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

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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.

The combat-style rear sight on the Shadow uses the same sized dovetail channel in the slide as the actual 9mm pistols. The hex head screw is used to tighten and lock the sight in place.
The hex head screw for the rear sight is the same size as the small wrench that comes with the airgun, but is also equivalent to a Chapman gunsmith’s tool kit (hex head set) No. 40, shown in the screwdriver handle. This will cleanly unscrew and remove the set screw from the rear sight. The ASG tool is a bit thin and can strip if over used. The No. 40 Chapman hex head is stronger and a better option if you have it.

As you will see in the photos the paper was easy to mount on the underside of the sight and I took a moment to color it black with a marker so it wouldn’t stand out. What I achieved was a slight increase in elevation that split the difference. I still had to hold high but not more than an inch. As for the tendency for this gun to shoot left, that did not change as the screw centers the sight. Overall, this is a minor issue with guns that have fixed sights. The accuracy at 21 feet, however, did not improve and this particular example is not as accurate as the standard CZ-75 I shot it against. I also ran the Shadow against the Tanfoglio Limited Custom (agreed that’s a ringer, so I didn’t expect the Shadow to come close). Still, it should have done at least as well as the standard CZ-75.

Once unscrewed the rear sight can be pushed out of the dovetail channel. Here I have fitted the underside of the sight with a piece of thick paper cut from a National 10-Meter pistol target, I have punched a hole for the screw to pass through, and lightly glued it to the sight. It can then be pressed back into the dovetail. This will add a little lift to the rear sight to help overcome the pistol’s tendency to shoot low with the red fiber optic front sight.
Before I reattached the sight I used a black marker to color the paper so it would not show from the underside of the sight.

I am going to follow up later this month with another CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow and see if it was an anomaly with this first test gun. It happens, even with centerfire models. So, here’s a quick fix if you want to try it, should you find yourself with a similar rear sight design and in need of a “lift” to improve POA. It’s easy to do and every little improvement helps.

The fix is simple and completely unseen. It does not make a full correction, but helps reduce the Shadow’s (at least “this” Shadow’s) tendency to shoot below POA with the tall red fiber optic front sight. Since the dovetail is the correct size for a CZ, the rear sight could be replaced with any of a number of CZ-75 SP-01 rear sights available from the CZ Custom Shop. They are a bit pricey for an air pistol but if you want better accuracy that’s the best way to go.

The bottom line is that the new Shadow is a very nice tactical-style pistol, it will keep all your shots in the center of the target, and it runs smoothly with a great single action trigger pull. And if the next test gun I get groups better and holds POA, you’ll be the first ones to know!

To round out this week, we’ll be looking at my two favorite CO2 blowback action pistol and holster combinations for authenticity and shooting.

4 thoughts on “First Look: ASG’s new CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow Blowback Action Pistol”

  1. I’m liking this pistol except for the low and left point of impact. Not surprising for a pistol with fixed sights. I hope the next one shoots better. The CZ Custom Shop has a listing for a fully adjustable rear sight. I’d be willing to pay a little more for this pistol if it came equipped with the fully adjustable rear sight. Although I could buy the adjustable rear sight separately, CZ doesn’t guarantee it will fit and suggests having a gunsmith attach it to the pistol.

  2. Is there an expected availability for this pistol? I’m hoping your problem with the rear sight is an exception, I am keen on adding this to my collection at some point.

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