Taking an everyday carry or competition Glock to the shop to get a nice stippling job done on it is something that I’ve seen a lot of shooters doing lately. Sure, it looks really nice, especially with your favorite logo stippled into the grip, but why exactly are you doing it?

When you take away the cool factor from it, there are some really good benefits to stippling your firearm (as long as it’s done correctly).  The most obvious benefit is the added ability to grip/maintain positive control of the firearm in slippery conditions, be it water, blood, etc. But another attribute of stippling that many shooters don’t realize is the consistency factor it adds to your training.

Unless you’ve shot while under stress or while on a two-way range, it’s hard to really determine how you will react should you need to draw your pistol. Through hours of repetition, utilizing the proper fundamentals and techniques, you slowly build “muscle memory.” No matter what the situation is, your brain will fall back on what you’ve trained it to do—in this case, achieving proper hand positioning on your firearm. But even with this muscle memory, having a tactile indicator to ensure you’re getting the perfect grip can be a lifesaver.

When I stipple any of my firearms, I make sure to concentrate the stippling where my fingers lay/point while utilizing proper hand grip.  I add stippling with more aggressive texture where the support thumb lies on the frame, on the upper portion of the beavertail, the lower right side of the grip that contacts the strong hand, and on a small groove notched on the underside of the trigger guard. If your grip is not exact, you get that “this-isn’t-right” feeling from the lack of stippling and can immediately adjust.

Snipers are well-known for their attention to detail and consistency. A sniper’s cheek will contact the exact same position each time he lays behind his rifle, and his trigger finger makes contact with the trigger in the exact same place each and every time. If it is not in that exact place, he immediately adjusts and makes the shot. Look at stippling as something more than a superficial design, and instead, a consistency builder.

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