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CZ P-09 Duty Review

by Eric R. Poole   |  September 26th, 2012 26


The CZ Duty series is the most underrated line of 9mm and .40-caliber pistols to be found. In the summer of 2009, I began an extensive evaluation of the P-07 Duty that spanned six months. Though it was buried in mud, crushed on gravel and dropped from various angles and heights onto concrete (primed case in the chamber, of course), the safety systems never failed and the pistol continued to produce sub-three-inch groups from 25 yards—even after firing thousands of rounds.

Based on the short-recoil, locked-breech design principles of John Browning’s linkless cam locking system, the new P-09 Duty represents yet another evolution of the company’s duty pistols that goes back to the CZ 75 (a non-1911 that even Jeff Cooper praised).

Specifically, the Duty line is most closely related to the CZ-75B models with its added firing-pin block, a passive safety system. Like the CZ 75, the P-09 can be fired in either single- or double-action modes and features a frame-mounted decocker installed (the pistol comes with an ambidextrous manual safety conversion also).

The slide rides inside the frame rails rather than outside. Though some shooters do not care for the reduced surface area with which to manipulate the slide, this slide-to-frame fit is unusually tight and enables a very efficient barrel lockup, providing exceptional accuracy.

As of this writing, there’s only one example of the P-09 inside the U.S. When I opened the box I found a letter from the ATF confirming that this new model had scored enough points to be imported for sale as a “sporting” pistol. Just as I’d become married to it, CZ asked me to bring it to an industry shooting event.

I was fond of the way it carried and had even drifted the sights to just the way I like them, so it saddened me a little to see gunwriter Jim Tarr have his way with it—irreverently slamming multiple 20-round mag dumps through its cold-hammer-forged barrel. During a break in the action, Patrick Sweeney said, “It’d be one helluva pistol for 3-Gun.” And with 19+1 rounds of 9mm on tap and a long sight radius, he’s right.

Though CZ-USA intends to import a .40-caliber option, with today’s ammo technology, I have no problem with 9mm performance. Shooting 9mm permits longer strings of fire, faster follow-up shots and better hit percentages. On the other hand, if CZ ever expects to win a bid for an LE contract, .40 is a must.

If not working as an armed professional, you’ll likely consider the P-09 for home defense, competition or target practice. I suppose you could dress around one for concealed carry, but you’ll need to wear something like a sport coat since the extended magazine would print under any Polynesian shirt.

The P-09 features rear serrations in the slide and on the controls, a contoured rest for your thumbs molded into both sides of the frame and a square-front, high-cut triggerguard that sets up a two-hand high grip. Wrap your hands around the frame of any Duty, and the bore axis sinks deeply into your hand. The double-action pull is a smooth 12 pounds, and the single-action pull breaks at just around five pounds.

Included with each P-09 is a set of three interchangeable backstraps. It seems manufacturers have to offer this level of user interchangeability to be competitive, but don’t disregard the backstraps as a gimmick. Take the time to practice with each size and you’ll find one in particular that will improve control and handling for you.

The significant difference between the P-09 and its predecessor is the added barrel length and longer grip frame due to increased magazine capacity. The new P-09 has a considerably larger profile, but it’s unusually well balanced when presented to a target. The P-09 Duty fills my hands like few other full-size, high-capacity pistols. When I’ve got my hands shoved high into the beavertail, the grip extends a half inch below my palm. Apparently, that’s what it takes to accommodate a 19-round magazine loaded with 10 ounces of defensive ammunition.

The long sight radius—coupled with luminous green-dot front—aids precise aiming. Due to federal restrictions, imported pistols are generally retrofitted in the U.S. with tritium-filled vials if a customer wants night sights. Though not quite as powerful, the factory-applied green luminous paint does glow, doesn’t present an environmental hazard and keeps down the overall cost of the pistol by nearly $100.

This P-09 features a decocker-only lever, which safely lowers a cocked hammer and sets up the pistol for a double-action trigger pull. (The P-07 Duty is available with either a decocker or a safety lever that permits cocked-and-locked carry, so I expect that the P-09 will become available in either configuration eventually.)

You can operate the P-09 with either hand, but it’s not completely ambidextrous. The magazine release arrives favoring the right-handed shooter but is reversible. However, other controls—the hammer and decocking/safety lever—are operable from both sides.

The frame extends out to the muzzle and includes a five-lug, 2.7-inch Picatinny rail that will accept most lights and/or lasers. If you expect to use the P-09 as your go-to nightstand gun, the justification for a rail is obvious.

I’ve shot the P-09 extensively. I’ve neglected it, thrashed it and carried it. It doesn’t quit, and accuracy doesn’t dissipate. And you can actually afford to own and shoot it plenty.


  • bhp9

    Although the CZ75 and 85 pistols are noted for their accuracy, sadly such is not the case with CZ's new plasticky pistol. It light weight also hampers accurate shooting even off of sand bags. Its double action pull does not hold a candle to the plasticky Walther P99's double action pull either. The gun is a bit too big for concealed carry as well. If your a Fanatic that thinks all things from CZ or pure nirvana then you might want to add this to your CZ collection but its not in the same class as the CZ75 by a long shot.

    • George

      So when did you shoot the P-09 Duty to arrive at this conclusion?

      • Cary Williams

        good question…huh?

    • Realist

      SO whats your recommendation? Don't say a 1911? lol.

      The CZ P07 is extremely accurate and reliable though i give the accuracy edge to the cz75 variants. Both my guns eat up any ammo and i always hit on target. With the exception of my parausa 14+1 Big hawg which is a tack driver, but is currently has a damaged trigger, accuracy on my other 45's are average @ best. Both guns shoot smoother than my beretta 92fs inox italy as well n handle +p loads like a champ. I love the beautiy of a 1911, but if you're not paying $3k for full custom from a trusted gunsmith? they're sub-par. 1911 is a thing of beauty, not a combat weapon. CZ, Glock, & springfield have done an excellent job this decade with these polymer pistols.

      • GTR

        1911 is not a combat weapon??Where have you been for the last century?

    • Jerry Thomas

      I totally disagree with your statement about accuracy with the CZ P07 Duty 9 mm (plastic and steel). It weighs about 25 ounces and is almost as accurate as my CZ 75 SP01 tactical sport. I love shooting the Duty, ergonomics fit my hand like a glove and recoil is surprisingly mild for 25 ounce gun. I have not shot P09 so I can't comment on that gun but Duty is very accurate for me.

    • Deerhntr

      Thanx, I've been looking at 1 but wondered if it was accurate or not….

  • jjohn590

    I don't know when they added a 19+1 model I have the 16+1 that first came out and right out of the box it became the most accurate pistol I own, It also shoots the fastest. It is not the most reliable pistol as they claim mine has jammed on good and bad ammo probably because I bought it when it first came out. I love the feel in my hand better than any other pistol I have held, and if you take it apart it looks virtually the same as my Glock 19 does. I have carried this pistol many times and the only draw back is the fact that hardly anyone make s a holster for these guns. I am also pissed I can't find any night sights witch this new model seems to have I should have waited dang it!!

  • Tanstaafl2

    Someone finally managed to make another pistol as ugly as a Hi-Point.

  • Richard

    I have three CZ's, the oldest one is 20 years old, they are fantastic weapons, robust, accurate, reliable and great value-for-money ! Not so keen on the plastic frame I must say but … c'est la vie …

  • Chris

    Is this California legal?

  • jjay1975

    Cool. I was planning on just getting a P-07 this year; now it looks like I may have to get this as well.

  • guzer45

    I love mine. I have 4 different 9's and the duty is my favorite. I also wish there wre more holsters available but I went back to my 1911 for carry.

    • jay1975

      guzer45, I have seen, repeatedly, that holsters for the XD 9 & 40 (not XDm) work well.

    • Steve

      Harwell and Crossbreed both makes awesome IWB and OWB holsters for the P07. CZ offers a Serpa-esque plastic holster, XD9 soft holsters are known to work… what more can you want?

  • Jeremy

    How come I can't find the cz 75 p09 on cz's USA website ? Anyone know ?

  • Andrew

    The pistol has not been released in the U.S yet so it wouldn't be on the cz-usa site. It is set to release here in early 2013

  • Greenize

    Fobus makes a real nice paddle holster for P07/P09. My wife & I both own P07s, never had a jam, smooth pistol. Would love to try a P09

  • eyepicyou

    Well, It's gonna suck now when it's limited to public sale at 10 rounds!

  • Jerry Thomas

    I have 3 CZs (CZ 75 P07 Duty, CZ 75 SP 01 tactical, CZ 75 tactical sport). I love the P07 Duty as much if not more than any of them. Great trigger, very accurate (even with 3.8 inch barrell) and ergonomics are perfect. Assuming the P09 is the same gun as P07 except slightly bigger it will also be great for CZ lovers. I will carry Duty P07 (16 capacity) which is almost same size as Glock 19, but about 4 ounces heavier.

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