5 Useful Gun Mods That Are Beneficial For CCW
There are some gun mods that are very helpful for concealed carriers, and there are some that really aren't. Granted, the purpose of a CCW gun is different than that of a range-only gun, a hunting gun and a dedicated home defense gun.
Modifying one's pistol is like modifying a car - it won't make a commuter car into a Le Mans winner, but it can make a decent pistol into a very good one.
Night Sights For Low Light Shooting
One of the best gun modifications for a concealed carry gun is adding night sights. Night sights are luminescent in low light conditions, so the "dots" on the sights will illuminate in a low light environment. If one is likely to shoot in the dark or in failing light - and a lot of crime takes place at night - night sights drastically increase the likelihood the shooter will hit the target.
Most night sights employ tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that is also luminescent. Tritium luminescence is employed in a number of ways; exit signs in most buildings, for instance, also use tritium for the same purpose. The way it works is that when tritium is exposed to a source of phosphorescence, it starts giving off electrons and lighting up - that's why you have to put a flashlight on night sights to activate them.
Don't let the radioactivity disturb you; particles emitted from tritium can't even get through skin. (Don't eat or drink it though.) Granted, there are only so many particles for a given amount of tritium to lose; you'll have to replace sights after 10 years or so. That said, they remain one of the most practical upgrades one can contemplate. If you add nothing else to your gun, you still made a great choice.
Trigger Spring Upgrade And/Or Aftermarket Trigger
The function of a firearm is to shoot, and shooting can be made much better with an aftermarket trigger or trigger spring replacement. These can ameliorate some of the common complaints that many people have about triggers.
Some of the common complaints are too stiff a trigger pull, excessive "trigger creep" - where the trigger moves jerkily toward the "break" when it fires rather than traveling smoothly - a gritty feeling to the trigger motion, among other things that drive some shooters crazy.
Some people want a lighter pull, and some people want a stiffer pull - the latter is desired by some shooters that carry a striker-fired pistol that lacks a manual safety. Too light a trigger can make accidental discharges easier, but then again, a manual safety is no replacement for proper gun safety.
These effects can be mitigated or eradicated by installing new trigger springs or an entirely new trigger made by an aftermarket parts supplier, depending on exactly the nature of the trigger in question - you'll have to do the research on your own.
Aftermarket finishes can be very cool, but one of the best is getting a layer of Cerakote. Cerakote, unlike parkerized or blue finishes, is a finish made with ceramic particles. Unfortunately, it does require oven-curing that isn't necessary for a lot of other types of finish, but with that said...a lot of people will tell you it's worth it.
The benefits of Cerakote are moisture-proofing and scratch-proofing, as the surface becomes more resistant to abrasion and any sort of moisture. In other words, if you want to carry a pistol but are concerned with the finish, this is the treatment to give it - Cerakote will ward off almost any effect of holster wear.
People who have had the frame of their pistols treated with Cerakote have also reported smoother operation and less need for lubrication, as the coating smoothes the frame.
Upgraded Pistol Grips
There are a few ways to deal with CCW recoil, and one of the best ways to do that is with upgraded pistol grips. Granted, a wide variety of aftermarket grips exist, fulfilling a different function.
Some handgun grips are designed to minimize recoil, whereas others are merely to provide additional texture. Others still are purely decorative. Some grips are designed to offer a certain amount of recoil attenuation and texture, but be less obtrusive than the normal grips on a firearm - and slim grips are very popular for concealed carry guns.
Some pistols only allow for the backstrap to be changed, and there are a number of aftermarket upgrades for those as well.
A gun that better fits your hand and is more comfortable to shoot is better for the shooter - which leads to greater proficiency.
Match-Grade Handgun Magazines
One of the best gun mods is one that doesn't change the gun - upgraded handgun magazines. Guns are machines, after all, and failures usually have common causes. The most common causes of failures in semi-autos are insufficient lubrication, and faulty magazine springs and followers.
Talk to 1911 buffs, and chances are pretty good you'll find more than a few saying "I never run anything other than Wilson Combat magazines" or something to that effect. That's because Wilson has made a name for themselves manufacturing some of the best 1911 components that can be had, alongside their offerings of some of the best 1911 pistols money can buy. Wilson also makes magazines for a number of other pistols as well.
Many manufacturers supply magazines that are certainly serviceable, but a number of aftermarket companies make magazines that are geared for a lifetime of reliable service. The aforementioned Wilson Combat is regarded as one of the best. Mec-Gar magazines have also garnered a reputation as providing outstanding function and value for money. In fact, Mec-Gar is the OEM supplier for companies like Beretta, CZ, Kimber, Sig Sauer and others.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests include camping, hunting, concealed carry, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible..