Zinc composition variation and gross structural defects including grain and tilt boundaries, twins, and mechanical cracks in high pressure Bridgman Cd1−xZnxTe are characterized and correlated to various detector-related responses. Triple axis x-ray diffraction, double crystal x-ray topography, infrared microscopy, and etch pit density measurements are used to reveal and quantify the spatial distribution and the nature of the structural defects. Mechanical cracks in the material are found to act as conductive ‘shorting paths’, indicated by excessive leakage currents and reduced charge (electron) collection measured along these cracks. Reduced charge collection is also obtained across grain boundaries and in regions with poor crystallinity, indicating that they serve as carrier recombination sites. Finally, the effects of the zinc composition variation on the measured leakage current and the amount of electrons collected are found to be masked by gross structural defects. These characterization techniques provide a wealth of information which can be used not only to study the relationship between the structural and device properties of CdZnTe but also to screen production material for subsequent device fabrication.