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Shadow System Releases New Compact Multi-Role Pistol – The MR920

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Texas-based pistol manufacturer Shadow Systems is set to release a new compact, production pistol – the MR920 – at this year's #SHOT2020 Show in Las Vegas.

This release comes on the heels of Shadow Systems' 2019 SHOT Show release, the MR918.


The original MR918 series guns had milled slides for an RMR (or Holosun 507c), to the stippled grips, undercut trigger guards, custom barrels, thumb ledges, and flat-face triggers. They also featured the company's novel NPOA (Natural Point Of Aim) backstrap system, which allows the shooter to adjust the way the muzzle points – from 1911 ergonomics to a customized Glock to something in the middle of the two.

Which leads us to the main event – the MR920 (pictured below). While some companies take years to reevaluate and optimize their weapons with new technology, Shadow Systems wasted no time updating their first iteration of a production pistol.

“When everyone else takes 5 years to give you the Gen 2, we're working on making – let's call it an improved version – in less than a year. Nothing wrong with the [MR]918 – it's a great gun. The MR920 is just meant to be better,” Trevor Roe, CEO of Shadow Systems, commented in a phone interview.

“We took  the feedback we got from the market, minor as it was, and immediately started tweaking the MR918 design. We've improved the beavertail to completely mitigate slide bite, since a few of our customers have bigger hands and mentioned it. We improved the trigger to bring it down to about four [pounds], thinned the front of the slide for more safety when re-holstering and made it more compatible with off-brand Glock 19 holsters,” Roe continued, speaking of the tweaks they've made to the design. They recontoured the rear of the slide so it wouldn't “dig into my love handles,” as Roe says one customer put it.

Coming from various duty backgrounds in law enforcement and military service, the team at Shadow Systems is serious about creating bet-your-life-reliability in firearms designed for difficult, imperfect circumstances. Given this, the slide stop lever and protective curtain have been redesigned to further prevent inadvertent engagement with an extremely high firing grip. The magazine release button now features a higher traction surface.

Additionally the MR920 brings their new optic cut to the market. According to the press release:

“By redesigning internal slide components, Shadow effectively relocated portions of the operating system allowing three key attributes:

  • The strongest, deepest screw placement in the industry
  • Direct mounting of several brands without intervening adapter plates
  • Extremely low optic placement permitting most optics to co-witness with typical iron sights”

What does this mean for shooters? More versatility. While most companies only offer RMR or similar footprint milled slides, or companies like Glock have come up with the MOS which utilizes plates to create versatility at the risk of sacrificing mounting strength, Shadow Systems technology allows shooters to use a bunch of different optics. What's a bunch? The MR920 can accommodate a Trijicon RMR and SRO, Holosun 507c and 508t, Leupold Deltapoint Pro, Vortex Viper, and even a TruGlo Tru-Tec. This is not a comprehensive list, as internal tests with other optics are ongoing.

“I was frankly surprised at how much an optic could lose zero when you're hitting it from the side with a dead blow hammer,” Roe continued, speaking of the testing they did. “You're creating an amount of force when using a dead blow hammer with a slide in a vice that far exceeds even a very high drop, because there's just no yield in that system. He said they have some protocols they can recommend to customers that functionally make the optic and the MR920 slide one piece; meaning, your optic will fail before it loses zero.

Why would you take one of the most reliable pistol designs in history, the Gaston Glock piece of perfection that the overwhelming majority of police departments use, one of the most popular handguns ever, and not only refine it – but do it again a year later? I had to ask.

The MR920 will debut at SHOT Show on January 20, 2020 – and will be available in two versions, like the MR918: Combat and Elite. The two are primarily differentiated by their slide designs with minor differences. Both the Combat and Elite have reprofiled muzzles, a recontoured rear slide, thumb ledge, stippling, their revolutional NPOA backstraps and both are available with their patent-pending optic cuts. Pricing for the MR920 will start at $799.

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