Before I got my hands on the Shadow Systems CR920 I already had huge expectations. I knew Shadow Systems makes high quality products with great features. Once my purchase came in, I was excited to put it through the review process and see if it has what it takes to become my next carry gun.
About Shadow Systems
Shadow Systems is based out of Plano, Texas…just down the road from where I live. They are made up of combat veterans, former law enforcement officers, and competitive shooters.
Every one of our products is built in Plano, Texas with parts machined in-house. There are few pistol companies that can say that they offer a product line that is truly Made in America with American labor; at Shadow Systems, we pride ourselves on being American Made.-Shadow Systems
Since launching in 2016, they have become one of the fastest growing newcomers in the pistol market. After you are done with our review, make sure to check out some of Shadow Systems other options that they have available.
Shadow Systems CR920 First Impressions
When I heard from SHOT Show 2022 that Shadow Systems was coming out with a compact concealed carry gun, I was over the moon excited. I have loved all of the firearms that they have put out to date, and have been wishing they would join the compact carry gun market.
The first thing that stands out to me with the CR920 is the size. It is on the smaller size in comparison to its competitors which I love for concealment. It is very similar to the Sig P365 in size, but with a larger grip. This is perfect for me as the small grip of the P365 is one of my only issues with that gun.
I also like that, along with the small size, it also competes with its competitors in capacity. It comes with a 10 round flush fit magazine that almost erases printing from this gun. You also get a 13 round extended magazine that still maintains a small profile, similar to the P365X or Springfield Hellcat with its extended magazine.
What makes Shadow Systems guns stand out from the crowd is that they include many features that are not included in many other stock concealed carry guns. Features such as the steel night sights, undercut trigger guard, and match-grade, spiral-fluted 3.41-inch barrel just to name a few…not to mention that many models come optics ready!
My first impressions were that this is certainly a competitor to the top compact concealed carry guns on the market today.
Shadow Systems CR920 Specs
Below are the specs for the Shadow Systems CR920. While there are three models of this firearm, they all share the following specs. Below the specs we will list what makes each of the models different from each other.
Shadow Systems CR920 Pistol Specs
|Capacity||10+1 or 13+1|
|Height||4.27 inches with flush mag|
4.79 inches extended
|Trigger Pull||4.5-5.0 lbs|
|Sights||Steel with tritium dot|
|MSRP||Starting at $679|
There are three major variations for the CR920. They have the CR920 Elite, CR920 Combat Optic, and the CR920 Combat. While they are very similar, there are a few differences. The “CR” in the gun’s name stands for “Covert Role”, so all three options are built with concealed carry in mind.
The CR920 Elite comes with aggressive serrations added to the top of the slide, window cuts, and is optics ready.
CR920 Combat Optic
The CR920 Combat Optic does not have the serrations on the top of the slide or the window cuts. It is however still optics ready.
The CR920 Combat does not have the serration on the top of the slide, the window cuts, and is not optics ready.
Many people describe Shadow Systems guns as “Glocks with all the bells and whistles people add coming standard and a lower cost”. While this is kind of true, Shadow Systems pistols are their own design that appear similar to Glocks, they shoot and feel like their own unique brand.
Shadow Systems CR920 Features
- Under cut trigger guard for better purchase
- Textured polymer frame for better grip
- Match-grade, spiral-fluted barrel (available in bronze or black nitride)
- Flat faced trigger with about a 5 lb pull
- Steel combat sights with HD tritium front dot
There are many more features, but this is just a brief list of what stands out about this great concealed carry gun.
Made In The USA
Buying American made products is important, and the fact that Shadow Systems builds all of their firearms with parts machined in house in Plano, Texas is great to see.
Their barrels are match grade and made of 416R Stainless Steel. The slides are made from 17-4 Stainless Steel. All parts are built with care right here in the USA.
Shadow Systems CR920 Pros & Cons
Like any firearm, there are going to be pros and cons. While some “pros” may seem like cons to some, and some “cons” may seem like pros to others, we will list our thoughts on what makes this gun stand out, and what we look at as a downside.
- Great value for the price
- Shoots very flat
- Built for concealed carry
- Fits in Glock 43X MOS & 48 MOS holsters
- Made in the USA
- Proprietary magazines
- Not a long manufacturer track record yet
Shooting The Shadow Systems CR920
While I have not yet had the time to have multiple shooting sessions with this gun yet, I will be going off of my initial time shooting.
The CR920 reminds me of a Glock 43 with a very slight increase to the width of the grip. However, it does shoot much flatter than most guns in its class. You also get a higher purchase on the grip than a Glock due to the undercut trigger guard.
I also like the slight beaver tail that helps avoid any “slide bite” that could otherwise occur. I never had to worry about it at all.
The slide release is also nice and tucked away to avoid accidentally pressing with your shooting grip. Even though it is nice and tucked away, it is also easy to use, unlike the S&W Shield Plus (that I also love).
The flat faced trigger feels really good for a stock gun. The reset felt very positive. Unlike my Glocks, I don’t think I will need to replace the trigger as it feels good against the finger and has better than average performance.
The sights are great for me. I love blacked out rear sights with bright front dots. The rear also has some texture to help prevent any glare that could occur on a sunny day. I purchased the Elite version so it also came optic ready if I ever decide to add a red dot.
Here is one area that I have heard some complaints. Other Shadow System pistols can use Glock magazines as well as Magpul magazines. The CR920 goes in a different direction here, and for good reason.
The CR920 is built to be very concealed. And as small as it is, it still has a capacity of 10 rounds with the flush magazine (as opposed to the similar sized Glock 43 that holds 6). If you use the extended magazine that is included with the CR920, you get 13+1 rounds.
While it would be nice to have a larger selection of magazines to choose from, Shadow Systems does sell both the 10 and 13 round magazines from their website for $25.99 and $27.99. I picked up a few extra myself just to have them on hand.
Shadow Systems CR920 For Concealed Carry
The Shadow Systems CR920 is a great choice for concealed carry. The size, features, and price make it a top contender for the best concealed carry gun on the market. As it is new to the market, only time will tell if it remains reliable as more people begin carrying it for self defense.
As for myself, I have started adding it to my carry rotation as I test many guns as a writer in the industry. I love that I can use my Glock 43 and Glock 43x holsters that I already owned.
The thing that stands out most for me about this gun is that it is just the right size. It is large enough in the hand to shoot well, while at the same time being small enough to disappear while carrying.
For me it combines the best features of some of the top guns:
- The flat shooting of the Shield Plus
- The size of the P365
- The grip of the Glock 43x (but shorter)
The CR920 has now made it into my top 3 micro compact carry guns currently on the market. It sits along side of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus and the Sig Sauer P365.
Holster For The Shadow Systems CR920
Pretty much any holster for a Glock 43x MOS or 48 MOS will work with a CR920. If you have a red dot, you may want to make sure your holster will accommodate a red dot. Below is a Tulster Holster that is built for a Glock 43X and fits perfect.
SAVE 15% at tulster.com Use Code: CCS
If you want to see the CR920 compared to some of the best micro compacts on the market, we have listed those below. This will give you an idea of the size and look of each concealed carry gun.
Sig Sauer P365 vs Shadow Systems CR920
M&P Shield Plus vs Shadow Systems CR920
Glock 43X vs Shadow Systems CR920
Springfield Hellcat vs Shadow Systems CR920
Click the link above to purchase from Palmetto State Armory and have this shipped to your local FFL!
The CR920 is well on its way to becoming my new carry gun. It has all the features, options, and price point to become one of the top carry guns on the market.
If it can continue to perform at the range on my next few trips, I will be carrying this gun often. It is important to always test out a new gun a few times at the range as well as use the carry ammo you intend to carry to make sure everything runs smoothly before you begin carrying it to protect your life.
If you decide that the CR920 is not for you, be sure to read our Best Concealed Carry Guns article to find one that meets your needs!