It’s always a great day when I get to go shooting, and it’s even more fun when I’m taking “new” firearms. New, I say in quotes, because I took two pistols I purchased used but have not yet shot until today. They are both 9mms… a Tanfoglio/F.I.E. TZ-75 and a Springfield Loaded 9mm.
First off, let’s start with the TZ-75. The TZ-75 was manufactured in Italy by Tanfoglio and imported into the U.S. by F.I.E. as a copy of the famed CZ-75. My specific TZ-75 was likely made in early 90’s (note: mine is a Series 88, easily identified due to its frame mounted safety). I recently sold an excellent condition CZ-75b and many accessories, and just picked up this TZ-75 online for the bargain basement price of $265. Wait… why would I sell the “genuine article” to get the knock-off? Well, here’s why: I used to own this same knock-off in the form of the EAA Witness (which is the same gun as the TZ-75, as they were both made by Tanfoglio on literally the same production lines). Having owned both, I preferred the feel of the Witness and it’s smoother trigger. The CZ-75’s grip wasn’t as comfortable to me, and my specific CZ-‘s trigger pull was always a constant source of annoyance to me. The CZ had a long trigger reach and, at the end of the pull, had a gritty feeling that would throw me off. The TZ-75 feels, at least to me, to have a slightly shorter reach to the trigger… likely due to its more aggressive “dished out” grip backstrap. Anyway, I originally sold the Witness because I could never get it to shoot point of aim but was never really happy with the actual CZ either. Would the TZ-75 be any better???? More on that in a bit.
The next pistol I brought was a Springfield Loaded 9mm Target. It was purchased with funds from the sale of an STI Spartan 9mm. This specific Springfield was produced in 2004 and has a great trigger and well finished components. It cost considerably more than the TZ-75, coming in at a price of around $850 used. But, good 1911s always command a premium price.
I brought both pistols to an indoor range today and shot targets at 10 yards and 50 ft (but mostly 10 yards). Before I show the targets, keep in mind that this is my first outing with both pistols so I wasn’t shooting as accurately as I probably can with either. And, in the case of the Springfield, I know accuracy will improve once I lighten the pull weight a bit and replace the stock trigger with a short Greider model (I shoot 1911s better with short triggers). Anyway, here’s some quick observations on both pistols:
Springfield Loaded 9mm: very well finished and smooth. Trigger pull and length aren’t optimal for me, but that is an easy change. Shoots well and the adjustable sights are very nice, but honestly I did not shoot as well with this as I had expected or hoped. No malfunctions or failures to feed or eject, and I used three different Metalform 9-round magazines. Being a full size 1911 9mm, recoil was almost nothing. Looking forward to modifying the trigger and seeing what it will do. All in all, it did what you would expect a Springfield 1911 to do: shoot accurately and dependably.
F.I.E. TZ-75: this was a very pleasant surprise. For $255, you can’t always expect much but it arrived to me in excellent condition without a single scratch or scuff; it looks almost like new. And, this pistol shot exactly to point of aim and was more accurate than I expected. Meaning, I shot better with it than I expected. The trigger on this is much nicer than on my CZ-75b. In fact, the TZ-‘s trigger has more of a short, smooth “roll-off” feeling at the end of the pull vs. the CZ’s grittier cam-action feel. The TZ never failed to feed or eject, and recoil is very subdued in this due to the heavy steel frame. Also, when shooting, it has an interesting feel that makes it easy to get into rhythm. Some pistols have this and some don’t; it’s hard to explain. I think I’m going to like this pistol a lot and it’s a keeper. In fact, I’m already looking for new grips and another magazine.
Here’s some samples from today’s shooting. Not great shooting, but decent enough. The first target (set of four 5-shot groups) is for the TZ; the second target is the Springfield.
In summary, both pistols functioned perfectly and were fun to shoot. The TZ-75 exceeded my expectations, and the Springfield left me wondering if it will match what my STI did in terms of accuracy. However, realistically knowing that it’s not yet set up for how I like a 1911, I’m guessing I’ll see improvement once I have it configured the way I prefer. Regardless, they are both great pistols but the TZ-75 is an absolute steal!