Did you know that you can build your own Glock clone? Did you know you could do it all with parts shipped directly to your house and without any FFL transfer fees?
Building a gun at home is a fun project that many Americans have done over the centuries. At no time before now has the process been easier.
With an inexpensive kit, you can build your own Glock clone. When finished properly, these guns will shoot and run just like the Glock pistols you already know.
A company called Polymer80 offers an unfinished frame kit that includes drill bits, an end mill, and a jig so you can literally create a gun with basic tools that you may already have in your garage. Currently, you can buy a full-size frame kit, but the company has a compact frame in development that should be available early in 2017. The full-size frame is similar in size to the Glock 17, while the compact frame is close to the G19 pistol.
Although the same parts will match between these frames and the guns made by Glock, the external sizes are different. So, for example, Glock 19 holsters may not fit the pistol built on the Polymer80 compact frame. You may have to get a custom rig made if you want to carry it.
Internal components, such as the trigger assembly, are not included with the kits. You must supply these yourself. Fortunately, these parts are easy to come by. Since these can be made into 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG pistols, make sure that you purchase the right parts and the correctly sized Glock magazines for the guns.
Tools and Work
There are a variety of methods you can use to complete the pistol frames, and the company includes detailed instructions for one method. I’ve used a simple method to complete a full-size frame and found it worked great.
For the method I recommend, you need a Dremel tool, a hand drill, a drill press with an X-Y vise, a finishing file, and a bit of fine-grit sandpaper.
With a sanding drum, I use the Dremel to take off all of the excess polymer on the frame forward of the locking block area. The included jig helps to make sure you do not remove too much material. Then I do the same with the cross member support that is also located forward of the locking block area. Once this is done, I use the finishing file and sandpaper to smooth the edges of the frame and give the gun a professional look.
For the rear slide rails, I lock the frame and jig into the slide vise. After triple checking the alignment in the drill press, I mill out the rear slide rails using the vise to move the frame and the included end mill to do the cutting. Once both sides are done, I again take the finishing file and sandpaper to the frame to get a clean look.
With the frame in the jig, there are three holes on each side of the frame that must be drilled out so you can install the locking block and other internal parts. At the strong recommendation of the company, I do these with a hand drill — not the drill press. Also, these should be done on each side and not one hole drilled all the way through both sides. Once done, clean up the holes with a little sandpaper.
All that remains is for you to install the parts into the gun. The locking block will be tight, but everything else will install very easily.
When fitting the slide to the frame, you will need to do some adjustments. Look where the slide is riding the rear rails too tightly and make fine adjustments with the file and sandpaper. The final fitting can be accomplished on the range as you shoot the gun. Make sure the slide is well lubed and shoot a bunch of ammunition through it.
Depending on how tight the fit is, you may have some malfunctions early on. However, as you continue to shoot the gun, the system will get broken in and malfunctions should disappear. If you are detail-oriented, you can eliminate most, if not all, of the malfunctions by getting a good slide fit when you are still building the gun.
Other 80% Guns
There are a variety of other firearms that can be built from an 80% receiver. Probably the most popular one today is the AR-15. Unfinished lower receivers can be had from many different vendors, and they can be made from aluminum or polymer. Some aluminum lowers are forged 7075-T6, while others are machined from billet 6061-T6. Likewise, polymer lowers can be reinforced with materials such as Kevlar or brass while there is at least one product that allows you to completely mold your own.
Like with the Polymer80 pistol frames, you will need to supply your own parts to finish the AR once you are done machining the lower. Things like an upper assembly, sights, and 30-round magazines are all needed to make the newly completed firearm into a functioning gun.
If that isn’t enough for you, from an unfinished receiver, you can also make other guns including clones of the 1911, AK-47, Ruger 10/22, Derringer, and SIG P229. Frankly, there are many, many guns that can be built from scratch; some are just easier than others.
In general, Federal law allows you to build your own firearm for your own personal use. Should you decide to sell or give it away, there are legal requirements you must meet that may include adding a serial number to the gun in a very specific way. I recommend that you take a look at the FAQ on receiver blanks at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives website.
Local jurisdictions can apply their own sets of laws on the manufacture of firearms for personal use and may ban it outright. Nothing in this article is intended to provide any legal guidance whatsoever. Check with the appropriate government agencies for guidance if you are unfamiliar with the laws in your area.