The Colt M1911, also known as the 1911 handgun, is typically regarded around the world as one of the most customizable handguns in existence. But, most professional gunsmiths will tell you that this handgun is absolutely not your only option to customize a firearm. An AR-15 rifle, a Glock handgun (45 caliber or 9mm), or a pump action twelve-gauge can work just as well in terms of tailoring and personalization. You are just as likely to see any of the aforementioned firearms (plus a great many others) in some sort of custom format at your local gunshow or specialty gun store. If the range of customizable handguns varies so dramatically, what are the top ways of customizing such a firearm? That is the very idea that inspired this post. We’ve taken the liberty of writing an article on the blog entailing the top 5 great ideas for custom handguns to sell at your local gun show. Opinions differ on this subject: many will tell you that you should strive for an artistic look using the latest accessories and controls. More seasoned experts understand that customizing a handgun is about far more than simple appearances. Customization work should also enhance a weapon’s functionality, accuracy, and reliability. With that in mind, check out our top 5 ideas on handgun customization below.
1. Custom Handgun Grips
This one is really a no-brainer: custom pistol grips greatly enhance the potential of just about any handgun. Firearms manufacturers really do care about the quality of the grips they produce. At the end of the day, stock firearms are a mass produced item intended for a very general audience. Aftermarket grips almost always end up improving and upgrading your firearm compared to a stock grip. They hold up better to the rigors of frequent usage, allow the handgun to better fit your hand, and potentially help you shoot more accurately thanks to their added control. Customized handgrips are made of special materials, such as solvent-proof rubber and G10. These materials are both durable and comfortable to grip.
2. Custom Handgun Sights
Much like a custom grip, a custom handgun sight is really not indicative of the quality of the stock, ready-made sight from your handgun’s manufacturer. In fact, some handgun models include incredibly high quality handgun sights. Not all of these stocks sights are created equal. Even the best stock factory sights can benefit from an upgrade. If you’re seeking the highest visibility and accuracy that money can buy, we recommend any of the custom sights from Hi-Viz. If nighttime adventures are your thing, specialized night sights from tritium can also enhance your shooting experience. Some professionals choose fiber optic sights. However, not everyone appreciates the bright green color. Many competitive shooters forego these sights despite their benefit to accuracy.
3. Custom Hard Coating Finish
Let’s face it: a handgun experiences quite a lot of wear and tear during its lifetime. Owners tend to keep and use their handguns for long spans of time due to the financial barrier of entry with firearm ownership. This is especially true for firearms that have been specifically designed or customized for concealed carry. Pistols that are used in hostile conditions, such as extreme weather, marine environments, or at high altitudes wear through their factory coating sooner than pistols in normal locations. In these cases, hard coating really comes in handy making your weapon appear sleeker for a longer time and allowing it to better withstand the rigors of a hostile environment. We have included a picture of an NP3 coated handgun which benefits from corrosion protection. The firearm is also self-lubricating.
4. Custom Handgun Triggers
Tampering with a handgun’s factory trigger remains a hotly debated issue in the field of firearm customization. This is especially true among Glock handgun owners. On the one hand, many claim that the Glock includes one of the most reliable and safest trigger functions. No wonder the weapon serves as the go-to handgun for NATO forces and for those who employ them in everyday service. The 5.5 pound trigger that all Glocks include offers perks. Plenty of manufacturers out there make custom trigger systems to ease the use of the Glock trigger. Some manufacturers, such as the EDGE Competition Trigger System, cater to competition aficionados. This customization lightens the trigger to 3.5 pounds and allows for far more dexterity at the shooting range. In plain English, it offers a smoother, more immediate shooting experience.
5. Custom Handgun Barrels
There’s nothing particularly wrong with most manufacturer’s factory-made handgun barrels. However, we aren’t writing this post to examine what is ‘good enough’. Some professional shooters prefer installing custom pistol barrels to perfect their firearm. Threaded pistols barrels allow users to attach either a suppressor or a compensator to the firearm. Stainless steel barrels can shoot lead-cast bullets and also offer superior firing accuracy. You can also swap out your stock barrel with an alternative barrel that shoots a different caliber from the firearm. Bear in mind, such options usually only offer limited availability and require long pre-order times.