A guest article by Jason Hanson There are a lot of accessories around today that we can add to our various firearms. The AR-15 still takes the cake as the gun that you can do a million and one things to, but there are still plenty of options for changing around your handgun, too.
For instance, you can change out your sights and add night sights, fiber-optic sights, or just a different type of sight, such as the Ashley Big Dot. You can also add lasers to your handguns, whether it’s a laser built into the grip of the gun, or built into the guide rod, or a laser that’s mounted to a rail system.
And you can change to an extended magazine release, making it easier to reload more quickly.
Though all of these changes to a handgun are worthwhile, in my opinion there’s something far more important that not enough gun owners pay attention to—the actual grips on their carry guns. Perhaps it’s because gun grips aren’t as sexy as lasers or fiber-optic sights, but the fact is, if you can’t control your gun because you can’t get a good grip on it, then not much else matters.
Most shooters train on beautiful sunny days when our hands are dry and clean—not necessarily the environment you find yourself in if you ever have to use a gun to defend yourself. I’ve trained in the rain, snow, and mud and found that when my hands got slick, it became difficult to accurately shoot my firearm because my hands were sliding all over the place.
And it’s not just weather. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to shoot with blood all over your hands when you have to draw and fire your gun. If you’ve got slick grips on your current gun, you may end up dropping the very gun that you carry to save your life.
To give you another example of why grips are so important, let me tell you about my latest gun purchase. I purchased a Springfield 1911, which came with plastic grips that are supposed to look like wood. These grips are extremely slick, and they are nothing I would want to use for concealed carry. So I removed the stock grips and ordered a set of Gator Back grips from VZ. These grips have aggressive texturing and allow me to maintain my grip on my firearm even if my hands are wet and slippery. VZ happens to make several types of grips, and those just happen to be the ones I like.
If you own a gun such as a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P, you don’t even have to go out and purchase new grips. Instead, buy some skateboard grip tape or use GT-5000 Grip Tape For Your Pistol. When I worked for the Agency, I put grip tape on my gun, and it worked well for me. I never had a problem maintaining control of my sidearm, even in adverse weather conditions.
If you carry concealed, I advise you take a look at your gun grips today. If you’ve got factory grips that are slick, then definitely consider adding grip tape or purchasing a textured set of grips from a company like VZ, Talon Grips, Hogue, or any other handgun grip maker, such as those listed on Cheaper Than Dirt!
Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and The NBC TODAY Show.