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CZ 40B - Replacement for our Lost HP Clones?

5388 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  erich
Hi y'all,

Recently we learned that our wonderful BHP clones have just about dried up. The Argentine FM 95's won't be imported any more, the Charles Daly HP's are out of production, and FEG is bankrupt, leaving us who shoot on a budget in the lurch for a good, low-priced pistol. Well, maybe not. Anybody ever heard of the CZ 40B? I just bought one from CDNN for $289.95 and I think it's just about the finest firearms buy on the market today.
It too has been discontinued as of this year, but there are still lots of them in the pipeline - CDNN had 173 of them last week when I ordered mine, and this gun is really worth pursuing. From everything I can learn about it, and from my first experiences with it, I think it's money in the bank.

The CZ 40B began life a few years ago as a joint venture between Colt and CZ to help Colt get its foot back into the police firearms market, so the story goes. The gun is a dedicated built-from-the-ground-up .40 caliber - not an adaptation of a 9mm frame. They made it with an alloy frame, a double stack mimic of the 1911 grip frame style, and the Sig-style locking system. It's only commonality with the CZ 75/85 series pistols lies in the use of the CZ 75/85 double/single action trigger, the CZ 75/85 sear blocking safety, and the CZ 75B magazines. All else is brand spankin' new. The gun was first produced by CZ for Colt as the Z40 and had a newly-designed DAO trigger at that time.

Colt was not able to continue marketing the gun and had to back out of its end of the deal. So CZ replaced the trigger in what had been the Colt Z40, made some other changes, and began marketing the gun as the CZ 40B. The production run lasted for several years, but I can't determine the exact years of production. My new gun was made in '06.

When I did my homework on this gun I was struck with how much shooter attention it had attracted on the CZ forums. The forum entitled "Club CZ 40B" had been visited 2,202 times and had generated 331 responses. Reading through them, I concluded that this gun has a very large and dedicated following. The folks in the CZ gunsmithing business say it is the most reliable and trouble free of all the CZ's, which is really saying something in my book..........ok ok, I confess - I'm a CZ nut!

But don't anyone conclude that this gun is just a worked-over CZ 75B. To the contrary, it doesn't look, act, or feel like any other CZ I've ever handled or shot. It has the 1911 style grip frame, which is totally different from the usual CZ ergonomics, and it has a feel all its own. It doesn't heft like a CZ 75B, nor does it heft like a 1911. If I had to stick my neck out real far, I'd have to say it hefts more like a Sig than anything else I've ever handled.

Now for the accuracy department. The gun is reputed to be an unusually accurate .40, and my brief experience with it on the range the other day bears that out. Weather limited me to only shooting 65 rounds in it, but those were very supportive of it being a very, very accurate pistol. Here's how it went:

I was able to shoot ten-shot bench rest groups from 10, 15, and 25 yards with Winchester whitebox 165 grain hardball, and one five shot, 25 yard group with Winchester Ranger LE 155 JHP's. The gun delivered a 2" group at 10 yards, two 2 1/2" groups at 15 yards, and a 4 1/2" group at 25 yards. The five-shot Ranger LE group was an astounding 3 1/2"....and all this with 65 year old motor skills, arthritic hands, and a new pistol fresh out of the box. The gun performed flawlessly. It is equipped with very substantial three dot fixed sights on the order of Novak, Heinie, etc. The ones at CDNN have night sights. Dunno if its Tritium, but the dots are pale green, so they might just be Tritium.

Having arthritic hands I was a little concerned about an increase in recoil because of the lighter alloy frame. However, my take on that is that the increase in recoil is, first, entirely acceptable, and, second, tends to be more in the muzzle flip department than in straight-back felt recoil. I don't think I'd have much trouble handling it in a combat match despite my hands, I'd just have to work a little harder, that's all. I think the gun probably recoils about like a similarly loaded 1911 .45......how's that for subjective?

The one thing the lovers of the BHP will have to get used to is the 40B's size.........it's a BIG gun compared to the BHP. It's an unapologetic, purposeful looking, combat pistol designed for police service, and it has no semblance of a "recreational" appearance at all IMHO. It's a fighting gun and it looks like it.

The pistol comes in a blue CZ pistol case with one magazine and a super-thumb style CZ loader. The factory mag that comes in the gun is a ten shot number that sells for $30, but the $18.95 MecGar 12 shot CZ 75B .40 caliber mags work super in it, so that's the way I'm going with it.

So that's my thumbnail sketch of the CZ 40B, folks. To each his own and I'm not about to go throw out my HP or my CZ 75 and 85. But this gun is one that I have no intention of letting get away from me and I think it will give years of service. I also have no doubt that CZ will offer factory parts and service for it for years to come, but like I said I'm a CZ nut and I have a lot of faith in the outfit. Hope this is useful to anyone looking for an extremely good, accurate, and economical .40 caliber automatic pistol. Best.


PS - A dealer friend told me today that when this pistol first came out several years ago as the Colt Z40 the MSRP on it was close to $600........that $289.95 is looking better all the time.
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Hello sir,

While I don't have much experience with the CZ-40 B, I did begin a late in life love affair with the CZ-75B in 9mm that began it's life as a badly abused pistol on my local gun dealer's shelf. What an incredible journey it began for me as I brought it back to life!

I replaced the broken slide stop with the help of a dear friend who graciously donated the parts to make it "good as new". As it turns out, it became a favorite above the BHP MKIII that I own. Why? Single/double action capability and the ability to handle flush fit 18 round magazines. After I repainted the sights and took it to the range, the rest of story unfolded as I was rewarded with the rugged and flawless reliability of the CZ line of pistols as well as stellar accuracy.

Bottom line, it has become a purposeful combat weapon capable of handling a wide range of ammunition.

I am unapologetic as to the virtues of the CZ-75B. It has proven itself to me after my collecting, owning and shooting over 50 different handguns of different brands and styles over the years.

I have become a unabashed CZ "afficionado".

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Here is Jerry's CZ40 and some targets from the range. Chris- I've got to get me some of those mags with the bumpers.

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I like the CZ 40 (a/k/a full-sized RAMI) quite a bit, and would be happy to own one. :)
Here are some size comparisons of the CZ40 to the Hi-power: (complements of JayPee)

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I just saw a USED CZ 40B on GunsAmerica for $375. Like I said, the $289.95 price for a new one at CDNN is looking better and better all the time.

My only problem with any of the larger CZ's is that I'm short in stature and I can't feel confident with the long CZ trigger reach. Does Anyone make a trigger closer to the frame for CZ's?? Thanks.
steevee - Twoguns has a PO-1 and I think they have a shorter trigger pull.
It's interesting that CZ appears to have put the trigger closer to the gripframe when they cut the CZ 40 down into the RAMI.

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Hi Stevee.

Here's some trigger info you might be able to use.

I've read that CZ adopted the P-01 trigger in the RAMI while they left the CZ 75B trigger in the 40B. And I shouldn't speak for Twoguns, but I believe he has written something about a restyled trigger on the new CZ's that are adaptable to other CZ's. But my memory works about like a politician's promise any more, so I'm really not sure who wrote it. ::).

The most authoritative source of information on something like that outside of the factory is to go to the "Contact Angus" portion of the CZ Forums. Angus Hobdell is a champion competitor on the CZ team and has a custom CZ shop out in Arizona. He regularly answers questions to forum members and you can go to the bank with his answers. Same for Twogun's answers.

I have an older CZ 85 I'd like to change the trigger on for the same reason. Best.

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It's interesting that CZ appears to have put the trigger closer to the gripframe when they cut the CZ 40 down into the RAMI.
The RAMI is not simply a cut down CZ 40B. They have very different lineages with the CZ 40B being a joint project with Colt and the RAMI being CZs foray into a compact gun designed for concealed carry.

We were not even sure that there would be a RAMI in .40 caliber and with the final gun looking much different than the original design. The original RAMI in 9mm didn't even have a slide release.

Right, and they based that foray off the project that they'd done with Colt. The original no-slide-release RAMI never made it to market. Have you seen the big article on the RAMI in last year's CZ product book? It discusses its evolution in detail.
Jaypee, thanks for the "heads up" on the CZ 75B mag interchange. The high cost per magazine has kept me from recommending these to customers. As for myself I see two problem areas-First, being a southpaw with no controls on the right side I'd have trouble adapting. second, even though I have size 11 hands, my fingers are average length, I as well as others have found the distance to the trigger face a bit long on CZ pistols and their clones.
Hi D

Yes the trigger reach on the CZ guns is a bit long for many and took some getting used to in my case as well. The newer CZ designs appear to be getting away from that problem, and I'm told some of the newer triggers will retrofit into the older CZ's. On the CZ40 I've also found that the adoption of the 1911 style grip frame places your hand an unusually long ways away from the slide stop, and I've had to work on my reloading procedures to acclimate myself to that as well. However, I didn't have nearly as much trouble acclimating myself to this gun as I had trying to get used to the huge grip on the Beretta 92. I don't know if there is an ambi safety available for the '40 or not.

As far as the mag interchange, my CZ 75 .40 originally came with ten round mags, and I have found that even the ten-rounders work in the CZ40 just fine, so you can guess what my range mags are since I found that out!. Good to hear from you.

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I talked to CDNN today and they still have around a hundred CZ 40B's. Still priced at $289.95.

Wow. That's really amazing - thanks for the heads-up, JayPee. :)
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