ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow Blue part 5

ASG CZ SP-01 Shadow Blue Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

A battle of equals

By Dennis Adler

Railing against the establishment, or at least the number one optics rail competition CO2 pistol, the Tanfoglio Gold Custom, the fully outfitted Shadow Blue looks like a solid contender.

A battle among equals is the best comparison and no two blowback action CO2 pistols are better matched than the CZ75-based Tanfoglio Gold Custom and the fully equipped CZ75 SP-01 Shadow Blue. There is one obvious advantage to the Tanfoglio; it comes this way right out of the box. The disadvantage is that it has to stay this way! The Shadow begins as a traditional blowback action DA/SA semi-auto that embodies almost every desirable feature one could ask for in a CO2 pistol. What it lacks is a windage and elevation adjustable rear sight that would make it an ideal target pistol instead of a straightforward counterpart to a 9mm duty pistol. read more

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. read more

Compartmentalizing Airguns Part 1

Compartmentalizing Airguns Part 1

Best in class options

By Dennis Adler

When it comes to blowback action CO2 models with self-contained CO2 BB magazines, excellent triggers and combat sights, there are several choices including the first of the blowback action models, the Umarex Colt (Colt licensed) Commander which is a contemporary 1911A1 version, and the more modern Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS which updates the design to match current .45 Colt Rail Gun (CQBP) models with ambidextrous thumb safeties, forward slide serrations, and a long, integrated Picatinny rail for lights and laser sighting systems. These CO2 models offer superb handling and accuracy (at 21 feet) for around $110.

Not everyone has the ability to buy every airgun they want (and neither do I), so you have to make some informed decisions on what to buy. With so many excellent choices today, in just the single category of air pistols, how do you decide? Sure, I get to test them all, but I only keep certain ones, the rest go back, and I make those choices through a process I call Compartmentalizing Airguns. This is simply breaking down specific interests into categories, or compartments. I have four. Since this is my article I’m going to use my interests, and since you are reading this, it’s pretty likely we have shared interests. So, what makes one air pistol more desirable than another? And price isn’t always the answer; in fact, to do this right price has to be a secondary consideration. read more

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 3

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Velocity and Accuracy at 21 feet

By Dennis Adler

The ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow is a hand-filling 38 ounces with an overall length of 8.15 inches and a long sight radius of 6.5 inches for the airgun’s 4.5 inch steel barrel. Although a smoothbore, this is a superbly crafted barrel that delivers consistent accuracy at the optimum 21 foot range.

The SP-01 is a fairly hefty pistol, a full-sized 9x19mm design suitable for law enforcement (the CZ 75 is carried by police and military in various corners of the globe), as well as a personal defense handgun and a competition pistol; the CZ 75 is a many faceted semi-auto. The new ASG CO2 model, brings all of CZ’s best features into one blowback action CO2 model that can be fully upgraded with the aluminum grips and magwell (magazine funnel) shown, as well as a matching aluminum magazine base pad and dustcover rail-mounted optics bridge (which we will address in a later Airgun Experience article). In its basic form, the SP-01 Shadow borders on a being a .177 caliber CO2 target pistol equivalent to the Tanfoglio Limited Custom (currently not available) with the exception of an adjustable rear sight. That is where the optics bridge will come in at some point in a future article. As for today’s conclusion of the ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow update, here is how this second test gun has performed. read more

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 2

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Shadow Blue in the field

By Dennis Adler

The right combination of gun, holster and magazine pouch at the range (even if the range is in your own backyard) makes for a great airgun experience. Here the new ASG CZ 75 SP-01, equipped with the ASG CZ blue aluminum grips and flared magwell (magazine funnel), are matched up with an ASG Strike Systems holster and a Safariland adjustable magazine pouch. I chose this pouch because it can fit single or double stack magazine designs yet holds either type firmly in place until needed. This is a modestly priced outfit for target shooting and practice.

Can grips and a mag funnel make a gun better? Grips, absolutely, the mag funnel depends on the level of stress you’re experiencing during a reload. For target shooting that’s not much, in competition shooting it’s a lot, in a firefight you definitely need any advantage the gun can provide, even being able to funnel in a fresh magazine without hitting the edge of the magazine well.

For Part 2 of the SP-01 Shadow review I am going to run a full drawing, shooting, reloading drill and see how smoothly the Shadow Blue handles. Granted, the standard black SP-01 Shadow runs smoothly, so the advantages of the narrower aluminum grips and magazine funnel are going to be incremental, but different. The greater emphasis with custom grips and accessories is usually aesthetics with practical functions. For competitive shooting, the functions part really weighs more heavily. The upgraded CZ scores high in that category. read more

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 1

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Shadow Blue

By Dennis Adler

Introduced this year, the new ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow is based on the original CZ Shadow model and Shadow II, which was replaced in 2018 by the Shadow 2 Black & Blue version. The design of the CO2 pistol is virtually identical to the SP-01 and as shown uses the rubberized SP-01 grips, and has the larger ambidextrous thumb safeties and slide release of the SP-01 Shadow.

It is rare that I do a follow-up article on a gun that I have recently tested, but the new 2018 ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow left some interesting questions after its initial range test in March; one of which was that the test gun was continually shooting low at 21 feet, and the hold over was around 2 inches. This was not a terrible thing but it was uncharacteristic for the CZ 75 CO2 models. So, this is test gun number two, and the entire range test will be redone in this updated review of the ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow. There is, however, more to this one specific ASG CZ model than initially meets the eye. Not only is it exceptionally authentic to the centerfire Shadow (updated by the Česká zbrojovka Custom Shop for 2018 to the Shadow 2 Black & Blue), but the CO2 model from ASG can be modified with an accessory kit to look more like the original Shadow competition version, Shadow 2 and competition CZ 75 Tactical Sport models. How you may ask can this be done? Look down. read more

First Look: ASG’s new CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow Blowback Action Pistol

First Look: ASG’s new CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow Blowback Action Pistol

Stepping up the Česká zbrojovka game Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

CZ models one and all, from top the ASG CZ-75 standard model, center, the new ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow, and bottom, the CZ-75-based Tanfoglio Limited Custom. All three CO2 blowback action pistols share many parts and design elements in common.

Sometimes a plan comes together, and sometimes it doesn’t. This is the latter. Last week in my review of the new ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow I encountered a problem with the rear sight being too low to align the red fiber optic sight at POA for a 6 o’clock hold on the target. The Shadow was shooting low and left. After correcting my own POA by aiming high and right, I had fairly decent accuracy results.

The rear sights on both the ASG CZ-75 (top) and new SP-01 Shadow are dovetailed, but only the Shadow’s are removable.

One feature this new CZ has over the standard CZ-75 model is a true dovetailed combat-style rear sight which can be unscrewed and removed from the dovetail in the slide. In the accompanying photos I have done that and then proceeded to make a small paper shim from a piece of a National 10-Meter pistol target, which is a fairly think piece of paper. I cut the square to the size of the area under the rear sight and then punched a screw hole in it. I used a glue stick to make the paper shim stick to the underside of the sight directly under the screw hole and then reattached it to the slide. The thickness of the paper allowed me to leave the screw a little looser and the rear sight not cinched all the way down. This gave me the equivalent of about three clicks in elevation on an adjustable sight. And that is the most you can get. Any greater thickness of paper and there isn’t enough clearance at the back of the sight to get the dovetail back into the slide. Trust me, I tried. read more