Category Archives: Glocks

How to Find Polymer80 Frames and Parts During The Current Panic

There’s no two ways about it, people are scared. They are getting fed a constant stream of bad news and violence from the mainstream media and are buying firearms. There’s also a ton of people who are building firearms. I’m a fan of Polymer80 frame based pistols due to the improvements they made so I’ve written a lot of posts about them. What I am hearing from readers of my blog is that they are having trouble finding ready-to-go kits to build their desired pistol.

I did some digging and it is true – the various all-inclusive kit vendors are all either out of stock or running long back orders. This does not mean you are out of options, it just means you are going to do more planning and buy parts from various places vs. one-stop-shop.

Step 1: Decide on the model you want

Your first step is to decide what type of pistol you want to build. The Polymer80 frames enable you to build a pistol that uses Glock parts for that some model. There are tons of models due to differences in size and caliber. There’s a summary of models on Wikipedia that you can use as a starting point.

Do Not Buy Any Parts Yet!

Step 2: Determine The Polymer80 Frame You Need

Next, determine which Polymer80 frame you need to build the model you want. You need to know this because sometimes a given frame requires a different generation of Glock parts.

Also, it’s up to you to decide if you want to buy an 80% frame that is not yet a receiver that can be mailed to you. In some areas of the US, this may not be legal and you must understand the laws and regulations that bind you when it comes to building a pistol. For example, Polymer80 discloses on their site that they can’t ship to Washington DC, New Jersey and Washington at the time this blog post was written.

Another option is to buy a serialized completed receiver. It is treated like a firearm because in the eyes of the US ATF agency a receiver is a firearm. This means you can buy it online but it will need to be shipped to your FFL who will then do the transfer. On the pro side, it’s ready to go and already registered.

With that said, Polymer80 doesn’t have a clear table on their website that says “If you want to build this type of pistol, buy this frame and these generation parts.” I thought they did at one point.

The following is a quick summary of mine to point you in the right direction getting started. I really want you to confirm it because I might have made a mistake during the compilation of the information so *please* double-check before you buy stuff:

Glock ModelsPolymer80 FrameGeneration
of components
3-pin 9mm G17, G34, G17L
.40S&W G22, 35, 24
.357Sig G31.
PF940V2Gen 3 – 3 pin
9mm G19
.40 G23
PF940CGen 3
9mm G26
.40 G27
PF940SCGen 3
9mm G43PF9SSGen 4
10mm G20SF (short frame)
.45 G21SF
PF45Be careful and research what works for these two. I read mixed comments about the builds.
This table was partially generated by looking up the frames on Polymer80’s own website plus Google as well.

Step 3: Read The Polymer80 assembly guide

Next, before you buy anything, read their assembly guide and see if they have any suggestions (or warnings) about parts and tools that you will need. Honestly folks, don’t skip this.

Click here for the Polymer80 page with instructions by model.

Make a list of the tools you are going to need and what you may need to buy.

Step 4: Develop a parts list

For all of the Glock models, you can search and find an exploded parts diagram. Google makes this real easy – there are tons of them online. As mentioned previously, you need to focus on your model and the specific generation of parts called for. There are other generations so be careful.

You need to compare the parts from the diagram(s) and the build instructions to create your final list.

Step 5: Figure out your approach to buying the parts

You can check around for complete kits that have everything you will need but I think you will find they are either out of stock or on backorder. For reference, I’ve had very good experiences with 80P Builder and F&F Firearms for complete kits.

The more likely strategy is that you will need to buy you parts and hopefully you can get some collections of parts vs. needing to buy every part individually.

The frames are readily available if you do a bit of shopping around and often these vendors sell other relevant parts as well. Check out:

For the slides, you can purchase them stripped with no additional parts, bundles where the vendor may offer a discount for the slide and additional parts and some, like 80P Builder, offer completely assembled slides.

If you are a new builder and you want reliability, go with all Glock parts. Literally, other than the frame, go Glock. That will give you the best chances of building a reliable pistol on the first try provided you do your part and build it correctly.

There are tons and tons of aftermarket parts vendors and when you start combining them weird things can happen as the various vendors’ perspectives on allowable tolerances stack up and cause problems.

Think of it this way, build the base pistol and get used to it. You can then change our what you want down the road. Building something that sounds sexy due to cool photos, ads and marketing may bring you a lot of grief as you begin your journey learning about these pistols first.

So, read around and see what vendors have to offer. Also check Gunbroker and even eBay. Pay careful attention to sellers’ ratings and be mindful of my cautions above.

Bottom line, it will take some additional planning and research on your part but you can still assembly a Polymer80 pistol.

Step 6: Finding Magazines

There are some cheap crap magazines out there I am sorry to say. Either go with Glock, Magpul or ETS. Remember my comment above? You might want to start with Glock out of the gates and buy at least two magazines. If it’s made by another vendor than the three I listed, don’t buy it.

The good news is that it is pretty easy to find magazines right now and their prices really haven’t changed much. In addition to the vendors above, check out Gun Mag Warehouse.

Conclusion

I hope this helps you out!


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.


Video: The Ultimate Polymer80 Glock Troubleshooting Guide By Tactical Toolbox

Folks, I am always trying to learn more about how to troubleshoot Polymer80s and improve reliability. There is fellow who goes by “Tactical Toolbox” on Youtube and he produced this excellent video on troubleshooting these pistols. It’s definitely worth watching!

Be sure to check him out on Youtube and subscribe to his channel.

I’ve written quite a few posts on Polymer80 pistols and if you’d like to see a listing of them in a new browser tab, click here.

Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.


Our Polymer80 Barrel Block Sanding Kit

We have a sanding toolkit to help you quickly and accurately clear out the barrel block area.

We have a sanding kit available for Polymer80 pistol builders that is designed to help you quickly and accurately sand the barrel block area so you can have a smooth functioning pistol. Click here to learn more.

A review Of my Swenson Glock 17 Slide – It’s Solid

I bought a basic Swenson slide almost two years ago and it’s been solid. Part of what attracted me to it was the beveled nose that allows for easier insertion into a holster. At any rate, I’ve had guys ask me if Swenson slides are any good and my experience has been positive plus from what I have read, most guys find them good. Let me put it this way, if I found a good deal on one to host a RMR optic today, I’d buy it.

The Slide You See

When I first installed it on my first Polymer80 PF940V2 G17, no fitting was needed. However, when I built the PF940CL that it is on now, I did need to use Goodson 400 and then 800 grit lapping compound to get a good fit. Initially there as some binding and now it is just nice and smooth. [Click here if you want to read more tips]

That is the only tuning I’ve need to do. The channel spring liner and all slide parts went in easily and I’ve not had any problems. It’s hosted both it’s current Storm Lake barrel as well as a threaded barrel that I bought from 80P builder with no problem. All in all, it’s worked just fine.

View of the ejection port side. Just a solid basic slide.
Here’s the other side.
Here’s the bottom. Other than the Storm Lake barrel, I think all of the other parts are OEM Glock.
I really like the beveled nose and prefer it for carry pistols. Also, Streamlights are my go to brand for light and laser combos. The TLR-4 works great here and any of the TLR series would since this is a full size pistol. The CL just has the shorter G19 grip to aid with concealment.


So, if you are hunting for a slide for your Glock or Polymer80 build, take a look at Swenson models. They have quite a few designs to select from now including fancy windows and various optics cuts. Just remember, if you are doing a Polymer80 build, look at slides meant for Glock Gen3 models.

The problem these days is finding them. The whole market is in pandemic shock – either hit with supply chain problems or unprecedented demand for guns, ammp and parts. With that said, I did some searching and see Swenson slides either at Midway USA or on eBay and the following is a real time search of eBay for themL


I hope this helps you out!


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.



Storm lake Glock Barrels Are Good To Go – I sure Like Mine

I recently built a Polymer80 PF940CL – their compact long model. This is an interesting variant because it is a their Glock 19 grip but built to use the longer Glock 17 barrel. I had a threaded barrel I could have used but opted to get one of the Storm Lake model 34000 barrels after doing some digging around on their quality. I’m impressed and figured it made since to share a quick review with you.

Storm Lake barrels are made in Tennessee. While not everyone may know their name, they’ve been around since 1983 and sell barrels for 1911s, Glock, Springfield XLs and S&W M&Ps.

Their barrels are made from 416 stainless steel, are hardened to 40-42 HRC and rifling is 1:16LH. The rifling is broach cut to support both jacketed and lead bullets.

My Glock 17 Barrel

The 34000 is a 9mm 4.49″ long barrel with no ports that weights 0.30 pounds. I don’t plan on running a suppressor or a compensator so there was no real reason to have threading especially if I ever carry it.

Here’s my 4.49″ 9mm barrel.
The black stuff is carbon from shooting. It’s an accurate and reliable barrel.
The feed ramp is nicely done. I don’t shoot unjacketed bullets but it worked great with S&B 124gr FMJ , 115 grain FMJ – not sure of the maker – and 124gr Hornady Critical Defense HP rounds.
There is a slight crown to protect the muzzle and rifling.
Here it is in the PF940CL

All in all, I have nothing negative to say. I am not some super duper target shooter. It’s accurate enough for me under 25 yards and I’ve not had any problems. Now part of that is the build and the magazines too but again, no problems!

I have no hesitation recommending Stormlake barrels. Best of all, I think they are very affordable and show that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to get good quality.

The best selection and prices are actually on eBay. The following are items live on eBay for the G17, 19 and 34 plus other models so just scroll down:





Conclusion

I hope this helps you out!


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.


What To Do If Your Polymer80 Slide Seems To Lock Open Randomly – Introducing Our Sanding Toolkit

I finished my Polymer80 PF940CL build and was pretty happy with the results. This is a really interesting Glock-compatible variant that is unique to Polymer80 that I really like. It’s a G19 lower designed to work with a G17 upper. This is why they call it the “compact long” (CL) model. Basically the handle doesn’t print as much under clothes plus you have the longer barrel and slide with the longer sight radius. It’s a win-win.

Back to the story, I built the PF940CL and it function tested just fine. It shot like a dream other than locking the slide open once in a while. I had a pretty good idea the recoil spring was catching on my purposefully so-so sanded area where I removed the barrel block from in the frame.

I bet you’re wondering – wait – what? He did it in purpose? Yes, I did. I’ve read about guys having this problem and wanted to recreate it for a blog post and also to allow me to demonstrate a new sanding tool kit I’ve assembled to make the work easier and faster.

That piece of plastic that forms the inside of the letter “U” is the barrel block and needs to be removed. You want to remove right up to the line and do so cleanly with no burs/ridges for the recoil spring to hang on.
I did this CL with just enough lip so you can see what needs to be removed. Note, I circled the bottom because of the lip but there were no scuff marks from the spring. The left side show the scuffing done by the recoil spring as it ran against the plastic and sometimes even caught.

To avoid this, just be real careful about not leaving an edge. Historically, I would mill out most of the plastic and file the rest down flat using a combination of wood dowels and popsicle sticks to provide a stiff backing for different grits of sand paper. It was tedious but it got the job done and it will work for you as well.

Here are my sanding supplies that normally stay in the repurposed Polymer80 box.

A better way…

Ever since my first Polymer80, I was wondering how I could reach in there with a hand tool and get ridge of the plastic in a more automated fashion but also still have enough control to not make a mess. For example, a die grinder with a burr would scream through the plastic and destroy everything in the blink of an eye,

Dremels / rotary tools give you a ton of sanding options but nothing that would allow you to reach straight back from the nose of the frame and be able to sand the “U” and its curved surfaces.

I kept digging around and hit on the idea of using a 4″ shank mounted in a slow turning hand drill and using sanding rolls. That worked great! I was able to source 80, 120, 180 and 240 grit rolls to allow me to start course and move finer and finer.

The sanding kit includes a 1/4″x4″ shank designed to securely hold the 5/16″ sanding rolls you see – 80, 120, 180 and 240 grit. Our kit comes with two of each grit plus the shank.
Here’s the shank and a sanding roll in my ancient Ryobi 18 volt drill.
Here, I am smoothing out the channel. The trick is to go slow and keep the tool moving – don’t sit in one spot. Work for a few seconds and check how things are shaping up. Bear in mind that a low grit can remove material pretty fast and a high-grit (finer) drum can clog up if you are removing a lot. Compressed air can blow the plastic out of the sandpaper and old toothbrush can help as well.
Here’s the end result. It took me longer to try and get the photos than to do the cleaning up of the barrel block area. There are know more ridges for the recoil spring to hang up on. I’m not sure what the two lines are that you see at the bottom but they are not a ridge.

So the sanding kit includes the You don’t need it to be so smooth that it looks like it was never sanded – that’s why the sanding kit only goes up to 240 grit.

Start with a lower grit and move up to the 240 grit. The 180 and 240 grit drums will clog up with plastic pretty quick so they are more for finish sanding than removing a lot of material. I use compressed air to blow the plastic out of the drums and you could do that or use a stiff brush to clear the drums as well.

Please let me stress to you that slower is better. If you are using a drill on high speed or chuck these into a die grinder, they will remove material super fast. In my honest opinion, too fast. I have my old Ryobi drill on it’s low first gear speed and just take my time by sanding a bit and checking over and over. I would urge you to do the same – you want to remove all material inside the “U” but no more.

I hope you folks will buy one to make building your Polymer80 pistols. Click here for the order page in our store.


Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.