The CZ 83 is the civilian version of the Czechoslovakian VZ 82 semi-automatic 9mm pistol. Originally manufactured in 1982 for the Czech military, the VZ 82 was produced as a military only firearm, with the expansion into the civilian market in 1999 with the CZ 83. Offered in .32 ACP, .380 ACP, and 9mm Makarov, a user can pick from a wide variety of sub-compact rounds. Officially classified as a “Curio and Relic” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the VZ 82’s are difficult to find, although CZ 83’s are still available.
My first reaction when I picked it up was how incredibly small it is. The weapon itself is only 7 inches long and 5 inches tall, but boasts a magazine of 12 +1 of 9mm Makarov. It is a double action, single action hammer fired pistol, with the first trigger pull being double action, and all subsequent rounds being single action. Firing this weapon was a dream. It was accurate, smooth, and above all else, easy to pick up targets rapidly. I was surprised at how accurately I could dump the magazine, keeping all the shots a half dollar from 21 feet, while emptying the magazine in less than 9 seconds.
The design of the weapon is also fascinating. The weapon features a fixed barrel, which may contribute to the higher accuracy. To remove the slide, one must pull the trigger guard out, and then rack the slide to remove it from its guides. Another interesting attribute is the barrel rifling, which instead of being lands and grooves similar to most weapons, is polygonal, similar to that of Glock pistols. It also has ambidextrous magazine releases and safeties, unlike most firearms on the market today.
My only complaints about the CZ 83 was in the shock through the frame. I shoot polymer pistols primarily, and the steel framed 83 delivered a bit more recoil. Others that shot it were similarly impressed with its accuracy, but did not comment on recoil. Overall, I highly recommend it as a pocket gun, both with the magazine size, as well as the overall shape and external safety features.
Overall the CZ 83 is rated 5 out of 5 stars