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Grip Reduction on my Glock 23

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by zephy5, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. zephy5

    zephy5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I've been a fan of the Glock design aesthetic for many years. I bought my first Glock, a model 27, in early 2002 and was impressed with its light weight, reliability, and minimalist design. I had no failures of any kind with it and carried it often. However, I ultimately ended up selling it. My displeasure mostly pertained to the grip. I have relatively small hands (my ring finger size is 8.5 to give you an idea) and I found it difficult to get a secure grip on the Glock. I was bothered by both the smooth grip and the long front-to-back distance, especially in the lower area of the grip arch, often referred to as "the hump".

    After reluctantly selling the Glock, I carried on as a happy Sig user for years until early last year. After being bombarded by positive reviews and experiences with the Glock pistol on the Internet and various shooting magazines over the years, the lure of the design rose again in me and I picked up a Glock 23. Compared to the Sig 229 I had been carrying for years, the Glock was lighter, thinner, and carried one extra round. It seemed to be the perfect combination of power and carry-ability and yet there was still one problem for me, the grip. I still found the grip to be slippery when perspiring and the arch on the backstrap still bothered me. I was agnostic about the finger grooves and couldn't decide whether I liked them or not until I handled a generation 2 grip which convinced me that for my hand, the grooves didn't add anything and instead got in the way of a more comfortable hold.

    Liking everything else about the Glock design except the grip, I decided to start searching for a gunsmith who could address my concerns about the grip in a minimalist yet effective approach. I reviewed the work of just about all the popular gunsmiths who do Glock grip work and found there to be many excellent companies offering such services. Needing to narrow down my search, I developed several design requirements:

    1. Remove the arch and finger grooves but don't otherwise affect the grip angle
    2. Open up the area under the trigger guard to give a little more room
    for the knuckle of my middle finger
    3. Have the entire grip stippled with a clean, consistent pattern that would improve my grip
    4. Have the finished product look as close to a factory Glock as possible

    As I did my research and learned about the ways grip modifications are typically performed, I saw different techniques being used to accomplish grip reductions. Some use the fill and sand method in which the area of the grip behind the magazine well is filled with a polymer agent and then sanded down to a new shape. This is a totally valid way of performing a grip reduction and if I wanted a dramatic reduction in the grip, would probably be my only option. However, there is another method practiced by some which appealed to me more. I learned that by carefully applying heat, the grip arch can be expertly remolded into a flat shape, thus removing the arch. This has the advantage of keeping the frame integrity intact since the original backstrap area is not cut or sanded away.

    I also saw different options for improving the texture of the grip. Often in the fill and sand method of grip reduction, a texturing agent is applied to the grip. Again, this seems to work fine for many users but there is another option I saw which I like even more which is to heat the original Glock polymer and then apply texture directly to the polymer with a heated tool. In this way, the texture becomes part of the original grip and can't flake or chip off.

    With these thoughts in mind, my search quickly narrowed down to one gunsmith. Although a relative newcomer to the commercial Glock customization business, Lane Owens of Cold Bore Customs performs a grip modification that matched my design requirements exactly. He heats and remolds the backstrap to remove the arch, sands off the finger groves to flatten the front strap, and stipples the original polymer all the way around the grip, providing a clean, professional appearance. After reading various reviews of his work posted to several Internet forums, I sent him my Glock 23 with instructions to perform three of his services to it: Grip Reduction package with optional Finger Hump removal and Undercut trigger guard.

    Communication with Mr. Owens was fast and polite and the turnaround on the pistol was extremely quick. When I received the Glock back, I was overjoyed with the results. The arch and finger grooves were gone and a moderate stipple pattern had been applied consistently and with clean borders all around the grip. The trigger guard had been slightly relieved to allow more room for my middle finger and as a bonus, the empty space in the area behind the magazine well had been filled in and turned into a very functional ramp to assist in magazine insertion. All work was done with the utmost care and attention to detail and the price for the work was very reasonable. My Glock 23 now fits me extremely well and I am very pleased with both the results of Mr. Owens' work and the fast and smooth transaction. In fact, I am so pleased that I have boxed up all my other Glock frames and am sending them to him for the same treatment.

    If you are looking to address similar requirements as I was for grip work, I highly recommend the work of Lane Owens at Cold Bore Customs. I have included some pictures of my Glock so that you can view the work for yourself.



    Here you can see a close up of the front strap and a view of the undercut trigger guard.


    Here you can see the backstrap.


    Here is the magazine well ramp.

  2. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Some Glock grip reductions make the gun look like it has a disease, but this looks very nice. I too am a Glock fan and own several, though they rarely get carried as I have transitioned to pocket carry. But your Glock looks very nice and I'm sure is an improvement over the stock flavor.
  3. zephy5

    zephy5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Hah! I agree. Some of them look way too radical for my liking. This looks real nice though which was one of the features that drew me to his services.
  4. distorted


    Dec 19, 2005
    Very nice mod. Although i've been told that the empty cavity behind the mag well was desgined that way. It allows operator to get a better grip on the magazine to remove it should the weapon malfunction in a way that causes the magazine to become jammed in the well.

    Any thoughts on this?
  5. zephy5

    zephy5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I've read the same thing. Although, there seems to be plenty of purchase area on the bottom of the mag to grab so I don't foresee it being a problem. Especially with the latest Glock mags; they don't sit exactly flush and are easy to grab from the bottom.
  6. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    The grip reductions make a big difference for some people. I've never had a problem with them.
    On my 36 I did relieve the area under the trigger guard, even a little more than yours, reduced the finger grooves on the front strap, and rounded off the front of the trigger guard.
    The thumb relief never fit me quite right either, so I lightly reduced it and radiused each end.
    From the factory it wasn't the most comfortable pistol, but after these subtle changes, it fits like a glove.

    Enjoy your Glock
  7. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    That looks like it was very well done.
  8. AeroNautiCal


    Jun 24, 2008
    Thanks for a very well written review of your custom enhancements.

    Your thoroughness, objectivity and analysis of the procedures, and how they'd apply to your specific requirements was excellent.

    To have your personal pistol fit just as you want, and look so professionally worked makes it extra special.

    You'll notice an improvement in shooting performance, comfort and enjoyment.

    Happy shooting! [​IMG]

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