More on the IDPA ban of the CZ Accu-Shadow

Yesterday, the day before IDPA Nationals kicked off, IDPA announced via email to members and a post on their facebook page that the CZ Accu-Shadow was not legal for SSP. The internet reacted predictably, with at least one shooter affected by the decision voicing his displeasure here in the comments. Many other shooters not affected by the decision, or even shooting IDPA Nationals, also voiced their objections. Objections to the decision fall along two fairly broad lines. 1st, the timing of the announcement by IDPA, and 2nd that the ruling banning the Accu-Shadow is not consistent with IDPA’s other rulings. Let’s take a look at both of those.

cz accu-shadow

IDPA released the ruling in social media on Monday, and via email to their members on Tuesday. We published it on Tuesday to make sure that any affected shooters would have access to the information prior to leaving for the match. The timing of the ruling is undoubtedly terrible. It leaves affected shooters in the position of needing to find a new gun and possibly magazines to compete with in the match, or to use one of the loaner guns provided by IDPA. I have argument with anyone who objects to the ruling based on the timing of it.

However, let’s look at the options. Option 1 would be to say “screw it, the Accu-Shadow is legal for this match, we’ll ban it afterward.” That would have been better in my opinion, but would have created the inevitable push-back from shooters that would used the Accu-Shadow’s legality at Nationals as a reason to keep it legal in SSP forever. Alternatively, IDPA could have simply DQ’d every shooter who showed up with an Accu-Shadow. I think we can all agree that would have been the worst choice of all.

The question raised by this is “why does it matter?” Well, it matters because a strict reading of the IDPA rules would actually make the Accu-Shadow illegal for SSP. That’s the second part of this, the consistency of the ruling.

To understand why the Accu-Shadow is illegal for SSP, you have to understand what the Accu-Shadow is. It is a custom variant of the CZ75 Shadow, which has an external barrel bushing fitting to it in order to improve accuracy. Barrel bushings are on the list of prohibited modifications in SSP.The Accu-Shadow is made by CZ Custom. CZ Custom is not a division of CZ-USA, but is in fact an independent company. CZ-USA may list the Accu-Shadow on their website, but because the bushing is not an OEM part made by CZ and fitted by CZ, the modifications to the Accu-Shadow make it illegal for SSP, and by default then illegal for IDPA. It’s the difference between a Roush Mustang, which is modified by a third party, and a Mopar Challenger. Dodge owns Mopar, Ford doesn’t own Roush.

Some of the objections have noted that IDPA allowed guns from the Performance Center which have illegal modifications to play, specifically, the PC 1911s with the cool slide cuts are legal for CDP. The reasoning behind this ruling is that those slides are OEM, they’re made by S&W and if you want to buy one, you order it from Smith, not a custom shop. Those slide cuts are functionally the same as the hogged out slides on Glock 34s and XDm 5.25 pistols – factory original equipment placed there by the manufacturer.

That’s the big difference here – the bushing modification to the Accu-Shadow isn’t OEM. Yes, it’s in the CZ Catalog, but just because a thing is listed in a catalog doesn’t make it OEM. As a sharp commenter pointed out yesterday, you can frequently buy Roush Mustangs from the Ford Dealer, that doesn’t mean that Ford offers those parts.

This is a frustrating issue for many shooters, and I believe that the timing makes it worse. I honestly feel that if this ruling had been made after the match, and the affected shooters allowed to shoot in SSP with their Accu-Shadows, that would have been the best choice. As it is, there are at least four people affected by this ruling who will now need to bring alternate guns to the match.


  1. I have not shoot IDPA in a couple of years. But, I agree with you. The decision to ban the pistol was right, but the timing was wrong. They should have announced the ban a week later. But, you would probably still have competitors complaining. This time, it would be shooters who placed lower than the shooters using the CZ pistol.

  2. “As a sharp commenter pointed out yesterday, you can frequently buy Roush Mustangs from the Ford Dealer, that doesn’t mean that Ford offers those parts.”

    Except that Ford doesn’t actually say that they are catalog items. It is my understanding that you can order these from CZ USA directly. The relationship between CZ USA/CZ UB, and CZ Custom is a very close one even if they are separate companies.

  3. So, by that logic, a CZ-97B (assuming it fits in the Box of Legality and makes weight) would be legal, because the barrel bushing on that gun is OEM.

  4. If CZ Custom sells more than 2000 a year, which they had to do in order to get them certified for USPSA Production, then congrats, CZ Custom is the manufacturer and the gun should be SSP legal.

  5. YOU guys with your accu shadows are welcome in USPSA production class, of course you will need to start practicing again! lol IDPA = I Don’t Practice Anymore!

    1. If you’d like to actually discuss the issue in an intelligent fashion, you’re more than welcome. If you want to trot out tired old snide potshots about IDPA, you can do that somewhere else.

  6. Well if they crank out 20,000 units and then stop, or crank out 2000 of them a year then it should be ok. Have a minimum annual production of 2,000 units. Discontinued models must have had a total production of 20,000 units.

  7. Limited or Custom Production would seem to be a more acceptable term to allow or disallow weapons, rather than OEM. Or they should if not already, have a limited or custom production class. Unfortunately, there must be rules and all rules must have boundaries in place. How boundaries are crossed legally and cannot be crossed is the issue.

  8. They could have simply posted/emailed a heads up weeks or even a month prior, stating their intention that they were considering disallowing the gun, so people would have time to plan for it.

  9. My issue is solely the timing. I think they could have released the decision or at least released their intent to seek a ban on the Shadows before Nats. They could have easily done that, and while I don’t think it was meant as a way to get a shot in at USPSA shooters…well anybody who shoots an Accushadow is likely a USPSA shooter.

    Not saying it was intentional, but I am saying it was poorly managed. Although, the various rules attached to IDPA are prone to mismanagement on the club level, so why should one assume it would be any different at HQ. I have no accushadow, so the level of my butthurt is pretty much nil, but it is the principle of the thing.

    I just had a stupid funny thought though. I think they could make up for it by providing the shooters whose guns they banned with guns produced by one of their sponsors and founding fathers…The custom shops of Bill Wilson make a pretty nice SSP legal Beretta and I think that providing an object of equal value to the one you took away is a pretty square thing to do.

    1. Be a good time for CZ Customs to show up with a basket full of legal Shadows (instead of the sinister Accu-Shadow).

  10. Did IDPA ever consider these to be legal? If not, then how does this announcement come as a shock?

    1. Yes. Someone on one forum showed a copy of a response from Robert Ray a couple of years ago stating specifically that the accu shadow was legal. I can’t believe they did something like this on top of the mess they made with the new rule book. I am really trying to stay loyal to IDPA but they are making it harder.

  11. Accu-Shadows have been non-compliant as a production gun in IPSC for some time. We were surprised that USPSA approved it for production. Is it really a surprise that it is now non-compliant for SSP ? I agree the timing sucks

  12. First the “barrel bushing not legal” deal is a non-starter, CZ’s already have a bushing.

    Second the whole OEM thing is bogus. Show me anywhere in the rules the term OEM and how it is defined. Rules clearly state…..”2k produced per year or 20k total”.

    Third, it doesn’t make a difference how many shooters were actually affected it just matters whether shooters feel they will be affected by future rulings not based on actual rules.

    And just to make the same tired argument……there are parts on the new WC 92 that are not factory, is it SSP legal?

  13. All the other CZ custom shadows are legal, it’s the accu-shadow bushing that creates the problem.

  14. Caleb, is it possible for a competitor to compete with the Accu-Shadow in a different division? I don’t follow IDPA that much to know the different divisions.

    1. No, in its standard configuration the Accu-Shadow has a full length steel dust cover, which would make it illegal for ESP. There is an Accu-Shadow Light which lacks the dust cover, one would presume that would be perfectly fine in ESP.

  15. I get the fact that while we all get caught up in the heat of our favorite shooting competition each has its pros and cons.

    I get that IDPA does things their way and others do things their way.

    What I do not get is what I perceive as a non-customer centric business attitude. I think that is what has bothered me the most about this and other decisions within this particular business. When I pay my funds in return for services or tangible items, I become a client (or customer if you like). This timing does not just customer friendly in any way. Call me what you will, but I typically try to find business and services that at least act like they listen to me as they take my money.

    I love the shooting sports. I have a soft spot in my heart for IDPA as that was my gateway into this world of obsession with getting better at shooting. I will most likely never get paid a penny to shoot…ever. I shoot because I enjoy the challenge of trying to master something that most likely can never be mastered. I do not own an accu-shadow but would certainly shoot one if I thought it would bring me more enjoyment as I play the game…obviously just not this game.

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