Heat stippling is nothing new. Everyone with a wood burner and Glock has improved their grip by adding some extra texture. Stippling works great on handguns, but can long guns benefit from stippling? They certainly can!
My first adventure in heat stippling a long gun came as an attempt to solve a problem with my AK47s. I typically run my AR-15s with a vertical grip or hand stop. This allows me to use my support hand to pull the AR back into my shoulder and control the muzzle. The vertical grip or handstop is basically just something to pull against. I wanted to be able to run my AK-47s the same way, but I was unwilling to spend the money for a quality rail system and vertical grip for a weapon that is not my “go-to”.
I needed a way to generate a lot of grip so that the AK could be pulled back into my shoulder in the manner that I prefer, so I broke out the wood burner. After a few minutes of work, I had a small area of the polymer lower hand guard stippled. I took the rifle to the range and I was thrilled with how it performed – so thrilled that I stippled even more of the hand guard when I returned home. I also stippled my second AK.
The extra grip generated by the stippling really aids in driving the AK. I was able to pull the rifle aggressively into my shoulder with less effort which helped keep the muzzle level during fast strings of fire. It isn’t a perfect replacement for a vertical grip but, for me, it has basically the same effect.
AR-15s can benefit from stippling as well. I applied some texture to an AR-15 that I have set up with Magpul MOE hand guards and an IWC Weapon Control MOUNT-N-SLOT. The result is excellent. The grip is positive and aggressive without being overly harsh. I find that I am able to lock my hand into place and really drive the gun. It also works great with gloves which is very nice in the winter.
I am certainly not the first person to heat stipple a long gun but it is far less common than heat stippled handguns. I hope this post encourages you to try your hand at stippling. You might just find that it solves a problem for you, too.