CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 4

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 4

Looking into the fine details

By Dennis Adler

Small changes in a handgun’s design can make a world of difference especially with guns designed for competition shooting. That was the intent of CZ when they updated the SP-01 Shadow to the Shadow 2, which since 2018 has become a very popular competition pistol in the USPSA circuit Production division. When as many of those design changes as possible are incorporated into a CO2 version it not only becomes a higher end air pistol, it also becomes a training substitute for low-cost hand’s on practice. This brings us to some of the unexpected features of the Shadow 2 CO2 model beginning with the adjustable magazine release button. Most all of us who shoot centerfire guns are familiar with either ambidextrous magazine releases or reversible releases designed to accommodate left-handed shooters. But an angle adjustable magazine release is less common and unheard of for a blowback action CO2 air pistol. First, why have one? read more

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 3

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 3

A better pistol that honors the brand

By Dennis Adler

There have been times when a second or third version of an established design isn’t necessarily a better gun and there are several that come to mind. While there are differing opinions on this, I have always believed the original Walther P99 is a better design than all the subsequent versions. It is the same for the Walther PPS, though the PPQ design is more visually appealing. I could site other examples but the point here is that the CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 is a better gun than any of its predecessors. As a CO2 pistol this is also true because the first version was not a great shooter with its fixed combat sights. The Shadow 2, before you even touch the windage and elevation adjustments, is already a more accurate gun as a CO2 model. The grip is a better fit to the hand and the entire pistol feels more grasped when you wrap your hand around it. The even lower bore axis makes aiming even better and the airgun delivers a medium-loud report and robust recoil for a blowback action CO2 pistol. To this point in my evaluation it has been a better handing gun than the SP-01 Shadow right out of the box. read more

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 2

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 2

A unique design that translates well to a CO2 pistol

By Dennis Adler

Aside from Česká zbrojovka, the original Czechoslovakian manufacturer, the CZ-75 design has been duplicated by over 20 armsmakers worldwide, some with very familiar names. Regardless of whether it is called a Baby Desert Eagle II, a Jericho, or a Tanfoglio, they are all based on the Model CZ 75, including the European American Armory (EAA) Witness series, seven different models from TriStar Arms, nine from Eagle Imports, the Turkish-built Canik TP 9V2 and the handcrafted Swiss-built Sphinx SDP series. They all begin with the basics of the Česká zbrojovka (chess-ka za-brav-ka, design. Today the initials CZ are sufficient, just like Sig, which is the acronym for Shweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft. read more

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 1

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 1

A welcome surprise from ASG

By Dennis Adler

For CZ fans, of which I am one, Christmas has come early with the SP-01 Shadow 2 and its availability next month. This is the next step up from the SP-01 Shadow and customized Shadow Blue (which is still a somewhat difficult gun to put together since parts to configure it in Blue, Red, or Orange, come from different retailers). The Shadow 2 comes with blue aluminum (Duralumin) grips, but it’s more than the grips, the Shadow 2, introduced by CZ as a centerfire pistol in 2018, is quite different from the SP-01 Shadow series introduced about 10 years ago as well as the ASG SP-01 Shadow CO2 model we first tested in early 2018. read more

Chiappa Rhino Postscript

Chiappa Rhino Postscript

Living with a heavy trigger pull

By Dennis Adler

Here’s an interesting set of facts; the double action trigger pull on a Walther PPK is 13.4 pounds, an S&W Model 29 is 12 pounds average, 13 pounds for a Beretta M9, a Heckler & Koch USP averages 10 pounds. So, a long, heavy double action trigger pull is not unusual for DAO and DA/SA semi-autos or revolvers. In fact, a long, heavy, double action trigger pull was intended as a safety measure, Webley made this so from the start with its double action/single action military revolvers like the MK VI. The wisdom of a very heavy double action trigger, like most things pertaining to handguns, is debatable and particularly so in law enforcement where some departments and agencies require DAO or heavier than standard DA/SA triggers for duty guns. An 11 pound, 11 ounce double action trigger pull, like the Chiappa Rhino, is about average. In fact, compared to Walther PPK and PPK/S models, the Rhino is on the light end for a double action. What becomes an issue is when the single action trigger pull is also 11 pounds, 11 ounces, which is contrary to the logic of a single action trigger, a PPK for example, which can have a double action trigger pull as heavy as 16 pounds, is a genteel 5 pounds, 4.5 ounces single action. But for the sake of the CO2 Chiappa Rhino and its unusual DA/SA system with an internal hammer (based on the centerfire gun, not just the air pistol version), the question arises, “Can accurately shooting the Rhino in single action be achieved over time?” The answer is yes, just as one learns to shoot any DAO or DA/SA pistol double action, heavy trigger pull and all. read more

Chiappa Rhino Part 4

Chiappa Rhino Part 4

Trigger points

By Dennis Adler

As a cloud of despair settles around the triggerguard of the Rhino I am reminded of so many revolvers and DAO semi-autos that have heavy trigger pulls. Yes, but the Rhino is a DA/SA not a DAO, yet it has no actual hammer to cock, just a cocking lever that looks like a hammer, and when used depresses an internal lever that manually presets the internal hammer and rotates the cylinder to the next round, the same action as the first stage of firing the Rhino double action. Having said that, the tension on the CO2 model’s trigger seems to be accentuated rather than relieved from that of firing double action, the reverse of what is supposed to happen, and does happen with the centerfire Chiappa. Is this a deal breaker? Could be for some but look back at earlier tests with revolvers that shot better double action than single action; the first that comes to mind is the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8, which has a decent SA trigger pull but runs much smoother when fired double action. Why? Because the pull through of the trigger stages the hammer as the cylinder rotates into battery. Staging the hammer is an asset on revolvers (mixed opinions on this but I find more in agreement with staging the hammer when you have a moment to pause before firing). I have even demonstrated practicing with staging the hammer on revolvers in past Airgun Experience articles, and have done the same in handgun articles for magazines. Of course, you had the option to cock the hammer and lessen the trigger pull travel and resistance on those guns. With the Rhino, cocking the internal hammer only lessens the trigger pull travel but not the resistance. read more

Chiappa Rhino Part 3

Chiappa Rhino Part 3

Air Rhino

By Dennis Adler

The Chiappa Rhino has two promises, one that it is the most unusual CO2 air pistol to come along, and two that it has already been approved by Chiappa for use with BBs and pellets (by changing to pellet cartridges). As I noted in Part 2, Chiappa also wisely built the CO2 models to use existing pellet loading cartridges readily available from ASG that are used in the Dan Wesson Model 715 pellet models. Same for the DW speed loader. The fact is there’s nothing left to ask of Chiappa except some different barrel lengths. The gun is done right from the get go with one little exception. read more