CZ P-01 gets NATO approval. The next Generation of perfect pistols

February 2003

The P-01 is now a NATO classified pistol and issued the NATO stock number NSN 1005-16-000-8619.

The CZ P-01 is the culmination of several years of exhaustive design and testing. Ceska Zbrojovka has always had some of the most rigorous testing requirements in the world but, the Czech National police has required that they go even further, the testing regiment for this new pistol was the most demanding anyone has ever encountered. There are almost 20 specific requirements covering everything from accuracy to interchangability, from safety to reliability/durability and everything in between.

The pistol: The CZ P-01 is a Gen 3 pistol that began as a requirement for a lightweight compact pistol that will deliver the accuracy and durability of a full size, full weight pistol. This was no small task, several manufacturers declined to even start the project.

The first thing you notice about this pistol is the M3 light rail on the frame, a first for CZ, the alloy frame is a little wider at the top than a steel CZ 75. This adds strength and rigidity for mounting the light and increasing the accuracy and service life of the pistol. The P-01 also sports enhanced controls as well as a drop free magazine and a lanyard loop.

The pistol was required to pass a wide variety of tests:

The police required that the pistol ensure the highest level of comfort, an extended slide release was added as well as an extended magazine release and the trigger was reshaped to give a more consistent pull throughout the trigger stroke.

The pistol must be 100% reliable in extreme conditions, the following is a list of some of the minimum requirements.

Must be able to complete the following without failure:

4000 dry firings
3000 De-cockings
Operator level disassembly 1350 times with out ware or damage to components.
Complete disassembly 150 times, this is all the way down, pins, springs etc.
100% interchangability, any number of pistols randomly selected, disassembled, parts mixed and reassembled with no failures of any kind including loss of accuracy.

Safety requirements:

Drop test
1.5 meter (4.9”) drop test, this is done 54 times with the pistol loaded (blank) and the hammer cocked. Dropping the pistol on the butt, the muzzle, back of the slide, sides of the gun, top of the slide, in essence, any angle that you could drop the gun from. This is done on concrete and 0 failures are allowed! A failure is the gun firing.

3meter drop (9.8”) 5 times with the pistol loaded (blank) and the hammer cocked, This is done on concrete and 0 failures are allowed! A failure is the gun firing.

After these tests are complete the gun must fire without service.

The factory contracted an independent lab to do additional testing on guns that previously passed the drop tests. These pistol were dropped an additional 352 times without failure.

The pistol must also complete an environmental conditions test:
This means cold, heat, dust/sand and mud.
The pistol must fire after being frozen for 24 hours at –35C (-36F).
The pistol must fire after being heated for 24 hours at 70C (126F)
The pistol must fire after being submerged in mud, sand and combinations including being stripped of oil then completing the sand and mud tests again.

Service life:
The service life requirement from the Czech police was 15,000 rounds of +P ammo!
The pistol will exceed 30,000 rounds with ball 9mm.

The reliability requirements for the P-01 pistol are 99.8%, that’s a .2% failure rate.
This equals 20 stoppages in 10,000 rounds or 500 “Mean Rounds Between Failure” (MRBF)
During testing, the average number of stoppages was only 7 per 15,000 rounds fired, this is a .05% failure rate, a MRBF rate of 2142 rounds! Over 4 time the minimum acceptable requirement.
The U.S. Army MRBF requirement is 495 rounds for 9mm pistols with 115 grain Ball ammunition.

The P-01 is based on the CZ 75, the most used pistol in the world. Over 60 countries use it as the standard side arm of their Armies, National police forces, National security agencies or other Law enforcement organizations. No other pistol can make this claim.

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