Shadow Systems MR920 9mm Luger

The Shadow Systems Multi Role (MR) pistol is basically an improved Glock 19, especially the trigger, sights, and grip. With the Glock disappearing from the shelves and sometimes demanding scalper prices, the Shadow Systems pistols are excellent buys.




This was recent price from The Shadow Systems MR920 is a pistol that resembles the Glock 19 to a great extent, including size. This makes it the most suitable for concealed carry among the three pistols tested. The pistol is made in America, and while it handles like a custom-grade Glock in some ways, the pistol is unique. Some parts will interchange with the Glock, but there are differences.

Action TypeDAO Safe Action
Overall Length 7.4 in.
Overall Height5.04 in.
Maximum Width 1.3 in.
Weight Unloaded24.0 oz.
Weight Loaded29.0 oz.
Slide MaterialSteel
Slide Retraction Effort15.0 lbs.
Receiver Material Polymer
FinishBlack oxide
Front Strap Height2.0 in.
Rear Strap Height 3.6 in.
Barrel Length 4.0 in.
Grip PanelsPebbled and serrated
Grip Thickness1.3 in.
Grip Circumference6.0 in.
Magazine(2) 15-round Magpul
Rear SightFixed
Front SightFixed, tritium insert
Sight Radius7.0 in.
Trigger Pull Weight4.5 lbs.
Trigger Span2.45 in.
SafetyFiring-pin block, trigger lever
Warranty5-year limited
Telephone(469) 458-6808
Made InU.S.A.

As one example, aftermarket Glock magazine wells do not fit the Shadow Systems grip frame. Glock barrels, sights, and internal parts will fit. Improvements to the Glock itself came slowly and incrementally, with the pistol now in its fifth generation, all the while keeping the brand’s hallmark, reliability. There can be no room for compromise concerning reliability. Some aftermarket parts present a challenge in reliability. Radical porting and too-light triggers have adversely affected the Glock trigger action. The Shadow Systems pistol offers a reasonably priced but extensive overall upgrade. There are no concerns with the liability of an aftermarket trigger because the Shadow Systems pistol was supplied with a factory-installed custom-grade trigger.

The Shadow Systems MR920 is in many ways a highly developed Glock 19. We liked the unique grip treatment, it seemed ideal for good control.

Ergonomics are also improved in the Shadow Systems pistol. The frame featured an elongated beavertail grip tang compared to a Glock. Combined with a modified trigger guard, the result was a lowered bore axis compared to the Glock 19. The balance of abrasion and adhesion was good in the Shadow Systems pistol. While we had a good purchase when firing the pistol, abrasion was never uncomfortable.

The MR920 was supplied with a magazine well. This magazine well attached solidly with a small part that utilizes the grip insert pin. The grip inserts do not completely mimic the Glock. The flattest grip insert is similar to the 1911 handgun in feel. We believe the grip inserts and frame design are superior to the Glock pistol. The grip was also superior to the other pistols tested. The frame doesn’t quite feel the same as the Glock during firing. It does flex, but not quite like the Glock.

Moving to the slide and barrel, the barrel was a modern Cerakote type with spiral cuts. The barrel featured standard rifling rather than polygonal. This makes the pistol safe to shoot with lead bullets. While there are advantages to polygonal rifling, high-volume handloaders and those using hard-cast bullets find a conventionally rifled barrel superior. The real advantage was in the rifling of a custom-grade barrel.

The slide was attractively designed, with forward cocking serrations. The pistol was topped with wedge-type rear sights well suited to combat shooting and a modern tritium front sight. We like the bright front dot very much. The pistol uses an all-steel guide rod, a considerable improvement over the Glock. Not that the Glock guide rod is a recurring problem — the steel part is simply sturdier.

The Shadow Systems MR920 sight system is easily the best of the test. The bright tritium front sight is a considerable advantage in combat shooting, our shooters said. We’ve seen a lot worse choices in a lot more expensive handguns.

While we are not testing a Glock in this report, it is inevitable that comparisons be made against the Glock due to the similarity of the Shadow Systems pistol. Among the most interesting features of the pistol was the improved trigger action. To make the pistol ready, the shooter racked the slide, partially cocking the striker, but not completely the same as the Glock and the SAR9 pistol tested. A safety lever set in the trigger face prevents lateral discharge and acts as an additional drop safety to prevent the pistol from firing if dropped. Trigger compression was a relatively smooth 4.5 pounds after testing. During the initial test, the 4.9-pound trigger settled into a press of 0.4 pound less. Pre-travel was slightly shorter than the Glock, and reset was rapid, perhaps slightly ahead of the Glock reset. This trigger was superior to the trigger action of the other pistols, as well.

Takedown of the Shadow Systems pistol was nearly the same process as the Glock, but not exactly the same. The pistol was moved only slightly out of battery, and the takedown levers were easier to manipulate, a complaint with the Glock pistol. We did not find the takedown to be superior to the others.

The Shadow Systems MR920 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Glock 19. The pistol field-strips in the same manner as the Glock.

When we disabled the pistol, we found the internals to be very similar to the Glock — actually interchangeable. One rater made a good point concerning the Shadow Systems MR920. While we have seen pistols go out of production, such as the Hudson 9mm, there will never be a problem with resupply of parts, holsters, or magazines with the Shadow Systems pistol. The pistol was supplied with two Magpul 15-round magazines. These magazines proved easy enough to load and were reliable. The company tells the owner that the Shadow Systems pistol may require a 200-round break in because the pistol is manufactured to tighter tolerances than the Glock. While the pistol’s tightness was discernible, we did not experience any break-in malfunctions or short cycles of any type. The Shadow Systems pistol demands more than the drop of oil on the disconnector the Glock does; the Shadow’s barrel hood and locking lugs should be lubricated.

The pistol was supplied in a cardboard box with a gun rug, cleaning rod, backstraps, two magazines, and owners manual. The NPOA (natural point of aim) grip system was considered one of the Shadow’s best advantages by the raters. The backstraps are marked H, N, and L. We overwhelmingly preferred the L, for Low, marked grip insert. The grip inserts were changed by driving out a pin and then replacing the insert.

The pistol was tractable, comfortable to fire, and came on target quickly. Offhand combat firing was good to excellent. While the pistol was the lightest tested, it was also the most capable in combat firing. This was largely due to the pistol’s sights and good trigger action. In bench accuracy, the pistol was the most accurate tested. Groups of an average 2.25 to 3.2 inches were recorded.

Our Team Said: We like the Shadow Systems pistol the best of the three tested. But should you buy it ahead of a Glock, or instead of a Glock? In many ways, the MR920 is a better gun, and because of its similarity to the Glock, holsters are widely available. Accessory rails are universal, so no concerns there. This is a good gun, even if you haven’t heard of it.

9MM Luger Range Data

Black Hills HoneyBadger 100-grain FTMSIG Sauer P365XL S&W Shield 2.0Walther PPS M2Springfield Hellcat
Average Velocity1186 fps1176 fps1170 fps1138 fps
Muzzle Energy313 ft.-lbs.307 ft.-lbs.304 ft.-lbs.287 ft.-lbs.
Average Group2.04 in.1.00 in.2.1 in.2.01 in.
SIG Sauer V-Crown 115-grain JHPSIG Sauer P365XL S&W Shield 2.0Walther PPS M2Springfield Hellcat
Average Velocity1156 fps1198 fps1121 fps1139 fps
Muzzle Energy338 ft.-lbs.363 ft.-lbs.318 ft.-lbs.328 ft.-lbs.
Average Group1.73 in.1.84 in.2.15 in.1.65 in.
Speer Gold Dot 124-grain JHPSIG Sauer P365XL S&W Shield 2.0Walther PPS M2Springfield Hellcat
Average Velocity1100 fps1101 fps1098 fps1139 fps
Muzzle Energy334 ft.-lbs.307 ft.-lbs.332 ft.-lbs.328 ft.-lbs.
Average Group1.46 in.1.95 in.1.93 in.1.19 in.
Black Hills HoneyBadger 125-grain Subsonic FTMSIG Sauer P365XL S&W Shield 2.0Walther PPS M2Springfield Hellcat
Average Velocity983 fps955 fps980 fps989 fps
Muzzle Energy268 ft.-lbs.253 ft.-lbs.266 ft.-lbs.272 ft.-lbs.
Average Group1.33 in.2.08 in.2.47 in.1.64 in.


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