There are many types of firearm accessories available. Shopping for new additions to your collection is exciting for new and experienced gun owners alike. However, with so many accessories on the market, it can be hard to determine what is essential and what is just a fun extra. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a new item just because it’s cool, but it’s helpful to know the difference so you can plan and make sure you have what you need first.
Here are some questions to ask to distinguish between firearm accessories that you need and those that are just for fun:
1. Is This Accessory Necessary To Use Your Weapon Properly?
Depending on how you plan to use your firearm, some accessories are non-negotiable. For example, if you plan to conceal carry, you’ll need a holster, period. Even if you’re keeping your firearm in a bag, a holster helps keep it secure and easy to access. The type of holster will depend on the method of carrying you prefer, and it may be helpful to have a few options for different styles of dress.
Cleaning supplies are another example of something you should have on hand with your firearm. If you don’t clean your gun, it won’t work properly and can put you in danger.
2. What Purpose Does the Accessory Serve?
Each accessory serves a purpose, even if it’s just for aesthetics. For example, does it help you transport the firearm more easily? Does it help improve visibility for hunting? Does it make reloading faster? Knowing what this purpose is, or if the accessory has multiple purposes, can help you determine if it is necessary.
3. Can You Test The Accessory?
If you can test out the accessory or something similar before you buy it, it’s often easier to determine how helpful it is. You may be able to do this at a gun store for some items, or if you have a friend that already has the accessory you’re interested in, you can ask them if you can try it. This is easier for some items than others. You can typically try on a holster, for example, but there may be regulations that make it harder to try a suppressor without paying the tax stamp first.
4. What Do Others Have to Say?
Read reviews online, ask the associates at your favorite gun shop, and/or talk to your friends about the accessory you’re interested in. Getting advice can give you insight into what others think and how much use they’ve gotten out of it. If everyone you know hardly uses the item, it may not be worthwhile. However, if they feel like it’s improved their shooting experience, it may be a better idea to look into purchasing it.
The Bottom Line
Of course, deciding whether or not to purchase a new accessory for your firearm is subjective. At the end of the day, if you’re interested in something and want to try it out, you should do whatever makes you happy. Even accessories that aren’t purely functional can improve your experience, even if it’s only because they look badass and are fun to own.