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CZ SP-O1 Review

Discussion in 'Band of Glockers' started by bikethief, May 5, 2008.

  1. bikethief

    bikethief itchy trigger

    This afternoon i got my itchy hands on a brand new CZ SP-01 Shadow. The Shadow is the latest incarnation of the legendary CZ-75 series which has seen success both in the battlefield as well as international shooting competitions. CZ has built its reputation on rock-solid reliability and no-nonsense design. The Shadow is a worthy posterboy for this criteria.


    I am by no means a gun expert. I have gone through my share of pistols (more than 20 in the past 3 years) but my opinion may be just as noteworthy as the next guy. For this reason, I have chosen to base my review on a variable (my skill being the constant) that I think will give you a good measure of the CZ's performance. I shot it side by side with my Glock 34.


    Before we go into the range report, let me start off with my initial impression of the CZ. The first thing that struck me was the heft. It weighs around 2.5 pounds with same balance characteristics of a 1911. This CZ handles very differently from your run-of-the-mill CZ-75 probably because of the added weight of the beefy accessory rail up front and the extra (18round) capacity magazines. Grip angle is spot-on and the fiber-optic front sight drops down between the rear sight blades almost automatically when you raise the gun to eye-level. Slide-frame-barrel fit seems to be bank-vault tight and comparable to many smith tuned guns. It is equipped with the standard DA/SA trigger system which brings me to the first hiccup in my almost perfect assessment of the this pistol. To de-cock the pistol (round chambered, hammer at half-cock) you must manually take control of the hammer and actually squeeze the trigger to get the weapon into half-cock. Now, I can only imagine how many AD's have happened because of this system of decocking. A decocking lever would be much appreciated to safely get the gun into DA mode. If SIG and HK can do it, I'm pretty sure CZ can too.

    For 1911 shooters, the Shadow offers a manual thumb safety so you can safely carry in condition 1 with the hammer in full-cock position similar to 1911 type pistols. Remember though that the thumb safety is all that stands between you and the 2-3 pound SA trigger pull. There is no grip safety available. This is irrelevant to me, though, because I've never carried a 1911 and have never been a fan of external safeties anyway. I would carry this gun with one in the pipe, decocked. The double action first shot weighs in at a very smooth 6-8 pounds while SA is around 2 pounds. Another advantage of the double action system , I just realized, is the 2nd strike capability. If ever you get a misfire, all you have to do is pull the trigger again to give the round in the chamber another chance before you TRB (tap-rack-bang.)

    Ok. Off to the range.

    I took a few boxes of Magtech 124gr. FMJ's to test the CZ. The same ammo was used in my Glock34. I chose this ammo because: 1. I had a lot of it and 2. It closely simulates the recoil of my carry load. First thing I noticed was how light the felt recoil was and how easy the front sight returned to my point of aim after every shot. My instructor, Bien, attributes this to the relatively light slide mass of the CZ. The slide does look small compared to a Glock or 1911 slide. This means there's less momentum going back and the slide is much quicker to return to battery after every shot. My double tap splits were much faster on the CZ than on my Glock. Firing from single action on this pistol is dangerously addicting and i had to tape up my target every 5 shots because my heads were going into 1 ragged hole at 10m. Now, it's not in my system to test new guns just by standing straight and firing into paper. I ran some short IDPA drills with both the CZ and Glock after which my initial predictions were confirmed. I shot just a bit better with the CZ than the Glock. I want to say "a lot better" but my tests were a bit too confined to be 100% conclusive. Please note that this is my first time shooting the CZ and I've been shooting Glocks for 3 years. Anyway, see for yourselves:

    Double taps/ Glock34 / 7m. / from ready position


    Double taps/ Shadow / 7m. / from ready position


    All in all, the CZ SP-01 Shadow is an excellent firearm both for defense and especially for competition. It's a bit on the large and heavy side for concealed carry but nothing that a good holster can solve. It is priced along side a lot of imported 1911's and well above the price range of the more common production pistols. I'm not writing this off as a bad point though because I believe that CZ has given us a gun well worth its suggested retail price. You get custom features and performance without the trips to the gunsmith.
  2. crazy_hans


    Apr 21, 2007
    Caloocan City
    sir bikethief didn't you just get your new hk?bago nanaman?wow!

    anyway i noticed that the slide is a lot smaller compared to a lot of pistols, is it a problem to rack the slide back?thanks po!

  3. Allegra


    Mar 16, 2003
    Great review :) pogi nung baril

    I'd like to answer some points , being a cz owner and former cz image model hehe
    I distrust decockers and I prefer manually lowering the hammer ( old school kasi )
    It's quite safe as long as you pay attention
    Some people will say baka dumulas , but just Dry your fingers
    Sakin it's all automatic I usually decock w/ one hand kahit sa loob ng bahay

    What I really hate about it is the weight ( the stock2 is even heavier! )
    Split times may improve , pero swinging the gun from target to target is slower
    Sa bill drills , my times and hits w/ the shadow and my 85 are the same
    I wonder what Adam Tyc really feels about the weight

    Finally , about the slide racking issue
    I've never had any problem racking the slide from condition 2 during any match
    Nothing that practice wont be able to solve
  4. boholglock


    Oct 28, 2005
    Congratulations! very cool piece you got there.

    It's a personal observation but I believe the SA trigger of your SPO1 is a big advantage factor over your Safe Action trigger of your G34. That would explain the close double taps in the CZ.
  5. saki1611

    saki1611 BOG's #1611

    Sep 16, 2006
    esway (Anthony Sy), broke the extractor of his shadow during the game at SAF Anniversary Cup 2 weeks ago, kaya laglag sya. though the shadow make him the #1 in the production division of Chief PNP Cup a week before it broke.
  6. flash1919

    flash1919 TAGA-SIPAT

    sir bikethief, nice grips on your cz, were did you purchased it? how much?
  7. ganda baril mo, sir!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  8. Allegra


    Mar 16, 2003
    Yun lang ayaw ko sa CZ
    Mitsubishi supplies it's parts hehe
  9. bertud ng putik

    bertud ng putik

    Feb 1, 2005
    bikethief: ganda ng boga nyo boss!
  10. bikethief

    bikethief itchy trigger

    It's a new gunstore on Pasong Tamo near one of the Dasma gates. They carry the CZ Sp01. It's right above Starbucks.

    Counter Measures - owned buy Perry and Marissa Punla
  11. isuzu


    Jul 3, 2005
    North America
    Bikethief and Allegra,

    I'm seriously looking at the CZ 75B SA for IDPA competition. Could you point out the CZ's strengths and weaknesses? I know that the slide stop and firing pins have been a problem with the CZ pistols. I'd like to know how frequent they break.

    My second choice would be a Glock 17.

  12. isuzu


    Jul 3, 2005
    North America
  13. Allegra


    Mar 16, 2003
    My gun in fairness , has not given me any problems
    But this gun came directly from the factory rep here for the cz sponsored shooters
    Ewan ko lang if they are made differently
    Because every cz I 've recommended to my friends and students have had problems sa fp and slide stop when shooting volume ( 500+ /week ) at todotodo dryfire
    To be fair , kahit 1911 pumapalya din agad pag volume ang putok unless lagyan mo ng aftermarket premium parts
    But you could buy 4 CZ75s for the price of 1 STI limited :)
    I'm expecting the spo1 to be more durable kasi it's made for competition at sa mahal nya
    It's a good gun , just stock up on spare parts and dont mess around w/ the trigger :)
  14. Allegra


    Mar 16, 2003
  15. Chie


    Jul 1, 2005
    Here's what Adam Tyc thinks about the weight of the shadow
  16. wingz

    wingz speed not power

    Mar 3, 2006
    the fortress
    Faster sight acquisition, tight double!:wow: Congrats.
  17. Allegra


    Mar 16, 2003
    Yeah but
    I wonder what he "really" feels about the weight :)

    Parang tinanong mo kasi si Jordan what do you like about Nike?
  18. batangueno

    batangueno Shock Resist

    Oct 1, 2002
    Very nice review bikethief. :thumbsup:

    Mahal lang nga talaga nya.
  19. bmag


    Jan 5, 2007
    Paranaque City
    Nice review.
    Value info.
  20. Capt.Barbel

    Capt.Barbel Humanda sila!

    Mar 16, 2006
    barbel ni enteng
    tito, musta? nagla log ka na rin pala d2.:cool: