Review: CZ Shadow II

October 10, 2016

Review: CZ Shadow II

November 2016's review is about one of the most anticipated new pistols to come to Canada this year, the new CZ Shadow 2. The Shadow 2 is a fine handgun, and this new pistol is especially important to those that shoot IPSC.

For those of you that don't shoot IPSC, here's a brief primer. You go to the range with about 100 of your friends, set up an obstacle course with some doors, and windows, and walls; you put up a bunch of steel or cardboard targets, then you run around, moving and shooting, while a range officer chases you with a timer. Seriously, the best fun you can have with a handgun. If you don't shoot IPSC, you need to get into it right meow.

IPSC competition is divided into classes, and one of the classes is called Production. Production Class is for guns that haven't been modified, and the original CZ Shadow dominates in IPSC Production Class; any mere mortal can pick one up and shoot like a pro. So if the Shadow 2 is both new and improved, then THIS is the new king of Production class.

Most of the pictures you'll see online of the Shadow 2 feature metallic blue grips on a dark grey frame; I wanted to get an early example, so they shipped me this 2-tone grey version; called Urban Gray, but in person it looks like dull grey and olive-grey; but colour doesn't matter, what matters is that it does feel like it shoots a little better than Version 1. Here's why:

The barrel is about 10 mm longer, and the sight radius is slightly longer. The trigger has been smoothed a little, the initial double-action pull especially feels improved. With Shadow One, I would sometimes fire three rounds at the first target, knowing that the first round will likely go astray. This new double action definitely feels better; I'll need to spend a little more time with the gun to see how much better it is. CZ claims the reset is shorter, but I can't feel it.

The frame has been restyled to allow the shooter to grip it a little bit higher. A higher grip reduces muzzle flip a little so you can get back on target a little quicker for the second shot. Further, the frontstrap and backstrap are checkered; personally, it fits my hand perfectly, and those of you that like a thicker grip can swap the thin aluminium grip panels out for rubber ones. For me, when I bring the gun up to the target, the sights seem to automatically line up for me. The old Shadow had the same natural tendency, and the new one feels even better.

The mag release is larger and sticks out quite a bit more; its a small thing, literally, but the Shadow 2 is a whole bunch of small things that add up to faster, more accurate shooting.

One important note if you're getting all excited about buying the new shadow 2; it will take your old shadow magazines, and CZ 75 magazines, of course, but it will NOT fit into your Shadow One holster. In fact, there are no Shadow 2 holsters, so you might have to buy a sheet of Kydex and bake your own.

Once you get your holster figured out, get out there and enjoy your new shadow. I'll see you at the range.