Sometimes I can’t believe that I was so quick to snub CZ products. When friends came to me asking about a “good deal” they found on something like a CZ 75, P01, or a PCR, I used to give them a hearty, “that’s cool” and direct them elsewhere. Despite that, here I am regularly carrying a P07 and now writing about the CZ P10 F as the foundation for a new project. I never considered myself a hipster, but my fondness for CZ handguns is rapidly making me question my identity.
This is my review of the CZ P10 F Optics Ready model, which I picked up in August 2021. I purchased this with my own funds, paying retail price. MSRP from CZ is $649, and I paid only slightly less than that before taxes. Even though it’s been out for a while, I wanted to document my thoughts before I started diving down the modification rabbit hole.
Writing reviews on things I’ve spent my own money on always comes with a bit of caution. I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time researching and weighing options before putting down money, so there’s a psychological risk of not wanting to poo poo my decision. I can say that the P10 F doesn’t really fall into that category, though, because it was more of an impulse buy. I’m not particularly rooting for an outcome one way or another.
As of this writing, I’ve got a few hundred rounds of live fire, and more than two thousand dry fires through the P10 F. I’m ready to start making judgements about a few things.
Bottom Line Up Front
As with most of my reviews this one is long and has lots of details. I like to add as much information as I can for any big buying decision. So if you’re pressed for time, here are my quick thoughts.
The CZ P10 F, and particularly the optics ready model that I bought, is a fine duty-sized pistol. I particularly like the generous 19+1 capacity, and the comfortable ergonomics of the gun. The polymer feels thin compared to my P07, dare I say more cheaply made, but not fragile. The 5 lb trigger on mine is nice, though not groundbreaking if you’re accustomed to polished DA/SA options.
Accuracy is good, and adding an optic makes cleaning plate racks an easy task. I found the shooting characteristics ok, though not as flat as my P07. This could be a combination of the larger slide mass and my own need to work on my pistol fundamentals. I loved the factory sights even if I barely used them before adding an optic.
CZ enjoys a good bit of aftermarket support and has a strong enthusiast culture around it when it comes to modification and customization. The P10 F is no exception there, though the simpler internals naturally lead to fewer options for refinement. I will continue reporting back on my efforts to make this a competition-oriented handgun.
In all, the CZ P10 F optics ready seems like a perfectly capable large capacity striker pistol, maybe even a great one. At an MSRP of $649, it’s in line with it’s competitors and I encourage you to check one out if you’re in the market for a duty-sized striker pistol.
I really like my P07. I liked it before I sent it off to Cajun Gun Works, and I loved it when it came back. Since then, my mind has been going in three directions for future handgun purchases. I’ve been torn between a compact metal-framed double-action/single-action pistol, or a polymer-framed striker handgun to replace my FNS-9.
A third dark horse option was a full sized pistol for competition use. Something else was a burgeoning interest optics on a handgun- something that none of my previous purchases allowed for without serious modification.
Over the summer, I got the chance to review an optics-ready pistol, the Arex Delta M Gen 2 (subscribers to the email list got a short video about that particular pistol), so I picked up a Holosun 507c to test along with it. The concept interested me enough that I wanted to keep going.
By August 2021, I had softly committed to buying the P07’s larger brother, the P09. The plan was using it as my future competition project- and probably paying someone to do the mill work for an optics mount. But on the day I was at my local FFL doing paperwork to send the Arex back to it’s rightful owners, I spotted a shiny new CZ P10 F Optics Ready in the case.
I handled it, pulled the trigger a few times, and let out an intrigued, “hmmmmmmm.” While I didn’t purchase it on the spot, I went home and discussed it with Allison, who promptly told me to go back the next day and get it.
And so I did.
A Bit about P10 History
I’m skipping over the complete backstory of CZ, because I covered that pretty thoroughly in my P07 review. CZ is a bit of a niche company in the gun enthusiast world, but one that I have great hopes for given their reputation for quality weapons and recent acquisition of Colt.
There was a thread on M4carbine.net with quite the battle about whether the P10 was just another Glock wannabe. Larry Vickers himself added to the noise by leveraging some pretty pointed complaints (May 30th, 2017 if you’re searching through that thread for them).
Not long after that, CZ released the P10 F, a full-sized model for duty use- and I pretty much ignored it. They’ve also since released the smaller P10 S and P10 M versions, reaching the subcompact genre and replacing the 2075 RAMI model.
The P10 series has been making a good name for CZ, which is why I went ahead and decided to give the full-sized model a go. Being optics ready was icing on the cake, as I wasn’t too keen on having to send anything off to be milled.
CZ P10 F OR First Impressions
The CZ P10 F is not a small handgun. It’s nearly 6″ tall (without optic), 8″ long, and 1.26″ wide. My size-large hands still leave a healthy amount of grip protruding below. I suppose that’s expected from a handgun with 19+1 capacity.
At 28.2 oz unloaded, it has heft to it, though still feels lighter than a comparably-sized metal pistol like my Beretta 92A1. The Beretta not only seems heavier but also less comfortable to hold due to it’s half-inch wider grip.
The CZ P10 feels much closer to the classic CZ 75 ergonomics than the P07/P09 series. It is more “curvy” than “blocky,” if that makes sense. The grip angle feels good, and the handgun points naturally. There’s a notable forward balance unloaded, but not awkwardly so.
Frame and Grip
The P10 F is comfortable to hold, and grip contours naturally provide a high hand position. The trigger guard is long, flat bottomed, and features a deep undercut. With a two-hand grip, my support hand puts a lot of good leverage on the flat bottom for added stability.
The fiberglass-reinforced frame feels sturdy, though the walls seem thin. And while my calipers could not discern any significant difference between thickness of the magazine well walls between my P07 and P10, there’s something about the P07 that just feels beefier.
CZ molded texture into all of the expected places around the grip, but also on a flat spot above the trigger guard, just as with the P07/P09 series.
The grip texture on the front and rear of the grip is noticeably more aggressive than on the sides. I’m sure it’s the same with the P10 C, and I would appreciate that with CCW, as really aggressive textures on the sides tend to chew up skin and clothes.
The backstrap is replaceable using a punch, and CZ included two additional backstraps in the box. The smallest of the three comes installed from the factory. I actually didn’t realize this until a couple of months and a lot of time shooting with it. That left me feeling like the the grip was merely okay at the time, but since installing the medium-sized backstrap, I’ve been much happier.
Each backstrap features a lanyard hole at the bottom rear for those of you who want to be old school about it. In order to leave clearance for the lanyard hole, the rear of the grip just sort of…ends. This leavs the magazine jutting down abruptly below the grip. I don’t really care for the aesthetics of this, but that’s subjective.
The magazine well of the P10 F has a very slight bevel to it. I can see this helping a little bit with inserting mags, but I’m not quite good enough to tell a difference in times. Something that the P07/P09 do here that I like better is extending the back of the grip to be flush with the bottom of the magazine and placing a slight angle on the cut so that it helps direct the magazine into the well.
The ambidextrous slide stop is large and hugs to the slide. I like this arrangement, though the lever is very stiff to release at first. One planned modification is an enhanced lever from Apex Tactical with a bit more horizontal width and length, turning it into a true slide release lever as found on my Beretta or a Walther PDP.
The magazine release is reversible, not ambidextrous. This is actually a change since the original P10 C release, which came with an ambi design. CZ changed the release in 2019 based on user feedback and complaints of excess stiffness.
I found the magazine release easy to use. The shape fits well with my hand, and the surface has a nice machined texture to it that catches my thumb well. I do not have to significantly shift my grip to drop a mag.
I’ll admit that this is where I was the most anxious to try out the P10 F. When the P10 series first came out, everyone raved about the match-quality trigger out of the box. Having shot a lot of nice triggers over the years, I was skeptical. I’ve heard the same thing said about the Walther PPQ (now the PDP), Beretta APX, and many others.
So I sat there in the store pulling the trigger to get a feel for it. The short answer is that it’s good, with a mostly crisp wall and defined reset. That said, I don’t think it deserves quite as much hype as it got when it first came out. Perhaps it’s a leader of the pack for factory striker fired pistols, but I’ve simply gotten too accustomed to tuned hammer-fired guns.
The P10 F’s polymer trigger has a safety tang protruding through the middle. The tang does not sit flush with the rest of the trigger as it moves rearward, which I know some people don’t like but hasn’t bothered me at all. The trigger is wide, rounded, with gentle serrations running vertically.
On just a handful of times, usually with a poor finger-to-trigger interface with sideways pressure, I’ve had the safety tang catch on the frame and make the pull less smooth. It hasn’t stopped me from actually firing the gun, though. Rather, it just added a “hitch” to get past before the actual wall.
Pull Weight and Feel
Out of the box, I measured the trigger between 5.5 lbs and 6 lbs total, depending on the angle I applied the gauge. After about 1,200 pulls of the trigger between live and dry fire, it dropped to a pretty consistent 5 lbs with my mechanical Timney gauge. This is higher than many reports, which are typically between 4 lbs and 5 lbs.
The pull has a moderate take up distance weighing about 2 lbs before hitting the wall. The take up is smooth, and I can hear a fair bit of spring noise from the striker mechanism moving into position. At least some of the mods competitors do to the P10 involves polishing the striker surfaces to reduce this friction.
The wall is interesting because 90% of the time, I can’t really pick up any creep or sponginess. Sometimes, if I go very slow, I can get it to creep just a hair before breaking. As I later learned, this is because of how the sear engagement works and it’s more or less unavoidable. In practical use, actually shooting and not milking the trigger, it feels good.
The break is positive, as is the reset, and I think that’s what makes people like the trigger so much.
P10 F Slide and Sights
CZ finished the P10 F’s steel slide with nitriding. Overall it is a nice even finish, and I expect it will be very durable. There is some machining marks visible within the grooves between the slide serrations. These are subtle enough that I didn’t even see them for months. I only really saw them after taking some high resolution photos and working with some editing software (you can see them in the pictures above).
Speaking of slide to frame fitment, the P10 series deviates from the normal CZ pattern by forgoing the internal slide rail design found on their hammer-fired options. The P10 slide instead uses a more traditional arrangement by riding on the outside.
One benefit of this configuration is that the slide itself is a bit taller, leaving more mass to grab on to during slide manipulations. Aiding this is both rear and forward slide serrations. The cuts are deep and very grippy without being overly sharp.
The weight of the slide without barrel and spring by is about 12.1 oz. I bring this up because the slide of my P07 is only 0.25 oz lighter at 11.85 oz. The P07 slide is about an inch shorter, yet weighs nearly as much. I suspect the comparably-sized P09 slide would be heavier.
Perhaps the hammer and sear system just weighs that much more, but this goes back to the same thing that came to mind with the frames, while everything seems the same size, the P07/P09 series feels slightly beefier.
The P10 F has a sight radius of 7 inches, which is nice if you were sticking to irons. The normal P 10 F comes with metal three dot sights. In my opinion, the optic-ready model comes from the factory with a better arrangement. Mine came with blacked out serrated rear sight and a hi-viz orange dot on the front with a tritium lamp.
The rear sight is easily adjusted for windage with a small set screw, though I didn’t have to do this at all.
Of course, the benefit of an optic-ready handgun is that it’s already been machined for mounting optics. The catch is that the factory does not mill for any specific optic pattern like RMR or ACRO. Instead, you must install an adapter plate that sits between the slide and the optic.
This arrangement is convenient, but does raise the optic just a bit compared to having a slide milled explicitly for a particular optic type.
The optic plate adapters must be purchased separately, and there are a few vendors. I bought a CZ OEM one for the RMR pattern. CZ’s optic plates are steel, not aluminum, and also machined to match the lines of the pistol- including filling the gap between the front of an optic and the ejection port area.
CZ has been slow to get their own plates to the market for covering all of the optic options, but the aftermarket has been supportive due to the popularity of CZ in competition
Barrel and Operation
The 4.5″ barrel has 6 traditional-style grooves at a twist rate of 1 in 10 for the 9mm option. Like the slide, the barrel is nitrided. The feed ramp is also polished from the factory, and I’ve had no issues with feeding, ejection, or accuracy.
Manipulating the action back and forth feels good, and I can’t detect any significant burs or friction points between the frame, slide, and barrel itself.
With the initial impressions out of the way, let’s talk about how the P10 F shoots. As I mentioned earlier, I have about 300 live fires and around 2000 dry fires as of this writing.
Why so much dry fire? Well, range time has been hard to come by and I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Mantis X and Laser Academy to refine aspects of my shooting. Since I want to use the P10 F as a competition pistol, it made sense to put in the practice.
To date, I’ve earned the highest scores I’ve ever done with the MantisX system, routinely scoring into the 99 range. I appreciate the predictability of the trigger as well as how the grip naturally helps me find a good position.
At the range, I find the recoil to be manageable. It’s not stout at all, but does have more “flip” than the P07 I’ve grown accustomed to. That’s likely due to the increased steel mass reciprocating and less resistance during slide movement from the lack of a hammer. The recoil impulse drove the muzzle straight up, and then back down.
With a lot more practice, and adjustment to my grip technique for the pistol, I have no doubt that I will be able to run the P10 F very quickly.
Accuracy and Optics
I have not done formal accuracy or velocity evaluation here. This pistol isn’t new on the market, and many others have already tackled that. The consensus is that the P10 F is a 2″ pistol at 25 yards, which seems in line with my experience. Aside from the usual bench accuracy tests, the web is littered with stories about the P10 F nibbling at shooting clays placed 100 yards away.
In my own shooting, hits are very easy to make, even on small targets. CZ is known for accuracy, which is among the many reasons they are popular for competitive shooters, and the P10 F is no exception.
For an optic, I mounted a Holosun 507c. The reticle in this one is is the ACCS Vulcan, and is unique to Primary Arms. It’s really well thought out- especially for people new to handgun optics like me. The combination made running a plate rack and dueling tree trivially easy. Frankly, this combination excites me for what I might be able to do with it in the coming year with some additional training and practice.
Running the gun, nothing really stood out to me as odd. However, I have discovered a tendency for the slide to auto-forward when inserting a magazine with more than 12-15 rounds in it. Some people like this, especially in competition, but others may be a bit disconcerted by it if it happens unexpectedly.
The slide stop is very stiff out of the box. This will smooth out with time and use, but it was something that stood out to me. I tend to use the overhand method during reloading anyway, so it’s not a huge deal- but I am interested in aftermarket slide release levers in the future.
Being a CZ, modifications are inevitable. Now that I’ve got a feel for it out of the box and after about 2000 pulls of the trigger, what comes next?
I’m going to start replacing parts with new ones. After my initial impressions, I’ve already installed the Cajun Gun Works (CGW) P10 striker and reduced power striker spring. I’ve also installed a new guide rod and which includes a new stainless steel striker, striker spring, and other small bits. Next will be a CGW trigger, miscellaneous small parts, and an Apex enhanced slide release.
So far, these mods have worked well- bringing the trigger pull down to a consistent 4 lbs, with a very smooth pull.
I do have a concern that a wider slide release will make holster fitment difficult. However, given that CZ released the “competition ready” model of the P10 F shortly after I bought this (and it uses the same slide release I plan to buy), there might be more options coming.
CZ P10 F Final Thoughts, For Now
This is not the end of my journey with the CZ P10 F. For at least the next year, I’ll use it in both training and competition. I’ll also report back on results of my tweaking. I like the starting point of this pistol, and expect that it will serve my needs well for a long time.
So where does the P10 F sit in my hierarchy of duty sized striker pistols? In this price bracket, it’s closest to the Walther PDP, Sig P320 RXP, Beretta APX RDO, Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 full size, and the Canik TP9SF Elite Combat. All of these are duty-sized, and ready to accept a red dot site (that’s why I left the FN 509 off).
Frankly, all of these are good options and I would be hard pressed to tell you why the CZ P10 F should get your money over the other options. For me, it basically comes down to the 19+1 capacity, magazine compatibility with my existing P07 (and maybe a P09 in the future), and known aftermarket support. I appreciate the enthusiasm for CZ modification, which means there’s a good body of knowledge around tinkering.
If you’re in the market for a duty-sized striker pistol, then my suggestion is to check out all of the options I just listed and see which ones fit you best, perform well in your hands, and meet your needs for accessories and “tweakability.” The CZ P10 F checked all the boxes for me, and it might for you as well.
P10 F Update, Five Months Later
Since publishing the original review, I’ve continued spending a lot more time with the P10 F. Many range trips, two additional optics (Trijicon SRO and Steiner MPS), and a few modifications.
I’ve installed a trigger from Cajun Gun Works, as well as their P10 F upgrade kit with reduced power springs. An Apex enhanced slide release also adorns the side. In all, these didn’t affect the feel of the pistol significantly, as it was already good, but the changes are noticeable.
The CGW trigger allowed me to remove most of the take up from the travel. The safety tang also fits flush against the trigger, slightly improving the ergonomics. At the end of a long session, I do feel a bit of a pinch on my trigger finger, as I think it gets caught slightly between the bottom of the trigger and the trigger guard.
The enhanced slide release significantly sped up my reloads. However, it also requires adjustment of my shooting grip so that my shooting hand thumb stays away from it. Otherwise, I’ve found it very easy to inadvertently touch it, and the slide will fail to lock back on the last round. I may end up going back to the factory release.
The pistol has proven to be very accurate, and I’ve made consistent hits on steel targets at 25 and 50 yards without much trouble. At closer distances, punching ragged single-group holes through targets is boringly common. I wouldn’t call it a laser beam, but it’s an easy shooter for sure.
My impression remains positive, and I think the P10 F is a really good option for the full-sized duty market. I sincerely hope more aftermarket support for things like duty holsters picks up.