The Wonderful World of CZ-75 Magazines

The CZ-75 is one of the original Wonder Nine pistols and has been in continuous production, in one form or another, since it was introduced in 1975. It even spawned clones from companies like Tanfoglio and IMI. The CZ-75 isn’t obscure and has several magazine options to suit any need. Recently, I acquired and tested several new magazines representative of what GMW offers. Here is how they did:

cz-75 promag drum
If you are after looks on the range, nothing beats the CZ-75 ProMag drum. [Photo: Terril Hebert]

ProMag 50-round Drum

Drum magazines can be made both tastefully and reliably, but more often than not, they are not. They are big and bulky, but theoretically, the spherical drum will hold more rounds than a detachable box magazine. ProMag makes many magazines. Some work, and some do not. But overall, they also bring designs other makers won’t touch to market. Enter their CZ-75 50-round drum.

The ProMag 50-round drum consists of a stamped steel base magazine that fits into the pistol’s grip and a zytel drum bolted onto it. The front of the drum has a spanner that you can grip with your hand and draw back the magazine spring for easy loading. It even comes with a magazine loader to help with the process. Unfortunately, the loader is all but useless. With a bit of elbow grease, I could get thirty-four rounds into the drum before the follower would bind, and I would be unable to seat any more rounds, even though the spring could still be compressed. The initial loading procedure was tedious, but after a few attempts, the spring became more cooperative, and getting the same number of rounds in was not difficult.

Even with these fewer rounds in the drum, it added close to three extra pounds to my all-steel CZ-75B Retro. That kept down the recoil. It also looked funny, and I couldn’t help but smile while putting rounds on target with the ProMag drum. Early on, I had a few failures that consisted of the follower binding and failing to push rounds further into the magazine. The drum worked perfectly on my third trial run, but I was still a 34-rounder. The ProMag Drum is a lot of fun in a range setting.

mecgar cz-75 magazines
The factory 15-rounder [right] and 16-rounder [left] are a worthy buy for serious work. [Photo: Terril Hebert]

CZ CZ75/CZ85 15-round Magazine

MecGar makes OEM magazines for the CZ-75 and other pistols in CZ’s lineup. The 15-round magazine comes standard in the factory box for several of their full-sized models. It features a stamped steel body and a polymer base plate that does not sit flush with the butt of the pistol when inserted. It has a 15-shot capacity, but some versions of this magazine will be labeled as such in 9mm on one side but will also have witness holes marked 6, 10, and 12 for .40 S&W.

The polymer base plate does not quite match the aesthetic of my Retro and it could become damaged if you are training around concrete flooring. Otherwise, this magazine functions flawlessly and has no feeding or function issues. Like the Pro-Mag 50-round drum, this magazine can be used in larger CZ pistols as well as compact and subcompact versions in the same manner that Glock 17 magazines will work in the smaller 19 and 26.

CZ CZ-75 16-round Magazine

The MecGar-produced 16-round magazine is an exact copy of what the original CZ-75 pistol debuted with. The build quality is the same as our previous entry, except there are no .40 caliber designations and no polymer base plates. This magazine uses a stamped steel floorplate that seats flush and has a small protrusion that projects under the front strap, allowing you to easily rip the magazine out of the grip if need be. Like the 15-rounder, this magazine came with my particular handgun and never had any issues across the several hundred rounds put between them. I would not hesitate to use this or the 15-rounder for serious purposes and both sit loaded in my CZ for just that reason.

promag 15 round cz-75 magazine
The ProMag 15-round magazine [left] is cheaper than the MecGar 15-rounder [right], and it shows. But for the price you pay, it is a functional thirteen-rounder. [Photo: Terril Hebert]

ProMag CZ-75 15-Round Magazine

ProMag copied the MecGar 15-round magazine. The differences between MecGar and ProMag are easy to see by simply comparing the magazines. The body of the ProMag 15-rounder looks identical, as does the baseplate. However, on the ProMag, you can see and feel welds where the body is folded over into one piece. The baseplate also looks like it was sloppily hand-fitted with a file to the body of the magazine, while the MecGar is a slim, consistent fit.

The magazine spring was worn in enough that I did not take any more effort to load by hand than the other non-drum magazines. Initially, the magazine fed and functioned flawlessly. But one hundred rounds in, my pistol suffered failures to feed every time I used this magazine fully loaded. This could be caused by a magazine spring that is over-compressed to the point it cannot catch up with the slide. Cutting the magazine capacity down to 13 rounds solved the malfunctions, and there have been no issues since.

cz-75 magazine shooting
Drum mags are fun. [Photo: Terril Hebert]

CZ-75 Magazines: Which Are You Grabbing?

Whether you have the flagship CZ-75B or one of the later iterations like the P01 Compact or the SP01 Tactical, your pistol is nothing without good magazines to go along with it. CZ mags are not the most common to find at your local stores. But which should you get? Any factory magazine made by MecGar is going to exceed your expectations for fit, finish, and function. The ProMag versions, however, are best left for fun on the range or training. Keep on shooting!

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