Grip Reduction on my Glock 23

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by wildstar, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. wildstar

    wildstar

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    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.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


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

    [​IMG]


    Here you can see the backstrap.

    [​IMG]


    Here is the magazine well ramp.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  2. Scott30

    Scott30

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    Very nice looking job. Mr Owens may pick up some work with this post.
     

  3. 3rdgen40

    3rdgen40 Stiffy

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    Another fine piece of work by TXPO.Looks great !
     
  4. jack76590

    jack76590

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    Interesting he can flatten the hump to the degree he does and not increase size on the sides. Usually when you flatten something it gets bigger on the edges.
     
  5. ronin.45

    ronin.45

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    That is a clean professional job. If I ever get a reduction this could be the way I go. Thanks for the report.
     
  6. MAJORSDAD

    MAJORSDAD

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    That's a great looking pistol! I sent him my 19, and had him just texture the whole grip like yours but kept the finger groves. He's definately a very talented guy and would whole heartedly recommend him to anyone.
     
  7. wildstar

    wildstar

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    I know but that is not the case here. Somehow he keeps the grips parallel and even.
     
  8. Copis

    Copis

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    I've been told that removing the finger grooves can result in frame flex....
    Is that the case ?

    work looks super clean......I am envious :supergrin:

    Bill
     
  9. wildstar

    wildstar

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    I have no idea, never heard that one before. It is a very popular mod offered by just about everyone though I have never heard of any associated problems.
     
  10. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

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    Thanks for the write up wildstar.

    Great pictures!
     
  11. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

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    EDIT- Double post
     
  12. Opie 1 Kenopie

    Opie 1 Kenopie Regular Guy

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    Great close-ups too! That stippling looks identical to some Robar work I had done on my 23. In my opinion, it is the absolute BEST grade of texturing, not too sharp, not too fine. It simply makes a perfect pistol more... Perfecter!
     
  13. TexasPOff

    TexasPOff "Tactical Elf"

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    I do remove some of the polymer to eliminate the finger humps. The only polymer that is removed is just what is raised up. I do not remove any from the front strap area. This equates to the exact same design as the 2nd gen frames with no finger humps. You would have to removed the finger humps and then remove quite a bit of polymer from the front strap to cause frame flex or issues. I don't remove the OEM checking either. I use a different method for smoothing it out. Frame flexing should never be an issue if the work done to the pistol is done correctly. My g23 has the finger humps removed from it and I promise you my frame has no issue with flexing even after thousands of rounds. I essentially turn a 3rd gen frame into a 2nd gen frame. Again you would have to remove a fair amount of the polymer to cause an issue. This also is the reason for my reduction proccess. I do not grind the backstrap off lilke some other reduction methods. I will not do work on a frame that will compromise the integrity of the frame. Thanks guys TXPO.
     
  14. GlocksterPaulie

    GlocksterPaulie Perfectionist

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    I am going to send Lane some work down the road when I slow down with business. I sent him a PM several months ago when he first posted a picture of a Glock he did and told him he should offer his services to the public.

    The man has an incredible eye for detail and is extremely talented with the stipple work.

    Keep up the great work.

    Paulie:wavey:
     
  15. glockpeter

    glockpeter

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    many thanks for contribute

    :wavey:
     
  16. MADDOG SCOTT

    MADDOG SCOTT DEAD EYE

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  17. wildstar

    wildstar

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    Thanks for chiming in TXPO! :wavey: I have no worries at all, the frame feels rock solid. My other ones are on their way to you now for the same treatment :)
     
  18. Copis

    Copis

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    Thanks for the clarification....This is by far the best grip work I have ever seen....Phenomenal!!
     
  19. table

    table

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    i've been in contact with Lane the past week or two about having my 26 done. he's responded to my emails and answered all my questions promptly. i sent him my last email Thursday asking if he had time for me to actually send my 26 to him and am still waiting for a response. he must be busy with orders due to the great work he does. guess i just have to wait for his response to let me know when he has time to take my order. :crying:
     
  20. wildstar

    wildstar

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    He had a personal issue to take care of and will likely be pretty busy for a few days. I am sure he will respond promptly as soon as he is able. Have no worries, he will respond to you.