By Britney Starr, Women’s Outdoor News
If you’re going to carry a handgun on a daily basis, why not add a little customization while you’re at it? Who knows, maybe you’ll eventually have a different gun/accessory combo for each outfit, just like you have a different pair of shoes.
Here are 5 ways to customize your handgun with aftermarket accessories.
1. Extended magazine release
I recently installed an OD green, aluminum, extended magazine release for my Gen4 GLOCK 19. It gives my gun a small pop of color, without going overboard, and also allows for the magazine release to be more easily accessed. I found the installation easy enough to do on my own, after looking up directions online. Ah, the power of Google.
Jade Shooting sells the Gen4 GLOCK extended magazine release in pink, purple, red, OD green and chrome, as well as standard and extended aluminum magazine releases for Gen 3 GLOCKs.
While you’re on the Jade Shooting website, you might want to order a matching rear slide cover plate, available in purple, pink, red, blue and OD green.
Magazine release MSRP: $32 to $35
Rear slide cover plate MSRP: $12
2. Brilliant Backstraps
If you own a Smith & Wesson M&P (full size or compact), Springfield XDS or XDM, you can add a little bling to your handgun with Brilliant Backstraps!
These glitter colored and patterned backstraps are the brainchild of Tracy Hughes, who is A Girl & A Gun’s Houston Chapter Facilitator and Area Coordinator for Texas. Tracy says that the backstraps are very durable and don’t shed glitter onto your hands.
Brilliant Backstraps are sold at GunGoddess.com (GunGoddess has exclusive rights to the gold and silver zebra pattern) and come in 9 glitter colors and 8 glitter patterns, as well as 9 black stippled patterns for those of us who prefer a more subdued customization.
Stippled backstraps MSRP: $20
Colored/Patterned backstraps MSRP: $30 to $50
3. Girls Guide to Guns Duracoat
Natalie Foster, of Girls Guide to Guns, has partnered with Duracoat to offer a number of custom-colored-paint kits for your guns. Each kit is equipped with everything needed for the do-it-yourself paint job, and will coat 2 to 4 handguns, depending on size.
Duracoat carries the Girls Guide to Guns line of color kits (9 to choose from) including Audrey’s Arsenal, Blushing Bullet, Bullet Breeze, Champagne and Lead, Fast as Lightening, Gunning for You, Kiss my AK, Silver bullet and UnderCover. How creative are those names?
Natalie also designed gun “tattoos,” available for purchase from Lauer Weaponry in heart, flower with stem, fleur-de-lis, stars, butterfly, female symbol and cross shapes. Simply apply the tattoo stencil to your gun, follow directions for the Duracoat color kit, let dry, peel stencil off, and voilà, you have a gun tattoo!
Duracoat kit MSRP: $59.99
Tattoo MSRP: $5 each
4. Taran Tactical Innovations Firepower base pads
Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob is a fan of adding Taran Tactical Innovations Firepower basepadson her handgun magazines. Each base pad adds extra round capacity to your magazine and is great for competition shooting or everyday use. “Not only do they give me a little extra capacity with my M&P Pro Series 9mm (and the M&P15 too,) but they also come in a variety of hot rod colors,” said Julie.
You can purchase Taran Tactical Innovations Firepower basepads for Smith & Wesson and GLOCK handguns in +6 capacity, as well as GLOCK handguns in +3 capacity for 9mm (If your handgun is a .40 cal., the capacity will be +5 and +2.) and come in flat dark earth, titanium blue, titanium grey, black, blue and red colors. Snazzy!
+6 Firepower base pads MSRP: $41.00 (on sale now for $35.69)
+3 Firepower base pads MSRP: $30.99 (on sale now for $26.34)
5. Hogue grips
My mom swears by the Hogue grip sleeve that she rocks on her GLOCK 19. She loves the way it feels “squishy” in her hand, but also gives her more “gripability” while shooting her gun. The grips can be cut with scissors, by hand, to get the perfect fit on your gun.
You can buy these grip sleeves in small or full size, and in black, pink, desert tan, OD green and zombie green.
MSRP: $8.95 to $10.95, depending on size
It’s great to see so many colorful options for women to customize their firearms. (And, let’s not exclude the men. There are even a few gender neutral colors available for the items I have listed above.)