There are so many gun accessories on the market that it can be overwhelming for a brand new shooter. After all, how do you know which accessories could actually save your life and which ones just look cool? Which ones aren’t necessary at all?
The good news is that you don’t need as many accessories as you think you do. When it comes to personal safety, keeping it simple and easy to operate is always the best course of action.
Also see: A Handgun Laser Primer
In addition to proper training, the first and most important thing is the gun itself. If you buy a cheap handgun that doesn’t operate reliably, the best accessories in the world won’t make a difference. Luckily, Beretta has a number of handguns to choose from, so you won’t have a problem finding a gun that you can bet your life on.
Once you’ve chosen your gun, you need to make sure it’s comfortable in your hand and you’re able to establish a solid grip. If you’re not, then you should consider getting some grips for your handgun. There are a lot of grip makers out there who make grips out of almost anything you can imagine: plastic, fiberglass, rubber, wood, aluminum....
A set of grips can cost as little as $10 and is obviously a smart investment if it allows you to hold your gun better and shoot more accurately.
Next, you should think about getting night sights for your gun. You may have heard the statistics that over 50% of shootings occur in low light conditions. This makes having night sights a high priority for some.
The critical thing to remember when purchasing night sights is that you never buy sights that are all the same color. A green front sight and yellow rear sights will help you determine which sight you’re looking at and you won't get confused.
These days, night sights aren’t that expensive. You can get a set for around $100. In my opinion, it’s worth it to spend a hundred bucks to ensure that you can see your sights at night.
To take it a step further, you may want to consider getting a weapon mounted laser/light combination.
The laser/light combo mounts to the bottom of a pistol and allows you to see more at night (thanks to the flashlight) and to get on target faster (with the help of the laser). You can also find weapon lights that have no lasers, or lasers that have no lights, but the combination is logical.
The laser/light combos are more expensive and can run upwards of $300 or more. If you have night sights and a hand-held flashlight, then you don’t have to get a weapon mounted system, but it sure makes things easier for home defense purposes. If nothing else, it allows you to keep both hands on the gun.
(To save money you can use a hand-held light)
Another thing I’m asked about often is “trigger jobs” on guns. Folks ask about taking the gun to a gunsmith to get a lighter and smoother trigger pull. If you’re using a gun for competition purposes and never plan on carrying it concealed or using it for home defense, go ahead and get a trigger job. If you’re carrying it on the streets, or have it in a rapid access safe at home for home defense, then the trigger should never be tampered with.
I never have a trigger job done on a self-defense gun. The heavier trigger pull acts as an additional safety mechanism. And if you’re ever involved in a self-defense shooting, your “light” trigger could be used against you and make you look very bad in the courtroom.
The only accessories that are a must-have are functional grips and good sights. Others, like a weapon-mounted light system make life easier, but you don’t have to spend the money if you don’t want to.