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

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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?

Tools

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.

18
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.

29 Leave a Reply

  • ludanshen

    really think you ruin these glock

    1 second ago
  • John

    Looks great!

    1 month ago
  • Rad

    Looks like you ruined your Glick to me!

    2 months ago
    • John

      Not the Glock!!!!

      1 month ago
  • TOETOETEATWO

    Real talk. Dont listen to the haters owning a gun is something extremely personal. If you are happy of the work you did and you love your gun that all it matters. To each is own and I applaued you for trying do do what makes you happy and trying to help others. LOVE YOUR FAMILY. LOVE YOUR FRIENDS. AND LOVE YOUR GUNS

    7 months ago
  • Charles

    Article should be titled "How to Stipple a Glock And Ruin It" Cons: 1. Permanent. So if you ever try to sell it, you have to hope the next person likes it. They won't. 2. Decreases value of pistol. See above. I'm on a number of gun forums, and stippled Glocks are pretty much as desired as left over beanie babies. 3. Looks terrible. Don't kid yourself. You basically bedazzled a Glock. Cheaply. And it shows. 4. Smells bad/collects dead skin. AND you say you don't clean it? Ew. Pros: 1. You have more grip, which you could have accomplished a number of other ways. "Are they an eyesore or do you love the max traction like me." Already answered the first part. As far as the second...max traction would have been the skater tape, or sandpaper texture from Talon. Not what you did.

    8 months ago
    • Citizendick

      Opinions are like assholes...

      2 hours ago
  • Chris

    Not bad for a soldering iron.... That being said never use a soldering iron to stipple. It looks bad and there is no real precision or control. Better to use a wood burner and buy a a stippling tip for it. It increases the cost of the job but it's worth the extra $30 for the aesthetic alone. Check out OTD for their stippling supplies.

    1 year ago
    • Greg

      Thanks for the advice. I just looked on the OTDefense website. Definitely the place to go if you want the tools to do a professional looking job, and they really aren't all that much. Well worth the added expense.

      7 months ago
  • JK

    What do you use to clean it? Just a dry toothbrush? Do you need to get in there with soap/ detergent, or does a degreaser do the job?

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Is it bad to say I don't clean it? If so...I think a dry toothbrush would do fine. It's a Glock/gun/tool...it doesn't have to be completely clean :-)

      2 years ago
  • Mike

    Not bad, I like that you didn't use sharp corners and went with a more rounded effect with your turns. I've seen stipple jobs with sharp 90 degree angles and IMO the bends and curves look better on the gun. I like the idea of putting your own mark on your weapon, it's a common tradition of past warriors. Sammuri sword handles, knight swords, AMI arrows are all examples of weapons that were customized by the warriors who used them. Nice to see the tradition being carried on.

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks so much Mike!

      2 years ago
  • G

    This is exactly what turns people away from stippling. Stippling can be done in a way that actually makes the firearm look better while still adding the desired effect of making it grippier. It's your glock and you can do it however you want, but if you are trying to promote stippling, these are not the examples you want to give.

    2 years ago
    • Guynumber2

      I totally agree with G, what you did to your handles is a shame. I do a lot of gun stippling and what you did is a massacre.

      1 year ago
      • JttK

        Yeah, what a shame, he ruined the classic aesthetics of a Glock.

        8 months ago
    • ehung

      Thanks G!

      2 years ago
  • jerry k

    one of my biggest concerns in the field is infections, so the little holes that serve no purpose other than harboring microbes don't seem like an optimal byproduct of increasing surface friction.

    3 years ago
    • Kathy

      wow! LOL! : ) a survialists preppers least concerns is...... microbials! Haaa Ahhhh haha! your Funny!

      2 years ago
      • Dick

        Haha ahhh, ,"YOU'RE" grammar is atrocious

        9 months ago
    • ehung

      It's true...it can get a little funky if you have sweaty hands, use it a lot, and don't clean it up every once in a while.

      3 years ago
  • Trevor H.

    I like the way your G17 turned out. I personally think it adds some nice character to a Glock (or any polymer gun) when done properly. Great writeup and great pictures... thanks!

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Hi Trevor, thanks!

      3 years ago
  • Chris W.

    Thanks for the straightforward how-to on stippling. Great site too!

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks Chris!

      3 years ago
  • Johnny P

    Stippling is one mod that has an immediate and noticable payout, as always it's function over fashion.

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks so much for your comment...it ain't pretty but it works!

      3 years ago
  • robert g

    Yuck

    3 years ago
    • ehung

      Yea, stippling definitely isn't for everyone!

      3 years ago
      • John

        No it’s just that you did a terrible job.. and trypophobia much

        9 months ago
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