A couple weeks ago, I complained about the texture of the stocks on my Smith & Wesson Shield .45 Compact. While they provide really good grip-ability or purchase, they are rough. No, I mean rough. Like sandpaper. If you carry this Shield inside the waistband, you have to do so with some kind of layer or barrier between the gun’s stocks and your skin. Otherwise, your skin will lose. Of course, not all holsters have a layer to provide this protection. And not all my outfits include a thick T-shirt to do it, either.

One solution to this problem is to change the texture of the stocks. And one way to change the texture of the stocks is to install a wraparound grip. But this can also reduce the grip-ability or purchase. So there’s the tradeoff: comfort vs. purchase. Fortunately, there’s a way to increase comfort with very little loss of purchase. And that’s with rubber wraparound grips from Talon Grips. Retailing for $17.99, these are custom fit for the Shield (or whatever gun you’re carrying) and do a very good job at making the Shield more of an excellent concealed carry gun and less of an annoying skin abrader.

Talon Grips are available in a sandpaper-like finish (granulate) or a rubber finish. The granulate finish will lock the gun in your hand so well it will be hard to let go. In fact, with the granulate grip, you could coat your hand in bacon grease and still get a solid grip on your gun. But the granulate texture is just like the Shield’s stocks as they come from the factory: abrasive. Meant for competition, the granulate grip is not the choice for concealed carry (unless your context includes hands that are constantly wet, sweaty, oily, etc). For the rest of us, that’s where Talon’s rubber finish comes in.

Rubber has always been a great substance for increasing purchase in a variety of handheld tools; handgun grip improvement methods have run the gamut of rubber solutions, too. With Talon Grips, you get a custom-cut rubber wrap with a strong adhesive on one side to keep it in place. To install, just clean the stocks with the included alcohol prep pad, peel a portion of the adhesive backer away and wrap the stocks of the gun. With some guns, it’s better to start on one side and work your way around. With the Shield, I peeled the entire adhesive backer off, centered the grip wrap on the front strap, checked the placement and then pressed the grip into place, working my way around the gun. At the back strap, you overlap the grip wrap. Then, you warm up the entire grip wrap with a focused stream of hot air, such as from a hair dryer. This helps the grip wrap fit and adhere better.

Talon Grips are not a permanent grip solution. Depending on use, you’ll have to replace them every so often. But they are a very good grip solution and worth the minor inconvenience and cost of having to replace them in order to enjoy the Shield to the fullest.

Related: Gun Review: Smith & Wesson Shield

More info at: Talongungrips.com