The single biggest upgrade you can do to a pistol is enhance your grip of the weapon. This can be accomplished with spending anywhere from $50-100 on new grips if your pistol allows you to change grips. Another alternative and more economical route and spend around $20 and put the rest into more practice ammo. The more affordable alternative to buying new grips is to use Talon Grips. Are you asking yourself “Who or What are Talon Grips?”, Well they are only the gun industries biggest producer of adhesive texture panels and grips. Lets take a quick look into who they are and what they produce.
Talon Grips was started in 2009 as a small company just making a few wrap around adhesive grips for Glock pistols. Once on the scene the company expanded their line significantly and now makes adhesive grip panels for more than 200 different weapons platforms. They cover the entire spectrum of weapons from pistols to rifles and even making panels for iPhones and tasers. They even have a line of adhesive grips that cover the not so common rifles like the Steyr Aug and the IWI Tavor, like I said more than 200 models of your favorite firearm from more than a dozen manufactures.
The Test Subject
The test platform we chose to demo the Talon Grips on was my well used and trusty Sig P225. A pistol who’s grips after 20+ years of use aren’t quite as grippy as they once use to be. I had been looking into new grips for my daily conceal carry pistol and was shocked at their cost. It was then that a cheaper alternative like the Talon Grips was presented to me so I naturally jumped at the opportunity to enhance my gripping capabilities., and save come coin.
Talon Grips was nice enough to send us two samples of the grips, one with a more aggressive sandpapery feel and one that I can describe as a rubberized grainy and grippy version. Each grip has its pros and cons, but for this test we chose the softer of the two grips to install. Below we have a few close up shots of the two grip materials side by side so you our readers can decide which one fits your need. Before we start the install, you will need to provide one tool to install these grips on your weapon, and that is a hair dryer. The reason for needing it will be explained shortly
To install the grips there are a few safety rules that must be followed:
- Unload gun and remove slide, barrel and recoil spring
- Use supplied alcohol wipes to remove any oil or dirt from your pistols grips to prevent damage to grips
First thing to do is follow step number one and strip your firearm down and insure it is unloaded. Once this is done you can use the supplied alcohol wipes or your average household rubbing alcohol if you wish. Only use rubbing alcohol or wipes containing it, as to prevent any degradation of the grips or the adhesive during installation. This is a simple but important part in the process, removing dirt, grime or natural oils ensures the Talon Grip sticks well to the weapon.
Step two of the install involves simply reading the instructions and pealing the backing off of the adhesive grip and working slowly to evenly apply the grip. The instructions say to start on the left side of the weapon, where the magazine release is generally located. Go nice and slow making sure to press any air pockets out of the grip. In this part I did make a mistake on lining up the grip, I put it too high and had a small issue with the slide release. Some quick work with a blade once it was completely installed and the issue was resolved.
One word of note on the left side install, be sure to leave the very end of the grip up a little bit. You will need to roll the overlap from the right hand side under this flap before the final step in the install. Once the left side was on I began to roll the pistol and maintain the alinement of the grip. The backstop section of the grip has relief cuts in it to allow you to install it on the backstrap with minimal chance of air bubbles. I did this with absolutely zero issues at all.
The right side went on just like the left side, minus the issue with the slide release (my fault). When you wrap the right side around the front strap you will notice it’s designed to be a little bit long. This overlap as I mentioned early is designed to be tucked under the left hand panel section of the grip. This almost finishes the instal of the grips, at this point you just need to borrow your wife or daughters hair dryer and finish the task.
This is the easiest part of the entire process, plug in your hairdryer, put it on medium and apply the warm dry heat to the grip. Within a few seconds you just need to use your fingers to move around the grip and squeeze it onto the pistol, working from the middle to the edges. This will help make the adhesive stick to the weapon and obviously remove any air pockets under the grip. This shouldn’t need to be said BUT, don’t use a blow torch or a direct flame, these are rubber and will melt. The temperature you are looking for is what Talon Grips refers to as “a warm cup of coffee” that is to say under 120*F
The entire install process took about 10 minutes and that was going very slowly. If you have ever applied stickers to anything other than a flat surface and can operate a hairdryer then you can install a Talon Grip on almost any gun, tool or accessory that you can think of. Now that it was installed, what are my initial impressions of the Talon Grip, and their instructions?
Talon Grips gets a 10 out of 10 for instructions and support for their grips. Nothing fancy or flashy, just simple easy to follow instructions that don’t leave anything out. Packaging for the grips was also 10 out of 10, a simple envelope that wasn’t adorned with shiny stickers or fluff, I’m a simple guy, and I like that. Now one the grips were installed and cooled for a few minutes I reassembled my Sig P225 and started to grip and squeeze the pistol to check the fit and finish.
It took a few seconds for me to see what all the positive hype was about. The Talon Grips didn’t slip or budge a bit when I was performing my initial checks. It also didn’t move when i began to perform holstering drills over and over. I chose the rubberized granular texture and its the perfect blend softness and texture. I will in the future try the more traditional 120 grit sandpaper texture that Talon Grips provided but I have to say right now I’m pretty smitten with this model.
The place where the Talon Grip really stood out for me was on the front strap of the P225. My pistol is marked “Made in W. Germany” which means its been around longer than my own daughter. The front strap of my pistol had a good bit of wear to it before I got it and was showing some aging. Some of the checking had been worn down and honestly I was considering getting the metal recheckered or stippled. This simple and affordable adhesive grip makes a huge improvement in my grip of the P225, and a better grip means a more confident shooter. A more confident shooter generally scores more hits. To me that is the number one priority, rounds where you want them to impact.
If you are considering getting new grips, you really should see if the folks at Talon Grips can help you save some money and enhance the grip of your weapon or accessory. I wasn’t sure about wether or not these were all hype or truly a functional piece of gear for your weapon. The verdict of us here at The Arms Guide is that they are in fact one of the most cost effective ways to enhance your shooting experience. No hype, just pure functionality in a well priced package.
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