magazine base. The standard CZ-75 is 5.4 inches in height. The airgun’s width is 1.25 inches, a minuscule 0.15 inches narrower than a 9mm.

The large crescent-shaped CZ-75 trigger averaged 8 pounds, 3.2 ounces fired double action (DA) and a feathery 2 pounds, 7.2 ounces single action (SA).

The large crescent-shaped CZ-75 trigger averaged 8 pounds, 3.2 ounces fired double action (DA) and a feathery 2 pounds, 7.2 ounces single action (SA).

In addition to using the CZ-75’s internal slide rail design, double action/single action (DA/SA) trigger system, large, serrated external hammer, and long ergonomic grip design, the air pistol also has the CZ-75’s wide, crescent shaped trigger design to allow more surface area and leverage for the trigger finger.

Trigger pull on the 4.5mm caliber models averaged 8 pounds, 3.2 ounces fired double action (DA) and a feathery 2 pounds, 7.2 ounces single action (SA). This is the same superb trigger (SA) you find on the Tanfoglio Gold Custom .177 caliber model, which is also based on the CZ-75 platform.

With the slide removed from the frame it is easy to see the blowback action-version of the CZ-75 air pistol’s short-recoil, locked-breech design. Note the barrel lug, guide rod and recoil spring design. The only difference is the lower camming lug contour, and that a screw is used to hold the guide rod and recoil spring in place against it. No further disassembly is required for the air pistol.

With the slide removed from the frame it is easy to see the blowback action-version of the CZ-75 air pistol’s short-recoil, locked-breech design. Note the barrel lug, guide rod and recoil spring design. The only difference is the lower camming lug contour, and that a screw is used to hold the guide rod and recoil spring in place against it. No further disassembly is required for the air pistol.

The CZ-75 is also one of the easiest handguns ever designed to fieldstrip. With the magazine removed and the chamber cleared, all that’s necessary is to cock the hammer and move the slide back 3/16ths of an inch, thereby aligning two registration marks (one on the rear of the slide, one on the frame) and pull out the slide release lever. Pull the slide back slightly and then forward off the frame. The airgun disassembles exactly the same way.

In this view showing reassembly, note how the CZ-75 design slide fits inside the frame (rather than over it), and rides on internal rails.

In this view showing reassembly, note how the CZ-75 design slide fits inside the frame (rather than over it), and rides on internal rails.

Once apart it is evident that the design is more than just a traditional blowback action air pistol. The airgun uses a short-recoil operated, locked-breech design utilizing an airgun modified Browning linkless cam locking system that unlocks from the slide during recoil, tilting down as the slide travels back, and re-engaging and locking into the slide as it closes. This is a version of the system also used in the Umarex S&W M&P40 and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five. Like the S&W model, the further disassembly requires removing a screw (not used on the cartridge-firing models) that locks the guide rod and recoil spring to the barrel lug. (On the P226 X-Five the gun disassembles identically to the Sig and there is no locking screw).

To load the CZ-75 CO2 and BB magazine, the SP-01-style base plate is removed from the bottom of the magazine to allow access to the CO2 channel and seating screw. A supplied hex head wrench is used to release and tighten the seating screw.

To load the CO2 the SP-01-style base plate is removed from the bottom of the magazine allowing access to the CO2 channel and seating screw. A supplied hex head wrench is used to release and tighten it.

Firing Line Results

Like the single action only trigger on the Tanfoglio .177 caliber competition models, the CZ’s trigger in single action (after the slide has been racked or the first round has been fired double action) has a very light pull, just 0.375 inches of travel to a quick, clean break, zero stacking and a short reset. The shallower slide on the CZ has less mass and the blowback action on this air pistol is pretty snappy; you know when the slide hits the stop on recoil. In terms of overall handling, if the CZ-75 had white dot sights it would be a tack driver. With flat matte black sights, it is a little slower to aim, but still a good set of sights. The air pistol handles just like a CZ, so it is very familiar to me, and helped make the test all the more satisfying as it shoots like a .177 caliber version of my old CZ-75.

The author conducted initial testing outdoors, but for the final shooting test the temperature and wind were unsuited to firing a CO2 BB pistol, so tests were shot indoors.

Initial tests were done outdoors. On the second day the temperature and wind were unsuited to firing a CO2 BB pistol, and the accuracy tests were shot indoors.

When the magazine is empty the slide locks back, just like a 9mm model.

When the magazine is empty the slide locks back, just like a 9mm model.

The shallow slide height is not a detriment to handling as the deep rear slide serrations are good enough to grasp even wearing tactical gloves.

The shallow slide height is not a detriment to handling as the deep rear slide serrations are good enough to grasp even wearing tactical gloves.

Due to a very cold and windy day, the final shooting tests were done indoors and fired offhand from a distance of 21 feet. The average velocity measured 310 fps, and just about every group fired (in 10 round strings) struck inside the 10 ring. My best 10-round groups (pictured) hit in the 10 and X rings measuring 1.5 inches, with a best five at the top of the 10 ring measuring 0.5 inches. Second target (at lower left) put 10 shots in the 10 and X at 1.75 inches and a best five in the X at 1.0 inches. The gun eats up CO2 pretty quickly and on average you get to reload the 17 round magazine three times.

Best targets all had 10 round groups in the 10 ring and X bull with a best average of 1.5 inches and a best five rounds at 0.5 inches.

Best targets all had 10 round groups in the 10 ring and X bull with a best average of 1.5 inches and a best five rounds at 0.5 inches.

The ASG model is well built, had zero failures, no magazine issues, and was about as good as it gets with a full sized, blowback action semi-auto air pistol. The ASG CZ-75 does the Česká zbrojovka name proud.

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

5 thoughts on “The CZ-75 on air

  1. A nice looking and well made pistol, with good accuracy. As stated , the mag floor plate takes away from the looks ,and is a curious design. Why not just make a longer mag or ,flatter bottom? The 1911 mags were designed that way. Not a total game changer ,and I may pick one of these up anyway just because it looks and functions like a 9mm CZ. I have no need for a real CZ ,but wouldn’t mind one of these just to play around with from a historical standpoint. That is a real factor with replica air guns. Now if that High Power would come out next!


    • I do pass your ideas and suggestions along. As for the Hi Power, that would be a nice one! The CZ-75 is a very good air pistol and one of the better blowback action models I have tested. The magazine base is big but not incorrect as it is a copy of the CZ-75 SP-01 magazine. Not really bad looking.


      • Sometimes my ideas actually come to pass. I once returned a Single Action revolver to EMF for repair and was getting annoyed at delay after delay . Called and a guy answered the phone”Davis” turned out tobeBoyd Davis , the owner. Told him I was a SASSmember and this was one of my new revolvers.Short story he had it fixed, action job , custom case hardened with fire blue screws.Called back to thank him and asked me if I had any other suggestions .I said yeah , the holster ripping post front sight on theRemington 1875 should be replaced with a blade and the brass grip frame and trigger guard with steel.A few seconds later he said , we can do that and so it was done.


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