CZ P-09 (Duty Pistol) Review: Safety, Accuracy, Reliability & More

The CZ brand of guns its most well known for the famed CZ 75 series of handguns. Without a doubt, that gun is one of the most popular firearms ever created. If that’s all you know about CZ, then you are missing out on tons of great guns. From the fantastic series of bolt-action rifles to their sporting pistols and their modern duty handguns. One of those modern duty handguns is the CZ P-09. The CZ P-09 is a full-sized handgun that’s designed for police and military use, as well as home defense, but light enough to use for smaller shooters and women.

The CZ P-09 is the most modern variant of the CZ 75 you can find, built as a double-action/single-action handgun that feeds from a double-stack magazine. It’s chambered in either 40 S&W or 9mm. The gun has a polymer frame, which is the biggest difference between it and the CZ 75. The slide rides inside the frame rail just like the classic CZ 75, and it keeps the bore axis very low.

This gives the CZ series their distinctive look and small slides. The CZ P-09 is an interesting pistol and takes a left turn when most companies are producing the same old same old in polymer handguns. Today we are looking at the CZ P-09 in 9mm with the FDE frame. Let’s explore what makes the CZ P-09 one of my favorite defensive and combat-ready pistols.

Purpose of the CZ P-09

The CZ P-09 is a duty pistol. By duty, I mean its design is for the section of the market that needs a full-sized pistol and not a pistol carbine. Duty inspires the use of police and military forces. This is a full-sized pistol that would be difficult to conceal. Difficult, but not impossible.

It’s a great gun if you plan to open carry, or if you want a solid and reliable home defense pistol. The CZ P-09 is perfectly suited for any defensive role that concealment isn’t necessarily needed. The gun could be used for competition, but there are better CZ pistols designed for competition like the Tactical Sport.


The CZ P-09 is a big gun, and it has no shame in its size. It takes full advantage of that size and isn’t shy about being a big gun.

Barrel Length – 4.54 inches
Overall Length – 8.1 inches
Width – 1.46 inches
Height – 5.79 inches
Weight – 31 ounces
Capacity – 19/21 (9mm)

The CZ P-09 has an MSRP for $530 for the base model, models designed for suppressor use and multiple colors have a slightly higher cost. Currently, you can find the base model for 450-ish street price.


The CZ P-09 is a very cool pistol that boasts an impressive list of features. My particular FDE model comes with night sights that glow very brightly, but base models with have three dot combat sights. The CZ P-09 also sports interchangeable grip panels that allow the shooter to size the weapon for their hand.

The CZ P-09 is also the only gun I know of that allows the shooter to swap a decocker for a safety and vice versa out of the box. The weapon comes with the decocker installed, but the end-user can switch out the decocker for a manual thumb safety. This safety works like the old school CZ 75 and allows the shooter to carry locked and cocked.

The pistol sports a standard in spec Picatinny rail for the attachment of lights and lasers. The rail has five cross-sections, so smaller accessories are easier to mount exactly where you want them. The P series utilizes CZ’s Omega trigger system. This is a simple trigger overall and makes it much easier to install custom trigger components to tune the gun. In actuality, the biggest difference is a better single action, but a heavier double-action pulls.

The CZ P-09 does run with both front and rear serrations, and they have a stylish appearance. The grip is heavily textured with stippling on the sides and front and rear serrations. There is even a textured portion for your trigger finger to rest on. The gun comes with two 19 round magazines as well as two +2 magazine extensions. These take away from the flush-fitting design on the magazine but gives you an unprecedented 21 rounds of ammunition.

Fit and Finish

The CZ P-09 uses a tough Tenifer finish that can resist corrosion and fight the elements very well. The CZ P-09 has a variety of different frame colors. The standard is black on black, and my model is the now discontinued FDE version. However, there is also an OD green variant and an Urban grey variant that sports a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights.

The front and rear slide serrations are slightly angled which makes them both attractive and easy to grab. The frame stippling is uniform and professional, and I like the slight inlay of the CZ logo in the grip. The CZ roll mark is very small and simply says CZ P-09 under the ejection port. The gun itself is very clean and looks slightly futuristic in design.

My particular FDE model has an FDE frame with black controls that offset the FDE frame and gives the gun a very attractive appearance. I’ve owned this gun since 2015, and it’s my main full-size self-defense handgun. It sees a lot of lead downrange every year and has yet to have the finish become scratched or gouged in any way. It’s still a fine-looking pistol if I do say so myself.


The CZ P-09 is one of my absolute favorite guns. The P-09 has brilliant controls, and it seems like a serious shooter designed it. The decocker or safety is placed perfectly for easy access to the thumb. I can reach the decocker without having to alter my grip in any way. The same goes for the magazine release. I often have to shift my hand out of what I consider the perfect firing grip to eject a magazine.

With the CZ P-09, I can reach the magazine release while maintaining that good firing grip. This reduces the time it takes for me to reload a magazine and get the gun back on target. The P-09’s slide lock is also textured with two steps that catch your finger and allow you to pull it down with your thumb with ease.

The hammer is also squared off at the top and textured. This makes it very easy for the thumb to grip the hammer and guide it backward. Below the hammer is a very supportive beavertail and this protects your hand from slide and hammer bite. An unswept beavertail gives you a hair more control over the gun and makes it easier to fight recoil with than other pistols like the Glock 17.

The grip is straight, and there are no finger grooves or uncomfortable lips like you find on numerous other pistols. The CZ 75 is famed for its ergonomics and its svelte grip. That grip is hard to accomplish with polymer, but the P-09 is about as close as you can get to the CZ 75 grip.

The magazines with both their extended baseplate and stock baseplate offer a very nice lip for an easy draw from magazine pouches. That little lip helps you draw the magazines and offers you more leverage to grip and rip the magazine on a reload.

Ergonomically the CZ P-09 is a very well made weapon, and the ergonomics are brilliant.

On The Range

My favorite part of any gun review is hitting the range and putting lead downrange. The CZ P-09 is an easy shooting gun. As any full-size handgun should be. The large grip easily accommodates a full-sized grip and makes it easy to maintain complete and under control over the weapon. The P-09 is ideally suited for a thumbs forward grip due to the placement of the controls. The grip fills the hand well and is very comfortable when firing pin strikes primer.

The recoil is very controllable, and the muzzle rise is barely existent. You can rapidly fire the gun and control it while it’s being shot rapidly. The gun, along with the CZ 75, is one of my favorites when it comes to training new shooters. It’s a very easy gun to handle and un-intimidating for new shooters.

The double-action trigger is long and heavy, as you’d expect. It’s not perfect but it’s smooth enough not to affect accuracy. The single-action trigger is where the beauty lies. It’s short, crisp, and perfect for accurate shooting. The single-action trigger is very nice, but the reset is a bit long for my taste. A trigger job from Cajun gun works is a great way to shorten the reset, and you can do it at home if you so choose.

Reloading the gun is quite easy. Drop the magazine, shove another one in and get shooting. As a full-sized gun, it could have had an extended magazine well from the factory to make funneling reloads in a bit easier, but the standard grip isn’t terrible.

Shooting the CZ P-09 is downright enjoyable. It’s an accurate gun that allows you to easily reach out and strike a target with some real precision. Cock that bad boy back to single action and let the lead fly. From 10 yards to 50 you’ll find this gun both accurate and enjoyable to shoot.

The CZ P-09: Rating Each Category

Looks 5 out of 5

The CZ P-09 looks like a gun from the future and not in a flashy or crazy way. The CZ P-09 has clean lines and subtle company markings. This gives the weapon a professional, but a very distinct appearance that’s hard to beat.

Ergonomics 5 out of 5

The CZ series is well renowned for its dedication to excellent ergonomics, and the P-09 is no different. CZ’s guns are designed by shooters, and the guns are adapted to the shooter instead of the shooter having to adjust to the weapon.

Accuracy 4 out of 5

The CZ P09 is a very accurate gun, and it is more than capable of duty and self-defense use. Even at extended ranges the lower recoil and controllable design make it easy to be accurate with. The Gun’s ergonomics, make it easy to maintain accuracy when shooting fast as well. As a duty pistol its as accurate as you can get, but would be beaten by precision-made sports pistols like the Czech point.

Reliability 5 out of 5

This is one of the rare guns that gets a 5 out of 5 rating from me. To get a 5 out of 5 rating, the gun has to be run hard, in austere conditions, and perform flawlessly. Performing flawlessly on a square range doesn’t get you a 5. The CZ P-09 is my take a class pistol. It’s my main go-to for a full-sized firearm. It’s eaten dust, mud, and more. It’s also in the hands of new shooters all the time, and it’s been well abused by them. I’ve yet to see a single issue with this gun.

Customization 3 out of 5

The CZ P-09 is nowhere near as popular as the 75 series, but it has a few layers of customization to it. Cajun Gun Works produce some awesome trigger upgrades, as well as custom spring kits and other internal parts. You can add a new magwell, barrel, and sights easy enough as well.

Price 3 out of 5

The gun is well priced for what it is. It’s far from being the best deal on the market, but it’s still an outstanding gun that I find to be well worth the money.

Parting Shots on the CZ P-09

The CZ P-09 is a great gun, an accurate, easy to shoot, and an easy to control gun. For duty and home defense, it’s an outstanding choice overall. The P-09 is a brilliant gun, and it’s well designed, well made, reliable, and best of all it’s a fun gun to shoot.

The P-09 could be just another bland striker-fired, polymer-frame 9mm, but CZ kept to their DA/SA roots and made something a little different.


Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd BN 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and works as a firearms writer.

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