Category: Sports & Recreation | Issue: February 2020
Ask the Expert Should you customize your gun? As you look around the range you see just as many shooters with customized firearms as you do stock models. Shooters alter their firearms for a variety of reasons. For some, it is to increase performance or reliability, while others serve to add utility. And then there is the "cool factor", those who just want to personalize their piece. Let's look at the pros and cons of customizing your firearm. Why customize? Reliability is a factor. Some firearms come from the manufacturer in less than ideal shape and might require a new trigger or sight, or some other item necessary for optimum reliability. Competitive shooting requires modifications to improve the shooters performance. Practically every part on a competitive shooter's gun is different from factory stock and enhanced with upgrades to stay ahead of the competition. Customization makes a good gun even better. Beyond just improving the mechanics of the firearm, gun owners also want something meaningful and personal to them. With so many options available, it is easier than ever. Why not customize? Defensive firearms serve a singular purpose - to be available and functional when it is needed. Some modifications can hinder reliability when you need the gun to work most. Some tough firearms have the form and function to work no matter if they are covered in mud... others that have been radically modified for high performance can sometimes be less reliable when you need it the most. Where should I start? Modifications can range from full-frame and internal work to tweaks with small parts, sight upgrades, accessories, and packages to make your gun unique. Start with good 'ol common sense when beginning your upgrades. Focus on upgrades that make the firearm easier to navigate. Parts that make the gun more user-friendly should be your first choice. Begin with sights. Minor trigger changes will help improve it too. Grips and coatings are also good choices. As your skill increases, you will become more sensitive to how your gun works and can continue to fine-tune. Rifles such as an AR can use a free-floating hand guard that helps heat escape and prevent your hand from baking off; as well as a more usable gripping surface. A good recoil pad, spring action, recoil-reducing stock, or pistol grip stock all help reduce the significant recoil of the standard 12-gauge shotgun. They make the gun more fun to shoot, and can eliminate the flinching and hesitancy in firing one of these powerful defense weapons. What is the most important thing I should know about upgrading my firearms? Train - A - Lot. The key to this, custom gurus say, is to rely less on accessories and more on training. Fundamentals should be solidly in place so that any modifications just further your personal shooting skills rather than attempting to act as a replacement for expertise. Practice makes permanent, and sometimes a couple of classes to get going in the right direction is more effective than spending money on upgrades that might not be necessary. Standing in a bay shooting at a stationary target isn't preparing you for a real world encounter. Make your mistakes in a safe training environment so you know how to more effectively defend yourself in the real world. Nothing can replace a solid skill set.
Owners, Danny Jones and Andy Shidell, have a history dating back to college where they were fraternity brothers. The two became good friends and kept in touch after graduation. Danny grew up in Broken Arrow and ran a sand and gravel business with his brother and sister. Andy is from Mustang, OK, and was employed as a U.S. probation officer and firearms instructor. He also competed with pistols. Both men formally retired about two years ago. The guys had previous discussions about one day opening a business together. Crusader Tactical, located on the Northeast corner of 101st in Elm, in Broken Arrow, offers a large selection of firearms, accessories, service, and classes. Crusader Tactical’s mission is to redefine the typical gun store experience for everyone, and for their customers to leave knowing they came to the right place. They have proven successful in their mission with 5-star reviews on the web, and a long list of testimonials, since opening in July 2017. Visiting the guys at the shop also allows customers to get a feel for the right fit in a firearm and see firsthand all the many firearm additions that are available for purchase. Crusader Tactical offers cases, gun parts, scopes, ammo, and more in their extensive line of accessories. Customers with custom needs will also benefit from the wealth of knowledge and the combined years of firearm experience that Danny and Andy possess. Their major lines include: Glock, S&W, Ruger, Canik, Sig Saur, Springfield, Remington, Taurus, Mossberg and Walther. Anderson Manufacturing, Strike Industries, Bushmaster, Del-Ton, Core 15, Bear Creek Arsenal, Century Arms, Aero Precision and Athlon Optics. Their website allows customers to buy online, as well as customize orders that are shipped to the shop for processing. Additionally, users can access a listing of the classes offered by Crusader Tactical, including Concealed Carry Courses. Upcoming plans for classes include basic handgun and rifle operation and maintenance training. Andy is a certified use-of-force instructor and provides more comprehensive information than found elsewhere during his classes for self-protection training. Customers can find all classes offered on the website, as well as a blog with insightful articles on gun safety, news, and product reviews. Both Danny and Andy feel that what separates them from other gun shops is the level of customer service they provide. Honest, humble, and respectful service is the foundation of Crusader Tactical, making the purchase of a firearm a comfortable and confident experience. When you visit Crusader Tactical you’ll be impressed with the product and accessory displays and the overall cleanliness. They partner with US Law Shield and are an Authorized Glock Stocking Dealer.