How To Stipple Your Gun Like A Pro All About Hunting and Outdoor Gear At One Place!

Stippling is a craft technique that can be used to create better gun handing utility. The burning of small dots into a polymer frame, stippling of the grips, rail panels, fore ends, and magazines can be performed with an electric soldering iron. Stippling creates a raised texture on the surface of a handgun grip for improved shooting control. Protect your gun investment with affordable and effective stippling.

The Evolution of Gun Stippling

An old technique that has been used for centuries, stippling is functional as it is beautiful in results. The effect of stippling serves to better preserve a gun. While contemporary stippling applications can be done with an electronic soldering iron, the tradition of stippling dates to early blacksmithing techniques. Gunsmith appropriation of the stippling technique modified the method for special use.

Today, stippling is done by both professional gunsmiths and do-it-yourself gun owners, all convinced that textured surfaces reduce risk during handling and firing. Dimpling a gun handle and its casings can be done by raised formation on the surface. Patterning of the stippling application can be customized to a gun owner’s preference.

Why Stipple a Handgun?

The design-in grab feature of most modern handgun grips makes stippling easy. Application of stippling to an existing grip of a handgun that has been manufactured with ergonomic materials may be minimal. Antique guns, or those produced prior to the mid 20th century, are good candidates for overall stippling application.

Stippling of a handgun grip improves conformance to the hand; optimizing control during shooting. Reduction of slippage also enhances safety when cleaning, loading, and handling. If the grips are replaceable or removable, variance in stippling technique can be used, or done in consecutive order of shooting use over time to ensure custom fit and allow for modification where required.

Depending on use of a gun may impact stippling application decision. Guns used for sport recreation, or self-defense will have different OEM-level textures embedded on the original grips. Select a stippling technique that is suitable to your weapon. The goal of stippling should be to improve grip in the interest of accuracy, and safe and secure control during a shoot. Appearance may also be factor. Stipple according to shooter needs.

How to Stipple a Handgun Grip

The craft of stippling is a relatively simple, yet precise process of coating a gun and its features. If stippling a gun seems like too much of a hassle, professional gunsmiths performing stippling services can give you a quote on  the application. Many gun collectors and enthusiasts will find that DIY stippling is a fairly doable project. DIY stippling also leaves Incorporation of aesthetic touches up to the gun owner in the process.

A standard craft soldering iron is the preferred tool of most DIY Stipplers. A wood burner or other similar device can also be employed depending on type of stippling finish desired.  Electrical soldering irons are inexpensive and demand no clean up after use. Soldering irons can also be used to burn designs into the wood or plastic of a gun to enhance the individuality and the beauty of a gun’s appearance.

Test your ability with the soldering iron on an object that can be thrown away. Perfecting stippling technique and design-in applications prior to actually beginning on a gun will reduce the risk of unwanted alterations to the weapon. Beginning Stipplers with more than one handgun may want to select the weapon in their collection with the lowest market value to avoid losses if marking, scuffing or other damage to the exterior of the weapon is sustained during application. The main reason most gun owners pursue stippling is grip. Stippling is the one method that works to improve grip nearly 100% of the time. Here are the step by step instructions to DIY stippling of a handgun.

Materials Required

  • Clean Workspace
  • Soldering iron (or wood burner device)
  • Two sandpaper sheets (1 sheet 220 grit, 1 sheet 400 grit)
  • Safety glasses or safety goggles
  • A couple of duct or electrical tape rolls
  • A handgun cleared and in safe mode

3 Step Instructions to Gun Stippling

Step One

Select the part of a gun’s grip to be designated for the stippling application. The sides are a good place to begin if it is your first time gun stippling. If confident in your stippling skills, a more ambitious approach may be in order. Intermediate to expert Stipplers will generally want to cover the entire piece.  Tape surfaces not to be stippled for protection from soldering. This will provide a border to work around.

Step Two

After the soldering iron or wood burner is hot, you can begin stippling. Start by taking the soldering tool and test it to the areas where you plan to stipple. Do this lightly so as to avoid creating definitive patterns or textures. Pressing into the grip will produce clear dots, lines, or ridges. Make sure that the appearance you are striving for can be perfected in the overall application before proceeding to solder the entire component.

Step Three

Add the finishing touches to your stippling project. Lay the gun on a flat clean surface to cool. Once the gun is cooled to a normal handling temperature, apply sand paper to the surface to work out any rough edges and smooth the grip to desired texture. It is recommended to use the 220 grit sandpaper first. Rub the stippled application with broad strokes, followed by use of the more delicate 400 grit sandpaper to refine the work. When the rough edges have been smoothed over, it is time to store your gun for future shooting use. Protect your stippling job in a gun case or carry accessory that will not snag or scratch the new application.

Now you have DIY stippled your handgun grip like a pro!


In spite of the fact that stippling a handgun grip seems like an exceptionally challenging undertaking, most gun collectors find this to be part of the standard care and maintenance of their handguns. This guide should provide the necessary insights and follow-through suggestions need to perform a well-finished stippling job. Quick, simple, and fun, stippling is almost for anyone owning a gun. If DIY stippling proves to be too much work, seek out a custom stippling service to ensure that you and your guns are protected for safe and secure shooting.

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