Getting bluer and better
By Dennis Adler
The ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow is one of the few blowback action CO2 pistols that can be accessorized the same as its 9mm competition counterpart. Back in May, when I began showing the CZ Shadow Blue accessories for the SP-01 Shadow, they were limited to the alloy grips and mag funnel, which are now available through Pyramyd Air. These accessories make the CO2 model look more like the original 9mm Shadow competition version, Shadow 2, CZ 75 Tactical Sport and Czechmate models. There are, of course, other competition parts for the 9mm Shadow that can be added to the CO2 version, and this includes a matching blue alloy base pad for the self-contained CO2 BB magazines in place of the standard black base pad. (These are also offered in CZ Orange with matching grips as used on the CZ 75 Tactical). The alloy base pad doesn’t do anything for the handling of the gun; it is just an aesthetic alteration to give the CZ a better look. And competition guns can get pretty wild looking. The Shadow is actually quite tame compared to some.
Getting a blue grip
The standard black hard rubber grips are excellent and stay put in the hand, but the anodized aluminum grips not only add style to this airgun but function as well. They allow a clean wrap around the grip and the mag funnel provides added support for the hand. They have the same design; diamond checkering and grooved rear contour used on the centerfire competition models. The mag funnel is primarily designed to help speed up reloading by channeling the magazine into the magwell. The machined aluminum grips use a hex head aluminum screw to mount in place of the standard SP-01 Shadow grips. Positioned above the mag funnel, they line up with the original grip screw holes and have the same profile. Both the grip screws and set screws use a Chapman No. 5 hex head driver to tighten down.
Upping the Shadow’s accuracy
There is another ASG accessory for the Shadow that is also available in Shadow blue, Tactical Sport orange or red; it is a Picatinny mounted optics rail. The one minor issue with the Shadow has been the fixed rear sight. The guns also tend to shoot a little low, so adding optics allows fine tuning the Shadow’s POA accuracy.
If I had to compare the Shadow Blue CO2 model against any other competition-style blowback action air pistol on the market in terms of how it feels in the hand, balances, shoots, and reloads, it is very close to the Tanfoglio Gold Custom. Of course, the Gold Custom is designed for use with optics, so when you add the optional Shadow Blue optics rail and either a reflex sight or red dot scope, you have elevated the CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow to the level of the Tanfoglio Gold Custom. And this is really comparing apples to apples, since the Tanfoglio is another version of the CZ 75 platform.
I am trying out a new Styrka S3 Series red dot sight on the Shadow. Yes, this is a pretty expensive red dot (actually, this model is a green dot) which sells for around $270, but again, if you happen to shoot centerfire pistols equipped with optics rails, you have the opportunity to train with the same sight. I’ll also run the Shadow with the more affordable CenterPoint 32mm reflex sight ($36) I have been using on the Tanfoglio Gold Custom as the Walther MRS version. The design of the CenterPoint is virtually identical to the Walther. Bottom line, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good reflex sight for a CO2 pistol unless you have needs of a professional optic like the Styrka S3 Series.
In Part 5 we will sight in the Shadow with optics and find out not only how well the Shadow performs with optic sights, but how well it performs against the benchmark in blowback action CO2 models, the Tanfoglio Gold Custom.