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Shadow Systems MR920 Review

Our Shadow Systems MR920 review covers a popular Glock clone.

When Glock’s patents for the Gen3 system ran out, multiple companies (including Shadow Systems) started making complete guns based on that design. 

Their goal was to take the Glock Gen3 design and improve it. Making a gun that was cross-compatible with Glock parts while offering a lot more value from the factory. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Right Side

For years, people have been taking stock Glock pistols and modifying them. Usually with lots of aftermarket parts, but Shadow Systems wanted to offer that complete package out of the box so the user didn’t have to buy anything from the aftermarket. 

The average consumer could pick the gun up at their gun store and immediately go shooting.

There are a lot of details in the Shadow Systems MR920L that we’ll go over in this review. These set it apart from a standard Gen3 Glock. We’ll help you determine if they are enough to make you buy the MR920L over any Glock factory firearm.

Role

The Shadow Systems MR920 series is a Glock 19-sized gun. The gun we’re reviewing in this article, the MR920L, has a 19’s frame with a 17-length slide. 

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This is a format that people have been asking Glock to come out with for years. Glock has not used this concept except for Border Patrol’s release of the Glock 47. 

Unfortunately, that is not available on the civilian market. 

If you want something in this format, you’re either going to have to build it yourself using aftermarket parts or buy the MR920L.

Carry Shadow Systems MR920 Review

In my opinion, this gun really shines for concealed carry. 

The shorter grip makes it just a little bit more concealable than a true 17-sized gun. The longer barrel creates no noticeable downsides. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review With Magazine

It’s actually more comfortable for appendix carry. This is because the length distributes pressure much more effectively. 

If you’re carrying this gun at three to four o’clock inside the waistband (IWB), the extra barrel length doesn’t make a difference. In theory, the barrel can poke down a little bit more and print through your pants, but that’s not a typical issue for most people and body types. 

If you were carrying this gun outside the waistband, the extra length could make a big difference. You want to make sure that your shirt or jacket is fully covering the bottom of the holster. A longer gun can make this more difficult.

If you’re looking for a duty-size weapon, you might as well go with a true 17-length grip. With that you get the extra capacity offered with a gun of that size. 

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In my opinion, the Shadow Systems MR920L is really set up for concealed carry. It’s still a thicker gun based off of the Glock design. It’s not going to be as thin or lengthy of a gun as the Glock 48 or SIG P365 XL. 

Due to this, you do have to understand you are carrying a larger gun. With that, you get some benefits. We’ll cover those down below in the Shadow Systems MR920 Review.

Features

The Shadow Systems MR920L comes from the factory with two Magpul PMAG magazines. I love Magpul products, but I don’t think they did well on their Glock magazines. 

I’ve had a fair amount of trouble with them myself, even though they were the earlier magazines that I purchased. 

I have been shooting the Glock Magpul in this review, but I’ve only gotten about 500 rounds through one of them. This is the same point where my old magazines started to fail.

So far, I haven’t seen any signs of failure. Aslo I haven’t run those hard enough to see if they will fail later on. 

At the end of the day, Glock magazines are really cheap. 

I wish they came with Glock mags, but I understand Glock likely won’t sell directly to a competitor. I can relegate the PMAGs to training. Generally, I carry the gun with a Glock OEM magazine that I know will be reliable.

The magazines they ship are Glock 19 Magpul magazines. These hold 15 rounds, but you can also get 10-round versions if you live in a restricted state. 

The great thing about it taking Glock mags is that you can use factory 24-, 33-, or 17-round mags (or heck, even Glock drums) in the gun. It gives you a lot of different capacity options. 

Magwell Shadow Systems MR920 Review

The magwell on the Shadow Systems MR920L isn’t anything special in its standard configuration. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Magwell

It has a very slight bevel on all four sides, but it’s not flared.

So it doesn’t really help when you’re trying to insert a magazine. It’s easy enough with good technique, but it’s not going to provide you with an advantage over most other guns out there like a standard Glock Gen 5 would.

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Now, one advantage of Shadow Systems is that it does come with a polymer magazine well. It can be added to the gun and really does flare it. The downside of this is it would also negatively impact concealment. It adds a lot of width to the grip. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Large Magwell

As you can see in the pictures, it’s pretty large. 

It works very effectively, but I’ve chosen not to run it on my gun since I plan on using the MR920L for concealed carry

Grip/Ergonomics

Shadow Systems didn’t just copy the Gen3 Glock frame like you might think they would. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Grip

Instead, they tried to improve upon the ergonomics of the Gen 3 19 frame overall, which led to the gun feeling only reminiscent of the baseline design. 

It’s much smaller in its standard configuration and just feels a little bit better in the hand.

There are a couple of key design differences between this and the standard fame. 

Grip Angle

The Shadow Systems MR920L uses a removable backstrap system that allows you to change the grip angle on the gun. They offer three different sizes so you can tailor the gun and its grip angle to your specific shooting style.

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Backtrap Options with Tool

Another nice feature they added is a small lip at the front of the magwell. 

This little lip allows you to place your pinky there and get just a little more leverage on the frame. Combined with the beavertail and tang of the gun, the lip forces your hand high up into the grip of the gun.

It gives your pinky give a lot of leverage to the bottom of the grip. 

This really helps to control recoil and get a proper grip on the firearm. 

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They’ve also added an undercut under the trigger guard. That combined with the other two aforementioned features really forces that hand high. It allows you to naturally get a good grip on the MR920L. 

They’ve pretty much created a design that regulates proper handling form.

If you’ve shot Gen 3 Glocks before, you know that in their factory stock configuration, without an undercut, you really have to work hard to get that grip high on the gun. 

You also get “Glock knuckle” as a result of that. (Not saying you won’t get a little bit anyway, but it’s going to be much less, and like I said earlier, just get your hand really high on the gun.)

I can’t explain enough how much I like that feature of the Shadow Systems MR920L.

A highlight of the Shadow Systems MR920 Review.

Beavertail Shadow Systems MR920 Review

This gun does have a slight beavertail. It will keep everybody from getting slide bite, which can be a problem for some Gen3 Glock users. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Tang

I personally never had a problem with it, but I know plenty of other shooters who have. 

One thing I don’t like about the beavertail is that if you grip your gun by placing your thumb on top of the rear sight before drawing, it is a little less comfortable. 

It also creates a larger amount of space where the web your hand has to travel. So you could likely screw up the index you get while gripping your firearm. 

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I’m personally not a big fan of these beavertails on Glock-style firearms, but it’s not that bad. 

If you don’t place your thumb on top of the rear sight when drawing a firearm, then it’s actually a major benefit and you’d really like the design.

Another interesting addition to the frame are the provided cutouts in front of the frame right behind the rail. 

These cutouts allow you to place your thumb so you can get leverage. When shooting the firearm and creates a little shelf that allows you to counteract the forces of recoil. 

They are identical on both sides with texturing in that portion of the gun. Personally, I don’t use them when gripping a firearm, but they’re there if you have the option. I see no real downside to them.

Texturing

The texturing on this gun is all over the grip and at the ledges we just mentioned. 

It’s a sandpaper-style texturing which I would say is akin to 600-grit. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Front Strap

It’s aggressive enough that you’ll be able to get a good grip. While not overly so that it’s uncomfortable to carry.

It’s very similar in aggressiveness to guns like the Sig P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat. 

It does have a slightly different texture. In terms of how it feels, the Shadow Systems unit is almost identical.

General Feel

Overall, the MR920L doesn’t exactly feel comfortable in the hand, but it does feel secure. I’ll take security over comfort any day when it comes to controlling the recoil on a firearm. 

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This gun really puts your grip where it needs to be to get a good, solid grip.

Ergonomically, it’s great from a shooting perspective. If you’re looking for a gun that just feels comfortable in the hand, then this isn’t for you. It does force your hand to where it needs to go to get a proper grip on the firearm.

Slide

The slide on the MR920L is a work of art from a functional standpoint. 

There are serrations on the top, front, and in the rear. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Thread Protector No Oring

The serrations work really well for press checking the firearm. There are also two lightning cuts right in front of the ejection port.

On both the right and left sides of the slide. 

Those provide a nice little aesthetic bump by allowing the copper-coated barrel to be seen through the slide. 

The front serrations are really well-designed and work well for press checks. 

The rear serrations are equally aggressive and work well for racking the slide. They don’t seem sharp at all yet work really well even if you have sweaty or bloody hands.

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Now, here’s the downside of those slide serrations. 

Fit and Finish Shadow Systems MR920 Review

I noticed that the front serrations on my gun have marks of poor machining. It looks like they let the tool get a little bit old for that portion of the firearm. Conversely, the machining on the rear and top serrations is very clean for the most part. 

There are a couple of nicks on the forward part of the front serration. That tells me my gun might have just been the unlucky gun that had a tool go too far. 

I really do wish they were switching out tools sooner so that this didn’t happen. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Machine Marks

For the price of this gun, I’m torn. 

The MR920L is much cheaper than buying something like a full-agency build, but at the same time, it’s still more expensive than a factory Glock. It would be nice not to have these machining marks in nicks on the firearm as well. 

At the end of the day, this is a gun that I’m going to beat up and use, so I’m not that concerned about it. 

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If you’re the type of person that is concerned about machine marks, I would definitely suggest buying one of these in a store where you can check it out before bringing it home.

This is a downside we noticed in the Shadow Systems MR920 Review.

Sights

The Shadow Systems MR920L has a pretty darn good set of sights from the factory. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Sight Picture

It comes with a night-vision front and a blacked-out square notch rear. I really like the sight picture that comes on this gun from the factory.  It’s probably one of the best sets of factory sights I’ve seen. 

Personally, I’m not the biggest night-sight fan. 

If you are going to have a night sight on the gun, I want the ring to be a green or yellow color and the rear to be blacked out. This gun meets both of those qualifications. 

Yellow is brighter on the color spectrum than orange, so I’m glad to see they went with yellow as it’s a bit easier to pick up.

If you’re reading this Shadow Systems MR920L review because you want to have a gun that you can pick up from your gun store without making mods, these sights go a long way. 

They’re just really good. 

The gun uses a standard Glock cut, so if these sights don’t meet your approval, you can easily replace it with any other Glock sights. 

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One thing I don’t like about this sighting system is the rear sight does not use a set screw. 

In the past, I’ve had multiple guns have issues with a dovetail press-fit rear sight eventually losing zero and sliding in the gun. This is not something that is probably that big of a deal for most people. 

Personally, I’d much rather have a sight with a set screw, especially on a carry gun.

Red-Dot Options

The Shadow Systems MR920 series comes standard with a red-dot cut. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Optic Cut Parts

They have a pretty cool red-dot mounting system with multiple threaded holes into the slide and a spacer system at the rear, which allows you to position different dots on the gun without having air gaps between the front and rear of the slide. 

I’m really impressed with what they’ve done with their optics mounting system. 

It seems pretty darn good. One downside of this optics mounting system is that it doesn’t accept all red-dots and there aren’t any aftermarket plates that allow it to accept all red-dots, so if you want to mount something like the Holosun 509T or Aimpoint Acro, there is not an option at this time. 

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That being said, I did notice that the company is working on an Aimpoint Acro-compatible slide system. It’s very good news and hopefully we’ll see that soon. 

I’m not sure if that will be a specific model or worked into their current optics mounting system. 

Otherwise, this gun fits pretty much any other optic out there. 

Co-Witness

One thing that’s really nice about it is if you’re using a Trijicon RMR or Holosun 507C, either of those options will work with the current iron sights. With that, I get a lower-third co-witness when using the iron sights that come standard on the gun. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Sight Co Witness

This is a really nice feature. 

Almost all guns out there either have massively-tall suppressor sights which just get annoying or low sights that don’t co-witness and cannot be seen through the red-dot’s window. 

If you’re looking specifically for a red-dot carry gun, it’s nice knowing that you can literally just go to your gun store, pick up one of these guns, and then install a common red-dot on it without having to buy a bunch of extra accessories. 

Shadow Systems ships the gun with all the screws and the wrenches you’ll need to mount the red-dot. 

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This gun’s just really well-thought out and they offered a great package. Of course, there are some downsides to it that we’ll get to later on.

Controls

The controls on this gun are pretty much like any other Glock firearm. We’ll go over those below in detail.

Safeties

Like most Glock designs, there are no external safeties. 

At least in terms of there being a thumb safety on the gun. There is an external safety on the trigger, but I don’t consider that a true external safety since it’s only there to make the gun drop safe. 

It’s just a basic dingus with nothing uncomfortable about it when using it with the standard Shadow Systems aluminum trigger.

Magazine Release Shadow Systems MR920 Review

The magazine release on the Shadow Systems MR920L is reversible and a standard Gen4-style release. 

Even though this is a Gen3-style gun, they decided to go with a Gen4 release because there are more options out there and it’s a little bit wider. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Magazine Release

Personally, I’m happy with the magazine release that comes on the gun. It’s not great, but it’s perfectly acceptable for a factory firearm and I don’t see the need to upgrade it.

I’ve had friends who’ve had these guns in the past who had issues with the magazines auto-ejecting from the gun while firing. They speculated that that was a result of the release design that Shadow Systems was using at that time, but it could have also been a result of the Magpul PMAGs. 

I have been using the factory magazine release with Magpul PMAGs and have not had any issues with auto-ejecting.

Their experience was over a year before I purchased this gun, so I suspect that Shadow Systems fixed that issue and you’ll probably be good to go as long as you’re buying a new factory firearm. 

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If you were to buy one of these used, the issue seemed to be remedied by replacing it with an aftermarket Gen4 mag catch like a Tangodown or just a standard Glock Gen4 option.

Slide Stop 

The slide stop on this gun is probably one of my biggest complaints. 

This gun does a lot in making it seem like an aftermarket-accessorized gun except for the slide release. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Slide Stop

The slide release on this gun is not ambidextrous, so it’s only located on the left-hand side of the gun and therefore set up for right-handed shooters. It’s also very small and I just wish it were larger. 

A standard Glock mag catch seems to be much larger on the Gen5 guns at least. 

I would also like to see something with a little more aftermarket flare and to have seen them work an ambi-design into the frame. Maybe there were patent infringement issues that could’ve occurred had they done that.

Overall Ergonomics

Overall, the ergonomics of the controls on this firearm are fine, but they aren’t great.

I do think they could have improved the magazine design slightly and could’ve made some really big upgrades on the slide stop.

Overall I’m still happy with this gun considering the price point and all other features on it.

Trigger

The trigger on the Shadow Systems MR920L is a considerable point of value if you take into account the fact that they’re using an aluminum trigger shoe. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Trigger Shoe

The shoe itself is a big deal to a lot of people, and companies like Overwatch Precision and Hive are making a lot of money selling aftermarket triggers. 

The trigger shoe itself is not quite flat-faced but it does have a flat portion with a slightly-rounded curve. The center portion of the trigger is very flat, but there are chamfers on the sides that make this a very comfortable trigger to put your finger on. 

There are no sharp edges and it is just very natural.

Some of these guns have very small trigger safeties that can lead to issues with either discomfort or disengaging the safety, but that is not going to be an issue for most shooters on this one. 

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If you had very small hands, I could see that being an issue, but you would have to be in the bottom-tier percentile of adults in terms of hand size (maybe even smaller) for that to be the case. 

I try as hard as I can, and I can’t get my hand high enough to not activate the trigger safety on this gun.

Trigger Pull

Now let’s get into the feel of the actual trigger. 

When you go in, you’re going to feel the safety slightly disconnected and be slightly heavier of a safety spring than most other guns. From there, you’re going to go back and fill a little bit of a creep. Again, the creep is a little bit heavier than your standard polymer striker-fired guns. 

After that, you’re going to feel some really heavy creep right before you get to a wall. 

At the wall, you’re going to feel a fairly heavy but crisp break and then have a short reset right in front of that wall with just one layer of creep before the gun goes off again. 

This trigger is fine, but it’s not great. It has more of a rolling break than your standard Gen3 Glock trigger. That being said, it’s probably on par with a factory Gen4 Glock trigger in terms of how the trigger pull itself feels. 

The trigger shoe, though, is not much nicer. The good news is that it’s a standard Glock, so you can go in and polish some of the parts or replace it with aftermarket connectors if you want to change the trigger characteristics. 

Personally, I feel this trigger is very safe and fine for me when it comes to carrying concealed. 

I’m a big stock trigger guy for the safety aspect. If you’re a trigger snob, you do have the option to upgrade and might want to. 

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You’d probably only need to upgrade a connector and maybe a couple springs, which will likely only cost you less than $40 with shipping.

Aftermarket Shadow Systems MR920 Review

Aftermarket for this gun is going to be pretty good because it’s basically a Gen3 Glock.

You’re going to be able to order some parts that are specific to this firearm from Shadow Systems if you lose parts for the optic or whatnot. Frankly, there aren’t a lot of aftermarket parts really needed for this gun. 

You may want to change the slide stop, magazine release, sights, or some of the internal components related to the trigger, but those are all very easy to find. From that perspective, aftermarket is going to get a 10 out of 10.

Now, as a holster manufacturer, I am going to have my own opinions on holsters for this gun. 

This gun will fit all the Glock 17 holsters that I have tried, but there is a lot of upward travel (around one-tenth of an inch) in that. The reason for this is that the front of the trigger guard on this gun is much thinner than a standard Glock. 

You’re probably going to want to try to find a MR920L specific holster to run this gun in. 

On that note, pretty much any of the Shadow Systems guns will be better off if you run them in a specific holster. If you’re running the gun with a light this isn’t going to be an issue, but if you’re running the gun without one, I would definitely suggest getting a holster built specifically around the MR920L. 

This is definitely something we’re working on and hope to have an option linked here soon.

Maintenance

The maintenance on this gun is just like any other Glock. It’s easy to take down. 

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Takedown

There are little take-down tabs at the midpoint of the frame that you put down after making sure the gun is completely unloaded and the striker has been dropped by pulling the trigger.

If you don’t like a gun that requires you to pull the trigger to take it down, then this gun isn’t for you, but if you follow the safety steps correctly, there’s no real issue with that. 

Overall maintenance: it’s a Glock, it’s easy.

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, I really like the look of this gun for what it is. 

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The frame, to me, looks a little bit cheap, but the slide and copper-coated barrel look pretty awesome. Overall, I’m really happy with the gun. 

It’s not a gun that’s going to drive everybody crazy, but it’s definitely going to set it apart from a normal Glock. 

They’ve done a pretty good job with most of the details on this gun. 

I don’t feel that they’ve left a lot of things out, but I feel that they left out what they did to keep the price point just a little bit lower.

Shooting

Shooting the Shadow Systems MR920L is a fun experience, but the gun is not sprung quite as well as I would like. 

If I were to spend a lot more time with this gun and decide to carry it full-time, I would probably try to look into alternative recoil spring systems to get this gun sprung just a little bit better. 

Unfortunately, there is just a little more recoil than there has to be on this gun. 

It recoils more like a Gen3 and not a Gen5 Glock system. It doesn’t recoil anywhere as nice as the SIG Sauer P320, which is probably the best-sprung gun out there.

Shadow Systems MR920L Elite Review Right Front Angle

Overall, the grip makes this a solid contender in terms of being able to control recoil though. I’m really glad I went with the MR920L as opposed to the standard MR920 as that extra slide length is going to get a little more weight in and tame recoil slightly. 

I was able to put up some pretty good groups with this gun. 

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It’s a solid performer and going to shoot on par with pretty much any other striker-fired system out there. 

Like I said before, its recoil is a little bit more than I would like considering the price point of the gun, and I really do wish they had put a little more time into springing this rather than going with a standard Gen3 recoil spring.

Value

Is it worth the money? The Shadow Systems MR920L comes in right around $1,000 for street price. 

At that point, I’m really torn. 

If you were to go and build a gun like this from the ground up, it’s going to cost you probably around $1,500. The quality and value you’re getting is good, but at the same time, it does not shoot considerably better than a stock Glock Gen5.

If you’re looking for a gun that looks cool with the ergonomics and frame being just a bit better than a standard Glock, then this is a great option, but if you’re looking for a gun that outshoots the Glock by a factor of two when taking the self-built price point into account, then this isn’t going to be it.

It’s not really twice the price of a Gen5, because if you get one set up similarly in terms of sights, you’re probably looking at around $750. 

You’re basically paying an extra $250 for a cool-looking barrel and slide alongside a superior optics mounting system. 

Because of that, it’s just going to come down to personal preference. 

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I can’t tell you that you’re better off spending money on this gun over a standard Glock 19 MOS, but I can’t tell you you’re not better off spending it either. It’s really just going to come down to personal preference and it’d be hard to make any real conclusion on that.

Let us know what you think about the Shadow System MR920L below.

We hope you enjoyed our Shadow Systems MR920 Review.

What can we do to improve our Shadow Systems MR920 Review?

One Reply to “Shadow Systems MR920 Review”

  1. Sean vine says:

    Shadow Systems guns are based on the gen 4 format. Not gen 3.

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