This is the first in our Glock pistol T&E blog series. Normally the first thing I do with a pistol when I get it is replace the sights. As I have stated before, I think this is the most important part in getting a pistol competition-ready; however, shortly after the APDMT announced that Glock had sent 12 pistols to the APDMT to T&E, I was contacted by the guys at Precision Rifle Enthusiast (PRE), and they gave me a heads-up on a new grip tape they recently picked up at SHOT called Operator Grip. I have been shooting and competing with Glocks for almost 14 years, and one of the great things about Glock pistols is the huge aftermarket available to enhance or tailor your pistol to the intended purpose or use. When I first began shooting, I used to cut up skate tape and put it on my pistols for a better grip; however, I moved away from that due to the tape wearing out quickly and being difficult to cut. In addition, most of the skate tape I picked up was difficult to form to the grip. I talked with the guys at PRE about this and they were so impressed with the Operator Grip they sent me one to try out.
The Operator Grip basically takes all the advantages of using grip tape, but makes it easy. The grip tape comes in a small cardboard sleeve and everything is pre-cut. In addition, the cuts are designed so that the grip tape will conform well to the pistol grip and not leave creases or bubbles in the grip. There are no instructions, but this really isn’t rocket science.The Operator Grip comes with enough grip tape to wrap the whole grip and some index points on the frame. I used a long section that could be added under the trigger guard for some front slide grip spots since I prefer to do press checks and charge my pistols using the front of the slide. One small suggestion I will make is to apply some heat when you are applying the grip tape. This can be as simple as a stick match, BIC lighter or a heat gun. Apply the grip and then heat it to get a very strong adhesion to the pistol and help smooth out any parts of the grip tape that didn’t lay down how you like.
Once I had the grip tape installed, I was very pleased. It only took a few minutes to get it on, and the hardest part was pealing the backer off the tape. The front of the packaging advises that the grip tape is 60 grit and you can definitely tell. The tape is abrasive and exactly what you would expect. I originally began running tape on my guns due to Texas high heat and high humidity in my area. Instantly upon starting some dry fire drills, I was very pleased with the new grip I put on my Glock 35, enough to the point that I don’t think I am going to stipple any more pistols. In addition, and I know I am going to catch hell for this, but the patterns available are just cool. You can’t go wrong with black, but who doesn’t like FDE right? I haven’t had a chance to shoot this pistol in a match yet; however, I think it would be well-suited as a Limited gun in USPSA. That being said, I think after handling the Operator Grip that they are also an excellent choice for anyone running a Glock outside of the shooting sports.
In future blogs, I am going to cover installing sights on this pistol and swapping some trigger parts out. So be sure to keep an eye out for those upcoming blogs. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to the PRE guys and a thank you. Not only are they local guys (Hutto, TX), but they are also strong MIL/LE supporters. You can check out their website here and their Facebook page here.