CZ’s Shooting Team drives international business
Since 1993, the success of Česká zbrojovka’s team of shooters has played a major role in the worldwide popularity of CZ guns. Today, the team includes the best shooters from the Czech Republic as well as abroad, giving it an international name - the CZ Shooting Team.
The pistol team
The key arena for the CZ Shooting Team has traditionally been IPSC shooting and CZ continuously develops and produces an array of first-rate models for this sector. In return for that, these elite shooters in company colours participate in the development and testing of new CZ guns. The CZ Shooting Team also strives to raise public awareness of this beautiful shooting sport and encourage as many people as they can to take it up, both at the international as well as national level.
The CZ pistol team is currently divided into two parts:
World Class – the best of the best in the world. The Production Division includes Robin Šebo, Ljubiša Momčilovič, Michal Štěpán and Maria Gushchina (however, Maria has lately began participating more in the Open Division). In the new Production Optics division, it is Andrej Hrnčiarik.
The Standard Division includes Josef Rakušan, Zdeněk Liehne and Petr Znamenáček, in the Open Division there is Miroslav Havlíček and Martina Šerá.
In addition, the CZ Shooting Team supports regional continental shooters, for example in Argentina, South Africa, Australia, etc. This year, Germán Romitelli from Argentina won the Production Division in the Pan American handgun Championship in Jamaica with a CZ Shadow 2 pistol.
CZ guns for IPSC
Shooters may only use factory made models with open sights with no additional adjustments or modifications. In this division, the reigning model is the CZ Shadow 2 pistol, used since 2016. The latest newcomer is the improved CZ Shadow 2 Orange.
Factory-produced models with open sights only, without compensators and with limited dimensions (must fit in a 225×150×45 mm box). Adjustments are restricted to improving accuracy, reliability and functionality while using commercially-produced parts. Currently, shooters from the CZ Shooting Team use the CZ 75 Tactical Sports Orange.
There are no limitations on pistols in the Open Division, the participants therefore use individually modified or specially built models. These guns usually have collimator sights, extended magazines and muzzle climb compensators. In this division, shooters from the CZ Shooting Team use the CZ 75 Tactical Sports Czechmate.
Slightly less known to the general public, yet also extremely successful are the long gun shooters from the CZ Shooting Team, Tomáš Staněk and Martin Šlechta, who take part in hunting disciplines, such as the Game Rifle or Combined Game.
In 2018, Tomáš Staněk became a three times Czech Republic Champion in various disciplines and also the European Champion in Combined Game Shooting.
These exceptional results have been of course achieved with the aid of CZ sport specials.
Eric Grauffel – CZ Academy
The 2019 shooting season welcomed a new member of the CZ Shooting Team, Eric Grauffel (b. 1979), who will shoot in the company colours in the Production division with the CZ Shadow 2 Orange model. Eric is considered to be the best pistol shooter of all time.
He is an eight-time World Champion in IPSC – he won the first title in 1996 on the Open Junior division, then five titles in the Open division, one title in the Production division and at the last World Shoot, he triumphed in the Standard division.
Moreover, Česká zbrojovka and Eric Grauffel launched a joint project called the EG-CZ Academy. The aim of this project is to create a global network of training centres which should set a new standard in this field. The headquarters is based in Quimper, a town in France’s northwesternmost region, Brittany. A brand new multipurpose indoor shooting range has been built there, it offers shooting from all angles and is available for sport purposes as well as for highly effective realistic training for the armed forces.
Meanwhile, in 2019 a promotional tour for the EG-CZ Academy took place around the world, primarily in countries with a strong base of IPSC shooting where major events are held. Members of the CZ Shooting Team who rank among the best on the planet acted as shooting instructors. In addition to Eric Grauffel, the project will be joined e.g. by Ljubiša Momčilovič (a long-time member of the CZ Shooting Team, an outstanding shooter and armed forces instructor), J. J. Racazza (the current two-times USPSA Champion in the Open and Limited divisions) and the famous Czech shooting star, Robin Šebo.
The value of the EG-CZ Academy project is reflected in the fact that many related industry companies have become its sponsors, to name just a few: Dillon Precision (reloading equipment), Shield Sights and C-MORE (collimator sights), and RCC (a Russian company whose owner is a long-time supporter of sport shooting).