Technical Tuesday: Loading Mags and Maintaining Reliability


Today’s Technical Tuesday is focused on something that may sound boring and mundane, but is actually very practical! Let’s talk about loading magazines. Today, we will be sharing tips and tricks for making it easier to load mags, how to load magazines for maximum reliability, and how to maintain your magazines for longterm reliability. Since magazines can be one of the most common failure points in a firearm, we feel like this discussion could be helpful to everyone.

We’re using brand new Magpul magazines, which some folks think can be a bit difficult to load, especially as you’re loading higher round counts into the mag. We like Magpul magazines for two specific reasons: 1. Magpul magazines are easy to disassemble and clean. 2. They have a really nice gripping surface for emergency magazine removal.

First tip, how to easily load a magazine. Once you get about 10 rounds loaded, you will find that the magazine will start to feel a bit stiffer. Take your thumb and push down on the top round in the magazine, then hit the bottom of the magazine against the palm of your other hand. Doing this will cause the 10 rounds you’ve already loaded to act as a giant hammer, compressing the spring all the way to the bottom of the magazine, allowing the next rounds to go into the mag much more easily. It’s such a simple trick that can make loading higher round counts much easier.

Second tip when you’re loading a magazine, after you load a magazine, take it and tap the back of the magazine against the palm of your hand. What this does is to seat all of the round to the very back of the magazine, so that the rounds are all positioned in the same way as they are engaged by the slide and pushed into the chamber. This can help with reliability.

Finally, let’s talk about how to take care of your magazines to ensure they’re going to run when you need them. Maintenance is so important for mags–if you have to choose whether to clean your gun or clean your mag, always choose to clean your mag. The guns will normally run fine if they’re a bit dirty, it’s the magazine that is going to be the weak link. The reason cleaning your mags is so important is because, as the spring compresses, the spring gets twisted into a tight little ball, so dirt or mud inside of the magazine can really cause a problem. Again, why we like the Magpul mags is how easy they are to take apart to clean–depress the detent, and out comes the spring and follower. Get yourself a cloth (Microfiber is great; some guys in the competition world will choose to use a rod and reel cloth that does have a bit of silicon on it). Use a pencil to push the cloth into the magazine and pull it through. This will quickly take out any dirt or debris that has gotten inside your mag. Then take the cloth and wipe along the entire length of the spring, getting every coil. Finally, ensure the follower and detent are seated properly on the spring and reassemble.

Hopefully you find this helpful! Please give us a call with any questions, 469.458.6808. And please leave a comment with anything you’d like us to cover on a future Technical Tuesday!


Technical Tuesday: Optic Cuts


It’s Technical Tuesday here at Shadow Systems. This week, we are talking about Optic Cuts for our slides. We cut our slides to fit a Trijicon RMR or a Holosun 507c. We’ll talk about why we chose these, how we designed our optic cut to allow the optic to sit lower than anyone else on the market, and how to install your optic on your slide.


Drop a comment with anything you’d like to see us cover in a future Technical Tuesday.

Give us a call at (469) 458-6808 with any questions!

Shop Optic Ready Slides with RMR Cut.

Technical Tuesday: MR918 Interchangeable Backstraps and Optional Magwell


This week, we are talking about the MR918 interchangeable backstrap system and the optional magazine well.

When we designed the frame, we included an interchangeable backstrap system that we call the NPOA system for Natural Point of Aim. The reason we designed it this way is that we feel some of the other designs out there now, small/medium/large, doesn’t really solve the problem–the problem being that I want a gun that points naturally for me. Our system is all about adjusting the gun so that it points naturally for you.

The gun comes with three backstraps, neutral, high, and low. We include a tool with a hardened steel pin in it to help you take the backstraps on and off. The gun has a single pin on the back of the backstrap. Using the tool, there is a little tiny chamfer on the tool that nicely fits into the top of the coil pin and that pin just pushes right out. Then the backstrap will just slide right off. You’ll see the dovetail along the back of the frame when you pull off the backstrap; that dovetail is what tensions the backstrap to the frame when it’s in place, making it feel and function as one solid piece. Each backstrap has a corresponding dovetail as well.

What you’re trying to do is to select the backstrap that feels natural to you, and what we mean by that is what makes the gunpoint as true to your natural aim as possible.

We will walk you through how to change out the backstrap and how to determine your natural point of aim to find the correct backstrap for you.

The gun ships with the “neutral” backstrap, which is somewhere between the Glock “hump” and the flat 1911; it’s very similar to what we do to our custom Glock framework when we flatten out the backstrap some. That’s a good starting place for most. You’ll also receive a “high” and a “low” backstrap. The “high” is most similar to the way a stock Glock fits in your hand, so if you’re a Glock guy, this may be the place to start for you. The “low” is the flattest of the three backstraps and feels most similar to the way a 1911 fits in your hand. So select the backstrap that works best for you and then lock it in place with the pin.

Once you’ve installed your backstrap, you’ll see there is a little tiny hole that a plug fits in. If you just want to run the gun flat, without a magwell, take the little plug and put that into the hole–this will keep debris out of that hole and finish the gun in a flat configuration.

If you’d prefer to run a magazine well to assist with faster reloads, you can choose to utilize the included magwell often used by Glock. Our magwell is a polymer piece that is lightweight and durable and comes standard with your gun. If you’d like to add the magwell, take the plug back out and add the pistol magwell plug in its place then pin that in place. Then the magwell snaps tightly into place and is pinned in place with the second pin. Then the magwell will be locked nice and rigid to the frame. We really like this magwell not just for faster reloads, but also because that bottom edge helps to lock the pistol even tighter into your grip. One additional note on our magwell, it has been designed so that if in the rare instance you do break your magwell, let’s say you fall on some rocks and break the magwell, it is designed to break at the plug so it will protect your frame. That way if you ever need to, you can replace the plug for $1 without doing any damage to your frame.

Hope this was a helpful introduction to our backstrap system and our optional magazine well. It is our goal to meet that need of every shooter to have a gun that points naturally, especially under stress. Can’t wait to hear your feedback as more of these MR918s start getting into the market.

Drop a comment with anything you’d like to see us cover in a future Technical Tuesday.

Give us a call at (469) 458-6808 with any questions!

Learn more about the MR918.

Shop MR918 Elite

Shop MR918 Combat

Technical Tuesday: Common Trigger Installation Mistakes- Return Spring


This Technical Tuesday, we’re discussing a common Glock trigger installation mistake and specifically the trigger return spring.

In the video, we take apart the frame. We show you how to do it on a Glock compatible frame. The most common trigger installation issue that we have seen from customers is people will sometimes have the trigger return spring installed improperly, which can make the trigger bind a bit. We want to show you how to avoid that.

We also walk through how to look and see that it is installed correctly without even having to take this all apart. Hopefully, this is helpful! This is one of the little things that can help ensure your trigger is functioning the best that it can!

Shop our triggers and parts

As always, if you have any issues with this or anything else, give us a call at (469) 458-6808 and one of our techs can help you get everything installed correctly!


Technical Tuesday: Identifying Types of Handgun Malfunctions – Nose Up Jam


Technical Tuesday: This week, we are talking about some common handgun malfunctions that we hear from our customers. One that we see often, especially with P80 builds, is a “nose up” malfunction, in which the round doesn’t feed properly and ends up jammed in a nose up position.

It can be tricky to troubleshoot the P80, so be sure to watch our video above. We’ll look at how this malfunction happens, what can cause it, and a few ideas for fixing the issue.

If you are in the market for a polymer 80 kit, try out our P80 Frame Completion Kit with Shadow Systems Elite Trigger.

Hopefully, this can help you with identifying malfunctions on your own, but of course, give us a call at (469) 458- 6808 with any questions. We are always happy to help!

Technical Tuesday: Replacing Your Slide


This week, Technical Tuesday is building on what we’re talking about on the Blog.

We’re going to walk you through one of the most common Glock modifications, replacing a slide. We’ll show you how to do it with the right tools and also some tips and tricks in case you don’t have the right tools on hand.

We will walk you through exactly how to strip your current slide if you’re planning to reuse the existing internal parts (please note, you will need a new channel liner as that is a one-time-use part).

We will also then show you how to use the reused parts and then we will also show you how to use the parts from a slide completion kit in your new slide.

If you want to read a step by step with pictures as you make your own Glock mods to your slide, check out our blog post here for detailed instructions.

And, as always, if you run into any issues, give us a call! 469.458.6808


Shop the slides featured in this video here!

Get all of the internal parts you need in one of our Slide Completion Kits.

Technical Tuesday: Glock Sight Upgrades


What night sights should I get for my Glock? Should I use a black rear sight? What sights make you shoot fast? What gun sights should I use with an RMR? Should I replace my stock Glock sights?

These are all the questions we are answering in today’s Technical Tuesday video!


It’s Technical Tuesday! This week, Trevor is talking all things sights–what we think works best and why.

A pistol sight system can feel like a very personal choice–not only is there the question of optic or non-optic but then there’s what kind and what height and what colors. We’re going to talk about what we picked, why we picked it, and why we think this is a great solution for most people.

Here at Shadow, we use a serrated black rear sight combined with one of three front sights: green outline tritium, red fiber optic, or black. Our recommended Glock sight upgrade and the most common configuration for our customers is serrated black rear sight combined with the green outline tritium front sight.

Some folks may feel that night sight systems require some kind of illumination on the rear sight. From a practical perspective, we prefer the plain black rear sight for two reasons.

1. You’re paying for it. Since illumination on the rear sight isn’t right for everyone, our production guns don’t come with it, that way if you choose to swap it for our recommended black rear sights in the future, you haven’t already paid a couple hundred bucks for illuminated rear sights that you won’t be using.

2. Adding illumination (dots or dashes) to the gun’s rear sight adds more chaos to the sight picture, meaning more stuff you need to focus on. If you look at the competition world, you will see that almost everyone running iron sights is using a plain black rear sight. This is because the rear sight isn’t something you want to be focusing on; all you focus should be on the front sight. When the gun is cycling fast, it is best to really just have one thing you need to focus on. If you’ve got dots and dashes on the rear sight that you need to try to line up, it does add to the chaos of everything you’re trying to track. The reality is, at night, if you’re scared and dealing with a potentially deadly threat, lining up dots and dashes and shifting your focus back to the rear sight is not the best use of your time. We believe at that point it is as simple as pressing that big green glowing front sight toward the target and pull the trigger and you’re probably going to get your hits.

The reason we like the green outline tritium front sight for a pistol is that during the daylight the green outline provides a nice bright focal point that has the feel of a fiber optic front and then at night the tritium lamp gives the benefit of the glowing green front to give you an index point at night.


Featured in this video is the SS9F featuring the LFT Hybrid Grip Slide. Check that out here.

Explore Shadow Systems Fighting Glock Upgrade Sights

The Right Approach to Pistol Modifications, A Three-Part Series: Part 3

This week, we’ve been talking about choosing modifications to your pistol that ensure reliability and performance. On Wednesday, we talked about choosing modifications that improve handling qualities first, like grip work and serrations. Check out that post here! Yesterday, we discussed the importance of choosing quality connectors and springs. Check out that post here!  Today,

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