The Polymer 80 – Homegrown Glock
The Polymer 80 brand was originally known as the OG manufacturer of 80% AR 15 lowers that were easy to mill and affordable. What made them a household name is their Glock frames. They produced an 80% frame that allowed anyone to build their own Glock pistol from an unserialized and home-built frame. I built mine last year and have now fired 1,500 rounds through my homemade Glock and I have some thoughts on it.
The Build Process
Building this gun was surprisingly easy. It took me a few hours, and I was armed with a hand drill, a dremel, and some hand files. It took 4 hours total to finish the frame out and a few additional hours of some mild hand filing and working the slide to get the weapon reliably functioning. I did this with no experience milling Glock frames. The set comes with an 80 lower jig as well as the necessary bits to finish the frame.
Installing the Gen 3 Glock lower parts is very simple. Easier than finishing an AR 15 lower. Everything snaps into place with relative ease and can be done in less than half an hour. The Polymer 80 frames are only compatible with Gen 3 parts and slides. I installed a BCA barrel as well as a Glock Vickers edition slide.
The Polymer 80 has one major advantage over the Glock frame and that’s the ergonomic design. The grip features the same grip angle as a 1911 and lacks finger grooves. The grip is aggressively textured too and there is no need to pay for additionally stippling. The rear of the gun has a real beavertail that adds more control and protects my hand. We also get a real Picatinny rail system instead of Glock’s oddball rail.
A standard OEM Glock frame and my hand simply don’t get along. The slide on a standard Glock cuts into my hand and causes major slide bite. The Polymer 80 frame spares my hand this pain and that’s something I can appreciate immensely.
Grip angle has never been a major concern for me, but I can appreciate the 1911 style grip angle versus the standard Glock grip. I do find it to be slightly more comfortable. The grip also has a built-in slightly flared magwell for swifter reloads. The Polymer 80 design is much more comfortable and better suited to my hand than a Glock.
Range Time with the Polymer 80 Glock
Other than that the Polymer 80 handles like a Glock. Recoil is manageable. The weapon is plenty accurate and after a little hand filing, it became reliable to a T. The Glock design is so simple that it’s hard to screw up. The Polymer 80 Glock is what happens if Glock listened to the buying public.
The improved ergonomics and finger groove free design is a welcome change from the Gen 4 Glocks. Gen 5 Glocks make a good attempt at becoming more ergonomic but fell short when compared to what Polymer 80 did.
The gun is easier to control due to beavertail and the lack of slide bite is also a welcome addition to the frame. The grip angle feels more natural and I honestly enjoy shooting it more than any standard Glock.
This is essentially a Gen 3 Glock so only Gen 3 parts will function in it. I used an OEM lower parts kit and a Gen 3 slide. The good news is there is tons of Gen 3 stuff out there. Triggers, parts kits, and more. Like always magazines are compatible cross Generations.
My little Polymer 80 Glock is perfectly compatible with magazines from ETS, Glock OEM, Magpul, 2 Amendment, and KCI USA magazines including their famed 50 round drum. Magazine compatibility is most certainly the most important feature.
What’s the Point?
Admittedly I wouldn’t use a Polymer 80 Glock frame I built myself for defensive use. Professionals who get paid to make guns likely make a much more reliable one. I built this gun for several reasons. It’s fun to build guns. It’s an interesting way to learn new skills, and the biggest plus side if you have the ability to build a gun without the need for government intervention.
To me, that is downright priceless. Building a gun at home is a skill certainly worth having. Especially when it’s the most popular platform in the world.
Photos courtesy of Travis Pike. Featured image displays a Polymer 80 frame with a Glock 17 OEM slide and a KCI USA 50 round drum.