APRIL 23, 2024

Editor’s Notebook: Glassing the CR920 Foundation Pistol

Continuing with coverage of the smallest Shadow systems pistol – the subcompact “covert role” pistol, CR920, in the Foundation (no-frills format) – seen here and here, we make use of one of the selling points of the Shadow Systems line – optics mounting.

I’m not big on the carry optics thing – it’s not going away and the effort in product development and field use is clearly a good thing – I’m just too close to the end. Still, learning something new is always good.

The pistol features a 3.4” barrel, a 10+1 and 13+1 capacity (from the factory), and this Foundation edition has the bronze Titanium CarboNitride finished barrel, an upgrade from the black nitride finish of the earlier Foundation Series guns.

A major feature of Shadow Systems production is their innovative optics mounting system. Below, “dry-fitting” the SCS-CARRY with the best-fitting spacer, visible in front of the optic.


The optic selected was the Holosun SCS-CARRY (Solar Charging Sight). While specimens have been around, I felt lucky to get one. A direct attachment optic for slim, carry-sized sub-compact handguns, it attaches to HOLOSUN-K slide cuts, or to RMSc cut slides with an included adapter plate. Like the SCS for service/service-compact pistols, the SCS-CARRY runs solely off a solar-powered permanently installed battery; no battery changing for this thing.

Unlike the SCS – of which I’m aware – the SCS-CARRY has an enclosed emitter; getting a mote of dust or other stuff over the open-air emitter of the SCS could prevent display of the dot. That’s not happening with the SCS-CARRY.

The optic is built to “auto-adjust” to varying lighting conditions by use of “multi-directional light sensors.” The expected life of the internal battery is 20,000 hours.

The sight comes with an RMSc – Reflex Mini Sight Compact – adapter plate, manual, multi-tool (installation, sight adjustment), lens cloth and mounting screws.

For the Shadow Systems pistol, I used the CR920 mounting bolts – and observed the factory instructions for mounting. The supplied spacers are placed in front of the optic in the slide cut. Find the one that best fits the individual sight you have. The mounting bolts from Shadow Systems come in versions “I” and “II.” For the Holosun Optic, the “I” gets the nod. The instructions from Shadow Systems call for the optic to be placed tightly against the spacer into the optics cut. You may see the screws are somewhat out of alignment – but close. Tightening the screws draws the sight against the spacer.

It's a little of the Loctite – use the tube supplied with the pistol – on the threads. As you alternate tightening the screws, stop short of getting them completely seated. You want the unthreaded shank to be exposed. You place a bit of the Loctite on the smooth shank of the mounting screws before seating.

The CR920 sights can be used with the SCS-CARRY.

Like the other Holosun optics, the SCS-CARRY features the multiple reticle system: starting with a green 2 MOA dot surrounded by a 32 MOA circle, you can cycle through the function key, the only control outside the elevation and windage adjusters, to have dot only, circle only, both – or shut down the optic for storage.

The optic weighs just over one-ounce and the MSRP is $470.00.

I shot the optics equipped CR920F with Magtech Steel Case 115 gr. FMJ. The rounds fell 2” high, 2” right from a seated rest at a measured 16 yards. I had an issue getting it moved far enough, then having to recover lost ground. It still took less than ten rounds.

Fair shooting for a micro-compact, the 25 yard hit in the letter “A” in the highest scoring zone on the target, plus the 7-yard pair in the upper A-box of the reduced-size target show some real promise.

I shot on Birchwood Casey EZE-Scorer 12” x 18” BC IPSC practice target at varying distances. At 35 yards, I had two low hits, a “C” zone and a “D” zone on the small target. At 25 yards, I clipped the “A” in the A-zone. Closing to seven yards, I produced a pair of hits in the micro-sized “A” in the head box.

That’s a pretty good zero on that glass.

Doing a velocity check from the shorter barrel, Black Hills 115gr. FMJ averaged 1,080 FPS, measured with the Garmin Xero C1 Pro chronograph.

If you want a discreet carry pistol, the CR920 has considerable appeal. The Holosun SCS-CARRY is likewise impressive. Now onto more practical testing.

— Rich Grassi