75 Compact, PCR, and P-01 – What’s the big difference?
If you’re considering buying one of CZ’s metal-framed compacts but need some help navigating the differences, you’ve come to the right place!
For nearly five decades, the majority of CZ pistols have been built around the venerable CZ 75 design, known for its comfortable grip, smooth factory trigger system, and distinctive slide-in-frame design. It’s no wonder this pistol is the second most copied in the world (only bested by the 1911 – quite tough to compete with the gold standard of single-action combat pistols!).
CZ’s current line of compact 75-series pistols are all double-stack high-capacity 9mms, so what makes the P-01 Omega, P-01, PCR, and 75 Compact different from each other?
meaning it’s heavier and requires a conscious, intentional pull to fire that first shot. Every shot after that is single action since the cycling of the slide will result in a cocked hammer.
A few little extras that the PCR brings to the table are a snag-free rear sight and a loaded chamber indicator that lives in the top of the slide, with a spring-loaded button that protrudes up slightly to visibly and tactilely indicate that a round is present in the chamber. Another excellent addition is a set of forward serrations that give the PCR (and the P-01s) an extra gripping surface to rack rounds into the chamber – something that’s very nice due to the lower profile of the CZ 75’s slide-in-frame design.
Making the Choice
With the differences between the models lined out, the hard part is choosing between them. Here are some of the deciding factors:
- If you want the ability to mount a light or laser to your pistol, that narrows the choice to one of the P-01 models. If this pistol will serve duty on the bed stand when things go bump in the night, having a light attached to it will bring the welcomed assurance of knowing what you’re pointing at if you happen to come face-to-face with a threat in the dark of night.
- Still undecided whether you want a safety model or a decocker model? In that case, the P-01 Omega Convertible spans both systems. It is an incredibly versatile gun that can serve well at the range, carried concealed or on the bedside without giving up much ground to any of its similarly-sized siblings.
- Added weight is good if the pistol is primarily a range gun! That weight will eat up recoil and make the pistol easier to shoot for longer, so the 75 Compact will be the best choice, followed by the P-01 models and then the PCR.
- If you are looking for an everyday carry gun and don’t plan on equipping a light, the PCR is the lightest and least bulky of all options in the Compact line.