Recently I reviewed the fine classic CZ 75B and now I want to follow-up with the new for 2017 CZ P-10 Compact. CZ-USA has taken quite a while to bring to the market and manufacture this new P-10, but they want to continue their fine reputation for offering high-quality products. Some have not heard of CZ, but they are known for quality engineering, reliability, and great ergonomics.
I am fortunate to be one of the first to receive one for testing and evaluation and am grateful to CZ-USA for this opportunity to inform and help folks. Thank you CZ-USA.
But the questions that lingers are:
Does this new 2017 P-10 Compact 9mm live up to the high CZ standards?
And with all the many other polymer, striker-fired guns now, what distinguishes the P-10 from the others and are there worthwhile features to justify purchasing it?
What about its reliability, accuracy, engineering, and ergonomics?
I wanted to shoot and evaluate this new for 2017 P-10 for myself and give you my opinions to help you. My recent book, “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials,” ranks my Top 21 Concealed Carry guns, so I wanted to see how this new for 2017 P-10 compact compared. Would it be #22 on my top concealed carry guns? Would it possibly move to my top 10? Several readers and students have asked me for an in-depth review of it and I want to offer my opinions after shooting and handling it. I wanted to thoroughly analyze the P-10 C against my criteria and was looking for special features that were unique or made the gun stand out from the pack, while being accurate and reliable. I was very anxious to compare it factor by factor to my other quality Top 15 Compact 9mms on my separate list of “compacts.” (This is different than my list of Top 14 Subcompacts.)
Please know that I am not on the CZ-USA or any manufacturer’s payroll, have not been paid by them or any manufacturer for this article, my opinions, nor influenced to say certain things about this or any gun. I want to be honest and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to sincerely help folks. I wanted to know:
- How accurate it is out of the box, without modifications?
- What about the trigger press?
- Is the trigger smooth and crisp?
- Is it a reliable gun?
- Does it have a short reset distance for follow-up shots?
- Does it feel comfortable in my hand and could I easily handle the recoil and muzzle flip?
- Are there any different desirable features for this particular gun?
- Are there any issues or concerns that would prevent me from carrying this gun?
- Are there holsters readily available now for this new P-10?
- Is this a gun I would carry myself, would it move into my top 6 rotation for my concealed carry guns (which gun would it displace in my existing top 6), and do I recommend it for concealed carry?
To begin, I want to give you the specifications and features for the P-10 C. Then I want to give you my 10 criteria that I use to evaluate all guns. When you are evaluating your carry guns, determine your goal, purpose, and own criteria, being certain to compare apples with apples and not with oranges, so to speak. Finally, I want to give you my analysis for each of my criteria and present my final recommendation to purchase or not. As always, set your own criteria, identify your purpose, do your own research, compare this gun’s attributes against your criteria, and check my data and information with yours, and shoot it yourself before you buy this or any gun.
I wondered if there were available custom holsters and accessories for the new CZ P-10 C? I was amazed to discover that of my many holsters, my compact Glock 19 holster came very close to fitting the CZ P-10 C. But, I wanted a custom fit and found the custom very well-made Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) horsehide leather Belt Scabbard holster manufactured by Kramer Handgun Leather was an excellent fit for the P-10 C and of very high-quality construction and durability. It is a tough pancake horsehide holster with a forward FBI cant for strong-side hip carry. Because it was made of thin but durable horsehide it was very comfortable to wear and still was very stiff and sturdy to last a long time. This is a great custom-fit beautiful and durable holster. The Kramer holster’s design keeps the gun’s butt tucked securely to help with concealment and safety. This is a nice exact-fit holster with excellent retention for concealed carry or the range and I recommend it. You do get what you pay for. They offer matching magazine pouches and various holster options, in cowhide and horsehide leathers and in various colors. Below is the P-10 C pistol in a very comfortable and very concealable Kramer Leather horsehide Belt Scabbard with a matching single mag pouch in burgundy.
Criteria and Considerations
Here are just 10 of my criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for the CZ P-10 C. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like a certain style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, included extras like a holster and pouch, customer service, etc. So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that ALL gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want ALL of my criteria to be met. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my 10 criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add your own additional criteria and preferences or subtract any of mine.
Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.
CZ P-10 C 9mm Range Test
I was anxious to shoot the P-10 and ended up shooting all the ammo I had on hand for the range field test. I fired about 300 total 9mm rounds of various high-quality Federal Train & Protect 115 grain Versatile HP (1180 fps Muzzle Velocity, 356 ft lbs Muzzle Energy), Sig Sauer V-Crown 115 grain JHP (1185 fps Muzzle Velocity, 359 ft lbs Muzzle Energy), Sig Sauer Elite Performance 115 grain FMJ (1185 fps Muzzle Velocity, 359 fl lbs Muzzle Energy), and Federal Premium 124 grain JHP Hyda-Shok (1120 fps Muzzle Velocity, 345 ft lbs Muzzle Energy) ammo. Shooting all of this premium ammo really gave me a feel for how the P-10 could handle different ammo grains and types. Usually I shoot 500 rounds over a couple of days to decide if I want to carry the gun or not, but I had the information I needed after shooting about 300 rounds. I will shoot more to confirm my initial evaluations. Below are my evaluations for each of my 10 criteria for my concealed carry purpose. As an old codger with not the best eyesight for this slightly above average shooter, I wanted to put the gun through its paces and check it thoroughly for malfunctions and performance with different quality JHP and FMJ ammo. Thanks to Federal and Sig Sauer for providing the rounds to test and evaluate the new CZ P-10 Compact 9mm pistol.
Without any doubt, the CZ P-10C has great ergonomics. It has a great grip angle and the deep beavertail and grip texturing are just right for me. It was very comfortable in my hands, loved the not-too-steep grip angle, and the mildly-aggressive texturing on the front, back, and side straps was great for a solid purchase. It felt good with just the right amount of aggressive texturing in all locations. One unique thing I noted was that there was checkering on the frame on both sides below the front of the slide and above the trigger guard. It was located exactly where my support thumb rests on the frame with my two-thumbs-forward grip and this was ambidextrous checkering. A nice extra ergonomic touch. My wife with her short (but beautiful) fingers and I could both easily reach all the controls. The gun was fitted very tightly and I had to precisely and very firmly press down on the slide release to allow the slide to move forward, but it just felt solid and quality in my hands. For me, the slide stop/release was not large nor raised enough and laid too flat on the frame. The mag release, however, was enlarged and adequately raised. After some more break-in time and practice, the slide stop/release will be easier for me to operate.
This gun did NOT feel thick like a brick in my hand and its grip angle was perfect for me, not too steep. All the mags did drop freely for me and my medium-sized hands. My wife, however, did have some trouble releasing the mags with the stiff mag release. More break-in and practice will help. The felt recoil and muzzle rise of this 9mm were very mild and manageable for me. Probably, a little milder than many other 9mm striker-fired polymer guns. I was glad the gun did not have a magazine disconnect and it fired even when the mag was out. Be careful– Safety First Always! Below, I will present my ideas for each of my criteria after my range testing of the PC-10 C.
I honestly found that the P-10 C striker gun was very accurate, with a very short reset, great ergonomics, and was for me a reliable (with only 300 rounds fired by me) defense gun. It was fun to shoot because of the great trigger, excellent ergonomics, and other factors. I had no malfunctions or stoppages with any of the FMJ or JHP ammo fired and the gun was reliable for me. All of the FMJ and the JHP ammo shot fine. I decided to consider this gun as one of my concealed carry guns.
When firing this CZ P-10 C for the first time, my first 17 rounds fired rapid fire at 7 yards all hit in the black. See below. The hits were certainly acceptable for this guy with aging eyesight. My subsequent slow-fire shots at longer 10 and 15 yards were all easily in 2 to 3 inch groups. My accuracy overall was acceptable, given my abilities, but shoot it for yourself to make your own decisions, based on your abilities and proficiency. Below are my first 17 rapid-fire hits on my target at 7 yards with the new P-10 C.
Range Test Results for each of my 10 Criteria:
1. Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 10
The accuracy of the new CZ P-10 C was excellent for me at distances of 7, 10, and 15 yards, given my mediocre skills and aging eyesight. My groups at each of the distances averaged about 2.5-2.75 inches for the first time firing it. The 4.5 pound trigger press, with little takeup and a very short reset, combined with the comfortable feel in my hand with the just-right grip texturing and grip angle, to help my accuracy and enjoyment shooting it. The reliability was there over the 300 rounds I fired with FMJ and JHP ammo. I had no malfunctions or stoppages at all. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, and the center-mass sight picture. I shot mostly Federal Hydra-Shok, Federal Train & Protect, and Sig Sauer V-Crown JHP and FMJ ammo. The gun was not picky and digested it all. The almost flat trigger on the P-10 was nice and the trigger safety did not protrude which avoided sting to my trigger finger. The deep beavertail allowed me to grip the gun high on the backstrap to control it fine for accuracy.
2. Trigger Press – Score: 10
The trigger press averaged 4.5 pounds with 10 readings from my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. This certainly met my criteria and expectations, like my single-action semis. I expect it will improve to an even lighter press after break-in and shooting it more. I prefer that my carry guns have a max. of 6.5 pounds press or less, so this certainly more than met my standards. Of course, this is personal preference and a training issue. Keep that finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. The trigger press was very smooth, crisp, short, and light.
3. Trigger – Score: 10
The trigger had minimal creep and no stacking, along with a tactile and audible click. It had a consistent and very short reset. I really liked the extremely short and positive reset and very crisp excellent trigger. The trigger was comparable to my PPQ M2 and other fine triggers. It had no grit at all and the reset was almost perfect, being consistent and recognizable. The trigger face has slight serrations and an almost flat face, which felt very good and allowed fast follow-up shots. As you can see above, it had a very large trigger guard to help when wearing gloves.
4. Barrel Length – Score: 10
The 4.02-inch barrel with the gun’s 26 ounce weight helped me control muzzle flip and the felt recoil. The cold hammer-forged steel barrel had a tight fit and was of high quality, and performed well.
5. Sights – Score: 9
The luminescent front sight was made of metal and was very bright to help my sight acquisition, sight alignment and sight picture. I did my usual test of putting the gun in my dark closet and I could see the front and rear sights glowing brightly, after just a minute of light exposure. This was better than some other luminescent sights I have reviewed. These stock sights were certainly acceptable to me and I liked them. I would, however, prefer night sights.
6. Proper Gun Weight – Score: 9
The overall 26 ounce unloaded weight was acceptable for my criterion and it felt solid in my hand. Added weight to a light polymer gun help hold it steady and help to mitigate the recoil and muzzle flip. Just a little heavy, but really no concern for a compact concealed carry handgun. Recoil benefit outweighed heaviness.
7. Caliber – Score: 10
I prefer the 9mm caliber, used with appropriate ammo with the right ballistics and grain weight. So, it was easy and comfortable for me to shoot the 9mm Caliber. Felt recoil was relatively low and easy for me to control. It digested the various weights of 9mm ammo easily without a single malfunction or stoppage.
8. Capacity – Score: 8
Only two magazines were included and this is a concern for me. As always, I want 3 mags to be included, to save from having additional expenditures and as a minimal necessity. The standard capacity of 15 was very nice, with optional 17 round mags available with an extension. I requested one for trial, but never heard anything and a 17-rounder was not sent. Wish a third magazine with an extended base for 17 rounds was included. The mags were high quality and made of metal with witness holes. My medium-sized hands were comfortable with the mags.
9. Ergonomics – Score: 10
Overall, the Ergonomics of the Cz P-10 Compact were excellent. I really like its grip angle. The grip was excellent with its just-right aggressive texturing with the compact frame and slide. The squares in the grip were large and not too sharp. I had a firm and very comfortable grip with no abrasions from the texturing. The mild palm swell of the backstrap was great for my medium-sized hands and I could nicely reach the trigger. There are 3 interchangeable backstraps (S-M-L) included which are easy to change with the provided tool. The trigger guard is undercut to allow a high grip and the trigger guard is large and squared for gloved-hands use. There is a lanyard hole in the backstrap, but lanyards might be more of a hindrance than help sometimes. Are they really necessary on a non-military/law enforcement gun? Initially, the slide stop/release was hard for me to operate, but I learned to precisely press it straight in firmly and now have no problem. But be aware of this when shooting it. The mag release button was enlarged and easy to quickly locate. ALL mags did drop freely and quickly. The mags were solidly made of steel, looked good, and had witness holes to indicate if 15 rounds were loaded. Just wish there were 3 mags. They were compatible with the P-07. There are aggressive, easy to use, cocking serrations on the front and rear of the slide.The felt recoil by me was manageable. There is an indentation at the bottom of the frame by the mag well so you can easily grasp the mag and pull it out in case of malfunction.
10. Miscellaneous – Score: 9
As always before shooting any new gun, I disassembled, lubed and cleaned, and re-assembled the P-10 C before I shot it. I did not have to press the trigger to disassemble it and it was very easy and quick to field strip. (Remember, do your SAFETY check to ensure any gun is unloaded before disassembly.) The slide release at first was stiff, but after shooting 300 rounds there was not any concern at all. This is a new quality and solidly-built gun which is fitted very tightly. The price of the gun is reasonable and includes three interchangeable backstraps with tool, brush, cleaning rod, hard lockable case, owner’s manual, lock, and one extra mag. It does not include accessories like some have, e.g. a holster, mag pouch, loader or other accessories… or the third mag or the available 17-rounder (extended base.) But, there are several nice features for this very quality gun. It has a firing pin block safety, trigger safety, and no manual safety. There is not a magazine disconnect safety. There is a limited 5-year warranty.
Total Points = 95 out of 100 Possible.
I certainly recommend this handgun for consideration as your home defense gun, your range gun, and even for your concealed carry gun. Its accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics are excellent for me. I like the low bore axis and the trigger press is a very light and a soft 4.5 pounds. It has very little takeup with a very short reset. The grip angle is great for me and the deep beavertail with the just-right aggressive grip surfaces are outstanding. It is fully ambidextrous and has 3 interchangeable backstraps to fit different hands. The very large, squared trigger guard looks good and is practical for use with gloved hands. It is undercut to allow a high grip under the beavertail for better control. The metal 3-dot combat-style sights are luminescent and glove in the dark very well, after just a brief exposure to light. Night sights would be nice. There are some holsters already available for the gun, but I really like the high-quality custom Kramer Handgun Leather pancake OWB Belt Scabbard holster for the P-10 C. I was very impressed with the gun’s accuracy out of the box, excellent mildly-aggressive grip texturing and comfortable feel, manageable muzzle flip and recoil, and that it had no malfunctions or stoppages with any of the ammo. I wanted a third magazine included and/or a 17-rounder, but the mags did regularly drop freely. I like the aggressive cocking serrations on the front and rear of the slide. This P-10 C definitely ranks in my Top 22 concealed carry pistols out of the few hundreds that are on the market now. Probably, after thorough comparison and analysis of data, specs, and features, it will rank high on my list of my few compact concealed carry pistols, but must make that comparison later. These are just my opinions and ideas, so handle and shoot it for yourself. I hope this review of the CZ P-10 Compact 9mm has helped you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that these are just my opinions with limited live-range fire and shooting myself only about 300 rounds of ammo. Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Although in production now, the gun is available, but difficult to find. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what features are important to you and you are willing to pay for ahead of your range time. Then critically evaluate the gun YOURSELF per your criteria and purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types and brands, over an extended break-in period of about 500 rounds. Remember, Safety First Always.
Kansas City, KS 66115
Kramer Handgun Leather
Tacoma, WA 98411
Federal American Eagle, Train & Protect & Hydra-Shok Ammo
Anoka, MN 55303
Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown & Performance JHP-FMJ Ammo
Newington, NH 03801
Photos by Author.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2017 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].