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CZ-75 P-01 Optimized with Cajun Gun Works and LOK Grips

There are probably more than a dozen variants of the now-classic CZ-75 pistol, in all manner of shapes, sizes, materials, trigger types, and feature sets. Among them, the P-01 has some particularly unique accolades that make it stand out. On the surface, it’s standard fare for a carry gun: aluminum frame, Picatinny light/laser rail, and 14-round capacity. But this pistol was built from the outset for hard use. During the course of CZ’s three-year testing period, they say the P-01 experienced an average of seven stoppages per 15,000 rounds fired. We’re sure this is part of what led to its adoption by the Czech National Police Force and its certification of NATO approval for military duty use. In fact, up until recently, every P-01 (including our test sample) bore a National Stock Number (NSN) on the side of the frame. That kind of rigorous testing and international endorsement makes it an iron-clad choice for CCW use under even the most demanding conditions. Which brings us here, to Optimized. With a pistol of such substantial hard-use pedigree, what could we possibly do to build upon its strengths while shoring up its shortcomings?

CZ-75 P-01 Optimized
High capacity and low bore axis have made the CZ-75 family a go-to choice for anybody seeing accuracy and controllability under a wide range of conditions.

While there’s no debate as to the P-01’s reliability, what about its performance? The double-action/single-action trigger — as with most DA/SA triggers — leaves something to be desired. Out of the box, our test gun’s double-action pull was over 12 pounds, with a single-action pull of 4.5 to 5 pounds. Since this model is de-cocker only, there’s no avoiding at least one DA pull per string of fire. Also, the factory three-dot sights were excessively minimalist for our taste. Despite the booming aftermarket industry for pistol upgrades and gunsmithing in general, there aren’t many shops that work on P-01’s specifically. Even CZ’s own Custom Shop stopped offering upgrade packages on this model in favor of newer, more boutique variations of the CZ-75.

Enter Cajun Gun Works. Based in West Monroe, Louisiana, CGW has made a name for itself in particular for their work on CZ-75 variants. Cajun still offers parts and labor for the P-01, an option we exercised to the fullest with the CGW Pro Package. This bundle includes a dozen new parts, down to pins and springs, to tune the P-01’s performance. The two most obvious changes are the trigger and hammer. Cajun’s “race” hammer has an upswept angular geometry that’s both aesthetically pleasing and performance-enhancing. The trigger is based on the CZ 85C, which has a more shallow curve and isn’t set as far forward as a standard 75-series trigger. For shooters with shorter fingers, or who prefer a more “relaxed” placement on the trigger, this is the way to go. It’s machined of 416R stainless and offered in black DLC for those who want a more subdued look. 

What kind of performance does the Cajun Gun Works package offer? After we got our test gun back from them, the double-action trigger was a glassy smooth 7.6 pounds, with single-action mode breaking at 3.9 pounds with minimal overtravel and a short tactile reset. At 7 and 10 yards, we put five-round strings through one ragged hole, de-cocking after each shot. Single-action felt like cheating. CZs have a reputation for being overbuilt, and the P-01 eats up most of the recoil. Overall, the Cajun Pro Kit is a significant improvement over the factory operating, while still being safe for carry/defensive use. 

CZ-75 P-01 Optimized
The CZ-75 P-01 is a brutally overbuilt duty pistol that makes a great choice for carry use, and could probably ride in your grandchild’s holster when you’re done with it.

To round out the improvements on this pistol, CGW swapped the factory sights for Dawson tritium night sights and replaced the factory rubberized grip panels with a G10 set from LOK Grips. LOK Grips makes G10 grip panels for various different pistols, and the P-01 uses CZ-75 compact grips. If the rubber grip panels feel like sitting down on a broken-in couch, the G10 panels are more like buckling yourself into your car. Not overly aggressive, the slim profile and fine points on the LOK Grips texturing seem to lock the pistol in your hand. 

Short of having the slide cut for optics, which we elected to forego, this was about all we could … or should … do to the CZ P-01. While this edition of Optimized turned out a little more low-key than previous installments, the bottom line is that this NATO-approved sidearm comes out of the box ready to report for duty. These improvements were more about refinement than overhaul. So if you come across one of these, know that they can be tweaked to a thoroughly modern carry pistol in relatively few steps, leaving you with a smooth, reliable, and durable daily driver for years to come. 


CZ-75 Optimized BUILDSHEET

Cajun Gun Works Conversion Package: $463
LOK Grips: $65

Sources 

CZ USA: cz-usa.com
Cajun Gun Works: cajungunworks.com
Lok Grips: lokgrips.com

[Editor's Note: This Article First Appeared in CONCEALMENT #20. Photos by Patrick McCarthy.]


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