June 7, 2022

Steel Pistol Shootout: Beretta 92 Versus CZ 75

Today it’s a battle of the Cold Warriors. We are looking at two sidearms that emphasize the Cold War technology of the 1970s and 1980s. These two 9mm handguns are the CZ 75B and the Beretta 92FS. These two guns have a ton in common and occupy a generation of firearms I consider my personal favorite. These guns are both double-stack 9mms, have metal frames, and use the DA/SA trigger system. 

Both guns are cold war classics and have served in numerous military forces. Both the Beretta and CZ brands have cult followings and have developed entire lines of firearms based on the respective actions of these firearms. 

 

The CZ 75 came first and was created in former Czechoslovakia. The weapon was granted a secret patent that protected it within the Soviet Union but not outside of it. When the weapon finally leaked, it became one of the most popular and most reproduced guns of all time. The original Czech-made CZ 75 is still around in all its glory. The firearm combined some of the best features of the Browning Hi-Power and the SIG P210 to produce a very modern (for 1975) pistol. 

The Beretta 92FS is the natural evolution of Beretta pistols. The eye-catching open slide design and system have been part of Beretta’s handgun design since after WW1. The original Beretta 92 came to be in 1976. It lacks the tell-tale slide safety and uses a heel magazine release. Over time the Beretta 92 evolved through various incarnations into the Beretta 92F and 92FS, which became the M9 pistol used by the U.S. military. 

Legendary Reliability 

Both the Beretta 92FS and CZ 75 are legends in their own right. They’ve been around for quite some time, and both have seen plenty of use. As such, both hit high marks in the reliability department. These guns have been used across the world, and if they weren’t reliable, they would have been mere footnotes in the world of pistol design. 

The benefits of the DA/SA design are clear with both pistols. Both guns allow you to attempt a restrike by simply pulling the trigger one more time. The Beretta 92FS has a slight advantage in the odd slide design. The open-top barrel makes the ejection port massive. A wider ejection helps ensure reliable ejection. Also, should the weapon fail, the open ejection ports make it significantly easier to remove the spent casings. 

99.9999% of the time, these two guns would tie in the reliability department. Giving the Beretta a point is just because it does excel at being easy to clear malfunctions with. 

Accuracy 

Oh boy, another one that’s tie worthy. There are some subtle differences with each gun. Personally, I never had an issue qualifying with my M9, and I used to use my CZ 75 as a steel challenge pistol back in the gun. Shooting either well is more on the user and mastering the initial double-action trigger than anything else. 

There are some slight differences in each gun that could make a difference. The triggers are very similar. The first trigger pull is relatively long and heavy, and subsequent follow-up shots feature a much shorter and lighter trigger pull. The stock triggers are pretty similar, but the Beretta has a slight advantage in the single-action department. 

The Beretta 92FS has less play and less takeup between shots. The CZ 75 still functions fine, but the difference is noticeable to a shooter that pays attention. The downside to the Beretta is that you are stuck with the stock sights. With the CZ 75, you can swap sights are your heart’s content. 

Better sights make not tighten groups, but they can make quick and accurate shots, or accurate shots at more extended range a bit easier. It’s a tie, but one with a few differences. 

Ergonomics 

I don’t want to rag too hard on the Beretta 92FS and its ergonomics, but the differences between it and the CZ 75 are vast. There is nothing downright terrible, but the CZ 75 blows it out of the water in terms of ergonomics. The CZ 75 features a thinner grip that’s more accommodating to your hand. 

Beretta made the 92FS a fat bottom girl. It’s far from thin, and that was a major complaint by soldiers with smaller hands. The C 75 can be fitted with thin grips, and the overall width can be as tight as 1.1 inches. The Beretta 92FS can get down to 1.3 inches if you really try, but that’s it. 

The grip of the CZ 75 is more than svelte, but it’s’ delightfully shaped and encourages a high grip for better controls. The frame-mounted controls are fantastic, and the safety is effortless to reach and activate via the thumb. The Beretta features a slide-mounted safety which is one helluva reach for a lot of shooters. 

The magazine release and slide lock of the CZ 75 and Beretta 92FS are both completely fine and perfectly capable. There isn’t much difference between the two. The Beretta takes gaslight advantage due to its more significant slide. It’s easier to grab, grip, and easier to work, especially when speed is an issue. 

Shootability 

An interesting feature of the CZ 75 and Beretta 92FS is their unique slide designs. The CZ 75 features a slide that rides inside its frame rails. This positions the bore low and makes the slide rather small. The Beretta features a slide that’s reduced and trimmed significantly due to its open-top design. This cuts the weight of the slide. 

The effect on both guns is slight and soft recoil. Add in the fact that they are heavy, all-metal guns, and you get a much lighter recoiling weapon. Both guns are straightforward to shoot and well suited for new shooters. There isn’t necessarily a winner here because both guns handle so well. 

Cold Warrior Shootout 

The Beretta 92FS and CZ 75 are icons and two of the longest-serving sidearms out there. These two pistols might be showing their age a bit these days, but they are still completely capable handguns. Sure, they might lack optics and rails, but you could still win your subsequent gunfight with either weapon. 

 

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