The Best Glock 19 Stipple Job From Tactical Texture and Triggers

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Mike over at Tactical Texture and Triggers has turned out what I believe to be the prettiest Glock 19 frame enhancement job I have seen yet. Starting with a box stock Glock 19 in the newly released gray color, Mike spends many hours with the pistol to not only add functionality but also enhance its visual appeal.

Even though the factory stippling on the Glock 19 Gen4 is excellent, there is always room for improvement. It appears that the Glock 19 only got the texture enhanced on its frame and where the support thumb would rest.

We reached out to Mike to see what goes into putting together a texture job this attractive, instead of me mincing the master’s words, you should hear it from him.

A lot of people refer to it as stippling, or “stipple job”, but what I, and most shops, do is far more involved.  A hobbyist who does not care what his gun looks like will just take a soldering iron and add texture to the areas that are not aggressive enough for him.  If you check out Kyle Defoor’s blog/page, he does this.  The work looks like crap, but that’s OK because all people like this are interested in is improving the function of the gun.  As a professional, not only must my work function perfectly, but it must be aesthetically pleasing as well.

The more accurate term for what I do is called a “Frame Enhancement” service, and it has 3 parts.

The hardest, and longest part of the process is the grinding stage.  This is where (using a dremel and various sanders), you remove the factory texture, and reshape parts of the gun.  This is the dirty stage that produces things like: trigger guard undercuts, Glove Bevels, mag release scallops and mag cutouts.  On some gun this process alone takes hours, especially when you are trying to finish the polymer into a smooth, attractive and refined product.  I have developed some techniques that speed up the sanding part, which takes up a HUGE chunk of time if you try and do it by hand.

Next for me is what I call the “Layout” stage.  I do a recessed border on my custom guns.  While I won’t give out any info on the proprietary techniques I’ve developed for doing this, it is a tedious process that requires the steady hands of a surgeon to do correctly.  While there are tools involved, this is also done free-hand, with no templates.  I use only a pencil and straight edge.  This recessed border is what separates the higher end, more expensive shops from the guys that charge less.  It took me a long time to figure out how this was done, but it was the hill I was willing to die on since the overall look of the finished product is head and shoulders above just doing the texture on the parts of the frame.

The stippling, or what I call “texture work” is the last stage, and this, while tedious and time consuming, is the easiest of the stages.  For me this is all done free-hand with a wood burner, one line at a time.  I don’t use a bit and just tap the frame.  I’m actually drawing on it with the wood burner.  This stage takes me more than twice as long as shops that use a bit, but the texture I developed is well worth it in both feel and looks.

Again this entire process take hours and hours to do correctly.  I’ve always said that most people have the SKILL to do what I do, but very few have the patience to do it.  That’s also the reason I, and other shops that do high end work like this, charge so much.  There is just so many hours invested in it.

If someone asked me to give some advice to someone just starting out it would be these 3 things:

  1. Practice on everything you can.  When I started out, I practiced on airsoft guns that were a working replica of a Glock.  I probably did a dozen or more before I touched a real gun.  Nowadays you can practice on the modular Sig frames for the P320/P250.  They will run about $30-$40, but are actual parts of that gun.  Another good thing is practicing on the Glock mag loaders.  These are the plastic things that come with a Glock that assist you in loading a mag.  They are made out of the same, or at least a very similar polymer to what the Glocks are.  You want to get good at doing Glocks, too.  They make up about 90% of my business.
  2. Be unique.  You want to come up with a layout and texture that is your own.  Try to avoid copying other shops.  My layout is recognizable, as is my texture.  I would say I could name off about half a dozen shops that have a layout and texture that is unique to them.  Same thing with the sublte (or drastic) differences in the way certain areas look, like frame flats or mag scallops.
  3. Finally BE LEGAL.  If you are going to just do this on your own guns, OR a non-serialized part like the Sig frames, you do not need an FFL.  However, if you are going to be working on any handgun frame that has a serial number (which is most anything else), you MUST have an FFL.  If you try to fly under the radar, you better pray that the ATF doesn’t find out or it will not end well for you. “

Wise words from someone who clearly knows how to add some extra grip to a Glock frame. With the process explained in a bit more detail and spending some time looking at the product myself, I can see why his work carries a price tag of $445 to start. After all, time isn’t cheap. You can learn more about Mike’s work over at his website HERE.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Jarrad

    You must not have seen any of Boresights work then

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I’ve never had the opportunity to handle a Boresight gun but the pictures look great. They are the only full build shop that looks like more than a really good home job. Agency and salient which I have handled in person have the really good home job look and the agency had stippling outside of the perceived border and I would be very disappointed if I had paid what they charge for that quality of work.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    Beautiful.

  • Anonymoose
  • jonjon7465

    Few people do this well. Almost all jobs I’ve seen by non professionals look bad.

  • DanGoodShot

    I have to be honest. Very rearly have I come across a stipple job I like. Frankly, most are just terrible looking. Functional yes, but hurts, really hurts my eyes! This is by far the best “frame enhancement” I’ve seen. I like it. On a side note. A cheap way to practice would be to hit your local gun shop and grab a few basic ar grips. Usually thay can be found for 2 bucks a peice. Pick up a dozen and go nuts!

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I have this s exact setup on my 17/19. It’s 100% ruined me on EVERYTHING else out there. It’s expensive compared to doing nothing, fair for the price of other stippling work.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I assumed they had more of a automated process considering their quick turnaround time.

    The only thing I don’t like about the Tactical Textures is they don’t offer accelerator cuts. Maybe they would do it if I asked.

    Their prices really aren’t that bad. Other companies who’s work looks good to me is danger close armament, GNP tactical and NAF solutions. I’m sending my new Gen 4 to NAF because they are less than half almost 1/3 of what I would pay the others. If my disposable income and tolerance for wait times was higher I’d go with one of the other options.

  • thedonn007

    It looks good, but not $445 worth.
    I just want to remove the finger grooves from my G22, but I do not want to have to replace the frame if I mess it up.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    So…you send him your gun and he does this to it?
    For $500?
    Hard pass.

  • John Yossarian

    How to remove finger grooves – Buy a S&W M&P
    * Cheaper than Glock – Leave it stock
    * Same price, waaay better trigger – Apex Duty/Carry Kit

    How to add texture – Apply skateboard tape

    Sorry, Glock! Better options exist.

    • DwnRange

      or….. ya could have just simply bought the “original” gen1, instead of a S&W whatever generation till they got it right copy of a Glock, which sold for $279 in ’86 and has run flawless, is on it’s 3rd set of night-sites and still running with a round count that stopped being counted when it past 10K.

      No fancy stipling required.

      • jay

        My Gen 2 (bought 1989) keeps me from wanting anything newer. Got rid of the new york trigger (8lb), lowered to 4.5lb. Put Tritium sights on, and the med. texture tape. I can’t seem to think of adding anything else to it. Some people have to have the “newest”, or have to fix something not broken. Glad your Gen 1 is still holding up!

  • Andrew Benton

    The ATF cares about stipplework on a serialed part?

  • John Yossarian

    All I heard was: Finger grooves … are asinine.

    • Blake

      Yeah then you definitely need to work on your reading comprehension. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to realize that if finger grooves are sized correctly the grip is improved dramatically, especially with a product that tends to jump upward sharply with use.

      • John Yossarian

        Finger grooves are never sized correctly. Your fingers provide more gripping strength when in full-contact with one another rather than separated by grooves.

        • Blake

          That’s definitely not true. Glock used real hands when designing the grip. So statistically there are going to be a percentage of people that the grooves are sized perfectly for. I am one of those people, and they absolutely give me more vertical leverage than just gripping a flat surface. That’s pretty basic physics. I’ve never drawn or picked up my G19 and had my fingers do anything than fall right where they should in relation to the grooves. They’re perfectly sized for my hands.

          • Machinegunnertim

            You are one of a lucky few. I hate the finger bumps, the 19 is especially bad for me. You hardly see anyone else putting these on their guns and the so called gen5 has omitted them for a reason.

            I agree that the M&P has a tremendously more ergonomic grip. Also, if you grip the gun correctly and have some texture on the frame you’ll get all the control your gonna get. Finger bumps won’t add any advantages. Sorry to break it to you sir but the greater “vertical leverage” is only in your head.

          • Blake

            Or… you know… scientifically logical? You know, the same premise that has caused a lot of AR shooters to start putting their thumbs over the top of the handguard.

          • Machinegunnertim

            If you think those bumps help so much then why don’t we see them on other guns? Or even replaceable front straps with different spaced bumps or a smooth one? If you think they help ya then more power to ya, shoot well.

  • Gary Kirk

    Crazy idea.. Sand the frame down yourself, take the frame to a local (GOOD) tattoo artist, and let them do it with an oscillating engraver.. Anyone think that’d work?

    • Mufasa

      I generally cut the border by engraving in. Essentially it’s the same thing.

    • Chris

      Just curious since I don’t have any tattoos. What does a good tattoo artist charge per hour?

  • Mufasa

    The problem with all of the “professionals” doing stippling is that they try to make it into something it’s not. You’re not engraving, you’re not checkering, you’re re-texturing a polymer handgun, that in a few years will be offered by the factory. It’s freaking plastic. I’ve done a bunch of stippling jobs, the people looking to have this done, in the real world, want the gun to fit their hand better, and they generally want a rougher texture. The term good enough is something to keep in mind. It’s a gun, it’s meant to be used, not admired. All these proprietary techniques will come out to the public eventually, then everyone will be producing “high end” stipple jobs for a third the cost. All that said a gun can be pretty and still function.

  • Kalash

    I think Boresight Solutions does a better job.

  • Frank

    At that point, why not just get a metal framed handgun and get G10 grips?

  • Daniel Destruye

    Been doing this 15 plus years. Price and quotes are hilarious.

  • Nate G.

    Mike has done two Glocks for me. The G30SF on his Facebook page right now where his comment mentioned that the G30 was his first Glock… that’s my pistol.

    The removal of the finger grooves and recontouring of the frame makes the weapon point more naturally for me, and I have a better purchase on the weapon during rapid fire and double taps. It’s great looking, and very functional. I own two Gen 4 Glocks, and prefer my Gen 3’s with Mike’s frame work and magazine scallop (paired with extended Vickers mag release button).

    It just makes a great gun better, IMO. I’ve owned pretty much every P-Series that Sig makes, and I’ve got a dozen HK pistols as well as plenty of other stuff. My new G30SF with frame work by TT&T ranks pretty high for me (100% stock aside from Trijicon HD’s and the work that TT&T did).

    Yes, it doubles the price of a Glock. More than doubles, depending on options. I wasn’t trying to turn a Glock into some other pistol… I wanted everything I love about Glocks, but also the feel in the hand of a pistol that fits me perfectly. Money well spent, IMO. My G19 and G30SF worked on by Mike are go-to carry pistols. Unlike the gold-barreled Glocks with slides all cut to hell that are all the rage right now, I feel that the frame work offered by shops like TT&T have a tangible benefit for at least some of us. I could have spent less money having someone else work on my Glocks, but the quality of Mike’s work and attention to detail is worth the premium to me.

  • Holdfast_II

    Very nice work.

    I’d settle for just grinding off the bloody finger grooves.