What it Takes: CZ P10 series
For our first Blog post, we're going to start a series called "What it Takes".
In What it Takes, we'll talk about the things that can be done to a firearm, and approximate values, to turn a good gun into great. There are plenty of good guns out there, but all of them have little things here and there that can be done to make them great, and here's the list for a CZ P10.
First off, the gun:
The P10 series handgun is CZ's newest entry into the Striker Fired Polymer gun market. I say newest because they did venture into the sector with the P100, but it was poorly conceived and designed, with flaws right and left.
The P10 is quite the opposite. CZ took queues from a multitude of the top selling striker fired guns to produce a top tier, mid-priced firearm that holds true to many of the CZ brand's stereotypes. Namely reliability and ergonomics.
The Early P10's, like most new production handguns, did have their issues. Walking trigger pins, rotating striker assemblies, a few reports of broken strikers. But these were cleared up within the first 6 months of production, and what exists today as new stock is a solid and reliable striker fired pistol that commonly comes up in conversations of the best available.
The P10 almost identical in size to its biggest competition, the Glock 19. at 5.2" tall, 1.26" wide, and 7.3" long, it stands at around 1/8" taller than the Glock, and nearly identical in all other sizes. However, the altered geometry of the P10 lends itself to a slightly longer grip within the same size envelope, giving you a better grip on the pistol for the same size.
CZ prides itself in it's firearms and the fit they provide to the user. Whether it's the feel in the hand, the reach to features, or ambidextrous controls, the P10 seems thoroughly thought through. The curve on the back of the grip, varying with each of the three included back straps, fills the palm of the hand, but contours as the hand curves to the front.
The blocky, slick feel of older polymer guns like Glocks are gone, and replaced with the contoured but roughly textured sweeping lines of the P10. Almost too rough, to some. The texturing features large, sharp geometric areas all around the grip, with emphasis on the front and back straps, exactly where they should be.
The slide release is placed back in the frame slightly, right above the strong side thumb, but is kept extremely low profile for ease of carry. One of the complaints of the design, this low profile design combined with a new gun can prove to make the slide release difficult to depress.
The firearm has undergone a few changes since it's release. one of these changes is the magazine release, creating two release types. The first is the ambidextrous release. this release is a lower profile release, slightly chamferred at the bottom to increase comfort and decrease the possibility of releasing the magazine unintentionally. However, this magazine release can be extremely difficult to use on a new gun with a loaded magazine. This is due in part to sharp edges on the release button and the friction they cause on the lever, and a casting mark on the lever that causes friction on the magazine. Though possible to clean up and make smooth, this complaint was never addressed at the factory level. instead, CZ decided to alter the design of the release, making it a swappable release, from right to left, instead of ambidextrous. This alleviated the hard button push, but removed some user functionality in the firearm.
Trigger ergonomics are up to par with any striker gun. well placed in front of the rear of the firearm to fit most shooters. Early guns had a slight problem with a shortened trigger shoe, which increased the risk of trigger pinch. newer guns have alleviated this issue, but the issue is altogether gone if you upgrade the trigger.
Reliability, accuracy, and usability:
The P10 series has proven reliable, with tens of thousands of rounds through enough guns at this point without issue to sustain it's part of CZ's history of reliability, if not surpassing due to some inherit issues with the CZ 75's design.
Accuracy is also up to CZ standards. I often joke about my P10 being "a laser"... but I'm only half joking. the accuracy of these firearms will catch you slightly off guard. Most firearms are more accurate than the shooters, but for some reason, for most, the CZ's build and design lend themselves to a very accurate platform... making one question what the point is to purchasing "target" barrels.
Slide manipulation is significantly easier than most CZs. In part due to the full sized slide, rather than the reduced height slide created by CZ's traditional inverted slide rails. Also in part due to what seems to be a slightly less powered recoil spring than on a P07. The slide serrations are excellent, deep and sharp enough for an excellent grip, without being so sharp as to cut, and are placed on both the front and back of the slide.
Going to make this simple short and sweet, the stock P10 sights are serviceable. They're steel. base model is 3 dot, which i despise, however other models like FDE and the optics ready versions have blacked out rear sights, optimal for proper sight usage.
Now, let's get into some of the key points we look at when modifying guns and some of the available options.
One of CZ's detriments is the lack of aftermarket support. One place that's highlighted is with sights. The popularity of the P10 is altering that, but options are still limited compared to most of it's competition. Here are some of the options.
XS F8 sights: These are made by the same people that make the Big Dots, but offer a more traditional notch and post sight picture. a large, orange luminescent front dot with tritium insert sits between the posts of a large notch rear sight with a single, low middle tritium vial, creating a dot over dot low light sight picture. These come in around $140. the review can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAc-Ert88NI&feature=youtu.be
Trijicon is now making a variety of sights for the P10, including the venerable HD sights, and multiple sights made for CZ Custom. These sights are slightly higher priced, between $150-$170, but will be Trijicon quality and tritium, meaning they'll be some of the best.
For Fiber Optic sights, as always, i encourage you to go Dawson. Dawson makes, in my opinion, the best fiber optic sights out there. Properly proportioned, with POA/POI warranties that will send you a different height sight if your impact is low or high, and some of the best sight maker customer support out there. You just cant do better than Dawson for FO sights. And they're around $80. Win.
The last sights i'll focus on are Night Fision. This is a newer sight company, but with some industry background in tritium product production. There are two items that make these sights unique. First, their tritium vials are packed with more of the tritium gas, producing a brighter glow. That's not an upgrade for them, it's standard product, so every one of their sights comes with this feature. Second is a softer, rubberized insert around the tritium to encase the vial inside the sight. This is what creates the full sized dot in their sights. These portions of material, which they call "The Perfect Dot" can be a multitude of colors, are located in both the front and rear sights (rear can be ordered as black, creating a blacked out rear sight, my preference) and protect the vials more effectively than the standard aluminum sleeve.
The only cause for a slide upgrade would be visuals or an optics cut. Optics cuts can be done at numerous shops for around $125-$150. Full slide jobs, or purchased slides, can be had anywhere from $460 for a Norsso stainless steel slide, which includes optics cut and co-witnessing sights, and snazzy visual cues, to Primary Machine's Omen 2 for around $550, which also includes an optics cut, co-witnessing sights, and some visual flair.
Again, the barrel, as with the slide, is really only necessary if you want added use of a suppressor or Comp, or are looking for visual flair. the stock cold hammer forged barrel in the P10 is strong enough to handle almost any industry approved load (note, not double loaded. we're talking +P is OK style loading), and is laser accurate. So aftermarket barrels, of which i'm aware of only the Primary Machine barrels, really only offer visual appeal and the option for a threaded barrel where one did not originally exist. You're looking at $225 and up on that.
Early P10's had some very rare occurrences of striker failures. Mostly broken tips. Though this no longer seems to be a problem with stock guns, if you feel the need to replace them, tool steel strikers can be had from companies like Cajun Gunworks and Suarez for around $50
Recoil Springs & Guide Rods:
The stock P10 guide and spring are a captured unit with a spring with around a 20# weight. Upgrades include replacing the stock plastic unit with a steel unit from HBI for around $21, which will give you the warm and fuzzies about replacing a plastic part with a steel one. Other upgrade options include a milled steel guide rod and loose spring from Primary Machine, giving you the ability to reduce the recoil spring weight for smoother operation, and replace that same plastic piece giving you warm fuzzies, but provides no increased weight at the muzzle like a similar modification may do with other firearms. This modification can be had starting at around $40
So this, along with sights, are really the most common upgrade to P10's. There are quite a few options which range from a system to just a shoe replacement. First, why: the P10 trigger, though exceptional in the world of striker fired guns, does still have plastic parts in it, and thus, you can feel slight amounts of grit and sponge. Also, as in most stock guns, they err on the side of caution with pre-travel. replacing these components will reduce that pre-travel, clean up the pull and crispen the break. All relatively desired things. and the last, and seemingly most serious issue with the stock trigger is the early P10s, varing in severity between 2016 to 2018 units, have a slightly shortened trigger shoe which gives you a propensity for trigger bite: pinching of the trigger finger between the trigger and trigger guard. Painful at best, dangerous at worst. So, a few of the options are.
HBI - HB Industries Theta trigger is the go to for P10 trigger upgrades. It includes the flat faced trigger shoe, which maintains the safety dingus but alters geometry to reduce pre-travel and trigger bite, and it's material will reduce grit and squish. This kit also includes reduced power striker springs to lessen the trigger pull weight. price comes in around $65
Suarez - next up, let's talk about the worst name for a trigger ever, the Suarez Face Shooter. This is a trigger shoe only upgrade. It's a flat face design trigger that again maintains the safety dingus. A slightly wider face than the Theta, with less rounded edges, it gives you a wide trigger face with a vertical brake. Reductions in pre-travel, trigger bite, grit, and sponge can all be felt, but no weight reduction as it uses all the original springs. These can be found for around $30. You can see the review here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT6gVYlOlrk&feature=youtu.be
Cajun Gun Works - the Short Reset trigger from Cajun Gunworks is as close to stock looking as you can get an aftermarket P10 trigger. Made of aluminum, it has a pre-travel screw recessed inside it, so rather than altering geometry, you actually take the pre-travel out of the trigger. It also maintains the safety dingus, as with the others, it reduces the grit and squish of a plastic shoe, and reduces trigger bite. This is also a shoe only replacement, with no springs to reduce weight, and a price coming in around $68.
So as stated above, the magazine release on the ambidextrous P10c's can be extremely stiff. up and to nigh impossible to activate. There are a handful of replacements on the market, all that i know replace the ambidextrous release for a swappable release. Both HBI and Apex make these, and they come in around $50.
The "first gen" or early P10c frames grip texturing was extremely aggressive. This is great for some, not for others. The aggressive texturing keeps the grip planted in the hand, but can wear and be painful after a short span in shooters with more sensitive hands. Later models of P10, including all F and S variants, have a texturing that's been slightly reduced in how aggressive it is. On older P10Cs, the texturing can be lightened with some sanding. light sanding with a fine grit paper will break the sharp edges and make it more comfortable. Of course, there's always the option for aftermarket stippling, but dont think that stippling will increase the grip offered on the P10. Most aftermarket stippled textures will be equal at best, and their primary functions will be to reduce the aggressive stippling or to alter the look of the frame.
So, beyond purely asthetic upgrades like a back plate, and supporting purchases like relatively expensive magazines, coming in between $30-$35, that just about covers the modifications you're looking at for a P10 series handgun from CZ. Many of these have supporting videos on YouTube, and I've got quite a few planned upcoming, such as the modification to reduce the magazine release resistance, and testing a new trigger releasing later this year.
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