TheCZ 75is asemi-automatic pistolmade byCzechfirearm manufacturerČZUB. First introduced in 1975, it is one of the original “wonder nines” and features a staggered-columnmagazine, all-steel construction, and ahammer forgedbarrel. It is widely distributed throughout the world and is the most commonhandgun in the Czech Republic.
Development of CZ 75
The armament industry was an important part of theinterwarCzechoslovakeconomy and made up a large part of the exports (see, for example,Bren light machine gun, which was a modified version of the CzechoslovakZB vz. 26). However following the1948 communist coup d’état, all heavy industry wasnationalizedand was (at least officially) cut off from its Western export market behind theIron Curtain. While most otherWarsaw Pactcountries became dependent on armaments imports from theSoviet Union, most of the Czechoslovak weaponry remained domestic (for example, the Czechoslovak army used theVz. 58assault rifle, while other communist bloc countries used variants of theAK-47).
Following the Second World War, brothers Josef and František Koucký became the most important engineers of theCZUB. They participated to some extent on designing all the company’s post-war weapons. Kouckýs signed their designs together, using only the surname, making it impossible to determine which one of them developed particular ideas.
By 1969, František Koucký was freshly retired, however the company offered him a job on designing a new9×19mm Parabellumpistol. Unlike during his previous work, this time he had a complete freedom in designing the whole gun from scratch. The design he developed was in many ways new and innovative (seeDesign details).
Although the model was developed for export purposes (the standard pistol cartridge of the Czechoslovak armed forces was the Soviet7.62×25mm Tokarev, which was later replaced with theWarsaw Pactstandard9mm Makarovpistol cartridge), Koucký’s domestic patents regarding the design were classified as “secret patents”. Effectively, nobody could learn about their existence, but also nobody could register the same design in Czechoslovakia. At the same time Koucký as well as the company were prohibited from filing for patent protection abroad. Consequently, a large number of other manufacturers began offering pistols based on CZ 75 design (seeClones, copies, and variants by other manufacturers).
The pistol was not sold in Czechoslovakia until 1985, when it became popular among sport shooters (sport shootingis the third most widespread sport in the Czech Republic, afterfootballandice hockey). It was adopted by the Czech armed forces only after theVelvet Revolutionin 1989.