One of the most important aspects of handling a gun is having solid control. Therefore, the grip is essential. The grip feel can be improved by incorporating added grip tape to the firearm, but you can also boost your hold by stippling the gun.
Stippling uses a pen-shaped tool or pen tip to modify your gun permanently. The stippling process consists of burning small dots, dimples, ridges, or other formations into the grip handle part of the gun. Stippling creates a slightly raised texture on the surface of the grip producing more traction and allowing for a more secure grip.
The parts of a gun you can stipple include the grip, which is the most popular area, but you can also stipple frames, rail panels, fore ends as well as magazines. Stippling magazines are done to enhance a smoother grip and for an improved appearance.
If your firearm has a plastic or polymer frame, then you can stipple the gun. Aside from a better grip, there are many other benefits to stippling a firearm.
Benefits Of Stippling A Gun
1. Stippling provides more traction, which provides a better grip and ultimately better shooting.
2. Besides having more control over your gun, stippling also produces an aesthetically pleasing and customizable feel for the firearm holder and allows for a quicker draw from the gun holster.
3. Stippling also improves accuracy due to the firmer grasp on the handle, helping assure the shooter will hit their target.
4. Adding texture to any smooth surface allows the user to establish a firmer grasp, which ultimately enhances the overall control and amplifies their shooting skills.
5. When a gun is stippled, it reduces the overall grip size, making it less cumbersome.
6. Stippling allows for more personalization of the firearm, especially a firearm you built.
Stippling your firearm comes with a few bonuses, including that stippling will not wear off. Stippling is permanent. All it does is modify the existing grip resulting in a sturdier grip that should last as long as the firearm. Also, stippling a gun will not weaken the frame.
The overall stippling process is quite simple. There are a few basic materials you will need to have on hand before you get started stippling.
Materials Needed To Stipple A Gun
To stipple a gun, a few materials are needed, including:
1. Soldering iron (or wood burner device)
2. Dremel tool (optional)
3. Safety glasses or safety goggles
4. Sandpaper (one sheet 220 grit, one sheet 400 grit)
5. Practice stippling sheets (plastic sheets or Nylon 6/6)
6. Duct or electrical tape rolls
7. A handgun that is cleared and in safe mode
A wood burner device will be less expensive than a soldering iron, and you will have more control since the temperature is adjustable. There are also interchangeable tips that allow for more pattern designs.
Smaller tips create pin-sized holes depending on the tip being used, but this requires more passes over a small area to achieve a more consistent appearance.
The more extensive tips leave larger holes which accelerates the stippling process, and these more practical tips also create a more aggressive gripping surface.
Be aware that soldering irons get very hot. Most of them get as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchasing an exhaust fan is advisable due to the fumes created from melting the plastic.
The Dremel tool is optional to use. This is not the same thing as a drill. A Dremel has a low torque and a max RPM of 35000. A drill has a high torque and a max RPM of 2000. The Dremel tool is designed for sanding, grinding, and engraving.
You can also purchase stippling kits online, providing everything you need. You can choose wood-burning or soldering iron kits; both will work.
5 Steps To Stipple A Gun
Once you have all the material required and the gun you want to stipple, you first need to have a plan of what you want to accomplish.
1. Plan your design - Planning for the design you want to use is essential. Because it's a permanent modification, stippling should not be done on a whim. A few popular stippling pattern designs include:
1.1 Starburst pattern - This pattern creates a visual dynamo as it starts in one spot and radiates outward into bursts of straight lines resulting in a remarkable appearance with a medium grip level.
1.2 Random dot pattern - The dots' depth can vary depending on how deep you go, but this offers the best grip level.
1.3 Basket weave pattern - This pattern is trendy and provides a very tough grip.
1.4 Create your pattern - Using circles, boxes, or lines back and forth, you can try creating a unique design that further personalizes your firearm.
2. Practice - The next important step is to practice by using sampling stipple sheets, which can be purchased online. These sheets provide a similar texture and feel to the pistol frame.
3. Select the area to stipple - Once the area you want to stipple has been picked, you can tape the surfaces you do not want to stipple, creating a border to work around.
4. Begin stippling - Take your time during this step and pause for breaks when needed.
Once the soldering iron or wood burner is hot, stippling can begin.
4.1 Once the soldering iron or wood burner is hot, stippling can begin.
4.2 If this is your first time stippling, the sides of the gun are an excellent place to begin.
4.3 Using light touches will help avoid creating too much depth.
4.3.1 Lightly dab your tool into the grip of the gun.
4.3.2 Lightly dab your tool into the grip of the gun.
4.3.3 You create clear dots, ridges, or lines when you press into the grip.
4.3.4 Rotating the gun ensures your grip will have multiple angles.
4.4 Make sure this is the exact pattern you want before stippling the entire area.
5. Final touches - This is the final step in the stippling process.
5.1 Cool your gun by laying it on a clean flat surface.
5.2 Once the gun has cooled to an average temperature, start applying the sandpaper to the surface. This process works out the rough edges and smooths the grip to the desired texture and feel you want.
5.3 Use the 220 grit sandpaper, to begin with, and rub the stippled area using broad brushstrokes.
5.4 Next, switch over to the finer 400-grit sandpaper to polish the area.
Once the final touches have been made and all the rough edges have been smoothed over, protect your newly-stippled firearm by putting it in a case or carrying accessory.
FAQs About Stippling A Gun
One of the most asked questions about stippling a gun is whether it will affect the warranty and resale value of the firearm. The answer is yes, it will reduce the resale value of the gun and may void the warranty depending on the manufacturer.
So, make sure your gun is working perfectly before you start stippling in case you need to take advantage of the warranty beforehand.
Stippling a gun can be done professionally, but the cost can range from $75 to $300. When you stipple a gun yourself, it can cost anywhere between $8 and $15 — so you will save a ton of money doing it yourself.
Overall, stippling a gun benefits the handler regarding comfort, grip, and precision during shooting.
Aside from accuracy, if your hands get sweaty or it is hot outside, the grip can loosen, leading to potential accidents. Having a firm handle on your gun grip is critical.
Learning how to stipple a gun helps to customize and improve the grip handling of your firearm. By stippling your gun, you become the designer of a newly branded firearm that is now safer and more comfortable to use!