If you’ve been around the firearms world for a while, you may have heard the term “flat shooting” which, if you aren’t already in the know, is kind of an ambiguous term. What exactly does that mean?
The answer to that is: It depends on what you’re talking about.
If you’re talking about distance shooting, then flat shooting can refer to a type of ammunition with a higher velocity and, therefore, less drop over distance. Therefore, that ammunition is more likely to shoot “flat” over a longer distance.
That’s not what we’re talking about here, though. No, we’re talking about less muzzle raise when shooting your pistol, and one manufacturer “set out to develop the flattest shooting gun possible” by developing a new variation on one of their already existing popular models (you can read more about that already existing popular model here). Joe Kurtenbach writes,
[D]espite its evolved ergonomics, the [Shadow Systems] CR920 is still a sub-18-ounce, short-barreled, 9mm pistol, meaning that it’s ideal for carry, but nobody’s favorite range gun. It’s physics; the gun’s small, lightweight slide travels rearward as it recoils with more speed and violence than the longer, heavier slides on larger pistols with the same chambering. When that fast-moving slide hits the end of the line, the sudden stop cranks the muzzle end skyward.
Enter the compensated new-for-2023 CR920P. Not only is it more comfortable through recoil than its competitors, but it’s flatter shooting. Specifically, with the CR920P, Shadow Systems set out to develop the flattest shooting gun possible, while staying within the G48 MOS profile.
In use, the compensator’s single topside port diverts expelled gasses upward. The force of the gas works directly against muzzle rise and, in conjunction with the CR920 grip, effectively keeps the pistol flat during recoil. In other words, rather than the muzzle torquing skyward with each shot, the gun’s motion during recoil is reduced to the rearward and forward reciprocation of the slide on the frame. The benefit of a flat-shooting gun is that the user perceives less snap and jump and, thus, less recoil. It also makes reacquiring the sights for follow-on shots much easier and faster since they remain in the same linear plane.
So, you may be wondering how well the compensator works. It’s a fair question. Kurtenbach’s answer?
I really got excited when, to my hand, the CR920P edged out the compact and shot just as smoothly, and controllably, as the 1911. If you’ve experienced the nirvana that is shooting a good 9mm 1911, you know what I’m talking about.
Kurtenbach also noted that the CR920P is now his carry gun, which should tell you all that you need to know about his opinion of this gun.
So, if you’re in the market for a new carry pistol, maybe something with less muzzle snap and quicker return to target after each shot, then, the Shadow Systems CR920P may be one to consider.