In somewhat of an odd coincidence, our man Tyler took to his firearm with a DIY stippling kit for this review, while at the same time I sent a spare Beretta Nano frame — not a firearm — to be professionally stippled by StippGrips. StippGrips offers a few different stippling patterns as well as other frame modification such as trigger guard undercutting and grip re-shaping. They don’t have have a website, though. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram, and e-mail to order. Anyway, I went with their original hatch pattern . . .
As you can see on the left, the factory frame is pretty darn smooth. It has only very gentle texturing on part of the backstrap and frontstrap. This left a lot to be desired and it didn’t inspire confidence while shooting.
For years I’ve run my Nano frame with a stick-on Talon Grip in rubber pebble texture, and that was a huge upgrade over the factory setup. The only drawback: rubber isn’t the best when it gets wet. I decided I wanted something not only more aggressive, but also permanent and actually an integral part of the gun.
StippGrips’ hatch stipple certainly hits on the “more aggressive” front. It creates hundreds of edges with a sandpaper-like texture to them. It’s comfortable in my hands, but it grips and it grips hard. There will be zero rotation of the small firearm when firing.
While I’m a more confident shooter with the pistol now and love this grip on the range, it did change something about how I conceal carry my Nano. During summer months, I often carry this gun IWB with only a t-shirt on top. That means the grip of the gun is touching bare tactical love handle. Unfortunately, the stippling makes this no longer an option. The hatch stipple pattern is too sharp and rough against bare skin. StippGrips did inform me that Beretta’s polymer is tougher than other brands which tend to come out a touch softer.
A light shirt between frame and skin is sufficient to achieve full comfort, but I’m not double-layering in the summer to accommodate this. In the winter, though, it’s a non-issue. What I’m going to do is lightly sand down the edges of the pattern — just on the left side of the frame — to smooth things out a little. I think that will take away the sharpness and roughness and allow me to go frame-on-skin, but the peaks-and-valleys design will still provide an amazing firing grip.
If something a little more skin-friendly is desired, StippGrips presidential velvet is about as popular for them as the hatch stipple, but has a much gentler texture. There’s also the beaded stipple, which should work as well.
Presidential seen above on a couple of GLOCKS.
Closer view of presidential velvet (plus finger groove removal and double undercut trigger guard).
Beaded stipple (plus finger groove removal, double undercut trigger guard, and magazine release relief).
A G43 with Presidential Velvet.
If Tyler wanted his M&P to look more like this:
he could have shipped it off to StippGrips (which, yes, is an FFL and can receive and return firearms) instead of going the DIY route. Of course, instead of $48.95 for the kit he used (or about $15 for a RadioShack soldering iron) he’d have been looking at $120+ for a full-sized gun.
For a pocket pistol-sized frame, pricing starts at $85 depending on texture chosen and other options such as frame modification. This isn’t cheap, but it’s a necessarily time-consuming process and man hours ain’t cheap. StippGrips also assumes some liability should things go sideways, whereas the DIY route would obviously leave you footing the bill for any mistakes.
The end result is a highly professional stippling job that’s clean, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. It’s grippy as heck, which means excellent gun control — the good kind — and high confidence. The hatch stipple feels incredible on the range and would be an absolutely amazing choice for a competition gun.
Specifications: StippGrips Grip Stippling Service
- MSRP for Hatch Stipple on Full/Compact/Subcompact Frame: $120
- MSRP for Hatch Stipple on Pocket Pistol Frame: $85 (as tested)
- MSRP for Presidential Velvet on Full/Compact/Subcompact Frame: $200
- MSRP for Presidential Velvet on Pocket Pistol Frame: $150
- Turn-Around Time: 3-5 days
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * * *
Super clean, awesome job. Looks great, works great. It’s just a bit on the expensive side.
um, so why not just get the sandpaper version of talon grips? i passed on the rubber ones because once you start sweating, the rubber would get slippery again.
I have those on another gun and like them a lot, but there’s still a difference between that sort of thing and actually creating 3-dimensional texturing.
All of those stippling patterns look really nice. The Hatch pattern looks a bit rough, but could probably be softened up a bit with some judicious bead blasting.
I appreciate Tyler’s efforts, and that he gave it a try and reported back to us, but not a big fan of the appearance of the final product, myself. For much less than that kit, you could slather some bacon grease on the grips of your favorite beater gat and toss it into a dog kennel full of pit bulls – with a similar result. 🙂
Isn’t the pistol frame the part thats considered a firearm?
Not on a Beretta Nano. The serial number is on the internal workings and shows through a hole in the frame. You can inexpensively swap frames at will for the other colors Beretta offers. Looks like he got a FDE frame for the stipple job.
Usually, but with the Nano it’s a chassis insert that goes in the frame that is the serialized “firearm.” The frames are nothing more than pieces of plastic and are available for like $28. Other pistols with serialized chassis where the frame is swappable and not the legal firearm part include Beretta Pico, SIG P250 & P320, Ruger American Pistol…
I especially like the idea of taking the finger grooves off some Glocks.
Or… you could just buy an Honor Defense Honor Guard pistol and you would have an awesome grip texture from the factory. Here’s a link to a recent video review, if you have 9+ mins to watch… https://youtu.be/ICU4SMk8Q1s
Is look like Sig P320, is action like P320, is locking mechanism like P320… (best Yakov Smirnov voice)
Thanks, Mr. Walker. I did shoot your pistols at SHOT this year (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/01/jeremy-s/hands-on-with-honor-guards-pistols/) and looking back on that “hands-on” piece my first comment was actually about how the “…weave-like crosshatch pattern molded into the frame […] feels like a perfect, aftermarket stippling job.” Haha
If Honor Guard doesn’t already have a T&E loaner en route to TTAG for review, I’d be happy to borrow one for a while for that purpose if you’ll be happy with an honorably honest review 🙂
Jeremy.. Yes, I read your short write-up on the Honor Guard from SHOT; thanks for taking the time to publish that article. With regard to your recent comments, it would seem to imply that the current Honor Guard reviews are less than honest. I can attest to the fact that none of the reviews thus far have been influenced one way or another by Honor Defense and that I will personally strive to keep it that way. The link I posted was from a review that we did not even have prior knowledge of; they purchased their own sample from retail and did with it whatever they saw fit for their review. I have been requesting one for TTAG, so hopefully we will have one to send your way soon. You could go also buy a sample so that you know it is “legit” if you don’t trust a T&E sample. 😉
One other point, just to clarify… the company’s name is “Honor Defense” and the pistol model is “Honor Guard”. Thanks.
No, no, didn’t mean to imply that at all! I haven’t seen/read other reviews yet. Honestly, I’d probably avoid other reviews on purpose until after I had done my own.
When and where are you guys selling these?
I really like the looks of that tan Glock 5th from the bottom. Great work.
Nice to know that this service is available, but I’m not interested.
Thank you for your comment.
Man that hatch pattern is really nice. I might have to give them a ring.
Price is very fare, should be five stars .