Use a low-powered soldering gun with a fine point. I used a 25-watt Weller model that generates 750-degree Fahrenheit heat at the tip and spot light from the handle. These are available at most hardware stores for around $20. The only other thing you may want is some sandpaper for finishing. I used a blue, medium-grit Norton ProSand sponge on my job.
My stippling technique is as follows. Apply the tip of your soldering tool to your gun frame with gentle pressure (almost like using a pen to write a “dot”) repeatedly. The small depressions in the surface add plenty of texture, and to many, a cool look. There are more advanced and creative ways to stipple, even using stencils to create a pattern or logo, but this method gave me the results I wanted. Start in an inconspicuous area, like under the triggerguard, to gain confidence. For perfect lines, set borders with painter’s tape and stipple inside them. Don’t press too hard. Take your time and remember that stippling is like a haircut—you can always take more off, but you can’t add back on. Move conscientiously and you’ll be fine.
I stippled my Glock 35 Gen4 with its Modular Back Strap System. To maintain modularity, I elected not to stipple the actual backstrap. I textured the add-on palm swells and left that part of the frame untouched. Since the gun was completed at the time of writing, I’ve stippled a fresh beavertail adaptor to show the progression. In the end, I was surprised by how much I liked both the look and feel of my newly stippled gun. I find it is noticeably easier to get an effective grip, and I don’t need to re-adjust my grip between shots. The gun feels pretty much locked in my hands during use. Now, I’ll leave this information in your hands and hope you enjoy the results you achieve.
“Blood, sweat and tears” can make it difficult to keep a rock-solid grip on your gun. Many shooters have historically applied grip tape to gun frames, with varied results. Recently, handgun manufacturers have experimented with new grip styles to mitigate this slippery problem. I decided to take matters into my own hands with stippling.
- RELATED STORY: Crimson Trace’s Lasergrips: 5 Minutes to Better Accuracy
Stippling uses heat to melt depressions into the polymer surface of a firearm. It creates a non-slip surface and allows you to express some personal style. Stippling is not rocket science, and it doesn’t need to cost you much money, if any.
You probably already have what you need in your toolbox, and the job takes less than two hours. I humbly suggest stippling a handgun you deem to be a “keeper.” Stippling is a personal thing—some love it, some loathe it.
If you are ready to take the plunge and texture your polymer gun’s grip, use the short primer above as a guide.
Scroll through the gallery above for more stippling tips
- RELATED STORY: K20 Angled Grip: Seekins’ Forward Hand Grip Alternative
This article is from the August 2015 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. To subscribe or to read more from this issue, please visit PersonalDefenseWorld.com.
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