You know how some things
set a standard. They become the benchmark by which all others are
judged. Well, for many of my reviews I have mentioned the CZ 100
pistol as an example of what I consider to be just about the worst
trigger ever made on any production handgun ever. I've mentioned it
but until now I have never introduced it to you. That's been rather
rude of me and I apologize. Let me introduce it to you now.
The CZ 100 is a polymer
framed automatic that is a radical departure from CZ's standard 75
series based guns. It is not just a polymer framed CZ 75 clone. If
that is what you are wanting, check out an IMI Desert Eagle poly in
9, .40, or .45. I reviewed a pair of them last year. Those were
One of the biggest
departures from normal CZ tradition is that the 100 is a double
action only pistol. The trigger mechanism is unique in that the idea
behind it is simple to the point of almost being brilliant. Pulling
the trigger moves a hook that grabs a bar on the striker and
slingshots it back. At the farthest point of travel, the trigger
hook drops off the striker allowing it to fly forward to fire the
I say “almost brilliant”
because it of course fails miserably at being any sort of usable
trigger at all. No, I'm serious, it's bad. It's the stuff of
nightmares. The trigger feels exactly like those old toy guns you
used to be able to buy at grocery stores that shoot those little
plastic disks. I've actually had nightmares where a large dark
looming threat is advancing on me and I pull out my sidearm and pull
the trigger... it feels like this and in my dream little plastic
disks fly out to bounce off the menace which is of course unfazed by
the plastic disks. To put it bluntly, the CZ 100 is my nightmare
Let me describe the
trigger pull. A long take up pull, then heavy stacking up to a level
that is off the scale. If the trigger pull was just bad, that would
be one thing... but when the trigger breaks, it pulls the front
sight off to the right suddenly. Trying as hard as I might, I could
not pull the trigger without the sight being jerked off target.
Interestingly, when I dry-fired the gun left handed, the sights
stayed on target. I don't know why that is... maybe it is the way I
manipulate triggers and I just do it differently left handed. The
trigger is not just bad, it's funny how bad it is. It's almost as if
it's a joke. How could a serious arms company release a pistol so
Actually, several have.
AMT's BackUp .45, the HK VP-70, Stanley Staplers, all have bad
triggers on the epic scale, but the CZ 100's is worse. Trust me.
Now the question is this;
is the 100 otherwise a decent pistol handicapped with a bad trigger?
Let's take a look at it objectively. When you first take up the 100,
it feels pretty good in the hand. But the more you hold it, the more
odd it feels. It gets to be downright awkward. The pistol's styling
is also interesting. They went to the trouble of making the gun as
slick sided as possible, including the breaking of the slide release
lever and take down pin into two separate parts instead of one
combine unit. Then they hide the slide release under the frame and
have the release lever sticking out an odd little window. It's like
a cross between something you might see on classic Star Trek and The
Next Generation. The lines of the pistol are all wrong. Looking at
it from a side view, it merely looks ugly. Change your viewing angle
to look at it more from the front and it becomes absolutely hideous.
This is the Pontiac Aztec of handguns.
Like the Pontiac Aztec,
even for being an abomination, it does offer good utility. For
example, you can sometimes fine CZ 100's for under $300's. They are
very reliable. It has a unique belt/holster snag feature up on the
top to help aid in one hand slide manipulation. They needed this
because you can't quite hook your belt on the rear sights... because
as a cruel joke they topped this pistol with an adjustable rear
sight as if someone with a room temperature IQ might mistake it for
a target pistol. There is the hint of frame rails under the muzzle,
tempting one to think it a tactical pistol. All the tactical lights
I've tried on it either don't fit and even if they did, they are not
able to lock on to it. So it isn't a tactical gun, or a target gun,
and being a 9mm it is not an overly powerful gun... so what is it?
I'm not exactly sure. I guess it is trying to be a self defense gun.
Let's see if it is.
If you can manage rowing
that trigger all the way back, the gun will fire every time until
you have emptied all 15 rounds. Of course you will feel like Ben Hur
at the oars of a Roman galley by then, but still... the gun does
work. That 15 round magazine is a decent payload for a gun so slim.
The 100 is rather slick sided for being so ugly... but then again so
is the Swamp Thing. All this can be yours, an easy packing,
reliable, high capacity 9MM, for under $300. Like your momma told
you about lima beans, it doesn't matter how bad it tastes, it's good
for you. I've actually seen examples for sale for as low as $225. At
that price you are at the Makarov level. I'm not sure which one I'd
buy if they were side by side for the same price, but I'd probably
lean to the Mak.
I don't mean to bash the
CZ 100 so completely, but I can't help it. It is kind of like
nachos... you can't eat just one. Unless by one you mean a plate
full. One plate full is a good stopping point. Those who are
familiar to me, know that I am extremely fond of CZ firearms. So
much so that one day I hope to make a pilgrimage to the Czech
Republic to where CZ guns are made. My favorite handgun remains my
CZ P-01. I especially like CZ's magazine fed bolt action centerfire
rifles. Dang near everything else from CZ I find to be excellent and
most worthy. I wouldn't hesitate to spend my own cash on anything
from CZ, anything save the 100. The 100 is just awful and should be
avoided as much as possible like it was mosquito borne West Nile
Unless you are a full
blown CZ Freak and just have to anything and everything from CZ.
That being the case, I can't blame you. The 100 is a very
interesting pistol. You can't help but to look at it. Like a weird
mole on the face of someone you are trying to talk to. There is some
weird fascination about it that draws you to it. And that is the
oddest thing about the CZ-100... for all it's warts, for as ugly and
utterly nasty as it is... you can't help but to kind of like it.
Like ET in a way. Shooting the 100 well is a challenge and there in
is the draw. It's like riding a GP class bike with a tight clutch
and a throttle like the trigger on a detonator. Awkward and
difficult... it's fantastic. But it's not something for everyone.
Unlike the GP bike, the 100 is awkward and difficult, but it isn't
If this article
contradicts its self, it is a good metaphor for the pistol.
CZ USA could make this a
much more appealing weapon system, but it would require a completely
different fire system. I would suggest they take a close hard look
at a couple other good fire control systems. Kahr Arms has perhaps
one of the best examples of a DAO (Double Action Only) system. Then
again they could do it as a Single Action system like the
Springfield XD. That would be my choice if I was the Head Honcho at
CZ. I'd also do something to the looks and the size. I would clip
the grip frame down to “CZ Compact” size, and then recontour the
slide to something more appropriate to concealed carry. The weird
way the slide overhangs the dust cover at the muzzle end... reminds
me of the front end (the bow, sorry) of an Aircraft Carrier. But
considering that CZ's lineup already has better pistols for these
purposes... the P-01, the PCR, really there is no point in the 100.
There is no necessity for CZ to force out a polymer framed pistol
before it is really ready for prime time. The only reason for using
a plastic frame is to reduce weight. The only gun that this is
needed in are for guns intended specifically for concealment. And CZ
has already done a poly version of the RAMI. I guess the best thing
for CZ to do would be to just drop the gun altogether.
Another thing about the
100 is that it has a brother. There is a .40 cal version that wasn't
imported into the USA. They called it the CZ-110. If you ever
thought that the 100 was great, but it just needed a little more
horsepower, well, your wrong. The 110 was just as bad as the 100
ever was but added snappier recoil. Good times. Ugly and awkward and
now uncomfortable! Brilliant!
To sum up the CZ 100
quickly, if you are a CZ collector, fine, get it. If not, spend your
money on a more worthy pistol.
G H Hill 1999-2012