Tested: CZ P-10 M

posted on November 15, 2022
CZ P-10 M

When introducing a new pistol line, manufacturers often like to put forth a full-size initial offering before releasing something for the CCW crowd. Such was the case with CZ-USA when it introduced the P-10 C, its first polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol in a “middle-of-the-road” compact size. Over time, CZ would move on to also offer both smaller and larger versions of this fantastic polymer platform before eventually offering its smallest to date, the P-10 M evaluated here.

Just like its larger predecessors, the P-10 M (M stands for micro) is a semi-automatic centerfire pistol that is chambered in 9 mm Luger and fires via a striker-based ignition system. It is built with a polymer frame that is reinforced with fiberglass to provide rigidity and thermal stability. As previously mentioned, the M adds a much-needed deep-concealment option to the P-10 line and hits the mark with both its weight and size. At just a hair more than 20 ozs., the pistol can be comfortably tucked just about anywhere on the waist or ankle, and its overall length of only 6.3" doesn’t completely preclude it from pocket carry either.

fieldstripped CZ P-10 M
Built using conventional design principles, the fieldstripped CZ P-10 M reveals straightforward construction. Note the lone control—a left-side magazine release (inset).

The apparent goal of the P-10 M was to give fans of the P-10 line a familiar-feeling firearm that they can turn to, should an emergency present itself in their day-to-day activities. Those familiar with the larger variants of this series will quickly recognize the polygonal texturing that wraps around the entire magazine well, to include the frontstrap and the backstrap. The same texture can be found on both sides of the frame above the trigger guard, providing a tactile reference point for the trigger finger and a touch of extra grip for the support thumb. Further aid for a support-hand grip can be found on the front of the trigger guard for those that find that method of holding a pistol more controllable.

The polymer frame supports a 4140 chrome-molybdenum steel slide and barrel that comprise the major components of the P-10 M’s recoil-operated system. Once a round is touched off, these parts recoil together for a portion of their rearward travel before separating and ejecting the fired brass. This is done to allow the chamber pressure to drop to a safe level, ensuring the safe operation of the firearm. After ejection, a two-stage recoil spring returns the slide to battery as it strips a fresh round off of the seven-round detachable magazine. To aid with the racking of the slide, cocking serrations are cut into it, both in front of and behind the ejection port, in a subtle yet attractive manner.

polymer grip frame, dovetailed sight
(l.) Rows of polygonal projections on the frontstrap, backstrap and sides of the polymer grip frame ensure a secure hold. (r.) Rugged, low-profile, three-dot sights are dovetailed to the slide—making the rear element drift-adjustable for windage—and complement the P-10 M's snag-free exterior.

At its core, the CZ P-10 M is built for concealed carry. For this reason, CZ has left the frame and slide of the pistol devoid of controls, except for a push-button magazine release found on the left side of the frame behind the trigger. Locking the slide open can only be accomplished by inserting an empty magazine into its well and pulling the slide to the rear. The slide will also remain in the locked position after the final round is shot during live-fire operation, but there is no manually operated control that will accomplish this. To provide confidence when carrying the P-10 M loaded, a blade inside of the trigger shoe prevents the pistol from firing unless the trigger is deliberately pressed from its centermost position. In addition, a firing-pin block provides a passive safety, should the gun be dropped or aggressively jostled. Lastly, no takedown lever was included on the design, but the disassembly pin can easily be pushed through the frame with a rigid tool or even a sturdy fingernail.

We tested the micro pistol with a variety of self-defense loads from Federal, Remington and SIG Sauer. Although the P-10 M is rated for +P loads, CZ advises that they be used only sparingly, so we opted to test the gun with standard-pressure offerings from these three manufacturers. All of our testers agreed that the pistol fit their hands well without a single complaint of it being too small to get all of their fingers around. Recoil was on par with other pistols of this size, but we did notice that it manifested as more of a rearward push than a snappy muzzle rise. Breaking on average at 7 lbs., 11 ozs., the trigger is on the heavy side, but that additional weight may be desirable to some on a gun that might be called upon during a rush of adrenaline. We were pleased to discover that the new micro pistol wasn’t picky with ammunition in either the cycling or accuracy department. The Remington Black Belt load produced the smallest group of the day, although we nearly needed a micrometer to tell.

CZ P-10 M shooting results

The CZ P-10 M is a perfect solution for those who are already fond of the platform and desire a more compact variant for everyday carry. Should something go bump in the night, features like the three-dot photo-luminescent sights and an accessory rail for a flashlight also make it a solid option for home defense. Lastly, the superb ergonomics and gentle recoil make it a fun little piece for punching paper, so it shouldn’t be ruled completely out for informal target work either.

CZ P-10 M specs


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