Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we talked about various drills that are great to add to your range days for concealed carry. if you happened to miss that article be sure to click the link here to check it out. This week, I get a ton of questions about people buying replacement parts or building out their carry guns instead of buying firearms from the factory. There are various pros and cons to both ways of thinking so it’s a perfect topic for us to take a deeper dive into. Let’s take a closer look at buying or building your carry gun.
Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:
Buying From The Factory
The vast majority of people will start with a factory handgun with no upgrades. This is usually the easiest way to go since everything will be ready to go from the factory and you can walk into any gun store and pick up your first carry gun. When you pick up a factory gun not only is there a high certainty of it being 100% reliable but if there’s a problem, you have a warranty to fall back on. When a new carry gun drips onto the market, you have to understand there’s been thousands of rounds tested on these new models as well as hours of design and engineering going into these products.
Products from the same company will always have a roughly similar tolerance stack up which allows new pistols to provide a consistent level of reliability. Factory pistols have been the standard for carry guns for the vast majority of people who carry for self-defense. Recently that has changed with people swapping out parts or building out their own pistol from a fire control until giving them complete control over what gun they want to carry. Factory guns are standard offerings with years of research and development that ensures the gun will function as intended no matter what in a self-defense situation. Let’s take a look at a more recent trend of people creating their own carry guns.
Building Out Your Own Gun
The release of the Glock 47, as well as SIGs P320 or P365 fire control units, has opened up the gates for people to fully customize their handguns. This trend really started in the late 2000s and is only gaining more steam. People want to take a standard firearm and switch out every part with aftermarket parts and accessories. The SIG fire control unit program has pushed this trend into overdrive with multiple companies making custom slides, frames and accessories. It can be incredibly satisfying to build out a pistol the way you want it and with the vast amount of options available on the market.
With high-end companies like Agency Arms, Parker Mountain Machine, Icarus Precision, and other companies making high-quality parts for the concealed carry market, the idea of building out your own pistol can really start to become appealing. Glock and SIG have both changed their firearms for more modular designs in an effort to give users more options on how to make their carry guns. SIG has gone crazy with the concept so much they have their own pistol builder now where you can put various aftermarket slides and frames onto your fire control unit to see what it’s like.
The Big Difference
When building a fast range gun or even a race gun, I can completely understand the appeal of making your own pistol but doing the same thing for a carry gun is a completely different story. When you’re carrying a handgun for self-defense, it shouldn’t be something you pieced together from 5-7 different manufacturers and test firing at your house. Not only is the reliability of the pistol unknown but the legal ramifications of explaining every aftermarket upgrade are also a fairly large issue.
Having a firearm with multiple companies producing parts for it will inevitably have some level of tolerance stack-up issues. Whether it’s a barrel and slide binding slightly creating stoppages or occasionally having a malfunction, it’s important to remember you need to carry a firearm that’s 100% reliable with self-defense ammo and you know for a fact it will work. People oftentimes forget you need to explain and give rationalization for every aftermarket part on your carry gun. Factory firearms aren’t subject to the same scrutiny because they come from the factory with certain parts and you’re buying a complete firearm. There’s a very distinct difference that shouldn’t be ignored if you ever do need to use your firearm in a self-defense situation.
Building your own guns from aftermarket parts can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but too many are immediately going that route for their carry guns instead of sticking with tested platforms for self-defense. Of course, there will always be cases where people put together various firearms with aftermarket parts and they run flawlessly, and overall that’s the goal of building your own gun. The problem is sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Even when you look past reliability, there’s the legal aspect of having so many aftermarket items on your carry gun. I try to keep the customization to a minimum on my firearms for this reason so I don’t have to justify my upgrades to a prosecutor and jury. It may be overthinking but it’s certainly something to consider.
What do you guys think? I know there are plenty of you who carry custom firearms as your daily carry. Even I have a few with compensators and aftermarket parts but is it worth considering the reliability and legal ramifications? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions about carry guns or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeopeator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.
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