ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow Blue part 4

ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow Blue part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Getting bluer and better

By Dennis Adler

It is easy to see the difference in the design of the CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow’s black hard rubber grips and the contour of the Shadow Blue alloy grips and mag funnel combination. The alloy panels allow a tighter wrap around the grip frame and let the pistol set further into the palmswell. The flair of the mag funnel also gives the base of the hand more support.

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.

Here you can see how the vertical grooves at the rear of the alloy grips curve in toward the backstrap as opposed to the broader curve of the checkered black hard rubber grips CZ Shadow grips.

Getting a blue grip

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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.

The ASG grip and mag funnel kit is around $80 and very quick to install on the SP-01 Shadow using the two hex head locking screws for the funnel, which slides over the base of the magazine well, and two hex head aluminum screws to mount the grip panels. They come in blue, orange and red. The Shadow Blue set is now available through Pyramyd Air.
In this picture you can see the bottom edge of the black magazine base pad under the lip of the mag funnel. You can improve the look of the Shadow Blue by switching the standard black base pad for the blue alloy base pad sold by Stampede Airsoft…
…this is a simple replacement since the base pad needs to be removed every time you insert or remove a CO2 cartridge from the magazine. Shadow CO2 BB magazines differ from the CZ 75 standard magazine in having two locking pin holes in the base pad. The depth of the CZ 75 base pad (not the magazine itself) is different and regular CZ 75 mags will not fit the Shadow Blue. Changing to the Shadow Blue base pad makes a CZ 75 magazine suitable for use in the Shadow with alloy grips and mag funnel. The alloy base pads cost $22.25 from Stampede Airsoft.
There is an undeniable improvement in the looks of the competition setup for the Shadow when you add the blue base pad to the Shadow blue grips and mag funnel.

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.

The Shadow is a very accurate air pistol but to be really competitive with its competition-bred cousin, the Tanfoglio Gold Custom, the Shadow Blue needs an optics rail. ASG makes one for the air pistol which is currently available through Stampede Airsoft for $36.95. The blue anodized aluminum rail mounts to the Shadow’s Picatinny rail with two hex head screws and locking nuts that tighten using a Chapman No. 6 hex head driver.

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.

Now we’re talking competition pistol. The fully equipped Shadow Blue will support any type of optics from reflex sights to this high end Styrka S3 Series scope.

Adding optics

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.

This Styrka S3 model is available with either a 5 MOA red or green dot and has six brightness setting that allow the dot to be set to surrounding light conditions. The Shadow Blue optics rail is designed to allow co-witnessing with the gun’s rear sight and red fiber optic front.

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.

Now we have a serious competitor to the Tanfoglio Gold Custom, the King of the blowback action CO2 competition pistols. It is going to come down to trigger pull, handling and individual features. They are both CZ 75 based pistols; as equal a comparison as there will ever be.

3 thoughts on “ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow Blue part 4”

  1. When you first reviewed the ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow and reported how low it shot, I thought I wouldn’t want this pistol. Now that you’ve added the optics rail and the magazine base pad, this pistol is more tempting even if only to use it as a display pistol.

    I think you said Pyramyd Air currently only has the blue grips. Do you know if they will be getting the red and orange grips, magazine base pads, and rails?

  2. My pistol doesn’t shoot low but for the life of me I can’t get very good groups with it no matter how hard I try. Not a big deal, I mostly just use it to shoot cans. I am hoping you will get the new P320 to review soon.

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