A handgun on its own is still an impressive thing, but with the addition of a few bits and pieces, it can be even better.
If you’re new to gun ownership and want to make sure your weapon stands the test of time and is used to its optimum performance, there are some accessories you’ll need.
What are essential handgun accessories?
When you get a handgun, you’ll need to also invest in things like cleaning supplies, carry holsters, and storage, to make sure you’re using it safely and effectively.
The initial investment can cost a little but it will improve the lifespan of the weapon and keep it in good condition.
If you’re investing your first firearm, there’s a lot to learn, so starting with a list of the essentials is the best place to start.
We’ve counted down 15 of the must-haves for your handgun and a few other interesting choices, so you’ll have everything you need to enjoy it to the fullest.
The 15 Must-Have Handgun Accessories
Basic add-ons for a firearm cover everything from cleaning to concealment, and we’ve listed them all, as well as some that are there just for fun.
If you want to get even more out of gun ownership and your favorite weapon, these are the accessories you’ll need.
#1 Concealment Furniture
Gone are the days when people would rely on their trusty gun safe to store their weapon, as concealment furniture has stolen the show.
These unique pieces of furniture were designed specifically to hide a handgun and keep it within easy access at home.
The benefits of using concealment furniture are that it’s inconspicuous and your weapon is within reach, but you might not feel as say knowing it’s not stored under lock and key.
If you are interested, some of the furniture pieces include coatracks, tables, and even wall decor, so there’s no shortage of ways to hide your gun.
#2 Traveling Gear
Unless you’re someone who only keeps their handgun stored at home in case of a self-defense emergency, you’ll need a safe and secure way to tote your gun around.
Using a travel case designed for these weapons is the best way to do that, and it also ensures you’re meeting all of the firearm transportation laws.
A travel case for your handgun is a must for anyone who goes to target practice, the range, hunting, or visiting the gun shop, and they come in just about any size, shape, design, and variation you want.
#3 Ammunition Can
An ammunition can or box is similar to the style the military used, so you can depend on them to be sturdy and safe for carrying around your ammo.
These boxes come in varying sizes to suit whatever caliber you’re packing and are made of heavy-duty steel, so they keep your ammunition in top shape.
As ammo can be prone to damage from things like moisture and air, choosing a can with a rubber gasket is ideal, as it adds another layer of protection.
There’s no need to stop there though, as you can keep all kinds of handgun accessories inside of these boxes so everything is stored safe and sound.
#4 Cleaning Station
Aside from the bits and pieces that you’ll use to clean your handgun, you’ll also need a base to do it at.
Setting up a cleaning station is one of the first things you should do as a firearm owner and it requires a rubber mat of sufficient size and several containers to keep everything organized.
The mat is important as the workspace for cleaning and maintenance, it will keep your weapon in place, and ensure none of the parts gets lost once you take it apart.
Depending on the type of gun you own and what’s required for it, you should equip yourself with a mat and some storage containers or compartments for all of the basics.
#5 Cleaning Tools
With your cleaning mat and workstation ready to go, you’ll also want some cleaning accessories. In this group, you’ll find both disposable and reusable products, so having a good stockpile of both is recommended.
To get started, check out our guide on how to clean your gun, and make sure you’ve got everything on the list. This will include cleaning cloths and patches, as well as instruments like swabs and barrel cleaning brushes.
#6 Cleaning Chemicals and Oils
One of the most important accessories for your firearm is the right cleaning agents, and knowing which ones to avoid.
A solvent is crucial for keeping the inner mechanisms of the gun clean and free from residual fouling, which can lead to major issues with your weapon.
Secondly, a good gun oil is required, and this must be one dedicated to firearms. The gun oil is applied after cleaning and keeps its parts lubricated which protects against corrosion and ensures the gun works for many years to come.
#7 Concealed Carry Holster
Concealed carry is the act of holding a firearm on your person in a specialized holster designed for a specific firearm.
If you own a handgun and plan on taking it out of its storage safe, you’ll want to make sure it’s close to you at all times and securely safely on your body.
A concealed carry holster can be made to fit just about any body part or carrying position, so it’s up to the user to decide. These holsters include ankle, hip, and abdomen, and they sit snug and tight close to your body giving you easy access when you need it.
#8 Car Carry Options
Some states allow for concealed carry in your car, and if you live in one of them, or plan on traveling through them, you can equip yourself with a holster made specifically for this purpose.
These holsters are better suited to the driving position, give you easier access, and aren’t uncomfortable like others can be when you’re seated, so if you do lots of driving with your firearm, it’s a smart investment.
#9 Handgun Magnets
If you’re all about unique places to keep your weapon close by, you might want to consider investing in a handgun magnet.
These magnets can fasten to discreet places like underneath a desk, using screws or automotive adhesive and then your gun rests comfortably in them held in place with magnets.
A handgun magnet is rated by how much weight it can carry, and there’s one out there to suit just about any pistol. These help you discreetly keep your gun at arm’s reach and allow you to grab it in mere seconds, should the need arise.
#10 Target System
Target practice is a requirement for any responsible gun owner to keep their skills and accuracy up, but if you’re tired of going to the range all the time, there are other options.
A target system can be purchased that features a motorized target, like a rodent cut out, that pops up and down out of a bucket.
These buckets are built to be durable and feature armor coating, so even if you miss the target, it’ll still be around to see another day.
Just one of these vermins can withstand up to 600 rounds in it before you need to replace it with the next one and it’s an affordable way to improve your aim.
#11 Protective Gear
Whether you take your gun to the range for practice or use it for a spot of hunting, your ears will benefit from protection.
The noise capabilities of handguns are enough to do permanent damage and cause hearing loss, so you’ll need some sort of over-ear or in-ear protection.
Eye protection is also important but it’s not enough to just slap on a pair of safety goggles and be done with it.
You’ll need to choose ballistics glasses that are designed to meet military standards and can provide your eyes with adequate protection against ballistics.
#12 Dry Fire Accessories
A dry fire cap, dummy cap or snap cap is the term used to describe a cap that features real casings but with a plastic or rubber primer.
When you pull the trigger, the chamber is empty and “dry”, so the firing pin is protected but you still get the same feel as you should firing a regular round.
Using dummy caps like this is referred to as dry firing and it can be used with target practice as a cheaper alternative to genuine rounds.
You’ll also find that shooting with these caps improves your muscle memory because it feels the same, but without doing any harm to your weapon.
A sight on a handgun is the easiest way to improve your range, and if you want to modernize the approach, choosing a laser sight is even better.
These allow you to point a laser towards a target so you can see exactly where the shot is going to land, and it’s especially helpful during crucial situations where accuracy is everything.
Sights can be attached to most types of handguns with variations available depending on the model. In addition to laser sights, you might also choose from an iron sight or telescopic sight, each with pros and cons to be considered.
#14 Military Utility Tool
Guns can be sensitive objects and at any moment, your firearm could require a fast response and some quick fine-tuning. If you take your weapon out into the field for hunting or target practice, there’s a good chance you have a multitool on standby to fix any minor issues.
For the ultimate upgrade, though, why not invest in a Military Utility Tool?
Leatherman has created this unique tool designed to fix common problems of popular firearms, but there are lots of other brands out there doing the same.
#15 Portable Cleaning Kit
Whether you want to keep it stored in a bug-out bag or have it ready in your hunting kit, a portable cleaning kit made specifically for a handgun is a smart investment.
These miniature kits have all of the essentials like brushes and cloths, as well as cleaning agents and oils.
Gun kits come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them even work with multiple types of guns. This little accessory offers a lot for your peace of mind and means you’ll never have to cut a hunting trip short just because something needs cleaning.
Owning a firearm is about more than just the gun itself, as there are many other parts that go into the operation, cleaning, and concealment of it.
If you have more questions about handgun accessories or how to keep your weapon in good shape, we’ve answered some common ones that might be able to help.
How Long Does A Gun Last For?
A well cared for and good quality firearm can last well over 100 years, and many antique guns are even older at more than 160 years old.
To keep a gun in good condition it needs regular cleaning, lubrication, and maintenance, and it also depends on how it’s been fired and in what conditions.
What is the Most Comfortable Concealed Carry Position?
Each person has a preference when it comes to concealed carry positions, but using a holster is the safest and most comfortable way to do it.
The most popular choice is a snug hip carry with the holster slightly back off the hip gives you better access and makes it more comfortable when used with the right accessory.
What is the Difference Between a Gun Safe and A Regular Safe?
A gun safe is made specifically to store firearms and comes with additional protection like fire rating and added strength.
These safes can also be secured to the floor to deter thieves and there are lots of extra options like gun dividers and stands for each of your weapons.