The 9MM IWI Masada By Nick Jacobellis

IWI Madada 9MMThe 9MM IWI Masada

When I initially field tested the 9mm IWI Masada for Police One, this pistol was configured in its factory format and was not equipped with Talon  Rubber Grips. Even so, the Masada proved to be very comfortable to operate and shoot. Other members of my test team were also very impressed with this pistol when it was initially evaluated.

As I continued to field test the Masada, I had a set of Talon Rubber Grips installed on this pistol. Installing a set of Talon Rubber Grips on the Masada improved ergonomics even more, by adding a more positive gripping surface to the frame of this pistol. In addition to increasing the level of comfort when drawing and handling this pistol, the installation of Talon Rubber Grips also made the Masada more comfortable to shoot. This was especially the case during rapid fire drills. I should also mention, that I improved the capabilities of the test pistol even more, when I had a set of three dot Meprolight Night Sights installed on the Masada.

The 9mm IWI Masada is an outstanding high capacity striker fired 9mm pistol, that is considerably more ergonomic than some other makes and  models. (Both 10 and 17 round magazines are available for the Masada.) Hopefully, a subcompact version of the 9mm Masada will be made available in the near future.

About the Author

Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Customs Service who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working in undercover operations. Prior to joining the U.S. Customs Service the author served as a police officer and investigator for various law enforcement agencies in New York. To date, the author has published over 180 magazine articles and eight books.

The author has a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is married and has two sons and two grandsons.

Nick’s books include:

Controlled Delivery Book One
Controlled Delivery Book Two










Buck Banderas U.S Marshal Book One
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Back Cover











Buck Banderas US Marshall Book Two
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Book Two Back Cover












The Frontline Fugitives Book I
The Frontline Fugitives Book II
The Frontline Fugitives Book II Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book III
The Frontline Fugitives Book III Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book IV
The Frontline Fugitives Book IV Back Cover

Heckler and Koch Pistols- A Law Enforcement Officer’s Perspective

By Nick Jacobellis

Hecker and Koch P30SK, HK 45, and P30

Over the years I have trained with, carried and or field tested the following Heckler & Koch firearms: a DA/SA HK Mark 23 .45 ACP (suppressed & un-suppressed) pistol, a DA/SA HK USP 45, a 9mm DA/SA HK USP, a 9mm HK USP Compact LEM trigger, a 9mm DA/SA HK P30, a 9mm HK P30 with a Light LEM Trigger, a 9mm HK P30 SK Sub Compact with a Light LEM Trigger, a 9mm DA/SA HK P2000, a DA/SA HK P2000 in .40 S&W, a DA/SA HK P2000 in .357 SIG, a HK P2000 SK Sub Compact with a Light LEM Trigger in .357 SIG, a 9mm HK P2000 SK Sub Compact with a Light LEM Trigger, a HK VP9, a HK 45 with a Light LEM Trigger and a DA/SA HK45.

For the record, to date, I have NEVER experienced a stoppage or a malfunction of any kind with any of the Heckler and Koch Pistols that I have field tested, trained with and carried.  I have also never experienced a stoppage, or a malfunction of any kind, with any of the 9mm HK MP 5 submachine gun variants that I have tested and trained with.


Heckler & Koch VP9SK With TALON Grip and Olight

For those of you who are unfamiliar with HK trigger options, the Light LEM has a super smooth and very light Double Action style of trigger travel, that transitions to a striker fired style of trigger to discharge the pistol.  Another way to put this, is to say, the HK Light LEM Trigger system produces a very user friendly cadence, that enables the operator to set up the shot, while the trigger is being cycled to the rear.  At the end of this short, smooth and very consistent DA trigger pull, the operator will engage a striker fired style trigger to fire the pistol.  Simply put, the Light LEM combines the finer points of a DA trigger with a Striker Fired style trigger system.


The ergonomics on the Heckler & Koch P30 are hard to beat

Heckler & Koch entered the so called modern era of firearms production, when they began developing pistols that incorporated the use of different size back straps to “improve” ergonomics. H&K began offering different size back straps on the HK P2000 series of pistols.  HK improved on this technology even more, when they designed the P30 series of pistols.  Every HK P30 includes different size back straps, as well as add on side panels, that are designed to provide subtle changes in ergonomics.  The striker fired HK VP9 and VP9 Sub Compact also offers options, when it comes to the use of interchangeable back straps.

Even though my 9mm DA/SA USP pistol fits my hand like a glove, the USP is an older design that offers no interchangeable back straps or side panel options.  Installing a set Talon Rubber Grips on my USP improved the ergonomics and also provided a more secure grip on the pistol, especially under recoil.  This comment was echoed by a buddy of mine, who ran the firearms training program for the agency that he worked for before he retired.  According to Retired School District Patrol Sergeant Rick Batory, he noticed these improvements even more, when conducting rapid fire drills with his VP9SK Sub Compact. Even though I find my 9mm P30 with the Light LEM Trigger to be a very soft shooting pistol, a set of Talon Pro Grips were installed on this HK to improve the gripping surface on this pistol.

One of the author’s favorite Heckler & Koch pistols, a 9mm USP with a TALON Grip


My personal favorite HK Pistols are the 9mm DA/SA HK USP, the HK 45 with a Light LEM Trigger, the 9mm P30 with a Light LEM Trigger, the 9mm P30 SK Sub Compact with a Light LEM Trigger and the 9mm HK P2000 SK Sub Compact with the Light LEM trigger.  While my DA/SA 9mm USP is an excellent “go to war gun” and is very well suited for survival situations and home defense, this pistol is a tad too large for concealed carry during most of the year.  The same is true of the HK45.  

As a result, I consider my 9mm HK P30 Light LEM, the 9mm HK P30 Light LEM SK Sub Compact and the 9mm HK P2000 SK Sub Compact Light LEM to be three Top Guns for concealed carry.  I am also in the process of evaluating a 9mm HK VP9 Sub Compact and will let you know how this pistol compares to other sub compact semi autos.


In addition to improving overall ergonomics, applying a pair of Talon Grips to the gripping surface of a firearm, will also add just enough rubber material to enable you to hold onto your firearm with wet, bloody, or sweaty hands.  You can also soften the impact of recoil by installing a set of Talon Rubber Grips on a handgun.  This is something that I have to deal with, after decades of shooting all types and calibers of handguns.  (Getting older hasn’t helped.)  As a result, I know from experience, that installing the right set of rubber grips on a handgun can make shooting a more comfortable experience.

 About the Author

Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Customs Service who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working in undercover operations. Prior to joining the U.S. Customs Service the author served as a police officer and investigator for various law enforcement agencies in New York. To date, the author has published over 180 magazine articles and eight books.

The author has a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is married and has two sons and two grandsons.


Nick’s books include:


Controlled Delivery Book One
Controlled Delivery Book Two










Buck Banderas U.S Marshal Book One
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Back Cover











Buck Banderas US Marshall Book Two
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Book Two Back Cover












The Frontline Fugitives Book I
The Frontline Fugitives Book II
The Frontline Fugitives Book II Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book III
The Frontline Fugitives Book III Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book IV
The Frontline Fugitives Book IV Back Cover

The Evolution of Duty Weapons- The Polymer Kahr Arms Pistol

Kahr P9 Polymer

By Nick Jacobellis

Throughout my law enforcement career, the most compact firearms for on and off duty use, as well as for undercover applications, were short barreled .38 special revolvers, or Walther PPK/PP pistols in .380 ACP caliber.  Later on in my career, the available options expanded a bit, to include a number of compact and sub compact handguns that were manufactured in stainless steel.  However, none of the most concealable handguns for super concealed carry were chambered in more substantial calibers. I mention all this, because throughout the bulk of my law enforcement career, I wondered when and if the day would come, when the firearms industry would be able to manufacture, a flawlessly reliable semi automatic 9mm pistol, that was as compact as a Walther PP/PPK.  One of the first companies to do so was Kahr Arms.

Kahr MK9 Stainless

The first Kahr Arms Pistol I ever handled belonged to a police officer on Cape Cod.  The day I compared my friend’s all steel 9mm Kahr 9 to my (French) Manhurin/Walther PP Pistol, I knew that the firearms industry, in particular Kahr Arms,  just took a giant leap into the future. Bear in mind, that Kahr Arms began manufacturing their now famous line of pistols in the mid 1990s. This was a few years shy of the 21st Century and I was finally holding a very compact 9mm pistol, that had a super smooth DAO trigger, that was a dramatic improvement over the PPK/PP pistols, that I carried when I worked undercover.

Before I go any further, you have to understand, that during my LE career when I worked undercover, I would have preferred to carry a sub compact handgun that was chambered in 9mm I felt this way, because when I worked undercover, I usually met one or more major violators while alone, with an unarmed source of information/informant, or with another UC agent who was armed.  When I took three trips to the coast of Colombia on a 100 foot UC vessel in 1990, the most compact handgun I carried was a stainless steel Walther PPK .380 with several spare six round magazines.

Even though my fellow U.S. Customs Agents and I kept 9mm service pistols, an M16, several Colt CAR 15s and Parkerized Remington 870 shotguns hidden all over our vessel, my government issued stainless steel Walther PPK was the firearm that would likely be deployed first, if the you know what hit the fan. This was a serious concern, because we lived in cramped quarters with two major violators on one of the return trips from Colombia.


Kahr P9 Polymer with TALON Grips PRO Texture

As innovative as the all steel Kahr 9 was at the time, the pistol that I really wanted, was the model that would become known as the Polymer Kahr 9, or the P9.  I felt this way, because the P9 was lighter to carry, especially in an ankle holster.  The question that I was especially interested in answering, was would the lighter Polymer Kahr 9 be just as comfortable to shoot as the all steel Kahr 9.


The first time I fired the P9 that I currently own, I immediately knew that this pistol was a keeper.  I felt this way, because after decades of training and field testing a wide variety of firearms, I developed arthritis, which is made worse by age.  Having arthritis has made me more sensitive to recoil than ever before.  The good news is, that I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled the trigger for the first time and I found the lightweight P9 to be pleasant to shoot.  The fact that my Kahr P9 has been flawlessly reliable, also gives me the confidence to use this pistol as a Personal Defense Weapon.


 As someone who has utilized Talon Grips on various pistols, I decided to install a set of the new Talon Pro Grips on my Polymer Kahr 9.  I decided to do so, because even though Talon grips are relatively thin, they improve on the original design in two critical areas. The first improvement involves increasing the overall circumference of the grip, just enough to improve ergonomics.  When I say “just enough,” I am specifically referring to the noticeable increase in the ability to grip a pistol with more confidence.  This is accomplished by wrapping the original polymer grip with the relatively thin set of Talon rubber grip material.  The texture of a thin set of Talon rubber grips also helps the operator to hold onto a pistol, especially when the firearm is discharged or when your hand is wet.   This capability can also prove to be very helpful when shooting with your weak hand under stress.


 The Talon Pro Grip provides increased texturing, that is aggressive enough to improve your ability to grasp and securely hold onto your pistol.  Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if I would like this level of texturing, but once I handled and fired my Polymer Kahr 9 I became a fan. As far as my P9 is concerned, this pistol delivers in all categories and is definitely worth owning.

 About the Author

Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Customs Service who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working in undercover operations. Prior to joining the U.S. Customs Service the author served as a police officer and investigator for various law enforcement agencies in New York. To date, the author has published over 180 magazine articles and eight books.

The author has a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is married and has two sons and two grandsons.


Nick’s books include:

Controlled Delivery Book One
Controlled Delivery Book Two










Buck Banderas U.S Marshal Book One
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Back Cover











Buck Banderas US Marshall Book Two
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Book Two Back Cover












The Frontline Fugitives Book I
The Frontline Fugitives Book II
The Frontline Fugitives Book II Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book III
The Frontline Fugitives Book III Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book IV
The Frontline Fugitives Book IV Back Cover

Classic Sig Sauer Pistols By Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis at the range

As you will read in a number of my articles, during my law enforcement career, I was fortunate to work for agencies that allowed varying degrees of flexibility, when it came to agency firearms policies.  This was especially the case, when I served as a U.S. Customs Service Patrol Officer, Air Officer, Special Agent and Senior Special Agent. Having this level of flexibility enabled me to carry various government issued and personally owned firearms in different calibers. In federal service, this level of flexibility authorized the carrying of handguns chambered in 9mm, .45 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum and .380 ACP caliber.


Shortly, after I transferred to Miami in 1985, SIG Sauer established a company based in Virginia called SIGARMS.  SIGARMS was the entity that imported SIG Sauer firearms into the U.S.  Initially, the DA/SA SIG 220 was the first SIG pistol imported into the United States. As a point of information, the Swiss adopted the P226 in 9mm, also known as the P75, as their military service pistol in 1975.  Unlike the more modern design, the original DA/SA SIG 220 was a 9mm pistol that utilized a single column magazine and the European “heel mounted” magazine release, that was located at the bottom of the grip. Because the 1980s was the era when high capacity 9mm pistols were coming into widespread law enforcement service, SIGARMS reacted to this trend by creating the 9mm SIG 226.  In essence, the P226 was a SIG 220 with a redesigned aluminum frame, that accommodated a 15 round magazine and a more traditional frame mounted magazine release button.  The early SIGs were also manufactured with a carbon steel slide assembly.

As soon as the now famous 9mm SIG 226 became available, a buddy of mine put me in contact with a senior gunsmith at SIGARMS.  One thing led to another and before long I became the proud owner of a P226.  When I mentioned my concern about corrosion, due to being stationed in Miami, my new contact at SIG sent me an un-cataloged Parkerized 9mm SIG 226.  Bear in mind, that during this period of time, night sights were initially unavailable.

I took a brief vacation from carrying my 9mm SIG 226 when I transferred to U.S. Customs Air Operations and I was issued a .45 ACP caliber S/A Colt Series 70 Government Model 1911 and a S/A 9mm Browning Hi Power.  When I was promoted again and I became a Special Agent assigned to the Miami Air Smuggling Investigations Group 7, I adopted the 9mm SIG 228 as soon as this pistol became available.  The compact P228 was adopted because this pistol was better suited to my new duties as a criminal investigator.

Sig Sauer P226 with Factory Polymer grips covered with Granulate TALON Grips

The 9mm SIG 225 was also available at that time. The P225 was a SIG 228 size compact pistol that utilized a lightweight alloy frame, that accommodated a single column 8 round magazine.  The original P225 also carried the designation of P6 when used by the West German Police.  (The SIG 228 is basically a high capacity SIG 225.  The 228 was designed to appeal to a market that was gravitating toward the use of higher capacity 9mm pistols.)

Even though I had one of my 9mm SIG 226 pistols Parkerized to aid in corrosion resistance, at no time have I ever owned a firearm that became damaged, or inoperable due to corrosion.  In fact, when I worked in NYC as a uniformed police officer, I carried an issued blue steel Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special service revolver in a duty holster in all four seasons.  I also carried a number of other revolvers and pistols that were constructed in “blued steel.” None of these handguns ever failed to work as designed, despite being constantly exposed to the elements. This included my carbon steel 9mm SIG 226 and my carbon steel 9mm SIG 228, both pistols that were carried in torrential rain storms, in and around salt water, throughout the Caribbean, in harsh winter blizzard conditions, as well as in desert terrain.

I mention this because you should be concerned about the impact of corrosion and the use of firearms in harsh operating conditions.  The simple truth is, that even firearms that have a reputation for holding up after exposure to the elements and extensive use, need to be properly maintained.  As a result, I maintain all of my firearms the same way, regardless of how they are constructed and whether they have a corrosive resistant finish.


In order to accommodate being chambered in .40 S&W and .357 SIG calibers, SIG developed the SIG 229, a compact pistol on par with the 228, only the 229 was manufactured with a blackened stainless steel slide assembly and a lightweight alloy frame. This also resulted in the development of a “new” P226, the P226 MK25 Navy, the 220, 220 Carry, the 220 Compact, the SP2022, the 239, the M11A1, the 225A1 and the 224 models with the same type of stainless steel slide construction. To aid in corrosion resistance, a Nitron coating was applied to the stainless slide assembly.

The DAK trigger system also came into service as SIG’s version of a Double Action Only style operating mechanism.  Personally, I always believed that the DAK trigger was underrated and deserved more attention.  The DAK trigger system was especially easy to transition to, for end users who were revolver shooters.  In fact, one of THE MOST accurate SIGs I ever owned and trained with, was a P220 Carry Model in .45 ACP, that was fitted with a super smooth DAK trigger.  I also evaluated a SIG 224 with a DAK trigger that was also very easy to shoot with precision.”

Personally, I never cared much for the Single Action Trigger that SIG offers on some of their Classic Series of pistols.  I felt this way, because the SIG S/A trigger on a Classic Pistol like the 220, isn’t really the same S/A trigger that you find on a 1911 style pistol. Instead, the S/A trigger that is offered on Classic SIGs feels like the same S/A trigger that is used on a DA/SA pistol.


In all of the years that I have owned and evaluated SIG pistols, I have never experienced a malfunction or a stoppage of any kind, with any carbon steel made 9mm SIG 226, 9mm SIG 228, 9mm 225, or with a blackened stainless steel made 9mm SIG 226 MK25 Navy Model, a 9mm SIG 226 DAK, a DA/SA SIG 226 in .40 S&W, a DA/SA SIG 226 in ,357 SIG, a 9mm DA/SA SIG 239, a 9mm SIG 239 DAK, a 9mm 239 SAS, a 9mm DA/SA 229, a 9mm 229 DAK, a 229 in .357 SIG with a DAK trigger, a 9mm DA/SA SP 2022,  a DA/SA sig pro 2340 in .40 S&W, a DA/SA SIG 220 Carry Model 45 ACP, a SIG 220 DAK in .45 ACP, two different S/A SIG 220s in .45 ACP, an all stainless DA/SA SIG 220 .45, two different DA/SA 220 Compacts in .45 ACP (one two tone and one black Nitron finished), a 9mm SIG M11 (228), a 9mm SIG M11A1 (228), a SIG 224 DAK in .40, a 9mm DA/SA 224, or a DA/SA SIG 232 in .380.

SIg Sauer P220 Nitron Full Size with Rubber-Black TALON Grips

Of the four full size DA/SA SIG 220s in .45 ACP that I have owned and or evaluated, three were flawlessly reliable. This includes the SIG 220 in .45 ACP that I carried during my career as a U.S. Customs Agent. One of the four full size black Nitron coated 220s  experienced one malfunction that was my fault.  In this instance, I took this 220 to the range after storing this pistol in my safe for a number of months.  Due to a complete lack of lubrication this pistol experienced one stoppage.  Once this 220 was lubricated in the field, it returned to performing without any problems.  This same pistol also experienced a malfunction that was ammunition related.

In addition, one of the DA/SA SIG 229s in 40 S&W that I owned experienced one malfunction due to a defective magazine.  Once the magazine was replaced the pistol functioned flawlessly.  This is why you should NEVER carry any magazine fed firearm before you field test your magazines, to insure that they function reliably at all times, with all kinds of ammunition.  I also experienced a feeding problem with a DA/SA SIG 229 in 40 S&W, while using an early interchangeable .357 SIG barrel  Once this pistol was sent to the factory forinspection, it returned in fine working order.  As stated above, all of the other 229s that I have owned and field tested were flawlessly reliable.

I also tried field testing a new in the box 9mm SIG 226 Enhanced Elite that had to be a factory lemon, because this pistol was horribly unreliable, so much so it wasn’t worth continuing the test.  As you can see from the rather detailed data provided above, encountering a reliability problem with Classic Series SIG Pistols is a very rare occurrence.  The fact that it can happen is the main reason why you must test fire and periodically train with the firearms that you rely on for personal protection and home defense.


Now that I am older and have arthritis, I noticed that I was beginning to feel the effects of recoil, even though my Classic SIG pistols were equipped with after market screw on rubber grips.  At this point I had two choices.  One was to stop carrying my Classic SIG pistols.  The other option, was to see if installing a set of Talon Rubber Grips on a SIG 228 would provide improved ergonomics, while also serving to tame the effects of recoil.  Much to my surprise, the Talon Grips provided just enough textured rubber material covering the surface of the factory SIG grips, to make my P228 comfortable to grip and shoot with a wide variety of ammunition. Where I’m from they call this a “good deal.”

After conducting this side by side comparison, I also decided to replace the screw on rubber grips that are currently on my SIG 226, with a set of Talon Rubber Grips.  However, be advised that if you intend to remove the original screw on factory SIG grips, once they are covered with Talon Rubber Grips, you need to remove some additional material.  This is necessary to expose the original side panel screws and allow for the removable of the grips.


In a day and age when all kinds of new and improved striker fired pistols are being manufactured, I still find my DA/SA Classic Series carbon steel 9mm SIG Pistols to be just as capable and effective, as any of the more modern designs.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t own and carry more “modern” Personal Defense Weapons.  I use what works for me, because in the end, that’s all that matters. 

About the Author

Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Customs Service who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working in undercover operations. Prior to joining the U.S. Customs Service the author served as a police officer and investigator for various law enforcement agencies in New York. To date, the author has published over 180 magazine articles and eight books.

The author has a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is married and has two sons and two grandsons.

Nick’s books include:

Controlled Delivery Book One
Controlled Delivery Book Two










Buck Banderas U.S Marshal Book One
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Back Cover











Buck Banderas US Marshall Book Two
Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Book Two Back Cover












The Frontline Fugitives Book I
The Frontline Fugitives Book II
The Frontline Fugitives Book II Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book III
The Frontline Fugitives Book III Back Cover











The Frontline Fugitives Book IV
The Frontline Fugitives Book IV Back Cover

Pro Grip, our most advanced and versatile grip

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado (April 24, 2020) – TALON Grips, the leader in stick on gun grips, introduces its new Pro Grip texture. Pro Grip is TALON’s most advanced and versatile grip texture. 

Pro Grip combines the best characteristics of the Granulate and Rubber textures in one revolutionary grip. The new texture is comfortable against skin for concealed carry and provides a strong enough grip for competition use. 

The material utilizes particles of high friction rubber to achieve its high performance characteristics.

Pro Grip excels in all areas of firearm use including law enforcement, military, competition, range, and defensive carry. 


“The pursuit of innovation is a core principle of TALON Grips,” said Michael Morris, President of TALON Grips. He continued “Our team does not accept good enough, that attitude paid off with the development of our new Pro Grip. The material excels in all applications and situations.”

R&D testers raved about the new grip texture because it provided an incredibly strong grip yet it’s comfortable enough for concealed carry against bare skin. The most common question from the testers was “when can I get this texture on my other guns?”

The Pro Grip texture was run through the gauntlet and tested in all conditions. It excelled in extreme wet, dry, hot and cold conditions.

Pro Grip was first shown at SHOT Show January 21-24, 2020 and will be available in all grip designs offered by TALON Grips in April, 2020. 

TALON custom stick-on grips give you better control and faster, more accurate follow up shots.  Improving your control, comfort, and precision increases your safety, confidence, and enjoyment while shooting.

The PRO Grip texture will be introduced April 29th, 2020. On April 29th and 30th it will be on sale for $19.99 per gun grip, a 20% savings off the retail price of $24.99.

About TALON Grips

TALON Grips fix an area of shooting that cannot be perfected through practice -a slippery grip.  TALON Grips are trusted by millions of shooters including law enforcement officers, military professionals, competitive shooters, and people that care about performance and safety.

Utilizing the latest design and production technologies, TALON Grips produces the most innovative functional grips available. TALON Grips provides superior products that make a difference at an affordable price.

TALON Grips was founded in 2009 by a law enforcement officer, competitive shooter, firearms instructor, and armorer to enhance shooter comfort, consistency, and weapon retention.  The patented TALON Grips provide maximum grip coverage in custom designs for over 300 firearms. The precisely cut designs are available in rubber-black, rubber-moss, and granulate-black materials for different applications and user preferences.

Headquartered in Steamboat Springs, CO, TALON Grips are 100% made in the USA. TALON Grips are available at select retailers or direct at

We believe you are the weapon and your firearm is just your tool. TALON Grips ensure that your tool performs as well as you.

Shop PRO Grip 

TALON eBook Chapter 3: Proper Use of Sights

Having a proper understanding of what your pistol sights do and how to use them properly can do wonders to help your accuracy in target shooting, competition, and defensive scenarios. In a perfect world we’d be able to acquire sight alignment, sight picture, and put the sights on the target with equal height and equal light showing through the front post and rear sight.

That ideally looks like this:

As you can see, both front and rear sights are the same height with the front post centered between the rear sights allowing the same amount of light to pass on either side. When those sights are placed on your target at your chosen distance, that makes your sight picture.

But, we don’t live in a perfect world, and things rarely go as planned, especially where self-defense is concerned.

In a practical defensive shooting scenario, we may not have enough time to properly align the sights as shown above. Instead, all we can rely on is our training, finding the front sight as quickly as possible, and using our shooting fundamentals.

After all, the closer the bad guy is to you, the less your sights matter because of reaction and having a larger target.

Focus on Front Sight or Target?

There is a lot of debate out there coming from different pistol instructors about if it’s better to focus on the front sight or the target while shooting.

If you’ve been around guns for a while, you’ve likely heard instructors from both camps. Some say to focus on the front sight, others say to focus on the target. Then there are those who will say that there is truth to both.

The best thing, and what most instructors teach, is to focus on the front sight while shooting unless you cannot for some reason like if the target is too close. If the target is right on top of you, you won’t be able to focus on much of anything but the target.

Having said that, while you should focus on the front sight, proper sight picture includes also knowing your target and having the ability to track the target should it start to move while still engaging you.

You should therefore still be able to see the target beyond the front sight.


It’s a good idea to practice engaging more than one target. Studies have shown that attackers tend to travel in groups, and if you are ever attacked it’s a good idea to know how to engage more than one target.

Shooting at multiple targets may seem intimidating, but at its very core it is quite simple. Things need to happen in a specific order:

  1. Awareness of target
  2. Eyes to target
  3. Gun to target/eyes

You must be aware that there is another target that needs to be engaged, then you need to shift your eyes to that target. Finally, you move your muzzle/sights to your eyes, find your front sight, and engage the target.

You can practice this in the comfort of your own home using nothing more than your eyes and your pointer finger.

Become aware that the clock on the wall is now a target, shift your eyes to it, and then extend your arm fully, pointing to it with your trigger finger.

Then, while still pointing at the clock, become aware that your houseplant is your next target, shift your focus/eyes to it, and then move your finger over to it.

If you’re like most people, you’ll be able to point exactly at that target with your finger just a moment after seeing it with your eyes. Your finger should point directly at the clock, plant, or whatever else you want to use.

When you do this with your gun, the same principle applies. The only difference is that the other shooting fundamentals, like your grip, have to remain intact.


This tip admittedly doesn’t necessarily help your accuracy out in terms of what you may be thinking but it still has importance in the context of defensive shooting, and winning the fight.
Shoot with both eyes open. If you can, that is. Some folks are medically unable to use both eyes when shooting, so this does not apply to them.

There are a few reasons why shooting with both eyes open is better. First, if you’re presented with a threat in real life, you’ll likely respond to that threat by keeping both eyes open, not closing one of them.

Second, you’ll have increased peripheral vision and, therefore, better situational awareness should there be multiple attackers you need to defend against.

There are inherent problems with using both eyes, however. For example, you’ll likely see two guns. You’ll see one gun directly in front of your dominant eye and your aligned sights, and another at a slight angle from your non-dominant eye.

You will probably get to a point where you don’t even notice the second, angled one after practicing for a while. But, it could still trip you up, at least at first.

It should also be said that shooting with both eyes open is generally meant for defensive shooting distances of no more than 15-20 yards away. If you ever need to engage a target further than that, closing the other eye may help.
You won’t always have time to acquire proper sight picture. When you can, it’s great. However, you may also want to practice shooting without your sights, just to make sure you can, as well as figuring out to which distances you can effectively do it.

Read more of the eBook 

TALON eBook Chapter 2: Proper Draw Technique

If you ever need to defend yourself, having a proper draw is critical. If you draw your gun the wrong way, don’t get a proper grip from the draw, or do something else wrong, it can hurt your chances of survival when you need it most.

There are a few different factors for an effective draw. The first factor, or thing you must master, is clearing your clothing garment out of the way before you pull your gun out of the holster. This can be easier said than done, and does require practice to get right.

The way you do this properly depends largely upon where you carry your gun, but there is one thing that remains certain regardless of where you carry: You must get your covering shirt, jacket, or vest completely out of the way before you de-holster your gun.

If you’re carrying in the appendix position, or strong side hip, this means pulling your garment up high to prevent snagging or accidentally gripping a piece of clothing with your gun.

Some folks use two hands to get their covering garment out of the way, while others use one hand. Either can be right for you, but you must practice whatever you choose to get it down. Even the most experienced shooters get this step wrong from time to time.

This may sound strange, but there is also a place for dry firing while at the range. This is something people who are used to dry firing in their home don’t think about. However, if you start to notice you’re dropping your shots while you’re doing live fire, unload your gun and dry fire at your target a few times.

This will help you isolate the problems you’re having. For example, let’s say you’re flinching (anticipating the shot). If you start to dry fire at the range after doing a few magazines, you’ll still likely flinch while doing it dry.

Pressing off a few dry fire shots will help you get back on track by reinstilling those all-important fundamentals.

And, in fact, dry fire practice is one of the best tools to help you diagnose a flinch–which is a huge cause for shooting accuracy issues.

A flinch usually occurs when you’re anticipating the recoil of the firearm. Your body has an automatic response to trouble. If you’re falling, your body’s automatic response is to put out your arms to brace for the fall.

When you’re shooting, your body will try to lessen the recoil a bit by pushing against the gun. You have to train yourself to prevent this from happening. One of the ways to do this is by dry firing both at home and at the range after shooting to find out if you’re doing it, and how much. Even the most accomplished shooters flinch from time to time and the only way to overcome it is by practicing.

Dry fire practice will help you get that much-needed trigger time, even in the comfort of your own home. Practice whenever you can.

The next factor usually makes or breaks defensive shooters, or those who compete in matches.

To draw effectively one must get a solid shooter’s grip on the gun before it ever leaves the holster. The key here, is to grip it up as high on the backstrap as you can to help you mitigate recoil once you start shooting.

This is one of the reasons many folks are inaccurate when they shoot, especially from the draw. They don’t have a proper, high grip on their pistol. This makes follow up shots a lot harder. The gun moves back to the rear, the muzzle flips up, then, believe it or not, the muzzle will even dip as the slide moves forward, a lot of the time.

The next step in the draw, is to pull the gun up high out of your holster. Again, the reason it goes up high is to make sure it doesn’t snag on anything, and as a bonus, this helps you with the next part of the draw.

At this point, your support hand is still up high on your chest holding your garment. As you bring the gun up, you’ll release the garment and bring your two hands together as you start to form your two handed grip. You should already have a solid, dominant hand grip on your gun should you need to defend yourself before your support hand comes into play. You should begin to punch the gun outward away from your body and toward your target.

The next critical aspect of the draw is acquiring your front sight. Every shooter will do this at different speeds, but it is a best practice to acquire the front sight sometime during the extension of your gun.

This allows you to shoot earlier if necessary to defend life, and also allows you better accuracy at a faster rate.
Finding your front sight during this process is not the easiest thing and should be practiced in both live fire whenever possible, and at home during dry fire practice.

Having a proper drawing technique that you can practice will only help your chances of survival and increase your accuracy when you shoot from the draw.

Read the rest of the TALON Grips eBook 

Hard Decisions- Choosing Your First Long Gun by Jay Chambers

The Basic Differences

For long time gun owners, this will be a short overview. For people trying to decide on their first firearm however, this information will be necessary to understanding the rest of the analysis.

Shotguns are generally smooth barreled guns that fire shells containing small pellets that scatter as they leave the barrel. The scatter is not as ridiculous as it is often portrayed in video games, but it is significant.

Rifles fire bullets through rifled barrels. The rifling, or spiraling, in the barrel catches on to the bullet and causes it to spin which increases range and accuracy. They are useful from medium to long ranges and come in many forms from slow and precise bolt action rifles to rapid firing semi-automatic rifles.


People use shotguns and rifles to hunt various animals.

Shotguns are used to hunt fast moving targets like quail and rabbits. They also pack a punch which can be used to go after physically intimidating animals such as black bears and grizzly bears. Due to the smooth barrels and the spread of the shots, they are mostly useful for short range hunting. There are rounds called slugs which fire a single projectile. This can increase the effective range, but not beyond that of a rifle.

Rifles are better for hunting targets at long range. Deer, moose, and other large animals need a precise shot to go down. Various calibers allow rifles to be useful against all kinds of animals. A .223 from an AR-15 can be used to take down a deer. However, big game hunting requires big bored rifles. There are rifles designed for precise shots at the longest of ranges and others designed to take multiple shots at a time. Rifles are also better for young hunters. .22s and pellet rifles do not pack more heat than a child can handle, and pellet rifles lack the stopping power for them to seriously injure themselves or anyone else. Quality pellet rifles that are accurate, easy to handle, and will never misfire can be purchased for young hunters to hunt their first squirrels and small birds. This means there is a rifle for most situations.

So, what’s better? In my opinion, rifles get the nomination for the best at hunting. There are definitely times when a shotgun is the best choice, but if we’re picking a winner, it has to be rifles for the wider array of situations where they are better suited than shotguns.


The second amendment is crucial to the American ideal of liberty and being able to protect yourself and those you love is part of that.

When people need to defend themselves with a firearm, there are two broad situations they find themselves in. They may be somewhere public, but pistols are generally the best option for daily carry unless you want to lug your long gun around the town square.

Let’s consider how a shotgun and a rifle would fare while defending your home.

The type of rifle would matter. A bolt action rifle is not ideal for home defense. You would want something easy to handle and with the ability for rapid fire. A semi-automatic rifle or a lever action rifle would be better choices. However, even with the ability to fire shots in quick succession, rifles are best when you are carefully picking your shots. If your home has been invaded, you may not be in a situation to carefully pick your shots. You will likely be stressed and lack proper vision. The spread out shot of a shotgun will fare better here. You still have to aim at the target, but precision is not as key.

Also, rifle rounds can travel through the walls of a house and land on unintended targets. A shotgun blast will be safer for people in other rooms or nearby houses. In general, shotguns would be preferred for home defense.

Firearms as a Hobby

Two of the main purposes for owning guns are defending oneself and hunting. However, there is no denying that another benefit to owning guns is having fun.

While guns are tools, are they really no different than a screwdriver laying on a workbench? Firearms are also part of a hobby. People are going to gravitate towards different firearms, so there is a lot of personal preference involved. However, one way to differentiate the two is by the options they provide.

Shotguns come in two basic forms: pump-action and semi-automatic. The different types of rounds, from buckshot to birdshot, do not drastically change the shooting experience. Skeet shooting competitions are a great way to liven up the action, but that’s about it.

There are a ton of different rifles to choose from. Semi-automatic rifles offer precision and the fun of a 30-round magazine. The AR-15 on its own offers its own hobby, as shooting enthusiasts take pride in building their custom ARs in any variety of ways. Lever action rifles offer a very tactile shooting experience that harkens back to the days of outlaws. Bolt-action rifles offer shooting over incredibly long distances which requires significant amounts of skill.

While there are a handful of types of rifles, the differences extend into the individual rifles in each category. An AK-47 offers a different experience to an AR-15. A .22 lever action for plinking offers a different experience to a big bored one.

When it come to firearms as a hobby, rifles win due to the diverse range of experiences they offer.

So which is it, Rifles or Shotguns?

Rifles were determined to be better for hunting and to offer more to the hobby of shooting. Shotguns did win in the “self-defense” category.

Regardless of the scoring here, different guns are perfect for different people and different uses. Overall though, rifles have come out on top.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Aftermarket Sights by Gen Artis

The first thing to consider upgrading on your handgun besides grips… are the sights. Because truth be told, very few gun owners want to deal with the lackluster quality of stock gun sights. And here is where aftermarket gun sights come in handy.

Aftermarket sights are easy to find, are affordable, and there is a ton of options for you to choose from. But before you make your choice, are there any factors you should consider? As with any other product, there are several things to consider.

So what are some of these things you need to consider before settling on an aftermarket sight? Let’s find out.


The problem with plastic stock sights is they end up breaking due to repetitive recoils. The best materials for making gun sights are aluminum and steel. They are tough, lightweight, and can take a beating.

It is for this reason that the best sights for Glock 43 are usually made of either aluminum or steel. Both metals are lightweight, with aluminum being the lighter of the two. As such, they do not add significant weight to your handgun.

Tritium vs. fiber optic sights

Tritium is perhaps the most common ingredient used in the making of aftermarket sights. It is a radioactive element that is radioluminescence. Without getting technical, this simply means that it can create fluorescent light without electricity.

Today, however, some manufacturers are turning to the use of fiber optic. This material glows brightly, even in average daylight. And since the glow is concentrated and doesn’t magnify, it makes target acquisition easy.

To understand the significant differences between the two, we must first understand how each work. Fiber optic technology relies on ambient light. Tritium, on the other hand, is luminescent in nature and does not require ambient light.

So, which between the two should you go for? Due to their reliance on ambient light fiber optic sights do well in daylight. However, it is worth noting that they can still be used at night.

Tritium sights, on the other hand, do well at night since they do not require any ambient light. Basically, in low light situations, tritium sights perform better.

Type of sight

Aftermarket sights come in four different types. These are three-dot sights, two-dot sights, 1-dot sight, and u-shaped rear sight.

Three dot sights are the most common and feature two small dots at the rear and one big one at the front. They feature either tritium or fiber-optic inserts. And in some models, you get a mixture of both.

Two dot sights feature a small dot at the rear and a bigger one at the front. Similar to three-dot sights, they can have tritium, fiber optic, or a mixture of both.

I-dot sights have a large dot at the front and feature a painted line on the gun’s notch.  When aiming, you have to alight the “I” with the center of the dot.

U-shaped sights are perfect for long-distance and competitive shooting. Thus if you want aftermarket sights for an upcoming competition, go for u-shaped sights.

Three-dot and two-dot sights are easy to use and are readily available. For general purpose use, they are ideal.


Aftermarket sights vary in price. Some are cheap while are others are expensive. Obviously, the expensive models have more to offer. The money you spend on a sight will depend on what you want to use it for.

If you are looking for sights for your nightstand gun or EDC handgun, there is no need to go all out. Most standard sights will offer what you need. However, for a bedside handgun, you will be looking to buy one that can be used at night.

For competitive shooting where accuracy and fast target acquisitions are necessary, you may have to spend a little bit more.

As a rule of thumb when it comes to buying aftermarket sights, avoid cheap plastic models. These are incapable of withstanding repetitive recoil. Also, some cheap models from China are a nightmare to install.

Size of the front sight

The front sight is made up of a large dot that you use to aim at the target. In any sight, it is arguably the most crucial part. The front sight needs to be large enough to be visible. However, too large a front sight is not recommended.

An overly wide front sight may obscure your aim and make it challenging to acquire targets at longer distances. As such, the front sight should be larger than the rear sight but not too big as to obscure your aim.

The rear sight

You can have either one or two rear sights depending on the type of sight you have. In the case of one sight, it needs to be smaller than the front. The same applies where you have two rear sights.

The rear sight has a softer glow compared to the front. The idea is to emphasize the glow of the front sight.

The brand

The brand name behind an aftermarket sight also matters. Some of the common brand names include Trijicon, Truglo, Ameriglow, and XS sights. Of the four, Trijicon is perhaps the most famous.

Trijicon products are known for their quality and price. However, when it comes to aftermarket sights, the price difference is not all that big.

All the same Truglo sights tend to be cheaper than Trijicon ones. Ameriglo sights are also quite affordable and are generally of good quality.

On the other side of the spectrum are XS sights, which do not come cheap. The company offers traditional-style sights. XS sights and Trijicon sights are more high-end than Truglo and Ameriglo.


There are plenty of aftermarket sights to choose from. Your decision will largely depend on your preferences as well as your needs. For daytime use, fiber optic sights are sufficient. But for night time use tritium sights are recommended.

Also, the type of sight you select matters. As mentioned, competitive shooters prefer u-shaped sights. 2-dot sights, on the other hand, tend to be easier to align, especially for shooters who use the flash sight shooting technique.

Ultimately no matter your preferences, it is always wise to shop around for the different options available in the market.


TALON Grips vs Stippling

Which one is right for you?  TALON Grips vs. Stippling.

We can all get along! A M&P Full Size with TALON Grip and stippled backstrap.

Nobody is going to debate that every shooter out there benefits from having a better grip. I mean it is simple math right?  More traction = better grip = better shooting. The question becomes how do you improve your grip? There are a number of techniques that you can use to improve your grip.  In Step 5 of this Free eBook, we talk about accuracy as it relates to the way that we grip the handgun.  The article explains the High Grip with Thumbs Forward technique. The article goes on discussing Tightness, One-Handed shooting and Breathe.  These are all crucial things that can be improved with practice.

Practice alone, cannot fix a slippery grip.  So what are your options?

TALON Grips are a stick-on gun grip that changes the texture of your gun improving your grip.   Benefits of TALON Grips include:

  • They are quick and easy to install (5-10 minutes)
  • They allow you to reposition the grip several times without affecting the grip, so if you make a mistake, you can correct it.
  • They can be removed at any time returning the pistol to factory condition.
  • They are affordable at $19.99 each.
  • They do not affect the gun manufacturer’s warranty.
  • They can easily be changed/replaced when the time comes.
  • They are made in the USA
  • They provide maximum coverage giving extra traction to most of your firearm
  • The thin material (only .5mm thick) does not change the overall size of the grip
A Canik TP9SF wearing TALON rubber grips

Stippling is an alternative to TALON Grips. It’s another popular way to improve the slippery factor of your gun.   First, here are some considerations with stippling:

  1. A good stipple job will cost anywhere from $85-150+
  2. Time, yes, you can buy a soldering iron for $15 and stipple multiple guns, but doing a great job takes practice, patience, and hours.
  3. Stippling has little room for error.  If you make a mistake with an unsteady hand, it will be there for the life of the frame.
  4. You will probably void your manufacturer’s warranty
  5. It can be gross to find all of the dead skin stuck in the stippling, but a quick brush and a bit of elbow grease can fix that.
  6. The texturing can wear down over time and you have to re-stipple to bring back the aggressiveness.
Glock 17 Gen4 with finger grooves removed and stippled

Stippling can be great!  It is an effective way to get more texture on your gun so you can shoot better.  It is a great way to customize your handgun (if you have the skills and time). Stipple jobs can look super cool and provide great traction.

So if you think through the considerations above and have the skills and time, stipple your gun!  If you want a cheaper, quicker and easier alternative buy TALON Grips. Either way, a better grip is going to help improve your performance.