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Why does it take gun companies five to ten years to listen to their customers?

One year ago, Shadow Systems launched the highly successful MR918 pistol. Our team is humbled by how it has been embraced and proven by shooters in the personal defense, line of duty, and competition world. It has truly lived up to its MR (Multi-role) name.

But that doesn’t mean we are perfect. Over the year, we had a few customers raise their hands and say, “You know, I wish this feature was just a little different.” Maybe they had giant hands or wished they could mount a Vortex optic. There were other small bits of feedback, and we listened carefully. Rather than ignore them, we chose to embrace their feedback and pair it with our relentless drive to innovate. We truly believe that even a small improvement to a product like ours could save a life under the right circumstances.



New to the MR920 is a feature that will revolutionize how optics are mounted on handguns. In the past, shooters have faced compromises when putting a red dot optic on their pistol. The strongest mounting systems directly machined the slide to fit the optic footprint. This was what we did on the MR918 – a very strong, but footprint-dedicated design. This achieved a low mounting position and reasonable screw depth, but limited the mount to one brand or model of optic. Other systems use intervening plates or short mounting screws to accommodate multiple brands, but at the cost of strength, height, and complexity.

Our new patent pending optic cut on the MR920 redesigns internal components within the slide that engineers have historically been forced to contend with. This innovation completely changes what can be accomplished in a mounting system. The MR920 optic cut allows a low mounting position, mounts multiple optic brands directly to the slide, and features the longest, strongest screws in the industry.

Frame Features

The MR918 has been called the “flattest shooting pistol on the market.” The MR920 improves on that reputation with frame features that give the shooter even greater control. The MR920 adds a deep recess to the side of the frame which engages the support hand thumb. This Recoil Control Ledge brings the strongest finger in your hand into the recoil control process, vastly reducing muzzle rise between shots.

The MR920 frame is contoured to sit exceptionally low in the hand. The recontoured beavertail offers more protection for those with large hands. However, our design team put tremendous thought into the beavertail design to offer other benefits. The outer radii of the beavertail have been relieved with small semi-circular cuts which alleviate printing under your shirt and reduce the tendency of large beavertails to slightly raise the gun in the hand. We also swept the beavertail upward slightly at the tip. This creates a more forgiving target for your hand when driving toward the gun during a draw, particularly under stress. Likewise, shooters wearing gloves will be less likely to inadvertently hook the web of their glove over the beavertail during the draw.

The MR920 frame still features Shadow Systems’ groundbreaking NPOA backstrap system. While many pistols boast interchangeable backstraps, those designs do not fundamentally change how the handgun points. The Shadow Systems approach, first released on the MR918 pistol, fundamentally change the natural point of the pistol so that it can be adjusted to match the shooter’s intuition. It’s not about comfort. It’s not about small, medium, or large. It’s about getting fight stopping hits at close range, under stress, whether you see the sights or not.

The slide stop lever and curtain have been improved for the MR920 to help prevent inadvertent engagement of the slide release by shooters with extremely large hands or an imperfect firing grip. Over the last year we had six customer service calls from shooters who could not figure out why the slide stop was engaging with a full magazine during fire. We finally traced it to the geometry of their firing grip and their palm placement. While this was obviously a very rare issue when considering the thousands of pistols we had in the market, we were able to make a frame change to alleviate this concern. We added material to the curtain around the slide release and created greater protection for the lever to prevent such an issue at a moment when it might matter most.

Other improvements include a higher traction magazine release button and a recontoured trigger guard. The MR918 pistol was renowned for fitting Glock™ holsters, but inevitably, a few shooters reported holster fit issues. We determined these issues typically were related to the shape of the leading edge of the trigger guard. We removed material from that area which allows the MR920 to fit an even broader range of G19 holsters and some designed for other brands.

The texture used on Shadow Systems frames is aggressive enough to give a positive grip in all weather conditions and shooting situations, but not rough enough to be uncomfortable for daily carry. The MR920 has a generous internal magazine well, but for those who want to the fastest possible reloads, the MR920 includes a removable magazine well, mounting hardware, and tool.

Slide Features

The MR920 slides are designed to minimize recoil and maximize control and comfort. The Combat and Elite model slides are machined from 17-4 stainless steel and include directional serrations in the front and rear of the slide. The directional nature of the serrations provides an aggressive grasping surface when manipulating the slide, but vastly reduces friction when coming out of the holster. These serrations are seated in shallow pockets on the slide making the slide feel thinner and easier to grasp. The Elite model features additional directional serrations on the top side of the slide for enhanced traction in manipulation. The MR920 Elite models have a weight-optimizing window cut which reduces reciprocating slide mass and minimizes sight movement during recoil. The slides for the MR920 have been reprofiled to be more comfortable for IWB carry, eliminating the feeling of the slide digging into the shooter’s side when holstered.

Both models of the MR920, the MR920 Elite and the MR920 Combat, can be configured with either dovetail sights or with an optic cut.

Optic Cuts & Sights

The NEW, patent pending red dot optic cut featured on the MR920 is a first in the industry. For as long as shooters have been mounting optics on to handguns, there have been tradeoffs. The tradeoffs have been on how low an optic can seat into the slide, how strong the optic can be mounted, and which brand’s footprint can be accommodated. For the first time ever, Shadow Systems has introduced an optic cut that eliminates the need for compromise in optic selection and mounting. The design team started by solving the underlying challenge when designing the optic mount: the location of the slide internals. By redesigning internal components and operating principles, we created space in the slide for the longest, strongest screws in the industry.  Therefore, the MR920 optic cut allows multi-brand and multi-footprint optic compatibility combined with a low position and very long screws. The optic can be mounted low enough in the slide to permit co-witness with typical iron sights for most optic brands. The new Shadow optic cut accommodates Trijicon RMR, Holosun 507c, Leupold Deltapoint Pro, Vortex Viper, TruGlo Tru-Tec and many other red dots with similar footprints.  The new system provides versatility without compromise and even exceeds the strength of past Shadow Systems mounts that had a dedicated Trijicon RMR footprint machined into the slide.

The iron sights on the MR920 have also been updated based on customer feedback. MR920 sights are slightly taller, but still at a reasonable height, to allow for co-witness with more optic brands. The MR920 still features a bright green tritium night sight front with a blacked out rear sight to allow faster sight picture under stress. 


The Shadow Systems match-grade spiral fluted barrels are machined from 416R stainless steel, conventionally rifled 1-10 in., and concentricity checked.  The lug geometry and barrel hood fit is slightly tighter than a conventional barrel, but not enough to compromise reliability.  The  spiral fluting pattern improves the evacuation of dirt and debris and reduces barrel weight.  The Shadow barrel mated with the MR920 slide provides improved accuracy over other production pistols in the market. With threaded barrel versions of the MR920, a high-heat o-ring will now be included to prevent the thread protector from loosening when firing—this o-ring is NOT TO BE USED with a suppressor, as suppressors need to seat metal-to-metal to prevent baffle strikes.


The flat faced trigger and proprietary trigger bar featured in the MR920 has been redesigned to have a smoother and lighter trigger pull than previous triggers we have offered. The 4.0 – 4.5lb trigger pull is safe for daily carry or duty use. We pair our trigger with a TTI connector for reliable, consistent ignition and a slightly better pull. Take-up for the MR920 trigger has been slightly reduced without compromising internal safeties. All drop safeties are intact in this carry-safe trigger.

Small Parts

The MR920 accommodates Gen4 Glock recoil assemblies, but includes our own modified Gen3 recoil system. This single spring system is user adjustable for those wishing to tune the gun with different spring weights. The included spring is a conventional weight flat wire spring but is manufactured from higher-quality chrome silicon material.

All internal slide parts are machined from billet stainless steel. The extractor is our own high-reliability enhanced LCI extractor. The LCI features a serration that increases the sensation of the LCI protruding from the slide when checking by feel in darkness. The extractor features Shadow Systems proprietary geometry and material selection to enhance longevity and extraction of a wide range of ammunition.

The MR920 pistol includes two magpul 15 round magazines. We are partial to these magazines for several reasons. Aside from their performance in multi-thousand round testing, we appreciate the oversized, serrated basepad which aids in emergency magazine removal particularly with the add-on magazine well installed. These magazines are also substantially easier to disassemble and clean when compared to other designs on the market compatible with our pistol. We view magazine maintenance as a critical aspect of maintaining system reliability. MR920 pistol owners will also benefit from broad magazine interchangeability with Glock-compatible systems.

CALL: (469) 458-6808