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CZ P-10C

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The CZ P-10C — Not the Pistol We Need, But the Pistol We Deserve

Photos by Kenda Lenseigne and Gina Matturo

We know. It’s a bold claim, and bound to hurt some feelings. But, we’re willing to draw the line and back up our claim. So please hear us out on this one.

In a political environment that’s finally casting a friendly eye on the firearms community (and ironically devastating gun-related profit margins) the midsize sedan class of carry guns is growing larger by the week. You know the template: 12 to 15 rounds, 4- to 4.5-inch barrel, polymer frame, striker fired. You can probably name half a dozen off the top of your head.

And, right behind those names come the laundry list of cottage shops around the country selling aftermarket parts or services for said guns. Grip resizing, grip retexturing, trigger shoes, trigger jobs, sights, holsters et. al. and ad nauseam. Those shops are great, and we love their work. But good guns are not cheap, and it’s intensely frustrating to sink half a grand into a pistol that’s now considered little more than a blank canvas, requiring another $200 to $2,000 in parts and labor to wring every last bit of performance its makers left on the table.

What if there was a pistol that didn’t need any of that extra work? What if one company took a hard look at the most popular aftermarket upgrades and said, “Hey … let’s just do all that stuff to the gun before we put it in the box.” We believe CZ-USA did exactly that. The result they came up with is the P-10C and, in our minds, it’s a 99-percent solution that takes “bone stock” to a whole new level.

The P-10C totes 15 rounds of 9mm and launches them out of a 4.02-inch barrel by way of a striker trigger. Those 15 rounds live in a metal magazine with a thick plastic baseplate. That magazine lives inside a frame that is textured and modular. It comes with three different sizes of backstraps that pop in and out without the need of tools. These three parts accommodate the majority of end users. If you have catchers’ gloves for hands, there’s a chance your pinky may not seat fully on the bottom of the grip. But the P-10C was built from the group up for the carry market, and the frame is exactly long enough for its 15-round capacity without adding extra length that might print under a cover garment or inhibit appendix carry by jutting out from under a T-shirt.

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The trigger guard is thinner than industry average, which eliminates the need for an undercut. Frankly, we’re not sure a true undercut would be possible as CZ eliminated as much material as possible from the junction of trigger guard and frame. Said trigger guard is squared off at the front with a pronounced corner — in case you take your shooting cues from 1980s detective movies and hook your support index finger around the trigger guard. Even if you don’t do that, the blockish shape serves another more practical purpose.

The P-10C is conveniently dimensioned to ride in almost any holster that will also carry a Glock 19. We tried holsters from T-Rex Arms, IOM Customs, X-Concealment, and Red Clover Concepts, finding success in all but the latter. You’ve only read a little more than 500 words of this story and you’re already saving money on grip texturing, undercuts and holsters. But in the words of the late Billy Mays, God rest his soul: Wait! There’s more!

Forward cocking serrations — another popular aftermarket add-on — come standard on this blaster. They run about half the height of the slide for over an inch front to back. That’s plenty of pinching space for press checks and full manipulations. They’re cut blocky and deep to provide ample purchase without being painful. Speaking of control features, the mag release button is a unique triangle shape, with the point being closest to the trigger. It stands out of the frame taller than many others, though, not quite as a high as a full-fledged race button. The shape gives max thumb purchase on the back side while keeping the forward end narrow enough to avoid accidental activation by those with meaty mittens.

On our test gun, we found something interesting with mag ejection. If you smash the button and hold it down, the magazine drops about an inch out of the gun and stops dead. If you tap the button and release it, the dead mag drops free like it’s weighted. We’re not sure if this is intentional, or if our brand-new test gun is just a little stiff. Either way, it’s an interesting dynamic. If you practice reloads with retention — i.e., you pocket the mag instead of letting it drop — this will be a boon to you. If you don’t care about re-homing your dead mag, just press the button and immediately let off it, and it’ll be on the ground in a jiffy. The slide release is flat, but also wider than average. Our sample was really stiff at first, which we attribute to its locking surface being located on the breech face, rather than the slide rail. We only took this as a challenge to break it in more thoroughly. Our plan worked well, and we only had a single instance of unintentionally dropping the slide on an empty chamber.

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