Modern CZ pistols are probably some of the most copied pistols around, with a double-action mechanism combined with a Browning-type locking system. These features were incorporated in the CZ 75 pistol back in 1975, and from this point models have branched out to suit every need from military and police to sport shooters.
The Model CZ 85 Combat is the latest in a long string of pistols tailored to the modern shooter. My sample was well finished and detailed with its blue and satin nickel finish, but you have the option of a black polycoat, glossy blue, satin nickel or two-tone on most models.
The CZ 85 fits nicely in the hand and, with its arched grip housing, points naturally. Its steel slide and frame add the necessary heft to the piece, and along with the standard checkered grip panels, they help to control recoil for follow-up shots. The trigger has somewhat of a long reach to it on double action, but in single action it’s perfect for the average shooter. Trigger pull on single action went a crisp 51/2 pounds with a moderate amount of slack; it was 12 pounds double action. The trigger can be adjusted for overtravel by means of a screw located at the upper part of the trigger itself.
Termed a “combat” pistol, it fits the name well. There is an ambidextrous safety lever on both sides of the gun, allowing it to be carried in a cocked-and-locked position. Internally, this CZ 85 variation does have a safety stop on the hammer (half cock) but does not have a firing-pin safety as to allow the replacement of the firing pin without tools.
The hammer is skeletonized, so it looks good to combat shooters and is serrated for nonslip operation even with gloves on. Forward of the safety levers, this model has a slide release on both sides of the frame (with the right side doubling as a takedown lever) for weak-hand shooting.
Topside, the slide and barrel are built low and down into the frame to enhance accuracy, reliability and a long service life of the pistol. The hammer-forged barrel is 4 1/2 inches long, the feed ramp has been polished, and a long and rather large external extractor assures ejection of even the most stubborn case.
A fully adjustable rear sight assembly is included on the CZ 85 Combat, with all adjustments visible by way of witness marks on the rear sight both top and side. A nice touch would be to have them fully melted into the slide, but as it was equipped, I had no trouble with the gun snagging on my holster or within my jacket as I ran it through its paces.
The rear sight notch has twin dots, the front has one, and matching all three in a horizontal row is a good combination for most shooting situations.
Two 16-round magazines are included with the gun, as is a magazine depressor to facilitate the loading of a full magazine, a lock (where required) and a few cleaning tools.
While this gun is nearly perfect for the combat shooter, a beveled magazine well would be handy, as would magazine bumpers, and together with those before-mentioned melted sights could make it even more desirable to serious competitive shooters.
Other than that, at a price point starting at $536 retail, it’s a very affordable and accurate semiautomatic pistol for any aspiring handgunner and certainly for anyone looking for a good defensive gun.