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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been a fan of the CZ-75 series and have four of the plain jane 75B plus one original 75 (no B). As it stands, I really have no interest in the P10, P07, P09, Compact, RAMI, SP01 or any of the competition models. Just the plain jane and humble 75.

Nonetheless when I heard that CZ was bringing back the Phantom, I was mildly intrigued. After all, it's the issued handgun for the Czech Army. I saw one at a gun shop probably in September 2017, played with it and it seems OK. Nothing to really get the juice rolling, and at the asking price of $629 it was easy to put down and walk away. Fast forward January 2018, I stopped by the same shop and the Phantom is still there. I told the manager that I'd take that gun if they're willing to dicker on the price. The guy hemmed and hawed and said $600. I said, "More like $550 - it's a CZ and not a Colt." We ended up at $575. Not as cheap as I would have liked but good enough. A few bucks isn't going to bankrupt me, but the wheelin' & dealin' is always part of the gun shopping fun experience.

I didn't get the chance to blast it until today, and took the gun straight from the box to the range without cleaning or lubing. The mags were old Mec-Gar 15-rounder, factory extended mags and current Mec-Gar extended mag with blue follower. The ammo were 100-rounds of Federal White Box 115-gr ball, Fiocchio 115-gr ball and 20-rounds of Hornady Critical Duty 135-gr +P. I was hoping to try out some different hollowpoint loads but that's all the shooting range had for sales as far as JHPs go.

For those who are too lazy to google up what the CZ75B SP01 Phantom is all about, I'll just do a quick description. It's the Czech Army version of the regular SP01 which has steel frame, while the Phantom has plastic frame.

Compared to the plain jane 75B pistols that I have, the differences are:

1. Plastic frame with rail, which has interchangeable back strap. More on this later.
2. Decocker instead of thumb safety lever (I know, I know, there's the BD decocker version of the 75B but I don't have that model).
3. Lanyard loop. I like lanyard loops and wish that the 75Bs have them.
4. Extended mag. All mags are interchangeable but the Phantom has the extended base mag with two additional rounds capacity. I'll cover more later on "factory" mag versus Mec-Gar aftermarket mags.
5. Trigger is Omega type instead of traditional 75B (yes, there's also the 75B Omega as well, which I had then gave away because I didn't like the trigger feels). Essentially the Omega trigger is a simplified version of the traditional trigger mechanism.
6. The slide serration is more aggressive and the area is more dished or scalloped for better purchase than the traditional 75B slide.
7. Slide profile is also different with lightening cut.
8. Slide release is a bit longer.
9. More generous trigger guard, but still have the squared off front for that 1980s finger hook stance.
10. Extended mag release.

Included is a photo of the old 75B Omega that I gave away. I will cover more on the shooting aspect in the next post.









 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For today's shooting, I changed the progression a little bit. Usually I always start out with single action slow fire at 7-yrds to see how the gun shoots and whether or not the point of impact varied greatly from point of aim. Then I'd go to single action slow fire at 10-yrds, 15-yrds, so on and so on until 25-yrds time permitting. I also shoot double action (as applicable to the gun) slow fire at the same distances just for giggles and see if the double action would throw the shots much from point of aim. After slow fire is complete, then I'd move onto Mozambique drills at 7-yrds and 10-yrds. Sometimes I'd do it at 15-yrds but generally between 15-yrds and 25-yrds I would switch to double taps or flash sight picture drills.

Today, I slow fired at 7-yrds SAO and DAO, then went right to the Mozambique drill. Repeated the same for 10-yrds. Double tap at 15-yrds, DAO at 25-yrds and finished off with strong & weak arms at 7-rds. Ran out of time, so I still have the second box of Federal ball. Total expenditure today were the Hornady box, Fiocchio box and one Federal box. I am going to find some more hollowpoints and return to the range to do more feeding tests.

First 7-rds slow fire group showed promise right away but I did throw a shot while getting used to the trigger pulls. The trigger pulls in SA and DA are good, but slightly vague when compared to the traditional 75B trigger pulls. That's the main reason why I got rid of my Omega even though it was a good shooter. Over all, very clean take-up with just a hair of grit before breaking in SA. Reset is positive. DA is even and fairly smooth. Can't compare to SW wheelgun, but more than acceptable for a service SA/DA pistol. Sure as heck better than SIG Sauer and HK.

Second group was still good except for the flyer. In this case, it wasn't the trigger but the sights. The sights are typical CZ, which is fine but I never cared for the rear sight's sight picture. It's not very clear and I tend to aim the front sight too high in order to get a good sight picture. In the outdoors, the rear sight's notch works fine but in low light, it's a bit blah. Still serviceable as to be shown in the following photos of shot groups.

Third slow fire group at 7-yrds was DA only, as was the fourth group.

Mozambique drill was also fine. I discovered that the grip may look similar to the B but different enough to throw a very strange feel to my palms. It points less natural than the B for me, and I found that if there's less of a margin of error. I can throw the shots a lot easier with the Phantom than with the B, especially when it comes to dynamic shooting. The checkerings are sharp and the stippling are well done. The gun doesn't really slip but it does shift a bit because my muscles are more ingrained with the B model. It will take a hair of adjustment but not much.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Next stop is 10-yrds. SA fire is OK, but keep having that niggling called flyer. I theorized that either my attention wasn't all there (which was possible because there was a cute young Oriental in the next lane), or I'm still riding the front sight too high trying to get a clear sight picture. Probably the former than latter. Teehee.

Switched to DA slow fire and threw another called flyer. Yep, definitely riding the front sight too high and not because of the cute honey next lane.

Second group of DA slow fire was all me. Mea maxima culpa. Got cocky and the group went to hell.

Took a rest room break and came back. Dang it, the cute Oriental honey is gone. Nobody to distract me, I went into the Zen mode and squeezed out a nice group. This gun definitely has some serious accuracy potentials. That is indeed four shots into a ragged hole at 10-yrds while DA slow firing. The trigger feels may be vague when compared to the B, rear sight may be blah with sight picture, but if the shooter were to do his part, this gun will deliver.

Another thing I discovered is that 7-yards shots aren't my best because I still have the jitter and not yet settle down, plus I tend to rush it because it's a short distance shooting drill. Firing DAO just as good or better than SAO is not that surprising to me because I've performed the same thing with my DA wheelguns. Something about really have to focus on everything (sight alignment, sight picture, trigger squeeze and follow through) when firing DAO that seems to make me shoot better. Not that I'd want a DAO auto pistol.

I don't think that I mentioned it before, but in Mozambique drills with decockable pistols, I always shoot DA first shot.

Mozambique drill for 10-yrds was OK and could have been a lot better had I not let the gun move within my palms. Sloppy grip technique.







 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Time started to run out, so I moved along for some 15-yrds shot groups. I did a slow fire DAO 5-rounds group and a double-tap drill. Bad trigger pulls threw a couple of shots well to the left. Refocused and the next double-tap drills came out much better.

Of course that a loss or lack of focus would throw the shots from any gun, but this gun seems to be less tolerant of my bad techniques than the B models.

At this point the range is really full with a long wait line, and I was asked to wrap up to make room for the next shooters. So I skipped the 25-yrds shots and went for some quick one-hand shooting.




 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did a DA first shot group with the strong arm (right arm) and dominant eye (right eye). Then I did the same but DAO.

Third group I went with left arm and right eye (weak arm, dominant eye). The last group of the day was done with left arm and left eye (weak arm, non-dominant eye).

I was surprised that my weak arms shootings weren't all that bad. It felt worse than it truly was. Weird.

Anyway, this gun impresses me more than I thought it would have, which is always nice to have a pleasant surprise. Nonetheless I don't think that I'm going to get any more CZ plastic guns or even the fancier 75B models. For some reasons, I enjoy shooting the plain jane 75s the best.






 

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I was looking at picking one up. I did not think it had an Omega trigger. I thought - and could very well be wrong - the only 75 with an Omega trigger had Omega stamped on the slide (I forget the model - I'm relatively new to CZ; I have CGW P-07 & P-09s).

I love the feel of the Phantom. It probably shoots well.


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Nice review fnfalman and good pictures as well.The Phantom is a nice pistol and own one myself,I may change the sights out on mine in a few months.Its one of those guns that just fits your hand like a glove.
That's exactly what made me pause - the ergos. It fits me very well. The one that I'm looking at has a very nice trigger but the 75 has a lot of springs inside which gives me pause as I'm trying to keep things simple: Glock & P-07/09.


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Nice work, FN. ...you need to up your game around the hotties and squeeze out your best groups before hitting the rest room.:dancingbanana:
Now that I have an excuse to shoot more 9mm, I kinda want the 75SA.:headscratch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I was looking at picking one up. I did not think it had an Omega trigger. I thought - and could very well be wrong - the only 75 with an Omega trigger had Omega stamped on the slide (I forget the model - I'm relatively new to CZ; I have CGW P-07 & P-09s).

I love the feel of the Phantom. It probably shoots well.


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The CZ75B Omega has the Greek letter stamped on the slide just like the photo that I put in the first post for reference.

A few things that made me think the Phantom has the Omega trigger:

1. The slightly mushy/vague feel.

2. From the rear of the slide, there is less “stuff” filling up the cuts that were made to accommodate the original trigger mechanism.


PS I just double checked and the Phantom does not have the Omega trigger group. Still, that doesn’t explain the difference in trigger feels. All my other 75B trigger pulls are practically identical to each other.
 

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I like HK LEM pistols but I purchased a Cajun Gun Works Pro Grade P-07 and it's the very best DA pistol I've ever handled.

And I enjoy it more than any other polymer pistol.

CZ has a superb series of pistols.

I so want the Phantom as it has superb ergonomics, the one I handled has a superb DA trigger though I would drive it to CGW for a Pro Grade upgrade.

But it's a complicated (compared to the P-07/09) design to disassemble but it has better ergos so I'm a bit conflicted.




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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
From left to right: Extended base factory mag that comes with the gun, Mec-Gar flat bottom and Mec-Gar extended base.

The factory extended base mag takes 18-rounds. There is no stamping on it other than the CZ logo at the bottom of the base plate. How do I know or think that it's made by Mec-Gar? That's because the mag body looks identical to the flat base Mec-Gar, to include matching cartridge hole counters and followers. It's also blued just like the flat base Mec-Gar.

The flat base Mec-Gar takes 16-rounds. And to reiterate, other than the extended base plate, it looks exactly like the factory 18-rounder.

The extended base Mec-Gar is different. It's a new design with blue follower, satin black anti-friction coating, mag body cuts a bit different and the cartridge hole counters are on the opposite side. It also takes 19-rounds. The flat bottom model of this new design takes 17-rounds. I don't have any on hand, but I do have quite a few for my other CZ-75Bs.

However the biggest difference; to me at least, between the old style and new style mags is that the new style (blue follower) when fully loaded up, the cartridges don't rattle.




 
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