Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we talked about jackets that were specifically designed for concealed carry and their validity. If you missed the article last week, be sure to check it out with the link here. This week, we will take a closer look at the trend of customizing carry guns and if they make a massive difference when it comes to self-defense. The aftermarket sector of the gun industry is a massive part of the market and there’s a reason there are so many products for various defensive handguns. Does it make a huge difference though? Let’s take a closer look at stock guns vs customized guns.
There is nothing wrong with carrying a stock firearm. The vast majority of individuals who carry a firearm, carry a bone stock firearm that came with everything from the factory. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars testing and evaluating their products before releasing them to the public. In most cases, stock factory firearms are a utilitarian setup with limited accessories to keep things simple as well as improve reliability.
Carrying a stock firearm offers an advantage if you ever have to use it in a self-defense situation. The first issue is the fact law enforcement takes your firearm as evidence so it can sit in an evidence locker for a year or more without cleaning or preventative maintenance. If you sink a ton of money into customizing your carry gun, that gun will ultimately get confiscated and you’ll be without your $1,000-2,000 carry firearm while things are sorted out in court and the self-defense case is concluded.
The other big concern about carrying a non-stock firearm is the possibility of having to defend every aftermarket upgrade on your carry gun in court if it goes to trial. The prosecutor will most likely go through your carry gun to see what aftermarket parts were added and you’ll have to explain every part. When you carry a factory stock firearm there’s no concern about aftermarket parts.
Customizing Your Carry Gun
When it comes to customizing your carry gun, the sky is the limit as far as parts and color schemes are concerned. The new trend among younger conceal carriers is to deck their gun out with lights, red dots, aftermarket slides, barrels, magwells, among other things. The general idea is to make your carry gun set up exactly how you want it to make it 100% your design. Certain upgrades can make a big difference when it comes to being more effective with your handgun while others offer little to no advantages.
Good Upgrades For Carrying
When it comes to upgrades, there are a few that can really help in a stressful situation. Upgrades like stippling, red dots and a weapon light can offer specific advantages in certain situations. Having your firearm stippled can offer extra traction to your grip which lets you have an even more secure purchase on your handgun. Accessories like a red dot can offer quick sight acquisition for aging eyes where iron sights may be tough to see.
Having a single point to focus on when looking at the target can improve reaction time as well with enough range time to practice. Learning to shoot with a red dot can be tricky at first, but once you develop muscle memory, it becomes much easier to quickly make shots under stress so it’s definitely something to consider as a good upgrade. Whether you carry a red dot or iron sights, having a weapon-mounted light or even a handheld flashlight greatly improves your chances in low-light or no-light situations. With a weapon light, the iron sights will be blacked out making it easy to pick out the front sight silhouette with a white background. This allows you to use your everyday sights or fiber optic instead of using specific night sights.
Upgrades To Avoid
There’s no question some upgrades do offer big advantages for self-defense but there are also a few out there that make no difference and can even adversely affect the performance of your carry handgun. The biggest mistake I see people make is getting their slide cut to the point where they have fairly large sections of slide cut out in an effort to cut down on weight. These weight-saving cuts give way for dirt and debris to work their way into the slide while you carry it and could eventually lead to a malfunction if it goes so long without cleaning.
Lightening a trigger with a “competition” package is also a huge no-no when it comes to a defense carry gun. If you go too light on the trigger, it’s possible to accidentally pull it under stress, then you probably shouldn’t have it as your main carry gun. Don’t get me wrong, with proper training, this should never be an issue but I know plenty of people out there who don’t train as much as they should so it’s still possible to occur. Changing the internals of the firearm that you plan on carrying every day is a huge red flag. With just a little regular training, you will quickly get the hang of a stock trigger.
Certain firearms like the SIG P365 Spectre Comp come from the factory with upgraded sights, finishes and slide cuts which adds an interesting dynamic to this argument because you have a tricked-out firearm like it would be if you customized it but these firearms come with a factory warranty and support. FN, SIG and other companies are starting to offer different levels of their firearms for consumers who want the upgraded parts but still want to maintain that factory warranty. It’s certainly an interesting business opportunity for major manufacturers to work with the aftermarket community in order to offer higher-end “customized” pistols while offering a warranty and customer support at the same time.
Figuring out what you want to put on your carry gun if anything is a tough decision. There are plenty of great accessories and additions you can put on your gun to be a benefit if you ever need to use it in a self-defense situation. On the flip side though, there are a ton of products that can hinder you or bite you in the butt when you need them most. Personally, I add the least amount of stuff onto my gun in order to make it work for my needs. I try to keep internals as well as trigger parts all stock as a safety precaution but I know everyone is different.
Let me know what you guys think about customizing your carry guns and what are some things you typically do to your guns? Do you agree with my assessment or do you think other things are a good or bad addition to your carry gun? Let me know down in the comments below. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you guys next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.