CZ’s Embarrassing Volkspistoles: The CZ100 and CZ101

Developed in the 1990s and entering production in 1996, the CZ100 and CZ101 were CZ’s first polymer-framed pistols. They were offered in both 9mm and .40S&W, with the CZ100 being a double stack design (magazine capacity 10 or 13 rounds) and the CZ101 being single stack (magazine capacity 7 or 8 rounds). Interestingly, the .40 caliber model included a ported barrel/slide from the factory.

The design intent was to create an inexpensive, very simple personal defense pistol – a sort of volkspistole if you will. In order to do this, there are a lot of polymer parts, like the rear sight and striker spring guide rod. The frame itself is polymer, without any metal reinforcement of the slide rails (although there is a metal insert for the locking cam to act on). In fact the polymer used isn’t even a glass-reinforced one. CZ says that there was no undue wear after 15,000 rounds, but this design didn’t inspire a lot of commercial confidence.

While the design is generally done to be very cheap, the striker involved an unusual locking block mounted on top of the slide, which is surprisingly complex to disassemble, and includes several very small parts and springs. The trigger is a double action one, with a very long pull and reset. This negates the need for a manual or trigger safety, but is not suited to precise shooting. A DA/SA style version (the CZ110) was release in 2000, but failed to become any more popular than the 100 and 101.

Ultimately, the pistols were disappointing form a commercial perspective. Production ended in 2007 after right about ten years, with a total of about 35,000 examples made including both calibers and all three models. CZ doesn’t really like to talk about these pistol, but they used the experience to help develop the P10, which has been a far more successful and highly-regarded polymer-framed design.

12 Comments

  1. I can’t see the 9mm & .40 using the same magazine. I went & tried some of my various mags. When putting 9s in a .40 mag, the rounds either popped out or sat up at a 45 degree angle. Trying to shove .40 into 9 mags was a failure also – I could only get 1 to accept the round, which then sat so low the slide would have not picked it up.
    CZ more than likely designed the magazines to accept both, which I see as a bad compromise. Many years ago, I had trouble getting .41AE to feed out of Glock 22 mags; I could see reliability issues with a dual caliber mag.
    Of course, the “10” on the one side was higher than the “13” on the other side. Ten .40s in the same width stack is about as long as 13 9s, so maybe someone just put a 9mm mag with the pistol?

  2. If only they’d invested a few cents in some fiberglass for the frame, instead of all the convoluted slide gizmos that every other striker pistol manages to be safe without.

  3. A VOLKPISTOLE with double action lockwork having striker rebound spring and drop safety and… Double action sear in front of the striker underlug…

    Seems not all volks are equal…

    IMHO…

    • Striker rebound spring was a little over he top. As a matter of fact some pistols (early SW plastic grip ones) were noted for a strange sensation of striker being bounced back. Later generation of S/F pistols are free of them. Weight of striker, in addition to drop safety, may not be a cause of unintended firing.

  4. Yeah
    Cz / Brno triggers and firing mechanisms are best left assembled for as long as possible

    Doing it in a plastic bag helps when the self losing parts really do need to be taken out.

    • I would call all of the modern plastic grip handguns disassembly un-advisable. By removing pins a lot you may arrive to point when they will not be retained any longer. As you say – leaving it alone as assembled is the best.

      Just brush out the crud, dab of oil and you are done.

  5. In past I played quite bit with firing mechanism studies. I found first hand that it is rather difficult to create a double action mechanism with shorter trigger pull than 10-12mm. It might work with less than 10mm, but you have to consider hard military type primers.

    Hence the “one and half” single action pull on Glock has such success. You can look at many if not most striker fired pistols to find it on your own – they are more or less copies of Glock.

  6. It seems this gun was initially designed as a DA/SA pistol… But the complicated construction forced the producer to make more simpler DA version… Presence of drop safety might be a clue for this.

    Interestingly… The trigger work of DA/SA version seems having close resemblance with German P99 pistol which seeming began development nearly at the same time… Which one and how influenced the each other should be an open question.

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