I wanted to see if I could add a little additional grip to the US Palm Battle Grip. What’s nice about stippling this piece is, if you mess it up you can just get a new one, unlike a GLOCK frame – well you could but it would be pricy.
There are two ways to do stippling that I know of; Hot and Cold. Hot is generally done with a soldering iron or a wood burner and you can either make tips to speed up the process or use the tip that came with your tool (will just be slower). In this process you are actually melting the polymer to create small bumps for additional grip. A how-to on the hot method and how to make a custom tip is here.
Cold stippling is the use of a tipped punch to mar the polymer to make the small bums. This way can me more effective at getting just the right amount of feel and a more even look but is more time consuming and requires the proper tools to make item being stippled secure and also for the actual texturing. A good how-to on Cold Stippling is located here.
For the US Palm Battle Grip I used the hot method with a super cheap soldering iron I have laying around. I think I paid $7 for it a few years back from Amazon.
I have done stippling before and the one thing I noticed about the US Palm grip is the polymer is a little harder in a weird way then say a polymer handgun. The melt is just a little longer and the texture is slightly different.
One key item I will add here is the first part of the process, is if you really want it to look good sand down any factor stippling. What this allows is an even texture across the grip, a clean canvas per say. In my case I wish there was just a little more material on the battle grip for my big mits. Because of this I skipped this step as I didn’t want to lose any additional material. I did however melt the line between factory stippling to help blend the two. This actually worked out great but you can still faintly see the outline on spots I didn’t do this to, like the US Palm logo.
So, if your thinking of doing this and want to do the hot method, all you need is a good workspace and a cheap soldering iron. From there you just heat up the soldering iron and then proceed to tap the plastic making simple dimples in the polymer.
In the case of the Battle Grip the factory stippling was a big help and saved me a ton of time. You don’t have to do as many dots per square inch in the factory stippling and I didn’t notice a difference looking at it.
The whole process took about 45 minutes to and hour while watching TV. Once you get the pressure right and the texture the way you want, it its mindless work.
Here is the end result:It turned out great and there is far more grip now. No issue manipulating the rifle with one hand. If your so inclined and you want to get you feet wet with stippling this is great project to start out with, if you totally mess it up you can get a new grip for $25.
Here is a good article over at Jerking the Trigger about stippling and how Heat Stippling – Not Just for Handguns.
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