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Discussion Starter #1
This is a little verbose, so feel free to just skip ahead to the (rather large) pics...

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For quite a while, I've been searching this forum (as well as the web in general) for USP stippling projects and corresponding images. I found a few, but not as many as I had expected, and none with great depth or detail. The reason, of course, is that not too many people are willing (or crazy enough) to vastly modify such an expensive (and arguably perfect) firearm to such an extent. I also realize that this type of modification won't tickle the fancy of everyone here on this forum, especially die-hard HK purists that may cringe at such a destructive mod, but alas...

Disclaimer: this will greatly affect the resale value of your firearm. Proceed at your own risk.

Here's the story:

My good friend HKFarmer had a well-used police trade-in USP in strictly utilitarian condition. Lot's of beautiful holster patina on the slide, but quite a bit of excessive wear to the frame...almost to the point of being polished and slippery in several spots on the grip.

I had wanted to embark on a stippling project (and provide an account/tutorial for the forum), and Farmer was all to willing to let me have at it on his frame. I continued my research, read several tutorials and first hand accounts, and was ready to give it a try. For the sake of brevity, I leave you with this summation: easy.

The first challenge is removing all signs of factory patterns and stippling. This is especially tough on the waffle patterned front and backstraps, but a trusty Dremel with sanding wheel makes quick work of the whole process (very messy, of course, leaving a fine black dust everywhere... take that into consideration before you begin). Of course, you don't have to remove the waffles...you may only want to stipple the sides of the frame only, for example. Just be sure to sand away anything you don't want ghosting behind the stippling. I opted to do the whole grip.

In anticipation of this mess, I quickly taped up the openings to help minimize grit in the trigger and hammer assemblies, then got to work.




Once done using the sanding wheel (with a fairly course paper), I hit all surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper by hand to get everything relatively smooth. I then cleaned off all surfaces with isopropyl alcohol. Compressed air is also helpful here. The resulting mess is...well...terrifying!





Yikes! :eek:

After changing my shorts, I took a pencil and quickly sketched out the edges of my stippling area. Then, it was time to fire up the soldering iron.

I happen to have a quality rig with several soldering tip options, but have read about and have seen excellent success with cheap $11 hobby store irons. If you do use your quality iron, I'd avoid reusing that tip for actual fine soldering work in the future. You're going to potentially ruin the tinning on your tip.

I set my iron to 545°F and had great results. The first step was to outline the stipple area, following my pencil lines.





Temp and pressure will effect your pattern. Be careful and TAKE YOUR TIME. You'll have more forgiveness inside the outlines, but a messy outline will always look messy.

Once that was complete, I started to fill in the rest of the grip. I read that it's best to start in one area, and build out from there, so it's easier to maintain and monitor a consistent pattern and depth. Again, take your time (and you WILL need a lot of time), and just tap away...







Finally, I was able to unclench my sphincter now that the resulting stipple pattern was "washing away" the destruction of the sanding wheel...

Almost there!




And the final product:
(that's my USP's slide on Farmer's frame for the sake of photos)









All in, I'd say it took about 3.5 hours. Well worth the time and effort...it feels great (so much better than it felt beforehand), and IMO, looks fantastic.

Cheers,
Tirks
 

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Not bad mate. I cringed at the photo after the sanding wheel as well but she turned out good.

Not something I would do but still nice work!
 

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Nice result. I am thinking about doing the same to mine, but for now I'm satisfied with skateboard tape.
+1 on the skateboard tape for me.

My opinion on stippled guns have ranged from meh to yuck. However, this one doesn't look too bad. Good job. Considering that you stated the pistol was in rough shape before the work, I guess you couldn't lose as long as you didn't destroy the gun.
 

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great job. bet that thing is "grippy" looks painful to shoot without gloves??
 

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That is a great mod to a great gun. Personally I wouldn't do it to my newer guns but if I had an older shooter it would be a prime candidate for the same thing. Considering HK couldn't even maintain tangency on the upper rear corner of the factory stipple pattern I'd hardly call their stipple work exceptional.

As long as the work was done with care and doesn't look like a hack job I don't think you killed the value, and some people may actually prefer it over the factory grip. who cares what an HK "purist" thinks
 

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Looks good, nice patience and I appreciate the play by play pics.
 

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very nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
great job. bet that thing is "grippy" looks painful to shoot without gloves??
Haven't fired it (yet), but I don't anticipate any discomfort. It's not overly grippy at all (an nowhere near as aggressive as grip tape). It's a nice balance....
 

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I'll say it makes me cringe when I see a HK molested but it does make sense with a worn PD trade in. Nice work! Thanks for the tutorial.
 

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Thanks for sharing and the level of detail. I'm sure you were very happy to see it look better after the sanding portion of the job. Like with everything, 80% is prep and patience.

Dan
 

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I love the USP. I am always amazed when people say it's grip texture is too rough. I like a grippy pistol, and I think the USP is perfect in that regard. It's always interesting to me when someone wants to make it even grippier than it already is. The guys who think the USP is already too rough better not see this thread or they'll be aghast!

Good job! Nice work! Well done! Like DBLAction454 though, I would not do it to one of my guns unless it REALLY needed it. . . but clearly you did a great job and were kind enough to provide the blow-by-blow tutorial to go with it. Thanks man. I'm sure this will come in handy to those who might be considering such an option.
 

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Great job and I would of probably done the same thing under the circumstances .
For my newer guns though I just run Rubber Talon grips . Ordered some for my VP9 and looking forward to putting them on they make a huge difference .
 

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I love the USP. I am always amazed when people say it's grip texture is too rough. I like a grippy pistol, and I think the USP is perfect in that regard. It's always interesting to me when someone wants to make it even grippier than it already is. The guys who think the USP is already too rough better not see this thread or they'll be aghast!
I for one think that the factory grip pattern is way to slippery. The gun is completely unusable even with the slightest sweat in the palms. Why people think its to agressive is a mystery to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys! Appreciate the positive feedback.
 

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Looking at those pics took me on an emotional roller coaster. In the end, though, looks as if it all turned out well. Great job!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Nice, good thing you took your time. I've seen people rush right thru them. Good job!
 

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I don't get the need to do this I guess. I have very soft hands, and all I did was take a 400 grit sponge sand pad to my USP grips and it was fine. I am 5'0" and 102, this made it totally doable. Why did you go through all of this?

Keri
 
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