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Old 03-07-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
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Sphinx 3000 report

Hello,

As mentionned in the post about the Swiss Army adoption of Glock, the transition to plastic handguns by cantons' polices here has positive effects for civilian shooters and enthusiasts.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to buy at half price a NIB SIG Sauer P228 from the "Kantonspolizei Zürich". A few days ago, a another fantastic opportunity appeared again with surplus unshot Sphinx P3000 from the "Police cantonale du Valais" (the language differences relects the different languages spoken in Switzerland: german, french, italian and rheto-romansch).

My range owner and friend had 4 Sphinx in the showcase: 1 duotone, 2 steel- and 1 alu-framed. He let me handle and test one steel model and the alu. Wonderful machining and finish inside, perfect grip, very good trigger in DA and SA, smooth decocker lever, well dimensioned sights... I had my Glock 19 with and tested the 2 Sphinx against it. From the beginning, I got similar 2-2,5" groups at 10 m. with both, shooting DA/SA doublettes with the Sphinx. Further at 20 m and 25 m, the Sphinx was clearly tighter, with 1,5-2" groups in SA, shooting 2 hands with no support. For me, that's SIG P210/Manurhin MR 73 5" results...

After that, I had a big indecision between the alu or steel frame: the weight difference didn't seem so great in the hand but I finally chose the steel for the more nose heavy feeling and the greater (theoretical) strenght. Theoretical because these Sphinx are built like tanks.

As you probably know, Sphinx are CZ 75 clones. The former 2000 model was pretty near to the original, departing only on the slide locking on the barrel chamber instead of lugs. That gave a distinctive square form on the hood.

While keeping the CZ action (with the double trigger bar and detachable module) and design (slide inside the frame rail), the 3000 departs esthetically from both the 75 and the 2000. The flat sight band is cut on both sides, the slide's sides are groved back and foreward. The frame keeps the fabulous grip of the 75, with the graceful backstrap and a longer beavertail. The triggerguard is enlarged and square, à la SIG P225 or Glock, the dustcover has an integral rail. But the original feature is the frame made of 2 seperate parts, the upper frame - with the rails and action - and the lower frame with the triggerguard and grip. Both parts are permanently bolted together and extremly well adjusted: you see the joint but do not feel it with the finger.

My "steel" 3000 came with a steel upper frame and an alu lower frame: the benefit of this design is that you can choose between steel, alu and titan for those 2 components. In addition it is a DA/SA with decocker (you can also have a traditionnal DA/SA with safety or a SA with safety). It has interchangeable fixed sights, with white dots that glow red (front) and green (back) at night.

Weight: 990 g. with empty mag
Capacity: 14 + 1
Barrel length: 95 mm
Overall length (with beavertail): 188 mm
Overall height (with sights): 129 mm

As you can see in the pics, the finish, machining are flawless. The gun is extremly tight, in the P210 tradition.


The profile of the Sphinx 3000 departs deliberatly of the 75 silhouette and other clones. Sphinx has chosen a definite square design option. The first time I thought it was amoung the ugliest guns ever, but now I find the design bold and coherent.


And it looks even better in the hand than in pics! The muzzle is massive, the slide and barrel are tighly guided.


In this view, it looks more like a CZ. The back- and frontstraps have smooth vertical grooves.


The dots on the sights look white at day and red/green at night. I'm not to fond of the red front dot.


The logo of the Police cantonale du Valais, with the canton's flag.


The beautiful Sphinx logo.


The faint line of the junction between the upper and lower frames appears in front of the grip. Good work for sure.


I couldn't resist to post this one: 2 classics and the reimpretation of another classic. The Government is a 80 Series, with beautiful grips sent by Charles, the HP has grips given by my friend Chris. Thanks!

All in all, I'm very glad of this jewel that came at half of the catalog price (2300 francs).

If there is some interest, I can take pics of the inside, too.

Thanks for the attention.

L.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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Hello Larry,

Thank you for the excellent report!

I agree with you on your comment that the lines look "bold and coherent" and it sounds like it shoots as well as it looks. I doubt that many of us on this side of the Atlantic will ever have a chance to own or shoot one, but it is a high quality pistol.

The only U.S. Importer of late for sphinx handguns "was" www.sabreindustries and it will cost one a "small fortune" to own one! I like the fact that they have taken a bold design concept and I imagine that they are quite popular with Swiss handgun shooters.

As I recall, the AT 2000 also had a more "blocky" design. Your 3000 is very solid looking pistol and I imagine that it locks up as tight as the proverbial "bank vault".

I would interested to see pictures of the interior of the pistol!

Again, congratulations on your latest!

Best,

Chris
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Enjoyed your report adn photos Larry. I like the early model Sphinx am always on the lookout for one.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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Hello,

I apologize to all for mis-posting about www.sabredefense.com. The current importer for Sphinx Pistols is:

KRISS USA Inc.
PO Box 8928
Virginia Beach, VA 23450
USA
Tel. +1 (757) 821-1089
Fax +1 (757) 689-2113
E-mail: sales@kriss-tdi.com

Best,

Chris
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
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Here are the pics of the inside. They don't real give justice to the clean machining as I didn't degrease/deoil the parts.


The barrel with the recoil sping and guide


The barrels are Lothar Walther bought in Germany. The tubes are milled and adjusted by Sphinx to drop tight in the slide. The feed ramp is polished and the chamber slight opened at both sides.


The slide reflects the CZ 75 influence. Note the firing pin block and the polished feed band.


The frame: no tool mark on the dustcover (I don't know how they do that, but the 2 part-frame helps for sure). The screw assemble the lower frame to the upper. There's another one under the action module.


The action module is definitly CZ. It doesn't have any sort of play in the frame.

I've put some more rounds through the Sphinx and the excellent initial impression goes on. After a week behind a PC screen, I had my eyes "burnt" and couldn't see the front sight clearly but still had good results on the target.

Life is - definitly - to short to shoot only Glocks!

L.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Hello Larry,

Thank you for the excellent pictures and most of us CZ aficionados should really take notice of your excellent pistol. I haven't kept up with the current Sphinx pricing in the U.S. but I imagine that it is "way up there".

With so many Glocks to chose from here, I would definitely like to own a Sphinx, but that will probably never happen.....

Again, thank you for the excellent pictures and report....

Best,

Chris
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Larry - that is a Beautiful Browning High Power and The COLT is nice too!

Good luck with the Sphinx.
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"LONG LIVE THE FN-BROWNING-SAIVE HIGH POWER"

John Browning & Dieudonne Saive's Designs Will Always be Light Years Ahead of All the Others.

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I'd rather beat a bad guy to death with my Browning High Power, than shoot him dead with a plastic pistol.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:28 AM   #8
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I didn't know about the CZ P-07... Sphinx cloned the CZ 75 with its 2000 and CZ cloned the 3000 with its P-07. Funny!


The general shape is similar, especially the triggerguard. Granted, the P-07 has a polymer frame.

I should try a P-07 holster!

L.
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