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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 12/05/2018 in Firearms

Firearm Upgrades and Firearm Accessories

Firearm Upgrades and Firearm Accessories

Use any gun very much and you'll soon start to wonder about firearm upgrades and firearm accessories. 

Before running out to spend money on add-ons or improvements, first decide why you want to make these changes. What do you use the gun for? Do the changes make sense? Do they improve the way you are going to use the gun or are they simply a tacticool factor? 

Let's look at four common reasons for having a gun, some good and bad firearm upgrades and two universally good ideas. 

TRIGGER WORK 

Few guns come right from the factory with a perfect trigger. Investing in a good trigger replacement is always a sound idea. Sometimes you can do it. Timney Triggers is the leading drop-in trigger-set replacement company around. Sometimes you may need a gunsmith to work the tolerances and springs. 

LOAD YOUR OWN

Not exactly a mod or an accessory, reloading is one way to get more from your gun in terms of enjoyment and accuracy. You get more fun because reloading means you spend less per shot v. buying commercially made ammo. Some of the most popular rounds can be reloaded for pennies per shot. 

If you invest seriously in reloading gear, you can fine-tune your ammo so you will see an accuracy difference with a grain's difference in powder. Long range shooters and precision shooters have reloading tables that look like laboratories. You do not need to get that involved to reload just to save money and have fun. A good kit, with dies, will run you less than $150. 

HOME DEFENSE 

The best gun for home defense is a shotgun, preferably a pump. 

A home defense shotgun needs to be light and easy to handle. Any good pump shotgun with an 18-20 inch open choke barrel is ideal. Don't do anything to it. 

Some people want to add a light and laser sight as firearm accessories. Bad idea. 

It is your home. You know where things are. You might stumble around in the dark and bash your toes because you misplaced the coffee table by two inches. Someone breaking into your house has no idea of the layout and will run into a lot more things than you will. You DO know how to get around in your home in the dark, right? 

A laser, or worse a flashlight, tells the perp exactly where you are when you turn it on. Any possible element of surprise is totally gone. The flashlight also robs your night vision and we don't mean $1,000 scopes. We mean how well you see in low-light conditions. Red lasers do not affect night vision, but that red do is still a point of aim for the burglar trying to take you out before you take him out. 

Some people want an extended magazine. This is not a good idea. It adds weight; trying hoisting a 12 gauge with a full 10-round magazine. Three rounds of 00 buck are enough for home defense. 

PERSONAL DEFENSE 

A lot of concealed carry pieces now come with an integral laser. They do help in aiming. But when you suddenly need to draw down on someone, you will never notice the laser. Your attention is focused completely on the target in question. 

If you have time to line up with the laser, then it can be helpful. The problem with a laser in a CCW piece is the tiny light is battery powered. Imagine needing that later in a condition critical and the batteries are dead. Maybe the laser lens is covered with debris. Maybe it even broke. Guns are made from steel for a reason. 

Extended mags or magazine grip extensions are something else to get in the way. If you pocket carry, it is something else to get hung up when drawing. If you feel you need more capacity, get something with a stacked mag instead. 

Get good grips that fit your hand. Factory grips may be OK, but after-market or custom grips as firearm accessories can make a big difference. 

HUNTING 

Aside from trigger work (see below) the No. 1 way you can improve your hunting gun is quality optics. A good rule of thumb: Spend as much on optics as you spent on the gun. More realistically expect to spend $250 or more for a decent scope for medium to big game rifles. Scopes with lifetime warranties are ideal. 

You can buy a $23 scope online. It may hold up. Or you can go buy quality and know it will hold up. If you are looking at the trophy of a lifetime, do you really want to trust that shot to a cheap Chinese scope? 

In a rifle, free float the barrel. 

Adding lights may be a good idea for hunting. It sure keeps the flashlight handy when you are coming out of the woods after dark. 

LONG RANGE SHOOTING 

In addition to all the above, look into barrel lapping for firearm upgrades. Fine tuning the chamber makes a big difference. 

After a few thousand shots, change the barrel. This probably means sending the gun to a competent gunsmith. 

ONE LAST THING 

Above all, clean your gun regularly.

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