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Stippling and Checkering

5181 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Larry Pomykalski
I have an SA Supertuned stainless with a bald front strap. I've been looking into ways to improve the grip such as add-on finger groves and the Wilson checkered front strap that secures by the grip bushings. I've decided against the above and I'm now considering stippling. I'd love to have the front strap checkered but cannot justify a $150-200 modification to a $450 gun. I saw a picture of a very nice Para LDA in CH that Bill Laughridge had stippled. Is stippling a good alternative to checkering?
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I'd love to have the front strap checkered but cannot justify a $150-200 modification to a $450 gun.
Lets see, most people take a gun real close to this one and dump hundreds if not thousands into it to get them just the way they want them. Some gunsmiths even take this kind of gun, do all the things you might not be able to justify and sell them for thousands. Rethink your position.
...umm, Where can I get some of those supertuned SAs for 450? You can contact me by e-mail...
Skateboard tape is a good alternative to checkering for the budget-conscious. :grin:

It depends on what you really want for your gun. Stippling is a choice, so are serrations and the Heinie Scallops.

If you really like the gun and plan to keep it for a long time, why not have the work done on it that you truly want?
Let me clarify my request. I'm not looking for a philosophical debate on whether or not gunsmiths make unnecessary modifications to increase profit. People can decide the value of a modification themselves.

What I am interested in learning is what people think of stippling. Is it a good alternative to checkering? By the way, the cost difference is tremendous. Checkering averages $150-200 while stippling goes for $40-60.
Gyp_C2, sorry but mine was a one shot deal. I won a gunbroker.com auction. It is a really beautiful stainless Supertuned. The previous owner completed the package with all the popular bells and whistles. The only thing I've done so far is to replace the cheap plastic grips with cocobolo wood and Wilson hex screws. I plan to do something with the front strap and probably add shock buffs but that is about it. When all is done, I'll probably have a total of $650 invested for a very nice gun, Alessi belt-slide and mag pouch. Not bad for my first 1911. :smile:
You have other options:
A set of Pachmayer wrap-around grips which have a checkered front panel.
A Wilson checkered panel. This is a blued or stainless metal panel with checkering which is applyed with solder or epoxy to the front strap. Looks pretty good.
Stippling is very good, and is easy to apply. Depending on how much force is used, the finish can range from light matting to very coarse stippling. The 1950's Army National Match pistols had a "shark's tooth" type stippling.

If desired, you can do a presentable job at home. If you're interested, I can give instructions.
Here you go Alaska. This will at least give you a good read on stippling.

http://www.brownells.com/benchtalk/02sp ... nsmith.asp

I hope this link works here.
Link works from this end. Thanks!
Stippling, properly done, can look very tasteful, indeed, and should produce the effect you desire. Your cost numbers for both operations look to me to be a little on the low side, and, of course, both operations will require re-finishing of a non SS frame.
Check on the same thing I am-having Mr.
Heinie scallop the front strap. It's
pretty reasonable and fairly fast turn-
around(3-4 weeks when I checked on 10/7)
I'm just waiting until I pay of my new AR15
then he'll be getting my Colt Combat Elite.
Thanks all for the information. I think I've found the smith I'm going to use for the project. I was a little low. Total cost will be $75.
The cost difference for stippling vs. checkering is due to the difficulty and effort required. Stippling is not very abrasive, and grip tape is an even cheaper alternative with similar traction. Checkering is more attractive and can provide greater traction. Try grip tape and save up for checkering.
In answer to your original question...

Checkering is more abrasive and offers more traction, particularly if done 20 lpi. Stippling is less aggressive, and adds more of a 'texture' than anything substantive. Aesthetics, of course, are purely subjective.

As you may have noticed, people who like one tend to not like the other...

I prefer (my own) stippling.

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