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Shadow Systems XR920P: Polymer Perfect

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Customized 2011s are the new hip thing right now, but striker-fired guns aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Shadow Systems offers a polymer pistol with a ton of upgrades for about half the cost of a Staccato, but how well do they shoot? We’ve tried other Shadow Systems guns before, but this is my first time with one. After getting to fondle one at CANCON Arizona 2024, Shadow Systems sent out their XR920P — a full-size pistol with a comp.

How does it shoot? Is it worth the money? Is Glock actually perfect?


Founded in 2016 Shadow Systems has been around long enough it feels like it should be considered one of the major players in the polymer pistol space, but still with a kind of small business/cult following vibe.

Not every shooter you know has shot a Shadow Systems’ pistol, but you probably know at least one guy that swears by them and shoots nothing else. 

Made in Plano, Texas, Shadow Systems manufactures almost everything in-house. Slides, barrels, and triggers — Shadow Systems itself mints all.

They even have the MIM and injection molding for the frames and small parts.

Doing almost everything itself means a lower-cost pistol for you while getting a ton of upgraded parts.

Granted, Shadow Systems pistols aren’t cheap, but for what they offer I think the argument should be made they punch above their price tag. More on this later.


  • Caliber: 9×19
  • Action: Striker fire
  • Weight: 22.4 oz (Elite)
  • Frame: Textured polymer
  • Length: 7 ¼ inches 
  • Height: 5 ¼ inches
  • Slide Material: 17-4 Stainless Steel
  • Trigger pull: 4.5-5.0 lbs
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Front sight: Green Outline, Tritium Dot
  • Rear sight: Black Serrated
  • $1,293 MSRP, street around $1,100 at time of writing.


From the first shots, I knew I liked this gun. While this isn’t the fanciest pistol I shoot or the most expensive, it has quickly earned my trust for being a durable, reliable, accurate, and fast pistol I can pick up and run hard.

I used mostly Torkmag 20-round G17 mags with a few factory Glock G17 and Magpul P17 to check the pistol's function.

Torkmag ran wonderfully and dropped free every time. Having 20-round mags right out of the gate was a nice touch.

The first range trip was around 300 rounds of drills and getting to know the gun. The comp works wonderfully and keeps things flat shooting while the flared magwell makes reloads a breeze.

The second time out was for a local 2-Gun match where the XR920P got dragged through the dirt a little and blazed through a Texas Star. Things were looking pretty good so far, so I made the bold choice of taking this gun to InRangeTV’s Woodland Brutality and Midnight Brutality in West Virginia. 

Brutality matches are just like the name suggests, brutal on you and your gear. The XR920P got rained on, covered in mud, shot at night with white light and night vision, shot spinner targets, and was forced to make hits at about 40 yards on steel.

This gun ran perfectly. No malfs, no slowdowns, nothing went wrong. It just ate the ammo and spate fire. 

Frankly, there is nothing negative I can say about this pistol. It’s well made, the comp works great, and I absolutely love the optics mounting system. I’d maybe like it if the trigger was a pound lighter, but this is a full-size duty gun and the trigger makes sense. What it lacks in lightness it makes up for with a crisp break and good reset.


I’ll admit some bias here, I simply don’t like Glocks. They don’t point well for me, I hate the grip, they are behind the times in a lot of features, and the MOS system is fundamentally flawed. And most importantly, they’re ugly.

Because of that bias, I ignored Shadow Systems for a long time. I saw it as a Glock clone and since I hate Glocks, I assumed I would hate Shadow Systems. Maybe not as much since they had “upgrades”, but in my mind there was no way Shadow Systems could win me over.

But at CANCON Arizona 2024, I finally shot one. Not because I was excited to try one, but because I was trying everything on the line regardless of what it was. It surprised me that… I liked shooting the CR920. It was only 10 rounds, but it was enough for me to reconsider my stance and question my wrongful assumptions. 

Shadow Systems sent out this XR920P for review and I have to admit, I like this gun. A lot. From the first mag, I just really like this gun.

The XR920P points perfectly, it has great iron sights, it feels good in my hands, and the comp takes a lot of the muzzle rise out of the gun making it shoot flat and fast.

The Best Feature

But the feature that gets me the most is the optic system. Shadow Systems wasn’t content with the same optic cut that everyone else makes. Instead, they redesigned the slide parts to allow for a deeper cut. 

The deeper cut means the optic sits lower and works better with iron sights, it also means it can use huge beefy screws that make other optic screws look like something for your glasses.

Add in the provided bumper and the fact that the optic cut is good for DDP and RMR, and this is the best non-plate system I’ve ever used. It kicks ass. Period.


If you’re in the market for a polymer gun and you want to spend a little more money on something with features and upgrades that are worth the money, Shadow Systems is a great option.

For the money, they pack a lot into one system and deliver a quality handgun.

Of all the Glock-ish guns I’ve shot, this is by far the best and the only one that, even in its stock form, I enjoy.

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