Stippling: First Attempt

Stippling.  I’d heard the word in my life, but heard it in a new context recently.  I’ve got a few “plastic guns” (polymer) and was looking into some sort of grip to aid in holding onto them when shooting.  For those of you new to the shooting game or if you’ve only owned metal framed guns, it can be hard to hold onto some plastic guns when you are shooting. I’ve heard this is especially true on smaller guns like the Ruger LCP .380.


There are already solutions to the problem.  Talon Grips are a good example of a sandpaper-type wrap that can go onto your plastic guns.  I like these because they aren’t a permanent modification to the gun. There are also rubber wraps, grip modifications and a few other things on the market that can help you get digit traction on your pistol.


As I said before, permanent modifications to weapons aren’t my thing, but stippling still interests me.  Not only do people do it to their pistols, they also do it to rifle stocks and magazines.  I can get behind stippling magazines, due to their affordability and for the fact that if you botch your stippling job, you don’t have to live with it for very long, if you don’t want to.  What really interests me is the fact that if you become good enough at it, you can offer it as a service and get paid for doing it.  It’s always nice to have another feather in your cap.

I plugged in the soldering iron and waited quite a while before trying it out on the magazine.  When it did press it to the magazine, it barely did anything.  I didn’t realize that the plastic in Tapco mags was so hard. After letting the iron sit on the magazine for seconds at a time, this was all I got.  You saw it right.  Nothing.  Just minor dents.



The kids were playing with Legos, so I reached over and grabbed one.  I caught a lot of flak until they realized what I was doing.  The iron worked much better on a Lego.  The kids loved it.


I think getting an even pattern would take some practice.  Luckily, my kids have about 8,000 Legos, which I technically own.  They also have a soldering iron that they got for Christmas.  I might pilfer that as well and see if maybe the one I got at the Goodwill just has a bad heating element or something.

I don’t think I will be doing this on my plastic guns – just magazines and accessories.  I’m still struggling with the idea of plastic guns.  Without a doubt, they are fun, convenient, and light, but I’m questioning how they will hold up over time.  I just don’t think they’re heirloom quality and what I think about mostly when making firearms purchases is what I’m going to pass down to my children. Inheriting my dad’s Smiths is certainly proof of how well metal pistols hold up over time.  I have his pre-Model 27, and it was made in the 1950s.  60-some-odd years later, after years of use and abuse, it is still solid and shoots well.  I’ve debated ditching my plastic guns and buying something all metal.  You certainly can’t go wrong with something like a 1911, though carrying one concealed would tend to make one walk stiff-legged.  I used to carry a compact 1911.  While it was a great piece, it did tend to pull down my drawers.

Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.



9 thoughts on “Stippling: First Attempt

  1. Hello. Just a thought. Have you looked at adjustable temp soldering irons. Certain High quality plastics only melt at higher temperatures. Its a small window as it is easy to “burn” them. Try find out the molding temperatures of your plastic. If you are like me you may be temped to make a metal Brand with a pattern. Get the temperature correct and in a few swift moves you are done. Its a bit of a Faff but it may be worth it. Sweat, blood and panic can make it very tough to hold onto a smaller firearm with one hand. I am sure you know all this already but I could not resist mentioning it. Dan


    1. I didn’t know they made such a thing, but I’m looking into it. I don’t think I’ll ever do it to a gun. I really identified with the word “panic” in your comment. I’d really start panicking if I did something I couldn’t undo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was talking to a guy a few years ago about trigger pull weight. He explained all the training he had had not to mention he fancied himself as a one man army meant nothing when he witnessed a bank robbery. He drew his sidearm and pulled the trigger with all his might. Lucky he was not seen and the robbers left. Only after he had calmed down a bit did he notice, in the direction he was aiming was whole bunch of bank staff and customer’s cowering on the floor. He told me he could not see them. He was so focused on the bad guys he did not notice all the people in the background. His safety was on.
        If he had shot and missed.. well he was sure he would have hit someone.Once that primer gets hit, that’s it. You cant take it back. Sobering thought hey.


      2. A guy begged my dad to take him out “jackin'” (night hunting – illegal). Dad took him out. Gave him the instruction – when dad turned on the headlights, shoot ALL the deer. Guy said he was good. Dad turned on the lights. The guy aimed, cycled his lever action five times, emptying it……and never pulled the trigger. Practice and forethought!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As my soldering irons are the Mardens discount variety (Cheap Chinese junk) I often found they were not making enough heat especially in the garage at 10 below. My solution is to keep my plumber’s gas torch lit and give the tip a boost every 10 or 15 seconds as needed. Works real slick when you get the tip glowing red.Takes about a half a second to melt a diode loose of a printed circuit. Not sure if I’d dare going at it on my plastic fantastic wonder nine with a soldering iron. Once you modify it there is no undoing it. But then one of the reasons I got the S&W SW9VE was cause I found the grip so much better than the Glock.


      1. Hey I resemble that comment!!!!. LOL….This January my friend Marty who lives in Ossipee NH, was coming back from Brunswick in his home-made Volvo pickup truck when the alternator went TU on him and the car quit running. He had been running of his battery only for some time. It was 8 pm, drizzling and just about to go to sleet. He was on the highway just this side of Falmouth. Being the nearest to him, he called me for a rescue. I pulled the battery out of my truck and ran over to get him in the van. We put my truck battery in his car and had enough juice to make the 8 miles to the safety of my garage. We yanked the alternator and found the carbons so worn that they no longer touched the stator and so were unable to make electrons to recharge the battery. The carbons had used up all their travel and were snugged up on the contact wires. We used the soldering iron heated on the torch to melt the solder and free up some wire, thus allowing the carbons to move closer to the stator and the alternator was back in working order. About a 30 minute job. The torch saved the day. But then I did not invent that idea, original soldering irons before someone invented the electric ones were heated on a torch.


      2. I’ll see what I can do. He has built two of them, one on a 240 wagon and after he got T boned in that one, he built one on a 760 wagon. He also built a Mini-Moke from scratch using only an 8×10 photograph for reference and the running gear from a Mini-Cooper.


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