One of the most popular compact CZ imports to the US is the C&R eligible Czech military surplus CZ82. We thought it would be an interesting match-up to compare this great little gun to another popular import from Central Europe-- the Glock 19.
Introduced in 1982 (hence the '82 part of its designation) the CZ82 was designed by Augustin Necas of the CZ works as a replacement for the venerable CZ52, which we will cover in another article. The CZ52 was a 7.62x25mm Tokarev based handgun and the Czechs, being a Warsaw Pact military ally of the Soviet Union at the time, were converting to the 9x18mm Makarov round for their pistols.
For its time, it was super neat. It had a very low bore-axis, which made it exceptionally accurate for point shooting while helping to mitigate felt recoil. It also was made nearly fully ambi, an option that wasn't available in the west until the Ruger P-85 came out. Then as a bonus the chrome lined barrel (a lot of Warsaw Pact loadings were corrosive ammo) used polygonal rifling, which gave it a longer life span. A simple blowback action, akin to what you expect from the Walther PPK series of pistols, reduced moving parts.
The CZ82 proved decent enough that the Czech military kept it in front line service for a decade and it's still used by reserve forces in that country while a .380ACP clone, the CZ83, was sold for export. At 32-ounces loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, the little CZ is but 6.8-inches long with a 3.8-inch barrel.
The Glock 19
Debuted a few years behind the Czech gun, the Austrian-designed Glock 19 was the second handgun made by that company. Basically, a shrunken version of their popular G17 design, the new gun was in NATO-standard 9x19mm Luger. Using a polymer frame a Glock's Safe Action trigger system, the gun is extremely simple and robust. In fact, many see it as the perfect 9mm pistol, suitable for combat, CCW, law enforcement, and home defense. As such, it has been adopted by the New York Police Department as their standard duty handgun.
At 30.18-ounces loaded with 16 rounds of 9mm, the G19 is 7.36-inches long with a 4.01-inch barrel.
Let's look at the overall size of the guns first. The CZ82 is slightly shorter (about a half inch) while both guns have almost the exact same 4.9-5.0-inch height envelope. In the width department, the Glock is about a quarter-inch thinner, which helps it carry better for concealed work. However, the more compact length of the CZ counterbalances this. Result: Draw.
Weight wise, these guns are a dead ringer on the scales when loaded, with the Glock coming in a just a tad lower. However, it uses a polymer frame to do this, which in itself has its own set of pluses and minuses. Result: Draw.
Action: The CZ's blowback double action is time-tested and dates back to the early designs of John Browning and Carl Walther. However the Glock's action, while much newer, has been extensively vetted over the past thirty years. Nevertheless, the DA/SA trigger of the CZ, which allows for either a ten-pound double or 4-pound single with a very short reset, can be argued as a slight win over the Glock. So can the fact that the low bore axis and fixed barrel of the CZ contributes to better inherent accuracy by design. Result: Narrow win for the CZ.
Magazine capacity/caliber. On this one, things are clearer for the Austrian challenger. No one is going to be able to argue that the 12+1 rounds of 9x18mm Makarov carried onboard the CZ will outclass the 15+1 rounds of 9x19mm Luger in the G-ride. In addition, while there are starting to be some nice loads for Makarov users, the wide range of Luger variety loadings are huge and diverse. Win: Glock all day.
Support/Accessories: The CZ82 is out of production and is a military surplus gun at this point. The Glock 19 on the other hand, is in its fourth generation and will likely be in production for generations to come, which means customizing, spare parts, holsters, and aftermarket accessories are diverse and easy to come across. Sadly, while there are some alternative grips out there and a few holster options, there just isn't the same level of support on the CZ82s. Win: Glock.
Price: This category is an easy one. About the cheapest, you can find a (used) Glock 19 for is $400. We know this spending an hour scouring a number of online gun auction sites and comparing the last 90 days sales on winning bids. Trust us; this is about as cheap as it gets on the Glock. On the other hand, we were able to stumble across several decent CZ82s for the $275-$325 range, which isn't a huge price cut from the Austrian guns, but is still a good bit cheaper. Moreover, the CZ is an official Federal Status Collectible and C&R Eligible, which means you can have it shipped right to your door if you are a C&R holder. Win: CZ by a good stretch.
So there you have it, with two wins for Glock, two for CZ, and two draws, we really cannot promise one gun is better than the other all around.
Of course, if having a slightly larger caliber and a few more rounds are what you need, the Glock could be the choice. If you would rather an all-metal gun with a good bit of history and swagger behind it, the CZ may be your choice.
Either way its a win. (But Czech out the CZ82!)