How to Stipple a Glock (And Not Ruin It)

Want more traction on your Glock or other polymer gun?

We’ll go over the pros/cons and then teach you how to stipple your handgun for the ultimate customized feel.

Stippled G17 and G34
Stippled G17 and G34

And if you decide not to stipple…we have our favorite alternatives.

Table of Contents


Why Stipple?

There’s many reasons to stipple your polymer gun.  We talked about added traction but there’s also the reason to cover up other work such as the grinding down of finger grooves.

The finger grooves were made for “average hands,” but the problem is that most people don’t have “average hands!”

For me, I find that my fingers actually end up exactly on the finger grooves which makes it annoying after a couple hundred rounds downrange.

Stippling Considerations

Stippling is pretty permanent of a modification.  And if you don’t have patience and a steady hand, it may end up looking ugly at best and breaking your gun at worst.

You want to make sure that you’re going to keep your gun forever.  Chances are stippling will lower your resale value significantly.

You also want to make sure that your handgun is running smoothly.  Stippling will likely void your warranties.

Lastly, you want to exhaust all your other options for adding traction.  You can cut and stick on skateboard tape or go with something more customized like Talon Grips ($20) that now have rubber textures.

Talon Grips
Talon Grips

Dirty Little Secret

And here’s one problem that you don’t really hear people say…your gun might get a little funky smelling.  I’ve found that the dimples make perfect repositories for dead skin cells.  And all the good stuff that comes from letting organic matter sit around.

Nothing a little cleaning can’t get rid of…but still worth a consideration.

Still interested?


This one is simple, you just need a cheap soldering iron (or one with a disposable tip) since it will get dirty with the polymer.  I used the $9 one above and it’s held up through 3 pistol stipplings.

The Dremel tool is option if you want to remove some of the finger grooves.  But that is personal preference.  An easy way to tell if you’ll benefit is if you get callouses where your fingers hit the groove.  I trim them down on mine.

How to Stipple

Let the soldering iron heat up for a while so it is the max temperature.  I would recommend testing it on a similar surface.  If you have a Gen 4 Glock with other backstraps you are sure you won’t be using, try it on that first.

Gen 4 Glock Backstraps
Gen 4 Glock Backstraps

Below is a great video to see a soldering iron in action.

The guy first Dremels off part of the finger grooves but also smooths out the natural bumps of the grip.  I think taking off the bumps of the grips is overkill but could lend to a more even texture in the final product.

He then marks off the area to stipple with a marker.

Amount of Stippling

For my defensive gun, I went with a mild stippling like in the video.  To get that texture, I just pressed down softly and lifted up.

Glock 17 Grip Stipple
Glock 17 Grip Stipple

In my race gun Glock 34, I tried to get it more aggressive.  I pressed down harder and instead of lifting straight up, I dragged the molten plastic to the next hole.  It is a LOT grippier and I love it.

Glock 34 Rough Stippling
Glock 34 Rough Stippling

You can also see that I stippled underneath the trigger guard and next to the slide lock (where my left hand thumb rests).  If you might use your pistol in competition, you will need to check the official rules.

For me, if I were to use the G34 in USPSA Production class, I would not be able to have the additional stippling.

Glock 17 Front Stipple
Glock 17 Front Stipple21

Stippling Alternatives

Want something non-permanent?  I really like Talon Grips which come in two flavors…sandpaper and rubberized.

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Follow the instructions and I like using a heat gun…aka hairdryer to really warm up the wrap before leaving it alone to dry.

Get the rubberized if you are considering using it as a concealed carry gun since it’s less likely to snag on clothing.

What Do You Think?

So what’s your opinion on stippled Glocks?  Are they an eyesore or do you love the max traction like me.  For more mods…check out 4 Essential Glock Modifications.

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