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Zastava CZ 05 and Zastava EZ

One of the most annoying things for those trying to keep track of Zastava Arms products is the company's naming conventions - or lack thereof. It is not at all uncommon for Zastava to rename the model of a firearm already in mass production, or to refer to the same model with two different names, or even to refer to two different firearm models by the same name. The fourth generation of the CZ 99 family had sufferred that fate.

Announced in April 2007 as CZ 05, the "fourth generation" of the CZ 99 family was slated for mass production as CZ 05. Zastava Arms web site had also been updated to feature the CZ 05 and showcase its features. The CZ 05 was to be marketed in the United States as Zastava EZ. The domestic release of CZ 05 was planned for late 2007. One and the same gun with two different names for two different markets.

The release of the Zastava EZ in the US went as planned. By mid-2007 it was on the market. The release of CZ 05 in Serbia never took place. The CZ 05 had been featured at Partner 2007 Military Expo in July of 2007, and at several international gun shows over the next two years. The 2007 turned into 2008, then 2009 came and went and there was still no CZ 05 on the market in Serbia.

In January 2010, two and a half years after the Zastava EZ release in the United States, and two years after the planned release of CZ 05 in Serbia, the Zastava's redesigned web site appeared without the CZ 05 section. Added to the site was the Zastava EZ section featuring the same old CZ 05, but this time marked as Zastava EZ.

The Zastava CZ 05 model name got changed to Zastava EZ, most likely to reflect the success of this firearm on the US market and the fact is that has never been a mass produced Zastava marked as CZ 05.

Following Zastava's lead, this site's CZ 05 section was also renamed to Zastava EZ in February 2010.


During the development stage there were at least three different CZ 05 prototypes, with different combination of features and slight design variations. As this design change had been completely driven by the foreign demand it was up to Zastava's partner in the United States to select the configuration they wished to carry in their product line in the USA. That name ended up being Zastava EZ, while the Zastava was going to offer this same model to Serbian and other foreign markets as Zastava CZ 05.

Zastava EZ9 custom hard chromed, with
custom wood grips from my personal collection

Design of Zastava EZ was based on the CZ 999 Scorpion, but with a MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail (a.k.a. Picatinny rail) and a different hammer. Instead of a long spurred hammer, the EZ hammer is round, hollow, 7mm wide and checkered at the point where a shooter's thumb would connect to it - just like the one found on the TOP XX prototypes.

Slide of the gun is machined out of one solid block of steel. Frame is also machined from a solid block of the aerospace aluminum alloy. Barrel is chrome lined, polished and 108mm long. This model is 198mm long, 140mm high and uses the same magazines as the previous generations. Weight of the gun is 950 grams (9mm) and 940 grams (.40 S&W).

Action remained the same SA/DA as in CZ 99 and CZ 999, CZ 999 Scorpion series.

Deliveries of the Zastava EZ to the US to began in mid-2007 with two models: Zastava EZ9 (9mm Para) and Zastava EZ40 (.40 S&W), both in full size.

The Zastava EZ is a proofed firearm. The proofing is done by the "Zavod za Ispitivanje i Zigosanje Oruzja i Municije" (Proof House for Testing and Stamping of Arms and Ammunition) and the proofmarks are stamped on the barrel, frame (right side of the trigger guard) and the slide (stamped on the pickup rail). Proofing is a test done by firing an intentionally overpressurized round in order to verify that the firearm is not defective. In Zastava EZ9 this is done by firing a 9mm round overperssurized to approximately 49,000psi.

EZ Compact

Following in the footsteps of CZ 99 Compact-G and CZ 999 Compact, Zastava introduced the compact line of the EZ series: EZ Compact. It features the same frame as the full-size EZ and the 10mm shorter slide and barrel.

The length reduction was done all up front, the rear of the gun remaining unchanged. Not even the beaver tail was re-worked to further reduce length. Minor aesthetic differences are apparent on the slide. Top of the slide behind the breech block has been flattened and rounded at the edge, while the top front of the slide has also been flattened, removing the irregular angled surface of the full size EZ model. As breech block of the barrel is unchanged, this flattening of the top of the slide make the barrel breech block stick slightly up and above the slide by a fraction of the millimeter.

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 EZ pistol. That makes the pistol 188mm long and the barrel 98mm long (3.9"). The frame size remained unchanged. The length decrease reduced weight down to 900gr (9mm) and 890gr (.40S&W) respectively.

As the frame is unchanged compared to the full size EZ, the EZ Compact is closer to what some manufacturers in this industry call a "Carry" model - same frame, shorter slide.

EZ Compact is offered in 9mm Para and .40S&W calibers.

EZ Compact Ported

The Compact Ported is a 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.

EZ Compact Ported is offered in 9mm Para and .40S&W calibers.

Zastava EZ9 Compact Ported

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