I keep seeing ads online for this product that LOOKS awesome, but about which I have some serious doubts.
And I have to admit, I’m really curious what you think about it, because I don’t know anyone who has used these.
But I’m pretty sure they violate what I consider a fundamental principle of using a gun.
That principle is to “work with the absolutes,” something my own instructors have taught me.
Will Putting This On Your Gun Help Or Get You Killed?
And the product is “gun skins,” vinyl art that you can add to your pistol (often with a heat gun).
(No, the picture above is NOT of that product; it’s more of my mind’s picture of what this might be.)
Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not taking a shot at any company that makes these (there are a few).
But I worry about them, because when it comes to guns, I don’t want anything extra involved that doesn’t NEED to be.
I don’t want to add things that can fail… foul my draw… cause my gun to jam… or promote “user error.”
And that brings us to “gun skin” vinyl applications that make your gun look all cool.
(You’ve probably seen ads in gun magazines or online, where beat up old Glock suddenly has the Constitution or the American Flag wrapped around it – like a van with a vinyl advertising wrap, you know?)
I looked at a lot of comments people made online about these.
Plenty were great; people like how these look, and seem to think the vinyl helps protect their guns from scratches and dings.
But one review on Amazon caught my eye – because the reviewer said,
“1 out of 5 stars… Does not apply well to gun with grip grooves/ridges or any grooves ridges… I’m sure that this product would work well on a Glock since it has a more boxy frame, but it was a disaster trying to apply this vinyl to my Ruger. …It is somewhat misleading to have the photo show the vinyl skin applied to a gun with such a detailed grip…”
Chad Wallace at the Firearms Insider community had plenty of good things to say, but also some serious criticisms:
“They make the grip extremely slick… On the pistol skin, Kydex holster wear is a problem. Especially around the trigger guard… There is also a little wear around the rear of the ejection port…”
And see, that’s what makes me worry.
Say you’ve used your razor and your heat gun to perfectly apply the vinyl to your roscoe.
Will time, holster wear, and even heat from shooting cause the vinyl to crack or peel?
Could I encounter a situation where the slippery vinyl fouls my grip… or starts to peel away while I’m trying to operate my gun in a fight?
What happens if some of the vinyl peels away and gets gummed up in the action of the slide?
I just can’t help but think these vinyl skins, while really cool looking, could cause problems that simply do not have to be there.
Yes, your gun will get scuffed and dinged if you carry every day.
But it’s not meant to look good… it’s meant to function perfectly, or as close to perfectly as you can manage, because your life depends on it.
So I’m going to have to say these vinyl skins don’t seem like a good idea to me… but I’m willing to listen.
What do YOU think?
Have you used them, or do you swear by them?
What about the issues I’ve raised here?
Leave a comment on the blog below and give me your thoughts… because right now, I’m thinking you shouldn’t be using these.