Custom Guns: 13 Neat Ways to Upgrade and Modify a Firearm

Novice gun owners often think that a firearm is complete when you purchase it off the shelf and bring it home. But more experienced firearm enthusiasts know that bringing a gun home is just the beginning.

Custom guns are far more enjoyable to use and to own than stock-built, mass-produced firearms. And many gun modifications are easy enough for most people to make themselves, without having to hire a specialized technician.

Because firearms are actually quite simple machines, making custom gun modifications often only requires simple tools like Allen keys or screwdrivers. Simply order upgraded, third-party firearm parts, remove the existing component, and replace it with the new one.

Honestly, for many gun upgrades, it’s that simple. Wondering what gun customizations you should consider first? Keep reading to discover 13 fun firearm modifications to try today.

1. Improve Your Sight

The first mod you’ve probably already made to your firearm is the addition of optics, such as a scope or specialized sight. The stock sights are fun to learn how to use but aren’t very useful beyond five or 10 yards.

If you plan to get serious about target shooting, or if you hope to hunt and harvest an animal, you’ll need to add a scope. Most rifles or shotguns come with accessory rails already attached to the gun itself. This makes it easy to purchase almost any type of scope or sight and screw it right on out of the box.

If you don’t have these rails already installed on your gun, you can add accessory rails to your gun first in order to attach a sight or other useful accessories depending on your goals.

2. Suppress Your Gun

Many modified guns have a suppressor installed. This means a device that lowers the amount of noise caused by a fired shot.

The legality of suppressors varies by state and municipality, so be sure to brush up on your local laws before making this upgrade. But these handy mods can make it easier for kids to learn how to shoot without being overwhelmed or distracted by the loud noises.

Many older shooters also add suppressors once they begin having ear problems. This allows them to continue enjoying a sport that they love so much, late into life.

3. Add Compensation

You can also add a compensator to your gun, which helps to reduce the amount of recoil after each shot. Normally, when a shot is fired, the gas buildup inside the gun causes the gun to move up and back, towards you.

While this can be managed by experienced shooters, it’s still inconvenient and can potentially cause harm.

Instead, with the use of a compensator, the gases inside the gun will be released out of vents in the top of the firearm. When this happens, it will actually apply downward force to the gun, helping to push back the recoil, making for a more pleasant shooting experience.

4. Add a Pistol Grip

If you’ve never held a shotgun or a rifle that had a pistol grip, you are missing out. It’s one of the greatest feelings. Pistol grips feel so nice and comfortable in your hand, making it easier to prepare for, and execute a perfect shot.

When it comes to turkey hunters, many avid bird-chasers upgrade their turkey shotguns with a pistol grip. Since you are often sitting for many hours before a turkey comes into range, you need to be able to hold your gun comfortably, without wearing out your hands or wrists.

A pistol grip makes this possible, by straightening your hand, rather than having to rotate it in order to hold the gun properly.

Many AR-15 enthusiasts also swap out the stock grip for an AR-15 pistol grip, making for more enjoyable practice shooting sessions.

If you are unsure if you’d like to make the switch, reach out to friends to see if anyone has a gun with a pistol grip mod and ask if you can borrow it, or just hold it for a few minutes.

5. Swap Your Barrel

The barrel of your gun is extremely important to the accuracy and consistency of your shots. But most people don’t realize that swapping a barrel is super easy.

In fact, you can have multiple barrels for each of your rifles and shotguns, switching them out as needed. For example, when hunting turkeys, you may want a longer barrel that won’t allow the shot to spread quite as far. This allows you to zero in on the small target of a turkey’s head.

But if you also want to use that same shotgun for upland birds, you’ll want a different barrel that allows for a wider spread of your shot, since you are shooting at flying targets.

Rather than forking over hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for another gun altogether, all you have to do is swap the barrel and sight in your gun really quick.

6. Replace Your Magazine Spring

While not much of a modification, replacing the spring inside your magazine should be done on a regular basis. The spring is what continually pushes bullets up and into the chamber of your gun.

Over time, when the spring is constantly weighed down, it will begin to weaken. This can slow down the time it takes to reload your chamber, and potentially cause a round to misfire or jam.

If you value speed and shot consistency, which you should, buy a few extra springs and replace them on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure your magazine is always in good, working condition.

7. Weigh Down Your Magazine

While you are removing the spring from your magazine, you can also make this quick mod at the same time. The base plate that comes standard on your magazine isn’t very heavy.

This means that it doesn’t do a great job of pulling the magazine out of the gun when the release button has been pressed. This means a slower reloading process.

Instead, you can replace the standard base plate with a tactical plate, which is heavier and will drop the magazine faster once the release has been pressed.

8. Custom Guns Have More Efficient Triggers

If you are looking to improve your accuracy, one of the best things you can do is upgrade your trigger system. On standard triggers, you often have to pull back quite a bit, applying a good amount of weight in the process.

Doing this, however, increases your chances of moving the gun and altering your shot placement. You’re going to miss more shots this way, which is a big bummer for hunters who often only get one shot at their targets.

But by removing the stock trigger system, which is quite simple to do on most hunting rifles, you can purchase a new trigger system and install it in a matter of minutes.

With a better trigger, you won’t need to apply as much weight to your trigger pulls. This reduces the risk of movement when taking a shot, helping to improve accuracy.

9. Camouflage Your Gun

Most firearms are black. While they look good this way, it’s not the only option.

For example, if you spend a lot of time hunting animals with good eyesight, such as turkeys, your gun might stand out to them, causing them to spook. You can paint or purchase special decals specifically for your firearm to cover it in camouflage that matches your hunting grounds.

10. Light It Up

You can add a tactical light to your concealed carry handgun that would make it useful in low light conditions. Ideally, you would never need to use it in these conditions, but having a light increases your chance of protecting yourself in any condition, at any time of day.

You shouldn’t need to install these on any other type of gun, as shooting at night, whether hunting or target shooting, is usually against the law and would be unnecessary.

11. Upgrade Your Slide

Some handguns come with slides that don’t contain any texture. While the smooth surface may look nice, it can work against you if you aren’t careful.

For example, if your hands are sweaty, it may be more difficult to rack the gun, as your hand might just glide over the gun without pulling it back. Upgrading your slide to a texturized one gives you more grip, increasing reliability in hot conditions.

12. Extend Your Shot Capacity

Many guns simply can’t carry enough rounds. Handguns and shotguns are particularly limited. It’s easy enough to purchase or install a magazine extension to increase your round carrying capacity, reducing the number of times you’ll need to reload.

13. Use a Laser

Lasers usually can’t be used on hunting guns, but might be a good idea on a self-defense gun or concealed carry gun. They help you ensure accuracy over longer distances, ensuring you don’t hit anything else on accident.

Anyone Can Modify Their Firearms

Custom guns don’t have to be expensive. Nor do you have to be a technical wizard in order to modify a firearm.

Most common and legal modifications are easy enough for anyone who can read an instruction manual or follow along with a video online.

Looking for more tips like this? You can check out other articles on our blog today.

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