How to put grip tape on a handgun (GT-5000 GripTape Tutorial)

Gt-5000 GripTape
Gather your supplies

If you’re like me and you have small hands …

Or you live in a climate where you often shoot in sweaty conditions …

Or for whatever reason, you just want to know how to improve the grip on your handgun, then here is how I did it using a product called GT-5000 GripTape.


Why Would You Want To Put Grip Tape On a Handgun?

First, most of us shoot in really nice weather if we go to an outdoor range. The sun is shining and our hands our dry and clean. Obviously in a stressful shooting situation, that might not be the case.

Then there’s the worst case scenario. If you have blood all over your hands and you have to draw and fight with your handgun, your hands are going to be slipping all over the place (blood is slick).

Finally, if you have arthritis or some other problem making you hands weak, then grip tape could make it easier to get a grip on your gun and manipulate it better.

NOTE: there are plenty of products out there that you can use for Grip Tape. I had just heard, specifically of GT-5000 from a friend I like and trust, so I decided to try this brand first. I have no opinion on the various other brands because I have not tried them yet.

How I Installed GT-5000 GripTape

NOTE: Unload your gun first. Check to make sure it’s unloaded. Then check it again. And check it one more time before you start. Yes, check it three times. (If you stop during this process, then come back to your gun, you are required to clear the gun and check it again.)

Step 1: Get your supplies.

Gt-5000 GripTape
Gather your supplies

I bought the GT-5000 GripTape, grabbed a pen, my gun, and painters tape (you could use masking tape as well. In fact, the instructions with the GT-5000 say to use masking tape.)

Step 2: Grip your handgun to figure out where you want/need tape

I spent a lot of time looking at my grip when I put my hands on the stocks of the handgun. I wanted to see where my hands were making contact with the gun.

I also know, from putting thousands of rounds down range with this gun, exactly what grip problems I often have. My biggest one is that my support hand often loses grip first during multiple strings of fire.

So for me, I decided I wanted to try getting more grip on the support side of the gun, and I wanted to try and leave the factory grip texture alone to see if I could use both.

Step 3: Put tape where you want the grip tape

griptape2Very simply I used the painters tape to put on the parts of the grip where I thought I would be putting the grip tape.

You could, theoretically, put it over your whole handgun stocks before moving to the next step.

Step 4: Use your pen to trace where you want to cut the tape.

griptape3Obviously, you need to fit the tape to the gun, so I used a pen to trace around the outline of the tape. How it was going to fit.

Step 5: Cut the tape.

griptape4I took the tape off the gun to cut it.

griptape5I only had a box cutter, but quickly realized this would work much, much better if I had been using an exacto knife.

Step 6: put the cut painters tape on the Grip Tape using it as a stencil

griptape6Then I simply put the painters tape on the grip tape and used that as a stencil to show me where I would need to mark and then cut the Grip Tape so it would fit to my gun.

griptape7Take your time and try to make the cuts precise.

Step 7: Stick the Grip Tape on the handgun

griptape8At this point, your grip tape has been cut and it should fit, so just stick it on the gun and take off the painters tape stencil.

Then you can trim and make any fine adjustments needed to the fit and finish of the grip tape as needed with your knife.

griptape9Now you can repeat as many times as necessary to get the grip tape wherever else you want it and enjoy the final product!

griptape10I plan to take my gun out and shoot it to see if I need to add more grip tape and if so, where I think I need it to make the grip even better.

In Conclusion …

There are many ways to improve the grip of your handgun …

Stippling is one option, but it’s quite permanent, so before taking that step, I’m trying grip tape first.

Keep in mind that GT-5000 is not the only grip tape available. You have many options from many manufacturers and you can even use things like skateboard tape and veterinary tape (hat tip to Frankie 2 shoes) to add a grippy texture.

If you do something similar or have any other tips, please let me know in the comments.

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Caleb Lee is the #1 best-selling author of "Concealed Carry 101" and founder of He is a civilian (no law enforcement or military experience) who shares information about self-defense and becoming more self-reliant. He's a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, NRA Certified Basic Pistol & Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor, Concealed Carry Academy Instructor certified & also a graduate of the Rangermaster firearms instructor course. He's also the author of numerous online courses including the course.


  1. Having tried grip tape, rubber sleeves (grip condoms;) and stippling, I’ve learned alot.
    1) You don’t need the slide on the gun to do any of this. Additional precautionary step and just easier to manipulate when wrapping the grip.
    2) Grip tape grabs your clothes, scratches your bare skin and will upset the wife if it scuffs her new leather couch.
    3) Grip sleeves are a terrible idea. IMO
    4) Vet wrap is cheap, sticky enough but allows your hand to reposition if you need it to. A female friend has MS and very weak hands. She finds it comfortable and effective. Plus comes in tactcool black, cammo, pink blue…
    5) Captains of Crush help reduce the need.

    • Thanks for speaking up Franky!

      Question: you said you tried stippling … how did that go? Thoughts?

      P.S. Captains of Crush is great too, I should do an article on that …

  2. I don’t care for stippling. Permanent and rough against my skin for a carry gun.
    I’ve had the best luck with vet wrap. Comfortable, grippy, $2 for a years supply and not permanent. Initially some brands can be too tacky so I rub my hand in the dirt to apply a bit of dust.
    First I’d try techniques including isometric pressure, then vet wrap or some other method of increasing friction and always more strength.

  3. Caleb,3M makes a sticky back tape like the picture you show except it has a reslin surface instead of grit. I have used it between the alum. plates on my Adj. pad to hold positioning of recoil pad. The pieces you are showing looks like it may be this instead of grit

  4. I have been using skateboard tape for years on small pocket guns like DA derringers and 5 shot snubbies. Their recoil/weight ratio makes a follow up shot very tough w/o tape as they want to rotate in your hand requiring you to use your weak hand to get the gun back on target.

    • I have seen people use it that way yes.

      In fact, in one class I was at, there was a lady who was over 60 yrs old (didn’t get her exact age) and she had all parts of her slide covered in grip tape to help her grasp and rack the slide. Hope that helps.

  5. I have used skate board tape, It costs very little and stick well. The grit is real good.

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