Jerkman Custom Grips

The usual suspects for a more aggressive grip texture on a polymer-framed pistol are grip tape or custom stippling. That is unless one is afflicted with Heckler & Koch pistol bug, for those with that affliction there are Jerkman Custom grips.

There are two things I’ve made no secret of. First, I am by and large a VP9 fanboy. Next, I’ve become increasingly involved in competitive pistol shooting. The latter of those two things has provided me with the opportunity to venture beyond the VP9 that continues to be my go to pistol for defensive carry, practice, and training. As I’ve ventured out and tried new things in competition, I was turned on to grips with aggressive texture which, as I’ve experienced, can be advantageous when safely running the gun as aggressively as possible or in conditions that result in reduced friction between the hands and the stock. It goes without saying, but I’ve become very fond of aggressively textured grips and began contemplating modification options to the VP9 late in 2022 when I coincidentally first heard about Jerkman Custom Grips from a random Active Self Protection video that found its way into my YouTube feed. So I did what one would expect from a VP9 fanboy and got my hands on a set of grips. I’ve been abusing them for about two months now which means it’s about time to tell y’all about them.

What exactly are Jerkman Custom Grips? As the name suggests, they are grips and they are custom. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Let’s try that again. Jerkman Custom Grips are factory Heckler & Koch side grip panels and backstraps that have had silicon carbide masterfully applied to them by Jeff, also known as “The Jerkman”. These grips are made to order. It starts by selecting the grip panels and backstrap thickness, the color, and finally the silicon carbide grit. Once the selections have been made, the Jerkman gets to work on them and ships them out to you. Some color and thickness combinations may not be in stock. When that’s the case, the lead time is dictated by the time it takes to procure the panels and backstrap directly from Heckler & Koch. Since the grips are made from H&K factory panels and backstraps means that these grips are available for quite a few different H&K pistols including all the VP9, VP40 and P30 variants including the SK models. Silicon carbide treated backstraps are also available for models such as the HK45, HK45C, P2000, and P2000SK. Support for additional models are in the works.

Some of y’all might be wondering, “Why not go with grip tape or custom stippling?” Or maybe I’m simply projecting because that was a question I asked myself. I have to admit that part of the decision was based on personal preference, but there were some pros and cons that are worth mentioning. Custom stippling, done correctly, yields great texture on any part of the frame desired with a professionally finished look. The downside is that it is a permanent change which requires one to be absolutely certain of desired texture otherwise leaving one with regret that may only be alleviated by obtaining a new frame which may mean a new gun. Grip tape is a far less expensive and permanent affair. The downside is that it can look sloppy and may not be easy to apply in all the desired locations of the frame. The Jerkman Custom grips blend the pros and cons of the other two approaches. It’s a non permanent change that is very easy to apply and remove that looks professional and keeps to the factory look. The downsides are that the texture is only available on the grip panels and backstrap and is accompanied by a “professional finish” price tag. As of writing, a set of grips for a VP9 runs $220. 

Is the upgrade worth the price? I’d say so. For what it’s worth, I paid full price for these 80/medium grip grips and I don’t have a monetary relationship with Jerkman Customs. Nor am I receiving any compensation for this review. The grips make a world of difference. The texture is present where it is needed – it’s needed where the palms come in contact with the pistol and that is exactly where the texture is located. Having that texture there has allowed me to run the VP9 more aggressively even when moisture would otherwise make maintaining a solid grip on the pistol challenging.  I have no doubt this would be possible with alternatives like grip tape or custom stippling. However, I appreciate the professional finish look while having the option of making changes in the future. In fact, I’m already considering the possibility of trying finer grit side panels to reduce the increased wear the current texture is applying to my undershirts from daily wear and regular practice. At the same time, I am already in discussions with The Jerkman about getting additional custom grips for the other VP9s. Yes, I have more than one which shouldn’t be a surprise since I’ve already admitted to being a fanboy.

As of writing, the panels are available in three different grit flavors: fine 120 grit, medium 80 grit, or coarse 60 grit. The medium grit has a comparable roughness to the precut skateboard grip tape available in the market today that is commonly used on handguns. The coarse grit is the most aggressive and, in my opinion, best suited for competition or duty pistols that are carried in an outside the waistband (OWB) holster where the grip doesn’t come in contact with clothing or skin. I can’t imagine the wear and tear the coarse grip will be responsible for. The fine grit will yield the least wear and tear and will be the most comfortable option for those who carry inside the waistband (IWB). Mixing and matching grit levels on individual panels and the backstrap is allowed. In fact, many folks carry IWB opt for the Conceal Carry Special which is made up of 120 grit treated side panels for the improved comfort and reduced wear and tear along with an 80 grit treated backstrap for a bit more grippiness.

Amidst recent discussions, I’ve learned that the Jerkman came up with the idea for these grips about five years ago when he was looking for a way to make hot summer day range sessions more enjoyable and productive with his pistol. I suspect he wasn’t keen on grip tape or custom stippling, like I was, as a solution. Regardless, he customized the grip panels on his personal gun. Later, he shared a few pictures of the grips on social media where others noticed them and began asking him to make some for them. The rest is, as they say, history. Today, his grips are sought after by enthusiasts like me, firearms and self defense industry royalty, and high tier competitive shooters. 

Those of you interested in getting some Jerkman Custom grips for your H&K pistol can contact The Jerkman by sending him a message via Facebook or Instagram where you can also see more of his work. For those of you who are social media adverse, The Jerkman can also be contacted via email at While the grip panels are made from factory H&K parts, pistols with cerakote finishes can also be accommodated. 

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