0334 – Concealed Carry Handgun Modifications:How to make your concealed carry handgun the best it can be

In episode 333 I stated that that would be the last of my defensive handgun Podcasts at least for a while. Well as I often do I’m going to break my promise to you and continue on with the topic. I feel like I have some fairly decent reasons to do so. First of all the response to the series has been outstanding and it always pleases me to provide content that people want and need. Second of all the questions that folks have provided and the current state of the defensive world leaves additional information to be shared.

Today we are going to take a look at how we can deal with availability issues in Defensive Firearms. If you are in the market for a defensive firearm and are having a difficult time finding what it is that you need today’s episode is all about solutions to that problem.


Sponsor of the Day: Warrior Summit

Links to help Modify your Defensive Firearm

Don’t be afraid to shop for used concealed carry or home defense handguns

GlockDPDFact used guns aren’t. The majority of handguns that at bought for defensive use are hardly used.

Some defensive gun owners buy a gun and 50 rounds of ammo. They then head to the range and load up a few magazines worth of ammo and send it down range. They save enough to have a fully loaded handgun when they get home and that is it. The gun never leaves its resting place until it is ready to be sold or until it is needed for its real purpose: To save lives.

How do we know this is true? Ask one of your friends who is a new defensive handgun owner how much they have shot their handgun. Maybe you don’t need to ask because you have followed this paradigm.

Other more active gun owners may take a more regular role in their defensive training. My father recently made his semi annual trip to the range. He fired 80 rounds. That’s 160 per year. At that rate, a gun that is 10 years old is just getting broken in as far as I’m concerned.

Even firearms that are duty weapons for armed professionals tend to be low round count guns. There are a few agencies out there that make a serious investment in firearms training but even an agency that required its officers to train and or qualify on a quarterly basis with 200 rounds would only put 800 rounds through a gun per year. Again, over ten years that is 8000 rounds. Hardly time to even need to replace parts based on round count.

Law enforcement guns do tend to show more outward wear than your typical consumer handgun, but holster wear and worn grips are typically superficial issues. Its the gut that count and the internals are likely to be in good shape.

Of course we would like you to invest some resources into training when you purchase a defensive handgun, but the fact of the matter is many folks instead rely on the magical power of the handgun to protect them. As much of a problem as it could be for them when it comes to protecting their lives, it is a definite positive for you when it comes to the purchase of a used handgun.


Don’t be afraid to work your way down the list of concealed carry and home defense handgun types

There are plenty of gun isms out there that give us permission to select a firearm other than the firearm that is best for the job.

We don’t want to just blindly accept that the best gun is the gun you have. Remember we want to select the best concealed carry handgun or the best home defense handgun because the stakes are dire. We must select the best defensive handguns. But let’s face it the perfect size 9mm MSF handgun from my magical list is no help at all if you can’t buy it. And that is really the situation that we are in today. You may not be able to get the specific brand and model handgun that is best for your situation. You shouldn’t willingly make concessions in your defensive firearms.

But we may be forced to make concessions. And then we are much better off making a well thought out concession than not having a firearm for defensive use.

When you must make concessions make concessions in a common sense manner. We do that by working our way down the list.

You might consider making size concessions choose the best firearm type and caliber in a size up. Or down from the perfect size. There are ways that we can make accommodations to deal with a larger or smaller handgun than we would prefer

You might consider making a caliber concession. If 9mm is not available move up to a .40 and if you can’t find a .40 make the jump to a .45 or you could look for a less common caliber like 357 sig.

You might also consider moving down the list as far as firearm type is concerned. Make sure to carefully weigh the positives and negatives of each defensive handgun on the list to make sure that you are taking into account your unique circumstances.

Modify you concealed carry or home defense handgun

Links to help Modify your Defensive Firearm

Modify the fit and or size of the handgun

Especially when we are dealing with polymer handguns it is relatively simple to modify the way that the firearm fits in our hand and even the actual size of the handgun itself.

I personally carry a Glock 17 that is modified. I have had the grip of the gun cut off to the same length as a Glock 19. This shorter grip makes it easier for me to conceal the handgun. Because the barrel of the handgun is inside my pants its length isn’t visible.

We can also modify handguns by reducing the diameter of the grip. this can be done by removing finger grooves and other material to make the gun smaller around.

Glock Magazine ReleaseIn addition we can make modifications to other important parts of the guns.

A gun fits when we can reach all of the buttons and levers of the gun while we are holding the pistol with the back strap centered on the web of our hand between our index finger and our thumb.

For many people it is very difficult to reach the magazine release and or the slide stop lever on their defensive handgun without shifting the gun in their grip. It is pretty simple and inexpensive to swap out the magazine release button and the slide stop lever to extended versions on most modern handguns. so that you can reach them without movement of the firing grip.

Be careful when you modify the parts of your hand gun that you don’t cause other problems. I have seen people running extended magazine releases inadvertently release magazines and those running extended slide stops have their thumbs interfere with the slide stop lever causing the pistol to not lock back. make sure you test your mods to ensure they work.

Modify the caliber

It is pretty easy these days to modify the caliber of a handgun. With a bit of research, a bit of extra expense and some time swapping parts you can turn many modern .40s into 9mms. this is exactly what i have done with my rental guns for SSA. I purchased police trade in Glock 22’s and replaced the barrel in each gun so that it is now chambered in 9mm.

Some quick cautions:

  • You must use an after market conversion barrel to convert the caliber of a handgun.
  • You should also run the correct magazine for the caliber that you want to shoot.
  • You may consider swapping other parts as well. On a Glock You should change the extractor to the proper extractor for the caliber you want to carry.
  • This isn’t the best option for concealed carry or home defense, but it is a viable option.

ghost bullet forward slide stopWhen it comes to modifying our defensive handgun I want to make some general statements to consider

1. It is better to have the best gun come straight from the factory than to modify it.

  • warranty issues
  • legal issues
  • Reliability issues

2. It is better to have a gun that is truly efficient than to simply move down the list.

  • If you can move your pistol up the list safely and reliably, do it
  • Get professional help there are a lot of gunsmiths out there that do great work.
  • Templar Custom Arms
  • Business End Custom
  • Don’t forget that a lot of these projects can be do it yourself projects if you have some handy person skills.

3. Whether you do the work or you have it professionally done, test, test, test.

  • 200 rounds without failure
  • 50 rounds of your carry ammo without failure
  • Your life may depend on it.

Alter other parts of the concealed carry system

Change your Concealed Carry position or holster

Modify your clothing

If you were intrigued by the SSA Podcast, remember to:

Check out our Sponsor of the Day: Warrior Summit

Links to help Modify your Defensive Firearm

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