Last month, When The Balloon Goes Up ran a Black Friday Weekend Special. A variety of items were put on sale for discounts between 15% and 20% off. Having been in the market for an Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Action Enhancement Kit (DCAEK) for my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, I decided to take advantage of the deal.
The shopping didn’t stop there. Ron Larimer, the man behind When The Balloon Goes Up, was kind enough to combine my orders throughout the weekend. This allowed me to take advantage of a couple of different deals and pay a single shipping price.
An impulse buy from that little shopping spree was a set of Glock Decal Grips with Sand Texture. Basically, these are pre-cut pieces of skate tape which adhere the frame of your Glock. I tend to be a bit anal about certain things and had I tried to use skate tape, the ragged edges would have driven me crazy. While the Decal Grips were more expensive, the 20% discount and combined shipping made them worth trying.
Applying Glock Decal Grips
These particular Glock Decal Grips arrive in a small plastic bag. Inside the bag is a set of directions and three sheets of what feel like 60 grit sandpaper. The sandpaper / skate tape has an adhesive back and is pre-cut for specific locations on the gun. A diagram in the instructions shows where each part is to be applied.
Applying the panels is simple. All you need to do is clean the gun, peel the backer from the adhesive, then stick the part onto the gun. The adhesive seems to bond very well (even to the DuraCoat on my Glock 17). The adhesive has the give of rubber cement in the sense that it can be moved a little if you don’t get the panel exactly where it needs to be on the frame.
In typical man fashion, I deemed the instructions wrong and tossed them aside shortly after starting. Had I followed the instructions, there would have been nothing creating friction with my support hand. I didn’t feel I needed anything on the slide, so I placed those pieces in positions where they would be more beneficial.
Having my Glock 17 DuraCoated significantly reduced its texture. While not a problem most of the year, in the summer, sweaty hands make for nervous moments. Something was needed to enhance my grip and the Glock Decal Grips do a wonderful job of that. It really is amazing how well the gun bites into my hand during normal handling with them installed.
For daily carry or typical range use, I think these grips panels are definitely worth installing. For competitive applications, they could be better. If I had my way, the section which makes contact with my strong hand thumb would have been much different. Ideally, I would like it to extend all the way out to the takedown lever, complete with cutouts around the slide catch and pins. Perhaps a small piece for the muzzle side of the takedown lever would also be included.
Ask The Readers
The DIY’er in me has the sudden urge to pick up some skate tape to see how I would fare on my own. Do you use store-bought grip panels or make your own? Do you have any photos of your work that you would care to share? if so, please feel free to link to them in the comments section.