We understand. 39.5 million residents live in the Golden State which as we all know holds the strictest firearm laws in the nation. With limited purchasing options compared to other states this makes shopping for firearms a bit more difficult, especially for those of you who are in the process of obtaining your CCW, or already carry. We’ve all been there, looking into the glass display at a firearm shop and then it happens; the mental debate between your few options, the pining and wishing you could have something with a little more flair…

Well fear not! We’ve got some ideas to take your firearm from standard to the firearm you’ll want to carry every day and of course, a holster to go along with it to keep your custom firearm safe and secure.


Just because you live in California doesn’t mean you have to settle for stock. For example, you could pick up a California Compliant M&P Shield 9mm, and then customize to make it unique. Out the door you’re looking to spend around $469.00 for this single stack striker-fired handgun. With a barrel length of 3.1 inches and a frame of a little less than an inch, the firearm is significantly compact concealable.

On your path to customization, take a look at firearms manufacturer Wise Lite Arms. They specialize in custom slide milling for Glock and Smith & Wesson. If you’re after a unique design that will reduce weight and recoil while improving performance and heat dissipation, the Aegis slide cut with black cerakote is a great choice.

With this option the slide is now opened, and to make the most out of having more barrel visibility, add a high-quality match grade drop-in replacement barrel with a 1/10 twist and 6 groove broach cut rifling. True Precision offers barrels that are machined with increased chamber support, improved feed ramps, tolerances, and fit, which make them legitimately match grade. Their goal is to be the leading provider of drop-in replacement barrels with the most unique designs and options, and they’ll deliver a beautiful barrel to upgrade your firearm.


And don’t forget about sights! Trijicon® has a solid reputation for being one of the best manufacturers of optics and sights on the market. Their SA37 3 Dot Green Front & Green Rear Night Sights feature a unique shock-resistant design, and unlike other sights, are housed in a metal body and cushioned within silicone rubber. . Each lamp is capped with a sapphire jewel to help evenly distribute the light while protecting the lamp from solvents and puncture. Contained within aluminum cylinders for additional protection, the lamps are mounted on silicone rubber cushions to withstand shock and heavy recoil. And it doesn’t hurt that their SA37 3 Dot Green Front & Green Rear Night Sights can increase your night-fire shooting accuracy by as much as five times over conventional sights.


Once you add the slide, barrel and sights to the M&P Shield 9mm, you’ve got a California-legal piece of art not even Michelangelo could shake his head at. The last and final step is to keep your firearm safe and protected! Safariland has you covered with more than 38 different holsters that are compatible in different finishes and colors. Pictured here is our Model 578 GLS™ Pro-Fit Holster. The 578 features the GLS™, an innovative technology that automatically secures the weapon when holstered and releases it upon application of the middle finger with a standard shooting grip, for a more intuitive, natural draw with the safety of a middle finger release.

If side carry isn’t your thing we also have inside the waistband options like the Model 17, Model 17T, and Model 145.. Hopefully this has given you some ideas, so you can carry a firearm you love and still enjoy the sunshine of the Golden State.

Feeling inspired? Configure your own holster with our Holster Finder.