MR918 vs MR920: What did we change and why?

We’re behind the scenes at SHOT Show 2020, taking a look at the MR918 and the MR920 side by side. The MR918 was doing really well in the market, but we heard some feedback from some folks who had requests for some improvements. Let’s take a closer look at the way we’ve improved the MR920.

On the frame, the first thing is the location for your non-firing thumb. If you shoot with a thumbs-forward grip, your support hand thumb will rest on the front of the frame. With the MR918, we added a textured area there for your thumb to have somewhere to rest. But with the MR920 we’ve made it even deeper with an aggressive, large cut on the frame that allows you to get bone engagement with your thumb. Your thumb is the strongest finger in your hand, so we are using it now to help control recoil.

You’ll notice that the front of the trigger guard on the MR918 is more squared off. We had designed the MR918 with the goal of holster compatibility with a majority of the G19 holsters on the market. But, of course, there are guys who love more obscure brand holsters that didn’t fit with the MR918–we discovered most of these fit issues were because of the trigger guard. On the MR920, we reduced the profile of the trigger guard in the front so it is gently sloped backward. You’ll still click into your holster really well, but you just don’t have the risk of interference with the trigger guard.

The beavertail on the MR918 was already a fairly generous beavertail. But we saw some guys that had enormous hands that were still getting some slide bite. The MR920 beavertail is even bigger. We intelligently designed this beavertail though. We swooped it up at the back to help get you hand in the right place as you’re driving your hand toward the gun. We also knocked the corners off the back of the beavertail, to reduce the profile on either side. This creates a little more space for your hand so you don’t inadvertently raise your hand as the result of the larger beavertail. It also means it prints a little bit less.

We had about 6 guys report that if they had an exceptionally high grip, they may nudge the slide release lever. We decided to address this by increasing that little protection around the curtain. Even though this was an issue for such a small amount of people, our philosophy is if it can be improved and we can do it better, then we should do it.

Looking at the slide, the slide profile has changed a little bit. One of the things guys were reporting was the corners on the MR918 could kind of dig into their side when carrying IWB or appendix. So we have thinned that area of the slide altogether, used a thinner rear slide, and angled the slide at that location to make it more comfortable for daily carry.

We did also change the front profile of the slide. You’ll notice the front of the MR920 has a thinner slide profile, which gives you a little more purchase on the front of the slide when manipulating the slide. But the real advantage of this is it is now a lot easier to safely reholster this IWB. A lot of times an IWB holster will collapse a little bit, and by thinning the front profile of the slide, it can help get the gun started into a holster. It’s a minor improvement, but one that can be really meaningful if you’re safely reholstering into IWB.

Outside of these ergonomic changes, the biggest improvement on the MR920 is the change to the optic cut. Historically, when people have been designing optic cuts for slides, it has been very difficult to balance all of the competing priorities–on the one hand you want an optic cut that sits as low as possible and on the other hand you want to fit multiple brands and footprints and you certainly want it to be strong. In the past, you’ve had to really choose two of those three priorities. For example, on the MR918, we chose to machine the optic directly into the slide, so it was one optic cut that fit the RMR or Holosun, but it wouldn’t fit the Deltapoint Pro or the Vortex or others. We did that because by machining the slide to take the optic directly, it was as strong as possible. But the sacrifice there was compatibility with other brands. Well the way you get multiple brand fit historically is you have a plate or you keep the optic very high or you do things that generally reduce the cowitness, or make it kind of clunky, or make it not as strong. What we did this time with the MR920 is we relocated the internals to move the infrastructure out of the way. In the past, you have had to do something to avoid a screw that would impact that infrastructure. But by moving it, we’ve created space so now you can send screws all the way into the slide. In fact, the screws now go down almost all the way to the rails! Now you have an optic cut that fits multiple brands, but with the longest screws that have ever been put in any optic for this pattern of slide EVER. Some of the screws are almost an inch long, counting the portion that goes into the optic. That is an enormous change int he capability of the optic system of a handgun. You now can use that optic to v-rack, that optic is never going to come off; it’s just a stronger system. Overall, this is a really big deal. It gives more flexibility to more users with no compromise.

Learn more about our patent pending optic cut and the other changes to the MR920, here.

6 Replies to “MR918 vs MR920: What did we change and why?”

  1. Blake says:

    The mr918 does it have the same rear slide plate Dimensions as the MR 20?

    1. JESSICA@SHADOWSYSTEMSCORP.COM says:

      No, the slide cover plate is different on the MR920.

  2. Jose says:

    Is there a list of holsters that will work with the mr918? Don’t want to purchase something known to be not compatible.

    1. JESSICA@SHADOWSYSTEMSCORP.COM says:

      We do not have a formal list as manufacturers sometimes change their designs. However, we have not had issues with Blade-Tech, G-Code, Raven Concealment, KT Mech, and most Safariland holsters.

  3. Fred says:

    Is the slide for the mr920 compatible for the mr918? I know it says its thinner but I was curious to see if the rails would line up and function properly. I love the idea for the optic mount on the 920 but own a 918,

    1. JESSICA@SHADOWSYSTEMSCORP.COM says:

      Hi Fred, An MR920 top end would fit on the MR918, there are just some internal components that would need to be changed in order to accommodate the new optic cut on the MR920 top end.

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