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.