CZ USA CZ 75 SP01 Shadow

CZ USA CZ 75 SP01 Shadow

Back in the 1960s and '70S, if you wanted a reliable high-capacity 9mm, one of the few choices was the CZ 75, with its distinctive humpbacked grip. The late Jeff Cooper loved the way the pistol felt in the hand, and he styled the grip of his legendary Bren Ten after it.

The 75's design remained unchanged for many years until Angus Hobdell became the first professional shooter to use a CZ in competition. He used a standard CZ 75 at first, with good results, but shortly thereafter the CZ 75 SP-01 was introduced, and he began competing with that.

The main visible difference was the thick dustcover with its tactical rails on the SP-01, adding a lot of weight to the gun exactly where it would do the most good in reducing felt recoil and muzzle flip. Many competitive shooters naturally assumed CZ had altered the pistol to Angus' specifications. Not so.


"The people who think I designed it just don't know how European companies work," Angus explained. "They take two years to do anything. The only reason the SP-01 exists is that a Special Forces unit wanted CZ 75s with a tactical rail on the front and was willing to buy 750 units."


https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2010/09/hg_czshadow_082710c.jpg

While the SP-01 is a result of the spec-ops community and not a professional shooter, the same cannot be said for the CZ SP-01 Shadow. It was adapted from the original according to input from Team CZ shooters Angus Hobdell and Adam Tyc, as well as suggestions from law enforcement, military and police worldwide.

The Shadow is available only through CZ Custom, which is the factory custom shop for CZ products in the States and is run by Hobdell. The pistol features, among other things, new sights and an improved trigger pull over the SP-01. The latter is due to a lighter hammer spring and removal of the firing pin block safety. In fact, the CZ SP-01 Shadow has one of the nicest double-action trigger pulls I've ever felt on a factory gun.

Some makers over-spring guns to work clean or dirty with any kind of ammo for the life of the gun. The competition-inspired SP-01 Shadow is actually a pleasure to shoot, with a long, smooth 8 1„2-pound double-action pull that won't give you carpal tunnel syndrome. The single-action pull broke at 3 1â'„2 pounds with just a little bit of creep.

I shot the Shadow at several local USPSA matches and learned pretty quickly why it is the winningest gun in IPSC Standard Division around the world: The pistol is reliable, has an extended mag release, low recoil (due in part to the checkered front- and backstrap) and excellent sights.


The pistol was perfectly reliable with every kind of ammo except CCI Blazer. The CZ had some extraction issues with the aluminum cases of the Blazer, but I have yet to find a pistol that doesn't, to one degree or another. The aluminum just tends to stick in chambers more than brass or steel. It's great for practice; I just avoid it when there's a timer involved.

https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2010/09/hg_czshadow_082710d.jpg

The provided grips on the Shadow are black rubber with a slightly tacky feel that provide a good grip. The CZ's grip is not large (even with the thicker rubber grips it's only slightly larger than a Glock 17), but many competition shooters prefer harder and/or smaller grip panels, so CZ Custom offers thin and thick aluminum grip panels—either smooth, checkered or with grip tape inlays.

https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2010/09/hg_czshadow_082710b.jpg
The Shadow features a no-snag, combat-style rear sight and extended slide release. The safety can be engaged only with the hammer cocked.

While the changes to and, in my opinion, improvement of the SP-01 with the Shadow are inspired in part by competition shooters, that is not to say the Shadow is not suited to real-world use. The SP-01 was, remember, originally designed at the behest of a special forces unit.


While it is not a small pistol, it weighs no more than a standard 1911, is a time-tested and reliable design, holds 19+1 rounds, can mount a flashlight and can be carried cocked and locked. What's not to like?

<

ACCURACY RESULTS:
CZ 75 SP-01 SHADOW
Load Bullet Weight (grs.)Avg. Velocity (fps)Standard Deviation (fps)Avg. Accuracy(ins.)
CCI Blazer FMJ115 1,182 12 2.7
Black Hills FMJ 124 1,160 15 3.1
Magtech FMJ115 1,154 7 2.8
Hornady XTP 124 1,115 9 2.6
Winchester SXT127 1,245 13 2.4
Notes:Accuracy results are averages of five five-shot groups at 25 yards off a sandbag rest. Velocities are averages of three shots measured on an F-1 Alpha chronograph set 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: FMJ, full metal jacket; JHP, jacketed hollowpoint.

 
 
 
 
 

Specifications:
Manufacturer: CZ-USA Custom Shop, (480) 969-1311
Model: CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow
Type: DA/SA semiauto
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 19+1
Barrel Length: 4.7 inches
Overall Length: 8.1 inches
Weight: 41 oz.
Finish: blued steel
Sights: red fiber-optic front; fixed no-snag rear
Stocks: synthetic (as tested); other styles available
Trigger: double-action, 8.5 lb.; single-action, 3.5 lb.
Safety: manual thumb safety; safety stop on hammer
MSRP: $920

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

All About Handgun Ammo

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase. Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while early 1911

Remington Timeline: 2011 - R1 Pistol Is Introduced

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

Eliphalet Remington's world initially revolved around flintlock rifles at the time, and while...

See More Trending Articles

More Semi-Auto

You don't have to spend a lot of money on a defense pistol to effectively protect your home and family. Semi-Auto

11 Best Defensive Pistols Under $500

Brad Fitzpatrick - April 07, 2020

You don't have to spend a lot of money on a defense pistol to effectively protect your home...

Remington's new executive adds aesthetic upgrades to the company's popular RM380 semiautomatic line. Semi-Auto

Remington RM380 Executive Pistol Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 21, 2019

Remington's new executive adds aesthetic upgrades to the company's popular RM380 semiautomatic...

Stoeger is entering uncharted territory for the brand with the STR 9, but it's obvious this gun was well thought out and engineered. It manages to maintain a reasonable price and yet still performs and functions the way most shooters demand. Semi-Auto

Stoeger STR 9 Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - October 16, 2019

Stoeger is entering uncharted territory for the brand with the STR 9, but it's obvious this...

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is producing a limited-edition 25th anniversary K9. Industry

Kahr 25th Anniversary K9

J. Scott Rupp - July 19, 2019

Kahr's K9 9mm pistol is a quarter-century old, and to commemorate the milestone the company is...

See More Semi-Auto

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now