ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG SP-01-pistol

ASG’s CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol is large and heavy. The guns they are shipping have red fiberoptic sights in front, like those found on the firearm.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Function alike
  • To be honest…
  • How to test
  • The test
  • Accuracy Daisy BBs
  • Accuracy ASG Blasters
  • Accuracy Dust Devils
  • What now?
  • Discussion
  • More to come

Today is accuracy day for the ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol, and there is more besides. As you know, I am very excited about this air pistol because of its realism. The shooting population thinks that all lookalike air pistols are good substitutes for the firearms they copy, but I have had reservations about that for years. Lookalike pistols have been with us a long time, but pistols that function alike are relatively recent. I think this BB pistol is one of them.

Function alike

Here’s why I think that. When ASG sent me the pistol to test, they sent a tactical holster with it. This isn’t a holster made for a BB pistol — it’s the real deal — a genuine tactical holster for a CZ75 SP-01 and SP-01 Shadow. I was so impressed that I bought a 9mm CZ75 SP-01 firearm to compare to the BB pistol and that opened a whole can of worms.

ASG SP-01 and firearm

Which is which? The top one is an SP-01 Shadow BB pistol, while the bottom one is a 9mm SP-01 firearm.

<ASG SP-01 in holster

The BB pistol holsters just like the firearm.

To be honest…

To be completely honest I initially tried to cheap out on the firearm, by buying a CZ75 clone (a Bul Cherokee) made in Israel. It has a synthetic frame and does not look, feel or function like a genuine CZ75. I was like the airgunner who buys a Chinese mega-magnum breakbarrel and expects it to shoot like a Diana 34P. The good news is I got a heck of a bargain and stand to make some money on that deal.

So, then I broke down and bought the real CZ75 SP-01, but not the Shadow variation. The Shadow variation has custom fitted parts, particularly in the trigger, and costs twice what an SP-01 costs. Since the BB pistol I’m testing has not been through the CZ custom shop either, I felt I could get away with the cheaper firearm. Personally I wanted to just buy a plain-Jane CZ75, which is the gun most people rave about, but since the SP-01 has the light rail under the frame, I thought I’d at least better get that.

How to test

How do you test a BB gun against its firearm equivalent? Oh, Johnny Sofaspud has it all worked out in his mind. Just scale the targets down and start shooting. Maybe he’s right — I don’t know. But I plan to find out, and I want you guys to come along and watch. Today would normally be the final report on this airgun, but think of it more like the beginning. Let’s look at some accuracy.

The test

I shot the pistol at 5 meters (16.4 feet) off a UTG Monopod rest. The gun had a fresh CO2 cartridge, and I want to talk about that for a moment. The CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow has a removable magazine that accepts the CO2 cartridge. To access it you first remove the plastic floorplate from the bottom of the mag. That exposes a large screw cap that has a wide slot to accept an American quarter or a Euro coin. The problem is, the cap is recessed deep in the mag and when you get to it the coin can hang up on the sides of the access hole. I tried installing two CO2 cartridges, only to have them slowly leak off. Finally I used a large screwdriver that gave me something hold onto, and I got the cap sealed on the third cartridge.

ASG SP-01 CO2 cap
The cap is recessed so deep in the magazine that the quarter coin doesn’t fit well in the slot.

Accuracy Daisy BBs

First to be tested were Daisy Premium Grade BB. I use them as a sort of baseline for premium BB performance. Ten of them went into 3.79-inches at 5 meters, which shocked me. I was expecting an inch or so. The only good thing about this group is it is centered on the bullseye pretty well. I used a 6-o’clock hold, so the gun shoots where it is aimed.

ASG SP-01 Daisy group
Ten Daisy BBs are in a group that measures 3.79-inches between centers.

I would like to report that the trigger on this BB pistol is delightful. It’s light and reasonably crisp. It’s just what you need when shooting targets.

Accuracy ASG Blasters

Next up were the ASG Blaster BBs. ASG imports the gun so I figured I should try their BB. Would you believe the group was the same size as the previous group of Daisy BBs? Granted it’s difficult to measure BB holes with a caliper, but as close as I can tell, both groups are the same size. These BBs just seemed to spread out less to the side, but they were just as tall in their height.

ASG SP-01 Blaster group
Ten ASG Blaster BBs are in a group that also measures 3.79-inches between centers. The group is not as wide as the previous one but just as tall.

Accuracy Dust Devils

Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs are the ones I was most interested in. This is an action pistol and it would be nice if the safest BB with hard targets was also the most accurate. Alas, it was not to be. Ten Dust Devils grouped in 4.018-inches at 5 meters. It was the largest group of the test.

ASG SP-01 Dust Devil group
Ten Dust Devil BBs are in a group measuring 4.018-inches between centers. The one shot to the extreme right made this group as big as it is.

What now?

I had planned to test three BBs today, but I felt I couldn’t walk away from results like these. I had to try one more BB that usually produces results — the Hornady Black Diamond. Ten of them went into 2.595-inches at 5 meters. That was the smallest group of the session by a large margin.

ASG SP-01 Black Diamond group
Ten Hornady Black Diamond BBs gave me the smallest group that measures 2.595-inches between centers at 5 meters.

Discussion

There is bad news and good news from today’s test. The bad news is the CZ75 SP-01 pistol I’m testing is not a target arm by any stretch. The good news is it shoots to the point of aim with every BB I tested. It is certainly minute-of-silhouette accurate, provided I stand close enough and the target is large enough. That sort of dictates what I need to do with the target.

More to come

This report was delayed because I wanted to shoot the firearm and cover it today, as well. I just didn’t get the time at the range for that, so that will have to come in a future report. I am told by every CZ75 owner I know that the 9mm pistol is remarkably accurate, so we shall see.

57 thoughts on “ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 3

  1. B.B., it’s a great looking gun; it may still work well for practice with an action pistol, but it would have been nice if some BBs had turned in at least a 2″ group at that range (even my Daisy Buck can do that. Is there any chance that the Gamo or H&N round balls might do better?



      • B.B.,
        I can totally understand that; the Daisy Buck is something I picked up on a lark because I had one when I was younger; it shoots groups that are a bit smaller with Avanti precision shot, but I’m not going to use that in a $15 gun that I use for plinking bottle caps at 10 feet. =D
        take care & God bless,
        dave


      • Tom, on a side subject, about what year did Crosman discontinue the “bottlecap” co2 cartridges?

        I just bought a S&W 78g with serial number 12,380, that still had one of the bottlecap cartridges in the gun.

        After putting a new cartridge in I was surprised that it is holding gas. 12 hours and counting on the gas pressure.

        Ian.


  2. B.B.,

    Interesting the direction you are taking this. Looking forwards to the firearm report.

    With the manufacturers making these replica pistols more and more realistic with regards to looks and function,.. maybe the next logical step is for one of them to step up to the plate and make one with a precision barrel and shoot specific bb’s,… like what the 499 does?

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris


    • Chris
      With you here. It would get my interest.

      “maybe the next logical step is for one of them to step up to the plate and make one with a precision barrel and shoot specific bb’s,… like what the 499 does?”


      • Chris and GF1,

        I’m with you, but the trick would be feeding that ultra precise (and, presumably, tight) barrel without jams. Jam is good on toast but terrible in an airgun.

        Michael



        • Michael
          And too bad we can’t have our cake and eat it too. 😉

          But maybe if a person wants to use these replica guns as training guns. BB’s is not the way to go. It’s seeming more and more like a belt type magazine that shoots pellets would be the more logical choice as a replica trainer.

          BB’s just are not panning up to give the accuracy needed at the little farther distances for the type of shooting that is going to happen when training. Wish I could say different. But it’s looking that way to me. With this particular gun anyway.


      • GF1,

        It does seem like the next logical step. In my opinion, some of these replicas are (pretty) costly,.. to perform no better than what they do.

        In my opinion, there seems to be a hot trend to replicas, reality and function which seems to be at the fore front in driving sales. All good,… and bad. As long as sales are up, why bother with a good barrel? Or accuracy? Why not recommend a specific ammo./bb? As with any trend, price gouging occurs. I think that plays in as well.

        They can do better,… and cost less. Then again,.. I have been wrong before.

        Maybe an accuracy uprising?,…. or lack there of,.. uprising?




        • Chris,

          Rested I would certainly look for/expect 1″ goups at 25′ from a practice bb (simunition) pistol. That is what BB was expecting too. Once you start doing practical shooting with it you should see (try for) 4-5′ groups as long as you remember: to use the front sight, slow down, try to control the DYNAMICS of the situation, seek concealment, better still find cover (partial is better than nothing) shoot and move, shoot and move to tactical advantage if possible. Since most engagements occur at night you need to work that light too! The shooting range I am a member of has a two story configurable Shoot House and lots of current and former Operators are in it all the time. If you ever have an opportunity it is something anyone who believes they are prepared for home defense or a Concealed Carry Permit holder should do at least once…and probably once per quarter after you realize how unprepared or rusty we all can get!

          I hope BB can find a system that is up to standard for his training group.

          shootski



  3. B.B.,

    Aside from cost is there any other reason why you didn’t try the copper plated Smart Shot lead BBs? I think Chris USA and Cobalt 327, if I recall correctly, also experimented with lubing BBs by applying a thin film of oil prior to loading for purposes of accuracy and speed. You might want to give it a try to improve the accuracy performance of this pistol.

    Siraniko


  4. BB,

    Unless I’m mistaken, that magazine cap looks like it would take an Allen wrench, as well. Might be more compact to keep with the gun than a screwdriver. I’m guessing it would be the 6mm that seems to be the standard now on replica guns.

    Half


  5. B.B.,
    It will be interesting to see the firearms report; I’ve read a lot about the CZ75 and how great it is; however, they were all reports from people I don’t know; hence, it’ll be nice to see a report on it from a reliable and trusted source. =)
    blessings to you,
    dave


  6. Personally the lackluster accuracy disqualifies it as a practice pistol . Pictured is what you should expect, fired from a Sig 226 smoothbore at 25 feet from Weaver stance


  7. BB
    I think manufacturers of replica guns have placed a higher priority on form and function rather than accuracy, especially with Airsoft conversions and not really trying to achieve it with a precision barrel in stock form.

    For example the race guns replicas I have with moving slides and tilting barrels like a 45 also have inner barrels that slide inside the outer barrel so you have a lose slide, outer barrel and inner barrel and none of them really lock up well.

    The chance of accuracy with all that play in all those moving parts seems pretty slim compared to one with a fixed barrel. Just stick something down the barrel, like a pen, and move it around side to side. Everything moves.


    • Bob M,

      What you said is so true. I immediately also thought about the barrel slide interface. BB’s groups are a little heavy left on most of the targets so I also wondered about what kind of trigger reach BB was dealing with? The photos trigger position are different but without measurements I’m just speculating.

      The loose lockup might be all, or most all, that is spraying pellets like a scattrgun pattern! Let’s see how BB does with the powder burner…

      shootski


  8. B.B.,

    Just for curiosity is it possible to safely drop a BB from the muzzle of the pistol into the chamber? The relative looseness of fit of the BB might give you an idea how close/loose fitting the BB is to the barrel which can influence the accuracy at the target. Might the barrel actually be a pellet sized smoothbore?

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      Thew way this gun is made that isn’t possible. There is no chamber. Each BB gets blown from the top of the magazine through the barrel. To get the BB out of the barrel the magazine needs to be removed. It would be hard to check the fit.

      Pellet diameter? I suppose it could be.

      B.B.


  9. Anybody know who routinely makes the largest BB to reduce play in the barrel?

    Would be nice if someone sold custom tubular barrel stock with a narrower bore for BBs like they do for airsoft.
    Bob M



    • Bob
      And you know what. After thinking more. I thought about the Pumpkin Chuckin.

      I think one of the longest shots was done with back spin put in like the airsoft guns use. Plus they oriented the lines in the outside diameter of the pumpkin horizontally.

      But here’s where I’m going with this. How about a Pumpkin Chuckin accuracy competion. Use the back spin and see what happens. See how accurate they can place that pumpkin when they shoot. And at different distances.

      Next thing you know they will be figuring out how to rifle the Pumpkin Chuckin barrel. Or cutting spiral groves on the outside of the pumpkin. 🙂


      • Grooves not groves.

        And I forgot to say. The local farm by me that sells pumpkins for Halloween shoots a air Pumpkin Chucker out at about a 100 yards at a empty 55 gallon steel barrel sitting on top of a picnic table.

        They will usually hit the barrel one out of 3 shots. And when it hits you know it. They use around 10 inch diameter pumpkins. I’m betting the pumpkins are making some serious foot pound energy. A center mass hit usually dents the barrel pretty heavily.

        And again. Acceptable accuracy for a given type of shooting being done.


      • GF1
        Spin is better than no spin. It’s a shame BBs and bb guns have not received much attention to accuracy like pellets and pellet guns. It’s just not in the cards to do so. You want accuracy, you use pellets !

        How about using a sabot that could be used with rifling to hold the pumpkin and spin it out of the barrel ?

        It never ends !


  10. BB,

    Can you (if possible) roll a BB down the barrel to see if it is over sized? Or, measure the bore in some way. Wondering if the barrel is oversized slightly to avoid jams. Not sure what the “standard” bore of a BB barrel should be. As the BB themselves should be 0.180 the bore should match or be just slightly larger. This could account for the accuracy.

    Silver Eagle


    • Silver Eagle,

      BBs have not been 0.180 since around 1900. Today they range from 0.171 to 0.173-inches. A Daisy Precision Ground shot that measured 0.1735 rolled down the barrel but not through. Daylight shone around the ball, so it was no doubt out of round. A lead ball that also measured 0.1735 stuck in the bore near the muzzle.

      So the bore is around 0.173, give or take. Is it perfectly round? Probably close but not perfect.

      B.B.


  11. BB,
    I am not sure if you would have gotten by with buying the CZ if Edith was still around. As encouraging and enabling as Edith was I don’t think this one would have passed the smell test 🙂

    I love the way a CZ feels in my hands though and I suspect you will enjoy yours.

    David Enoch


  12. BB:

    I have the Sig Sauer P 226 S X-Five BB pistol (as differentiated from the Sig PELLET PISTOL that you are testing separately). I bought it because it is both SA / DA, has the reciprocating slide and has a drop-out magazine almost identical to the firearm magazine in both weight and appearance. The BB pistol magazine holds BOTH the CO2 cartridge and about 20 BB’s, not a “stick” magazine for just the BB’s like the CZ’s. As with the CZ BB pistol you are testing here, I bought it as a training tool for my SA / DA firearms. This pistol will shoot several brands of BB into a sub-two-inch group at 20′ in my basement shooting “range”, so I find it useful for training.

    My carry gun is a CZ P 07 which I am just nuts about. I’ve had a fair amount of centerfire pistol experience in the last 30 years (Glock, Taurus, Ruger, Colt, etc.) so my being impressed by the CZ isn’t quite like falling in love with the first girl I met. The CZ has an excellent grip, excellent accuracy, minimal recoil flip, is easy to strip, and the quality is superb…I could go on and on. It just works very, very well.

    I would have preferred a CZ based BB pistol to train on. In fact, I bought the $100 CZ P 07 BB pistol thru Pyramyd, but found that it was SA only. I really wanted the feel of the first shot out of the holster being DA just like to firearm, so I returned it. I recently purchased the CZ P 07 non-blow-back model (about $60) from Pyramyd. While it lacks the realism of the blow-back feature, it IS DA / SA. I’ve not shot it yet so I can’t say much about the accuracy. The trigger certainly isn’t as nice as the firearm’s version, but it promises to be an adequate training tool. We’ll see.

    I must admit that when I first started seeing BB pistol look-alikes I thought they were for folks that didn’t have the money for the real thing and could at least pretend with the BB gun OR for those whose companions wouldn’t let them own the firearm version. However, when I started seeing models that were nominally the same (as with the $60 CZ) or nearly identical (as with the Sig P 226 S BB pistol), I started seeing a use for them in my collection. I just wish they’d put more effort into truly emulating the firearm as in the case of the CZ P 07 with blow back.

    Motorman
    St. Louis, MO

    P.S. It was very nice to see you again, Tom, at the Texas Airgun Show. I’ll treasure the Diana Model (V) just because I bought it from you. My souvenir!


  13. BB,

    How much SLOP is there in the slide to rails?
    Is there a barrel bushing or some other method used to keep the barrel pointed in the same direction after every slide cycle?

    shootski


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