Written About Us

  • I still want to be the best in the world

    An interview with Eric Grauffel not just about joining the CZ Shooting Team and the EG-CZ Academy project

    The CZ Shooting Team is indeed an international squad which thanks to the superb properties of CZ guns attracts the best shooters from all over the world. The latest asset to join the team is Eric Grauffel, a living legend from France and many-time world champion who has demonstrated his great talent in three IPSC divisions. Anybody who wants to improve in practical shooting will certainly welcome the fact that Eric’s liaison with Česká zbrojovka a.s. is not limited to taking part in competitions.

    How did you get into guns and sport shooting?

    It was my dad who introduced me to them, when I was little. When he was in the army, he became a national champion and then with some of his friends he established a shooting club. I think it was in 1975 and he ended up presiding over it for about 10 years. When I was little, my parents both worked, I didn’t have any babysitters, I basically spent just about every weekend at the shooting range. I must have been about six, so I had access to guns and ammunition from an early age. I started shooting when I was about eight years old, so we can say that I’ve been around guns almost all my life.

    When did you take up IPSC shooting?

    Exclusively since I was about 15, so that is around 24 years now. Let’s say that in professional shooting, I am quite old. (laughing)

    What do you consider to be your greatest success?

    My best success? I would say that it’s got to be my champion titles won all over the world, some of which I have achieved several times over. I think it is something that nobody else has repeated yet and I think it will take a while before anyone does.

    And what are your immediate goals in IPSC shooting?

    Shooting, I expect. I need to keep shooting, I am a competitor so I need to shoot and compete. It’s like a drug for me, I just need to shoot. And regarding new goals – I don’t know yet, I have already achieved a lot. But the main goal for me is to keep taking part in main events and shoot to be the best in the world. I am still very competitive.

    But we don’t know what division yet. I will try Production, Standard as well as Open, a last-minute call is also an option. We will see what is best. I like the idea of the last-minute decision, it kind of keeps things spicy.

    How and when did you get into CZ guns?

    Well, January 1st 2019 – I am just starting with them. We are going to work on a mutual project, we have in mind a kind of a shooting academy. Also, I will be involved in the development of a new gun for the Standard and Open divisions. Working with such a renowned company is a great challenge for me, as is becoming a part of such a great team and participating in several projects all at the same time. That is a pretty big task but at the same time very exciting.

    So, you still don’t know which CZ model you will choose to shoot?

    I would pick all of them, a different one for each division – I like this idea. (laughing) And I also like the idea of developing new guns. I have my own shop and my own team of people. We like to develop new models and I think we are very good at it. We like to test and actually modify whatever we can. So, we cut things down, do a bit of upgrading here and there or find other solutions. We improve equipment, materials and put the resulting model into production. For me it is important that other people can buy whatever I use. The models are not specific models made for specific shooters. They are customized but still accessible to everyone.

    Do you already own a CZ gun or are you still waiting for your first one?

    I am still waiting. We started sorting out the necessary permits and documentation only at the start of January 2019 so it will take a while.

    What has led you to collaborate with CZ? Where did it all begin?

    In a certain sense, it is only just starting now. I have always had a very good relationship with the shooters from the CZ Shooting Team, we are friends. We meet at competitions all the time, some of them I have known since they were little nippers. (laughing)

    I have also got on very well with the with the Team’s boss, Jakub Sondel. He would always come up to me and say: “Hey, who knows… you never know… one day… we will see…”. And then I came up with the new project of building a shooting academy. Jakub heard about it and in the end, we thought that it would be a great opportunity to create something bigger than just a training centre.

    What do you expect from this collaboration?

    Naturally, I expect that we will all give our best to succeed. So, we all have to pull together. My job is to make sure we make good guns, to pick the right bits to modify so as to get the best result possible. And I guess Česká zbrojovka would like me to do a good job at competitions and carry on winning as well. But we must also work on the new academy which will be a great marketing tool. We will be able to make sport shooting accessible to the wider public and at the same time promote this brilliant sport. I hope we will be able to get best team of instructors in Europe as well. All that will help us promote the brand and the sport too. What I mean is that it is not just a business venture, it is much more than that.

    In what aspect do you think CZ pistols are better than the competition?

    They are all different. We cannot say that the gun I used today is better than another one. It is as if you compared Michael Schumacher who was with Mercedes and then he went over to Ferrari. Success is a combination of a driver and his equipment, which plays a big part too. When we are using CZ guns, we know we are at the top of the world. We are in the lead and losing is basically not an option. So, we have a great combination of the end shooter and the equipment he or she has available. This makes for a win-win situation. And when we have great guns and great shooters, we have to find out which gun is best for each shooter.

    Personally, I prefer new models. For Production I will get the CZ SHADOW 2 ORANGE with the new barrel bushing which offers even better accuracy. As I have already mentioned – unfortunately, I am getting on a bit in this line of work, so I need a few tricks to stay sharp. (laughing)

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  • Novinky CZ pro rok 2019

    Střelecká revue 4/2019

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  • CZ BREN 2 BR

    Small Arms Defene Journal (USA), vol. 11, No. 2, David Pazdera

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  • 5 Best Guns in the World

    www.nationalinterest.org, 13th February 2018, Kyle Mizokami

    One of the best handguns in the world wasn’t even available to recreational shooters for much of the Cold War. The CZ 75 handgun, introduced in 1975, borrowed a great deal from John Moses Browning’s late model pistol, the Browning Hi-Power, both externally and internally, but is not a copy, and features significant differences. The nine-millimeter pistol could carry up to sixteen rounds, making it one of the largest-capacity handguns of its day.

    The bustling global arms trade has resulted in many excellent handguns in the last hundred years. Some of the best handguns are more than a hundred years old, while others have been in production for less than a decade. All are excellent weapons for defense, and in some cases offense; they are equally at home in a homeowner’s gun safe or carried as an officer’s sidearm. Here are five of the best handguns currently in service worldwide.

    The Colt M1911A1

    The Glock 17

    The Sig P226

    The Smith & Wesson M&P

    The CZ 75

    One of the best handguns in the world wasn’t even available to recreational shooters for much of the Cold War. The CZ 75 handgun, introduced in 1975, borrowed a great deal from John Moses Browning’s late model pistol, the Browning Hi-Power, both externally and internally, but is not a copy, and features significant differences. The nine-millimeter pistol could carry up to sixteen rounds, making it one of the largest-capacity handguns of its day.

    Locked away behind the Iron Curtain and unable to secure contracts with the Czechoslovakian government, the CZ 75 failed to gain adherents until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Today the pistol is available in an updated form, the CZ 75BD, featuring a firing pin safety, decocking lever and underbarrel accessory rail, and available in a variety of midsized handgun calibers.

    Full article: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/5-best-guns-the-world-smith-wesson-colt-glock-top-the-list-24479?page=show

  • CZ succeeds on the tough US market

    E15 (Czech Republic), 30.05.2018, Pavel Otto

    The United States is the most important foreign partner of Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod and has played a significant role in the company’s record economic result this year.

    While in 2010 the Czech firearms manufacturer sold 10,000 short firearms in the United States, last year the sales showed more than a tenfold increase. The company does not supply products to end users but to distributors who then supply specialized stores in individual states.

    “The American market is really tough, the competition is simply huge. There are thousands of models from hundreds of manufacturers vying for customers’ attention. To make them pick our product, we must constantly surprise them, come up with new products and impress them in such a way that they desire to own what we have made,” the head of CZ, Lubomír Kovařík, explains. He also added that last year, the export value to the USA reached one hundred million dollars.

    Regarding Czech pistols, the biggest demand in recent years in the US has been for the P-10 pistol with a polymer frame. In 1997, CZ-USA, a subsidiary of CZ, was established and helps the Czech company with the sales. It is based in Kansas City, a logistically convenient place in the middle of North America. “In 2005 we also purchased a small American firearms manufacturer, the Dan Wesson Firearms company,” Kovařík added further.

    ***

    Last year, CZ exported over 100,000 short firearms into the USA.

    Photo description| HIT. Regarding Czech pistols, the biggest demand in recent years in the US has been for the CZ P-10 pistol with a polymer frame. It has been awarded the title “Pistol of the Year 2017” by the prestigious American magazine, Guns & Ammo.

    Photo by author| Photo cz-usa.com

    E15, 30.5.2018

  • Our vests tested by the French Army and counter-terrorist teams

    Právo (Czech Republic), 28.05.2018, František Tichý

    JAN ŽIŽKA, THE DIRECTOR OF 4M SYSTEMS, TOLD US:

    * When was your company, which is based in Prague, established and what was its turnover last year?

    4M Systems was established at the beginning of 2015 and has brought together the experiences of members from special units of the Police and Army Forces in the Czech Republic. The intention of the very small team of people that was there at the start was to bring new ideas and innovative technical solutions into the tactical equipment field of business, dealing with products such as bulletproof vests, backpacks and other equipment used by the police and the military. At the end of that year we were noticed by the management of Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod and at the beginning of 2016, 4M Systems became a part of the holding. By becoming a sister company of our largest firearms manufacturer, 4M Systems has undertaken the responsibility for the development and manufacture of accessories for their weapon production. Our annual turnover is around CZK 50 million.

    * Does 4M Systems supply more to the Czech Republic or abroad?

    Two years ago, our company began to actively participate in tenders in the Czech Republic and has already achieved success. Our CZ 4M bulletproof vests are now used by the Police of the Czech Republic as well as police officers in several municipal and city police departments, members of the prison service and also by special units of the Kenyan Army. Our tactical equipment is sold on global markets under the brand name CZ 4M in 95 countries. In addition, such an extensive network of partners has also had a positive effect on the 4M development centre, as user experience from so many different conditions enable us to constantly improve our products.

    * Who do you cooperate with regarding the manufacture and testing?

    All CZ 4M products are tested in real conditions. We therefore cooperate with many colleagues from various police and army units. With regard to foreign countries, we maintain long-term cooperation with special units in Colombia, Uzbekistan and Kenya. Our products are tested by members of the French Army and Police, as well as by counter-terrorist teams in Australia and New Zealand. Where the development of backpacks, helmets and performance clothing is concerned, we cooperate with professionals from the relevant field. Our ballistic helmets are developed in cooperation with a British company, UNITED SHIELD, and our performance wear is marketed under the brand name CZ 4M-MOIRA.

    * What are all the products you offer?

    Our portfolio includes a complete line of equipment, from performance wear, socks and hats to combat uniforms, bulletproof vests and backpacks. Hence we are able to clothe and equip a member of any security or military force with everything he or she might need in combat or service. In particular, we offer a highly varied selection of bulletproof vests, including concealed ballistic t-shirts and vests for the secret service and security guards. Our vests have been used, for example, to equip the Kenyan special army forces unit this year and the Kenyan Army is now looking into using the vests in all units. So our annual testing and service for the members of Special Forces is indeed worthwhile. The CZ 4M vests will thus most probably become a standard part of military equipment in this growing African army.

    * However, you were not successful in the tender put out by the Czech Ministry of Defence last year.

    Our vests met all the required parameters which were verified by control tests as well as military tests. The vest was officially put into use in the Czech Army, nevertheless, supplies were stopped because of differing views with regard to the control procedures stipulated in the contract.

    Photo by author| Photo PRÁVO archives

    Právo, 28.5.2018

  • For Duty and for Defence

    magazine: Přežít (Czech Republic), issue: May 2018,  author: Martin Staroň

    Over the last century, Czech designers have given the world a lot of exceptional weapons.   The CZ 75 pistol, which belongs to the family of the “miraculous nines” became a living legend many years ago. Will its great-granddaughter, the CZ P-10 C, follow the same glorious path?

    The predecessor of the current Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod was established in 1936 with its primary mission being the manufacture of aircraft machine guns. This demanding production programme meant that the company was subsequently able to draw on their hard-earned experience in the manufacture of countless other weapons, which after the war began to enter service as well as civilian markets. From 1957, these weapons included defence, service and sport pistols.

    THE PATH TO GLORY

                Due to its revolutionary design, the most famous and most commercially successful pistol was the legendary CZ 75. In its modified form, the CZ 75 continues to represent the flagship model of the company’s portfolio even at present. Over time, this classic weapon has served as a base for numerous other models derived from it, from subcompacts, compacts, tactical and sport pistols to IPSC specials. And what is more, each of these pistols has garnered its own acclaim.

                Another momentous point in the history of the company was the year 2006, when a new generation of Uherský Brod pistols emerged. They were equipped with a simplified trigger mechanism, the Omega. This type of trigger mechanism soon became an integral component of all the new CZ 75 pistols, as well as polymer frame models, such as the CZ P-07 and CZ P-09 service and defence pistols. However, over the last few years, Zbrojovka has also responded to the growing demand of the market for hammerless models. These do not have much in common with the original CZ 75 anymore, at least where the design elements are concerned. Though, as the company’s employees have pointed out, the nonmaterial side matters too. All the designers involved strived to create and build a weapon which would be at least as reliable and user-friendly, as the CZ 75 was for their predecessors.

    REVOLUTIONARY THINKING

                So let us go back in time to 1968, the year the whole phenomenon of the CZ 75 was born. At the time, the Uherský Brod designers were limited only by the 9 mm Para calibre, which had been decided upon prior to starting work. Nevertheless, only one year later, the Ministry of Foreign Trade came up with new requirements. The new pistol was to also feature a double action trigger and striking mechanism and a large capacity magazine. As a matter of fact, the officials, who wanted the weapon to be primarily used for sport, unwittingly succeeded in making the company create a truly modern service pistol, although chiefly intended for the civilian markets.

                Some journalists even wrote that the concept of the CZ 75 was basically some kind of a patchwork of fine elements from other successful designs. The reality is, however, a lot more colourful. The weapon can rightly be considered the last developmental level of the Browning/Colt system, adding not only the best of the French and Swiss innovations but also a number of original features, such as the very stylish design.

    WITH A LIGHT FINGER

                And it is true, the immense talent of the chief creator of the CZ 75, František Koucký (1904-1989), lay in his ability to take the already tried and tested solutions and incorporate them in a completely new concept. In the case of the CZ 75, the revolutionary feature was the “revolver mechanism”, the SA/DA (single action and double action) trigger and striking mechanism with an external hammer. This solution was used for example by Walther, a German company that used it on their PP and PPK models. But František Koucký came up with the idea to use the trigger as a single arm lever in the DA mode, thus achieving an advantageous one-way movement of the whole mechanism. Thanks to its second key element, a symmetrical trigger bar whose two arms hug the sides of the magazine well, Koucký managed to achieve smooth operation of the mechanism and transmission of forces while avoiding the risk of individual parts colliding.

                The whole concept of the trigger and firing mechanism offers a sophisticated and elegant solution. The benefits of pulling the trigger in the DA mode, when the hammer is in the forward position while pressure is exerted on the trigger with a finger, were in 1972 fittingly described by František Koucký himself: “Compared to other pistols, the force required to cock the hammer is considerably lower and the movement is very smooth indeed.” Although since then other solutions have been invented, we may safely say that regarding the SA/DA systems with an external hammer, the CZ 75 pistols have never met an equal rival yet.  And in 2008, CZ introduced a simplified trigger mechanism, the Omega.

                Moreover, the portfolio of these innovated “75s” soon became extended by smaller pistols, compacts as well as subcompacts. And at the other end of the spectrum, there are tactical models and several sport specials. Besides, the interest in the CZ 75 concept is as strong as ever even today, one example being the successful CZ 75 SP-01 model series of sport pistols. So we decided to try one model ourselves.

    PHANTOM OF THE SHOOTING RANGE

                The CZ 75 SP-01 Phantom pistol in 9 mm calibre, weighing only 800 g, is one of the successors of the original 75. However, unlike other models from this family, this pistol does not have a mechanical safety but a decocker. This safety feature, located in an insert together with the striking mechanism, is secured in the plastic body of the weapon by pins.  The model we have tested was equipped with robust steel sights, both front and rear sights are accentuated with luminescent white dots.

                Once we started firing, we were able to feel the main difference between this model and the original CZ 75. The Phantom has a substantially narrower pistol grip, thereby offering a different feel and comfort. This is often endorsed by lighter-built users who can thus reach all the controls easily. There are several more features that add to the shooting comfort, such as interchangeable backstraps, a straight lower edge of the trigger guard and the distinctive beavertail. This is a protrusion, located below the hammer, which copies the contours of the shooter’s hand.

                The polymer frame is made of heavy-duty plastic, very pleasant to touch. However, because the weapon is therefore lighter, the muzzle climb is increased in comparison with its steel relatives. Nevertheless, during rapid firing which this weapon manages without any problems, this slightly negative aspect didn't really bother us. It is also worth mentioning that despite the Phantom being quite large, it is well suitable for everyday concealed carry, as it definitely won’t “pull your pants down”. We can therefore happily recommend this model to those of you who are still undecided. Especially those of you, who on the one hand prefer the internal arrangement or the attractive design of the CZ 75, but on the other hand would like to follow the current trends and give a polymer frame a go. Though if you really want to go hi-tech, do try your hand at the new CZ P-10 C, you might reconsider your conservative views pretty quickly.

    A REMARKABLE RENDEZVOUS

                In January 2018, the CZ P-10 C was introduced on the market. It is the first taster of a larger family of weapons to come designed in such a way. That is one of the reasons this first model bears the letter “C” in its name, denoting compact dimensions. The company is already working on a full-size version, plus a shorter and lighter subcompact for defence purposes is expected to arrive as well. And our first impressions of the P-10?  If the saying that a good-looking weapon shoots well is true, then there is no need to be worried about purchasing this pistol. The design is pretty bold bordering on aggressive, probably due to the wide trigger guard and the slanted upper edges of the slide. Otherwise, the P-10 is fully comparable with polymer pistols of all renowned global brands.

                One aspect that immediately caught our interest was the extremely reliable grip, since the pistol grip was developed over a long period of time indeed. A specialized university department was involved with the designing of it, using a true biomechanical human model. Each CZ P-10 C model comes with three interchangeable backstraps, therefore every user can adjust the weapon to his or her preferences. Considering that we are talking about a compact model, the magazine capacity is surprisingly reasonable, holding up to 15 9 mm cartridges. And if that is not enough, there is a removable base plate for two extra cartridges.

    DURABLE BUT LIGHT

                We were also very taken with the frame made with great precision from a durable glass fibre-reinforced polymer that is resistant to heat and mechanical damage. Plastic materials used on weapons today evolve constantly, therefore it really is not necessary to require metal framed pistols for use in extreme conditions. Many users will also appreciate the anti-slip design of the grip in the form of stippling. When gripped really hard, these little square protrusions dig into the hand which may be uncomfortable for some users. So if you don't wear gloves when shooting, you can expect a red imprint on your palms. But the P-10 C is based on the real needs of members of the police and armed forces who often handle their weapons under great stress, with greasy or dirty hands or while wearing gloves. And those are the times when the sharp stippling prevents the pistol slipping from one’s hand.  The front and rear cocking grooves follow a similar trend, as due to their incline and depth, they not only make operation of the slide easier but also give the pistol an unmistakable distinctive look.

                After all, the demands of today’s armed forces for high quality workmanship are constantly growing, which is reflected in the surgical precision of machining in the P-10. You will not find any marks on either the barrel or the slide, no compromises. We were able to verify that when we stripped the pistol and cleaned it. Moreover, the fitting is just superb, including the locking of the slide with no allowance. In this respect, some experts believe that the Czech weapon even surpasses for example the Austrian Glock.

    STRAIGHT IN THE BULLSEYE 

                The original “75” as well as its modern clones, including the P-10 C, enable a quick aim towards a target. The slides of all the models mentioned above are just the right height, even when taking into account the optimum inclination of the pistol grip. During testing, we decided to first empty several magazines of the hammerless P-10 that operates with a double action trigger. This concept of course has its limits where accuracy is concerned, as the shooter cannot pre-cock the hammer and must overcome the full trigger pull weight.   And that is indeed very smooth as well as light because the pistol operates with a partially pre-cocked linear striker. As the story goes, some years ago this design feature brought about a small pistol revolution and made the Glock company, which was quite unknown at the time, one of the most successful firearms manufacturers in history.

                Nevertheless, quite a few pistols based on a concept without an external hammer can irk a shooter when he or she has to cope with a pretty long trigger travel. Some manufacturers present this as a safety feature, though in reality it is an inconvenience, as by vigorously pulling the trigger, one is bound to deflect the weapon off course. Luckily, you will not experience that with the P-10. The whole mechanism operates like clockwork and we experienced no stoppage after 200 rounds fired. And because the reset is around a nice 2 mm, rapid shooting is a piece of cake.

                The recoil is well-manageable, so the P-10 C is suitable as a defence weapon for less trained shooters and users of slighter build. An active Army member was also pleased with the easy de-cocking using the levers on both sides of the frame, a standard feature on service weapons today. The pistol doesn't jump around in front of the target and it takes but a moment to bring it onto the sight line. The three white dots on the basic sights are sufficiently transparent even in lower visibility, the rear sight is side-adjustable and the manufacturer is offering an option for users to change the front sight. In addition, the CZ P-10 is supplied with a high quality robust barrel to aid accuracy, which we think is a nice extra.

                When drawing the pistol from a concealed belt holster, there is no danger of the weapon getting caught in your clothes as there are no protrusions that cause problems. What is more, because the pistol is quite flat, there will be no big bulge. And if you like clever touches, you will definitely approve of the orange magazine follower. You will be able to see it through the large ejection port the moment you run out of cartridges and the slide will stop at the rearmost position. A shooter who has been trained in the basics of defence shooting and is therefore used to pulling his weapon closer to the body will therefore immediately identify a stoppage or an empty magazine.

                Then there are some users who prefer to have everything doubly or even triply insured. They will surely welcome the automatic striker block guaranteeing drop safety. Another safety feature is in the trigger blade but you won’t find a traditional manual safety.  The CZ P-10 C is intended for shooters who are used to carrying their weapons with a cartridge in the chamber.

    REALITY IN A SOCIALIST STATE

                It is quite ironic that while the “75” received recognition from experts all over the world, not many were able to purchase it in its home country. Company materials tell us that in the mid 1980’s, the first supplies of this weapon were destined for shops in Brno. However, the official distribution in the Czechoslovak Socialist republic didn't actually begin until March 1985. And at that, the weapon was only available for purchase to a small class of politically reliable citizens who had to be prepared to pay even at that time a considerable sum of 3,500 crowns. The vast majority of common citizens could only dream of owning such a weapon. Therefore there were many who strived to lay their hands on parts and components secretly smuggled out of the factory by workers who now and again inexplicably “lost” them. These parts would then end up in the hands of ardent enthusiasts who would build their longed for models truly from scratch by hand. One was able to see such beauties on the black market as late as the 1990s, though in the new millennium these models have been replaced by pistols stolen chiefly from military warehouses located in Eastern Europe or the Balkans.

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  • Military exercise in Zbrojovka: Test of security alertness

    Slovácký deník (Czech Republic), 21. 04. 2018

    This year, the national military exercise called Hradba 2018 is taking place in our region, involving 82 members of a reservist infantry regiment and 9 professional soldiers.

    Uherský Brod – Dressed in camouflage, an assault rifle in hand, a radio crackling in the waistband, and lots of other necessary combat paraphernalia, further along, another almost identical person.  Around the entrance we see wooden barriers with barbed wire coiled around them. This is the view I get when I arrive at Česká zbrojovka in Uherský Brod. The locals must have noticed an increased presence of military personnel in the town, however, there is no need to panic. It is all a part of an exercise organised by the Active Reserve. The Army of the Czech Republic has selected the local firearms factory as one of the strategic targets that could become a point of interest for a possible enemy. The Director of the Regional Military Headquarters in Zlín, plk. Petr Potyka, explains: “The aim of this exercise is to check the coordination of infantry regiments and to guard strategic buildings. In larger towns, members of the units involved have also joined the local police on their beats.”

    But let’s move to the side gate of CZ. An ordinary white car has arrived and the soldier guarding the gate is fully engrossed in a talk with the driver.  And then it comes. Before anyone knows what is happening, another vehicle appears out of nowhere, with two masked attackers inside. One jumps out of the back, the other stays behind the wheel. The sudden arrival mobilizes other members of the military patrol and shots ring out. One soldier falls dead and another has been hit in the leg and crawls to safety. What about the attackers? The driver of the white car is dead and so is one of the attackers. The other attacker has been apprehended by members of the Active Reserve and taken into custody while the police are called.

    Two police cars arrive and the apprehended attacker who wanted to infiltrate the premises of the firearms factory is taken away by officers. This scenario is repeated several times over the three-day exercise. Several units test various scenarios that could happen. Petr Potyka describes further: “Some people have tried to get in with a larger group of people coming to work in the morning, others have jumped over the fence to test the alertness of the patrols”.  The exercise is also important to test the coordination of all involved.

    The Brigadier General, Jaromír Alan, continues: “For twenty soldiers taking part, this kind of exercise is their first”, adding that the Army intends to increase the numbers of Active Reserve which has 2444 members at present.

    Photo description IN ACTION

    Members of the Active Reserve on exercise in Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod.

    Cvičení ve zbrojovce

  • New products from CZ for 2018

    Střelecká revue (Czech Republic), issue 4/2018

    Over the last two years, Česká zbrojovka a.s. introduced two new pistols for the civilian sector. One could therefore expect the company would turn their focus and efforts in a slightly different direction. The more curious of you could hazard a good guess as to which direction that might be, as there is one model line of long guns that hadn't seen that much action for a while.

    They are, of course, the CZ 527 light rifles. Unlike the Medium category rifles and rimfire rifles (the current CZ 557 and CZ 455 flagship lines), this part of the company’s portfolio hasn't undergone a generational revamp yet. Although CZ has repeatedly hinted of going in a similar direction with their popular minimausers, it is obvious it would not be an easy task to think of something that would surpass the solution of the legendary Koucký brothers.  They came up with their new concept shortly after the end of World War II, and while the CZ 527 model entered the market in 1990, its basic design features are identical to the 1948 original Vierling from Brno. And one can hardly imagine a weapon being made for an incredible 70 years, unless it was a really impressive.

    Upgrade CZ 527

    On the other hand, many things have changed over the seven decades, from the preference of calibres and design of some features to production materials and technologies. And all these changes were to a greater or lesser extent reflected in the original minimausers, first produced in Brno and then from 1967 in Uherský Brod. The current CZ 527 will see the latest upgrade in 2018. CZ uses the word facelift, though some changes go much deeper than that.

    Here is a brief summary of the most significant innovations customers can look forward to: The receivers of all the CZ 527 models have been modified so as to be suitable for manufacture from solid material on modern turning and milling CNC centres with all the benefits these machines bring ultimately resulting in better accuracy of the weapon.

    All CZ 527 models with iron sights have borrowed both the front and rear sights from the CZ 557 rifle. It means these models have a side-adjustable sloped rear sight blade and a height-adjustable front sight accentuated by red fibre optics.

    The wooden stocks of the CZ 527 rifles with iron sights and the Exclusive Ebony Edition variants are now oiled rather than lacquered. The reason for this is not just a more elegant look and perfect impregnation but also easier repairs of scratches and dents. Then there is the issue of muzzle threads for the attachment of a silencer and other accessories - for the time being, we won’t find these in all the versions but the aim of CZ is to gradually implement these modifications to all CZ 527 rifles without iron sights.

    From the second half of 2018, all metal parts of the CZ 527 rifles should be finished with blasting. The result will be a satin matte finish with less reflection and higher resistance to corrosion.

    Three new minimausers

    In addition to the above mentioned changes, CZ has prepared several new light rifle models for 2018. Without a doubt, the most significant one is the CZ 527 Varmint MTR.    The letters stand for Match Target Rifle, yet it is not just a model for sport shooting but a highly accurate weapon suitable for hunting as well, which is supported by the choice of calibres:  222 Rem, 223 Rem and 6.5 Grendel (all using a 5-round removable magazine). It is good to see the last one especially, as this relatively young intermediate cartridge (on the market since 2004) certainly offers impressive ballistic performance.

    The CZ 527 Varmint MTR is not equipped with iron sights and has a sophisticated ergonomic walnut stock in oiled finish. The trigger mechanism has been borrowed from the CZ 557 rifle, so the user can set the trigger travel as well as the trigger pull weight between 10 and 22 N. The cold hammer forged thick-walled barrel is 650 mm long and has a thread on the target pattern muzzle for the attachment of accessories. The result is a remarkable weapon, both visually and with regard to the parameters and it is bound to catch your eye even on an over-saturated market.

    The CZ 527 Carbine Synthetic is a “working” weapon for everyday use. This means compact dimensions, powerful 223 Rem and 7.62x38 cartridges originally used for service weapons (the magazine capacity is 5 rounds), iron sights readily available to use at shorter as well as longer distances, and a polymer frame in a modern design with a user-friendly soft-touch finish.

    The same stock can also be found on a rather special variant that is bordering on the bizarre, the CZ 527 Suppressor Ready. It is a tiny little thing of a gun, only 880 mm long, with a 16 inch barrel and a muzzle thread for the attachment of a silencer, and uses the 300 AAC Blackout or 7.62x39 cartridges.

    Apart from these notable innovations, there are several smaller additions: the full-stock CZ 527 FS model is now also available in 22 Hornet calibre, while the traditional CZ 527 American now comes in the 7.62x39 and 6.5 Grendel calibres as well.

    Return to tradition, shorter receivers

    There are several interesting new products in the CZ 557 family, which CZ regularly “calibrates” in line with the market response. The most remarkable new model is the CZ 557 Lux II. However, calling it a new model has a somewhat unusual significance.   Actually, CZ has introduced this model as a reaction to the fact that a substantial part of the hunting community is not keen to change their habits and preferences. For these hunters, the basic version of the CZ 557 is a bit too innovative, especially taking into account the fully adjustable trigger mechanism, safety that allows you to operate the bolt even when engaged, and the 520 mm long barrel.

    The traditionalists might therefore appreciate that the CZ 557 Lux II. has a traditional single set trigger, a safety that blocks the movement of the bolt in the locked position, and a 610 mm long barrel. The stock made of high quality walnut has a cheekpiece on the left side of the buttstock and in accordance with current practices it is finished by oiling. At the moment, there is a version with a traditional box magazine (7x64, 8x57 IS, 30-06 Sprg cal., with a capacity of 5 rounds for all) as well as a version with a standard magazine (308 Win with a 4 round capacity).

    Another new product sort of follows on the concept of the legendary ZKK 600 line by the Koucký brothers which used three basic types of receivers and bolts distinguished from each other by the maximum length of the cartridges. The CZ 557 Lux SA (short action) rifle is intended for the 243 Win and 308 Win cartridges, in both cases there is a choice of a box (5 rounds) or a standard (4 rounds) magazine. Including the 520 mm long hammer cold forged barrel, the overall length of the weapon is 1040 mm, which is 30 mm less than the CZ 557 Lux.  The weight when empty depends on the properties of the wood used (the company uses walnut for their Lux models, in this case in oiled finish), usually it is around 3.1 kg. To put it simply, it is a slightly more compact and lighter rifle whose shorter barrelled action allows faster reloading.

    A polymer with a cheekpiece and a left-handed American

    Yet another new model is the CZ 557 Varmint Synthetic. As the name suggests, it is a combination of the black polymer stock of the CZ 557 Synthetic (with the user-friendly soft touch finish and suitable for both right-handed as well as left-handed users) and the barrelled action from the CZ 557 Varmint. One new feature is the height-adjustable cheekpiece on both sides in a distinctive green colour. On the top of the receiver, there is a lowered Weaver rail for the attachment of a riflescope. Since this is a rifle intended for sport shooting or hunting, requiring high accuracy at long distances, the use of iron sights is not expected. The 520 mm long thick-walled barrel has a target pattern muzzle with an M18x1 thread. The magazine capacity of 10 rounds is the same as the original Varmint with a wooden stock, the magazine catch is located at the front of the trigger guard. An interesting detail is the interchangeable ball end on the bolt which offers an option for the user to adjust the ergonomics. In addition to the improved user comfort, the use of a polymer stock means that this rifle is considerably lighter - the CZ 557 Varmint weighs around 5 kg, the Varmint Synthetic weighs in at 4 kg.

    The same polymer stock cheekpiece is now used for the CZ 557 Predator, although its colour is different with the typical realtree camo surface finish. Furthermore, this rifle is now supplied with a compensator attached to the muzzle as standard.

    One more new CZ model for 2018 shall certainly please left-handed users. The CZ 557 American LH without iron sights is fully adapted just for them, including the cheekpiece placed on the right side of the buttstock made from oiled walnut. There is a box magazine (5 rounds, 30-06 Sprg) as well as a standard one (4 rounds, 308 Win).

    A new rimfire rifle

    Over the last few years, the Uherský Brod company has paid a lot of attention to rimfire rifles, so it is not really surprising that this year the extensive portfolio of their rifles has seen basically just the one new addition, the CZ 455 Varmint Synthetic in 22 LR cal. without iron sights. The name tells us that the rifle has a thick-walled cold hammer forged barrel that is 525 mm long. What it doesn't tell us is the fact that there is a muzzle thread for the attachment of a cylindrical compensator with a lot of round holes. For a long 22, such a feature does not make much sense, nevertheless, the user thus has an option for the easy attachment of a compensator, so popular in many countries and in some instances even mandatory.

    The second part of the name reveals that this rimfire rifle has a symmetrical stock made of black polymer. In line with the current practice in CZ, the stock has a soft-touch surface finish that ensures a comfortable and reliable grip in all weather conditions. A 5-round magazine is supplied with the weapon as standard.

    Three new Kadets

    As mentioned at the beginning, in the last two years, CZ has introduced some major innovations where pistols are concerned. First there was the CZ Shadow 2, primarily a sports model, then last year we saw the arrival of the brand new polymer model, the CZ P-10 C with a partially pre-cocked linear striker. The second weapon is meant to be the first member of a large family, though the launch of such a challenging project will clearly be spread over a longer period of time. Not to mention the fact that according to available reports, the company’s capacity has been flooded with orders for models that are already available.

    However, even in 2018 we can find some new products in the pistol portfolio, since one can expect nothing less from the demanding market. At first sight, it might be somewhat surprising to see that the new products are three Kadet rimfire adapters for the CZ P-09, CZ 75 SP-01 and CZ Shadow 2 models.

    If you think about it, it is a logical response of the Uherský Brod company to their current situation. It seems that regarding design, the task might not have been that difficult, as they were able to carry on with the fairly simple and well proven solution already used for the CZ P-07 Kadet (see the 12/2006 issue of SR for more details). Because the new generation of rimfire conversions for CZ pistols is made in cooperation with other companies due to the technologies used, the operations in CZ are not under that much strain. And what is more, pistols adapted for use with 22 LR cartridges are all the rage nowadays, at least to the extent that even the big players see it worth to pay attention to them.

    The new duralumin Kadet for the CZ P-09 SA/DA polymer model has not brought anything new, it had already been discussed in connection with the adapter for the smaller P-07. As with this compact, the new Kadet is entering the market as a separate conversion whose attachment does not require fitting, as well as a complete rimfire pistol. Some users might be a little bit disappointed with the magazine capacity which with 10 rounds remains the same.  Due to the shape of the 22 LR cartridges, 10 rounds is regrettably the maximum which ensures that no problems with cartridge feeding might arise. The adjustable rear sight is borrowed from the CZ Shadow 2 and makes it easy and fast for the user to deal with the different powers of the numerous brands and versions of the 22 LR cartridges. After all, the same rear sight is now used for the CZ P-07 Kadet as well.

    On the other hand, the other two new Kadets are rather something else. In the case of the CZ 75 SP-01 it is because on this pistol, one can use the original all steel Kadet 2 for the CZ 75 family. And we deemed Shadow 2 to be such a specific model that we were not expecting a rimfire conversion for it at all. But here they are! And they look so good that we believe a good many owners of these models are sure to come to a conclusion that they might just need to get this clever little conversion to enjoy rimfire cartridges as well. Regarding the concept, CZ once again follows up on the solution used for the CZ P-07/CZ P-09, with the only significant difference being the fixed front part. Similarly, the magazine capacity has been limited to 10 rounds and both have rear sights borrowed from the Shadow 2.

    Kadets for the CZ 75 SP-01 and CZ Shadow 2 shall be sold as conversion kits only, as the complete rimfire pistols would be prohibitively expensive due to the costs of the body manufacture.

    ***

    The 2018 will see an extensive upgrade of the whole CZ 527 model series.

    The new Kadet rimfire pistol adapters for the CZ 75 SP-01 and CZ Shadow 2 pistols are a great surprise.

    Photo description | CZ 527 Carbine Synthetic - in the spirit of the upgrade of Uherský Brod minimausers , this model is equipped with sights borrowed from the CZ 557 rifle

    Photo description | CZ 557 Lux SA - a box magazine version in 308 Win cal.

    Photo description | CZ 527 Suppressor Ready

    Photo description | CZ 557 Varmint Synthetic

    Photo description | CZ 557 Lux II. - a standard magazine version in 308 Win cal.

    Photo description | CZ 75 SP-01 Kadet

    Photo description | CZ 455 Varmint Synthetic

    Photo description | CZ 557 American LH

    Photo description | CZ Shadow 2 Kadet - in addition to the basic version with a 124 mm long barrel, there is also a model with a longer barrel and a silencer

    Photo description | CZ 09 SP-01 Kadet

    SR 2018-4_45

    SR 2018-4_46

    SR 2018-4_47

    SR 2018-4_48

    SR 2018-4_49

  • Hungary to manufacture Czech firearms

    E15 (Czech Republic), 06. 04. 2018, Ondřej Souček

    Weapons from Česká zbrojovka will soon be used by all the armies of the Visegrád Group, with Hungary becoming the last country to do so. Their army will be supplied by a local company, M.o.D. Arzenál, which has purchased a licence from CZ.

    M.o.D. Arzenál, a Hungarian national company, shall manufacture a total of 200,000 firearms to the value of 100 million Czech crowns on the basis of a 10 year Czech licence. The company has purchased the licence from CZ Export Prague, CZ’s daughter company. The company will thus produce P-07/09 pistols, the Scorpion submachine guns and the CZ Bren 2 assault rifles, with the primary focus on supplying the local army.

    Lubomír Kovařík, the President and Chairman of the Board of CZ says: “Our company exports these highly advanced weapons to more than one hundred countries all over the world, where their reliability and combat efficiency have been tried and tested with great success. The Bren 2 assault rifles have even been selected to be used by the GIGN, the French elite counter-terrorist group.”

    In the first stage, the Hungarian company shall focus on assembling parts manufactured by CZ and as of January, they will begin producing complete firearms. According to the Hungarian Minister of Defence, István Simicskó, two hundred new job places will be created thanks to the licensing agreement and the country will see a revival of firearms manufacturing.

    The agreement was signed on the 28th March 2018, on the same day Budapest hosted a meeting of the Visegrád Group Defence Ministers. In an interview for the E15 newspaper, the Czech Defence Minister, Karla Šlechtová, stated: “I am very pleased that we have been able to sponsor the purchase of the licence with Mr. Simicskó and thus support the Czech defence industry”, adding that CZ products are now used by all countries of the Visegrád Group.

    EHC CZUB, SE, a company controlled by René Holeček, owns 90% of CZ shares, 10% is owned by Members of the Board. Apart from its mother plant in Uherský Brod, the company also has branches in Brno, Slovakia and the United States.

    Photo description LICENCE

    Lubomír Kovařík, the President and Chairman of the Board of CZ demonstrates the Scorpion submachine gun, one of the firearms that will be produced in Hungary under the Czech licence.

    Maďaři budou vyrábět české zbraně

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