TFB Review: The New CZ Shadow 2 Compact Pistol

Matt E
by Matt E
TFB Review: The New CZ Shadow 2 Compact

Welcome back to another TFB review. This week, we take a closer look at CZ-USA’s new Shadow 2 Compact. This has been the latest release from CZ-USA with a number of new features and options for the brand. We’ve gotten a few questions about the gun so I decided to pick one up from my local gun store to give it a good old-fashioned shakedown. Let’s take a closer look at the new CZ Shadow 2 Compact.



The CZ Shadow 2 Compact has gotten the same treatment as its full-size brother with a few small tweaks. The Shadow 2 Compact is based on the smaller P01 firearm but that’s where the similarities end. CZ went through this gun and replaced almost everything inside the pistol to make it feel like all the other members of the Shadow 2 family. Chambered in 9mm, the CZ Shadow 2 Compact comes with 2 magazines and a hard case along with a cleaning kit from the factory.

Each magazine has a capacity of 15 rounds and takes regular P01 magazines which makes buying more magazines fairly easy for this gun. The aluminum grips are a silver color with an extended magazine release to match. Sights on the Shadow 2 Compact consist of a red fiber optic front sight and a checkered blacked-out rear sight. CZ added an optics cut for the Shadow 2 Compact allowing the user to run any optic they want on this compact pistol. With the Shadow 2 Compact, there is a manual safety only with no de-cocker option so users may carry it cocked and locked similar to a 1911 stype pistol even though this is a DA/SA pistol.

The trigger on the Shadow 2 Compact has had significant work done from the standard P01 model. This model has the Shadow 2 trigger installed which has a double action pull weight of 10.4 lbs and a single action trigger of just 3.4 lbs. With the flatter curved trigger, the breaking point of the double action makes it feel more like a 6 lbs trigger rather than the heavier 10.4 lbs creating a very smooth and predictable trigger. MSRP on the Shadow 2 Compact is $1,299.99 and is available in stores currently.

Spec List

Manufacturer Part #91252ModelShadow 2
Caliber9MMBarrel LengthN/A
Capacity15 RoundsAccessories2 Magazines
DescriptionOptic ReadySafetyManual Safety
SightsFiber Optic Front SightSubcategoryPistols – Metal Frame

Range Time

Starting out with the Shadow 2 Compact, I wasn’t exactly sure what the main use of this pistol was for initially. It could be a great concealed carry gun that can be carried like a 1911 with an optic mounted on it. It could also be a smaller gun for competition. I went into this review with an open mind to see exactly what it was all about. So far in my testing of the Shadow 2 Compact, I have roughly 680 rounds through it.

I’ve taken the Shadow 2 Compact out on five different range sessions doing everything from slow controlled 20-yard groups to fast target transitions like the El Presidente drill. With the added weight from the metal frame, the Shadow 2 Compact is flatter shooting than other options on the market for its size. The fiber optic front sight contrasts nicely with the blacked-out rear sights making it fast for transitions and seeing your target. The one aspect that really stands out to me has to be the trigger. Just like the bigger Shadow 2 Orange I have, the Compact has an insanely good single-action trigger.

This handgun is really smooth with a crisp wall, fast trigger break and a slightly longer reset with a defined click. I’d love a slightly shorter reset but with the 75-style triggers, there’s always a bit more travel to reset the trigger. With the metal grips and extended magazine release, the Shadow 2 Compact is one of the most user-friendly and fast-shooting firearms I have tested in quite a while. It’s not as smooth as something like Staccato C2 but for a DA/SA firearm, the Shadow 2 truly is an incredibly easy gun to shoot fast and hit accurately.


Regarding accuracy, I shot at 20 yards on a bench rest to test out just how accurate this gun is at a distance. The Shadow 2 Compact surprised me with the grouping for a smaller compact handgun. With 124gr Federal Premium ammunition, I was averaging a 1.04″ group at 20 yards. Considering this Shadow 2 Compact only has a 4″ barrel, I think that’s certainly acceptable. The Shadow 2 series of pistols always have been known for being incredibly accurate and this one is no exception.


Throughout my 680 rounds of testing, I ran various ammo through the gun including Blazer Brass 115gr, and Federal Premium 124gr as well as a box of Federal HST rounds to see how self-defense ammunition runs through the gun. Despite all the different ammunitions and grain weights, I had zero issues with the Shadow 2 Compact. I did disassemble the gun and lubricate it initially just to make sure it was clean and grease-free but after the initial lubricating, there was nothing else done to the gun until I finished up my last round of testing. For being a tight-fitting small competition gun, I was really impressed with the overall reliability and performance of the CZ Shadow 2 Compact.

It’s Place In The World

When I first saw the release photos of the new Shadow 2 Compact, I was slightly puzzled about what its place in the market would end up being. It’s a smaller framed gun that at first glance looks like a concealed carry gun, but shares the same features as the full-size Shadow 2 line of pistols. After shooting almost 700 rounds through the gun, I now realize it’s a mix of both. I even went as far as discussing the gun with other people like Marcee Finn who is the creator of Ballisitic BOS. Looking at the gun from a woman’s perspective, Marcee thought the Shadow 2 Compact was a fantastic first pistol for female shooters.

It allows them to shoot in competition if they have smaller hands but allows them to carry the pistol they train with as well. After talking with her and shooting the Shadow 2 Compact as much as I have, it is really a great carry gun if you like to carry the gun in a single action with the safety on like a 1911. The heavier metal frame makes it easier to control while firing but also allows you to have a red dot straight from the factory as well as a capacity of 16+1. This is a great carry option as well as a competition firearm for either women or individuals with smaller hands.

Overall Thoughts

After spending a decent amount of time with the Shadow 2 Compact, I’ve grown rather fond of the gun. It certainly has a place in the gun market, and if you’re a fan of CZ 75-type firearms, it’s certainly worth considering as a future purchase. I’m glad I made this purchase and plan on keeping this gun for the foreseeable future which should say enough if you guys know me.

Check Prices on CZ Shadow 2 Compact Pistols

What do you guys think of the Shadow 2 Compact? Is it a good option in the market or would you guys rather stick to what you carry now? Let me know in the comments below. If you have questions about the Shadow 2 Compact or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you in the next review.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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5 of 17 comments
  • HenryV HenryV on Nov 29, 2023

    CZ haters have got to hate. :) ;)

  • Abel_Archer83 Abel_Archer83 on Nov 29, 2023

    I love my CZ handguns. My Shadow 2 SAO is basically a cheat code to shoot really accurately. Sadly it has been discontinued. Possibly because I don't think it was legal in any USPSA or IDPA class. This seems a bit of an oddity to me. It's not really a carry gun in my opinion. Even at P01 size it's bulky and heavy. It would play in the gun games world but so does a standard Shadow 2 which is also optics ready. If I had the money to waste I would still buy it. It would be a nice bbq gun.

    • See 2 previous
    • Dead Sirius Dead Sirius on Dec 02, 2023

      @Abel_Archer83 I've got a polished 75B for my BBQ gun.