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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.

53 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?


      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.


      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.

      1. Jason Peterson says:

        What about tier 1, will The Glock 19 version of tier 1 work with the mr920?

      2. Jessica Roe says:

        Yes, Jason, that should work great!

      3. Andy Fry says:

        Have you had any feedback on the fit of Vedder holsters? Thanks

      4. Jessica Roe says:

        We like their PocketLocker holster!

      5. Nobody says:

        the vetter light tuck fits perfect

  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,


      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.

  4. Dan Kerpa says:

    Hello Shadow systems, as a recent purchaser of a MR918 I was very excited to start getting it ready. I put a holosun 508t RDS on top and WOW what a nice addition to perfection. The only problem I seem to be having is locating a holster that will house everything. With the threaded barrel and the rds I’m having a hard time. If you could see if anybody there has a good idea please let me know. Thanks!


      Hi Dan, Any holster that was designed to fit the G19 should fit your MR918. Simply select one that is built to fit a G19 with the RDS you have installed. Some brands that we have found to work well are:
      Raven Concealment
      TXC Holsters
      Bravo Concealment

      1. Dale says:

        Will my glock 19 hen 2 magazines and holster fit

      2. Jessica Roe says:

        Glock 19 magazines of all generations will fit, but you not be able to swap the magazine release for left hand use with older generation mags. Holsters should fit just fine.

  5. Mike says:

    I am looking to buy a 920 elite in the same color combo as my 918. So far I am only finding it in Black. Will you be producing the black slide, coyote frame with the bronze threaded barrel? If so what kind of time frame are we looking at?


      Hi Mike, we are producing the FDE frames for the MR920, and they are available through several retailers and distributors now. I know Scheels and Palmetto both have stock as of right now of the FDE framed MR920s. That said, the FDE MR920s have a color matched FDE slide, so the color combo you have on your MR918, with the FDE frame and Black slide, will not have a match in the MR920, as those slides are FDE as well.

  6. Eliott says:

    Will the barrel of the MR918 fit in a MR920 slide?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Yes, the barrels are the same between MR918 and MR920

  7. Paul says:

    “Hi Dan, Any holster that was designed to fit the G19 should fit your MR918.”

    Would this also apply for the MR920?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Paul, yes! The MR920 actually fits even more brands’ G19 holsters. The holster compatibility is important to our team because we didn’t want our customers to have to buy new or obscure gear.

      1. Robert says:

        Just purchased the war poet MR920 and looking forward to receiving it.
        You mentioned that G19 holsters should fit the MR920. Does it matter if it is an gen 4 or 5 holster, or both fit the same?

      2. Jessica Roe says:

        Both will function fine. The Gen 4 will be the best fit, as the Gen 5 holsters have room for an ambi slide release, which the MR920 does not have.

  8. Kyle says:

    Aside from aesthetics, what are the differences between the MR920 and the War Poet pistol collaboration?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      The main differences are in the slide machining. All models, Combat, Elite, and War Poet are built on the MR920 frame and feature the same barrels, triggers (aside from coloration on the War Poet trigger), and internals. On the Combat slide, you’ll find directional serrations in the front and rear. The Elite model has those as well as top side directional serrations and a weight optimizing window cut for ultra-flat recoil recovery. The War Poet has aggressively angled serrations (not directional) on front, rear, and top and a smaller weight balancing window cut. War Poet models all have the optic cut, while Combat and Elite can be configured with or without it. Hope that helps! Please let us know if we can answer any other questions!

  9. Jared Johnson says:

    Would it be possible to install “the device” on the MR920?
    (Glock striker control device)

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      No, there are not currently any striker control devices that fit the MR920 on the market.

      1. Jace says:

        With the increase of people wanting to use a striker control device, is there any possibility of you making your own as an added option? Or the next model being compatible with one? Would the mr918 be able to have a striker control device? What causes the mr920 to not be able to have the SCD, since the backplate looks identical to a Glock 19?

      2. Jessica Roe says:

        We do not have plans to make a striker control device. The existing striker control device offerings on the market do not fit our pistol and we have no plans to change our pistol to accommodate them.

  10. Jake Alexander says:

    I read this somewhere but I’m not sure if it’s correct. Are all the internal parts of the MR918 Slide compatible to a Glock19? And with the changes made for the MR920 optic cut, there are some internal parts that are Proprietary & isn’t totally compatible with a G19?
    Thank you for the confirmation! I’m really excited to become a Shadow Systems customer

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Hi Jake, yes, many internal parts are compatible with G19 parts. The new optic cut system did require us to change some parts to allow for the very strong and deep mount of the optic. If you have questions about compatibility of a specific part, please email us at support@shadowsystemscorp.com

  11. hector sandoval says:

    Is the weapon ambidextrous? I am a left handed shooter.

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      The mag release can be made to work for left handed shooters, but the slide release is not reversible.

  12. Russell Staton says:

    Was wondering if the new Leupold Delta Point Micro will fit on the MR918

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      It will not. The only optics that fit the MR918 are Trijicon RMR/SRO and Holosun 507t/508c

  13. Caleb says:

    Hello, you all make great products. Kind of a dumb question, but will you guys discontinue every pistol when there is a new updated variant of it? Such as you all did with the 918 vs 920? Thank you for taking time to read, and hope to hear you all reply.

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Hi Caleb,

      That’s a decision we will have to make as it happens. At this point, we do not currently have any plans to discontinue any of the current models.

  14. Brett Stoneberger says:

    I have a MR920 without Red Dot slide cut – was interested in a slide with the cut. I see your slides are discontinued? Is this true? If so, will a Glock 19 GEN 4/5 fit the MR920 Combat? Thank you

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Unfortunately, we do not sell slides separately. Theoretically that slide should fit and function, but we have not tested it and cannot guarantee function with non-Shadow parts.

  15. Jeff Zimskind says:

    I have an MR918 Elite that is not the optics ready model. I would like to get it milled for an RMR. Is there anything about the MR918 slide that would make the milling process any different or more complex for a good machine shop than it is for a regular old G19 Gen 3 or 4 slide?

    Many thanks.

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Hi, while there is nothing that would make the slide more difficult to mill than any other slide, I do want to just alert you that we cannot warranty the function of the slide if issues are caused by the work you have done to it.

  16. MIchael says:

    Safariland just answered my email inquiry about compatability with the MR920L as follows:
    “We cannot guarantee that fitment and the slide serrations tend to chew up the ALS mechanisms. The Glock 17 holster would not accommodate the threaded barrel. You can try the Glock 34 but we cannot guarantee it will work or that the ALS won’t wear down rapidly affecting retention.

    Thank you,

    Safariland Customer Care. ”

    I understand the slide serrations may cause some trouble. Any experience on this?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Hi Michael, we have not heard of this being an issue with our pistols in Safariland holsters. Several guys on our team carry in Safariland holsters daily.

    2. Josh Beasley says:

      Safariland ALS holsters for a G34 will work with your 920L w/ thread barrel. Slide serrations will not “chew up” the ALS mechanism.
      Quick tip: order your SL holsters off Amazon, cheaper and you will receive it a couple days after ordering. I’ve had form 1’s come back quicker than my order from SL.

  17. Karl says:

    Hi there, I was looking to pick up a MR920L here in Canada but it seems that due to demand it might not be here for a while (if at all). Any timeline on when the MR920s will arrive?

    Also, I’m looking at possibly picking up a MR918L and the one changes on the MR920 that is interesting to me is the deeper cut support side thumb rest. Does the MR918 support side thumb area allow for any downwards pressure at all. How much of a difference does the MR918 and MR920 support side thumb texturing make when it comes to bone engagement.

    Lastly, will the MR918L work in a Safariland 6354DO holster?

    Sorry for the long post and thank you

  18. J says:

    Just bought a MR920 (love it). Which generation glock 19 is it most comparable to as far as holsters go? I see some companies advertising gen 5 glock 19 holsters AND gen 4 (implying a difference). Is there actually a difference or am I over thinking this?

    Hope my question makes sense. Love what y’all are doing, keep it up!

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Gen 4 will give you the best fit.

  19. Rene says:

    Will the xr920 slide fit on the mr918 frame?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Yes, it should.

  20. S says:

    Hi, I’m in Canada and I’ve been waiting for a while to get the mr920 elite bronze unthreaded. you guys have any estimated time of arrival for that pistol in canada? I know that in the past you guys made a version of the mr918 elite so it can be legal in canada, the barrel was 4.17″. Do you plan on doing the same for the mr920?

    1. Jessica Roe says:

      Hi! The Canadian version of the MR920 (with the compliant barrel length) has been available in Canada for quite some time. North Sylva is our distributor in Canada.

  21. Drew Pottinger says:

    Will the MR920 frame fit a G19 Gen 4 slide?

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