Going into this review of the CZ P10C, you should know that I am a big fan of CZ handguns – specifically the CZ 75. One of the first pistols I ever purchased was a CZ-75B, one of only two pistols I truly wish I’d never sold was my pre-B 75, and I practically giggled when I held the prototype CZ 75 in my left hand and the one millionth 75 ever made in my right.
I’ve owned and shot P01s and SP01s and P07s and so on, and those pistols are all fine handguns, but the classic 75 will always have my attention. I was especially looking forward to shooting the new P10C because I’ve migrated to Glocks for carry guns but I’m by no means loyal to the Glock brand. In fact, I’ve been looking to jump ship for a long time, and if CZ was the brand with enough juice to kick Glocks out of my pants, my inner fanboy would have been very happy.
As it stands, my inner fanboy might still be very happy at some point in the future, but today he gently weeps.
While the P10C feels amazing in the hand – one could easily draw comparisons between picking this pistol out of the box and drawing Excalibur from the stone – and it has a more than competitive trigger, in the world of striker fired handguns at least, it suffers from some serious flaws that render it all but useless in its current state.
Within the first 35 rounds, the P10C exhibited a malfunction I have never encountered before in any firearm, and I’ve seen some freaky stuff. The pistol wouldn’t go into battery, but not the way you’d expect in that it had nothing to do with barrel hood to slide contact or an oversized cartridge or dirt and grit in the chamber. Furthermore, it was at least a half an inch out of battery, and the feeling wasn’t one of gradual stickiness but an instant and hard metal-to-metal contact.
It partially reminded me of the way an XD with a barrel installed upside down felt, although that pistol was well and truly stuck in place, and this one could at least be racked. A customer had returned the Springfield XD in that condition to the gun store at which I worked. I don’t know how he accomplished that, but he should be commended for his persistence.
Returning to the P10C, racking the pistol a few times corrected the issue, which did not repeat itself for several hundred more rounds, then occurred twice within a few dozen shots. I spoke at length with a gunsmith friend who noted that this had been reported to him, and demonstrated to him, on multiple occasions. The slide cover plate shifts slightly, allowing the striker to rotate, which then “strikes” the frame. Your options are to keep racking the pistol until the striker decides to stop contacting the frame or physically push the striker into place after locking the slide to the rear.
Neither one of these courses of action is something I’d like to undertake in any situation from range time fun to competition to blasting bugs on Klendathu. It renders the pistol an ergonomic but otherwise useless paperweight. It is, according to those in the know, something that can occur more often with time and use as certain parts begin to wear, but as noted, this was first encountered with less than a box of 9mil through the pistol.
How many reviews have you read – how many reviews have I written, I wonder – which have the line “I really wanted to like (product), but…” Well, this is one of those reviews. Had the pistol not repeatedly malfunctioned like this, had this been a single instance or had I not known that many other people seem to be encountering the same problem, I would have readily agreed with the growing Instagram chorus that the P10C is the answer to all our striker-fired prayers.
As it stands, the pistol urgently needs this rotating striker problem fixed, and then it will be a great competition, home defense, or carry pistol. For duty or military use, though, its performance in the Abuse portion of our testing was shameful. Malfunctions were encountered in the dust and mud tests, and while it passed the water test, it immediately stopped functioning after the last shot had been fired, with trigger pulls no longer causing the striker to go forward. In fact, it still had a dead trigger the next day, no matter how many curses were thrown its way.
This particular pistol has been cerakoted in a black MC camo by the guys at Cerakote Services and is available exclusively through Omaha Outdoors; their work is, as usual, outstanding. Furthermore, it’s backed by a 12-month workmanship warranty covering issues like flaking, peeling, or bubbling. Normal wear and tear isn’t covered. If you like the way this camo looks, like I especially do even as a person who normally shuns camo patterns, know that we can apply it to just about any pistol or rifle or shotgun in inventory, as well as to firearms you send in for refinishing.
CZ has the potential to knock this one out of the park, but right now, I can’t tell you to buy the P10C. CZ-USA is run by good people and we know they’ll take care of this. As soon as the spinning striker issue is addressed, we will immediately update this review and test the changes.