One of the first things I typically do to a new gun is modify the grip texture to my taste. When I first started shooting seriously almost 8 years ago, I really had no idea how much of a difference an aggressively textured grip can make from a shooting performance standpoint. In 2010 I was first exposed to truly masterful shooting, and that is when I first started looking into the importance of grip texture.
Not wanted to go overboard with it, I just applied grip tape to my guns and noticed a near immediate difference in how well the gun was planted in my grip.
This resulted in the gun returning faster under recoil and gave me more positive control of the gun under adverse shooting conditions (think rain, mud, blood). The problem with grip tape is that it didn’t last long, could potentially peel off the grip at an I opportune time and was brutal on clothing. Something about having sandpaper constantly rubbing up against clothing just doesn’t work well.
Soon after deciding I liked the performance benefits of the grip tape but not the wear and tear on clothing, I began experimenting with other options, specifically traditional stippling.
Normally, stippling a polymer grip is accomplished by applying heat with a soldering iron or similar tool. This was a better solution than grip tape. I could tailor the texture to my taste, it didn’t wear off and it wasn’t abrasive on clothing. The downside is the process was very time consuming to get a good result. There also only so many “do overs” to be had if something is done wrong.
My personal preference on grip texture is to go very aggressive as well. If you go real aggressive with traditional stippling it can cling to clothing. For a conceal carry piece, that is kind of a big deal.
After playing around with the traditional methods of stippling, I began to explore less traditional methods. I found out about using industrial type epoxies to add texture to the grip. The benefit to this method is that it allows for an unlimited number of “redo’s” if it doesn’t turn out as desired. It is also less time consuming and slightly less tedious.
This method also allows a more aggressive texture without the pitfalls of the other techniques. It doesn’t wear on clothing or cling to clothing, stays put, and is durable. The downside is that it doesn’t color match the gun, and while not as tedious as regular stippling, you do have to know how to make it work.
Now, I generally always use an epoxy to apply texture. The only time I might not is if I wanted a less aggressive texture, then I might stipple with a soldering iron.