5 Things to Consider When Modifying a Firearm
We all know that itch to customize anything we spend a lot of cash on. That's why car dealerships offer so many options and the aftermarket thrives. Everyone wants to personalize their ride to make it just perfect - the right accessories, color scheme, wheels, etc. Guns and firearms are no different.
As soon as you get that new gun home, we know you are already thinking of things to change to make it even more perfect. But hold up. Just like cars there are somethings you can change, but a lot of things you should leave alone for several reasons. So if you are thinking about modifying a new gun purchase, keep these 5 things in mind before you get started.
If you went out and bought a new car then put a turbo, big exhaust and headers, chip, etc on the car sure you'll make more power but you're also going to void the warranty and decrease reliability. Guns are no different.
Manufacturers spend a lot of money to create a package of components that work well together which are meant to function reliably for a long time. Changing out parts will have other (often unforeseen) consequences that could reduce the life of your firearm. Worst case scenario - the gun fails when you need it most. Don't trade reliability for looks.
Guns and firearms are a money pit. You purchase the gun, then a few extra mags, a holster, maybe a new range bag to carry your baby. The costs add up real quick. Then there is customization. A new grip or paying for stippling, CNC work for an optic or slide cuts ... the price of your new gun can double (or triple) real quick.
So think about the cost of modification and be honest about if you can afford it, and if the mods offer anything to improve your shooting. Spending the money on additional range time and practice makes more sense.
Why are you doing it?
Are you feeling the urge to customize because you want better function, or are you doing it to get that Instagram or Pewtuber look? Guns and the gun community are prone to fashion waves and it's hard to not fall for the latest craze.
Some gun owners like the murdered out all black look, some prefer the baby poop flat dark earth style, then there are the color coordinated fashionistas who need to paint or cerakote every part red, orange, or purple. Whatever look that floats your boat is fine by us, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. When it comes to firearms - function should always come before looks.
You are NOT a Gunsmith
We already know what you're thinking. You can save money by doing it yourself. But the truth is - you are not a gunsmith. Sure you can probably take on small mods like the grip or installing rail mounted accessories. But anything that involves cutting or disassembly beyond what is required for cleaning should be done by a professional, and that is going to cost even more.
If you intend to become a gunsmith, or plan to learn so that you can work on your guns often, then you need the right tools and training. Just be sure that whatever gun you learn on isn't your only means of defense, and be prepared to F up some parts along the way.
Do you need it?
Most quality guns are good to go right out of the box and will perform for thousands of rounds with nothing more than the occasional cleaning. Despite this, may novice shooters think that they need to modify or upgrade their gun to work better. This just isn't true. While some modifications can enhance the functionality of a gun, quite often they will reduce reliability or lifespan.
A self defense weapon should be kept simple to remain reliable. If you are a shooter looking to start doing competition level stuff, then start with a better foundation. Sometimes saving up until you can afford a more expensive gun makes sense. You shouldn't try to put lipstick on a pig.