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Education / Training ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 4

ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 4

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
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Why the firearm?
  • What is the Shadow?
  • Action
  • Trigger
  • Low recoil
  • Accurate
  • Accuracy
  • I am pleased

Today is the day I tell you about the performance of the CZ75 SP-01 firearm. You may remember I am doing an expanded series on this particular BB pistol because it resembles the firearm so closely. And many owners of the CZ75 have told me what a wonderful handgun it is. So, I bought one and plan to test it with the BB pistol.

Why the firearm?

This is something I don’t normally do, although this year I plan to do it several more times. The reason I don’t compare a firearm to a pellet or BB gun is there is so little to compare — until now. While talking to Bob Li from Action Sport Games (ASG), the importer and distributor of the ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol, he told me he owned a 9mm CZ75 SP-01 pistol that he really enjoyed. Bob is in sales, and the Great Enabler met his match at this year’s SHOT Show. By the time the show ended, he had me wanting the firearm.

When I returned home I immediately tried contacting CZ USA to see if I could get a writer’s sample for testing. They never responded to repeated contact attempts, so I forgot them and bought one directly off Gun Broker. And that was when I made the decision not to get the Shadow.

What is the Shadow?

The BB gun is the CZ75 SP-01 Shadow. The CZ75 SP-01 Shadow is an SP-01 that goes through the CZ custom shop for a trigger job and comes with a fully adjustable rear sight. The PROBLEM with the Shadow is the front sight. It’s fiberoptic — just like the front sight on the BB gun. Ain’t no way I’m going to pay $900 or more for a firearm with a fiberoptic sight — especially not when nearly the same model with the plain sight is $300 cheaper!

The BB gun did not go through the CZ custom shop, either, so its trigger is straight production anyhow. I therefore decided if I’m going to test a CZ firearm I will get the one I want with the sights I want— the CZ75 SP-01.

Most of the CZ 75 owners I polled own the CZ75B, which is a plainer handgun than the SP-01 I got. The B model doesn’t have the light rail on the underside of the frame. Had I not been making this comparison test I would have gotten the plain B model, because I will never use a light rail. But the SP-01 that I got is very close to the SP-01 Shadow BB pistol I’m testing. Only the lockwork and sights differ, and, as I already said, the BB pistol doesn’t actually have the better trigger, so there is really no important difference.


These days a quality handgun like this can be obtained with virtually every trigger action you can name — SAO, DAO and everything in-between. That’s because each agency buying them has a different requirement, and the factory has to be able to supply them all to make the sales. This pistol I got is both single action and double action, so you carry it with a round in the chamber and the hammer down. Draw the gun and pull the trigger and you’re in business. Naturally all remaining shots are fired with the hammer cocked.


Once the hammer is cocked the two-stage trigger pull is 2 lbs. 1 oz. for stage one with a definite stop at stage two. Stage two breaks at 6 lbs. 4 oz., which sounds like a lot, but for a defense pistol shooter it isn’t bad. For target work it is a little heavy and stage two has some travel you can feel, but gunsmithing can correct that. I plan to get it down to around 4 lbs. and dead crisp.

Low recoil

The CZ75 SP-01 weighs 40 ounces on the nose. That’s on the heavy side for a 9mm handgun. And the barrel is locked with the slide, so the operation is a delayed blowback, similar to a 1911. Lugs on the barrel engage with grooves in the slide until the rearward motion of both barrel and slide pulls the rear of the barrel down, unlocking the slide to complete its rearward travel. This system has the advantage of reducing felt recoil. Put the weight of the gun, its design and the lower power of a 9mm cartridge together and you have a handgun with very low recoil. I shot it right after shooting a .22 Magnum revolver and, while there was more recoil, it wasn’t very much.

ASG SP-01-pistol barrel slide
Lugs on the barrel mate with grooves in the slide (arrows) to lock the slide and barrel together.


The low recoil contributes to the accuracy potential of the pistol. So does the slide that is contained within the walls of the frame instead of being outside. The design of the rails makes it easier to fabricate a pistol whose slide and frame are both tight enough for accuracy and loose enough for reliability. With a 1911, slide-to-frame fit is something the gunsmith tinkers with and finishes by lapping the parts together. I used to tune 1911s in my salad days.

ASG SP-01-pistol slide frame fit
The CZ75 slide fits inside the frame (arrow), rather than outside like a 1911. This makes the gun easier to manufacture with closer tolerances, yet leave room for operations.

Back to the sights, the rear sight adjusts for windage but not elevation. But as I was examining them I noticed that the dots were not white, they were pale green. That usually means tritium dots and, sure enough, this pistol has night sights. The half-life of tritium means they will last for the rest of my life.

ASG SP-01-pistol night sights
Taken in darkness, the tritium night sights glow. No need to expose the sights to light, because they are radioactive. They will glow like this for 15-20 years.


What I wanted to know most of all is whether this pistol is accurate. And I was at the right place to find out. So I loaded 10 rounds and proceeded to engage the target at 15 yards. I shot two-handed for two reasons. First, because I am old and feeble, and second because young people these days don’t understand a pistol held in just one hand. I am also doing a feature article on this firearm and BB pistol for Firearms News and I needed a “hero” shot they could accept.

Ten rounds landed in a 3.452-inch group at 15 yards. The best thing is the shots are well-centered on the bull and the aim point.

ASG SP-01-pistol hero shot
It’s not a hero shot unless I sneer a little. I would not normally shoot a handgun this way, but this is what the public expects.

ASG SP-01-pistol results
And the results are seen at the target. The CZ75 SP-01 firearm is an accurate pistol.

ASG SP-01-pistol target
And here is the target. Ten shots in 3.452-inches at 15 yards. I’m pleased the gun is on the mark. The round is Remington factory ammo.

I am pleased

This was a wonderful experience! This brand new pistol is accurate, shoots to the point of aim, has minimal recoil and feels great in the hand. All the things that got me buzzed about the ASG BB pistol are carrying over to the firearm. Bob Li was right! Now, I have to test both the BB gun and the firearm for defense.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

24 thoughts on “ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 4”

  1. B.B.,

    I, too, am glad to see things are working well. I am strictly a novice, but I have found others also very much like the CZ pistols. I have been hesitant to purchase another BB semi-auto but the ASG CZ pistols may persuade me to give them a shot.


  2. Pistol light rails
    For anyone interested in having a light rail on a 1911, Model 92 or Glock this company makes a very good quality conversion grip that adds one as a complete unit. I got two. Look up ‘Recover Tactical’.

  3. How does one test a bb pistol for defense? 🙂 I’ve been looking forward to this report on the CZ SP-01 pistol having spent a lot of time researching it and settling on it as my representative of 9mm handguns. Regarding the mechanism of the gun, I understand that the slide action is actually closer to the Browning Hi Power than the 1911, namely that the barrel does not tilt which is supposed to reduce muzzle flip. Also among the key innovations is that the barrel is very low to the slide which also reduces recoil and makes the gun faster on target. I believe that all the CZ pistols are the same basic design as the CZ 75, just as all Savage rifles are basically their model 10 design (apart from the new Axis model). But the housing on the muzzle end of the SP-01, that includes the light rail, is supposed to dampen recoil a bit. The original CZ 75B is supposed to be “snappier” in shooting although equally accurate whatever that means. As for the trigger, I had a $300 trigger job from the CZ custom shop which improved it immensely although I don’t know if it’s different from what a trained person could do on his own. But another thing they did which I liked is substituting a straighter bladed 1911 style trigger for their curved factory version which pinched my finger. Finally, they installed a thumb safety. However, the directions say that if this modified safety is applied when the gun is not cocked, I could damage the pistol, so I never use it at all.

    shootski, does the federal ban on firearms in the restrooms of national parks apply to the portapotties which are widely used? That would be unenforceable. And regarding the dangers of the volcano beneath Yellowstone, the literature there says that the entire park sits on top of a supervolcano. If it erupted as it did 2.1 million years ago, it would cover the entire continental United States in a thick layer of ash, wiping it out. So, there’s no special danger from being in the park. 🙂


    • Matt61,

      As far as worrying about things that might kill me…I use the ratio of how dangerous the car ride to the location is compared to how dangerous the activity I will be doing at that location is to decide if I will do it. Not to many things are more dangerous than the drive to wherever you are going; I will say that there are a few like squirrel suit flying! I’m prepped for the big one going off at Yellowstone.
      As far as the portalletts and going in to use them armed if they are leased by the Federal government they are a Federal Facility! Wether or not the NPSP/R could enforce the statute isn’t at issue if they just nab you, you will lose your gun and gun rights for life. Peeing in public is a misdemeanor by comparison.


  4. B.B.

    Since when is 3.5 inches accurate? I can throw a baseball more accurately than that!
    Maybe for a “defense pistol” all you have to do is hit the target?
    If my airguns and air pistols grouped like that, I would send them all to RidgeRunner’s Home for wayward guns…


  5. BB,
    One of the things I liked about the CZs that I have handled is that they could be carried cocked and locked like a 1911. Sounds like yours is the conventional double action / single action.

    I would be interested in seeing you test your pistol on a rest, with rested forearms, or whatever works best for you. I am just curious how it would do.


    David Enoch

  6. BB,

    Beyond the light rail, there are a number of subtle differences between the 75 B and the SP-01, such as the beaver tail, slide serrations, sights, and (outside of my state) magazine capacity. For an exhaustive comparison of the two, go here:


    I’ve owned both handguns. I shoot the SP-01 better. Cosmetically I prefer the 75 B. Ultimately I couldn’t justify owning two nearly identical handguns, so I kept the better shooter, then replaced the 75 B with a PCR (the 75 B Compact D).


  7. I have the P 07 which is the same gun as the P 01, but with a polymer frame and somewhat shorter barrel and grip (so, I’ down to a mere 15 rounds plus one in the chamber). It’s the best center fire pistol I’ve ever owned, and there have been lots of them. The P 07 is a more practical (lighter) carry gun, but has all the advantages of the larger guns except the additional 5 rounds. Frankly, after 16 rounds of 9 mm have been expended, if you’re still in trouble then throw the gun at them and RUN!!

    Happily, there’s a number of CO2 BB guns to train with that are EXACT duplicates of the firearm with the exception that a couple of the options are single action only.

    I also have the CZ 82 which, while a heavy little gun, was my first CZ and one that I will never sell. Great firearms!

    St. Louis, MO

  8. Just want to say it is not a “delayed blowback” pistol. It is a “short recoil operated, tilting barrel design like most other modern semiautomatic pistols.

  9. B.B.
    That is a nice group. I will point out and smile when I put all eight into a six inch round target at 45 feet from my Sig in .357. The only thing lacking on the CZ in my opinion is a decocker.

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