The best known invention of the brothers Koucký

Designed by brothers Josef and František Koucký at the CZ factory in then-Czechoslovakia after more than six years of development, the all-steel 9mm parabellum double-stack CZ75 was a broadside response in the 1970s to the S&W 59, Browning Hi-Power and Beretta Model 92, the West’s contemporary 1st gen “wonder nines.” It soon became a hit and was a best seller around the globe that has remained in production ever since.

Known originally in the West as “the Brunner pistol” after its West German exporter, Walter Pomeranski began importing the CZ75 to the U.S. in 1979. In January 1980, no less a shootist than Col. Jeff Cooper wrote in American Handgunner, “I think the Brunner is the best of the conventional nines as it stands, and the best conventional pistol if it is modified to a major caliber.” Notably, Cooper would use it as the basis of his own Bren Ten concept.

Besides clones produced by a myriad of Italian, Eastern European and Turkish firms, CZ themselves have made more than 1 million of these iconic combat pistols in the past 45 years.

Speaking of which, there is a limited edition 45th anniversary CZ 75 for 2020.

More in my column at

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