I recently thought I’d try out the CZ Shadow 2 and see what all the fuss was about. Many of the Production shooters at my local range have been moving to the Shadow 2 and have been singing its praises, so after some conversations with them about its pros & cons, I decided to order one. I thought the look of the Urban Grey version of the Shadow 2 was appealing and happened to find one in stock online. A quick press of the submit button, and a few days later I had my shiny new Shadow 2 in hand.
What I gleaned about the Shadow 2 from the people I spoke with is that although it’s quite capable for competition out of the box, there is some room for improvement.
I’ve always used striker fired pistols in Production, so the thought of using a DA/SA style pistol was a bit of a concern for me. If I was going to transition to a DA/SA pistol, I really needed it to have an excellent DA trigger pull. I figured that if I could get the first trigger pusll as smooth and light as possible, I might have less trouble moving to the Shadow 2. However, the fear was that if I lightened up the trigger too much I would sacrifice reliability which in USPSA where we battle over 100th’s of a second, that’s simply not an option. So, with the primary goal being reliability, I wanted to wring as much performance as possible out of the Shadow 2 before tipping the scales into the unreliable zone. Getting to shoot along side of many local CZ shooters I was able to see what was working and what wasn’t. There were also immense amounts of online resources to sift through for clues into creating the Ultimate USPSA Production CZ Shadow 2. Ironically, the best combination of modifications to meet my goals was already in play on my training partner’s Shadow 2. A big thanks to him for all of the help and guidance getting my Shadow 2 setup and performing flawlessly. In the hopes of helping others save their time, money, and likely lots of frustration, here are the modifications I settled on for setting up my new Shadow 2.
Let’s begin with the top end of Shadow 2.
Since I’ll be shooting Minor Power Factor ammunition, I didn’t need the super heavy factory recoil spring and opted for a lighter recoil spring. A 11 pound recoil spring was selected to lighting things up and better match my competition load. That should help significantly reduce muzzle flip and reduce perceived recoil impulse. Since we’ll be adjusting the lower half of the pistol and lowering the hammer spring weight, I wanted to ensure that the pistol could pop any primer I put in it, so that called for installing an Extended Firing Pin. To balance it out with the new system, a Rami Reduced Power Firing Pin Spring was also installed.
On to the lower end.
It seems that the Trigger Return Spring is one of those parts that tend to break without warning, and typically at the worst possible moment. And to make matters worse, to replace it you need to drive out the trigger roll pin which requires a rather large punch and a hammer. No bueno! Luckily, there is a replacement trigger pin that is “floating” and is retained by the Trigger Return Spring resting in a slot the prevents it from moving. Now, if the Trigger Return Spring fails, you can simply slide the floating ping out and easily drop in a replacement spring. Speaking of the Trigger Return Spring, I also opted to install a new Reduced Power Trigger Return Spring that improves reliability over the factory spring while helping to drop the weight of the trigger pull.
Next, the factory Main Spring was replaced with a 11.5 pound Main Spring that greatly reduces the DA trigger pull while still leaving plenty of power to set off any primer that gets in it’s way.
And finally, as great as the black factory aluminum grips look juxtaposed to the Urban Grey frame, they are fairly ineffectual in helping you hang on to the gun while driving it hard in competition. When searching around for a good replacement set of grips with the most aggressive texture, it seems that a great majority of people land on the LOK Bogies. If that sounds like a good idea for you, have a look at the site and do note that they have different sizes of the Bogies to better fit your hand size. In fact, it seems that some folks get them in different sizes for each side of the pistol to even further enhance the grip and feel of the pistol.
And one last note for those who like to tinker on their own CZ’s pistols. Getting the Main Spring compressed back into position to insert the retaining pin can be very challenging. My friend who helped me through installing these items had a “Joe Tool” which greatly eases the task of compressing the Main Spring. It’s probably worth getting if you’re going to be working on your own pistol.
So, that’s the parts list, pretty simple when you consider the vast list of options available for the CZ. And of course, there are plenty of areas inside the Shadow 2 that can benefit from a little smoothing out and some judicial lubrication.
To finish up here, these are the parts and rationale used to create a very reliable, yet high performance competition ready CZ Shadow 2. Initial testing with my trigger pull weight gauge has the Double Action trigger pull down to a manageable 6.5 pounds down from 11 or so pounds. The Single Action trigger pull was also reduced to 2.5 pounds down from 3 pounds. It’s very smooth with a very nice break.
I plan on posting more articles about my thoughts, tips, range reports, etc. of the Shadow 2, so check back for updates. I hope this helps those seeking to get started with a Shadow 2 and like me, wasn’t quite sure what I needed to do to get it ready for action.
Parts List and Links Used Above