CZ 99

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Not to be confused with Czech CZ series of pistols produced by Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod.
CZ 99
Crvena Zastava 99.jpg
First generation CZ 99
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars Yugoslav Wars, Iraq War, Afghanistan War
Production history
Designer Božidar Blagojević
Designed 1989–1991
Manufacturer Crvena Zastava (Zastava Arms)
Produced 1991–present
Variants See Variants
Weight 970 grams in 9×19mm Para
960 grams in .40 S&W
Length Standard: 190mm
Compact: 182mm
Barrel length Standard: 108mm
Compact: 100mm
Height 140mm
Diameter 188mm (grip diameter)

Action Short recoil, locked breech, tilting barrel (DA/SA)
Feed system 15 round double-stack box magazine (9mm),
10 round double-stack box magazine (.40)
Sights three dot Iron sights

The CZ 99 is a full-sized, semi-automatic service pistol produced by Zastava Arms[1] (formerly Crvena Zastava). It was developed in 1989 to replace the M-57 and other outdated pistols in the Yugoslavian Military and Police service. Design of the CZ 99 was based on SIG Sauer P226 and Walther P88. The CZ 99 is chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W


In the late 1980s Yugoslavian police and military began looking to replace the aging handgun models they had in use at that time, such as the M-57 and M-70.

The development team at Crvena Zastava, led by Božidar Blagojević, was given the challenge to come up with a new design and complete its prototype in a very short time period of only 6 months. Accepting this challenge, the engineering team finished its technical documentation in only 90 days, and the design was finalized shortly thereafter.

The prototype had been completed just in time for the 1990 Las Vegas S.H.O.T. Show where it made its public debut. With feedback collected on the new design, Zastava made several revisions and detail changes, and introduced the second, much-improved prototype, in Germany at the Nuremberg IWA show.

The modified prototype received hugely positive feedback. Zastava then produced two more units for testing in the USA in August 1990. Test results were positive, and it was decided to have the new handgun in mass production by early 1991. A total investment of $2 million USD went into modernizing the manufacturing facilities with state of the art CNC machines, and production began as planned.

The Name[edit]

Gun was supposed to be named CZ 89 (Crvena Zastava 1989) but prototype displayed during 1990 SHOT SHOW was mistakenly engraved "CZ 99" instead of the "CZ 89" It had never been completely clarified whether the engraver had mistakenly engraved "99" instead of "89" or if the work order had an error in it but either way, new gun was going to the public as the CZ 99.

Design details[edit]

From left to right SIG Sauer P226, TZ 99 (CZ 99), Walther P88, Bersa Thunder 9
Comparison: Walther P88 left, CZ 99 middle, SIG Sauer P225 right

Design of the CZ 99 was based on SIG Sauer P226 and Walther P88 however, only a small percentage of parts are interchangeable between those three designs. Frame is made out of PD 33 aluminum alloy while the slide is machined out of hammer forged steel, barrel is hammer-forged hard-chromed (inside and out) to protect from corrosion and wear of corrosive service ammunition used by Yugoslavian Military and Police

Size comparison: CZ 99 (top), HS2000 (bottom)

Operating mechanism[edit]

The CZ 99 is a short recoil-operated locked breech semi-automatic pistol that uses a modified Browning cam-lock system . The firearm's locking mechanism utilizes a linkless, vertically tilting barrel with a rectangular breech that locks into the ejection port cut-out in the slide. During the recoil stroke, the barrel moves rearward initially locked together with the slide approximately 3 mm (0.12 in) until the bullet leaves the barrel and chamber pressure drops to a safe level. A ramped lug extension at the base of the barrel then interacts with a tapered locking block integrated into the frame, forcing the barrel down and unlocking it from the slide. This camming action terminates the barrel's movement while the slide continues back under recoil, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge casing. The slide's uninterrupted rearward movement and counter-recoil cycle are characteristic of the Browning system.


The CZ 99 incorporates fully ambidextrous slide release/decocker (Both slide release and decocker use same lever) as well as ambidextrous magazine release button. It also features loaded chamber indicator and DA/SA trigger (DA/SA + DAO on CZ 999). The CZ 99 has no manual safety instead pistol can be decocked and holstered safely and can be fired in double action mode by simply pulling the trigger. The hammer may also be manually cocked at any time by the user to fire in single action mode.


CZ 99[edit]

Original model designed in 1989. Chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum or .40 S&W

CZ 99S[edit]

Standard CZ 99 with slide mounted safety

CZ 99 Compact-G[edit]

The slide and barrel were shortened by 8mm., leaving it 100mm long (3.94"), compared with 108mm(4.25") of the full size version. Slide shape forward of the breech opening was also changed. First customers of the CZ 99 Compact-G were the Israelis. Deliveries to Israel started around the time the UN sanctions on Yugoslavia came into effect. So the deal had been arranged to license Israel to produce CZ 99 Compact-G at home.

CZ 999[edit]

CZ 999 & CZ 05
CZ 999 Skorpion with custom made grips.jpg
CZ 999 Skorpion with custom made grips
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin
Service history
Used by See Users
Wars Iraq War, Afghanistan War
Production history
Designer Aleksandar Milošević
Designed late 1990s
Manufacturer Zastava Arms
Produced 2002–present
Variants See Variants
Weight 930 grams in 9mm and 920 grams in .40 S&W
Length Standard: 198mm
Compact: 188mm
Barrel length Standard: 108mm
Compact: 98mm
Height 140mm
Diameter 184mm (grip diameter)

Action Recoil operated (DA/SA or DAO)
Feed system 15 round magazine (9mm), 10 round (.40)
Sights Iron sights

The CZ 999 is slightly longer than CZ 99 (due to the longer beaver tail). Frame is thinner by 1.5mm and the grip itself reshaped to bring the overall grip diameter from 188mm to 184mm. By doing so designers solved the greatest complaint about the CZ 99 (grip being too wide for shooters with smaller hands). also the overall mass is reduced. Magazines and the magazine capacity remained unchanged.

Action mode selector switch R stands for Revolever (DAO) and P stands for Pistol (DA/SA)

One feature new to the CZ 999 is the "action mode selector". Selector is located on the top left edge of the slide, just forward of the rear sight. It allows user to instantly switch to shoot either in DAO (Double action only) mode, or DA/SA (Double Action/Single Action) mode.

Another feature new to the CZ 999 is the "low shot indicator", a pin protruding through the upper right grip screw warning the shooter that there are 3 rounds remaining in the magazine.

CZ 999 project was first announced in 1998. with mass production scheduled for March, 1999. This was delayed and the first prototype was presented to public in 2001, and mass production started next year in 2002.

CZ 999 Scorpion[edit]

CZ 999 Scorpion is a variant of the CZ 999 without the action mode selector and low shot indicator. Other than having no action mode selector and low shot indicator there are no other known differences between the CZ 999 and the CZ 999 Scorpion.

CZ 999 Compact[edit]

shortened CZ 999 Scorpion. The length reduction was done all up front, the rear of the gun remaining unchanged. Minor aesthetic differences are apparent like the flat slide top. Internally, a change was done to the locking block (locking insert). The locking block of the Compact is about 2mm shorter. The Compact is 10mm shorter than the CZ 999 pistol. The length decrease reduced weight down to 900gr (9mm) and 890gr (.40S&W) respectively.

-In late 2005, the CZ 999 Scorpion found its way to the USA, marketed as the Charles Daly ZDA

- As of 2013, CZ 999 Compact, and CZ 999 Scorpion are imported by Century International Arms. Available in 9×19mm Para and .40 S&W[2]

CZ 05/EZ[edit]

The CZ 05 was marketed in the United States as the Zastava EZ. Based primarily on the design of the CZ 999 Scorpion, but with a MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail (picatinny rail) and skeletonized hammer (like the ones found on TOP XX prototypes). In 2010, the CZ 05 was officially renamed Zastava EZ.

Zastava EZ Compact Ported (Carry Ported) showing the ported barrel and slide as well as the optional hard chrome slide finish

EZ Compact[edit]

Shortened version of full-size EZ pistol. The length reduction was done all up front, the rear of the gun remaining unchanged. Minor aesthetic differences are apparent like the flat slide top. Internally, a change was done to the locking block (locking insert). The locking block of the Compact is about 2mm shorter. The EZ Compact (i.e. EZ Carry) is 10mm shorter than the full-size pistol. The length decrease reduced weight down to 900gr (9mm) and 890gr (.40S&W) respectively.

EZ Compact Ported (Carry Ported)[edit]

Compact model featuring the 3-hole port on top of the slide. Dimensions and weights are similar to the EZ Compact. This model was referred to as "Carry Ported" by EAA (European American Armory) - former importer and distributor of Zastava's products in the USA. This model was also available in hard chrome slide finish

- As of May 2011 EAA stopped importing EZ series of pistols

- As of 2012 EZ and EZ Compact are imported by K-VAR/FIME Group. Available in 9×19mm Para and .40 S&W

Foreign Models[edit]

CZ 99 Compact-G manufactured under license in Israel by KSN Industries and marketed under "Golan" name,


Israeli company, KSN Industries Ltd. had licensed and purchased plans to produce the CZ 99 Compact G. The name given by the Israeli company to their copy was "Golan". At the Golan's initial public release, there was a bit of misunderstanding among firearms journalists, some of whom had written articles stating that the Golan appeared to be based on a CZ 99, not knowing that KSN Industries was a licensed manufacturer of the CZ 99 Compact. The Golan made a brief appearance in the US market, and was also exported to South America.

TZ 99[edit]

South African company, Tressitu, had also obtained manufacturing rights for the CZ 99 and after receiving the plans from Crvena Zastava they started the manufacture of their licensed copy, named TZ 99. Unfortunately Tressitu went out of business not long after manufacturing of the TZ 99 began, and stocks of completed TZ 99s were stored in a warehouse for several years. Some time in 2001, an American importer bought a certain quantity of that initial production run and marketed them for sale in the USA.

Pistols Based on the CZ 99 Series[edit]

BB 21[edit]

In 1993 after retiring from Zastava, Božidar Blagojević (main designer of the CZ 99) founded his own company, I.N.A.T. ( International New Arms Technologies). He immediately started work on a new gun, taking into consideration current market trends and requirements of the 1990s. There were details Božidar Blagojević wanted to change before CZ 99 went into production but was never able to do so due to the tight schedule allocated for its design and manufacture. The BB 21 was essentially a greatly refined CZ 99, its initial design was completed in April 1994. Although the design never entered serial production because of the legal issues and patent rights which belonged to Zastava factories while Mr. Božidar Blagojević was a chief of the development department but some of its features were later used on CZ 999 and subsequent Zastava pistols.

BB 22 & BB 23[edit]

Further development of the BB 21, which feature improvements upon the original design. All the pistols resemble each other externally, but one notable difference was the omission of ambidextrous slide catch/decocker controls. Only the magazine release was retained on both sides. An external safety was also featured on the BB 22. Trigger travel had been reduced in both single action and double action. Thickness of the slide, frame, and large shape of the CZ 99's grip, was reduced to accommodate shooters with smaller hands. The BB22 was offered in all the popular handgun calibers at the time: 9mm PARA, .40 Smith & Wesson, .45ACP and 10mm Auto. Božidar Blagojević had also redesigned the magazines for his new guns,using the spring adopted and found by US company Ram-Line in 80s, and increasing capacity by 3 rounds without any change in length.

CZ 99 IPSC[edit]

Project initiated by the Shooting Club of Kraljevo to be the first designated IPSC competition handgun from Serbia. The list of demands was made and the job of modifying the pistol was entrusted to NB I.N.A.T led by Božidar Blagojević and his assistants Željko Blagojević and Nebojša Kerkez. It featured a custom trigger, adjustable sights, oversized controls, optional compensator, and improved ergonomics.

Zastava TOP XX belonging to MUŠ shooting club. As of 2010 the pistol fired 130000+ rounds

Zastava TOP XX[edit]

was Zastava Arms venture to create a gun for IPSC competitors. lead designer of the project was Ivan Živkov armorer of the SAJ (Special Anti-Terrorist Unit). The TOP XX was base on CZ 999 design, It featured a bull barrel" in three lengths (108 mm, 125 mm and 134mm) a redesigned trigger, adjustable sights, accessory rail, completely redesigned controls with the addition of M1911 like manual safety, threaded barrel, and improved ergonomics with very fine checkering on slide, frame and pistol grips and oversized beaver tail.

In total 28 prototypes were completed in various size, barrel lengths, controls and calibers. Most prototypes had been given away to people involved in designing TOP XX. Two are in shooting clubs in Belgrade (one in "MUŠ" and one in "Partizan") and at least two are still at Zastava.

Zastava PPZ displayed during IWA Show 2012

-In December 2008, the TOP XX owned by the MUŠ shooting club in Belgrade had fired over 100,000 rounds of ammunition as recorded in the club's official log. An article in January '09 issue of "Kalibar" magazine reports that at the time of writing that TOP XX sample had some 102,000 rounds as recorded in club's official log. For that occasion it was disassembled and some key parts were measured and compared to factory specs revealing that each of them was well within the factory specs. Accuracy tests had revealed no drop in accuracy.The only recorded breakdown was that of the gun disassembly lever.

although TOP XX never went into production some of its features could be seen in the newer Zastava pistols

Zastava PPZ[edit]

The next generation of the CZ99 family of handguns, currently in the final stages of design, undergoing reliability testing as of April 2013. The Zastava PPZ will feature a polymer frame, interchangeable back strap, and an extended Mil-Std-1913 rail that will run the entire length of the slide. The gun will be redesigned from the ground up to shoot .45ACP, but a 9x19mm version is also expected, along with .40 S&W. There are also unconfirmed rumors that the pistol will additionally be chambered for an SCHV (small caliber high velocity) cartridge, specifically the 7.62×25mm Tokarev.

Magazine capacity is estimated to be 14 rounds in .45 ACP, 15 rounds in .40S&W, 18 rounds in 9mm, and 20 rounds in 7.62x25 Tokarev


  •  Iraq bought 18000 CZ 99 pistols in service with Iraqi Army. Out of the 18000 pistols, 3000 are specially engraved presentation pistols and 15000 are service pistols for the officers of the Iraqi Army.
  •  Israel KSN Industries produced CZ 99 Compact-G named "Golan"
  •  Jordan bought a number of CZ 99 Pistols in mid-2008[3]
  •  Serbia[4] CZ 99 is a standard issue sidearm of Serbian Military and a service pistol of Serbian police. CZ 999 is in service in specialized units of the Serbian Military and Police, such as the Special Brigade (Specijalna Brigada), the units of the Military Police (Vojna Policija), as well as the SAJ (Specijalna Antiteroristička Jedinica) - "Special Antiterrorist Unit".
  •  Macedonia Army of the Republic of Macedonia uses among others CZ 99 and 999 Scorpion
  •  Montenegro CZ 99 is a standard issue sidearm of Montenegrin Army and service pistol of Montenegrin police

See also[edit]



External links[edit]