[Guest Post] DIY How to Stipple a Pistol

[ This guest post was written by John ]

A short article on how to stipple a pistol. If you have ever trained while it was hot or rainy, you may have noticed that your polymer pistol (Glock, XD, M&P) becomes slippery. One remedy for this is to stipple your pistol. Note: Before stippling your pistol properly unload your firearm and remove the slide from the frame.


Here is a list of tools that you will need:

  • Soldering Iron ($20 from a craft store)
  • 220 and 400 grit sandpaper ($6 from any home improvement store)
  • Tape

How To

First you will need to decide where you want stipple on your pistol i.e. just the sides, just the back strap, or the entire grip. You can stipple anywhere on the frame. To start, I recommend just stippling the left and right sides of the grip; Glocks and XDs give you a nice box already outlined on the frame.

Once you have decided where you will stipple the pistol, cover the rest of the frame with tape to ensure you stay within the lines. Decide which attachment you will use and heat up the soldering iron. I recommend using the flat tip, if you search β€œstipple a Glock” on youtube.com you can see the pros and cons of each. All you have to do is touch the soldering iron to the pistol and it will make the stipple. The harder you press the deeper the stipple, too hard and you could press through your frame. (Note: In order to press through the frame you would have to stand up and press the iron into the frame with the entire weight of your body.) By going slow you will ensure that the soldering iron remains hot, you will have to pause every so often in order for the iron to heat back up and will have to scrap the polymer off the soldering iron tip. Don’t worry about your pattern; once the stipple area is filled in the pattern will look fine. When using the flat tip, I like to make slanted lines over the entire area then go back over the area with slanted lines in the opposite direction.

The stippling is now complete. Let your pistol cool off then start sanding with the 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rough edges, moving to the 400 grit sandpaper to finish off the sanding. Ensure there are no rough edges that could give you blisters or put holes in your shirt when carrying concealed.


Stippling is a great way to make your pistol have permanent grip. Remember, once you stipple your pistol you will not be able to change it, if you damage your frame by pressing too hard, the manufacturer will not replace your pistol. That said, I love my stippled pistol and feel that it is a great option for those of us that train very aggressively with our firearms

Questions and comments are welcomed below.

This article was written by a Guest Author. The views contained in this article reflect that of the author and not necessarily that of The Firearm Blog or TFBTV.


  • james

    Sweet post I am going to try this. Thanks

  • cayton

    Make sure you use a cheap soldering iron like the one shown in the tutorial. As an engineer who solders quite often, using the tip in this fashion will ruin it, at least for normal soldering uses.

    Just a heads up.

  • calool

    this is very cool, but wouldn’t the stipples wear out rather quickly if you train with your pistol a lot?

  • hmmmmmm much better then useing myson,s skatebord tape hmmm i shall have to try this on my walther 380 k now if you could come up with some idear,s on same with wood handle,s for wheelgun,s ie 357\38 you would have something

  • Evan A

    Wow whats up with that full size M&P? was the frame painted and the stippling got down into the black?

    i’ve stippled all of my M&Ps and i found that it works better to use a Wood Burning Kit over an iron. i also used a pencil to draw my lines first. then just filled in the lines.

    I would also recommend practicing on some stuff first. Like PMAGS, OLD AR grips, and spare backstraps from pistols.


  • Nathaniel

    Great article.

  • Fast Prototyping Services

    Can’t we just buy a whole grip? Or use gloves instead. The guns looks ugly with the stipples. Thanks.

  • Patrick M

    Really got into stippling the past few months. Before doing this to my KAC panels I went out and bought some cheap airsoft ones to practice on.

  • hacedeca

    Cool! I wonder, when firearms producers start to take this seriously. Seems to be done by a larger amount of customers, than one might think.

  • jamie

    They need to start making these poly guns with a 1/16 or 1/8 th inch flared lip to retain a houge rubber grip.

    Many hogue or pacmayer grips are so grippy that on many of my guns if you simply hold the gun with tip of the thumb and tip of index, it is almost impossible to pull the gun out with your other hand.

    Stipling is unnecessary, permanent, and potentially inviting stress cracks on the frame.

  • 54Bravo

    Not like any of these pistols are fashion queens to begin with, sheesh…

    Function before fashion on workhorse firearms, folks-‘pretty’ doesn’t hit the target any better.

  • Thanks for the post. Now I’ve stippled everything in the house. From the grips to swiss army knives to staplers. πŸ™‚

  • el jefe

    and what if i’ll want to stipple the soldering iron itself?

    • Austin Mabry

      Take the Glock, and shoot the soldering iron repeatedly, until the holes cover the entire surface of the soldering iron.

  • Anonymous

    Re. How to Stipple a Pistol,
    On a fighting piece just DON’T
    That much friction just means a bad grip stays bad. You want the grip to be smooth enough to settle in where it needs to be.

  • There are pro’s and con’s to stippling the grip of your pistol. It all is a matter of personal taste and preference. We tried it on several pistols (Crosman Stinger P9T and the Desert Stinger .44 magnum). The reactions in our team were as divers as there are members on our team. Some liked it, others did not. The latter group mostly love to wear gloves. Nonetheless this post is a real nice one for those who love to prepare their pistols this way, so thanks for the tip anyway