By Greg Chabot
Photos by Sasha Steadman
The Czech people have a long tradition of producing quality firearms for both military and civilian use. CZ is best known for the iconic, Communist-era CZ75. With the fall of communism, CZ products have become very popular with the American shooting public for both personal defense and competition.
One thing that was lacking from the CZ line-up was a polymer striker-fired design. Striker-fired handguns have overtaken traditional SA/DA and SA only guns in the U.S. market. It would only make sense for CZ to develop a polymer striker-fired handgun to compete for civilian and military/LE sales.
Enter the P10C, which hit US shores in 2017.
Being a freelancer, I buy most of my test guns and ammo with my own funds. After calling around, I found a P10C in stock for $449, which is below the MSRP. I advise any prospective buyers to shop around; there is no reason to pay over the MSRP.
My test sample is black and came with two fifteen-round magazines. There is also an FDE and Urban Gray version of this gun available. The weapon came in a black plastic box with a cleaning brush, lock, and manual. The manual covers everything the end user needs to know about the weapon.
CZ designed this weapon to compete with the Glock 19, with the “C” standing for compact. With an OAL of 7.3”, a height of 5.2”, and a width of 1.26”, the P10C is very similar to the Glock 19 in size. Weight of the P10C is 26oz. The cold hammer forged barrel is 4.02” in length. The white, luminescent, three-dot sights are metal, not plastic. Magazines are made of steel and include flush fitting. They are of excellent quality with a capacity of 15 rounds. The slide is made from carbon steel with aggressive front and back serrations with a Nitride coating. The frame is polymer with a grip texture that is aggressive but not uncomfortable. The trigger guard is undercut, and the magwell is beveled to aid in reloading.
The bottom of the grip is indented to aid with stripping the magazine in case of malfunction. The P10C comes with three backstraps with a lanyard hole. Slide to frame fit was excellent with no play, and barrel lock-up was tight. Disassembly is easy and very similar to a Glock. The P10C comes with a captured recoil spring and steel guide-rod. I was impressed at how beefy the barrel is on this weapon. The barrel lugs and locking block are much thicker than Glock. The fully supported chamber should be able to handle a steady diet of +P. Overall fit and finish was outstanding with no rough edges or machine marks.
How’d it Shoot?
Before taking the P10C to the range, I did some dry fire training to familiarize myself with the weapon. During dry fire, I experienced trigger binding. I tend to use a lot of finger on the trigger, and with this weapon, if the pad of my finger was not perfectly on the trigger safety, it would bind causing me to pull the shot.
I also found the trigger very stiff and gritty. With some range time, I hoped these issues would clear up as the parts broke in. Comparing the trigger safety to other striker fired weapons, I found the CZ trigger safety had a lot of wiggle room that caused the safety to hit on the frame opening while firing. This is a serious design flaw, in my opinion, that can be easily corrected with a thicker trigger safety. I have discussed this with other P10C owners who have also complained about this issue.
After lubing the gun with SEAL-1 CLP, it was time to go shoot. I did my standard test of a mix of various ammo, including +P. Bullet weights also varied. I find this is a good test of reliability. Steel body targets by Defense Targets were used throughout testing.
I started off with slow fire using both strong and weak-handed grip. The felt recoil was very mild due to the low bore axis of the weapon. The aggressive texture kept it firmly in my hands. Accuracy was outstanding at combat ranges. When I practiced the fundamentals, my shot hit the steel.
The trigger was another story. I was pulling my first shot due to the binding, which was very frustrating. Trigger reset was very short, which was the saving grace. I had little to no issues with follow-up shots. I started to notice after 100 rounds the trigger started to feel less gritty, though the binding issue unfortunately persisted.
The flared magwell made reloads very easy to do. The magazines dropped free regardless of how dirty they got. Both the mag and slide release were very tight. I normally powerstroke on reloads, but for this session I used the slide release only for reloads. As the session progressed, the mag release and slide catch smoothed out and became easier to use. The P10C was designed to release the slide if the shooter slams the magazine during reloads. I do not like this, nor would I depend on it in dangerous situations. After 300 rounds, I called it a day and went home. Upon field stripping, the gun was cleaned and lubed. No unusual wear was found after the initial session.
For my next range session, I wanted to kick it up a notch. I ordered the Litepath chest rig from 2aholster.com. Chest-carry is my preferred method due to the comfort and versatility of the design. Some have stated the P10C is compatible with Glock 19 holsters. I had no luck with any of my holsters, so I suggest buying a holster that will properly fit the weapon.
For this session, I focused on drills to push the weapon and myself. Mozambique drills went well with the weapon. Though the trigger did cause quite a few shots to go low, into the Pelvic girdle, the low bore axis combined with the aggressive grip and short trigger reset made follow up shots very easy. Recoil on this weapon is very light compared to other makes on the market. Conducting Dozier drills, I found the sights quick to pick up while transitioning from target to target. The trigger bind was very noticeable while performing double taps, causing the first shot to go low or miss entirely, which caused a lot of frustration. The low recoil made the P10C a pleasure to shoot for all day sessions.
I coated my hands in mineral oil to see just how well the texturing would perform. I had no issues with control or manipulation of the weapon. Reliability wasn’t an issue with the P10C. It functioned after being dropped in sand and snow. I made numerous attempts to get it to malfunction by limp wristing. I even tried heavily rusted steel-cased ammo, which cycled with no issues. Various lights were used during testing; all fit the rail without issue. In total, 1.8k rounds were fired during the test.
Would I recommend the P10C to friends or family? No, even though the weapon was 100% reliable, the flaw in the trigger safety causing it to bind concerns me enough that I wouldn’t trust my life to it. This is a serious issue, and it needs to be corrected at the factory, as I feel it could cost someone their life in a dangerous situation.
CZ did a great job with the ergonomics and keeping the MSRP affordable. It is not the “Glock Killer” that shills in the gun media like to claim. I do feel if the trigger safety is improved, the P10C will have the potential to be a serious competitor on the market.
In memory of Chris “Nikita” Blake, Brown Water Sailor. “Proud Brave Reliable”
Greg Chabot is an Iraq Combat Veteran freelancer, writing from New Hampshire.