Tag Archives: G17

Upgrading To Truglo TFX Pro Sights On Your Glock Compatible Pistols Including Polymer80s

The factory sights on Glocks leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. I like fiber optic sights but also want sights that generate their own light at night. Fortunitely, TruGlo has upgrade sights for Glocks that can do just that. They are the TFX Pro model sights.

The fiber optics use daylight and are very nicely visible. I know there is a trend for red dot optics on pistols but I would rather opt for simplicity. The other really nice thing about these sights is that they use tritium to generate their own light at night – some sights make you charge them with a flashlight but not these. The only issue to bear in mind is that the Tritium isotopes with flouresce for about 10 years and then be dead. My thinking is that is a loooonnnngggg time from now plus it just would affect the night use at that time.

So, let’s get to it, Installation has two discrete steps – replacing the back sight and then the front sight. Both of these can be done by most home gunsmiths because the Glock design is pretty forgiving. Some pistols require a top notch MGW sight pusher to be removed but not the Glocks. The below is based on my experience installing these sights both on my Polymer 80 based Glock 17 and 34 Gen 3 compatible pistols.

Tools & Supplies

I’m kind of like Tim The Toolman Taylor, if you remember the show Home Improvement. I like tools and don”t need much an excuse to buy one in order to try and do the job the right way. When it comes to the rear sight, some guys use a 3/9″ piece of Delrin or wood dowel to tap the old sight out. Because of my hand tremor, that’s risky for me so I looked into sight pushers and decided to go with the Wheeler Engineering Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool.

For the front sight, a dedicated Glock front sight tool can make the job a ton easier because they are shallow and have a magnet that will hold the tiny screw in position while you get it started. A regular nut driver is too deep and the tiny screw will fall into it vs. being held nicely in position.

You will need some medium Loc-Tite to secure the front sight screw.

Tape to wrap the slide and protect it is a recommended. I use painter’s tape.

Getting Started

  1. Make sure the weapon is unloaded and clear – no magazine and nothing in the chamber.
  2. Remove the slide
  3. Remove the spring and the barrel to get them out of the way – you don’t need to remove anything else.
  4. Wrap slide with painters tape to protect it from scratches leaving the two sights exposed.
  5. I did my back sight first and then my front sight.

Procedure – Back Sight

  1. To remove the back sight. I followed the instructions with the Wheeler unit and flipped the pusher over to use the angled face. Mine was set for straight-edged sights from the factory.
  2. I also oiled all of the threads on the Wheeler.
  3. I secured the slide in the Wheeler unit taking care to make sure the slide was the right height so the pusher would engage the sight and not bind on the slide.
  4. The factory Glock rear sight pushed out incredibly easily. I can see why some guys just drive them out. However, I really liked the control the Wheeler gave me.
  5. I then lined up the replacement sight and pushed it into place – checking over and over and making minor adjustments to ensure it was in the center.
  6. The Truglo has secured by a set screw that I backed out, put a dab of blue/medium Loc-Tite on and then tightened down.
  7. That was it for the back now on to the front.

Procedure – Front Sight

  1. Turn the slide upside down and you will see a small hex head screw that must be removed. I used my Glock Front Sight tool for that.
  2. Push or tap out the original sight.
  3. The replacement TruGlo unit is a tight fit I had to firmly press it into position. It is an interference fit so don’t remove a ton of material so it just falls into the slot cut in the slide. It needs to be pressed in as this helps with alignment and retention.
  4. Put blue/medium Loc-Tite on the screw before reassembly. This is mandatory. If you do not, it will shoot loose over time and you will lose your front sight.
  5. Use the Front Sight tool to reinstall the screw with the Loc-tite and tighten it down.
  6. Done.

Conclusion

I really like the TruGlo TFX Pro sights. They are very visible both during the day due to the fiber optics and at night due to the Tritium. They were well worth the investment. I hope this helps you out.


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Amazon product links are at the bottom of the post.

Three Simple and Inexpensive Must Have Upgrades on Glock 17 Gen 1-3 Type Pistols To Improve Handling

I am learning a great deal about Glocks via the Polymer80 frame based Gen 3 model 17 and 34 pistols I built. In working with the pistols, I found there are three upgrades that were required immediately for me to more readily operate the pistols. Anybody can do these three – replace the slide stop, slide release lever and the magazine release. Fortunately they are relatively inexpensive so let’s step through each in this post.

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Slide Lock Lever

Okay, when I started the Glock 34 compatible pistol using the Polymer80 PF940v2 frame, I had never really stripped a Glock before. As soon as I was working with the slide I absolutely hated the barely protruding OEM Glock slide lock lever. Because of my carpal tunnel and years of abusing my hands, I could barely feel the blasted thing let along get enough grip to easily pull it down. Seriously – I hate that little part. It turns out that I’m not alone. A ton of groups make a replacement unit and they just make the slide stop a hair longer and it makes all the difference in the world. I ordered one off Amazon made by Fixxxer that has worked just fine for me.

This will take about five minutes. Procedure:

  1. Ensure the weapon is clear, meaning unloaded and no cartridge in the chamber.
  2. Remove the slide
  3. Before you remove the slide stop, note which way the depression is oriented at the top of the slide stop – the new one will need to face the same way.  The hooked face should face rearward.
  4. Use a Glock takedown tool or a small screw driver to reach in and depress the spring that pushes the slide stop up.
  5. When you push the spring down, the existing slide stop can slide right out
  6. While continuing to press the spring down, slide the new one in.
  7. Confirm the orientation is correct – the hooked surface should face rearward.
  8. Test by pressing down on the release – it should spring back up. If not, look to see if the spring fell out or there is debris in the spring channel preventing it from pushing the release back up.
  9. Re-assemble and test your pistol.

Slide Release Lever

The Glock 17 has one of the worst slide releases I have ever felt. It’s a vertical tab that gives you virtually no surface to really push down on. Now, the 34 came with an extended release and that’s where I learned that it is a way better design than what the 17 has. A ton of vendors make and sell their versions. I just bought and installed a Glock 34 slide release on my 17. If you’re keeping count, this means the 34 really on has two upgrades I would recommend as it already has the improved slide release.

GLOCK OEM Extended Slide Stop Release 3 Pin 17 19 22 23 26 27 31 32 34 - SP07496

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NEW Glock OEM Extended Slide Release 7496 17 19 22 23 24 25 26 27 31 32 33 34 35

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GLOCK OEM Extended Slide Stop Release 3 Pin 17 19 22 23 26 27 31 32 34 - SP07496

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GLOCK OEM Slide Stop Release 3 Pin 17 19 22 23 26 27 31 32 33 34 35 - SP02919

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GLOCK Perfection OEM Extended Slide Stop Release for GEN 5 17 19 19x 26 34 MOS

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The first slide release I tried to do was a pain and took probably 15-30 minutes as I tried to figure things out I’d not seen a Glock’s insides before first hand. The second one took about 10-15 minutes and the third time (when I actually replaced the 17’s slide release lever with the 34 model), it probably took me about 5-10 minutes. In short, there is a learning curve.

Procedure:

  1. Ensure the weapon is clear, meaning unloaded and no cartridge in the chamber.
  2. Remove the slide.
  3. Use the first punch to push the trigger pin almost all the way out from right to left when you are looking down at the pistol with the front facing away from you. This should not take a ton of force. I find some light taps with a small hammer help me but some guys do it entirely by hand.
  4. I said stop short of pushing the pin all the way out because you just need to get it out of the slide release. You thin pull your pin punch back out of the release also but still capturing the trigger.
  5. The slide release lever will lift right out.
  6. Put the new slide release lever in its place.
  7. Push the pin punch back into the release lever to orient it. This worked for me vs. trying to get the pin itself back in. Keeping it all aligned was the trickiest part when I first started.
  8. Push or lightly tap the trigger pin back into place while driving the old pin punch out. Again, the punch is there keeping everything aligned so it’s acting like a slave pin. As you tap the real trigger pin in, the punch backs out.
  9. Re-assemble and test your pistol.

Magazine Release

The other issue I found was that the OEM Glock magazine release was too short for me to easily reach forward with my thumb and drop the mag. Again, found I was in good company because a ton of other people feel the same way. Now, I opted for the Tango Down Vickers extended magazine release because it just sticks out maybe an extra millimeter or so and it makes a huge difference. Some other magazine releases are really only suited for competition because they are easily bumped and the mag released.

Tango Down GMR-003 Vickers Tactical Mag Magazine Release For GEN 4 Glock 17 19

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TANGO DOWN VICKERS TACTICAL For GLOCK GEN4 9mm/40 EXTENDED MAG RELEASE GREY

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Tango Down Vicker's Tactical Extended Mag Release For Gen 4 Glock Models 9MM

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Tango Down Vicker's Tactical Extended Mag Release For Gen 1-3 45/10mm Glock's

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This is another quick and easy one. I did it one with a screw driver, once with needle nosed pliers and once with curved hemostats. All three work but I think the curved hemostat is easiest.

This will take about five minutes. Procedure:

  1. Ensure the weapon is clear, meaning unloaded and no cartridge in the chamber.
  2. Remove the slide so you have a clear view down into the magwell
  3. Remove the spring wire from the magazine release by working it out of the groove cut in the side of the mag catch. Look at the replacement unit and you will see the slot I am referring to in the middle of the magazine release that is just big enough for the wire to slide into.
  4. Remove the old unit and slide in the new unit
  5. Move the wire back into the slot and test – it should spring back out when you depress it,

Conclusion

I hope this helps you out. I find my two pistols a lot more manageable with the above upgrades and well worth it.


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.

Amazon product links are at the bottom of the post.


SLR Rifleworks Mag Wells for Polymer80 PF940v2 Frames Are Great

When I first looked at the Polymer80 PF940V2 Frames, these are the full sized frames you’d use to make a Glock 17 or 34 compatible pistol for example, I noticed the magazine opening was narrow, had a minimal bevel and there wasn’t a ton of supporting material either. Cosmetically, to me anyways, it just looks unfinished.

I’ve had a number of pistols over the years and found aftermarket magwells very beneficial for two reasons – first, they help guide the magazine into position when you are in a rush and this is the biggest reason. Second, they can protect a polymer frame from a ton of abuse.

What I found out after doing some digging was that Glock mag wells will not fit the PF940v2 frame, which isn’t surprising. The one thing you also need to know is that the PF940v2 full size frame and the PF940C compact frame also use different magwells. A vendor accidentally sent me a C-series magwell and it absolutely would not fit my full size frame.

So, I did some digging and you’ll notice there are magwells of differing sizes with some having a very wide flare and some have more moderate flares. What I did find surprising is that a cottage industry has popped up on eBay sellding 3D printed magwells. On one hand, they are really cheap. On the other, I question how long they will hold up to real world abuse. I definitely knew I wanted an aluminum magwell.

I settled on a unit from SLR rifleworks. It is nicely made and fits the PF940v2 grip really well. I was so impressed that I bought a second and now have them on both my G17 and G34 pistols. My G17 is the grey pistol in the photos and the G34 is the olive drab pistol. Both are based on receivers built from PF940v2 frames.

This is the GL-MW-P80 Magwell adapter from SLR Rifleworks.
Here’s the view from the bottom.

Installation is simple. Insert the front of the grip into the front of the magwell at an angle and then push the back down to fully seat the unit. Put a bit of blue medium strength Loc-tite on the screw and screw it into the hole that is drilled in the back of the frame and you are done. Even though the used a flat head screw for presumably an even more secure hold, you can’t feel it when you are gripping the pistol.

Note that you tip in nose first and then push down the back to seat it properly.
Here is a view from the back with the screw installed.
Here’s the bottom. No, this is not a paid review. I just really like the mag well.
I’ve not had problems with any magazine fitting or dropping free. This is an OEM glock 17 round magazine and it’s also worked well with 33 round Glock mags, plus both 22 and 31 round ETS mags.
Glock 34 compatible pistol with a Streamlight TLR02 HL G light and laser plus a Tyrant Designs brake.

So, I’m very happy with the results and have no hesitation recommending them.


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.


Tips For Building Smooth Operating Polymer80 Glock-Compatible Pistols

Folks, Polymer80 is making some solid 80% frames that you can easily machine into a lower receiver that accepts Glock parts. The design of the frame and jig are elegantly simple and the quality of the end product is really up to you. The great news is that you don’t need to be a machinist to do the work. You just need to be patient, follow instructions and pay attention to details.

In my last post, I linked to a number of resources you can use to guide you through your build. My aim is to give you a bunch of tips that can help you turn out a quality receiver. Let’s hit the four categories of things you will need to do.

Drill Six Short Holes As Labeled On The Jig

If you are concerned that this will take a ton of work, Polymer80 has designed a frame (what will ultimately become your pistol’s lower receiver). Folks, you drill six holes – the jig is marked with the exact spot and which size drill bit they supply that you should use.

The jig is clamped standing up and a hand drill is used to make the holes. Polymer80 supplies the drill bits for you. Note, my Ryobi cordless has a level indicator and it made it a lot easier to get things square.

Tips:

  • Stand the clamp on its side and secure it in a vise. It was not designed to be drilled laying on its side.
  • You want the jig to be held firmly at its bottom by the vise but do not crush/deform the plastic.
  • Using a drill with level indicators can greatly aid you in making a hole at right angles to the receiver.
  • Do not drill the holes straight through. Because the frame is relatively thin, it is forgiving if you drill a short hole slight off square, meaning not perpendicular. If you go straight through then you are way more likely to be way off, ruin the geometry and have just ruined the receiver, So, drill three holes on each side, six holes in total, being careful to line them up as best you can.
  • Take the time to read the jig markings – the M3 holes are for the pins that hold the blocks in place. The larger M4 bit is for the trigger pin.
  • After drilling, blow out your frame to get all the little pieces of plastic debris out. A common problem guys run into is having a small piece of plastic down in the slide stop spring channel that the recoil spring can hang up on. So, blow it out. I use compressed air in my shop but do what you can even if it means blowing with your mouth and visually inspecting the frame to make sure all the plastic scraps from drilling are gone.
  • Use a deburring tool or razor to carefully remove any waste plastic sticking out from either side of the plastic surface that you drill.

Remove the Tabs From The Top Of The Frame

This seems to freak people out because they think they are going to need a milling machine. You definitely do not need a milling machine – you can use a Dremel or file to remove the tabs. The trick here is to remove the tabs and have the end result look decent and not like a hack with a file went crazy and turned out something fugly.

My dad’s nail nippers – this tool is probably almost as old as me so maybe 40-50 years old. I’m using it to “nip” off each tab to reduce the amount of plastic I need to file or Dremel down.

Tips:

  • The first step is to get rid of as much of the tabs as you can with nail nippers. The idea is simple, snip off a bunch of the material so when you either Dremel or file the remainder down, you have less to deal with. On my Glock 34 build,I used an old pair of nail nippers (in the photo above) that belonged to my dad – my way of remembering him. On the second one, I took a cheap set of nippers and ground the head down so they would cut the tabs off even closer to flush. Either way works.
  • Leave the jig on if you want to play it safe. When you see red filings or dust from sanding, you know you are going to deep and need to stop,
  • You can either Dremel or file the balance down but when you get down near the surface start using a sanding block. Just take a piece of wood, wrap a strip of sand paper on it and then sand the receiver using even pressure. Start with 100-120 grit sandpaper and then go to 220, 440, and then 800. If you want to go higher, go right ahead but at some point your plastic is as smooth as it needs to be.
  • I use the little rubberized abrasive Dremel bits to smooth things out. You then apply a drop of oil and you will never know the tabs were there.

Clear Out the Barrel Channel

Again, the dreaded need for a milling machine seems to exist and again, you don’t need one. It is really important you do a nice clean job with a smooth finish or you will have seemingly random jams as the operating spring catches on some part of the frame that is still in the way.

Tips:

  • You want to only remove the designated slot they show in the instructions plus what needs to be removed is marked in the casting. Like I said, they put some thought into this.
  • DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE IT ALL AT ONCE!! You remove the material in sections.
  • If you decide to use their supplied end mill and put the frame in your drill press, do not treat the end mill but like a drill bit. An end mill bit requires a very rigid machine and that the operator has carefully and firmly secured the work piece. In short, you can’t plunge the end mill into the plastic with your hobby drill press without considerable vibration. The trick come down with the drill press (if you have one) and cut off a little crescent at a time. If you have mill, just ignore me – you know what to do I bet.
  • Some guys will use regular drill bits and drill a series of holes in the area that needs to be removed.
  • Unless you are a machinist and know what you are doing, don’t try to mill or drill material right up to the line where they say to stop at. Instead, remove material just shy of the line and then use a sandpaper to do the rest. I wrapped 100 grit sand paper around a dowel to rough in the shape and then went to 240 grit to finish up. You really do not need to go beyond that unless you want, The goal is to have a smooth surface that the barrel and spring will not catch on during operation.

Polish Metal Surfaces

When people make parts they usually get them close enough and call it even. This means there are small tooling marks, grooves, bumps and rough areas left in general. When you look at a firearm made by a high-end shop, you will notice that the surfaces are incredibly smooth – sometimes polished to a mirror-like surface.

Have you ever bought a firearm and at first it was really rough and over time in “wore in” or maybe somebody said “broke in”? What is happening is that the rough spots are smoothing out with wear. We identify the surfaces and do the same thing very easily.

These rubberized polishing bits for Dremels are awesome and you can get sets of them off Amazon.

Tips:

  • With polishing the goal is always to remove as little material as possible using polishing bits, stones or really fine 1000+ grit sandpaper.
  • Polish the hardened locking block rail system bearing in mind how it contacts the slide. You just need to polish the parts that engage the rail and not everything.
  • Same goes with the rear rail module that is just stamped stainless steel
  • Look at the trigger and polish all surfaces that rub against each other – the connector, trigger bar, etc.
  • When you are done, lightly grease these surfaces (I like SuperLube) and then cycle the action by hand a few hundred times and the same goes for squeezing the trigger. You will find that the action will smooth out even further … unless you do an awesome job polishing and everything is already mirror smooth.

In Conclusion

I hope this helps you out. My two Polymer80 built pistols are the smoothest cycling pistols I own now.


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.