Three ways to improve your handgun grip

Stippling jobs are all the rage on modern polymer pistols right now. Having a gun that’s grippy enough so that your hands don’t lose traction if they’re sweaty, wet, or bloody is important for “tactical athletes.” It’s also important for competition shooters, since we don’t issue rain delays in IDPA or USPSA. The reason that a positive grip is important is that grip is the most important factor in reducing recoil. A good strong grip keeps recoil down, which makes follow-up shots quicker. Here are three quick ways to improve your grip, and thus your recoil reduction. We are assuming that you already know how to properly grip a handgun, by the way.

Altamont Ruger GP100 stocks

1. Grip your gun harder.
Bob Vogel is one of the best competition shooters on the planet. He also has a grip that can bend Glock frames. When Chuck Norris can’t open a jar, he calls Bob Vogel. Doing various hand and forearm strength exercises can genuinely improve your ability to grip the pistol, and the harder you grip the gun the more you’re able to reduce recoil. Of course, you can absolutely grip it too hard, so it’s important to know where that line is. Good advice is grip the gun as hard as you can without disrupting the sight picture.

2. Keep your hands dry
Dry hands grip better than moist hands. There are various methods for accomplishing this. You can use talcum powder, chalk, Pro-Grip, or even alcohol based hand sanitizer. All of these products reduce moisture in the hands, which means you’re able to get and establish a positive grip on the gun. However, over application of Pro-Grip in the wrong place can actually retard slide velocity. We recommend chalk, because it’s the best.

3. Checker or stipple your gun
This is the mechanical method of improving your grip. A little well applied checkering, stippling, or skateboard tape in the right place can really help your grip on a gun. However, the one danger of checkering or stippling is that if it’s too aggressive it can catch your hand on a bad draw and you’ll have a hard time fixing your grip on the fly. World champion Jerry Miculek doesn’t use checkered grips on his wheelguns for exactly that reason. We like a little bit of checkering on revolver grips, or to just go ugly early and put skate tape on a wood revolver grip.

Using these three methods in whatever amounts you see fit will help you improve your grip and get that beloved faster follow-up shot. For self-defense, you probably won’t walk around with chalk on your hands, so a combination of improving your grip strength and checkering your gun is probably going to be your best bet. Competition shooters can definitely use chalk and pro-grip, and also will benefit from the other methods listed.