If you’re shopping around for a slide for your Glock or Polymer80 build, you’ve probably seen them categorized as ‘stripped/bare’ or ‘complete’. Usually stripped means that it’s just the main slide, without internal parts, barrel or sights. Complete is, or should be, ready to mount on the frame with all major components installed or included with the slide.
If you do end up buying a stripped slide, you’ll need to have a compatible parts kit to build it out. A couple things to note here, usually Glock 19 and Glock 17 slide parts kits are interchangeable, except for the recoil rod (if it comes with one). A lot of kits don’t ship with a recoil rod, so it’s worth looking at the kit description to see if it does if you don’t have one. We carry slide kits that come with or without the recoil rod if depending on your need. Recoil rods are another thing based on the generation of Glock, but we won’t get into that in this article.
Building out a slide isn’t as involved as say a LPK install on an AR, but you’re still dealing with small, spring loaded components, so keep a plastic bag handy. Installing the plunger in a plastic bag can save you some grief in case you lose your grip and the top of the plunger goes flying off.
The tools you’ll need to get this done are pretty basic. I’ve put some possible substitutes below in case you don’t actually have the specific tool. This is controversial as the right tool for the job is always the way, but if it’s Sunday night and you just want to get this done, there are other options. Proceed at your own risk.
Jewelers/gunsmith hammer with flat and rubber tips. (In a pinch you can use the back of a screwdriver handle, but tread lightly)
Punch set, nylon tipped or steel (in a pinch I’ve used the tip of s torx screwdriver)
Channel liner install tool (After installing my first slide without this, I ended up getting one of these for subsequent builds as it makes things so much easier and less prone to damage. I did use the body of a Bic ballpoint pen and dowel for my first channel liner install. It worked, but I had to take it really slow to avoid crushing the edge of the liner.)
Glock sight install tool (If you’re installing iron sights. If you’re putting in a RMR sight, then those usually ship with a wrench)
Ok, so instead of writing out all the steps you would take, I’m linking the the Youtube video I send to folks who ask for help. This isn’t our video, but it’s well paced so it’s pretty easy to follow without all the hype.
The Glock 17 has been around for almost 40 years now and is one of the most popular handguns chambered in 9 x 19 Parabellum, which is a round in itself that has it’s own measure of popularity. Glock’s modular nature and the plethora of 3rd party parts and accessories have made this firearm a staple with many gun owners and Law Enforcement.
It’s this popularity that has given rise to the frame clone kits offered by Polymer80 that take Glock parts and allow you to build a fully functional, customizable clone for around what you would pay for a new OEM Glock 17. All parts mentioned below are compatible with Glock OEM frames, slides and most other parts. If you’ve built an AR before, this isn’t as involved and we kit most of the internal small parts to ensure compatibility.
Introductions aside, lets get to breaking down the major components of the Glock 17. We won’t go into details on each internal part, as we sell those in kits.
Here are the major pieces to our Polymer80 Glock 17 kit that you can build with simple hand tools to produce a fully functional pistol in a few hours. Our list does not include sights or magazines. Add your own sights based on your needs and magazines based on your state’s regulations.
So if you’ve gotten this far and saw the total above, you’re probably wondering WTF? This was supposed to be a build list for under $500. This is some bait-and-switch ish. It’s true that if you purchase these components individually, you’re looking at a shade north of $500, which is normally in the range of LEO turn-in OEM Glock territory. We do however offer a complete builder’s bundle for less than $500. Check out the link below.
So for under $500 nets you a Glock 17 clone, with a threaded barrel, premium part kits and an RMR cut slide. All of which are non-standard on OEM Glocks (see where we get the better-than-basic from?).
If that’s still a lot of cash to plunk down in one sitting, my wife would kill me if I did that, then you can still pick up the major components in bundles over time, or snipe individual components from the above list to piece together a build.
Here are some smaller build kits we offer that will get you to the same spot
Disclaimer: All products described above are trademarked by their respective manufacturers. Some states do not allow us to ship frame kits (looking at you NJ). Threaded barrels are restricted in some states. Please be aware of your local laws before ordering. We accept no responsibility for orders shipping to states with these restrictions. We cannot accept returns on Polymer80 frames. Please contact Polymer80 directly for warranty replacements.
Polymer80 has recently released it’s own kit with all parts and a magazine to build a fully functional pistol. We usually carry these and can’t recommend them enough. Check out the linls below:
A lot of terms are thrown around when it comes to the .308 world that you ordinarily wouldn’t come across when building a standard mil-spec AR-15. This short article should help you identify some of the characteristics of your .308 upper receiver so you can tell what accessories will be compatible.
Identifying whether your upper is high or low profile:
High profile uppers had a short run when they were in vogue, and now most manufacturers churn out uppers that are low profile by default with a few high profiles here and there. If you have an existing .308 rifle or upper then the following measurements should help. You’ll need a set of calipers, or a ruler.
If the upper is installed on a rifle, remove the pivot and takedown pins and separate it from the lower receiver. Remove the charging handle and BCG.
At the tang end of the upper, measure the height of the part that extends from the top rail and sits over the charging handle. In this case you are measuring from the top of the rain extension to the bottom edge that sits on top of the charging handle.
For Low Profile Uppers this piece should measure 1/8 of an inch (0.150″)
For High Profile Uppers this piece should measure 3/16 of an inch (0.210″)
Identifying whether you have a DPMS or Armalite patterned upper:
DPMS patterned uppers make up the lion share of what our customers run, but we have run into the occasional Armalite upper. We normally don’t carry parts for the Armalites and have found out that even the standard takedown pins on some models don’t fit. In cases like those, we’ve advised those customers to check their rifle/upper manufacturer for compatible parts and accessories.
Identifying what pattern your upper receiver is pretty straightforward with this one and doesn’t require any special tools or instruments.
DPMS .308 patterned upper receivers have a rear rounded bottom edge
Armalite AR-10 patterned uppers have an angled, rear bottom edge
Check our some of our .308 accessories, including DPMS low and high patterned handguards from the link below:
Below we have a list of parts we carry for a basic, budget AR15 carbine build. The objective here is to get a functional rifle at a sub $400 starting price point. To that end, stuff like sights, sling loops, mags etc were left out of this list. Given the modular nature of the AR15 platform, most, if not all, of these parts can be upgraded. Maybe that will be a future article.
As we are not a FFL dealer, we’ll leave out the serialized lower from this list. You can get those on sale at almost any point in the year from your LGS or any major retailer. Just add one of those and put this no-frills rifle together in a couple hours.