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How much does grip stippling help?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Skribs, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    I've owned a few handguns, including XDm (full grip and compact), M&P compact, and LCP. I've never had any problems holding on to these, but it seems custom stippling on the grip (and sometimes in weird places, like above the trigger guard) is pretty popular. I'm wondering what actual benefit the stippling provides.

    From my perspective (please don't flame me for it) making it rougher would only decrease comfort, especially while carrying, and I find simple textures are more pleasing to the eyes. Am I missing something here?
  2. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    I think people stipple them for two reasons. Customization, it's not like you can change grips like most guns. and a lot of people shoot with gloves and it helps grip them better.
  3. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    I think it's a bit like additional chrome on mine and my wife's motorcycles. It's a mod we both wanted to do that added little utility in most cases. Sure, some chromed parts will resist corrosion more than when they were painted, but it looks good and we like it. It adds a certain personalized flair. I think certain cosmetic-like mods on a gun are very similar.

    Some stippling is utilitarian true, but some just adds that additional "look" and "feel". Similar to engraving the metal on a fine shotgun. Doesn't shoot a bit better with the engraving, but some sure looks good.
  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    It allows you to increase the amount of traction that your hand gets on the weapon. More aggressive textures allow your weapon to remain under control during a partially flubbed drawstroke,less than optimal initial grip or if your grip is compromised by wearing gloves or environmental factors like mud, sweat,rain or heaven forbid it blood.

    Comfort and aesthetics have little value in a defensive weapon. Shootability trumps all.

    Tactile index point for keeping your trigger-finger out of the trigger guard.
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Makes sense.

    I haven't shot in these conditions, so I guess I wouldn't know if I would need it. I don't sweat much, and I think my gloves would only increase traction, but I can see how the others might cause issues.

    My aesthetics comment was regarding if there isn't much change for me, then I'd rather have it look good. Comfort is important, because if it is uncomfortable to hold I'd handle it less and uncomfortable to carry I might opt for something else.
  6. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Well-Known Member

    Of all the grip enhancement styles, stippling is probably the most aggressive. Checkering, depending on the lines per inch, can be either aggressive or tame.

    No other handgun is as difficult for the human hand to grip as the massive Desert Eagle. Large magazine well and powerful loads can force the shooter to readjust after each shot. After experiencing this I had the front strap checkered....wow! made all the difference. Contrary to what most may think, it is not abrasive to the hand or painful.

    On the other hand a S&W model 41 has milled grooves that does nothing other than add cosmetic appeal.


  7. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    Ive stippled a bunch of my Glocks now, and have a couple more waiting in the wings. Other than the RTF2's, the difference between those not stippled and those that are, is like night and day. You get a good grip on the stippled guns, that doesnt slip when your hands are wet/sweaty. Wet or dry, the gun doesnt move at all in your hands while shooting.

    As far as comfort, I suppose that depends on the individuals. I work with my hands, and they are pretty calloused, and for me, the stippling makes the grip feel like a cats tongue. My sons girl friend has shot a couple I did, and found them to be to aggressive for her. They do work well removing any dead skin on your hands. :)

    I normally carry a RTF 17, but have also carried guns Ive stippled, both IWB and in an ankle holster, and had no problems with comfort or wear on my clothes.
  8. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    I have a CZ-40B that has the same type of vertical grooves on the grip. I guess the theory was to allow an air space so sweat wouldn't let the gun slip (like rain grooves on car tire), but it actually makes it very uncomfortable. I put non-skid stair tape over it and it was a huge improvement.
  9. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    I stippled my xd, and while I didnt go hog wild with it, it did improve the purchase on the fun quite a bit. Some stippling is just for show, but it does make a difference. Super easy to do, kind of fun, but obviously permanent.

    Since I stippled conservatively, there is no immediate cost to comfort either in carry or in hand. I was more aggressive on the backstrap, less on the panels, and not at all on the front strap. If I think of it, I will take a picture when I get home tonight.

    sent from my Galaxy Note II.
  10. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    It's for when you're swimming in rivers of Krasnovian blood...

    or it just looks cool and helps give a little better grip.

    Plus, it's a modification that you can actually do yourself.
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Those are usually called vertical serrations...just like on the MSH of a 1911...and are quite good for providing purchase on a gun frame. They work by allowing the flesh of your finger to press into the grooves...which keeps it from twisting in your hand during recoil.

    I actually prefer serrations on the front strap compared to checkering. They allow you to adjust your grip, if it wasn't quite right the first time, and yet are very secure when you increase pressure

    Above the trigger guard on the left side is for tactile feedback of correct placement of the support hand thumb; under the trigger guard does the same for the support hand index finger
  12. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Or right side for the lefties like me?
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    That's true ;)

    When you send your gun off for someone to do, they usually do both side...one for the support thumb and the other for the trigger finger.

    I personally have a piece of skateboard tape on one side for my thumb and and index my trigger finger on the head of the locking block's roll pin
  14. Kiln

    Kiln Well-Known Member

    Stippling works to help you grip the weapon but at the same time has a dramatic effect on the resale value of the gun.

    If you've got a gun you want to for sure keep forever then by all means, take a hot piece of metal and poke a bunch of small holes in it. Otherwise you're going to be getting a lot less than you dumped into it back in trade.

    People don't view stippling as a positive trait on a used gun. It is kind of like sporterizing an old WW2 rifle. Sure it may make the gun a little better in performance but it is going to damage the value.

    As an alternative you could try buying a slip over grip for it. That way you can just take it off if it doesn't help and sell both the grip and the gun if you can't make it work.
  15. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    Depending on how it was done, and the person looking at it, it may lessen it, or it may increase it.

    Ive seen a couple now at a local shop that were done, that sold for slightly more than "new", something you usually dont see in a common used gun. They also werent there very long either.

    I have yet to have anyone who has held and/or shot one of mine, not have a positive view of it. Looking at pictures is one thing, use is something completely different.
  16. Kiln

    Kiln Well-Known Member

    Whatever you'd like to think but I've seen two stippled firearms for sale in shops and they were marked well below market price because of it.

    You can try and make an argument for effectiveness but I've yet to see a shop selling a stippled gun for more than it was new.

    I'd also like to mention that some manufacturers will void your warranty for intentionally modifying the frame of the gun by stippling.
  17. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    It wasnt what I thought, its what I personally saw happen. The guns sold for more than new, and quickly too.

    If you dont like it, I suppose you wont bother, no matter the cost. If its something youre looking for, and dont want to do it yourself, then you might well pay a premium, especially if you like how and what was done.

    There are more than a couple of shops doing it as a trade now, and they seem to be doing a pretty brisk business. I doubt they are just doing it because they are bored, somebody must want it done.

    Theres no argument as to its effectiveness, its very effective, and even the ugly jobs work.

    Personally, if the job was just ugly, and it was priced low because of it, Id gobble it up. Its easy to redo and fix. Their loss, my gain.

    They also tell you shooting reloads will do the same.;)

    Personally, I couldnt care less. Im getting something I want, that they dont yet seem to want to offer, and it didnt cost me a penny, just a couple of hours in front of the TV.

    My understanding, Glock isnt concerned unless what you did caused the failure/warranty issue.
  18. Kiln

    Kiln Well-Known Member

    That's a nice straw man argument.

    I think we can agree that it is a little more difficult to prove that somebody was shooting reloaded ammunition than it is to prove that somebody punched hundreds of holes in the frame of a pistol with a hot piece of metal.

    When they see that they may refuse to work on it or at the very least charge you to replace whatever they mess with.
  19. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    If you just come out and say you dont like it, we can stop all this. :)
  20. pseudonymity

    pseudonymity Well-Known Member

    On my Ruger P95 stippling helped a great deal - without it just the mild recoil would shift your hand position if your hands were just the least bit sweaty or dirty. The Hogue handall did help, but with the overgrip I found I could not reach the mag release without switching my grip on the gun. The P95 is kind of notorious for a chunky, slippery grip with a flat backstrap, so other grips may not benefit as much.

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