March 11, 2022
If you’ve been around the action pistol shooting sports for any length of time, you know CZ is one of the leading production makers of competition guns. If you doubt that, a look at the 2020 U.S. Practical Shooters Association nationals (the most recent data available) will show you what I’m talking about. CZ pistols were chosen by nearly half of the competitors shooting Production division, where the double-action/single-action Shadow series is and has been a top pick. No other maker came close. A third of the shooters in the Carry Optics division opted for a CZ, edged out only slightly by SIG.
CZ was right up there in Limited/Limited-10 as well, and that’s where the new CZ Tactical Sport 2 comes in. A quick recap of this USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) division (it’s called Standard in IPSC) will be helpful to some readers. Limited and its reduced-capacity brother, Limited-10, are basically a step down in technology from the true race-gun Open division, in that Limited prohibits red dot sights and compensators. It is the playground for big double-stack single-action pistols, and that describes the new TS 2 to a T, pun intended.
The new TS 2 is an all-steel gun with a 5.28-inch barrel and a full-length dust cover. With an overall length pushing nine inches, the gun tips the scale at a shade over three pounds.
It’s not a pistol you’re going pick for concealed carry, but in competition, length and weight are your friends. The barrel/slide length provides a longer sighting radius as well as less muzzle flip due to the weight out front. The total weight keeps felt recoil down and makes for a more stable platform during rapid target transitions.
A big change over the original Tactical Sport, which was introduced in 2005 and discontinued in 2018, is a redesigned slide. One of the major selling points of the CZ 75 and its progeny—including the TS 2—is the slide rides on rails inside the frame instead of outside. This allows for a low bore axis and causes the pistol to recoil more straight back than back and upward. The new slide on the TS 2, which is similar to that found on the Shadow 2, makes the bore axis even lower and further reduces muzzle flip.
The slide has forward and rear cocking serrations and is grooved along its top to eliminate glare. The pinned front sight is a red fiber optic. The rear sight is in a dovetail and can be drifted for windage. If you’d rather have an adjustable sight, LPA makes a TRT-series adjustable for the TS 2.
While the CZ 75 is the foundation for the TS 2, the 75 is a double-action/single-action while the TS 2 is single-action-only. The trigger is a straight model with a smooth face, and its pull is incredibly light, measuring 1.5 pounds average on my trigger-pull scale. It’s adjustable only for overtravel.
The trigger has only about 1/16 inch of take-up before breaking nice and crisp. Reset travel is short at 1/8 inch, and while it doesn’t have the most tactile reset I’ve ever felt, it worked well enough for me.
The frame features a fairly roomy trigger guard, which is squared off at the front and serrated, and the frame is undercut at the rear of the guard for a high grip. The dust cover portion of the frame is deep, providing plenty of room for your support-hand thumb. While its stablemate, the relatively recent TS Orange, has a thumb rest or gas pedal on the frame forward of the slide-lock lever, the TS 2 does not.
Controls include an unobtrusive ambidextrous safety that locks the trigger mechanism and the slide; up for Safe, down for Fire, which exposes a red dot. The manual cautions that it’s possible to put the gun on Safe while the hammer is in the half-cock position, but you shouldn’t do that because with the safety engaged you could damage the trigger mechanism if you force the hammer back.
The slide-lock lever is stepped. I can almost but not quite activate it with my firing-hand thumb, but it’s nicely designed for support-thumb activation during fast reloads.
Speaking of reloads, the TS 2’s magazine release is significantly extended, protruding a full quarter-inch from the grips. It is one piece and not adjustable like the release on the TS Orange.
There’s a generous aluminum magazine well at the base of the grip. If you don’t like it, it’s easily removed by turning out the setscrew at the back of the funnel. It’s worth noting that while some features on the TS 2 have been changed, it will still accept many custom of the aftermarket parts designed for the Tactical Sport.
Another change on the TS 2 is the grip portion of the frame. It has been redesigned for better ergonomics. Ergonomics is a pretty broad term, so all I can say about that is the gun fits my medium hands quite well.
The fit is enhanced by the gun’s thin blue aluminum grips, which measure 0.15 inch thick across the flat, main portion of the grip. They’re not terribly aggressive, but when combined with the ample checkering on the frontstrap and backstrap—which appears to be 25 lpi, but I’m a lousy guesser and I wasn’t able to confirm this with CZ—there’s plenty of traction.
A slightly upswept beavertail offers protection against hammer bite from the lightweight, skeletonized hammer, which has been changed significantly over the original TS hammer. As mentioned, the hammer has a half-cock notch, and the manual notes that with the hammer in the half-cock position it is possible to fire the gun if you pull the trigger when the thumb safety is in Fire mode.
The point here is that the half-cock notch is there only to guard against a discharge if your thumb should slip when cocking the hammer—when your trigger finger is properly not on the trigger—and should not be used as an actual safety. Of course, we should never count on any mechanical safety; using your brain and following the four safety rules are what truly keep you and your fellow shooters and bystanders safe.
Disassembly is easy. After removing the magazine and ensuring the chamber is empty, place the hammer on the half-cock notch and align the two lines etched into the rear of the slide and frame. Push out the slide stop from the right side with a non-marring tool. The plastic base pad of the CZ magazine works great for this, as does the plastic end of a gunsmith hammer. The first time couple of times you may find it takes some force to drive out the stop.
Remove the slide, the guide rod/recoil spring unit, then remove the polymer sleeve. Then withdraw the cold-hammer-forged barrel.
Bench accuracy was great at 25 yards, as you can see in the accompanying chart. The longer sighting radius was certainly a help, as was the stability provided by the weight.
I live in Colorado, which has a restriction on magazine capacity, so I couldn’t get the 20-rounders the TS 2 comes with. I received 10-round magazines, and at first I couldn’t seem to get more than eight cartridges into them. Sheepishly, I contacted CZ about this and was told the current magazines have new, stronger springs in them, and to get the last two in you need to push down really hard or use a loader. In the end I grabbed my trusty UpLula, which made the job easy, although you can definitely feel the resistance at round eight when the bottom cartridge in the stack hits the opposing dimples in the mag body.
I got plenty of opportunity to load these magazines—in this case with Federal Syntech Action Pistol 150-grain rounds—when I took the TS 2 to a local Steel Challenge match. It was my first time competing in the Limited division, and I was really impressed by how well the TS 2 handles and shoots.
Previously, I’d run the pistol on my Revolution plate rack and drills mimicking USPSA stages to test reloading speed (where it was awesome, by the way)—as well as a lot of dry-firing—but practicing by yourself is a far cry from the pressure of a match. To be honest, I struggled at first. The TS 2 came up on target quickly, and plate-to-plate transitions were smooth thanks to the gun’s weight and balance, but even after all that dry-firing, I still had trouble getting the timing down due to the light trigger pull. I was jumping on it too soon—and trying to go too fast—and early on the misses piled up.
However, after the first two or three stages, it started to go much better, and by the end of the match the TS 2 began to feel like an old friend. This is one flat-shooting gun. Even when I was missing I was able to do so super-fast! I’m mostly joking, but at times a part of my brain was noting how little muzzle jump there was as I was missing—while the other part was screaming at me to slow down and break good shots. When I actually did that, the hits came easily.
I can see why people are attracted to Limited, and the TS 2 is a great choice. It’s not inexpensive at $1,300, but that’s relative. The TS Orange is a couple of hundred bucks more, while custom/semi-custom 2011 pistols can run thousands of dollars more. Obviously, I’m not an old hand at Limited, but it seems to me the TS 2 has the accuracy and handling you want and is a gun that should serve you well for a long time.
I should note here that many Limited shooters prefer .40 S&W because that puts them in the Major power factor classification, where non A-zone hits are worth a point more than in Minor. Fear not. CZ told me a .40 caliber version of the TS 2 is in the works.
Not looking to get into competition? The TS 2 is still a terrific gun for anyone who appreciates a finely built, soft-recoiling, accurate, reliable and fun-to-shoot pistol.
CZ-USA TS 2 Specifications
- Type: Hammer-fired single-action semiauto
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 3 20-Round magazines supplied; optional 10 rounders tested
- Barrel: 5.28 in. Cold-hammer-forged
- OAL/Height/Width: 8.9/5.8/1.6 in.
- Weight: 48.5 oz.
- Construction: Steel slide, frame w/thin aluminum grips
- Sights: Fixed serrated rear, red fiber-optic front
- Trigger: Single action, 1.5 lb. pull (measured)
- Safety: Ambidextrous thumb, hammer stop
- Price: $1,699
- Manufacturer/Importer: CZ-USA, cz-usa.com