Tag Archives: Build

Polymer80 Glock Build Troubleshooting

If you haven’t heard about Polymer80, they make a number of 80% receivers including some remarkable Glock compatible frames. Now they aren’t just a cheap gimmick – I like the grip angle, the texture and the finger relief that all result in a far better feeling pistol than an actual Glock in my opinion. Now there are haters that say these are not Glocks – that’s fine, they aren’t. Then again, it’s not like we all buy ARs only made by Colt or Armalite either in comparison.

So I have been posting about how to do the builds [Click here for a Glock 17 using the PF940V2 frame post and here for one on Glock 19 using the PF940C frame post]. They are very straight forward, fun and can generate a reliable pistol. Like all things, there can be challenges and troubleshooting your build to understand why the slide is binding, the trigger isn’t resetting and so forth are all things that may happen. Luckily, there are also lots of videos and posts for understanding how to solve the challenges.

Be Sure to Read the Instructions First

I do recommend you read the instructions from Polymer80 before you do your build. If you didn’t read them and are now having challenges, I would recommend you go back and read the good instruction file they wrote and watch the video:

Troubleshooting Videos



Also, Pew Pew Tactical did a nice series of posts on building and troubleshooting Polymer80 builds. Click here to open a new tab and go there.

My Take On Common Issues

  • The slide doesn’t go all the way back: Check that the recoil spring is not catching on the channel you needed to mill out. Check that the slide stop spring is sitting flush and not catching on the spring. Sometimes plastic falls into that channel and keeps it from fully seating. (It would be a good idea to blow your frame out with compressed air to get all the loose plastic out).
  • Trigger not resetting – this is either an issue with how Polymer80 did some of the Rear Rail Modules (RRMs) or how the frame was drilled causing the RRM to move. If this happens, you will need to file a bit off the right side (when looking down at the receiver) of the RRM so the trigger bar doesn’t hit it. I’d also recommend checking that there aren’t burs/machining imperfections on any of the trigger’s metal parts that might cause binding.
  • Slide not cycling smoothly – The rail modules should be equal height. Again, there may have been an issue with drilling causing an alignment issue. See if you can bend/adjust the rail modules so they line up.
  • Trigger feels gritty – remove the trigger and polish all metal surfaces. Blow out the pistol and trigger areas to ensure there isn’t any plastic debris. Expect it to take a couple hundred rounds to smooth out.
  • Action feels gritting – again, polish everything. I like the small rubberized polishing bits for the Dremel as well as working with sandpaper up to 2000 grit. Always remember that your goal is to smooth and polish, not to remove a ton of material.

So, I hope this helps you out. Polymer80 Glock frames are well engineered and do work. There may be some issues you need to work through due to how you build the pistol and the parts you use but view overcoming them as part of your journey and don’t give up. The end result is definitely work it.


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Please note that any images shown were extracted from the videos and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


Steel City Arsenal [UltraLight] slide for Glock 26 gen 3/4 or Polymer 80 PF940SC

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Extended Magwell for Polymer 80 Glock Frame

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9mm Economy Upper Parts Kit with Guide Rod fits Glock 17 Polymer80 PF940V2

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Steel City Arsenal [RSNL] slide for Glock 26 gen 3/4 or Polymer 80 PF940SC

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Wheeler Tool Makes AR Trigger Guard Installation or Removal a Breeze

I was asked how I install AR trigger guards to minimize scratching up the receiver or even risking snapping an “ear” off.  On one hand, you can use a solid backing block to support the ear and then use a roll pin punch to drive in the pin.  That’s what I used to do but it’s a headache to be honest.  As some of you may know, I have a tremor that makes fine motor stuff a headache so finding methods that are simpler really helps me get work done.

This is a Brownells Billet 7075 aluminum trigger guard (078-101-164) and it has a bulge to accomodate gloves.  The set screw goes in the end with a blind hole.  The roll pin goes through the end that is drilled all the way through.

A few years ago I started using the Wheeler trigger guard tool and it works great.  Here’s my process:

  1.  Install the end of the triggerguard that uses the set screw.  That’s the end with the blind hole – the roll pin goes in the end where a hole goes all the way through.
  2. I lightly oil the pin to make things easy and tap it with a small hammer just to get it started.
  3. I then use the Wheeler tool with the shorter starter pin.  The starter pin has a nipple that centers it on the roll pin.
  4. Keep the parts aligned and turn the knob to drive the pin in.
  5. Stop when you have inserted the pin – it’s that easy.

Note, Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms recommends you put a business card or something between the frame and your receiver to protect it from scratching.

It has two tips – here you can see one installed and one stored in the frame of the tool.  The short one is for installing and the long one is for pushing a roll pin out.
Simply stop once the pin is flush.

Note, I actually have one from another maker also.    I’m holding it in my hand.  It does the same conceptually but is heavier made.  I’ve built probably 4-6 ARs with the Wheeler unit and it seems to be holding up fine.  The other is a Little Crow unit from Brownells for about $39.99 + S&H and its built like a tank but you do pay more for it.

Little Crow Trigger Guard Pin Pusher

I hope this helps you out.  


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.



Assembling a Beryl-ish AK From a WBP Kit – Part 1

It’s been a couple of years since I last had time to build an AK and definitely felt the need to catch up. Contrary to what some may think, the majority of guys who like building guns aren’t trying to bypass laws – they genuinely enjoy it. Think of it as being similar to building a model but this one can go “bang” 🙂

I think I got bit by the AK builder bug in 2006 after reading an article in Shotgun News by Steven Matthews about building AKs. The rest, as they say, is history. At the time, you could buy a kit for $50 if you shopped around then after the barrel ban went into effect, the prices just went up and up. Now, with the advent of US and foreign barrels plus businesses that are selling kits with headspaced barrel assemblies, prices are relatively affordable. They are still far higher than years ago, but you can build your own entry level AK for about $500 and then the prices just go up and up.

At this point I have to answer the question “Why do it when you can buy a complete AK rifle for the same amount or less?” In short, you get to control as much of the quality as you want is the answer. Like anything, someone can always figure out how to make an AK cheaper but that doesn’t mean better. Frankly, some of the US-made AKs are total pieces of shit if you will pardon my French and complete honesty. The internet abounds with stories of busted US made parts and hack assembly jobs. Really, the only AKs I would recommend are going to come from custom or semi-custom shops like Two Rivers Arms, Jim Fuller’s Rifle Dynamics, Jim Roberts, Krebs and so forth.

Certainly there are good foreign made AKs but even they can have quality control moments. Zastava can make excellent AKs if they choose to is one example. Russian Molots are my all time favorite but they are banned from further import though there seems to be a ton of them still for sale and prices haven’t gone up much. Bulgarian AKs can be good and that is one reason K-Var can charge what they do. One country with a long AK history that not all American’s know about is Poland. It would be cool if they start selling more models into the US- market but at least Arms of America is bringing in a wide variety of kits right now.

So that brings me full circle. Why do I want to build vs. buy? Because I like building them and I can make an AK do just about anything I want it to at this point. I’ve done rivet, screw and weld builds. I’ve built Romanian, Hungarian, Polish and Yugoslavian AKs and RPKs. I’ve done traditional looking builds and over-the-top “tacticool mall ninja this thing is way too heavy” builds. Seriously, I kind of went nuts with a Hungarian AMD-65 about 10 years ago and put on a quad rail with a red dot, laser, light vertical fore grip and bipod. The thing was so heavy that it literally taught me that just because you can add something on does not mean you should – it takes time and energy to bring something that heavy up into position and also to stop it once on target.

I’m not saying I know everything. I’m just saying I know my way around the AK platform well enough to build what I want. The hardest thing for me is finding the time between my day job, family and Ronin’s Grips. So, an interesting opportunity presented itself because I had Polish Beryl furniture, Childers Guns sells Polish receivers and Arms of America (AoA) had a cool kit for sale. It was a WBP 7.62×39 kit with a Polish chrome-lined Cold Hammer Forged (CHF) barrel that is arguably, and it will start arguments, one of the best AKM-style barrels you can buy right now. The kit included a solid-steel Bery-style optics rail that goes over the dust cover and for about $670. This appealed to me because I already owned the Beryl handguards, was getting ready to release our version of the modern Beryl grip and, separately, AofA was selling a collapsing Beryl stock that is a unique looking beast for sure.

So, I got the wheels in motion and ordered the kit stock plus some translucent WBP mags from AoA, a RRD-4C brake from JMac customs, an ALG trigger and a Vortex Crossfire Red Dot. I ordered a completed 100% receiver from Childers Guns and had it sent to my FFL and good friend, Scott Igert, of Modern Antique Firearms.

Once it all arrived, it was time to start.

 


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Video: Building AK47 (AKM) with Definitive Arms by AK Operators Union, Local 47-74

          

Back in 2015, Rob Ski went to Definitive Arms to build an AK.  In this video, they really get into the details of building an AK and anyone regardless of experience level is bound to learn something.  You can watch in this 36:13 video as Rob builds his AK under the expert tutelage of the guys at Definitive Arms.

There are some great tips in here for riveting, getting the barrel blocks on square, etc.  Definitely worth your time.  After watching all these build videos, I really wish I had the time to build another.


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Video: How to build an AK-47, AK-74, AKM. Complete video tutorial by bfgmovies — Best Rivet and Virgin Barrel Build Video I’ve Seen!

Folks, once in a while I find out a snap judgement I made is very wrong.  I was watching AK Build videos on Youtube and ran across this video with a very young man with long hair and anime shirt sitting down to talk about building an AK.  I almost snorted because it must be some kind of a gag.  Within the first five minutes I realized this young man was very knowledgeable, articulate and very capable at demonstrating how to build an AK.  I was floored.  I almost missed this because my snap judgement was so off.  Wow.

This young man assembled a 55:59 long video showing you how to do an AK build with a manufactured receiver using a virgin barrel and he explains things along the way.  To give you an idea of the quality, this video was posted in May 2013, has had 104,441 views, 1,114 thumbs up approvals and only 74 thumbs down.  Folks, that is remarkable.

I am sharing a number of photos from the video to get you to realize this is really good.  He steps you through everything including aligning the blocks on the barrels, the barrel to the receiver, drilling pin holes, headspacing, setting rivets and then final assembly, including installation of the fire control group (FCG), function testing, installing the furniture, and finally winding up with applying Alumahyde II from Brownells as the finish.  I’d honestly say it is the best AK build video I have seen thus far that takes you all the way through the process.  This is really worth your time.

P.S.  The music and anime at the end is a nice touch 🙂

If you want to learn more, check out these other two video by bfgmovies:


 

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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Condor AR/AK Magazine Pouch. Military Green. Holds Three Magazines.

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End Date: Tuesday Mar-19-2019 21:17:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $14.00
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Tan Double Ak Magazine Pouch Molle

$20.00
End Date: Friday Apr-5-2019 16:23:47 PDT
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Old Ak Parts x 3 pcs.

$50.00
End Date: Sunday Mar-31-2019 12:37:13 PDT
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600D Lightweight Tactical AK Magazine Carrier Chest Rig in Modern Land Camo

$35.00
End Date: Thursday Mar-28-2019 10:12:54 PDT
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MTM TMCAK Tactical Magazine Can AK Magazine Storage

$25.88
End Date: Thursday Apr-11-2019 8:25:18 PDT
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Century Arms Red Army Standard CL067 AK Cleaning System 7.62 NATO/308 Win Clean

$30.80
End Date: Monday Apr-15-2019 2:45:12 PDT
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Matchbook Cover - Central Automotive Warehouse Anchorage AK parts 40 Strike

$3.99
End Date: Friday Mar-29-2019 22:23:12 PDT
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AK cleaning rod with thread aksu 5.45

$27.99
End Date: Wednesday Mar-27-2019 9:50:59 PDT
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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

$13.99
End Date: Friday Apr-5-2019 10:55:30 PDT
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Pouch/Bag for AK Magazine. Soviet/USSR Military Mag pouch.

$13.99
End Date: Friday Apr-5-2019 10:55:30 PDT
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Russian pouch for ak magazine 3 сell pouch

$21.00
End Date: Tuesday Mar-19-2019 23:35:30 PDT
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Leather Crafting Leather Straps from Military Issue AK Magazine Pouch

$19.99
End Date: Sunday Apr-14-2019 18:27:15 PDT
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NcStar 2, AR/AK Magazine or Radio Pouch, Black Md: CV2MRP2972B

$18.22
End Date: Wednesday Apr-17-2019 2:46:28 PDT
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Dummy Bulgaria AK Magazine Style Mobile Power Battery Bank Charger Case Box ORAN

$69.99
End Date: Sunday Apr-14-2019 19:42:38 PDT
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Video: How to build an AK47 from scratch part 6 (the last part) by usmcdoc14

This is his last video in the six part series.  He recaps what he did and shares with you some of his tips for sandblasting such as putting foam earplugs in the chamber.

Here are the links to each segment – when you click on them they will open in a new tab:


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Video: How to build an AK47 from scratch part 4 by usmcdoc14

In this fourth installment, you can see usmcdoc14’s welding results and he discusses how to trim the top rails.  Note, a lot of flats and receivers now have pre-cut top rails so you only need to trim them if they look like what you see in the video – big, wide and straight.

Here are the links to each segment – when you click on them they will open in a new tab:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements.  EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.  Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Video: How to build an AK47 from scratch part 3 by usmcdoc14 [He is doing a weld build]

   

Now in this video he shows how he does the actual welding of the front trunnion.  I will definitely post some videos on how to do rivet builds also.  For guys looking to build authentic AKMs with sheet metal receivers that is the route to go.  I’m not disparaging weld builds – I’ve done at least three that I can recall.  For home builders you have three methods and they all work if you take your time to learn and then build them the right way – rivets (the traditional and proven best approach for full-auto military use), weld builds and screws.

Here are the links to each segment – when you click on them they will open in a new tab:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements.  EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.  Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Very Good AR Lower Receiver Assembly Videos on Youtube

Have you ever wondered how to assemble an AR lower receiver and were curious  what free resources are available?  I spent some time on Youtube and collected  a list of videos that show the viewer how to assemble a lower receiver for an AR-type rifle.  I would recommend watching several as each presenter’s methods has pros and cons plus there are different details and camera angles in some cases.

“Gunsmithing – How to Build an AR-15 Lower Receiver” by MidwayUSA


“EASIEST AR15 lower build diy, step by step” by dutchofsc

“AR-15 Lower Receiver” by bgallaher77


I really liked all of the above and hope you find them useful.