After competing in several shooting sports over the last twenty years, I’ve come to look at most factory original guns as ‘preassembled kits’ [carry guns, not always withstanding]. I’m no stranger to ‘modding’ guns: Trigger and action work, ergonomic improvements, better sights, etc. all are useful upgrades. The staggering selection of aftermarket parts we have today is a wonderful thing. With the increase in popularity of modular firearms such as the 10/22 and AR-15 platform [the Mr. Potato Head Firearms] the selection of parts continues to grow.
I understand that branding is an important marketing tool that builds recognition for a company. A company’s recognition should be based on performance, innovation, value and service. Companies that excel in those areas benefit from unique labeling in that the brand becomes associated with the label. However, I don’t care for blatant logos or labeling visible on the exterior of guns or gun parts. No matter how good the product.
I realize that product labeling does help, and even protect, the consumer by identifying the manufacturer of the parts purchased. However, I am not being paid by these companies so if I choose to equip a firearm with their parts it won’t be to advertise for them. I don’t mind if a useful product has laser engraving down its entire length if it’s hidden from exterior view, such as on the the excellent Gunfighter Charging Handle. My focus is more towards function than fashion. If I can find another product of equal quality and function I’ll choose the one without the billboard on it.
There are many good car / firearm analogies – the applicable one here would be the Stunner versus Sleeper mindsets. Stunners are to something to look at and may have performance to back up the looks. Sleepers keep people guessing until the owner chooses to demonstrate its capabilities. So, are you the type that wants people to know what parts are in and on your ‘ride’ or are do you prefer the ‘Greyman’ approach?