The CZ-75B and CZ-75BD are two variants of the legendary CZ-75 pistol that is often regarded as one of the best, if not THE best, of the large capacity 9mm pistols commonly known as the "Wonder Nines."
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Originally designed in 1975 in then-Czechoslovakia the CZ-75 was meant for military and civilian export sales. Because of Cold War-era import restrictions the pistol was much-talked about, but seldom seen, in the U.S. market. A few CZ-75 pistols were imported from Canada and gun magazine reviews and second-hand accounts helped spread the legend of this nearly unobtainable pistol.
Now, nearly 20 years after the end of the Cold War, things have changed. The CZ-75 stands proud as the flagship of the firearms imanufactured in the Czech Republic and imported into the U.S. by the firm of CZ-USA.
Once a rarity, the CZ-75 has now developed a devoted following among shooters who value reliability, accuracy, large magazine capacity, good ergonomics and a value price.
The difference between the CZ-75B and the CZ-75BD is that the "B" vesion has a safety which allows for "cocked and locked" safety while the "BD" variant has a decocker which only allows for a double-action first shot when it is engaged. They are both full-size pistols and this standard CZ-75 magazine works in both versions of the pistol.
Since this review is of the CZ-75 pistol magazine, and not the pistol itself, let's take a closer look at design and construction of the magazine. The magazine is the heart of any semi-automatic pistol and a bad magazine can turn even the most otherwise reliable gun into a single-shot jammo-matic.
This review is of the 16 round CZ-75 magazine manufactured by Mec Gar. Mec Gar manufactures most of the magazines used by the firearms companies as "Original Equipment Manufacturer" magazines and also sells magazines directly to the general public. Of all the companies that make magazines, Mec Gar is widely regarded as the best. Their products use good materials, are well made, and prove to be reliable and durable in use.
The magazine parts include the mag body, floorplate, spring, and mag follower.
The mag body and floorplate are both thin stamped steel. While the mag body itself is rigid and durable enough to resist damage from normal use, the floorplates can be bent If the mags are dropped on a hard surface, as can happen during a training class or in practice. That can make the floorplates more difficult to remove and replace for routine maintenance. The cure for this is to inspect the mags on a regular basis and replace any damaged floorplates with new parts available from CZ-USA.
While the blueing offers adequate corrosion resistence in normal use the magazines can develop rust spots if they get wet and are not dried and relubricated. To help prevent this I usually rub a very light coat of oil onto the outside of the magazines during normal cleaning and make a point to wipe them dry after using them in wet conditions.
The mag follower is an "anti tilt" design that uses a four post base to keep the follower from tilting within the mag body and causing malfunctions. I've found this design works well, It also offers an additional round over the 15 round design of the older CZ-75 magazines that used a single post base on the follower.
The mag spring is a standard music-wire spring commonly seen in these type of double stack magazines.
As with any double-stack magazine, CZ-75 mags can be difficult to load to capacity, especially when new. The trick here is to realize that any new mag needs to have the spring "set in" a small amount before it becomes easier to load. Just load as many rounds as possible in the mag, let it sit for a day or two, and then load the remaining rounds. Using a mag loader makes this easier.
Once the mag springs have taken that initial set, they will not "wear in" to any additional degree simply from being loaded. Although many shooters think you need to "rest" your mag springs by periodically leaving the mags unloaded, that is not the case. Spring wear, once the initial set is accomplished, is actually cause by the compression/release cycle. Simply put, the more times your mags are loaded and unloaded, either by shooting or by hand loading and unloading, the faster they will wear out.
All pistol magazines should be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. Simply disassemble the mag by removing the floorplate and pulling the spring and follower out. Then clean the mag, inspect for damage, dry the mag, and re-assemble. Never apply lubricant to the inside of the mag body as will hold dirt and debris and can cause feeding problems.
With good quality mags, like these made by Mec Gar, the CZ-75 rightly deserves it's reputation as one of the best high-capacity 9mm pistols available today.