Over the last 6 months, there has been an explosion in new gun owners and people who decided to start carrying a concealed firearm. As a result, the amount of variety and stock of handguns in gun stores are limited and down from where they were before the lockdown. With the increased numbers of new handgun owners around, there’s been an increase in weapon accessories as well. There are plenty of people asking what they should put on their carry guns and what the best accessories are for them. Let’s dive into different weapon accessories and what are the best options for your specific needs.
Probably one of the most popular accessories on the market today is some type of weapon light. Whether it’s a small InForce APLc or something larger like the SureFire X300 Ultra, it’s becoming fairly regular to see them on carry guns. Whether you decide on fiber optic sights or tritium night sights, they both show up fairly well against a weapon light making it an advantage if you find yourself in a situation at night. Having a tool that turns a stressful situation into a situation where you hold the upper hand can be the difference between life and death.
Weapon lights are not perfect though and have a couple of disadvantages for concealed carry. The biggest drawback to weapon-mounted lights is the extra weight and bulk they add to the gun. Having extra weight on the front of the gun can make a range gun shoot flatter, but adding bulk and extra weight onto a carry gun is typically not a benefit when you are carrying it 7-8 hours a day. Another odd issue that many people run into is not properly using the light in certain situations. Often times, people won’t carry a handheld light and will use their weapon mounted light ultimately flagging everything and everyone they illuminate with their light. It’s not necessarily an issue with the light but rather people misusing it.
Weapon Mounted Lasers
The laser market for concealed carry handguns have been evolving and progressing over the years. Lasers have been extremely popular with older shooters who can’t always pick up handgun sights as easily anymore. Having a single point to focus on in close range can provide a reference point to older shooters who may not be able to use traditional sights and gives them an additional tool to protect themselves. In close range situations, lasers can provide a reference point to your muzzle direction if you need to shoot from retention or find yourself on the ground. Having the ability to shoot quickly and accurately without relying on the sights can be a useful tool in certain situations.
Just like weapon lights though, lasers do have their disadvantages as well. Probably the biggest one is the fact that it becomes extremely easy to rely on the laser instead of using iron sights. Oftentimes, people with lasers will start to depend on shooting at the dot rather than using the sights. This will start to make people lean on the laser sight too much and not train their skills properly. I have done this personally early on with my Kahr Arms PM9 I carried often. Finding a holster can also be tricky since there are so many different models of lasers on the market. The problem with this is the fact that not all of them are supported by aftermarket companies.
Moderation Is Key
When looking for new accessories, it’s really easy to sometimes go over board with the amount of gadgets you install. One of the best ways to look at it is the old saying of less is more. When carrying a pistol with something like a red dot or optic on it, typically it’s way too busy to install a laser device onto the pistol as well. The dots can be overwhelming and it’s not a great combination but something like a red dot and weapon light work great together. It’s important to keep it simple with your accessories and only install items if you have a concrete use for them.
So many people fall into the tacticool way of thinking and fill their gun up with things they don’t necessarily need for daily concealed carry. Adding too many things can just complicate your sight picture when you need things to be simple and easy under stress. Keeping your gun as streamline and simple to use will ultimately help with being quick in a self defense situation rather than something with too many gadgets on it.
Personally, I tend to stick with weapon mounted lights rather than lasers since I think there’s more versatility despite the added weight and bulk. It’s still extremely easy for me to pick up a handgun’s sight picture, so having a light allows me to see more in an uncertain situation. If you’re an older shooter, I would definitely consider a laser attachment for quality of life. It’s much easier to see a single dot but it can also be accomplished with a small red dot mounted on your handgun.
No matter what you decide, it’s important to install items onto your handgun that have a purpose and can be useful. Oftentimes people enjoy adding items into their gun just for the cool factor which makes them slower in the long run. Let me know what other weapon accessories you guys think are “must-have” on your carry gun. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.