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.
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.
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 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!
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.