If you want to purchase or have already purchased a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun, chances are you want to look at the accessory options available to optimize your experience your gun. Luckily, there are many accessories available to maximize your enjoyment, comfort, and long-term use of your new Smith & Wesson pistol.
Whether you’re looking for a new grip sleeve, the perfect kydex holster, or a tactical item like a laser sight, there are several styles and items to choose from. Since most Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns come with military-style Picatinny rails, they’re easy to mount on many kinds of accessories. Customize your new concealed carry 9mm handgun with some of the many options Smith & Wesson has available.
Available 9mm Smith & Wesson Series
Smith & Wesson is a well-known and well-respected brand, regarded for their guns’ durability, dependability, and quality precision. The Smith & Wesson revolver served as the iconic sidearm of law enforcement across the country for most of the 20th century, with the .357 Magnum leading the way.
Today, most law enforcement officers prefer the high-magazine capacity and ease of the semi-automatic 9mm handgun. While Smith & Wesson is no longer the standard-issue law enforcement brand, it still produces quality pistols which hold up under most conditions and is a preferred personal firearm of many former military and off-duty police officers.
Smith & Wesson offers three styles of 9mm semi-automatic pistols: The M&P series, the SW1911, and the SD9. These pistols come with variations in slides, grips, sizes, sights, lasers, and other accessories.
There are also 9mm Smith & Wesson revolvers, including the 929 and 986 models. These can also be custom fitted with different hand grips, sights, and small lasers.
The following are some accessories to think about adding to your Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun.
1. Trigger Kits
For those who live in Massachusetts, you will likely be familiar with the 10-pound trigger pull compliance that handguns have to meet. Because of this compliance law, some gun brands and series, popular in the rest of the country, aren’t sold in Massachusetts.
Smith & Wesson manufacture handguns which are MA-compliant, but, if you’ve ever tried to shoot a gun with a 10+ pound trigger pull, you know how difficult it is to shoot accurately. Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to shoot one-handed with that kind of pressure. Luckily, you can also purchase legal replacement trigger kits which will adjust your gun’s trigger to the more reasonable 6.5-pound pull. Some gun shops will also perform this service for you.
Most Smith & Wesson 9mm M&P and SD9 handguns come with a tape-like textured grip to help you keep a confident, accurate grip in all situations. The SW1911 series features a textured back and front grip with a wooden or synthetic side texture. However, for some, these grips can be too harsh on the skin or too uncomfortable to hold, depending on the size of your hands. There are several kinds of grips available to cover the factory grip on your Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol.
Along with more comfortable grips, which include finger molds and palm swells, there are various kinds of grip materials to choose from as well. If your hand feels more comfortable on rubber grips, consider a checkered rubber grip for your SW1911 series. There are also several grip sleeves which can be affixed to the polymer grips to offer more traction and comfort.
Smith & Wesson revolvers can be custom fitted with rubber grips, wooden grips, and other textures. Depending on the size and style of your revolver, Smith & Wesson offers some really beautiful wooden grip upgrades that will make your revolver extra eye-catching.
Sometimes, a new grip can also reduce muzzle flip and provide added control. There are usually several kinds of grip textures to choose from, including rubber and granulate patterns. Gun stores and ranges should have grips and grip sleeves on hand for you to try out on your Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun so that you can decide which grip will feel best in your hands.
Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns come with the standard white dot front sight and white two-dot rear sight. For many shooters, this works great, but others may want to upgrade to a tritium night sight system or a fiber optic system. Some of the guns come with these attachments already, but, if you’re looking for aftermarket sights and accessories, there are plenty of options.
For small guns, changing to a tritium-powered system with a larger dot can make it easier to line up your target and fire with greater accuracy. Larger-dot sight systems are excellent for concealed carry users because they increase the accuracy of close-range targets, especially in high-stress situations at night.
Other tritium-powered sight systems are a great upgrade from the traditional Smith & Wesson white dot system. Tritium is a hydrogen gas that emits low levels of radiation, causing it to glow without the use of batteries or electricity. Many night sights use tritium to power their sights because it is consistently dependable. Even though tritium is a radioactive gas, it is safe and cannot penetrate the skin.
Tritium has a half-life of 12 years, so the sights will gradually dim over time. Depending on your eyes and sight preferences, tritium sights can last anywhere between 12-20 years before needing replacement.
Fiber optic sights are another excellent option for sights. Fiber optic sights pick up any available light from the surrounding area and transfer it into the fiber optic tubes, helping them stand out more on your gun. Unlike tritium, fiber optic sights can last a lifetime; however, exposure to harsh climates and elements can damage the fiber optics over time, so, if you use them a lot, you may have to replace them once or twice.
The advantage of tritium-powered night sights comes in self-defense situations in the dark. For instance, if someone breaks into your home, they may be illuminated as they move about in the hallway. If you are hiding in your darkened bedroom, you want to be able to line up your shot. Tritium-powered sights can give you an accuracy advantage in a scary situation and, therefore, might be better suited for self-defense or a concealed carry handgun.
On the other hand, fiber optic lights only capture ambient light, so they may not function as well in this scenario. They are best used during the daytime, which leads many shooters to choose them for their target practice, competition, and hunting guns instead of their self-defense guns.
4. Holsters (including styles)
Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns are perfect for all kinds of purposes, from competition shooting to concealed carry. The M&P series, in particular, features guns that are extremely lightweight, narrow, and comfortable to carry all day long.
There are three types of holster materials to choose from for your Smith & Wesson pistol: leather, nylon, and kydex. Leather holsters are popular, but they absorb moisture and sweat and don’t hold up well under extreme weather conditions. Yet, many shooters swear by them, especially once the leather has been properly broken in. If they’re properly taken care of, they can last a lifetime.
Nylon holsters are popular because they require very little maintenance. The material allows the nylon to breathe so they don’t absorb moisture; in fact, they repel moisture, which makes them a favored choice among outdoor enthusiasts and concealed carry owners who live in hot climates. Nylon does tend to break down over time, however, and ripping or tearing can occur in the middle of the material and at the seams.
Kydex holsters are often the optimal choice for concealed carry and sport shooters. The material of a kydex holster and kydex accessories allows for quick and easy wipedowns, moisture repelling, and long-term wear and tear under all climate conditions. One of the pros for both kydex and nylon holsters is that they can be purchased in fun and interesting prints and colors, which appeals to some gun owners.
When you decide on a holster material, it’s essential to make the right choice on what kind of holster you want to invest in. Your holster should be comfortable to wear for long periods and in a location on your body that you will not fumble or struggle to get to.
Inside-the-waistband or IWB holsters are the natural choice for concealed carry holsters. They are easy to hide under clothing and accessible when needed. They can be carried at the small of your back, on the side of your back, or on your hip. They come in both right- and left-hand accessibility, so they’re versatile for every gun owner.
Other gun owners prefer outside-the-waistband holsters in areas where they can open carry. While this may be the norm in some places, it’s not advisable to “show your hand.” In fact, it may make you a target instead of protect you.
Shoulder holsters are another preferred form of concealed carry. Double holsters allow you to carry two guns at once or a gun and extra clips. If you’re donning a shoulder holster, you’ll need a jacket to conceal it, which is one of the cons.
An ankle holster is a great choice to carry concealed, as long as your pants aren’t too tight. It does require the use of two hands to draw, and you will need to bend down to reach it. These extra steps make ankle holsters an excellent back-up choice for carrying concealed, should you lose control of or run out of ammo for the gun in your waistband holster.
Women have an additional advantage with bra holsters. These specially fitted bras have a customized pocket where a small pistol can be inserted and carried either in the front or on the side of the breasts. A disadvantage to this holster, of course, is that you have to lift or remove your shirt to access the gun, but it is a very creative way to carry concealed.
Holster companies have also developed clothing with holster pockets in shirts, shorts, pants, vests, and jackets. These are typically made of nylon material to repel sweat and move with your body shape. For some gun owners, these may be the most creative and convenient holsters for concealed carry.
As with all holsters, you need to train with them extensively. You don’t want to catch your gun on loose clothing or fumble with a catch release on a holster in a high-stress situation. You should be extremely comfortable unholstering and aiming your weapon, and then reholstering it. Muscle memory is key when you’re in a dangerous situation: It’s why police and military train so extensively with their weapons. It will eliminate accidental discharges and help you stay in control.
5. Magazines and Extensions
Depending on the series of Smith & Wesson gun and the state you live in, you can purchase additional magazines or extended magazines for your 9mm pistol.
The standard SD9 comes with a 10+1 magazine clip; the SW1911 has an 8+1, and the M&P Shield comes with a 7+1 and 8+1. Smith & Wesson offers a variety of magazine extensions for their guns, which can increase the capacity significantly.
Additional magazines are also useful to have on hand, especially if you have a low-capacity gun. You can find magazine holsters for concealed carry that easily fit into your waistband or pockets.
Full moon clips and speed loaders are available for revolvers so that cartridges can be inserted quickly. Pouches and holsters are also available to carry these ammo holders.
6. Lasers and Lights
The Smith & Wesson M&P series features models with Crimson Trace Green or Red Lasers. Lasers are an excellent answer to gun owners who want added accuracy in dark or light conditions. Lasers also allow you to aim from different angles and positions that you might not otherwise realize or understand would hit your target.
These lasers can be easily affixed and activated by a button on the gun. Sometimes, just the psychological impact of a laser in the middle of a bad guy’s chest can be enough to scare him away. If it doesn’t, you’ll have excellent accuracy if he chooses to advance on you.
Some lasers also have a laser/light combination, which can be an effective tool in helping you confirm your target or temporarily put them at a disadvantage. Specialized tactical flashlights are another useful accessory for your Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun. The laser/light combinations don’t usually have the blinding capacity of the tactical light. Tactical flashlights can be very disorienting to an attacker because the light is extremely bright. These are usually LED lights that emit anywhere between 1,000 and 3,200 lumens. For comparison, sunlight emits 10,000 lumensof light.
Lasers and lights are both fun and interesting accessories to experiment with as you take your Smith & Wesson handguns to the range. They also aid immensely in tactical home and self-defense purposes.
Smith & Wesson 9mm handguns make excellent self-defense and hobby firearms. There are plenty of accessories to help optimize your Smith & Wesson experience and to help you feel safe and secure in your home or in public.
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