In-Demand Accessories

Add Value By Having The Right Assortment Available

Image: FN America

In the firearms market, several trends have emerged in recent years. One of the most significant is the increasing demand for accessories, allowing users to tailor their firearms to their specific needs and preferences. As a result, the popularity of items like red dots, triggers and aftermarket grips has experienced an upward trend. It’s not just about the “tacticool” look anymore.

If you want to know which products are in high demand, try visiting the websites of other local stores and take note of their top-selling items. I looked at multiple stores, and what stood out were red dots, weapon-mounted lights, speed loaders, slide-out safes and — this surprised me —  bipods.

I looked at items that were top sellers and ones with the highest number of reviews to compile my list.

Instead of settling for cheaper choices, people should prioritize quality when buying accessories like weapon-mounted lights or red dots. People are more likely to pay a higher price for a quality product that lasts (“buy once, cry once”), but you have to help them understand why it’s worth the investment.

I spoke with Evelyn Vidrine, an SEO expert who owns Scorpion Services, to gain some online perspective and get some ideas.

“We have seen purchase behavior indicating consumers tend to pay more for a quality product that will last longer than to ‘cheap out’ on a product equivalent,” she stated. “We call this the ‘back-to-basics’ mentality.”

Gun Sights

The ability of optics and red dot sights to improve accuracy and speed up target acquisition contributes to their increasing popularity. Red dots are a trend here to stay and are a rapidly expanding market.

All you have to do is look at any online store and sort its inventory by the most popular item, and you’ll see mini red dot sights (MRDS) dominate the list.

Aimpoint and Holosun are the market leaders, but many other companies make quality products, too. As a firearms instructor and someone who often gets products to review, I get the opportunity to try out various gear, but I have never switched to a red dot on my everyday carry and have used iron sights for years.

ZeroTech, an Australian-based company, sent me their newest micro red dot sight to test, and I received a handgun with an optic cut that same week. I used it for a few months and realized I should have made the transition sooner.

I still have the irons as a backup, but I think that’s just the old-school part of me always wanting a Plan B. This is an example of why the knowledge and expertise of an experienced salesperson can provide a tremendous advantage over an online store.

There are many other types of sights to choose from, and there is a lot of potential for people with poor eyesight or low-light conditions. 

XS Sights out of Texas has a DXT2 with a big front dot that is easy to see, even for people with less-than-perfect eyesight. 

Other options are available from several manufacturers, like TruGlo, Trijicon and Night Fision. They have tritium and fiber optic sights, which add contrast so the front sight stands out and is easier for the shooter to acquire in a high-stress or low-light situation.

The top-ranking item on the rifle list is the Magpul MBUS front and rear sight for a Picatinny rail.


A trend in the firearm accessory market is the growing emphasis on ergonomics and comfort. Many companies are focusing on designing accessories that improve the user’s shooting experience, like ergonomic grips. Maintaining control and improving accuracy relies heavily on having a comfortable grip that fits your hand well. They are a cost-effective method for customizing a gun to suit individual preferences.

Companies like Talon offer stick-on textured grips that provide better control even in challenging situations, like when your hands are wet.

For those with larger hands, a high-quality rubber slip-on grip, such as those offered by companies like Hogue, can significantly enhance the gun’s ergonomics. Comfort and a secure hold are the main reasons rubber grips are popular. The finger grooves and textured surface offer improved control and can reduce hand fatigue during extended shooting sessions.

Angled and vertical foregrips for rifles are another top seller. They come in every color and design imaginable, but a plain black angled grip is by far the most popular.

A grip that fits your customer’s hand size and shooting style can be an easy, inexpensive upsell.

Safety Features

There’s a growing demand for accessories that enhance the safety of firearms. Part of the driving factor is the push on both the state and federal levels for locking devices to prevent unauthorized access to guns, especially for children. Safety features include trigger locks, chamber flags and gun safes designed to improve safety by preventing accidents and unauthorized access.

Perhaps the most common trend I saw is the increasing use of biometric or pin code slider-style handgun safes for desks, next to beds or mounted in vehicles. Some designs hinge forward, while others spring open upon unlocking to provide quick access.

At SHOT Show, I came across a new product developed by Ocufii. This device is a little bigger than a quarter, and they designed it to detect any movement of your firearm. It’s unique, and I can see its many uses, ranging from knowing if someone moved your firearm at your hotel to alerting you if someone opened a door where you store your guns. It can work in any area with internet connectivity, and you can discreetly place it in almost any spot or directly on the firearm.

Weapon-Mounted Lights

The question of whether or not gun owners should have a weapon-mounted light is a constant topic of debate. Many think the advantage of positively identifying your target in low-light environments while still having both hands on the gun outweighs the possibility of giving your position away.

Lights are available for any configuration, and you can mount them on M-LOK or Picatinny rails. I have a Streamlight Scout mounted on a rifle that will take a beating and brightly illuminate any area. You can activate it using either the switch in the back tail cap or by installing a pressure switch in a different location on the gun. A pressure switch is usually a separate item, which creates an additional opportunity for sales.

A Little Lagniappe

Vidrine from Scorpion Services brought up some final points to consider on how to best serve accessory-minded customers.

“In Louisiana, we have a saying, lagniappe, which means ‘extra,’ and that is often how these items are viewed. Instead of selling just the firearm, a dealer should know which items pair best with that firearm. Bundle selling. If you’re buying a Springfield 1911, why not go ahead and buy a red dot, custom grip and a way to carry it? If you’re buying a suppressor, why not go ahead and protect it with the right cover? If you want a better shooting experience, why not buy a trigger that fits your needs?”

Having knowledge about the product and being able to educate the customer makes it easier to sell it. When you teach somebody, you’re adding value, and the item ends up being something they want to buy without you trying to sell it.  

Read More Shooting Industry May 2024 Issue Now