Polymer80 P940Cv1 first impressions

Polymer80 P940Cv1 kitI’ve had my Polymer 80 P940Cv1 frame quit for quite awhile – a couple years in fact. I’ve had it so long I forgot where I got some of the parts. Anyway, some friends have been wanting to go shooting yesterday and I had some spare time. Last week I bought a cordless Dremel so I could finally finish this thing. This won’t be a complete review of the P940Cv1, just my initial impressions. After I have a chance to shoot it more and gather my notes I’ll do a complete review and shooting report.

The instructions suck…

The  P940Cv1 doesn’t come with instructions, which is kind of weird considering it’s not obvious how it goes together. Polymer80 has instructions in PDF format on their web site, but these instructions are much better IMO. Polymer80 recommends using a slide vise and drill press for the milling operations on the frame. My drill press wasn’t deep enough to fit the slide vise, so I tried holding the block by hand. BIG mistake – the bit grabbed the frame and marred it pretty good before I got it away from the bit. My bad…

Looking for solutions, I found a video from Marine Gun Builder that shows how to finish a Polymer80 frame without a drill press. I couldn’t afford the fancy fret snips he recommends so I got the closest snips I could find at Home Depot. They worked OK, but my frame didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as Marine Gun Builder’s. No worries – I’d already marred it anyway. The important thing was – would it shoot? More on that later…

Other parts you’ll need

The Polymer80 kits only come with the parts needed for the frame itself.  Besides the frame kit, you’ll need a Frame Parts Kit (not sold by Polymer80) and a complete slide assembly. The Polymer 80 frames need Glock Gen 3 compatible parts. If you use Gen 4 or later parts you might damage the frame and will definitely void your warranty. Polymer80 specifically mentions that Lone Wolf Distributors uses some Gen 4 parts in their kits, in spite of labeling them as “Gen 3 compatible.” Simple – don’t use a Lone Wolf Distributor kit in your P80 frame kit. I prefer OEM Glock parts that I get from Glockmeister. For my slide, I bought a no-name Gen 3 compatible G19 slide assembly on eBay.

One thing to watch for is to make sure you put the right parts in the right hole. The 2 pins that come with the frame kit are for the front and back holes in the frame. The middle (small) hole is for the locking block pin that will come with your Frame Parts Kit. You’ll need to install this pin before installing the slide release assembly but after putting the trigger assembly in place. This part was a little confusing to me so I had to call Polymer80 for guidance. I can let you know they DO answer the phone and were able to help me. GREAT customer service.

P940Cv1 - 2 types of pins
The top pin with the bulged ends is the rear pin for the slide locking block

Problems? What problems?

The only problem I had putting together the P940Cv1 kit was the slide block spring. For some reason I can’t get it to seat correctly. It’s in the front groove far enough to not fall out, but barely. This might be due to the fact that I started way back when with a Lone Wolf Distributors kit, and the spring might have come from them – which could mean it’s a Gen 4 part (for some reason, Glock changed this spring from Gen 3 to Gen 4). I have known Gen 3 springs on the way from Glockmeister, so we’ll see. The one I put in held well enough for test firing.

Other than that, no problems that weren’t self induced. The pins were really tight, but that might actually be a good thing. For those familiar with Glocks, this won’t come apart easily with the Glock tool. Hammer and punch will definitely be needed. Once I got it put together, it function checked fine so off to the range…

Complete P940Cv1 ready to go shooting


But does it shoot?

I didn’t have any Gen 3 G19 magazines, so I borrowed one from my Gen 4. Fit was fine. I had some reservations about shooting it because of the slide lock spring issue, but life is short so… I loaded 2 rounds into the mag and inserted. Seated fine, so far so good. Time to pull the trigger. Took aim, pulled the trigger, and… it went bang just like it’s supposed to. Second round fed OK, pulled the trigger again, went bang again, and the slide locked back on the empty magazine just like it’s supposed to.

Inserted a full magazine. Bang… bang… and ftf. Drop magazine, clear round, insert magazine, rack slide, and… ftf. Lather, rinse, repeat and… another ftf. On the 3rd try I used the slide release instead of racking the slide and the round fed. (I SWEAR I wasn’t “riding the slide”…) I shot the remaining rounds in the magazine with no issues. Shot through two more full mags with no issues and called it a day. A successful day.

I didn’t do any formal accuracy testing, but it seemed as accurate as my Glock 22 that I brought for comparison. So far, I’m happy. In fact, happy enough that I ordered a P940Cv1 second frame kit, along with their subcompact (P940SC). Hopefully the next one will turn out as nice as the ones Marine Gun Builder turns out. Until next time…

Peace out,

Build your own gun

building your own gunI’m filing this under How to be a Backyardsman. I love to shoot and hunt but I can’t do that in my backyard. You probably can’t either unless you’re really lucky. So what can you do if you like guns but you can’t go shooting as much as you’d like? Build your own gun. It’s pretty easy – if I can do it you probably can too.

Build your own gun vs. buying a factory gun

Sometimes you can save money by building your own gun, but usually it’s cheaper to just buy one. I don’t care. I build guns because I enjoy it and I get to make them exactly the way I want them. It’s also a great way to learn how they work. I figure if I built it I can probably fix it if it breaks. If you start with an 80% receiver it can save you from doing paperwork.

OTOH it’s easier to just buy one. To build your own, you’ll need some tools and skills. It’s usually cheaper to buy a factory gun, and it will come with a warranty. So why build your own? Because you’re a Backyardsman, right?

Ways to build your own gun

When you build your own gun, you have lots of options. The cheapest is to get a black powder rifle or pistol kit. You can get a Traditions Kentucky pistol kit for about $175 or their Kentucky rifle kit for about $260. I haven’t built either but they look pretty easy to put together and they get good reviews online. To build one, you’ll need to do a little wood inletting for the metal parts, some minor filing, finish the wood stock, blue the metal parts, and screw everything together. I’m hoping I can build one with my son later this year (after he passes his Hunter Safety course).

The easiest way to build your own gun is putting together an AR15. You can get every part you need online. The only hard part is finding an FFL to do the transfer on the lower receiver for you. You’ll need a few special tools and some good instructions, but putting together an AR is so easy it’s not even really building a gun, more like assembling one. If you want a little more challenge you can start with an 80% lower. My first (and so far only) home built gun was an AR-15. It cost just as much as a factory gun, but it’s put together exactly the way I want. I have over 1,000 rounds through it with zero malfunctions.

My next home built gun is going to be a Glock type pistol built on a Polymer80 frame. The ATF doesn’t consider this to be a firearm so you can order the frame kit without going through an FFL. I got my frame last week and even though it needs some milling, it looks even easier than putting together an AR15. The only problem is the cost – about $200 for the frame and lower kit and $400 for a complete slide. You can buy a brand new factory Glock cheaper than that.

If you’re really good and have tools you can build a custom bolt action rifle or even build your own semiautomatic pistol from scratch.

So get to it – start building

If you like guns, you should definitely build your own gun. At least once. It’s easy (at least it can be) and you’ll learn valuable skills. What are you waiting for? Figure out what you want, find the parts (either locally or online), and start building.

Peace out,