The CZ-75 on air

The CZ-75 on air Part 1

Doing the Česká zbrojovka name proud!

By Dennis Adler

A slight mix of two models, the original style CZ-75 and the later CZ-75 SP-01, the ASG 4.5mm air pistol is a remarkable Česká zbrojovka branded CO2 model with full blowback action and CZ-75 SP-01 design 17-round CO2 BB magazine.

A slight mix of two models, the original style CZ-75 and the later CZ-75 SP-01, the ASG 4.5mm air pistol is a remarkable Česká zbrojovka branded CO2 model with full blowback action and CZ-75 SP-01 design 17-round CO2 BB magazine.

Aside from Česká zbrojovka, the original Czechoslovakian manufacturer, the CZ-75 has been duplicated by more than 20 different armsmakers over the decades, and some with very familiar names. Regardless of whether it is a Baby Desert Eagle, a Jericho, or a Tanfoglio Limited Custom or Gold Custom, they are all based on the Model CZ-75 (introduced in 1975), including the European American Armory Witness series, seven different models from TriStar Arms, nine from Eagle Imports, the Turkish-built Canik TP 9V2 and the very pricey Swiss-built Sphinx SDP series. It is no surprise then that a .177 (4.5mm) caliber blowback action CZ-75 is also manufactured and licensed by Česká zbrojovka. (The easiest pronunciation is chess-ka za-brav-ka which translates to Czech armory).

Following the lines of the original CZ-75 (bottom) the air pistol uses the rounded triggerguard, long spur hammer, and single thumb safety. The air pistol uses the slightly deeper extended capacity SP-01-style magazine, with a deeper base plate than the regular CZ-75’s.

Following the lines of the original CZ-75 (bottom) the air pistol uses the rounded triggerguard, long spur hammer, and single thumb safety. The air pistol uses the extended capacity SP-01-style magazine, with a deeper base plate than the regular CZ-75’s.

If you know your European handgun designs, you can tell a CZ-75 at a glance no matter whose name is on it. This is one of the best DA/SA semi-autos ever designed, and that carries through to the ASG Česká zbrojovka branded CO2 model. CZ has been in the arms-making business since 1936 producing a wide range of military and civilian weapons, including target pistols. Today, shooting IPSC matches is one of the top three competition sports in the Czech Republic, and CZ pistols are the handguns of choice. CZ pistols have won numerous world championship titles, and the company has had its own factory sponsored teams since 1992.

A shape like no other

The CZ-75 design is easily recognized by its shallow slide, which rides inside the frame rails, rather than outside. Think of it as a reverse of a Colt Model 1911, where the slide fits over the frame rails and rides on the outside of the frame. The CZ’s design allows for a very tight slide-to-frame fit, not only for the cartridge-firing models but for the air pistol as well. This is a CZ design trait inspired by another famous gun, the c.1947 Sig P210, a pistol still regarded today as one of the most accurate handguns in the world.

The airgun has a nickel finished metal smoothbore barrel, and the action locks back on an empty magazine. The slide release and thumb safety are identical to the 9mm model. The left side of the slide is also correctly marked CAL.9 PARA and bears the CZ logo.

The airgun has a nickel finished metal smoothbore barrel, and the action locks back on an empty magazine. The slide release and thumb safety are identical to the 9mm model. The left side of the slide is also correctly marked CAL.9 PARA and bears the CZ logo.

The 9mm CZ-75 is a short-recoil operated, locked-breech design utilizing a Browning linkless cam locking system, which is common among the majority of modern semi-autos today. The .177 caliber model uses a modified blowback action design but with a separate recoil spring, guide rod and linkless barrel like short-recoil operated, locked-breech design. Operating the same as 9mm models, the slide locks back on an empty magazine and the large, serrated magazine release button on the frame is easy to operate for quick reloads.

The CZ-75 design is easily recognized by its shallow slide, which rides inside the frame rails, rather than outside. The slide, while not as tall, has excellet serrated grooves at its rear for a solid grasp when chambering the first round or clearing the gun.

The CZ-75 design is easily recognized by its shallow slide, which rides inside the frame rails, rather than outside. The slide, while not as tall, has excellent serrated grooves at its rear for a solid grasp when chambering the first round or clearing the gun.

The CZ-75 and its many variations for military, civilian, and competition shooting, have always been easy pistols to handle, one reason why CZ models are used by more law enforcement and government agencies around the world today than any other firearm, and has remained one of the most popular civilian handguns over the last four decades. That alone is reason enough to offer this same design handgun as a .177 caliber blowback action semi-auto.

The fixed sights are similar to the CZ-75 but do not have white dots. The front ramp has a non-reflective serrated edge.

The fixed sights are similar to the CZ-75 but do not have white dots. The front ramp has a non-reflective serrated edge.

The ASG CZ-75 air pistol has the nearly the same weight and balance in the hand as the standard 9mm model.

The ASG CZ-75 air pistol has nearly the same weight and balance in the hand as the standard 9mm model.

Over the years I have owned and shot many CZ and CZ-based pistols, and although the airgun does not incorporate all of the features available, such as ambidextrous thumb safeties and a de-cocker, the original CZ-75 design is brilliantly reproduced in the ASG model with the balance, weight, and handling that have made the CZ-75 famous the world over.

In Part 2, the disassembly procedure, details of operation, and the shooting test.

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.

6 thoughts on “The CZ-75 on air

  1. Nice rendition of the CZ ,but I would have preferred the 85 series with ambi safety , and a lighter , flat magazine that does not stick out so much. Otherwise a nice pistol. Would be nice to see a High Power done along the same lines for Browning fans.


    • I totally agree, the ambidextrous safety and de-cocker would be great additions to the CZ075 air pistol. I have wanted to see a Browning Hi Power since blowback action airguns first came out. That should be on some airgun manufacturer’s short list! As for the CZ-75, as it is right now, it’s an excellent air pistol, quality built and pretty darn accurate, as Wednesday’s Airgun Experience will reveal.


      • The CZ is very close looking to a Browning High Power . The High Power was one of the most widely deployed 9mm pistols back in the day, but the prom queen is now a grandmother. Still it is the only hicap pistolI own . Slim and ergonomic, conceals well as do the mags.A blowback metal co2 version is definitely overdue.


  2. CZ pistols are usually a best buy. I had a CZ83 .foolishly sold it , but just picked up another that was retired from the Israeli IDF. Great pistols .a little large for a 380 , but accurate ,and give good velocity from the 3 3/4 inch barrel. The reason I mention it ,is it is so similar to a Makarov , it could be done as a blowback air pistol and a nice backup to the CZ 75 you are reviewing. Keep those reviews coming!



    • That’s the first thing I looked at and no, it is hollow, just a cover for the metal magazine base which is deeper than the grip frame. I imagine this was done to allow enough internal length for the CO2 cartridge and keep the frame profiles correct. There really isn’t any other reason to have an extended capacity SP-01 tactical magazine design on an otherwise standard model pistol.


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