I was torn on how to start this Polymer 80 review, I thought at first to do a how-to article, however, there are tons of better videos and guides out there than what I can make. Then I thought I’ll review it once it’s assembled and I go shoot it. I still plan to do that, but after browsing forums I kept coming across the same question. “How hard is it?” Well, I figured I could review the build from that perspective and hopefully answer this question in depth.
This is my first Polymer 80 build, and I finished it only a couple of hours ago, so this is all still very fresh. I finished the milling, and installation of the lower parts in roughly 2 hours. I took my time, listened to Pat Mac on JRE and enjoyed myself. Tool wise I used a Dremel, a metal cutting bit, a power drill and the included bits for the milling. I also used a hand file to refine some sanding and smooth things outs.
Getting Down to Business
The included jig makes this one of the easiest 80 percent lower builds ever. The jig is very simple and the steps needed to mill the kit do not require a drill press or even a vise. Admittedly a vise will help keep everything still. The sides of the frame have four rails, two long and two short. You have to cut these down to almost nothing, and the jig guides you there. It was very simple and I think the most important thing to do is take your time. Go slow, layer after layer.
These four rails are easy to chew through. The hardest portion is the barrel block area. Luckily the jig makes it hard to over mill the system. Again I really took my time and went from the top to the bottom slowly grinding away at the material. Slow and precise is the best way to take it. I then finished it with a file and smoothed everything out. I was honestly surprised at how easy it was to finish the milling process.
Drilling the three holes necessary to fit the pieces into the system is the simplest thing. Do three on one side, flip it over and do it again.
I’m not the handiest guy, but I found the Polymer 80 build process to very simple and quick and easy to do. The instructions on the website are simple to follow and the design of the jig makes everything easy to do. I’m willing to bet anyone could finish one of these builds.
Finishing Out the Polymer 80
Installing the lower parts was also remarkably simple. Installing these parts into a Polymer 80 Frame is easier than a AR 15 build. The parts snap-in, and sink into place with ease. This is really the easiest step. The big test was slide to frame fit. Here is where I hit my first issue. The slide moved over the frame extremely rough. This required more hand filing an lots and lots of racking the gun. I watched Triple Frontier and racked my gun until the slide would ultimately run smoothly. It would rack to the rear and slide forward with ease… eventually. My hands are incredibly tired and more than a little roughed up from this.
However, I now have a homemade 80 percent lower Glock. No serial number, no paper, no nothing. Just a semi-auto, Glock lite weapon. My hands are sore, a little bloody, but the gun is running. Total time is about 4 hours or work, but now I cherished the time. It was fun, fascinating, and a total learning experience.