A Visit to Talon Grips

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The author was greeted by a very familiar logo in the lobby.

As a young company, Talon Grips has rapidly achieved brand recognition that often takes many times longer for most products. In the shooting sports and recreational gun use in general, like many hobbies and pastimes, word of mouth is one of the most common ways that new products get noticed. Such is the case with Talon Gun Grips, the user-applied grip tape that is hugely popular with owners of polymer framed pistols. I’ve personally been using them for years – after I too learned of them from friends at the range.

The thought of these hundreds of Talon grips soon being installed on the pistols of American gun owners is quite heartwarming.

I recently had an opportunity to visit Talon Grips and see the operation first hand. To get to Talon Grips, you need to cross mountain ranges, the continental divide, and travel through breathtaking scenery. Well, someone had to do it… Located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado – the company is certainly off the beaten path, nestled in a beautiful high valley deep in the Rocky Mountains.

Not everyone is familiar with Talon Grips yet, but that is changing quickly. Talon makes grip covers for polymer framed pistols that is adhesive backed, designed and cut to a precise fit, and applied by the end user. Originally available in a granulate material (just like skateboard tape), the grips are also available in a rubber material with a nice texture. If you own a polymer handgun, chances are that you have experienced times that the gun is just a bit too slippery in your hands. The purpose of the Talon grip is to greatly increase the friction between hand and gun, and reduce movement. This makes you a better shooter – and if you compete it makes you a faster shooter.

Mike Morris, President of Talon Grips, tells the story and vision of the company.

Mike Morris, President of Talon Grips, tells the story and vision of the company.

The concept is pretty simple really. Wrap a grip enhancing material around the grip of your pistol for better traction. What makes a Talon grip something special is the time and detail in the intricate designs and precision fit of each grip to each specific model. The grips fit your handgun like a second skin. And unlike some products that seem to be a solution in search of a problem, the Talon grip concept was literally born from necessity and practical use.

Mike Morris, President of Talon Grips tells the story well in the video. In an effort to improve the grip on polymer handguns in hot conditions, law enforcement officers in Arizona were attaching strips of skateboard tape to their guns. One of those officers, a sheriff at Lake Powell named Derik had a better idea, and working with his best friend from college Mike Morris, they developed the first template for what would become the Talon Grip.

The sophistication and speed of the lasers is impressive to watch.

The sophistication and speed of the lasers is impressive to watch.

The past few years have been a whirlwind of activity if you are in or related to the firearms industry, both in terms of growth and innovation. The polymer framed handgun has especially seen many interesting new shapes, angles, and curves. This has created a need for Talon to make hundreds of unique grips in order to meet customer demand. Production at Talon has kept pace by graduating from the prototype era knife-cut grip to die-cut grips, and now to laser-cut product. Make no mistake, it’s a small company that is still producing a very hands-on product, but it is far more sophisticated than people sitting around with scissors and tongues sticking out of the corners of their mouths.

Watching the sophisticated laser machines working, and seeing the highly organized stocking system, it’s no wonder that most orders ship same day and mistakes are rare. These guys and gals are on the ball. While I was there, photographs were being taken of a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, and it didn’t occur to me that it was due to a re-design of that grip until I returned home and ordered one for myself – and received the new cut. The grip templates for Glocks and Springfield Armory pistols have also been recently updated. Talon also offers grip surface products for your cell phones, and even your coffee mug!

It all starts with large rolls of granulate or rubber material.

It all starts with large rolls of granulate or rubber material.

Material from the raw rolls is cut into machine-sized panels for the laser cutters.

Material from the raw rolls is cut into machine-sized panels for the laser cutters.

Talon is a small company that is growing fast in part because of the firearm industry boon, but also because they do things right and provide exceptional customer service. And don’t be surprised if you soon see Talon Grips lining the shelves at your nearby big-box outfitter store. The company is talking to several outdoor retailers about stocking the products.

The author has ordered dozens of Talon grips over the years, and has never received the wrong one. An organized operation might be the reason.

The author has ordered dozens of Talon grips over the years, and has never received the wrong one. An organized operation might be the reason.

Yes, you can get that awesome Talon grip for more than just guns!

Yes, you can get that awesome Talon grip for more than just guns!

We might be seeing this point-of-purchase packaging at major outfitters' stores soon.

We might be seeing this point-of-purchase packaging at major outfitters’ stores soon.

The town of Steamboat Springs is quaint, vibrant, and beautiful all at the same time. Living and working here - how does anyone get anything done? Hey, are those ski trails? Might need to visit again in winter!

The town of Steamboat Springs is quaint, vibrant, and beautiful all at the same time. Living and working here – how does anyone get anything done? Hey, are those ski trails? Might need to visit again in winter!

Mauka, the Senior K-9 Advisor. Any company gets extra points for having a dog on staff!

Mauka, the Senior K-9 Advisor. Any company gets extra points for having a dog on staff!

No, it's not a "Rorschach" test - but the before and after of the M&P Shield grip pattern. The newly redesigned grip (bottom) is more intricate. We’re not qualified to help you if you see something else.

No, it’s not a “Rorschach” test – but the before and after of the M&P Shield grip pattern. The newly redesigned grip (bottom) is more intricate. We’re not qualified to help you if you see something else.

The author puts Talon Grips on almost all his poly-framed guns. The S&W Shield was just fitted with the newest design.

The author puts Talon Grips on almost all his poly-framed guns. The S&W Shield was just fitted with the newest design.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • phillip landreth November 28, 2016, 10:02 am

    looking for beretta 950 grips

  • Forrest D October 29, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Have the rubber grips on Glock 23, 27 and a Taurus PT 145. They are wonderful and easy to apply. The most cost effective improvement on my pistols yet.

  • Art V. October 17, 2015, 12:37 am

    I bought a set for my S &W M&P Shield and one for my Springfield Armory XD. The panel on the shield has been coming off on one of the corners. I am thinking of ordering a replacement set. I’m going to also see about a set for my Sig Sauer SP2022.

  • Max October 15, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Put the rubber ones on my Glock 22 & 43. Used the wife’s hair dryer. Love Talon grips. Great product and grest cudtomer service.

  • Joe H October 12, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I have the rubber grip on both my Glock 30SF and H&K 45c Tactical. Love ’em!
    Great products and easy to install. I used a heat gun on “low” and it worked great.

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