Upgrade Your Plain Plastic Gun Stock With Stippling!

          Adding texture or stippling the plastic stock of your firearm is an easy, at-home project. It’s worth doing as the results are quite functional and the method described below is simple. I believe stippling is most applicable with the smooth factory stocks and fore-ends on rifles, shotguns, and those short non-NFA firearms like the Remington Tac-14 and the Mossberg Shockwave, though polymer framed handguns are typically the guns that get this treatment.


How to Stipple a Plastic Gun Stock

1.) First, obtain a wood burning tool/soldering iron with replaceable tips. These don’t cost more than $35. I’d imagine you could drive to any hobby store or large hardware store right now and find a wood burning kit.

2.) Halt! You must practice on something disposable before you try this on your guns. Grab that unwanted A2 AR-15 pistol grip from the spare parts drawer and start stippling in various patterns. Try out different methods of holding the iron and experiment with different ironing tips to get various texture patterns. As you will notice, the tip on your wood burning iron doesn’t have to be pressed in very far to produce an aggressive texture.

3.) Plan out your project! Naturally grasp and aim your firearm and take note of the specific locations of you hands. You can trace the outline of the area you want to texture with a pencil since pencil marks are easy to remove. Another method you could go with is to make a border of tape to better isolate the intended work zone. In the ideal situation, like with what happened to me, the stock you are stippling with will have slightly raised areas where your hands would normally go to hold the rifle/shotgun. Simply treat those areas as your work zone boundaries.

4.) Another thing you should do before starting on the intended work piece is to think to yourself: How rough of a texture do I want? Is the area I am stippling actually going to get grasped during use? Will the tip that I chose produce a grippy surface or is it just going to look cool?

5.) Now that you have a plan in mind you can proceed forward. You will want to remove the piece of furniture you are working on in order to make it easier to move around. Keep in mind that stippling the stock in different orientations will affect results and produce a multi-directional texture pattern. Switching up how you hold the piece can also reduce the discomfort that is experienced from repetitive tasks.

6.) Next, I would initially stipple in an outline of the area I wanted and then work my way inward. Stippling will produce a fair amount of fumes so you should definitely have a fan blowing at you and be outside during this process unless you think breathing in smoke from combusted plastic is a good idea.

7.) This will be a long process. You must stay patient throughout the stippling process so that you do a consistent and quality job. I know I was getting excited about finishing up and it effected my work. Take a short break in order to maintain composure. Stippling the semi-pistol grip area on a shotgun stock took me at least an 45 minutes.

8.) Now that you are “done” you will want to examine your stippling job. Notice all of your missed spots? Make sure you have your areas nicely filled in.

9.) And finally, if you have any left over “sprues” or small strings of plastic from the stippling process you don’t need to worry. They will be quickly removed after some handling. Don’t try to sand away any leftover bits of plastic because doing that will be unnecessary and it will just make the stippling look weird.


I am pleased with the stippling I put on the stock of my Mossberg 500. I could immediately notice the difference. The gun felt more secure in my hand compared to its factory condition.

          I hope you are now encouraged to add stippling to your gun stocks. This is great addition to firearms with heavy recoil like a 12 gauge pump action. Thanks for reading this article. If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms go ahead and let me know. I will answer any questions you have in a timely manner.