Talon Grips Review | Do They Actually Help?

Enhancing your grip doesn't have to be expensive or permanent.

It is my belief that the single most important thing you can do to shoot your handgun well is to have a solid grip. Proper positioning of your hands, along with firm, consistent pressure allows you to manage recoil and shot placement.

Do Talon Gun Grips help?

Grip technique is obviously critical to managing recoil and putting shots where you want them to go. But there is another component, that can make a huge difference in the ability to shoot well. The surface of the grip of the gun cannot be overlooked. Different grip surfaces can make a world of difference and can aid or hinder a good consistent grip.

There are a host of materials that companies use to make gun grips. Each material has pros and cons and all have a different feel on the shooter's hands. More important than the material used, is the aggressiveness of the grip. Very aggressive grips have a lot of texture and provide traction for the shooter's hands. Conversely, non-aggressive ones are smoother and more forgiving on your palms and fingers.

How aggressive should my gun's grip texture be?

The more texture you can put on your gun's grip surface, the better control you will have over your gun. But there is a limit to how rough you can go, and surfaces that are too aggressive have drawbacks. Shooting a gun with very rough grips while not wearing gloves will result in blisters or hot spots on the hands. Everyday carry (EDC) guns with a very aggressive texture can cause issues. The surface can wear holes in clothes and rub the person's skin raw, especially when carried inside the waistband.

Where you draw the line on how much texture you want on your gun is a personal preference. For owners of guns with removable grip panels, finding one that works for you is not too difficult. Aftermarket companies have been making replaceable grip panels with various textures for years. But buying a polymer gun meant that you were stuck with the grip texture and feel that the manufacturer gave you. Owners who wanted a more aggressive feel had a few options.

One option was to melt a pattern into the polymer grip. This method, called stippling, is a permanent modification of the gun and enhances the texture of the surface.

Another option is to apply a product that sticks to the grip of the gun like a sticker. These are great options for those who may not want to go with a permanent modification of their gun. Or someone who wants to experiment on how much or exactly where they want to have more texture.

Talon Grips

Talon Grips is a well-known company that has been producing these applied grips for many years. The company has two variations of their popular product. The more aggressive of the two is a granular material that feels much like skateboard grip tape. The second product is not as rough and has a rubberized feel to it. Both versions are backed with a very sticky adhesive that doesn't peel off, yet won't damage your firearm if you remove it. Because they vary in texture, each has its pros and cons. I have used Talon Grips on my guns, and know a lot of shooters who do as well.

The company makes products for many different gun manufacturers and models.

If you look on the internet, you will find many reviews and articles stating the advantages of using Talon Grips.  How many times do you want to hear someone tell you that they like Talon Grips?  I do like them, but I also know the amount of texture someone likes on their gun is their personal choice. So I decided to present this review in a slightly different way. I won't tell you which one is best for you. Instead …

I'll show just how much grip these two products provide.

The Method:

First, I placed my Glock 27 in a vise. I used a large, plastic spring-loaded clamp and clipped it around the grip of my gun. I then fastened a force gauge. to the clamp. The force gauge shows how many pounds of force is being exerted. I pulled the gauge with consistent pressure until the clamp slipped off the grip of the gun.

I repeated this 15 times under each of the following conditions:

1-No grip applied (factory polymer finish)
2-Granular Talon Grip applied
3-Rubberized Talon Grip applied

Each time I recorded the amount of force needed to pull the clamp off the gun.

The tools used in this test.

What I found by doing this was a numerical value for the amount of friction the various grip surfaces provided. The highest and lowest readings for each of the three surfaces were disregarded. By ignoring these two values, I eliminated an outlier value throwing the results out of whack. The remaining 13 results were averaged and entered into the table below.

What I found:

The results of the friction test show how effective both variants of Talon Grips are at increasing the grip texture on your handgun.

As you can see both variations of Talon Grips provide a tremendous amount of enhanced grip surface compared to the stock finish. On average, 7 pounds of force was needed to pull the clamp off the gun with the stock grip. Not surprisingly the granulated grip is the most aggressive, requiring 21 pounds of force on average to remove the clamp.

The numbers alone show that the granulated product requires 3 times more force. Numbers are one thing, but sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words. So check out what the granulated grip looked like after just 15 pulls with the clamp attached.

The granulated grips require 21 lbs of force, and this is evident in the damage to the material after repeatedly pulling the clamp off the grip.

The thing that stands out most is the difference between the factory grip and the rubberized Talon Grip. The reason I find this interesting is that the feel of the rubberized grip is not aggressive at all. Some people want more grip, but may not like the aggressive feel of the granulated grips. Testing with the rubberized grip resulted on average of 14 pounds of force to pull the clamp off. This allows someone to double the amount of friction, without drastically changing the feel.

Talon Grips makes two products that increase traction on the grip, but do it in two different ways. This allows the user to select which one works best for their specific application and preference.

Making your grip ‘grippier' is something that nearly all shooters can benefit from. The only question is how aggressive do you want to go, and if you want to permanently modify your firearm. With the variations Talon Grips offers, you can get the feel you want at a reasonable price, without doing any irreversible work on your firearm.

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Dennis Fong on November 1, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Yes they work.

    I have used the granular grips.
    The self adhesive wears to fast, less than 6 months long, just daily carrying not shooting.

    • Jonathan on February 7, 2018 at 2:20 am

      Did you follow ALL the instructions and put heat (130*) several times on them for the adhesive to cure?

      • Matthew Maruster on February 7, 2018 at 9:02 am

        Hi Dennis, Because I was only testing the abrasiveness, I did not cure them with heat. I am aware of that step, however, I did not see it factoring into what I was testing. I did heat the Talon Grips I installed on my gun that wasn’t coming off a few minutes later once the testing was complete.

        • Joshua on January 30, 2021 at 9:28 pm

          Without heat the bubbles and gaps won’t get filled in, in addition, the heat helps condense the surface removing air bubbles from the manufacturer process providing much greater longevity. How you carry is also a major factor as well. I pocket carry but I stay actively aware of friction during moving and will relocate my firearm accordingly. Dumb hands make dumb moves.

  2. michael blackwell on November 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    i have Talon Grips on every one of my polymer frame pistols and dearly love them. And Talon Grips will find their way on any additional pistol that I may purchase in the future!

  3. joe on November 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    They work unbelievably !!!

  4. Bill on November 1, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I have Talon regular grips on both my 9mms. My Ruger sr9c and my EDC Ruger LC9s pro perform great with the grips. I have nothing but praise for the feel of the gun when shooting. The EDC gun’s grips have remained for a couple of years (I do carry all the time) and when I shoot, the pistol kinda becomes part of my hand…..no slipperiness and the grip is firm. I might add that the directions and cuts of the pieces are perfect. I accidentally ordered the rougher texture and the company very nicely let me return them for the regular ones. Thanks for all Talon.

  5. Mark Wood on November 1, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I belong to a shooting club/range that, among other activities, provides a weekly two hour defensive shooting class May through August led by very experienced NRA certified instructors who volunteer their time. One of the stated objectives is to progressively challenge students’ comfort level while building confidence in dynamic defensive shooting; by which I mean beginning from the draw, movement, multiple targets/shots (some moving), reloads, etc. all of which was timed. I’d had some previous training and was comfortable with my Glock 19; however, I quickly realized that the class tempo required higher control of the pistol in all respects and thus: The Great Talon Grip experiment. And the results were indeed “great.” I chose the rubberized version and immediately my grip position became more consistent and overall shooting control was greatly improved. My G43 now wears them as well.

  6. Mike on November 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    The rubberized Talon Grips make my Springfield XDs 45ACP much more controllable, even with hot loads. I also have them on my Ruger LC9s just for the comfort of the grip.

  7. Dave L on November 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Great to see numbers to prove a point. I use the rubberized modrl on two of my Kahrs and love the improvement. Expecially on the .40, I can spend a day at the range and no longer have a web of my hand rubbed raw by the rough backstrap. Love them!

  8. Jim Zorn on November 1, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I have the rubber Talons on an XDs in .45 and a Walther PPS. The sandpaper grips are on a Walther PPQ for matches along with a custom application of the sandpaper material, from Talon, on a pair of S&W revolvers in .357 and .45acp. These grips make all the difference in being able to control a pistol, especially the .45 XDs.

  9. dave on November 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    they work great,
    feel great and
    look great !!!

    I prefer the rubberized.

  10. Pete In Alaska on November 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Hey Matt,
    Great writeup and good information!
    Like many out there I have used TG for some time now.
    Several years ago I started expiermenting with changing the configuration and combining the two TG textures on the same platform.
    I found that putting the aggressive material on the front of the grip were ones fingers wrap around and on the lower half of the rear heal of the hip where ones lower palm is placed then using the pebbeled/rubber material for the grip side panels and upper half of the backstrap provide a superior grip for me. Others might wish to try this. I get my material fro TG in sheet form and make my own patterns. I have also tried with success to use TG Pre-cut grips and modiify them accordenly.
    Thanks for providing a base line number for grip potential. Very helpful.
    How did you determine the clamp pressure on the grips so that it remained fairly consistent thruout the number of tests?

    Pete sends….

    • Matthew Maruster on November 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Pete,
      Thanks for the feedback. That is a great idea about combining the two materials to customize the feel exactly how you want. As far as the clamp pressure, I didn’t measure the clamp pressure in between tests. It was brand new and had a pretty heavy duty spring so I assumed that it would maintain consistent grip during the test. At least consistent enough as to not skew the numbers.

  11. Gary Hulsbrink on June 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    I have Talon rubber grips on all 7 of my hand guns. Absolutely a must have. Great product. Excellent people.

    • Joshua Gillem on June 24, 2019 at 7:38 am

      I also highly recommend them and second that they’re great people and personal friends of mine.

  12. Stan Robertson on October 22, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    I have Talons (the rubberized version) on all of my firearms. Best value there is out there. I EDC, and after about 1,000 rounds thru various firearms, the grips have never come loose, or gave me any issues at all. Highly recommend these to anyone who is looking for a reasonable solution for improving their grip without screwing up their firearm with stippling.

  13. Ellwood Greiner on August 16, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Where can I buy Talon Grips for my Glock 9 mm 43

  14. Jeff on May 19, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    Took Houge finger grove grip off didn’t like the fit and feel. Installed the Talon rubber textured grips on my Ruger Security 9, much better fit n feel. I’m 70 years old arthritis in my hands one bad eye and had no problems with the install.

    • Pete on June 25, 2023 at 6:06 pm

      I have a S&W MP9 2.0 Compact. The factory grips have a very aggressive texture. The first time I concealed carried it, it left a red mark on my side. I got the Talon rubber style grip cover and now I can carry it without any discomfort. I highly recommend this grip cover, for any grip with an aggressive texture.

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