CCW Gun Modification Questions
This is a discussion on CCW Gun Modification Questions within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a few questions that I am hoping you guys can help me with. My primary carry gun was a full size XDM with ...
October 3rd, 2013 07:50 PM
CCW Gun Modification Questions
I have a few questions that I am hoping you guys can help me with. My primary carry gun was a full size XDM with the 3.8" barrel, but here as of lately I have started to carry my wife’s S&W M&P 9c due to her wanting a thinner gun like a shield or XDS. I really like this gun and am going to make it my new primary carry gun, my two complaints about it are the thumb safety and the trigger, this is the 2011 model so it has the false reset. I have removed the thumb safety and have thought about putting the Apex DCAEK trigger in it and then I would be happy. So now to the question, I was told by someone at my local gun shop, and yes I know you cant trust all they say, that putting the trigger in and remove the thumb safety would look bad on me in court if I had ever had to use it to defend myself. Is there any truth to these statements, or is this not the deal at all. One option that I though about doing was selling the gun and buying a newer version with the better trigger and no thumb safety. What do you guys think, and thanks for all your input I really appreciate it.
October 3rd, 2013 08:02 PM
I'd say the biggest concern/worry is IF you had the legal right to use deadly force or not in most states at least. IF your life is in danger I really don't see how anything else really factors in, if there lies some doubts however all bets are off IMHO
October 3rd, 2013 08:04 PM
I think alot of people have modified their carry guns, but i think your point about "looking bad" is a good concern. Carry guns do not need to be fun to shoot, only easily accessible and fairly accurate. I think a mediocre trigger on a carry gun should not be a problem, but if you really hate the thumb safety i would suggest buying one without the safety.
Removing a safety never looks good to somebody that is investigating an indecent.
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October 3rd, 2013 08:06 PM
Just remember this, if you find yourself having to defend actions you have committed using your firearm, everything will be looked at and questioned. good luck
October 3rd, 2013 08:08 PM
Dude, this thread is gonna blow up with opinions and every other one is going to contradict the one before it...
Truth is nobody can tell you what's going to happen; or what's best for court; or what the next lottery numbers are. The only thing anyone can say that is valid is that you have to decide for yourself what works for you and none of our opinions mean much of anything on this particular topic.
Personally, I wouldn't carry a modified gun. I carry a bone stock Glock and the stock trigger works well enough for self defense combat pistol work. If it didn't, I wouldn't own it. Whatever you carry, unless the trigger is just beyond terrible, it is probably fine and really doesn't "need" to be improved or changed (you probably just need to train with it more). You may want to improve or change it, and if so, knock yourself out. Could it be used in court against you at a later date? Possibly... Maybe not... Who knows? The other relevant, and sometimes irrelevant, facts that make up your SD shooting are going to all play into what happens and by how much.
Folks will argue back and forth about case law, or lack thereof, but none of that really matters much because it's a big unknown with so many other variables that no other person is really going to be able to give you a black or white type of answer. If you really want to do it (and you've spent enough training time with the pistol), and you've taken the safety considerations into account, then do it. I don't know a thing about what you're describing to understand how much of a problem it is, so I have no clue if more gun time would help or not...
NRA Life Member
"I don't believe gun owners have rights." - Sarah Brady
October 3rd, 2013 08:16 PM
I was going to ask a similar question about modifications because of another thread post . But never thought of it in the terms of SD and court ramifications . I was looking at it as a cosmetic type modification(s) .
It will be interesting to hear more on this .
October 3rd, 2013 09:22 PM
In most jurisdictions a "Modified Sidearm" is going to send up Flags, Sirens, and Joy to the Politically Ambitious DA if used in a SD shoot. I've been there.
In the LE academy, over 40 years ago, we were told to NEVER have ANY modifications done to your firearms. (much less do it yourself)
Should you be involved in a SD shoot, the question of "Firearm Modifications" WILL show up in the Depo process, guaranteed.
Prosecutors LOVE hearing about "Modified Firearms" used in a shoot or "ND".
It will make ZERO difference if the Mod(s) were done by a qualified Armorer or Gunsmith. If you are not happy with the "Safety", "Slide Lock release", "Trigger Pull", "Springs", etc., go and get a firearm that is the way you want it 'Out-of-the-Box'.
This is NOT a matter of 'opinion'. I have had occasion to speak to many Prosecutors, ADAs, etc., around the Country on this matter and have seen some trial outcomes that have gone south (I've had to testify in more than one case as an expert witness, State Firearms Instructor).
This matter also arose while working on my Justice Degree, where we had the local DA and a Lt-Det from the local SO speak on the matter. They were absolutely emphatic on the issue. Only carry "as-is" from the factory.
Some cases end up in court due to "Modifications" that otherwise would have been tossed.
No problem for "personalization" such as grips, sights, paint, bluing, Cerakoting, recoil pads, lights, lasers, scopes and such.
Any changes or modifying of anything integral to the mechanical operation of the weapon is just not worth the risk.
Parts replaced due to normal wear should be factory OEM and done by a qualified gunsmith (keep receipts). Anything else is at your own risk.
Things can get beyond weird in a court of law and juries can be talked into some bizarre verdicts. Never confuse Law with Justice.
Modifications are not a big deal on your deer rifle or hunting-only SG, unless a "ND Injury" or similar occurs.
October 3rd, 2013 09:24 PM
I'll start off by saying Welcome to the forum.
As to your question,the improved trigger can be argued as providing better control of the weapon, thus making it safer. The safety removal might very well give a overly energetic DA or a ambulance chasing civil attorney something to hammer on to a jury. JMO but other than sights and I prefer to leave my guns stock.
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
October 3rd, 2013 10:05 PM
You can carry what ever you want and if you have any questions contact the DA's office.
I was warned while gun shopping that modified triggers can be pushed by a DA as being eager to find somebody to kill. It's your call though.
October 3rd, 2013 10:41 PM
External mods such as grips and sights could probably be easily explained in court, but internal mods such as triggers, safeties, and custom loaded (non-factory) ammo COULD be a problem.
The safest bet would be to keep your gun unmodified from the factory. In your case, buy a gun with the features you want and leave it as-is internally.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other"
October 4th, 2013 07:08 AM
One problem with that argument though is you meant to shoot the bad guy, I might buy into that when a ND is a result, but when you intend to shoot someone who was trying to kill YOU- well, you either had a legal right to do so or did not. I DO believe several LEO and others really don't like citizens being armed and want to "scare them" into concerns that 99% or better will never ever take place on a legal SD shooting.
Originally Posted by IronicOutlook
Any "hungry Anti Gun DA " might try anything or everything but in the end (IMHO) it will come down to did you have the right to use deadly force or not. IF you did, I am not buying mods, ammo or anything else is really going to matter IN MOST STATES - clearly there are a few states where they'd rather that you died than defend yourself (legal or not) thankfully that is not the "norm" by a long shot.
October 4th, 2013 07:53 AM
I will contradict any comment TX expat makes, as a matter of principle.
Originally Posted by TX expat
I believe modified guns are a concern in a negligent discharge, not in an intended discharge.
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October 4th, 2013 08:47 AM
I fall more into the "play it safe and don't modify" camp especially with triggers and removing safeties. My question is this...what if I buy a 1911 and add an ambi-safety? Is it feasible that some overzealous DA will find some fault in that?
October 4th, 2013 09:09 AM
I guess it's feasible that an over-zealous DA could find fault with any modification - even external ones like night sights or rubber grips. But the argument could be made that you wanted to insure that the gun was as safe as possible. As Aceoky said: "Any "hungry Anti Gun DA " might try anything or everything but in the end (IMHO) it will come down to did you have the right to use deadly force or not."
Originally Posted by wondering
That's what it's all about - did you have the legal right to use deadly force.
Ben Cogito, ergo armatum sum. I think, therefore I am armed. (Don Mann, The Modern Day Gunslinger; the ultimate handgun training manual)
October 4th, 2013 11:23 AM
Originally Posted by archer51
^^^I'm in this camp here^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Apex kit: OK. It does nothing that would draw funny crinkly lines on ones forehead.
Safety removal may get scrutinized . What do I know, I'm just a dumb truck driver.
All my pistols have EITHER a decocker, or no safety at all.
Stupid 442 has the idiotic S&W lock but, I digress.
I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
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"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."
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