Open up any gun magazine and you’ll see companies selling almost every imaginable accessory for guns. In fact, I know plenty of guys that spend more on accessories than on the actual gun itself. But is this necessary?
Well, first off, there are few accessories that I would consider necessary. The rest of them are for “the fun of it.” In other words, there is a big difference between accessorizing a gun for self-defensive purposes, versus competition shooting, versus accessorizing them for no good reason except for the fact that they make a new whiz-bang part for your gun.
Thankfully, I have escaped the “accessorize” disease. I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to my guns and don’t like to add a bunch of junk to them. My Glock 19 pistol is completely stock. I haven’t changed a thing on it.
In fact, the only accessory I think you need for your self-defense handgun is a light.
And not a light that attaches to the gun, a light that sits next to your gun in case you have to deal with an intruder at 3am. And no matter what, please don’t do a trigger job on your self-defense gun. You don’t ever want to find yourself facing a prosecutor trying to explain why your gun has a 2-pound trigger.
And although my concealed carry gun is simple, I do have a lot more items on my home defense shotgun. First, it has a light on the end of it. I have a SureFire flashlight that is built into the forend. It also has a sling, a side-saddle to hold extra shells, a pistol grip and an extended magazine tube.
All of those accessories are good on a shotgun, but if I could only have one, it would absolutely be a flashlight. So before you add all of the other stuff to your home defense shotgun, make sure the flashlight comes first.
Rifles are probably where the majority of people get out of control with all of the add-ons.
I saw an Internet posting once where one fellow said “You can go broke adding one $10 accessory at a time to your .22 rifle.” He’s right. On my Ruger 10/22 I have a sling and I installed better sights, but that’s it.
As far as an AR-15, I recommend a sling, light and iron sights at the very least. Yes, you can spend a small fortune on optics, but for defensive purposes with the AR-15, the iron sights are all you need.
In fact, the most important thing with the AR-15 or any gun for that matter is that
you know how to properly operate it without all of the add-ons. If you don’t know the fundamentals, the accessories are pointless.
And if you need one more reason not to go crazy with accessories, consider this: When you read the instructions that say “easily installs” you may spend hours putting it on and you’ll never want to accessorize again.