Should I customize my EDC pistol?

If you spend any amount of time on the <insert gun model here> owners’ groups on Facebook you will undoubtedly find a long line of posts with pictures of colorized/customized EDC pistols. I always stop and ask myself why the hell would anyone do this to a carry gun? To me this seems like a really bad idea since its almost always done in the name of style. Allow me to explain.

A gun is a tool, it has a purpose and it should be used for such. An EDC pistol’s purpose is to stop threats. Its not a competition gun, it’s not meant to put on exhibitions of remarkable shooting skills, and it’s definitely not meant to be flashed around for show.

Now if we are completely honest with ourselves, the odds of someone needing to pull their weapon on a bad guy to defend themselves or family within the appropriate legal parameters is very very low. That being said the firearm that is most likely to be used in such a situation is your EDC one. Again not saying that because you carry a firearm on your person means you will use it, just that if you do have to use a gun for self defense, it will most likely be the one you carry every day. So what does all this have to do with customizing the firearm in your collection most likely to be used to shoot someone?

To answer this question I want to draw your attention to a YouTube video posted by USCCA where they asked a criminal defense attorney to explain the legal ramifications of this very topic. You can watch the video here:

There are other videos out there as well that discuss this topic at length. An EDC gun is not a competition gun, you aren’t shooting for groups at 25 yards with it, you aren’t doing marksmanship exhibitions with it. You carry it for one reason: to defend your/family’s life if necessary. Typically that occurs in 5 yards or less. Having colorized grips/triggers/mag extensions make no functional difference to the gun and there is no explanation other than i wanted to look cool. Now try explaining that in court after you stopped a bad guy from taking your kid. Were you really in danger or were you just looking for an excuse to show off the $500 in accessories you spent on your EDC pistol?

With this in mind, I want you to stop and ask yourself if you really need that red trigger, or that blue mag extension, or that engraved back plate, or grip with orange text? Now ask yourself what a good attorney who is trying to advance a political agenda, or win cash for their client is going to do with someone who took another’s life with a tricked out gun? I think if you honestly think about things, you will come to the conclusion that a fancy EDC gun is actually worse than a plain Jane EDC gun.

The different levels of gun gear

We’ve all asked ourselves this question: Do I buy the $100 version of this thing, or the $20 made in China one?

Some guys will tell you to buy the name brand expensive option.  In their mind it’s the only way to go.  These are the folks who have the money to buy Versache gun bags if there were such a thing.

Then there’s the buy the cheapest one crowd.  If it breaks, throw it away and buy a new one.  These guys are usually the ones doing mag dumps at the range and measure accuracy in terms of minute-of-man, minute-of-car, and minute-of-barn size groups.

Neither of these groups is typically correct 100% of the time.  So when is it right to buy the military grade, withstand a nuke blast version, and when is it correct to buy the made in China special from wally world?  The answer lies in what YOU need it for.

There are essentially 5 grade of gear:
1) My life depends on this grade – these are products designed for military and LEO use in the field to fight.  I think you get the picture.
2) Hunter grade – the name says it all.  You are going to trek miles into the woods for that trophy hunt and your gear is going to take some beating (not as bad as a war zone) and you still need it to work every time
3) Tacticool grade – It looks like the delta team operator’s gear, but it’s not
4) Hobby gun owner grade – It will work but can’t withstand much abuse.  Maybe not machined to the tightest of tolerances but will be close to spec
5) Airsoft grade – Don’t put this on real guns

These are my terms, not official industry ones so there is some room for interpretation/disagreement with me but I think most will agree.

So which one fits you?  My perfect example of how to answer this question is the bi-pod I run on my rifles.  They cost less than $20, and work great.  I would never take them into war, but then again I am not a soldier or LEO.  If I was, there is no way that bi-pod could withstand the abuse their gear is required to take and paying $100+ for a bi-pod is absolutely required.  The point here is that if you are honest with yourself about your needs and expectations, then you can definitely save yourself some money, and still have gear that will meet your needs.

Here are some of the “Hobby Gun Owner” gear I have purchased with my own money and tested:
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and here is some of the name brand gear that I decided was worth the extra cost to guarantee performance:
[amazon_link asins=’B018YKOXPU,B01HK3UFBI,B004RR0N8Q,B001GXHKOO,B01KUBK3LY’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’calgunandprep-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’03af78bc-87fd-4d8a-9267-eeb237ae7bbe’]

Making the most of your time at the range

I was talking with a friend the other day and they were telling me how frustrating their recent shooting outing was. We’ve all had the not so successful day at the range where that latest build didn’t work as anticipated or that new load recipe wasn’t as accurate as we hoped. Those failures are productive though. My friend however had a different kind of bad range day (if there is such a thing) that is 100% avoidable every time. His problem is he went out with one agenda that didn’t match his shooting buddies’ or the location. Continue reading “Making the most of your time at the range”