The Oregon Trail Defense Stippling Kit is a high quality all in one stippling kit that allows a user the ability to quickly and easily make permanent modifications to any piece of plastic. I’m a fan of stippling plastic, its a great way to make your weapons and gear work for you. There were several problems with my early attempts at stippling that I came across, problems that this kit helps reduced if not remove completely. If you are interested in stippling even the least bit, read this article completely before you purchase any gear
Oregon Trail Defense is located in rural northeastern Oregon and offers it’s clients a wide array of services. They offer firearms instruction covering basic pistol, carbine, and long-range marksmanship fundamentals. The also have branched into producing the Oregon Trail Defense Stippling kit as well as custom modifications and accessories for Safariland brand holsters. Micah the lead instructor and brains behind the OTD Stippling kit graduated with Honors from the U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Course and also graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps Advanced Scout Sniper Course. He later got his post-graduate degree from the University of Fallujah serving as a Scout Sniper Element Leader while supporting other Marine Infantry Elements.
To put it mildly he knows what works when it comes to weapons customization and what doesn’t. This intense knowledge of weapons fundamentals was not doubt invaluable in his creation of the OTD kit. In the military simple things work well, and if those simple things come in hard sided case that is hard to break, they work even better. So lets take a closer look at what makes the OTD Stippling kit a must have for anyone looking to get into stippling their gear.
Product: Oregon Trail Defense Stippling Kit
What you get:
- Electric soldering iron rated for 950*F (6 3/4″ long minus cord)
- Hard sided case
- OTD Waffle Tip 20 lines per inch 1/4″ wide
- OTD Rectangular tip
- Small round tip 1/16th” diameter
- Large round tip 1/8″ diameter
- Optional OTD Waffle tip 12 lines per inch 5/16″ wide
- Clear storage tube for tips
- Stand for iron
- Length : 8 1/8″ Long
- Width: 5 1/4″ Wide
- Depth: 2 1/4″ Deep
Cost: $48.95 MSRP
My first impression of the OTD Stippling kit was “I wish I had seen this earlier”. The kit is such an improvement over the set up I was using that I was aggravated at myself for not checking around more on the internet to find this kit instead of my Lowe’s kit. Opening the kit is straight forward and easy with the polymer tab and clasp on the side of the kit. Once I opened the kit I did the normal inventory of parts, soldering iron, check, stand, check, tips, check. Nothing out of the ordinary here so far.
There are several little things that OTD did extremely well on this kit, first use of a hard case was vastly superior to any other flimsy case I had seen for soldering irons in the big box stores. The next thing they did is small but it makes a huge difference, a clear tube that holds the soldering iron tips. It may not seem like a big deal until you drop a bit, or can’t find a place to put them when you are done with them. The storage tube also has a spot inside the hard case, keeping this nice and neat all in one central location.
What did I notice while using the OTD kit ?
I said there were major advantages this kit has over my current box store variety kit and one of those advantages is heat. The smaller box store kit I had been using was rated generously at around 600*F, the OTD kit clearly states it will reach temperatures of 950*F. I wasn’t sure if that was going to be accurate until I plugged the OTD iron in and it warmed up to operating temperature much faster than my older model. My old unit would need some rest if I was running it quickly and got into a rhythm with my stippling, it would noticeably loose penetration power. Using the OTD kit and the 12 lines per inch pattern waffle I was able to quickly completely stipple a Magpul PMAG in under 5 minutes, and that was going slow.
The difference in the two units is remarkable, the OTD unit did have some quirks though, notice I didn’t say problems. The OTD kit gets very hot and during that process tends to allow plastic to attach itself to the brass tip. This eventually did sizzle and produce a bit of smoke, ventilation is a must with the OTD kit. A simple household fan will be sufficient. After staring at the smoldering black goo on the tip I had an idea and how to clean it off, I used a 1/2″ diameter metal bristled pipe cleaning brush and the remnants of the PMAG easily came off. If would advise getting a small mental bristled toothbrush sized brush for housekeeping purposes.
The 12 and the 20 line per inch waffle pattern tips are designed to not over penetrate the polymer surface you will be working on, that said OTD advises buyers that these two tips are items that will wear out due to their construction. Each of the waffle tips should allow you to stipple two or three complete polymer pistols before they should be replaced. Additional waffle tips are available at the OTD web store for a price of $8.95 for the 20 LPI version and $9.95 for the 12 LPI model. If you find that these waffle patterns agree with your method and style of stippling I would stock up.
My overall evaluation is that the Oregon Trail Defense Stippling Kit is the only kit you should buy if you want to get into stippling your polymer guns or gear. It’s a no nonsense, no fluff kit that performs amazingly better than my old set up did. It’s more compact, easier to store and uses a wider array of tips than my old kit. It provides you with the basics and leaves you some room to explore and hone your craft. I would expect nothing less from a kit devised by a decorated Combat Veteran who knows what it takes to get a weapon or gear to perform at its maximum potential. Be sure to check out their site and store at www.oregontraildefense.com
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– Rick Dembroski for LoadoutRoom.com