Tag Archives: NAG

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.


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.

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:


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.

What To Do If Your Polymer80 Slide Seems To Stick 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.

The Slide Sticking/Catching Open vs. Locking Open

Due to a function problem on the PF940CL, I realized that I needed to come back and update this post. If your slide gets caught open part way then this blog post is relevant – the recoil spring is getting caught.

On the other hand, if your slide is actually locking open and then slide lock lever is engaging the slide when it should not be, then you need to assess the lever specifically – click here for a new post I wrote about that.

Fixing the Slide Sticking Open

Back to the story, I built the PF940CL and it function tested just fine. It shot like a dream other than the slide sticking, or catching, 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.

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.

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.

What To Do If Your Polymer80 or Glock Double Fires? It May Be Your Aftermarket Connector

A problem that can happen with a Glock-type of pistol is known as “doubling” wherein the pistol fires one round when the trigger is pulled and a second one when the trigger is released. For those of you all excited about learning how to build a binary trigger for a Polymer80 or Glock pistol, this is not the way to do it. The problem almost always happens when someone starts adding modified components vs. OEM Glock or goes polishing/sanding on parts.

Modifications to the fire control group can lead to unpredictable results because of stacked variation – this means that each little part can vary a little and when you add them all up, you can wind up with way more than the acceptable level at the end. With this in mind, you always want to test functionality before going to the range the first time and when you fire for the first time, load one round. The next time load two and remember to keep the pistol safely pointed downrange at all times.

I bet the pistol has been modified for this to happen

Okay, for a Glock design to double, somebody has altered the geometry of some of the parts through polishing or maybe they swapped parts, went to aftermarket parts, bent something, sanded on something, changed out springs that cause the firing pin lug to jump the sear — bottom line, something was changed. If you went with aftermarket parts, sanded or polished some of the fire control group and are now trying to figure out what happened, I’d recommend you replace whatever you touched with OEM Glock while you figure out next steps.

Today’s story focuses on the role of the connector

Well, Gaston Glock was a firearms genius and designed a unique fire control group (the trigger, firing pin, connector and what have you) that was unique at the time. One could argue a lot of companies have copied his design pretty closely.

Glock wanted both a reliable and safe pistol and the interesting thing was that he had no prior firearms design experience before the original Glock 17. Probably in part due to this, he came at the problem with an original point of view and created his “Safe Action System”.

What we want to focus on today is the connector. The connector is a metal stamping at the rear of the pistol connected to the trigger housing. When the trigger is squeezed, the connector forms a ramp that guides the trigger bar downwards thus releasing the firing pin. When the slide returns, the hook on the connector follows the track in the slide and the connector should move to the side allowing the trigger to reset . When the trigger is released it moves back into position for the next cycle. If the geometry is wrong for whatever reason, it will fail to block the firing pin from returning forward resulting in doubling.

The angled piece of sheet metal is the connector.
This gives you an approximate idea of where the trigger bar engages the ramp that the connector forms.

Let’s Watch A Video

To be honest, I feel like every time I watch a video or read something about the Glock design I learn more and sure don’t claim to be a Glock guru. I sure am a very interested user of the design though I prefer Polymer80 frames and their angle to an actual Glock brand pistol.

Watch this excellent animation on how a Glock works and pay attention to what the connector is supposed to do – this is what can go wrong with an aftermarket connector.

My Doubling Story

I took my brand new Polymer80 build G34 pistol to the range for testing and, hopefully some fun. A model 34 is basically a model 17 with a longer barrel and slide. My intent with it was to be a range gun so I tricked out just about everything. I literally think the magazine release spring, trigger block and extractor were the only OEM parts 🙂

When I took the pistol to the range and started test firing it was immediately apparent there was a problem because the pistol fired on the pull and release. It was inconsistent as well sometimes firing just one round and sometimes firing on the pull and the release. I was bumming because I meant to pack parts with me if I had a problem and forgot so it went back in the case while we tested other firearms.

So, what happened?

After I got home and started working on it, I realized I really hadn’t function tested it repeatedly enough. I definitely paid very close attention to what the pistol did when I released the trigger after racking the slide. I could replicate the doubling most of the time just like what happened at the range – it wasn’t doubling consistently during testing either, which is why I missed it.

Function testing going forward

Based on what I learned, here’s what I would recommend for function testing and do it 3-5 times before you go to the range:

  1. Absolutely make sure the pistol is clear / unloaded – both the chamber and the magazine.
  2. Squeeze the trigger just to make sure you are starting with an uncocked pistol.
  3. Rack the slide
  4. Pull the trigger – you should hear a click. DO NOT LET GO OF THE TRIGGER – Keep it pulled back.
  5. Rack the slide again with the trigger pulled
  6. Now listen carefully and watch the slide, when you get go of the trigger do you hear a click as the firing pin incorrectly goes forward? If so, you have a doubling problem.
  7. If you did not hear a click, go ahead and squeeze the trigger as you normally would and you should here the click of the firing pin.
  8. Now repeat steps 3-7 and pay attention when the slide cycles with the trigger being pulled. It should never fire upon release.

I had researched the springs and trigger carefully. What I questioned was the connector and it did turn out to be the Apex brand connector. To address the problem, I replaced it with a standard OEM Glock connector – problem solved. Note, this can happen with other aftermarket connectors as well such as Ghost so I am not singling out Apex. There’s no way a manufacturer can take all the possible combinations/variations into account so I don’t blame them at all – it simply happens and is something you should not be surprised about.

The top is the Apex connector and bottom is the OEM Glock connector that I installed. It’s interesting to see the slight shape differences in the angled surface that guides the trigger bar down.
There’s a trick you can sometimes do to swap connectors – not always but sometimes. This is the G34 that had the problem. First, press out the pin that holds the trigger block in place. By the way, ignore the Ghost packaging to the left. I was looking at it and am too lazy to take another photo right now while I am writing this post 🙂
Sometimes you can gently lift the block out far enough to get a fingernail (or whatever) under the connector, lift it out of the block and then press the replacement in. That’s what I did here. I then reinstalled the block, its pin and function tested the pistol. It passed with flying colors after the swap.

A more thorough video on changing the connector from the folks at Brownells

In Conclusion

If I have time in the future, I may contact Apex and see what they recommend I do but for now, I’ll stick with the Glock connector. One of the key takeaways I want you to have is that it is important that you test your builds before you ever rely on them. If it fails, ask yourself – what did I just change and focus your efforts there.

Click here if you want to see other posts about Polymer80 pistols.

I hope this post helps you out.

The following is a link to for sale posts on eBay for Glock connectors – look for “Glock OEM” connectors or they might say “Genuine Glock” – the list might aftermarket models that you might want to steer away from until you understand what is going on:

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.

Four Big Time Savers To Complete A Polymer80 Glock Frame

Polymer80 hit the ball out of the park with their 80% Glock compatible pistol frames. They provide frames that can enable a person to build a number of different models of Glock pistols that have some really nice enhancements including a 1911-grip angle and Picatinny rail in the front – the two features that matter most to me. At any rate, I have written a number of posts covering how to build and tune these pistols (click here if you want to open a new tab with them listed) and in this piece I want to focus on the four fastest methods I have found for completing the frame.

Read Now vs Tons of Troubleshooting Later

For a new builder, a Polymer80 is very do-able but don’t dive in without reading their instruction manual first, maybe read some of my past posts if you are building one of the models I have done or do some googling around for how-to guides/videos for what you are building. Any time you think you save on the front end will more than likely be blown on the back end trying to figure out why things don’t work right.

If this is your first build, please read the Polymer80 instructions for your model. You’ll save a ton of time and money if you can avoid a mistake in the first place. I can’t stress this enough.

So what are we talking about today?

There are four tips I want to share with you in this post:

1. Remove The Top Tabs Using Nippers/Nail Pullers

Folks, the fastest way to get rid of these tabs is to remove the jig and use nippers to snip off the tabs almost flush and then clean up with a file (if needed) and then sandpaper.

I took a pair of plain nippers and ground down the jaws to the are flush. Normally they are beveled on the top and the bottom for strength but you don’t need that if you’re just using them to cut plastic.

The small nippers on the left were ground down flat to cut the tabs as flush as possible. The unaltered nipper/nail puller on the right shows the typical beveled jaws that will leave more material behind for you to review. Note, even that is way faster than filing or milling off the tabs.

Cleaning up after the tabs are snipped off is up to you and what you prefer. I use a file to knock off any remnants and then lightly sand from 180, then 220 and finally 400 grit. My goal is to make it look good vs. a hack job.

If you don’t have a fair amount of experience filing and sanding then you might want to not use this approach. Speed is really for folks with experience using these types of tools

2. Drill The Pin Holes The Right Way The First Time

Drilling the pin holes is really straight forward and oddly enough, I am going to tell you not to do two things and add a third:

  1. Do not put the jig flat on a drill press. It was not designed for that. It was designed to be clamped at the bottom. Trying to drill it while it lays flat on a press will likely yield holes that are out of alignment.
  2. Drill the holes one side at a time. Do NOT try to drill straight through or little alignment errors become big alignment errors once you get to the other side of the jig.
  3. You need to be perpendicular to the jig when you drill – left-right and top-bottom. It’s easier to see left-right variation and fix that. It tends to be harder, at least for me, to see how my drill is up and down. My hand drills have levels built in and I use them to help. If you don’t have levels in your hand drill then either be very careful or use some type of straight edge that you can line up by.
My Ryobi 18 volt drill is ancient, beat half to death and has a small level up top that can really help. Note the bubble is to the front because the drill is just sitting on the bench.
The jig is designed to be clamped from the bottom!

3. Remove The Plastic In the Barrel Block Area

Now they give you a relatively giant end mill with the frame and it will shred stuff if you aren’t real, real careful. If you have a drill then take little cuts at a time with the frame clamped securely in the jig to something. In my case, I use a right angle jig.

Whatever you do, don’t treat the big end mill that comes with the frame like a drill bit because it isn’t. A drill bit is meant to bite in an penetrate. An end mill is going to go where the milling machine directs it and unless sufficient rigidity is there, the end mill will make a huge mess.

Also – obligatory safety notice – wear safety glasses. You only have one set of eyes and stuff does go wrong.
That is the barrel block and all material inside the “U” needs to be removed nice and flush with the sides. Failure to do so will result in your recoil rod hanging up on it and randomly locking the slide open.
Yes it looks like a drill bit but it is not!! That is the end mill that I am talking about and you also see my drill press that I use for grips and it has an X-Y table on it for fine adjustments. I really like it but to be very clear, it doesn’t turn your drill into a mill. A drill press is not designed for the side loads that a mill must deal with. For removing plastic, it works just fine for me. Trying to use it on metal will destroy the press. I have a milling machine for that type of work. I’m not using it because I am betting most of you have drill presses. If you don’t have a drill or a mill then use a hand drill to cut a series of small holes to the remove the tab and sand to clean it up.
When using an end mill, do a series of very small plunge cuts over and over. I had already done a couple of cuts before I took this photo. You’ll get a feel for how much you can mill off without the work piece rattling around too much. I remove a little and then move the table, remove a little and move the table over and over.

I use an old box to keep the sandpaper, dowels and popsicle sticks in. The large popsicle sticks are for me to wrap the sandpaper around to smooth the top of the frame where I removed the tabs. We have a new sanding kit that you can mount in your drill for clearing out the channel that can help speed things up dramatically.

4. Fitting The Slide To The Lower Receiver

I used to spend a ton of time polishing the parts by hand and a guy told me “Why are you doing that? Use lapping compound”. The funny thing was that I had two containers of Goodson Lapping compouned – 400 grit and 800 grit.

Don’t do this with the slide populated or trigger installed if you can avoid it. If you do, you’ll likely need to take it all apart to get rid of the grit anyways unless you are very careful. Yeah. I figured that out after I did it the first time and had grit everywhere.

Apply the 400 grit to the slide’s channels where the block tabs will engage. I typically use either a Q-tip or acid brush (I buy both in bulk) to apply the lapping compound and then work the slide over and over. It maybe a few times or a few hundred. On this CL, it was a few hundred. You then wrap up with 800 and it should slide very easily.

Remove the lapping compound when you are done. Use a polymer safe cleaner on the lower. Absolutely do not use brake cleaner, Acetone, or anything harsh like that.

I like Goodson brand lapping compound. You can get it off Amazon. I start with 400 grit and do the final polishing with 800 grit. They even offer a 1200 grit if you want it. I’ve found 800 is enough for me.

In Closing

I’ve only done a few builds but really enjoy making them and have learned a few tricks along the way. I hope this helps you out and click here if you’d like to see other Polymer80 posts.

Brownells Has Agressive Texture Polymer80 Frames back In stock

Hi folks,

Brownells now has their exclusive aggressive texture Polymer80 frames back in stock – they sold out around Christmas if memory serves. They offer both 80% unserialized frames as well as serialized receivers.

Brownells Exclusive Aggressive Textured Polymer80 Frames

In case you are new to Polymer80 frames, they are high quality and if you do your part right, the results are rock solid. There is a ton of guidance on how to build one and also vendors selling parts ranging from OEM Glock Gen3 to aftermarket everything.

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.

How to Install Or Replace A Polymer80 or Glock’s Firing Pin Spring Assembly

Installing or replacing the firing pin spring in a Polymer80 or Glock pistol can seem daunting. It’s actually quite straight forward but you would never know it at first glance. I had to do some digging and want to share with you two videos that really helped me out.

Here are all the fun parts of both the firing pin and extractor plunger assemblies.
The top unit is the assembled firing pin group. The lower part is the Extractor Depressor Plunger assembly. I’m just showing the plunger because I had them together when I did the photo. You can leave the plunger alone.

Glock Striker Disassembly and Reassembly Video

Great Detailed Animation About The Firing Pin Assembly Specifically

Complete Glock Disassembly Video

In case you want to completely take your pistol apart, this is a very good video:

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.

How to Check A Polymer80 Or Glock’s Firing Pin Strike

One of the challenges when you are working on a firearm is trying to figure out what is going on in spaces you can’t directly observe. The Polymer80 frames given an awesome platform to build a custom pistol but you have the challenge of wondering just how hard the firing pin will strike the primer. I know a bunch of you load a round and test fire but that is not an option where I live now so I had to figure out an alternative.

The internals of a Glock reflect pure genius on the part of Gaston Glock. How he figured it all out is beyond me and the best I can do it is look at the parts and the functioning and draw conclusions about what is going on. Obviously a lot has to happen to release the firing pin and have it travel forward with sufficient force to strike the primer and trigger ignition. All sorts of stuff can go wrong and cause a light strike that then results in erratic firing.

So, I was sitting and wondering how I could test the strike in my shop. I started thinking about what I could put down the barrel that would get hit by the pin and both move reflecting the degree of force and also get dented so I could see depth, etc. My answer? A 1/4″ hardwood dowel.

I buy these 1/4″ x 3′ hardwood dowels by the bundle from suppliers but even at a big box store, a 3′ dowel will run you $1-3 for a 3-4′ long piece. I’m talking the plain jane wood dowels you see with the hardware and parts aisle section – not premium oak, etc.

So, I take them to my bandsaw and cut off about a 6″ section in my bandsaw and then I sand the ends real quick to get rid of stray fibers.

Here’s a new 6″ test rod next to a Polymer80 G34.
Look at how it’s nice and clean – no dents and also no stray fibers/slivers that will catch on the barrel.

How To Test

First and foremost, visually inspect the pistol and don’t assume anything. Make absolutely sure the weapon is clear – that there is no ammunition in the chamber or a loaded magazine. Life is going to suck in the next part if you pull the trigger and the pistol is loaded so make sure it isn’t!!

Step one, cut yourself either a new dowel or trim the end of an existing one so you have a clean end.

Okay, hold the pistol vertical, drop the dowel down the barrel and pull the trigger. The dowel should to shoot up about 2-3 feet in the air depending on what springs you are using. The stronger the spring, the further the dowel will go.

Try this with some known good pistols first to get a feel for how far the dowel pops up. If a 1/4″x6″ dowel doesn’t even leave the barrel then you know you have a problem.

Here’s the dowel sticking out the end.

Now, the second part of the diagnostic is to look at the divot in the end. There should be a clear indent in the wood. Look at this next photo:

That dent was made by the firing pin hitting the wood and is from my PF940CL pistol that works great plus it’s also running a full power OEM Glock firing pin spring. It makes a much more pronounced dent that my G34 which is running a reduced weight Glockmeister firing pin spring.

This method has worked very well for me as I can repeatedly test fire with the dowel to diagnose light strikes without constantly needing to shoot live ammo.

You can see this one is short. I’m not worried about a precise length. Before I test or after I am done, I trim off the end so I have a nice fresh “face” for the pin to hit so I can see it. Bear in mind that a shorter dowel will be lighter and fly further. This dowel is at the end of it’s useful length and I’ll use it for something else now.

I hope this little trick helps you out as well.

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