Pistol upgrades help customize your weapon, tailoring it to fit your shooting needs. When combined with the right pistol accessories, that means you’re ready for more discreet concealed EDC, improved accuracy and precision at the range, and even increased utility in dynamic tactical situations. From high-performance gun optics to pistol mods that will have you ready to rock-n-roll, let’s take a look at how you can spice up your handgun to make it the perfect firearm for you.
Why You’re Already Customizing Your Gun
Gun owners buy pistol upgrades for several reasons, and some of them don’t even realize they’re doing it. Not every custom pistol upgrade or pistol accessory becomes a permanent fixture on the weapon. Sure, the gun itself may still be stock off the shelf, but the kit they shoot with–whether we’re talking holsters, range bags, or extra mags–is built out to meet their use requirements so they can get more from their gun while carrying it or at the range. While some may scoff at the idea of their range kit being a customization, it’s always with them when they go, and it enhances their shooting experience. In our book, that counts.
- Improve Precision and Aiming – If you want tighter groups, it all starts with better tools to help you put rounds where you want them.
- Recoil Management – When you fire a pistol, recoil management helps you make follow-up shots faster and more accurately.
- Extend Ammunition Capacity – More rounds mean more shots between reloads and more firepower for extended shooting action.
- More Fun – Some pistol mods don’t need a reason. They’re just cool as all get out.
- Light ‘Em Up – If you anticipate low-light shooting, you need pistol upgrades that help you identify your target and engage.
- Bling Bang – Just because it’s a firearm doesn’t mean it can’t be sweet looking.
Deciding on Your Pistol Upgrade Priorities
When you’re planning your pistol upgrades, start by considering what’s missing from your current shooting experience. Are you getting beat up by recoil every round, or is it taking you longer than you’d like to line up your shot? Are you looking at your gun, wishing it had more bang to deliver at the range? Whatever you’re missing, start your pistol mods by addressing those needs first, and after that, you can move on to some of the customizations you may not need but you dang sure want.
Upgrading your sights with a state-of-the-art red dot sight is a great way to improve accuracy, tighten up your precision, and speed up target acquisition. With mounts and adapter plates that make installation on most handguns possible, this is one of the most common pistol upgrades you’ll see. A bright LED light reflected or projected onto a specially coated and ground lens gives you a precise aiming point that’s highly visible, even with night vision equipment.
We built our line of reflex sights to be field-ready with a rugged design, offer adjustments for windage, elevation, and brightness, and conserve your battery life with our bleeding-edge shake-to-awake technology to make sure your sight is always ready for action.
Custom Trigger Groups
The trigger group is one of the most replaced and upgraded internals on your gun. While some gun owners just want a smoother break, more forceful return, or lighter pull weight, you can always take it farther. Pull-release trigger pistol upgrades are legal ways to increase your rate of fire by engaging the sear to fire a round on both the pull of the trigger and the release. It’s as close to full-auto as you can get without an NFA tag.
High-Performance Gun Barrels
Your barrel can be more than just a metal tube that spins your bullet. Ported barrels help reduce muzzle flip and control recoil by venting some of the gasses behind every round you fire upwards through holes machined near the end of the gun barrel. Meanwhile, adding a threaded barrel lets you add aftermarket pistol accessories, like silencers (where legal), compensators, or flash hiders. These all fine-tune how your pistol performs as you’re shooting to address situational necessities.
Custom slides can upgrade your weapon by doing more than just acting as an upper receiver. From cut-outs to reduce weight or enable porting to the addition of mounting rails and optics patterns for compatibility, there is a wide range of high-performance slides that add additional functionality or utility to your weapon.
Additional and Extended Magazines
You need more mags, period. Even if you don’t think you need more rounds, your OEM magazines will eventually fail as the springs soften, the magazines hit the ground while training, or regular use causes wear and tear. If you do want to have a little more fun with some pistol upgrades, however, consider one of the many aftermarket extended magazine options, up to and including drum magazines that can reach into the 50-100 round range. Don’t forget to save your thumbs and pick up a loader while you’re at it.
Tactical gun lights, both those that are handheld and those that mount on your weapon, are popular pistol accessories. As battery and lighting technology has advanced, these mini-dynamos have become brighter, more powerful, have longer lives, and offer a better mix of spotlight illumination for targeting with the right amount of flood for better situational awareness.
Laser Targeting Systems
While not everyone is a fan of these pistol mods, plenty of shooters still like them for both tactical applications and focusing on trigger and recoil drills at the range. These set-ups attach a small but powerful visible laser that projects a bright red dot onto your target. Unless you opt for the added smoke machine purchase, don’t expect the Hollywood beam show–just a nice aiming point to help you zero in on your target.
Get a Grip
Grips have long been easy pistol upgrade options for any skill level of gun owner. From slapping some oversized wood onto a six-shooter to adding a sleeve to your Colt 1911, shooters have worked to find the right hand-feel for better control and comfort. While many modern pistols come with magazine extension plates or swappable backstrap pads, some shooters want more, opting for textures that have more grip, sizes that adjust to fit their hand, or even grips featuring a laser pointer in place of mounting one under the barrel.
A hard and colorful polymer-ceramic coating that’s bonded to your gun’s surfaces can help it stand out in a crowd and turn heads for all the right reasons. This durable finish has become popular even among major firearms manufacturers for resisting holster wear and helping to shrug off hostile environments, but a good Cerakote artist can take it to the next level, making your weapon into a visual masterpiece.
Red Dot Sights Built for the Real World
We’re proud to offer quality precision optics that leave more money in your bank for the pistol upgrades that make shooting better. Sign up for our free email newsletter for hot deals and new product information delivered to your inbox. Order your reflex sights from Gideon Optics today.