A handgun is nothing if not a good match for your hand — able to be grasped, drawn, held steady through aiming and firing, and whatever else a combat or self-defense situation might require. The part of the handgun where the hand fits around it is called the “stocks.” Sometimes these get called “grips.” Sometimes we talk about how good our grip is around the stocks — that’s called “purchase.”
Nomenclature aside, many products and treatments exist to help you get a better grip or purchase on a gun. Talon Grips, for instance, offers a sticker-like wrap (with either a sandpaper or rubber feel) for a variety of handguns. Meant to be applied to a handgun stocks — preferably stocks that are unaltered and free of oils and dirt or other imperfections — Talon Grips create friction between a hand and the handgun, increasing purchase.
The stocks on my Generation 2 Glock 19 came from the factory with three different surfaces: slightly textured on the left and right panels, heavily patterned or checkered on the front and back straps, and smooth in between. This gun has worn the famous rubber wraparound grip and after that, lived through a custom stippling job done by yours truly. These are probably not the kind of stocks that Talon Grips has in mind for its grip wrap. Nonetheless, I want to report to you how I installed the Talon Grips and how flexible and durable they are when applied.
Talon Grips ship with a couple of alcohol prep pads, meant for cleaning as much residue from a handgun’s stocks as possible. I wiped one over the custom stippled stocks of this Glock and promptly turned it into a tattered fuzzball. Alcohol prep pads and stippled stocks don’t get along.
Next, I slowly pulled away the backing from the adhesive side of the Talon Grips, carefully wrapping the Glock stocks as I went. The grips went on easy enough, allowing me to lift and move them as needed to ensure alignment. As I wrapped the stocks, the grip pieces that would go under my fingers needed to be tucked under the wrapped panel on the opposite side. Then, per the instructions, I was to warm that wrap with a hair dryer or heat gun to not more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This would help the adhesive adhere to the stocks and the wrap to conform more to the gun.
Once installed, the Talon Grips felt great on the Glock 19 and the stippling didn’t seem to degrade the installation process at all. Give me a few weeks and I’ll report back here on how it is to carry and shoot this gun with these new grips.
— Mark Kakkuri