I had a couple of 12-gauge doubles I wasn’t interested in anymore and stopped by Pinto’s to see what they’d give me for them and… well, Pinto’s. I spotted something in the case, then Linda looked at it and thought it was adorable and that’s all she wrote.
In the first half of the 20th C. the .25 ACP cartridge was very popular for tiny semi-auto pistols for self-defense. Designed by John Browning as a center-fire, more reliable cartridge than .22 Rimfire for pocket autos the .25 ACP is now largely obsolete. It was always frankly pretty marginal as a defensive cartridge, but the guns were so small and convenient people seemed to think the trade-off was worth it.
Frantisek Dusek was a Czech gunmaker and importer. Initially he imported Spanish pistols, mainly copies of the Colt 1908 Vest Pocket like the Ydeal. In 1938 he began production of his own pistol, the Duo. This was a near-copy of the Colt, but lacked that pistol’s grip safety.
When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 Dusek refused to cooperate with them, and the Germans took over management of the factory. The small pistol was popular with Nazi officers (though they had to purchase them for themselves) and to select civilians under their rule. The pistols could be purchased with a leather flap holster that held the pistol and a spare magazine for wearing on a uniform belt. By the end of the war the factory had produced 110,000 of these guns.
After the war production continued, and in 1948 the factory was nationalized. At that point these became CZ Duos. All told these pistols were made for around 50 years before being discontinued.
The pistol is a single-action striker-fired blowback pistol. It has a six-shot magazine and a manual thumb-safety that is also used to disassemble the gun. The hard-rubber grips have a basket-weave pattern and a molded medallion with the word Duo in the center.
To disassemble the pistol you remove the magazine, set the safety, rotating it 180 degrees to the rear, then you withdraw the slide until safety clicks up into a recess and locks the slide about 1/2 from being in battery. You can then rotate the barrel 90 degrees to the side, release the safety and move the slide forward off the pistol. Care should be taken to insure the springs for the striker and main recoil spring don’t depart for places unknown.
Last evening I popped out in the shop and loaded some ammo for it. I used a 55gr. LFP bullet over 1.1gr. of Red Dot with a Federal small pistol primer. This afternoon I set out for the range to have a go.
Shooting the Duo
First impression is that this is a very well made little pistol; it gives up nothing in quality to the Colt and FN pistols it was copied from. The magazine has witness holes and is pretty easy to load. The sight, if it can be dignified with that term, is a simple groove running down the top of the slide to the muzzle so aimed fire isn’t really this gun’s forte.
This gun was designed to be used at an arms-length, so to start I ran a target out to 3 yards. I loaded the gun and blazed away one-handed, as fast as I could pull the trigger without aiming.
Accuracy was, um… OK, it was non-existent. Sure, you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end, but yeah, it works about as well as you’d expect. Next I tried aiming using the groove and that went rather better.
Even though it’s not really intended for it I ran a target out to seven yards and fired one shot per second, again trying to aim.
It’s not going to win any bullseye matches, but it’s seriously not too bad. If it had proper sights I suspect it would be pretty accurate. Recoil was basically non-existent, as you might guess, and the trigger pull isn’t bad at all. Even though I have large, meaty hands the gun did not pinch or bite anywhere. It’s really very pleasant to fire. Over the course of fifty rounds there was not so much as a bobble; the gun seems quite reliable.
This is a nice little gun. It’s cute, it’s fun and I am very happy we got it. No, it ain’t gonna drop a bull elephant (or even a really big squirrel) in it’s tracks but I like it.
Stay safe and take care.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 19 December 2021
If you like what you see here please consider clicking the link above and supporting me on Patreon.