The unthinkable happened to me over the weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, I had the opportunity to do some dynamic shooting with a group of current and former cops, military, and other professional gun toters. It was my turn to work through a shoot/no-shoot drill. I heard the attacker, turned, scanned and identified the threat, went to draw my trusty Sig Sauer P226 and, much to my chagrin, while drawing, the hammer caught on (and tore) my shirt, the gun slipped out of my sweaty hands and clattered to the brick patio below. For what felt like days, I stared down a my former favorite gun, now nothing more than a symbol of betrayal and shame, and listened to the silence of the onlookers behind me. In actuality, I immediately grabbed the gun, reacquired and engaged the target, scanned, decocked and reholstered, hoping no one behind me noticed. Knowing better, I then begrudgingly turned around to my cohort to accept my fate: laugher and ridicule. I was that guy.
It wasn’t until after everyone had the opportunity to make fun of me that I noticed my shirt had torn and realized exactly what had happened. The movement involved in the day had caused my shirt to come slightly untucked. The rest is covered in the preceding paragraph. Obviously, keeping my shirt tucked in would’ve saved me much embarrassment, but the sweaty hands certainly didn’t help matters. If only there was something, some product to help solve this problem.
Enter Talon Gun Grips. Talon Gun Grips are an adhesive tape that wraps around the grip of the gun. They come in two varieties: A granular tape which feels exactly like the skateboard grip tape of my youth and a “rubberized” version that feels much “tackier” (and less destructive) as opposed to granular. The great thing about this product is that it’s laser cut to the exact dimensions and contours of your gun’s (factory) grips so it’s an exact fit.
I actually have the rubberized Talon Grip on my daily carry gun, my Sig Sauer P239 which usually rides in a Bullseye AIWB Tuckable Holster. It dramatically improves the grip without adding any noticeable girth to the slim, single-stack grip of the P239 as opposed to the Hogue Over-molded grips. The indoor range I belong to is notoriously hot in the summer, such that I generally need a full wardrobe change after an hour long session. The hands are definitely sweaty and adding the Talons made as much a difference in my gun-handling as the installation of Sig’s Short Reset Trigger (SRT) did.
I had originally purchased the granular tape but, upon receipt, I realized that there was just no way I could carry a gun dressed in sandpaper inside the waistband. It would be some sort of sadistic competition between the starboard and port side of the grip to see which side was eaten through first: my soft, supple belly skin or whatever outer garment I was wearing. One quick call to Talon (which was answered by an actual human being) resolved this and got my rubberized grip in the mail, no problem.
Installation was not only easy, but well documented. There are links to videos and a comprehensive instruction sheet is included. In a nutshell, after removing the slide from the gun, you simply clean the factory grips with the included alcohol wipes, essentially a small version of the wet wipe you get when your order wings. Once that’s complete, allow the grips to dry and do a test fit of the grip, wrapping it around the grip, making sure it fits and, more important, you understand how it fits. Then you begin removing the protective tape and slowly wrapping the gun’s grip, without “rolling” the talon grip too much. Once your satisfied with the placement, you heat the tape slightly with a hair dryer or heat gun and squeeze it with your hand. You’ll notice that, once heated, the Talon really conforms to the factory grip, creating an almost permanent, form-fitting bond. (Don’t worry, you CAN remove it!)
I would highly recommend the rubberized version for concealed carry. As I alluded to before, the granular version is very aggressive. It’s more appropriate for an OWB gun, such as a duty or competition gun. It would be really uncomfortable against your skin. And by that I mean any skin that the granulated grip rubs against will be hamburger inside an hour.
At $17.99, this is a no brainer. A custom-cut, easy-to-install, effective solution to a real problem is worth every penny of that $17.99.
As for my trusty p226, she’s none the worst for the wear. She’s got a couple new scars on her but that just builds character. I buy my guns to use and I use them pretty hard. No safe queens here. As embarrassing as it was, though, this is why we train. I was certainly at an elevated adrenaline level but not nearly what I would be in a real life-or-death situation. I’d much rather drop my gun in front of a group of like-minded peers (most of whom, if they’ve done any real training, have dropped guns) than an assailant.
OR: Amazon for those of us who buy almost everything via amazon. Here are some handy links right to popular gun makes/models:
TALON Grips for Glock 19, 23, 25, 32, 38 (Pre Gen 4) Rubber
Springfield XD-S 9mm/.45
Cost: $17.99 for either the rubberized or granular versions. My rule of thumb: if it touches your skin or clothing you care about: rubberized. OWB, duty or competition: granular.
Time to deliver: Less than a week. USPS
Customer service: Outstanding. An actual person answered the phone and took really good care of me.
Final Verdict: Yes. Buy this product. At $17.99, it’s about the price of a box of ammo, is easy to install, and works. What are you waiting for?