The topic of modifications can come up in court in the unlikely event of a self-defense shooting, specifically speaking about firearms. I will discuss some of the benefits of them, and my opinion on them. Why would someone want to modify their everyday carry handgun. The best reasoning is for increased accuracy out of that weapon platform. Handguns are generally hard to shoot due to a number of factors. By making modifications, it can make the gun easier to manipulate. The most common mod to a handgun is the trigger. Usually making the pull-weight lighter than it comes from the manufacturer. This will decrease the amount of pressure that needs to be applied in order to pull the trigger. The benefits are that there is less movement in the sights during the trigger pull, therefore allowing for a more accurate shot. This can come up in court due to the weight of the trigger being too light. They will try to say that you weren’t ready to shoot, and pre-maturely pulled the trigger because of the lightened weight. My defense to this is simple, and I’ve already explained the benefits to it. It allows for a more accurate shot. How light is too light? In my opinion, anything under 4 pounds is generally viewed as a competition trigger, which is kind of unnecessary because you’re not even gonna feel the trigger due to stress anyways. Training and shooting frequently can overcome this negative effect.
Another modification is a adding texture to the grip. Once again, this makes shooting the gun easier, which will give you more accurate shots. You can do this by adding some sort of tape, or by permanently melting the plastic, creating ridges in the gun. It will give you better traction on the gun. The same principle goes for adding extended controls. It is easier to manipulate the firearm. One example this would be a huge benefit is in adverse weather conditions. In the rain, you will have more control of the weapon. It would be similar to adding tape to steps to prevent people from falling. I will discuss sights in another post due to how many variations there are. Same goes for weapon-mounted lights, but for different reasons.
My opinion on modifications to an everyday carry handgun is simple. If you have justification to use lethal force, it shouldn’t matter if you use a strawberry or a gun. At work, my department does not let me make modifications, which is a common practice. I just train with what I have. I think the philosophy behind this is that if another officer has to use my gun, it will feel the same as theres. Outside of work, and in all shootings, I am not required to give a fair fight, and I want every advantage I can get. If I can make a modification to my gun to make me shoot it more accurately and quicker, then I want that modification. That being said, a spoiler alert is my everyday handgun is a competition gun. The only thing I changed are the sights. It comes with a lighter trigger from the factory because it was designed for competition purposes. I simply have the body style to carry a large gun, and it doesn’t have any disadvantages other than discomfort due to size.