1936: a firearms factory established in Uherský Brod
The factory was founded with the aim of transfering the strategically significant production facilities as far away as possible from Czechoslovakia’s western borders that were under threat. It was a branch plant of Česká zbrojovka, a joint stock company from Prague, whose main plant was based in Strakonice. At the time, the brand new factory in Uherský Brod was the most modern and most efficient plant of its kind around, and not only in Czechoslovakia.
1949: vz. 48 submachine gun enters production
The vz. 48 submachine gun (renamed 23-25 submachine guns in 1950) in 9 mm Parebellum calibre was considered the most advanced weapon in its category. Its magazine was located in the pistol grip, with the bolt partially encircling the barrel. By 1953, the Uherský Brod factory had produced 545,000 submachine guns in total; 345,000 of those in 7.62 mm Tokarev calibre (the 24/26 submachine gun).
1959: vz. 58 submachine gun enters production
The vz. 58 submachine gun in 7.62x39 mm cal., today classed as an assault rifle, constituted an alternative to the Soviet Kalashnikov. The original design of the Czechoslovakian engineers was truly exceptional. The weapon was made in Uherský Brod for the Czech armed forces as well as for export up until 1984. In total, nearly a million models were produced in that time.
1962: vz. 61 Škorpion submachine gun enters production
The legendary vz. 61 Škorpion compact submachine gun was an extremely innovative and immensely successful attempt of the company to fill in the gap between classic submachine guns and service pistols. By 2000, just over 207,000 models were made in the basic calibre, the 7.65 mm Browning. There was also a shorter, 9 mm browning, version, made in smaller quantities during the 1990’s.
1975: CZ 75 pistol enters production
This revolutionary model was the brainchild of the legendary designer, František Koucký. Having received an assignment from what is today Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZ), he began working on the new pistol in 1969. His new creation had perfect ergonomics, and with its unique double action trigger mechanism, it helped to define a new category of pistols, the Wonder Nines. These are large capacity SA/DA pistols in 9mm Luger calibre and the CZ 75 has been one of the most popular of them for many years.
1992: Česká zbrojovka a.s., Uherský Brod established
Following the privatization of Česká zbrojovka, the state enterprise, a new joint-stock company is created. Its main factory is based in Uherský Brod and the main focus of the business is on the development and manufacture of high quality handguns. In addition, it also produces high precision components for the automotive and aviation industries. It is a wholly Czech company owned by Czech shareholders.
1997: a daughter company, the CZ-USA, established
By establishing a daughter company in the USA, CZ fundamentally strengthened its position on the most prestigious arms market in the world. CZ-USA deals with sales and servicing, initially it was based in California but in 2008 it moved to Kansas City, Kansas.
2004: acquisition of the firearms division of Zbrojovka Brno
By acquiring the Firearms Division of Zbrojovka Brno a.s., CZ achieved its aim of keeping the famous tradition of firearms manufacture in Brno going. The newly formed company, whose name was initially BRNO RIFLES, started operating at the turn of 2006/2007 and focused on the development and production of break-action firearms. In 2008, it became a daughter company of CZ and in 2010, its name was changed to ZBROJOVKA BRNO, s.r.o.
2005: Dan Wesson Firearms brand acquisition
Through CZ-USA, CZ became the owner of the brand Dan Wesson Firearms, a renowned American brand of weapons. The original company was founded in 1968 by a grandson of the legendary Daniel B. Wesson and focused on the manufacture of revolvers. Under the new Czech-American leadership, it soon became one of the most highly regarded manufacturers of modern clones of the famous M1911.
2006: under new management
In 2006, Ing. Lubomír Kovařík, MBA, became the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Almost immediately, he started extensive modernization and launched the development of a new generation of CZ firearms. Ing. Ladislav Britaňák, MBA, took over as the Sales Director.
2006: development of new generation CZ service weapons launched
Since its founding, CZ has maintained a close focus on weapons for the Armed Forces. However, in 1992 it was forced to cut down on the development and production of automatic firearms as a result of the political and economic situation. Then in 2006, there came a turning point for the company with the new management making a decision to once again put the main focus of the business on the manufacture of service weapons. It was a pivotal moment in the modern history of the brand.
2006: CZ 75 SP-01 SHADOW pistol enters production
The start of the production of the chiefly sports variant of the popular CZ 75 SP-01, the Shadow, was a significant milestone in the development of CZ. Parts of this exceptional all-steel pistol, also popular with the Armed Forces and for personal defence, have been subsequently used in other CZ pistols. Until the arrival of the CZ SHADOW 2 in 2016, the original Shadow dominated the Production Division in IPSC. The Shadow triumphed in many events, but one of the most successful achievements has to be two World Champion titles, won by Adam Tyc.
2007: number of CZ 75 models reaches a million
After the establishment of Česká zbrojovka a.s. in 1992, pistols from the CZ 75/85 model series became the company’s flagship products. It was reflected in a significant increase of the production volume as well as in the expansion of the portfolio by new variants, such as sport specials, compacts and subcompacts. Thus in the autumn of 2007, Uherský Brod saw a celebratory assembly of the millionth CZ 75, with all the variants taken into account. Where just the standard size CZ 75/85 pistol is concerned, the manufacture surpassed a million in 2014.
2011: entry to the Armed Forces weapons market, start of the rearmament of the Czech Republic Army
This year marks the beginning of serial production of a new generation of CZ assault rifles, submachine guns and grenade launchers. The first success in this field comes with the complete rearmament of the Czech Republic Army. The company supplies the Army with CZ 805 BREN A1/A2 assault rifles, CZ 80 BREN G1 grenade launchers, CZ SCORPION EVO 3 A1 submachine guns and CZ 75 SP-01 PHANTOM pistols.
2014: joint venture CZ - Slovensko
In 2014, CZ - Slovensko s.r.o. began operating on the premises of the VOP Nováky (a military enginnering company) in the Trenčín region. This new company was established by CZ in cooperation with MSM Martin, s.r.o. Initially, the company produced selected parts for CZ pistols, later adding parts for CZ 805 BREN assault rifles.
2015: success of CZ service weapons on global markets
During 2015, CZ employed around 1,800 people and produced 235,526 weapons. Its consolidated profit was CZK 4,190,000,000 (70% of that was profit from sales abroad). Until then, the record profit had been CZK 450,000,000. Such a phenomenal result was due to the success of the CZ P-07 pistols, CZ 75 pistol evergreens, CZ 455 rimfire rifles and CZ service weapons, and above all, the CZ SCORPION EVO 3 submachine gun.
2016: assembly plant opened in Peru
In 2016, CZ expanded into another foreign market when it opened a separate part for the assembly and repairs of CZ weapons in the Peruvian military factory FAME, in Lima. As part of the project, the Czech company supplied its modern equipment as well as tools, and provided training for the technical staff. The Peruvian company thus got the opportunity to assemble Czech weapons and provide servicing and sales,, firstly on the local market and then all over Latin America. It was the first time CZ transferred its technologies into this up-and-coming region.
2016: CZ BREN 2 assault rifle enters production
In the development of the second generation of CZ assault rifles, the company cooperated with members of elite Special Forces and used state-of the-art technologies. Their design was based on the soldiers’ experience of the CZ 805 BREN model in combat. The CZ BREN 2 is a highly advanced individual multi-calibre weapon in 5.56x45 NATO and 7.62x39 calibres, with an option to be configured to meet the requirements of any mission anywhere in the world. The first customer was the Army of the Czech Republic.
2017: further growth and expansion
As a result of the success of the new generation of CZ weapons, Česká zbrojovka a.s. now employs over 1,900 people. Moreover, the company has expanded into more than 100 countries around the world. In addition, a licensing agreement was signed for the manufacture of CZ service weapons in Hungary in March 2018. The major milestone of 2017 was the CZ P-10 C model entering production. It is the first member of a brand new family of striker-fired pistols, in comparison with rival models, the CZ P-10 C boasts many innovative features and offers superb user properties.
2018: CZ Group Holding established
As of 2018, CZ has become a member of the international CZ Group Holding. In addition to the mother company in Uherský Brod, the holding company will gradually incorporate other companies that engage in manufacturing and developmental programs of similar nature. The President of the CZ Group Holding is Ing. Lubomír Kovařík, MBA.
2018: new management
At the start of the year, CZ saw some changes in its organizational structure. The aim of these is to make the best of the company's potential, increase the production volume and speed up work on projects of strategic importance. The new General Director is Ing. Ladislav Britaňák, MBA.