In last week’s article, I talked about a number of accessories for carrying a concealed firearm – aftermarket sights, slide cuts and adding red dots to your handgun. If you haven’t checked out the first part of this guide, feel free to check it out by clicking here. There’s a number of both good and bad upgrades you can do so let’s keep this train rolling with a few more accessories you should either consider or steer clear from. Let’s dive into part 2 of the carry gun accessories guide.
Good Upgrade: Trigger Shoe
Messing with the trigger on your carry gun is a pretty controversial option depending on who you talk with. For me, I am a big believer in keeping things stock and I’ll dive into why a little while later. A trigger shoe upgrade is a great option to change the overall feeling while keeping the same trigger internals how they were from the factory. There are a number of trigger shoes for a wide variety of firearms. One of my personal favorites is the flat straight trigger variant for my carry firearms.
This style of trigger makes the trigger break slightly earlier than it would with a curved trigger. This can trick your brain into thinking it’s a lighter trigger weight without it actually being lighter. Depending on what firearm you have, there should be a wide variety of trigger shoe options. Glock typically has the most but other companies make replacement trigger shoes for CZ, SIG, Beretta and HK. This is by no means a must when it comes to accessory upgrades, but if you’re unhappy with your carry gun’s trigger, I would suggest maybe going this route to improve the trigger pull without compromising your factory internals.
Bad Upgrade: Trigger WEIGHT
I understand not everyone will like the stock trigger that comes in it from the factory. It’s fairly common truthfully, but one thing I don’t do is mess with the trigger weight of my carry guns. It may be tempting because having a lighter crisp trigger is always tempting. The problem with having a lighter trigger is the fact you compromise the overall integrity of a factory trigger. Companies like Glock and others will extensively test triggers with drop tests and everything else. Having a lighter trigger installed puts the firearm at risk of not being drop-safe anymore since it is now different from the factory specifications. Another issue with lighter triggers is having your finger on the trigger in a stressful situation and having the firearm go off before you intend it.
There has been a number of times I have shot with individuals who installed trigger kits into their guns and the firearm went off before they intend it to fire. Training is a big part of this problem, but not everyone trains on a regular basis when carrying a firearm sadly. Having a heavier trigger installed into your carry gun is less common but is something I’ve heard happen before. This is equally a bad idea since it changes how the firearm fires which can cause flinching and yanking the trigger making you less accurate. Long story short, just keep your trigger internals stock when deciding to carry. It’s a safer option and legally it’s a better argument if you ever find yourself in court.
Good Upgrade: Low Profile Carry Magwell
Magwells can be a tricky subject when putting it on your carry gun. Some magwells can be massive with a large amount of flaring but the downside to those types of magwells is the fact they are absolutely enormous. Anything that adds width or mass to the grip of your handgun will be significantly harder to conceal since usually, that area is the most common for printing with a t-shirt or light cover garments.
Having a low-profile magwell can be a huge benefit with reloading quickly. If we are being honest, having to reload in a self-defense situation is extremely rare when looking at statistics but it’s not out of the question. Having a small magwell on your carry gun can help guide your magazine into the frame making reloads easier especially under stress. Now is this a must upgrade? Absolutely not but there are a few magwells out there from Agency Arms or even Magpul that are affordable and effective while not adding a ton of bulk to your carry gun.
Bad Upgrade: Compensators/Porting
A trend I don’t quite understand is adding a compensator or muzzle device to a carry handgun. Now don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate a compensator for a range gun. I have written about both variants of Parker Mountain Machine compensators on my guns but there’s no real reason to have one on your carry firearm. One of the biggest problems with porting or compensators on your carry gun is firing at night. Not many people talk about the gases being pushed upward to defeat muzzle rise in handguns. At night time especially with hot self-defense loads, that gas can be in the form of fire.
Having a bright flash of fire shoot up in your line of sight while shooting can be distracting and sometimes even can be a bit disorientating. Typically, this is why I don’t fire my compensated pistols when I attend no-light/low-light pistol courses just because there’s so much upward blast pressure it can be incredibly distracting. Add in the fact a compensator tacks on more overall length to your handgun and it’s just not worth the trouble. Although I love compensators and porting on range guns, I don’t recommend them for carry guns.
Like I said in my last article, there are a ton of aftermarket products out there. These were a few that stood out to me as the most common and maybe I will revisit this for a part 3 down the road but this covers a lot of the most common upgrades for carry guns. I wanted to say I appreciate the suggestions from the last article and I did add some of those suggestions into this article so thank you! Let me know what you guys think about the good bad and ugly of upgrades down in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!