CZ-USA has a reputation for making reliable, accurate guns. Some guys swear by the venerable CZ 75 pistol. The RAMI first started showing up in the US in about 2004. Having been on the market for roughly a decade now, it’s worth taking a look at it to see how it stacks up in today’s very competitive sub-compact gun market.
The gun comes in a nice plastic case with a 10 and 14 round magazine. Included in the case are also the manual, a bore brush and a plastic patch rod for cleaning duty. You also get one of those fancy padlocks for security when the pistol is not in use. One of the best features about a CZ-USA handgun is the five year warranty. Not many companies are willing to back their products as well as CZ-USA is. The retail price for this offering is $680. Though, the street price ranges around $640.
The BD model RAMI features a de-cocker rather than a manual safety (that’s what the “D” stands for). I prefer this over the manual safety, but if you want a model with the safety, CZ has you covered. You can get this gun in either configuration. The gun also features a fixed tritium three-dot “combat” sight system. It is hammer fired with an alloy frame. The barrel is hammer forged making it tough and durable. It can be fired in both double action and single action. Once the slide is racked, the hammer is cocked. If the de-cocker is employed, the hammer will not drop completely, CZ has incorporated a hammer stop system to prevent an accidental discharge. This will allow you to place a round in the chamber, and carry “cocked and locked” with a much longer trigger pull in DA mode. The trigger pull on my scale showed an average of 9.6 pounds in DA and 5.3 pounds in SA.
There are a few design features CZ uses to note. One of them is how the slide is mounted to the frame. A lot of polymer guns these days have rails mounted above the frame to accommodate the slide. CZ carves the slide rails right into the frame. This allows for a longer lasting slide mechanism, and lowers the bore axis on the gun. Bore axis is the relative height between the centerline of the barrel and the strong had grip. Lowering the bore axis provides more leverage of the strong hand thus lowering overall muzzle flip and perceived recoil. This in turn provides more stability for the shooter and more controllability when firing multiple shots and between single shots. Since the frame is made of metal alloy, this also helps dampen some of the felt recoil. You give a little in the weight category, but gain a little from recoil management. With the 10 round magazine, this gun weighs in at 26 ounces and only one ounce more with the 14 round magazine inserted. Officially, CZ-USA’s website claims the gun weighs in at 1.59 pounds. My scale showed the test unit weighed 1.625 pounds with the 10 round magazine.
The magazines are the double-stack variety making the grip a little wide. However, it’s very comfortable in my hand. The gun at its widest point (just below the slide) is 1.25 inches. The grips are minimally wider than that. My calipers showed the total grip width to be 1.29 inches. In my opinion, the ergonomics are excellent with this gun design. The ten round magazine left my little finger dangling helplessly in the air, but shortened the height of the gun to 4.5 inches, when the 14 round magazine was in place, it only extended the height by just under ¾ of an inch. I like the extra real estate to grip and the four extra rounds, however, for concealed carrying, the 10 round magazine is better suited for concealment. The grips are rubber with a nice checkering and because they’re rubber, they keep in place in your hand even on hot, sweaty days. The backstrap has some vertical serrations in it and the front of the grip has a small patch of horizontal serrations. The extended magazine also has some of the horizontal serrations on it. These conceivably help keep a grip on it and reduce a bit of the muzzle flip.
Something to note for you lefties out there, this gun is not ambidextrous. It comes with all the controls on the left side of the gun. The manual does not detail instructions on converting it to a left handed gun. The slide stop and the de-cocker levers would not work by simply being transferred to the left side of the gun, they would be upside down, so I think you’d have to buy new parts to make the conversion. I contacted CZ and confirmed there is no left-handed change kit available. The only control that can be relocated is the magazine release. The folks at CZ said that since it’s already a fairly wide pistol, they didn’t want to make it wider by placing ambidextrous controls on it.
It was time to head to the range and see how well this thing would shoot. I packed up our gun and some Blazer 115 grain FMJ 9MM rounds and headed off to our new range. I find that Blazer makes very consistent and reliable ammo, which is why we use it for all of our test guns here. In fact, I use it personally when at the range practicing, or during classes I take. I’ve yet to have a stovepipe or any other failure from this ammo. Our new range is courtesy of the guys at Tac*One Consulting. Joe Deedon trains police and civilians all over the USA. I hope you’ll take a look at his class schedule and get yourself into one of his classes. Here is a link to their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TacOneConsulting
We use the 7 yard mark for all of our handgun tests. So, I lined up and sent a few rounds downrange. This gun is deadly accurate. Right out of the box with no adjustment time I was right on center. Felt recoil was minimal and double-taps were easy to pull off on target. The sights were very easy to pick up in between shots. I can’t think of another gun in recent memory that shot so well the very first time I picked it up.
I ran over 200 rounds through it and did not suffer a single FTF or FTE. I did some rapid shots just to see if I could heat the thing up enough to induce a failure. No dice. This gun performed flawlessly. I find that most guns need a break in to loosen up and during that break in; they’ll most likely have some sort of failure. I’ve now put over 500 rounds through this gun without a single hiccup.
The trigger pull is rather stout in DA, even in the de-cock position with the hammer partially dropped; which is perfectly sane, you don’t want a light trigger pull without a safety in the cocked position. However, once the gun was up and running, the trigger pull was smooth and very useable. It wasn’t so light that it went off unexpectedly, and it wasn’t so stout as to be troublesome. Kind of the Goldilocks trigger, for me. The trigger reset is quick and smooth as well. There’s no major detent, just a nice, “click” when it resets. My one and only complaint about this gun is the shape of the trigger itself. At the very bottom of the trigger, it has a slightly upswept tip. After about 50 rounds, there was an indent in my finger from pulling it. Donning a pair of shooting gloves solved the problem pretty quickly, and in a self-defense situation, you wouldn’t notice it, nor would you be pulling the trigger 50 plus times (I hope).
So, how well does this gun, a decade old design, hold up against the more recent designs? Very, very well. It may not be the newest or lightest design, but it is a proven design that just plain works. I’ve shot some recent designs, which in my opinion, weren’t very well thought out, or had some glaring flaws. This thing has no obvious and glaring flaws. In fact, my only gripes were minimal at best. I’m looking for a space in my gun cabinet to add this gun to my collection. I think you should, too.