To Stipple or Not to Stipple?


To stipple or not to stipple…that is the question. We’ll go over the main advantages and considerations you need to consider before putting your gun under the soldering iron.

Why Stipple?

The main reason I wanted to stipple my Glocks was to get more traction. More traction = better grip = better shooting. 

My hands get pretty sweaty when just shooting at the range, and I really felt the loss of grip the few times I’ve shot in the rain. 

Stippled Glock 17 Frame
John’s Stippled Glock 17 Frame

Also, while I hope none of us have to experience this first hand, blood can be very slippery.

I also dislike the finger grooves since my fingers end up in the middle of them, and have always wanted to grind them off with my trusty Dremel, but knew I didn’t want to stare at the results. 

Stippling lets you cover up any other changes you’ve done to the gun.

Considerations

The main considerations boil down to that stippling is a permanent modification. Your resale value is going to plummet, you’ll probably lose warranty, and if you mess up with an unsteady hand, your Glock will look (even more) terrible.

And again, maybe it’s just me, but I find a good amount of dead skin gets stuck in the stippling which makes it kind of gross. Nothing a little elbow grease and an old toothbrush can’t fix, but still…

Stippled Glock 17 Frame 2

Let a Professional Do It

If DIY isn’t your style, I don’t blame you. After looking at some of my stipple jobs… maybe I should have left it to the experts.

There are a number of gunsmiths and manufactures that offer stippling services. Most of them use a laser engraving machine of some kind that basically CNC laser stipple the guns. Line them up, press play, and the laser does the rest.

These result in really clean looking guns and allow for different textures and patterns that can customize the amount of grip you get and where you get it.

Professionals

Most of the larger shops also offer other customization options like finger grove removal, grip chops, trigger guard undercuts, maybe even slide milling for grip or red dots.

There are likely local shops to you that offer the service, but here are a few of the big names that we like best.

1. Zev Technologies

One of the biggest names in the Glock world for aftermarket parts, we love everything Zev we’ve used. They are quality, period.

zev stippling

They bring that to their stippling options also and have a wide range of good grip patterns to choose from. You can also get a trigger guard undercut, finger grooves removed, and several other options.

The downside? They are popular. Really popular. Lead times are often 10-12+ weeks so if you’re looking for the fastest turnaround time, you might be out of luck here.

2. Agency Arms

I’m a big fan of Agency Arms Glocks, but these guys aren’t the cheapest option or provide the most flavors to choose from. What they do offer are an insanely clean look and a very high-quality job.

They also do a few extras standard that is included in the price that if you ask me really help deliver on the value. This isn’t just a stipple job. Also included is an Accelerator Cut thumb rest, finger groove removal, beveling out the inside of the magazine well, and then a complete stipple job.

This takes a normal Glock and gives it several upgrades that really improve the handling.

3. Glock Store

If you want options, Glock Store has O P T I O N S. Loads of patterns, several degrees of coverage, and the ability to mix and match to find the perfect look and fit for you.

And it doesn’t end there. Trigger jobs, engraved parts, frame modifications, slide cuts, and more are also offered up for you to take your pick.

GLock store stipple
One of Glock Store’s odder stipple options, but very cool looking

The price is a little high on average, but the work is well done and they offer some of the widest range of possibilities we’ve seen.

4. Battle Ready Arms

Battle Ready Arms doesn’t limit themselves to Glock, they also offer stipple work for a wide range of polymer guns like Sig and M&P also.

Battle Ready Arms Pattern Options
Battle Ready Arms Pattern Options

Their work is clean, the prices are fair, and they offer some nice packages that include the extras such as trigger guard modification, thumb rests, palm swells, and more.

Verdict

I still love stippling. I tried the other options such as skateboard tape and even the custom grip tapes, but stippling is in a league of its own. I think it has to do with making the grip even beefier/thicker than it already is. People who try out my gun are 50/50 whether or not they like it. My best advice is to try out other options, then try out someone’s stippled gun before diving in.

And if you’re ready, here is our stippling guide.



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