Tanfoglio Limited Custom Part 1

Tanfoglio Limited Custom .177 caliber semi-auto

What it takes to make a winner Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Like the .177 caliber Tanfoglio Gold Custom, the Limited Custom with open sights is ideally suited for competition practice from the same holsters used is IPSC and Bianchi Cup Open Class. The Tanfoglio airgun is shown with a Safariland 014 alloy pistol platform, 032 ELS competition belt and magazine pouches.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom with open sights is ideally suited for competition practice with the same holsters used in IPSC and the Bianchi Cup Open Class. The Tanfoglio airgun is shown with a Safariland 014 alloy pistol platform, 032 ELS competition belt and magazine pouches.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom competition pistol is an Italian version of the CZ-75. The 9mm cartridge-firing versions of the .177 caliber Limited Custom and Gold Custom competition CO2 pistols are also based entirely on the CZ-75 using a short-recoil operated, locked breech design. The CZ-75 is a well established design used by armsmakers the world over, and though the names may be different, what is behind the name remains a CZ-75. Česká Zbrojovka developed the platform in 1976 and improved upon it with the addition of a firing pin block in the late 1980s, (CZ-75B), and the addition of a de-cocking lever (CZ-75 BD). While CZ-75 duty pistols are DA/SA, the competition versions are SAO designs (as are the CO2 models), but still share the ambidextrous safety, triggerguard design, and unique Česká Zbrojovka slide to frame fit.

The .177 caliber Tanfoglio has all of the features used on the 9mm competition model, approximately the same weight and balance and competition style SAO trigger design. Note the depth of the slide which runs inside the frame rails rather than outside like a Colt 1911.

The .177 caliber Tanfoglio has all of the features used on the 9mm competition model, approximately the same weight and balance and competition style SAO trigger design. Note the depth of the slide which runs inside the frame rails rather than outside like a Colt 1911.

All CZ-75 designs, including those by other manufacturers like Tanfoglio, use the same shallow slide configuration with rails that ride inside, rather than outside of the frame. It is the reverse of most other semi-auto pistol designs where the slide rails fit over the frame. The CZ design allows an uncommonly tight slide-to-frame fit, solid barrel lock-up and more consistent accuracy and this translates to the CO2 models, as well. This design was pioneered by Sig back in 1947 with the groundbreaking P210, still regarded to this day as one of the most accurate semiautomatic handguns ever produced.

The Bomar-style rear sight used on the Tanfoglio Limited Custom provides click adjustable settings for elevation and windage ad can be fine-tuned for competitive shooting practice.

The Bomar-style rear sight used on the Tanfoglio Limited Custom provides click adjustable settings for elevation and windage and can be fine-tuned for competitive shooting practice.

The CZ design and 41 years of production have resulted in a handgun that has become not only one of the most prolific military and law enforcement sidearms (outside of the U.S.) but also one of the finest competition pistols in the world, and that is where the .177 caliber Tanfoglio Limited Custom begins. Like the 9mm Tanfoglio competition model, the CO2 version has a special dark silver finish (more of an anthracite grey on the airgun), the same over-sized squared triggerguard, fine checkered backstrap and front grip strap, and competition pistol-based Tanfoglio Xtreme aluminum grips, Xtreme Hammer, Xtreme style SAO trigger, flared and beveled magazine well, over-sized checkered magazine release, and ambidextrous thumb rest safeties. This is a handgun built to compete right out of the box.

The CO2 Version

The airgun comes in at almost the same overall dimensions and weight as the 9mm model with an overall length of 8.43 inches vs. 9.0 inches, and weight (with empty magazine) of 43.1 ounces, one ounce lighter than the 9mm.

The airgun comes in at almost the same overall dimensions and weight as the 9mm model with an overall length of 8.43 inches vs. 9.0 inches, and weight (with empty magazine) of 43.1 ounces, one ounce lighter than the 9mm.

Like the Tanfoglio Gold Custom reviewed in Airgun Experience No. 7 and No. 8, the Limited Custom is true in its design to the 9mm models.The key features that make the Tanfoglio Limited Custom CO2 model one of the best blowback action air pistols available are all accurate to the 9mm model, including an easily, click adjusted rear sight with elevation and windage screws. The Bomar-style sight is one of the best target designs available. The air pistol also has large ambidextrous thumb safeties, extended beavertail grip, deeply checkered back and front straps, wide, beveled magazine well, and a skeletonized hammer with knurled spur. The airgun also uses a full length guide rod and coned muzzle profile barrel (with the .177 caliber barrel recessed inside). The 9mm model has a 5-inch barrel, while the internal .177 caliber barrel on the CO2 model measures 4.0 inches.

The CO2 model uses a full length guide rod and has an external bull barrel with flared muzzle.

The Tanfoglio CO2 model uses a full length guide rod and external barrel has the same coned muzzle profile as the 9mm model.

Like its 9mm counterpart the Tanfoglio Limited Custom is ready to shoot at a competitive level right out of the box. For a blowback action CO2 model, it is an exceptional handgun. Just how exceptional will be explored in Part 2.

With the beveled and flared magazine well and grip design the .177 caliber Tanfoglio is a hand filling pistol with an overall height of 5.75 inches.

With the beveled and flared magazine well and grip design the .177 caliber Tanfoglio is a hand filling pistol with an overall height of 5.75 inches.

 A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

3 thoughts on “Tanfoglio Limited Custom Part 1

  1. Pretty nice pistol for the price, especially if you use the actual firearm in competition. The only CZ pistol I own is a CZ83 380 acp ,which would be a nice pistol to see in a blowback air pistol. Excellent trigger, fully ambidextrous except slide release, and although large for a 380, it gives you a compact pistol that doesn’t over penetrate especially if you ccw in an office where you want to be discreet , and not pose a risk to others if you need to use it. with proper ammo it will work. The larger series CZ 9mm are excellent pistols, and if I did not live in a mag capacity restricted state , would probably own one. A 10 shot 9mm in a large pistol doesn’t justify itself. Nice sights and controls on this one , but could live without oversized flared mag well.


  2. I have tested many competition pistols over the years, though I do not compete, and the flared mag well offers two advantages, a solid base pressed into the bottom of your palm for stability, and the wide mag well opening is an asset when quickly getting a fresh magazine into the gun on the clock. Not everyone like this design, but for a pure competition pistol, I find it beneficial. KWC does a superb job of duplicating this Tanfoglio feature in the Limited Custom CO2 model.


  3. I don’t compete with these type of pistols , but since the basic pistol has some nice features a replica blowback of the CZ 75 Compact with blowback ,co2 mag ambi safety and these sights,would be a nice understudy for those carrying a compact 9mm CZ


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