A Montana Landmark
For Over 70 Years


Classic Iron Volume XIV

Posted on 12.29.2022

Author: Tom G.

Classic Iron Volume XIV
Shadow Systems Invades Snappy’s!

If you are a regular reader of this column you may have noticed that my tastes in firearms tend to run toward older, classic guns or their reproductions. Rest assured that on our next go round we will once again look to the past as I have been shooting a couple of reproductions that we definitely need to spend some time taking a closer look at. 

For now we will be firmly planted in the present although we will take a glimpse at the past just to give us a little context.

In 1982 Gaston Glock unveiled the Glock 17 9mm pistol to the world.  It was adopted into service with the Austrian military (as the model P80) after it out performed eight other pistols submitted to the Austrian military trials from five other respected manufacturers.

In 1986 the Glock began importing the Glock 17 to the United States where it ultimately ended up dominating the Law Enforcement market.  Throughout my Law Enforcement career I was at various times issued the G17, G22, G21, G27, G34 and the G35. While the various Glock pistols always served me well they were never my favorite duty guns. I always seemed to prefer the 1911 but often felt the need to try out whatever the hot new pistol on the market was. 

From the time I retired until now the only Glocks I have spent any real time with have been the various 10mm models as I searched for the perfect handgun for predator defense. Throughout that process I always found the Glocks to be fine but I always seem to go back to a big bore revolver when I head out into the woods. 

Many of the patents held by Glock have expired there are several companies making close clones of the Glock designs. The most well known of these clones are made by Zev Technologies and Shadow Systems.

About a year ago we began carrying the occasional Shadow Systems pistol at Snappy’s. When I first picked up their DR920 (same size as a Glock 17) I was impressed with how much better it fit in my hand than the Glock did. When I looked closely at the frame of the Shadow Systems gun I noted that they had incorporated a small beavertail at the top of the frame tang and a high undercut of the trigger guard. I also appreciated that Shadow Systems chose to outfit their pistols with metal sights and that the front site also incorporated a tritium vial so it was visible in low light conditions. No need to replace them like I do every time I pick up a new Glock.

After picking up the gun and commenting on how good it felt in my hand, I put it back in the case and didn’t really give it much thought until recently when one of our great customers asked us to order a Shadow Systems CR920 for him. 

The CR920 does not really have a correlating model in the Glock lineup.  I think it is best described as a high capacity G43. When the gun came in I was thoroughly impressed.  It felt better in my hand than the Smith & Wesson 38 Special revolver that I had been carrying concealed for years. Although I think of myself as a diehard revolver guy, I really liked that little pistol.

Our customer quickly took to the CR920 and quickly ordered several other models. Things progressed fairly quickly after that. A couple of my co-workers purchased CR920’s and began carrying them daily. They raved about these little guns.

A few weeks ago we made the decision to cut down on the number of Glock Models we carry so we could stock a bigger selection of Shadow Systems. When they arrived I found myself pulling the various models out of the case almost daily. As the Shadow Systems guns began selling regularly, I decided to take home both a CR920 Combat and a DR920 Elite. 

My experience with both guns so far has been overwhelmingly positive. On the range the DR920 Elite fits my hand like a glove and shoots like a laser beam. The CR920 Combat is incredibly easy to shoot for such a small pistol and it functions beautifully with my preferred 9mm carry load (Winchester Ranger SXT +P+ 127 grain hollow point).  The CR920 also carries so nicely that I tend to forget I am carrying a gun.

I have not had a chance to really test either gun for accuracy on paper. My recent trips to the range have been limited to shooting 12” steel plates at 25 yards which both guns do with ease. The biggest endorsement I can make for these pistols is to tell you that the CR920 is now my everyday carry gun and the DR920 has taken its place as my bedside gun. I truly believe that Shadow Systems is building one of the best guns on the market.  Next time you are in the store, swing through the gun department and check them out for yourself!

Tagged: Outdoor Shooting