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Discussion Starter #1
Those of you that have been floating around here for a while know that I joke around a bit but I never joke around when it comes to selecting my daily carry pistol and what it looks like.
Accessorize and add whatever you want to your range or target or "fun" handgun but try to keep your carry pistol as basically "stock" as possible.
I touched on this in the other frangible bullet thread but thought that it deserved its own discussion. I expect to get some argument here but, YES! ~ There really is documented evidence that having an extremely "tricked out" and modified carry firearm & especially firearms with bizarre grips & engraved mottos WILL cause you additional heartache should you ever end up in court.
Your argument (as you read this) might be that this is America & it's your gun...your own personal property & you are LEGALLY carrying it and you SHOULD be able to do whatever you want to it. That is very true...as long as you never actually need to use it to save your bacon. That is also not the reality of the situation.
If...and I hope you never are...involved in a justified defensive shooting your firearm WILL very likely be completely disassembled & every alteration, modification, and custom addition that deviates from "Factory STANDARD/Normal" will be documented and can be used as evidence against you in court. A crack lawyer will use any little thing as a sledge hammer against you.
Remember that little tiny pebbles become massive boulders in any court room environment. Just please remember that.
You do not want to dig an extra deep grave/hole for yourself that your attorney is going to need to try to dig you out of ~ just to pull you UP to "ground level" ~ where you should have started out in the first place!
And for Cripes Sake do not put skull grips or Black Widow Spiders or Grim Reapers anywhere on your personal protection pistol. "DEATH RIDES A PALE HORSE" is NOT something you want engraved on your "carry" pistol slide.
You will have enough EXTRA trouble just with a lightened trigger pull or carrying a Back Up Gun.
No No No


 

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Good subject and I see no reason for anyone to comment badly about your writeup. I would like to comment on trigger pull being light. When I purchase a firearm described as custom its more marketing and sales talk. The firearm offered as custom has just more time spent on it to insure quality, it can be provided without using custom.(my opinion) Now for the trigger pull issue, when I order my Wilson it is built under their internal specifications and the trigger pull comes out to be about 3.5 > 3.75#. It feels very good to me and I don't want to change it because I would then be changing how the gun was mfg. If I keep my finger off the trigger when drawing it will never fire, so if the pull is 10# or 3.5# I will never let one fly when I shouldn't if I keep my finger from the trigger. Now here in California when you apply for a ccw you must have your gun inspected by the sherrif department. Trigger pull must be >4.0#. To meet their requirements I must upset the safety and securty of my firearm as delivered by the mfg. To me this is wrong for a government to tell you how your firearm is configured, to me it would be unsafe to modify the mfg setting. I know and have heard it all from the experts about just bending this or that and its not a problem; but to me it is a problem. This is being forced upon me by Law Enforcement and I don't work for them. I hope comments are geared toward tech application. Thank you all, just my opinion about things.
 

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QK, interesting thought. I need to sit and mull this over for a bit. Those grips could be construed to convey a sentiment of the owner. Damning, maybe and to that I think your advice is on point.

But are you also alledging that polished sears and lightened Commander Hammers and triggers would also be viewed in such a light as the above grips to convey a sentiment as above? I would like to think not. There was a case herein Vegas where a Justified shoot occured and the gent who did the shooting was at a serious size disadvantage to his assailant. Problem arose in that his pistol of choice had some laser heads up display such as a C-More. I do not know what rig he used, but I do know that the sighting device did prove to be problematic for this gent.

SO on that thought, those of you that have equipped your carry pieces with Crimson Trace laser grips might be in the same boat. QK, what is your take on such a mod as these grips? I am all for them and my wife is contempalting a pair for her pistols. I pray she never gets into a situation where she has to fire on a BG; and if a situation shoudl arise I would like to think she would not be raked over the coals for having CT grips or some other mod done to her carry piece.

~A
 

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Forty Five a friend of mine just got a call from his local Sherrif to have his pistols looked over for carry. One of his is a Wilson CQB with a trigger much like yours. What he did was he added a thin piece of foam that in conjunction with the trigger pull put him over the 4# trigger pull. Whethere or not he is now going to remove the foam I do not know. I would think it would not be in his best interest to do so. God forbid he gets into a JSI (Justified shooting incident) his pistol as many of you have insuniated will be tested for proper function and what not and as such; his trigger pull without the foam would fail the 4# test.

~A
 

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In theory...

I would certainly agree with the original post. I have made the decision to carry a stock pistol most of the time - primarily based on the KISS principle.

Still - in the numerous times I have seen a similar issue brought up - how much case history exists to verify that in a self-defense situation the victim's gun/ammo actually resulted in increased legal/civil liability on the part of the defendant? And is it voluminous - or mostly anecdotal? Mas Ayoob is well-known for his articles speculating about what "could" happen. How often does it actually happen? I'm not saying it doesn't, I just wonder how common the intense scrutiny on equipment truly is. I'm sure it's largely dependent on what venue the case should appear in. I'm confident the defendant in a self-defense shooting case would be better off in the rural Midwest than in San Francisco.

In any event - skulls are out. Just a little too bikerish for my taste (and I ride a Harley).
 

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Agree with original post.

T Shirts with 'Shoot them all and let God sort them out' will not be a great deal of help in court either.
 

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APachon-I listen and read about the 1911 but the expert gunsmith will do the work if needed. This is relative to the 4# trigger pull situation; my understanding is the mainspring and searspring together assist in maintaining the trigger pull. The mainspring may wear over time and the trigger pull may become slightly less because of that. What I am getting at is simply replacing the mainspring with a new one of same "weight value" as the original may be just enough to increase the pull slightly. I did this to get to my 4# requirement, it was the least impact upon the gun. Thought you would be interested. Sorry to get off track here, this is a good thread.
 

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how much case history exists to verify that in a self-defense situation the victim's gun/ammo actually resulted in increased legal/civil liability on the part of the defendant? And is it voluminous - or mostly anecdotal?
There is very little to show that these things have much impact on their own. It is always part of a larger picture. The thing to remember, and that is verified regularly, is that in a shooting your lawyer has to prepare for every little thing. So, is that modification/personal statement/enhancement or whatever worth the $200 your attorney is going to charge you to research and investigate it?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Laser Grips & Such

It's my opinion that you are fairly safe with any modifications and alterations that are actually in use & have been evaluated, tested, & approved by various respected police departments & Federal police and especially your local and state police.
Certainly good positive argument can be made for custom grips and better sights and aftermarket finishes for improved corrosion resistance.
A Camouflage Paint Job on a civilian personal carry firearm could be a likely "no no."
Also, & I am "best guessing" on this - is that in a clear cut self~defense case you might be slightly less likely to get ripped to total shreds.
But, then there is that possible impending civil trial where you are total dangled bait. :frown:

I would "common sense think" that laser sights would "break even" as to pro & con in court.
But, laser sights like LaserMax in combination with skull & crossbones grips & an arrest photograph or on-scene photograph of you wearing a "Kill Them All ~ Let God Sort Them Out" tee-shirt would be almost suicidal!
Then YOU and your firearm would both be broad-brushed as custom "Killing Machines."

Various "Gun Ragizines" have been printing court room summary of actual past (firearm related) court cases & there is some good stuff published on the web if you are willing to sort & sift through it all & the rather difficult legalese.

The most valuable information that I've gleaned from it all is to buy my personal carry firearms that are as box stock perfect as possible (for me) in their original factory configuration.

One more thing. You can never do enough favors for yourself!
CYA & think ahead.
If you do decide to send a CARRY firearm out for modification then include a signed & dated letter with your firearm & keep several copies for yourself.
Dear Custom Gunsmith,
I bought this firearm to use for self defense purposes and the factory trigger pull is so terrible, gritty & heavy that it is unsuitable for use in it's present configuration.
I would like the trigger to feel smoother and be easier for me to manage and yet still be very safe.............blah blah blah....you get the picture.
 

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I basically Agree with QKShooter on this ..

One thing i would also add is homegunsmithing ... Can i do a lot of the stuff i want done ? You bet ya even thinking of building a 1911 now.

Would i do my own carry gun i think not unless i built it and sent it to a famed 1911 pistolsmith with a letter to have it checke out for carry and could get a statment that it was safe etc etc ... Still dont know if i would carry it


As to grip changes i can see reasonable one like slim line or hogues the pics QKShooter poster were cool and neat but i dont think wise on a carry gun.

I agree its america and if i was my Pistol engraved with

" Kill um all let god sort them out" on one side and
" F*** Um ALL" On the other i should be able to be being that i only hold the faith that i would be hung in court no matter what i dont think its the hot idea.

Again this kind of discussion even ties into my do you reload or carry factory ammo for you carry guns . Its the perseption of what you carry more than you.. Did i Build some wonder Bullets like kennedy was shot with and did i shot from the grassy knoll ...

Of course its all foolishness but when i turn on the Tv everyday i see ... Get hurt, Slip fail, Boss was a turd to you all these years ??? Call same Sue for big bucks... With this stuff going on i think its all down the tubes and anyones guess is what will happen if you ever need to use your gun ...

I surely hope i never have to.
 

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I agree wholeheartedly. I personally have never felt a need to radically customize any gun I own because, well, I bought that gun because it suited me and it didn't need to be changed.

I have even considered getting some purty Badger grips for my carry piece so it would look classy if it ever got turned into evidence.
 

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My CCW piece is a SA GI .45 acp just like in came in the cardboard box. Someday, I plan on putting a different set of grips and I've been seriously thinking about some better sights, . . . but I wouldn't do anything more than that, personally. If I wanted a skeletonized hammer, "holy" trigger, big flat beavertail, rail, night sights, etc.; I would simply go trade up to one like that, . . . of if I could maybe squeeze out the funds, just buy a new one.

At least doing that, I could honestly confess that it came stock, NIB, that way. That may not win a lot of points, . . . but it wouldn't lose as many as having to confess that "Yes, . . . of course I customized my pistol, . . . killer looking ain't it?"

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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This is the reason I carry custom 1911's made for me. It is the gun I designed with the features I wanted and the gunsmith made the gun from scratch the way I like it. I never modify after the gun is finished. No add-ons lasers etc. Would I be bummed if they took my custom after a justified shoot? Yes, but I'd probably have many more pressing thoughts on my mind. I'd just be glad the money and time I spent having the gun built, saved mine or a loved ones life.
 

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It's unfortunate that our legal system has gotten so screwed up that we have to even discuss "this or that" being used against you in court. They should focus on the shoot itself. Were you justified or not? If you had skulls all over your grips and engraved in your slide, so what. But, that's not the case. I agree that sights and grips are about all I will do to my guns unless there is a problem with some other component. I would hope that if you have a 1911 and decide that the front strap needs checkering or you want front serrations on your slide or a different trigger or hammer that would pass their scrutiny. The instructor that taught my CCW class brought this subject up and told us that anything can be explained and defended against, but why take the chance. I'll keep mine as close to stock as I can and shoot the same ammunition that the local police use and if I ever decide to use a laser, it will be because of some problem with my eyesight.

It irks me that we must defend ourselves and then pay the lawyers for our efforts.... :frown:
 

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I've discussed this with the powers that be locally. A good shoot is a good shoot.

Here a good shoot won't go to trial, and idiot and idiot's estate can't profit from his crime or poor choices.
 

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Wow where do i get some grip panels like that?!! Just kidding. i like to leave my carry guns mostly stock too. As I am a left handed shooter, i need some modifiications. As for lasers , from what I have learned , they seem to be a hinderance than a help. To each their own ,b ut same as night sights, I don't need em.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Tattoos

Tattoos should be limited to American Flags, American Bald Eagles, "MOTHER" (inside of a heart) & various military insignia. :biggrin:
Flowers ~ little puppy dogs and....MICKEY & MINNIE MOUSE are also A-OK. :poke:
 

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The only alteration to a carry gun I'll consider is night sights. I'm MAYBE considering adding a set of Laser Grips. This could act considerably well to DE-escalate a hostile confrontation. Numerous force on force situations are emerging from the field to suggest that this indeed may be the case.

As for grips, for me they only serve to enhance shooting not aesthetics. A rubber Hogue grip is good for shooting comfort, but it tends to cause a cover garment to hang up.
 

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I agree with most of what has been said in the preceding posts. I DO have tritium night sights on both of my carry guns as well as custom grips. On my Custom 1911 I have 5th Special Forces logos inlaid in a pair of Carbon Creation carbon fiber grips and on my Kimber a set of Ultra Thin Ranger grips (pic below). I don't think these would cause anyone any problems. Both guns have 3 1/2 lb trigger pulls, my pals in the PD say this won't present a problem either. I personally don't like laser sights because I think they act the same way tracer bullets do, ie. they not only show your target but they point out your location as well, very well in fact. If you are behind cover or seeking it the last thing you want is for the BG's to have a spotlight showing exactly where you are.
That's my 2 cents worth for ya.
 
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