Customization is one of the biggest developments in the consumer products industry in the last decade or so, and it has become an important means of communication about who we are as rifle users.
Why is this? Why do we love to have our products customized?
In this article we’re going to take a look at why we love to customize our products generally, then we’re going to focus in on some ideas for customizing your rifle.
Why Do We Love Customizing Our Products?
Customization makes us feel seen as individuals and valued for who we are. It can also feed and support our desire for control in a world where information overload is a daily occurrence.
For many years we were advertised as though we were simply part of a homogenous mass, but in recent years it has become more and more important for us to be appreciated and respected as individuals.
For example, when we get personalized ads on our devices while browsing, there’s some sense that we are controlling the content being presented to us, and that can be reassuring. It is thought that people who feel they are in control of their life, tend to be healthier and more successful.
Studies have found that there are two main consumer motivations for wanting products to be customized: identity and function. The first satisfies a need for expression and meaning while the second satisfies the requirement for tailored usability and performance.
For example, training shoes that have been customized for your own individual running style are going to deliver satisfaction far more effectively than those designed for the mass market.
Likewise, a product that is customized for an individual in terms of how it looks, will satisfy that person’s need for recognition. It can also signal to others they are part of a particular group with whom they share a hobby, interest or political view.
Products that are better suited to our individual needs can also speak volumes about who we are, and form a large part of our identities, and this can be true of the way in which you customize your rifle.
Customizing your rifle with a cheek rest and grip can signal how serious you are about being a rifle user—you use your rifle often enough that comfort and ease of use are particularly important to you.
Customizing products can also help facilitate social connections and convey thoughtfulness. For example, when we give a personalized gift to a friend or relative, there is evidence that more thought has gone into the purchase than just grabbing something off the shelf.
Small tokens such as a keyring that celebrates ten years of friendship can be greatly treasured as a result of their customization.
Customization through affiliation with certain images and slogans such as the American flag, a skull, crossbones, or a patriotic slogan can also say a lot about who you are as a person, what is meaningful to you, and what you are proud of.
Why Customize Your Rifle?
If you are someone who spends a lot of time shooting on ranges or taking hunting trips, you are likely to have formed a close bond with your rifle.
Using your rifle is a part of who you are and you might want to have your rifle reflect who you as a person and any viewpoints you like others to know you have.
6 Tips For Customizing Your Rifle
#1. Consider Getting A Cheek Rest
If you use your rifle regularly, you will want it to be as comfortable as possible, facilitating as much ease as possible when in use. There are a number of add-ons you can purchase to make your rifle more comfortable to use, which can also say a lot about who you are.
A cheek rest or cheek pad is one of the items that will serve an important function while also conveying that you are a serious and experienced rifle user.
It can provide a comfortable area to relax the rifle against while keeping your eyes down your sights. If you are uncomfortable for long periods, you may strain yourself and create muscle problems.
#2. Change Up Your Charging Handle
The charging handle is another part that can be replaced with something more decorative and symbolic and there is generally more room for copy and larger images here.
Popular designs include Psalm 144, the American flag, and the skull and crossbones.
#3. Consider Changing Your Grips
Grips can be an easy and efficient way to customize your rifle as they can be easily changed and replaced.
Different types of grip will impact the way in which you hold and handle your rifle, so make sure you shop around to find grips that are comfortable, that you like the look of and that say something meaningful about you. And remember, a good grip can really benefit your aim and handling.
#4. Consider Painting Your Rifle
Another popular way to customize your rifle is to paint it. In theory, you could paint your rifle any color or pattern you want, but depending on the purpose you use it for, you might want to think twice before opting for neon pink polka dots.
If hunting is your thing, a camouflage-friendly color is advisable, so your rifle doesn’t stand out too much and ruin the element of surprise that is so important when hunting.
Bluing is a traditional way in which to paint your rifle but spray-on coatings are particularly popular because they are less expensive, are easier to finish and maintain, and will protect it for longer.
If you don’t fancy painting your rifle, you could think about applying a camo wrap instead. This can be a really easy update that can be switched out if you change the environment.
#5. Change Up Your Trigger Guards
There are other custom rifle modifications you can consider. You can easily replace your trigger guards with ones that feature different images and slogans that tell the people around you a little bit about who you are.
#6. Change Up Your Ejection Port Dust Cover
The ejection port dust cover is another easy part of the rifle that can be switched for one with a slogan or image.
These parts are often used to make statements about the user’s beliefs, whether they are political or religious in nature, or patriotic or simply attitudinal. This is where customization starts to become really fun!
As you can see, there are so many ways in which you can customize your rifle for both aesthetic and functional reasons—both of which say a lot about who you are as a person.