Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 75 (CZ75 / Phantom)
Semi-Automatic Service Pistol
The Czech CZ 75 semi-automatic pistol proved a success, seeing over 1 million of its type produced since 1976.
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A select-fire (semi- and full-automatic) variant debuted in 1992 with a slotted muzzle compensator and an accessories "well" under the frame (just ahead of the trigger ring). The well could handle an extra magazine (inserted upside down) for use as a forward vertical handgrip required to counter muzzle climb. The well also doubled as a mounting point for a laser aimer or similar accessorie. Typical magazines were of 25-round count with a rate-of-fire of 1,000 rounds-per-minute reported. At least two versions of the design were to be encountered: the original following much of the same lines as the base CZ75 semi-automatic pistol with a variant fitting a longer barrel assembly and slide extension.
The CZ85 was debuted in 1985 as a fully-modernized form of the original CZ75. The model differed primarily in its ambidextrous handling. The CZ85B incorporated a firing pin block while the CZ85BD brought about use of a decocking lever. The CZ85 "Compact", as its name suggests, was a more compact form with concealment in mind and chambered for the American .40 S7W cartridge. Rail support under the forward frame allowed use of tactical accessories. The CZ85 "Combat" was a military-minded model sans firing pin safety but with revised controls and an adjustable rear sighting device.
Several law enforcement- and military-minded variants appeared under the main "CZ75 P/SP" designation beginning in 1999, each noted by a special series number in the designation (01, 06, 07, etc).
The CZ75 (and her related kinds) have gone on to see widespread service with forces all over the world beyond Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic. Operators have included Georgia (military), Kazakhstan (police, special police), Lithuania (military), Poland (police), Russia (police), Slovakia (special forces, military and police), Thailand (special forces), Turkey (police) and the United States (police, Delta Force). Due to illegal, unlicensed copies floating about, official operators are more numerous than then listed.
Popular foreign off-shoots of the CZ75 design include the American Springfield P9 and the Italian Tanfoglio T-series.