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Front Strap Checkering

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troystaten
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mikemyers
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Post by mikemyers Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:38 pm

Do you guys consider front strap checkering (either machined, or with "skateboard tape") to be useful, or just a "gimmick".

How much of a difference does it make with light bullseye loads (if any)?

Should we be having it done when we get a gun, and if it isn't there, is "skateboard tape" useful?

(I tried to find an existing thread on this, but couldn't.)
mikemyers
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Post by Greg Walloch Mon Jan 16, 2023 6:10 pm

IMHO it’s pretty important.  You don’t want the gun moving in your hand, and checkering, stippling or skateboard tape all minimize movement.

Additionally, I don’t remember in my 40+ years of Bullseye ever seeing a top shooter NOT having something on the front strap.  That says something.

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Post by Al Mon Jan 16, 2023 6:17 pm

Greg Walloch wrote:IMHO it’s pretty important.  You don’t want the gun moving in your hand, and checkering, stippling or skateboard tape all minimize movement.

Additionally, I don’t remember in my 40+ years of Bullseye ever seeing a top shooter NOT having something on the front strap.  That says something.
100% agreed. 
Aggressive skateboard tape will work just fine. I checkered mine because I totally tear down and submerse mine 2x / yr for cleaning and the glue on the tape would slip.

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Post by Dcforman Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:09 pm

I actually prefer skateboard tape to checkering. 

Dave

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Post by mikemyers Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:21 pm

I just got my new/used Springfield Range Officer Target 9mm.  I was going to try it tomorrow just the way it comes, no checkering on the front strap, but from what you've all written, it now has skateboard tape. To be honest, the tape on the front feels like it grips my skin better than the checkering on the back.  Thanks for the advice.
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Post by John Dervis Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:57 pm

Skateboard tape works really well for the grip texturing but I find that the glue fails eventually and you’ll have to replace it.  I sandwiched a piece under each of the grip panels to help hold it in place.  That technique will make it last longer but it will still need replacement eventually.  If you end up sending your gun to have it built up, that would be the time to add checkering. 

John

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Post by Ed Hall Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:33 pm

I've gone the skateboard tape route and prefer it over checkering.  My favorite is tiger tooth stippling, but it needs to be done by a master craftsman.  One who can space it out and leave just a tad of barb at the very tip of each tooth.

Note that if you go the skateboard tape route, to help keep it from slipping you can lock the sides under the front edges of the grip panels. BUT, BE SURE to add the same amount of spacer (maybe some more of the tape) to the area around the screws and to the rear edge, so tightening the screws won't possibly split the panels.

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Post by troystaten Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:45 pm

I have skate board tape on my 1911 on the front but I do like stippling like the old school gunsmiths would do.

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Post by NukeMMC Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:56 am

I prefer stippling. The Navy pistol armorers used to do it with a pneumatic engraver. I do my own with a Power Custom frame support jig, 4oz ball-peen and drill rods that I have ground different points onto. It takes time and practice, but the feel is perfect FOR ME.
Do what YOU feel most comfortable and confident with.
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Post by mikemyers Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:51 am

NukeMMC wrote:..........Do what YOU feel most comfortable and confident with.
That answers it - skateboard tape, which can always be removed.  

My tape is from "Eden Products", which came in a long roll that I bought on Amazon.  They have lots of choices. 
If I ever do send the gun out for "work", maybe I'll get something better.
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Post by PMcfall Tue Jan 17, 2023 7:00 am

I've had tiger tooth, checkered, and stippled front straps.  I much prefer stippling, but to each their own.
Phil
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Post by chiz1180 Tue Jan 17, 2023 7:35 am

I have tried a little bit of everything from grip tape, hand checkering, the old school stippling, varying aggressiveness of tigertooth stippling, and machine checkering. I have found that all are an improvement over a bare front strap. I also find that a more aggressive treatment is better if you are shooting in wet conditions. On the guns I have with grip tape I do end up replacing the tape regularly.
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Post by Texasref Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:05 am

I do shoot better with something on the front strap to help with grip.
That being said, both of my guns have a Hogue grip which is an inexpensive way to achieve the same thing.
Midway used to sell an add-on panel which was held in place by the grips. That might be an option for you if they still sell them.

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