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By Bud Harton

Back in 1969 when I first started carrying a handgun, it was a revolver. I couldn’t afford a Colt Python so I opted for an S&W Model 19. Grips weren’t a problem because there were plenty of aftermarket grips available. Wood, manufactured and rubber, there was no shortage of choices. But then I changed to my first semi-automatic pistol, a S&W Model 39 . . .

There really weren’t a lot of options for semi-automatic pistols when police departments first started adopting them. There were lots of fancy grips, but not much available to help improve your shooting. The very first grip modification I ever made to my Model 39 was to take a bicycle inner tube, cut an appropriate length from it and then slide it on. It worked so well that I can remember doing that for all my pistols from then on. And I helped dozens of others do the same for their pistols in the following years.

Apparently, another young police officer, Derik Losinger of Arizona, had the same experience. Working as both a ranger and boat Sheriff’s deputy at Lake Powell, the searing heat was a cause for sweaty palms and slippery grips. Losinger was also a firearms instructor and armorer and saw many people using skateboard tape to provide a grippier surface and got to thinking about a better way.

Lonsinger decided the best avenue to pursue was a wraparound grip made from a single piece of material. He first started making one for his duty weapon, a GLOCK 21. Once he had hand fabricated and applied it, many of his fellow officers complimented him on his idea and a business was born. With the help of his college buddy and lifelong friend, Mike Morris, Talon Grips launched to a fast start. Losinger became dissatisfied with the quality control using an outsourced company, so he purchased a laser cutter and began production his own product and the rest, as they say, was history.

I first learned of Talon from a video from Hickock45. At the time, I was carrying a SIG P228 and ordered set of the rubber textured appliqués. They quickly arrived and I sat looked at the instructions for a while realizing that if I screwed up the installation I was probably going to ruin the grips and have to re-order another set. That’s because around my house people often leave the room if I pick up any type of tool and look as if I might attempt to use it to do something.

There have been “incidents”.

But, the instructions seemed straight forward and I dived right in. Once they were on, I used my wife’s hair dryer (all right, it was really mine, left over from my disco days) to heat them up a little to smooth any wrinkles and then they were done.

Picking the SIG up, I was absolutely stunned. I couldn’t believe the difference in the feel of the weapon, but then I realized, it was just like that first experiment with a rubber inner tube all those years ago – only better. Better because there was no feeling of added thickness at all. The Talon perfectly match the contours of the gun’s grip without adding any bulk at all.

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A short time later, I switched to an M&P9 Pro and bought grips for it and then an identical set for the M&P22 I picked up as a tractor gun for those sudden confrontations with a copperhead around the house.

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I have now started carrying a full-sized FNS-9 and as soon as I got it, I ordered a set of Talons for it, too.

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I prefer the rubber texture as opposed to the granulate as the granulate is a little rough on the skin when wearing an IWB holster. But I think if I was still carrying a duty gun as a police officer, the granulate would probably be the way to go.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease of Application: * * * * *
I’m a klutz when it comes to dealing with anything that involves any level intricacy. But this was easy, the installation instructions have both a written description and drawings and they worked perfectly. Total install time was maybe 15 minutes and most of that was using the hair dryer.

Value: * * * * *
It’s $17.99 for any pistol with free shipping to the US. I have a special drawer in my workshop that’s filled with grips for pistols that I have bought and tried over the years. All were supposed to be the perfect answer, some are decorative and a lot of them cost north of $75.00 a set. The Talons are functional and enhance the look of the pistol so it’s a win-win. I have been known to drop more than $17.99 for lunch at Mickey D’s when the “McRib is back!”

Overall: * * * * *
A great product from a company that prides itself in customer service.

40 Responses to Gear Review: Talon Grips

  1. Love these grips. I like the sandpaper ones. I haven’t tried the rubber ones yet. They are on all my polymer framed pistols.

    • I like the sandpaper ones for ultimate grip, but the rubber pebble is way more comfortable if it’s going to touch your skin. My EDC Nano sports the rubber pebble texture for that purpose. I’ve put the sandpaper ones on range guns, competition guns, etc…

  2. Just picked up some of these for my P320 compact and they have been exceptional so far. Glad to see them getting some more press.

  3. I’ve tried the rubberized surface and there’s just not enough grip for me. Love the granulate. I’ve used very fine grit sandpaper to take a little of the bite off of the granulate and it’s perfect for me.

  4. FWIW, I bought one of these for a Kahr CM9, which have kinda slippery polymer frames. Fixed that problem immediately.

    Then a few months later when the adhesive started to fail (because I didn’t get it applied correctly), I wrote them about it, and they promptly asked for my shipping address and mailed me a new one completely free. That second grip has stuck to the gun for the past few years now.

    Yeah, Talon Grips is awesome.

  5. I have used the granulated grips on about a dozen Pistols, and I’m delighted with their fit and performance. Just installed a rubber grip on my new Glock 30s, it really makes for a good , secure hold. Great customer service and delivery also.

  6. I use the Rubberized grip on all my polymers. I had the granular, but it started to wear my $100 holster and one time left a bloody rash. Rubberized are great for CCW/IWB. For a gaming/OWB gun, granular all the way.

  7. After you clean your firearm a few times and inevitably get cleaning solution or oil on those grips
    come back and give them a proper review.

    • I have been using them for a number of years now and owning my own range, I normally blow through 4-5000 pistol rounds a year. I quite often clean my pistols (Glocks only on ‘odd’ years of course) and I haven’t had that problem. Of course, many people consider me somewhat anal when it comes to cleaning firearms so that may be the reason.

      Here’s a ProTip: Adhesives and solvents don’t mix

    • “After you clean your firearm a few times and inevitably get cleaning solution or oil on those grips come back and give them a proper review.”

      wow, what a passive-aggressive way to ask how the grips handle cleaning fluids…

      for what it’s worth, i’ve had Talon grips on my XDM for over two years and who knows how many cleanings… i’ve never once had a problem with the grip adhesion.

      of course, if you drop the frame into a solvent bath for a few hours, yeah, i imagine the adhesion may suffer… but conscientious cleaning has posed no problems for me at all.

  8. I love the Talon rubber grips on my Hk45c. I’ve also used them on a Springfield XDS. On both, the tape is cut to fit perfectly. Great product.

  9. Great review. All of my pistols wear the rubberized Talin Grips. Quick points:

    1. In my experience the grips do not come off with frequent cleaning. I have used both Hoppe’s and Ballistol (not together, of course) without issue.

    2. The rubberized grips are indeed really comfortable IWB and provide enough traction to give any polymer pistol (I use them on a Shield, an M&P compact, an M&P long slide, and my wife’s Nano) a solid feel in the hand.

    3. Talon usually has a pretty solid Black Friday sale.

  10. Granulate for me on both my competition xdm’s. Short of a sitting down and doing a full stipple job talon grips will always be on my guns. Lasted a full season of shooting before the some of the bits on the backstrap started to just peel. Not enough to replace yet, though I did buy a replacement to have on hand

    The one on my 40s been there at least 2 seasons.

  11. The Sig E2 grips are perfect. Wish I could get my M&P grip to feel like that. I suspect the Core grip insert might do it if S&W would sell them. Would go with Talon’s, but I don’t want to cover the FDE up.

  12. I had them on my Shield for about ten minutes. I carry it in a N82 Pro holster, and getting my thumb between the rubberized grip and leather backing to break retention was tricky. I like the grippier feel, but I like the holster more. One had to go, so off they came. Looking back I could have probably pulled off the Talon strip on the top left of the grip and kept the rest, but I had also issues with it peeling back on the lower back despite heating it to set the glue.

    I’ll probably get a set for another pistol in the future, but it wasn’t the best option in this instance. I might look at stippling for grip enhancement in the future.

    • Same problem with my Shield. The grips are great, but it does make it more difficult to pull gun from holster. I wasn’t going to win a race drawing before, and if I feel it is too negative of effect I’ll pull off grip. Although I could just yell – STOP – until I can get the gun out. Kinda think that won’t help much!

  13. These are a must for any handgun. I bought from another company for $8 and from what I saw they covered most popular options.

  14. I have them on a Gen 4 G19 & G26 that I carry IWB and love them. It has been two years plus of almost daily use and they are both in good shape. I haven’t ordered yet for my G43 but will soon.

    I actually put them on because the Gen 4 Glocks are like carrying cactuses IWB on the skin. BTW, for my very old and trusty Glock 26 which was worn smooth with wear and literally slippery the Talons were a great ad too.

    Very good product IMO. BTW, I recently put a set on an old school AR-15 grip and really like the feel too.

  15. Right on! Always cool to see Steamboat Springs products making their way through various industries. For being such a small town, we have some big names (Smartwool, Big Agnes, Honey Stinger, BAP, BOA, Talon, Moots). Being in the Boat, I always have a sense of pride and ownership when I see them excelling.

  16. i bought these after hearing hikock45 talk about them so much and im glad i did. i bought teh sand paper ones and absolutely love it. i have a steyr s9, all the steyr pistols have a extremely slick frame, too slick. TG fixed it right up. i really like the pre cut stencils, i had to make my own but still worth it.

  17. Best thing since sliced bread. I have them on all my guns that they make them for. I prefer the rubberized version. YMMV but I follow the installation instructions to the letter and I’ve never had a problem with them. The most important thing is to clean the grip area really good with alcohol. I’ll use the little pad that comes with it and then go back over it several times with more alcohol and a rag and brush to get in all the little stipples and crevices. Heat it up good with a hair dryer and squeeze the crap out of it. Pay special attention to the edges.

    • Kevin,FYI: As a frequent buyer and user of the rubberized version of these grips, you forgot 1 step on this installation process. Wash your hands before starting the process.You do have oil built into your pours and can transfer to your gun and would inhibit the sticking
      process. I my self love all the rubberized versions and have never had a problem w/ the Talon grips on all my guns, except a CZ 75, no grips needed there.

  18. hello I want to update you on my TALON grip for my gun. It is hot in Florida and
    I carry my gun in the small of my back. I have been having problems with the grip
    staying put on the grip. it wrinkles up where it rubs against my back. not sure
    if you have had that feed back yet. I love the way it covers the dimples on my
    grip to keep them from poking me in my back. It has been working out great for
    weeks but now the temp has gone up here the grip is moving around and
    stretching. thanks for listing

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