Review: Talon Grips
As both a police officer and firearms instructor, I’m always watching the industry looking for that new or improved item that will make my duties better or more efficient. Over the years I’ve tried lots of new or improved products. Some I really like, some are just so-so, and some I kick myself in the butt for wasting money on it. Last year when Springfield Armory came out with their awesome XDS45 pistol, I jumped on the bandwagon to get one as soon as I could. My daily assignment in criminal investigations has me generally wearing plain clothes, and a heavy pistol on my side just didn’t cut it. After ordering and receiving my XDS, it became my nearly every day carry pistol for work, and concealed carry when not at work. It is so light weight and slim, it just seems to disappear on your side. As good as this pistol is, there were a couple things I wanted to change. The first was the sights. The factory fiber optic front sight works quite well, but I need night sights on my pistols. I opted to try the new Trijicon HD sights, and absolutely love them! The other thing I wanted was to get a better grip on the pistol. Being very light (21oz) with the polymer frame is great for carrying, but since it is a .45 a good grip is essential for control while shooting. I could have opted for a slip on type grip, but they tend to be quite thick, and I didn’t want to go that route. Then I happened upon a company called Talon Grips. I saw some pictures of these posted on the internet, and for a very reasonable fee of just under $15, decided to give a set of the rubber grips a try.
The grips arrived just a few days after ordering in an envelope. Why that might not seem unusual to some, I was quite surprised at how thin the grips were without having seen them yet! I opened the envelope, and took out the instruction sheet, business cards, alcohol swab, and the Talon Grip that was custom cut for my XDS. The instructions seemed clear and easy. I then unloaded my XDS, removed the slide and magazine, and held the grips around the grip frame to see how it lined up. The grip on this particular pistol wraps from the front to the back. There are cut outs that allow the molded in XDS to show through, which I like very much. I found this aided greatly in lining up the grip to install it correctly. As I wrapped the grip around to the backstrap, there are 3 “fingers” on each side that butt up against each other. You need to trim this just a bit so that they do not overlap once you peel off the backing for the permanent installation. This was quite easy to accomplish, and took very little time to complete. Being satisfied that I was ready to begin the final installation, I cleaned off the pistol grip frame with the included alcohol swab, then peeled off the backing that covers the adhesive on the grips. I started on the left side, and lined up the XDS lettering with the cut out in the grips. At first, it was a bit off. I found it very easy to peel the grip up, and reapply without any negative consequences. I really loved how the grips adhered to the pistol, and followed all the shapes and contours, even the molded in thumb rests in the frame. Nice. I finished wrapping the grips around the pistol, and then practiced gripping the pistol, and drawing it from the holster. The pistol now feels much better in my hand, with great tactile feel. The looks are awesome too, with a nice deep Black finish that matches the polymer frame. These grips add almost no additional width to the pistol. I now also have a little bit more recoil absorption that makes my XDS even better. Although the recoil is more manageable than you would think, it’s still a .45acp in a very light package. To date, there has been no peeling despite being carried on a daily basis. In my opinion, it’s $15 very well spent on a quality product! I now have a set of these coming for my XDM45. When some of the officers at my department saw these grips, they instantly wanted to feel them. I know have a growing list of officers that want me to order some for them too. Talon Grips also makes these for Glocks, full size Springfield Armory XD’s and XDM’s, Kahr, S&W, Ruger, Beretta, and Kel-Tec models. Give these grips a try on your pistol. I’m sure you’ll love them too!