Lots of friends ask me about different guns, many of which are obscure and usually from some soviet arsenal somewhere based on my collection of the weird, the unknown, and the mil-surp. One very common question I get is on carry/small sized guns usually in .380. While the average person would automatically conjure up thoughts of a bersa, or a lcp from Ruger I usually come back with 2 options: The polish P-64 and the CZ-83 (.380 or 9×18 Makarov). This article will be dealing with the second, the CZ-83.
A Little History:
While Russia was still under the control of Czars, the Czechs had been building fine firearms for decades. Once Russia gobbled their neighbors into the Soviet Union they spread their gun designs to them and you could see the Makarov throughout Eastern Europe. The Czechs had other ideas, while being forced into using the soviet round (9×18 Makarov) they wanted to produce their own gun. And so, in 1982 the CZ-82 was born, a double stack sleek pistol with great accuracy and a higher capacity than its conventional Makarov counterparts. It also had other soviet features we take for granted too often, polygonal rifling and a chrome lined barrel, 2 big reasons the Curio and Relic ones we see today are still great shooters. The CZ-83 is the civilian revamp of the classic military pistol, available in .32, 9×18, and .380acp. And seem to be slightly more common than their military brothers. The magazines are interchangeable
The CZ does not disappoint at the range, and honestly goes far beyond a good compact pistol and borders on the nicest .380 I’ve shot in years. With a clean Double Action pull of around 8.5-9.5# and a single action at about half that the trigger is easily on par with many pistols costing $500 plus. Side by side with the Bersa Thunder .380 it is about 15% bigger, which for someone with medium to large hands is an absolute blessing. Over the past year of shooting this quirky little commie gun I really fell in love. I picked mine up for about $200 for a .380 in stainless steel, which in my opinion is a steal. Looking around online I was able to get a shoulder holster, a flap holster, and a traditional belt holster for under $30 each, magazines on the other hand have been harder to find, prices have started to come down in recent months. As of August 2013 you can expect to put down between two and four hundred for a good condition pistol with holster magazines and maybe a box or two of .380. Or under $200 for a pistol on its own. So in short if you’re looking for a range gun but would prefer something smaller than a hi point, and nicer than a Jimenez while keeping the same basic price point look no further and grab one up before these go the way of their older brother which are now climbing past $300.