Category Archives: Polymer80

Are ETS Glock Magazines Any Good?

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to magazines for Glock Pistols, Polymer80 Pistols and the myriad other arms that can use the reliable Glock magazine design. One will tell you that only Glock magazines are reliable. The other school will tell you that there are other magazine makers out there that work just fine as well. I subscribe to the latter and think that there are other magazine makers that turn out quality products and ETS is one of them.

“ETS” stands for Elite Tactical Systems and they have what they call “The ETS Way” that espouses providing quality products and taking care of customers. To do that they have a 30-day money back guarantee, lifetime warranty, their products are made in the USA and they pride themselves on exceptional customer service.

Just to be clear, I don’t work for them and this isn’t some paid endorsement – folks ask me questions and eventually I write a blog post after a quick reply via email. That’s how this post came about.

I’ve bought and used probably a dozen or more of their Glock magazines over the years and have never had a problem including storing some of them fully loaded for over a year now. They support quite a few other platforms as well and I want to try their new AR magazines.

This is my Polymer80 Glock 34-style pistol. It has a 22 round ETS magazine inserted and that is an aluminum Tyrant CNC mag well funnel you see. Note, I recently upgraded from the G34-style slide stop lever shown to a Vickers VTSS-001 and prefer the Vickers. Bottom line is that this combination works really, really well.

Now you may be wondering “Why bother?” The answer is real simple – they make transparent clear mags as well as smoke/translucent mags so you can see your round count really easily and I like that.

Look at the magazines, with the clear 22-round ETS mags you can instantly see the round count without needing to look at the OEM 17 round Glock magazines’ count indicator on the back. I’ve also been experimenting with different color followers and Vickers Tactical base plates (note the second magazine from the bottom edge of the photo – it has a red follower and an oversized base plate on it). What I am finding is that I really like using the Vickers plates when I want to reach blind into a bag, let’s say it’s dark for example, and instantly know I am grabbing a magazine with +P Critical Duty ammo loaded.

In Conclusion

When people ask me about ETS magazines, I recommend them. If you want to stick with only using Glock magazines, that’s your choice too. Speaking for myself, I’m happy with the ETS magazines.

Where to find them?

The great news is that most major firearms websites carry ETS so you shop around for the color and capacity you want. I buy most of mine from GunMagWarehouse followed by Midway USA.

Here are some listings for their Glock magazines:


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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Why Is My Polymer80 Slide Randomly Locking Open?

I don’t claim to be a Glock or Polymer80 guru by any means and I just learned a little detail that makes a world of difference. My problem was that with both my PF940v2 based Glock 34-style and PF940CL based Glock 17/19 hybrid, my bolts would lock open once in a while randomly. To be clear, I don’t mean they would stick open at some spot – the slide stop lever was engaging and locking the slides open.

I do have a blog post about what to do if your slide is sticking open / getting caught part way during its operating cycle. Click here for that one.

These random acts were far more frequent in the PF940CL and were driving me nuts. During a careful inspection, I noticed that the slide stop lever of the PF940CL had very, very little spring resistance pushing it down against the frame. More or less, the lever was flopping around!!

The first thing to check was whether I assembled it correctly or not. The spring on the slide stop lever should be under, or captured by, the top locking block pin. If it is not, then there isn’t enough tension to keep the lever down and it could then flop around and lock the slide open. In this case, it was fine.

Not the best angle in the world but see the orange circle in the above photo? It is the end of the slide stop lever’s spring sticking out from under the top locking block pin.

So, it was assembled right but another thing struck me as odd. While it was stamped with the Glock part number for the G34’s lever, the finish had always struck me as off vs. other Glock parts. I bought the lever off eBay and suspect I was the victim of an inferior counterfeit part that had a weak spring.

Notice how the black finish has worn off the Slide Stop Lever. I’ve not used the pistol enough to wear the finish off that fast and was one of my prime reasons for thinking I was sold a counterfeit/inferior slide stop lever.

Enter Vickers Tactical & The VTSS-001

I decided something must be up with the two Glock-34 extended slide lock levers that I bought off eBay – as in maybe they were counterfeits and not real OEM Glock parts. So you know, I really do like something that stick out a bit more than the stock Glock slide stop lever so I bought two Vickers Tactical units (Tango Down makes them) vs. reverting to OEM Glock 17 style levers.


This is the Vickers Tactical VTSS-01 “Tactical Slide Stop For Glock” up close.

Replacing The Lever

Always make sure your firearm is unloaded!!

So, I like to use a 5/32″ punch to push out the trigger housing pin while resting the pistol on a bench block. A bit of wiggling of the trigger can help it come out with relatively little force. You don’t need to beat it half to death. Some guys don’t use a hammer at all. I use one but with light taps.

Quick trivia for you – a 5/32″ punch is 3.9688mm – it works great to push out the pin and to help align things during reassembly. I have one of the Tekton Gunsmith punch sets and it’s very handy to have.
The new lever is installed and you can see the spring is captured under the top locking block pin. If the pin has been removed for whatever reason, install it first then the lever to capture the spring appropriately.
The lever definitely has more spring to it and stays down quite nicely now. I also like the subtle extension of the Vickers unit.
As you can see, it stick out just a tad bit more at the top and then angles down and back in. I definitely like the feel of it over a standard Glock 17 lever.

Problem Solved For the PF940CL

Well, that was that – problem solved. While I was at it, I decided to upgrade my Glock 34-style PF940V2 pistol as well. I was quite impressed by the Vickers unit and the G34 would lock open once in a while too so I figured why not?

When I inspected the G34, I found out that I had somehow not captured the spring at some point so that was the problem but I really liked the Vickers unit so I bought one and replaced it as well. By the way, I really think this was a real G34 slide stop lever as the finish looked right.

So, I did the same as the above except I did push out the locking block pin first to make it easier to pull out the errant spring. I then did the same as the above.

This is one of my favorite pistols! That Holosun HE507C-GR and Trijicon supressor-height sights are a great combination.

PF940V2 basedG34 on top and PF940CL G17/G19 hybrid on the bottom – both sporting the Vickers Tactical VTSS-001 Tactical Slide Stop Lever.

Great Video

I’m not a video kind of guy but I do realize sometimes a video can help a lot. I did some digging and Lenny Magill at Magill’s Glock Store has a great video that provides a lot of useful information about how to do the above and what to look out for.

In Conclusion

I’m happy the problem of randomly locking open is solved. I definitely like the Vickers unit and am happy to recommend it.


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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


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 and I have dealt with all of the one’s listed below and can vouch for them:

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

Polymer80 PF940CL Review

A reader emailed me the other day asking how I liked my PF940CL and the short answer is that I do like it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the PF940CL is a hybrid design using a Glock17 upper but having the lower that uses Glock 17 parts *but* uses Glock 19 magazines. The CL stands for “compact long” and it makes for an interesting design.

Like other Polymer80 kits, it comes with the blocks you will need, drills and a mill bit. You need to supply all of the internals and the completed slide assembly. The color I selected is known as “cobalt” and I like it.

Building It

It goes together like all other Polymer80 kits. If you haven’t built one before, I would recommend closely reading their assembly guide [click here for their page] and you can also check out some of my past posts [click here for them].

Two Differences

There are two things that are different that you do need to be aware of:

First, it uses Glock 17 parts in the lower but it does not use the traditional Glock leaf spring for the slide lock like you see in a Glock 17. Instead, it uses the same coil spring that a Glock Gen 5 pistol uses [Click here for more details].

Second, the magazine funnel is unique to the CL design and will not use funnels made for other Polymer80 models. I am running a SLR funnel made for the PF940CL and really like it. There are three reasons I like funnels:

  1. It does help guide the magazine up and into the mag well easier.
  2. I do like using funnels to protect the lip of the magazine well. Because of this mindset, I really prefer aluminum to the various 3D printed mag wells. The SLR funnel is aluminum for example.
  3. I like the support for my pinky finger. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy but normally I don’t like Glock 19-sized grips because my pinky finger is daingly in the air (I wear XL-sized gloves). By having a funnel, my pinky rests comfortably on the angled part of the funnel.
This is the SLR mag well made specifically for the PF940CL. [Click here for their page]

End Result

Take your time and do the build the right way. The end result is a very comfortable pistol that has a shorter grip but has the longer slide. I like it.

Here’s my completed PF940CL. I later replaced the TLR-2 HLG light with a smaller TLR-4 later.

Note, if you folks haven’t heard, Polymer80 is making and selling both serialized complete lowers and even complete pistols if you do not want to go the route of building your lower.

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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


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 and I have dealt with all of the one’s listed below and can vouch for them:

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

What Size Are The Drill Bits For Polymer80 Glock Frames

Hi folks, a gentleman wrote me the other day that he had a PF940v2 Polymer80 frame but not drill bits and asked what size he needed. I checked and the rear trigger housing and front locking block pin needs a 3mm drill and the trigger pin needs a 4mm drill – note that this can also be written as M3 and M4 respectively. You’ll see M3 and M4 on the frames for example.

This was from my PF940CL build. You can see the two M3 (3mm) holes and the one M4 (4mm). Note, it is very important that you just drill a hole in each side. Do not try and drill straight through or you risk an alignment error and then things aren’t going to fit properly.

I visited the Polymer80 How-To page that has the frame completion guides available in PDF format for you to read and print. I quickly browsed the guides for all of the Polymer80 Glock-compatible frames (PF9222, PF940SC, PF940C, PF940CL. PF940V2 and PF45) – they all use 3mm and 4mm drill bits.

If you buy bits, you either want them a tad undersize (such as 2.99 and 3.99) or at the nominal spec for 3.0 and 4.0. If you get a cheap import bit that is too over-sized, you will run the risk of the pins being too lose. The bits that come from one of my Polymer80 PF940v2 kits measure 2.990 and 3.986mm according to my micrometer.

These are our 3 and 4mm bits sized 2.95-2.97mm and 3.95-3.96mm respectively.

We do sell quality cobalt bits that are excellent for this work. Click here for our listing.

Conclusion

Polymer80 frames are fun builds and you can create reliable and accurate pistols. The caveats are that you should read the instructions, take your time and use the right drill bits.

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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


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 and I have dealt with all of the one’s listed below and can vouch for them:

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

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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



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. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.