There has been a surge of interest in the past few years in shooters buying AR-15 lower receivers that are 80-percent finished, and then doing the final milling themselves. At SHOT Show, a company called Polymer80, known for its approach to 80% frames and full “do-it-yourself” rifle builds, showed the industry’s first 80% polymer pistol frame. Aptly named the “Spectre,” this frame is compatible with Glock’s 9 mm and .40 caliber slides.
The “Spectre” is easily completed using a drill press with a couple of hours of careful work. The frame accepts Glock 17 9mm slides, as well as the Glock .40 caliber slide. The .40-cal. slide is also compatible with the .357 SIG barrel configuration, which essentially gives you three different calibers to choose from.
Unlike the Glock, this frame includes a uniquely extended beaver-tail, and most notably a super tactical 1911 pistol grip rather than the standard Glock styled pistol grip. Even better, this pistol grip includes a built in flared magwell for speed loading. Once completed, the users insert the included custom locking block, which also provides the metallic rails up front that are needed by the slide during operation.
“Our goal is to make polymer manufactured products the new standard in the 80% firearms industry,” said David Borges, co-owner of Polymer80, Inc. The product mix in the 80% pistol market has always been slim, with only 1911 frames available in steel or aluminum. Key reasons the company went Glock-compatible instead is the wide compatibility of a Glock17 system, which can provide three different calibers depending on the slide chosen by the user to finish the pistol. Additionally, on the 100% or finished firearm side, there are very few custom manufactured Glock compatible frames available for purchase, with all of them requiring an FFL.
“When we develop an 80% product, we do it with a specific system in mind,” said Loran Kelley, co-owner of Polymer80, Inc. “Much like with our AR-15 and .308 lower receivers, we needed to design a complete kit, which included not only the frame, but a jig and all the drill bits necessary to make the milling process flawless. This will allow our do-it-yourself hobbyists and firearms enthusiasts to have the best possible experience building their own firearms. We strongly believe that the highest personal satisfaction is achieved by building your own firearms. The loyalty of customers to our products is proof. They have a greater sense of pride and appreciation when finished with the build process, and as a result, many customers love our finished products more than their store bought firearms.”
The “Spectre” 80% pistol frame kit will include the following items:
80% polymer pistol frame & jig system
Custom locking block with rails
Drill bits and end-mill bits
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
In 2008, Mayer returned to the editorial side of publishing, this time in the digital field, as Editorial Director for Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns and Rifleshooter online magazines. After a brief stint in 2011 as the Digital Media Director for an ABC TV affiliate, Mayer returned to the outdoors industry and Safari Club International where he is currently Assistant Publisher and Multi-Media Communications Editor.