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I've seen various magazines these days with photos of guns with stippling on the fronstrap or backstrap, or a combo of both.
Just how is this stippling done? Can it be done with regular tools, or does it take specialized tools?
I purchased a Kahr K40 this week, and I have worked on it a little by rounding off all the sharp edges, and taking off all internal sharp edges as well and found one little area that was like a knife blade inside and it also had some metal burrs. They are all gone now. It's slicker than a glass.
I'd like to do the stippling myself, but don't know which kind of tool or process would create that texture.
 

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Stippling is a fairly simple process using a punch and hammer to provide a roughened gripping surface. It is something the beginner can do with just a bit of practice. You will need a punch. It should be fairly sharp and the point shape helps determine the pattern produced. The edges of the point should be less than 45 degrees from the centerline of the point to produce fine marks on the steels surface. I use a tiny ball peen hammer and a triangle shaped punch point. Draw the outline of the panel you want stippled first. This should be scribed into the steel and we will want ALL the punch marks to remain inside these lines. The edges forming the point of the punch should remain at the same attitude for all the marks. Support the frame in your vise padding the jaws to protect the finish and providing support to the clamped area, to prevent crush damage to the frame. Be sure to do this on a practice plate first. The punch is held lightly between the first 2 fingers of the weak hand and the thumb, while the hammer is held at the handles midpoint in the strong hand. Caution be certain the punch is well hardened as a change in the punches shape will show in the stippling produced. The marks are produced by striking the punch lightly and driving it into the metal.. Hold the punch above the surface of the metal very slightly and allow the hammer blow to drive it down and into the steel and to be automatically retracted by the action of the fingers of the weak hand. We do not want strong blows. The marks should be just deep enough and closely packed enough to produce a textured surface that is rough to the touch. The angle the punch strikes the surface is important. I usually use a 90 degree angle to the surface of the metal.. A steeper angle will produce a sharper 'bite' to the stippling. In a heavy recoiling weapon this can become painful. Experiment on a practice plate to get the depth of the indents correct and the learn to produce an even distribution of marks over the surface to be stippled. I work the edges first and progress to the center of the panel. Some produce a finished area before moving on, some go over the entire panel and keep going over it until the density of the marks is correct. I find I produce a more even pattern using the first technique. Strive for uniformity of entry angle, force applied to the hammer, dimple depth, and the dimple density. Properly done this produces a pleasing and useful finish for a front or back strap. There is another process called matting. This produces very similar results though usually with much less roughening of the surface. It's main difference is that it's performed with a punch with multiple points. This reduces the individual point penetration and adds much uniformity.. although the surface is usually not as rough as with stippling. These techniques can also be used on wood surfaces in place of checkering. For wood I prefer a punch with an angle of greater than 45 degrees and usually use a matting punch for the uniformity of placement as well as penetration it produces. If you've have further questions please post and I'll get back as soon as I am able... good luck from the gunnut69
 
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