Sphinx AT-2000: An improved version of the Czechoslovakian CZ 75 pistol

Sphinx AT-2000: A Swiss-made pistol
Sphinx AT-2000 was available in 9 mm Parabellum or .41 Action Express caliber (Photo: XY)

The Sphinx AT-2000 was originally the ITM 200 pistol, announced in 1984, but ITM was bought by Sphinx Engineering and the pistol re-named accordingly. In fact, it originated as a licensed copy of the Czechoslovakian CZ 75 pistol, but over the years there have been a number of small changes in detail and various improvements, to the point that AT-2000 can now be considered as a completely independent design.

Design

Assembly tolerances and finish have been greatly improved, and the dimensions of the barrel have been slightly changed so that it is no longer possible to interchange a Czech CZ 75 barrel. Barrels are now made in Germany by Peters Stahl and have exceptional accuracy and resistance to wear.

The Sphinx AT-2000 series are therefore recoil-operated pistols using the usual type of Browning dropping barrel for their breech lock. The safety catch can be applied whether the pistol is cocked or undocked, and in 1987 an automatic firing pin safety system was introduced, preventing any movement of the firing pin except during the final few degrees of trigger movement prior to releasing the hammer. Recent designs have an ambidextrous safety catch and, if desired, the slide stop pin can be fitted to the right of the frame, a refinement seen on no other pistol.

A very rare Swiss-made Sphinx AT-2000 was a good and reliable service pistol
A very rare Swiss-made Sphinx AT-2000 was a good and reliable service pistol (Photo: Sphinx Systems)

The pistol was originally designed for the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge but was one of the first to accept the .41 Action Express round and a conversion kit was supplied to permit a change of caliber. Since the .41 AE uses the same rim diameter as the 9 mm Parabellum, only the barrel, return spring and magazine need to be changed.

Variants

Sphinx AT-2000S

The basic model of the range is the AT-2000S, a full-sized holster pistol by police and military use.

Swiss-made Sphinx AT-2000S, an improved version of the Czech CZ 75 service pistol
Swiss-made Sphinx AT-2000S, an improved version of the Czech CZ 75 service pistol (Photo: Sphinx Systems)

Sphinx AT-2000P

The AT-2000P is a shorter and lighter version designed by Sphinx; except for the dimensions (93 mm barrel, 910 grams weight) it is the same as the AT-2000S and a similar 9 mm/.41 conversion kit is available.

Sphinx AT-2000H

The AT-2000H is the ‘hideaway’ version, mechanically similar to the other members of the family but even smaller than the 2000P, weighing only 740 grams, with an 87 mm barrel and a 10-shot magazine. Normally supplied in 9 mm Parabellum caliber, it can be converted to either .41 Action Express and a patented design of magazine has been developed which will accept and feed all three calibers without the need for change.

Sphinx AT-2000SDA

The AT-2000SDA, AT-2000PDA, and AT-2000HDA are the same as the three pistols described above, but, as the ‘DA’ suffix indicates, are arranged so as to fire in the ‘double-action-only’ or self-cocking mode. The pistols are automatically de-cocked and made safe after each shot, but pulling the trigger will raise the hammer, disconnect the automatic firing pin safety and drop the hammer to fire the weapon. These pistols have the same ability to interchange between 9 mm Parabellum and .41 AE calibers as the original versions.

Sphinx AT-2000R

The AT-2000R is similar to the double-action-only DA models but has the additional ability to be thumb-cocked to allow single-action firing when required. In normal use, the hammer always falls to the safe position but stands sufficiently clear of the slide to be pulled back by the thumb for a more deliberate shot. This ‘R’ variation can be applied to any of the three standard 2000 models, thus producing the ‘PR’, ‘SR’, or ‘HR’ varieties.

Technical specifications: Sphinx AT-2000

Manufacturer: Sphinx System, Porrentruy, Switzerland
Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, double-action
Caliber: 9 mm Parabellum or .41 Action Express
Barrel: 4.53 in (115 mm)
Weight (empty): 35.2 oz (1000 grams)
Capacity: 15 rounds (9 mm) or 11 rounds (.41 Action Express)
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