Are Polymer 80s Reliable? (Expert Puts them to the Test)

Years of testing and 10k+ rounds we find out just how reliable is a P80

If you’re considering building your own firearm, you’ve likely come across Polymer 80 frames. These frames are 80% complete and require some additional work to turn them into fully functioning firearms.

But the question is, are Polymer 80s reliable?

are polymer 80s reliable

There is no simple answer to this question.

Some gun enthusiasts swear by Polymer 80 frames and have had great success with them, while others have experienced issues with reliability. It’s important to understand that building your own firearm requires a certain level of expertise and attention to detail, and any mistakes made during the process can affect the reliability of the final product.

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In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Polymer 80 frames and their reliability.

We’ll examine the factors that can affect their performance and provide tips for ensuring that your Polymer 80 build (or G19x build) is as reliable as possible. Whether you’re a seasoned gunsmith or a beginner, this article will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not a Polymer 80 frame is right for you.

What are Polymer 80s?

If you are a gun enthusiast, you have probably heard of Polymer 80s. Polymer 80s are unfinished gun frames that are made of polymer, which is a type of plastic. These frames are sold as 80% complete, which means that they are not yet considered a firearm by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This makes them legal to purchase and own without a background check or serial number.

polymer 80 build reliablility breakdown

Once you purchase a Polymer 80 frame, you can finish it yourself by drilling and milling the necessary holes and channels. You will also need to add the necessary components such as the trigger, slide, and barrel. This process is often referred to as “building” a gun.

Polymer 80s are designed to be compatible with Glock parts, which means that you can build a custom Glock-style pistol using a Polymer 80 frame. This allows you to customize your gun to your liking and potentially save money compared to buying a pre-built Glock.

Reliability of Polymer 80s

Testing and Reviews

When it comes to the reliability of Polymer 80s, there have been mixed reviews. Some users have reported no issues with their builds, while others have experienced problems.

It’s important to note that Polymer 80s are not factory-made firearms, so the reliability can vary depending on the quality of the build.

Polymer 80 Reliability Test

One way to test the reliability of your Polymer 80 build is to take it to the range and put it through its paces. Shoot a few hundred rounds through it and see if it experiences any malfunctions. This will give you a good idea of how reliable your build is.

Common Issues

While there is no doubt that some Polymer 80 builds are reliable, there are also some common issues that users have reported. One of the most common issues is failure to feed. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a poorly seated magazine, a worn or damaged extractor, or a dirty chamber.

Another common issue is failure to eject. This can be caused by a weak or broken extractor, a dirty chamber, or a worn or damaged ejector. If you experience this issue, try cleaning your firearm thoroughly and replacing any worn or damaged parts.

p80 2k round test firing

Finally, some users have reported issues with the trigger. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a poorly installed trigger, a worn or damaged trigger spring, or a dirty trigger mechanism. If you experience this issue, try cleaning your trigger mechanism and replacing any worn or damaged parts.

Overall, the reliability of Polymer 80s can vary depending on the quality of the build and the components used. When in doubt, use all Glock OEM parts for your P80 build.

Advantages of Polymer 80s

If you’re considering building your own firearm, a Polymer 80 frame is a great option to consider. Here are some advantages of using a Polymer 80:

  • Cost-effective: One of the biggest advantages of using a Polymer 80 is the cost. It’s often less expensive to build your own firearm using a Polymer 80 than it is to buy a pre-built firearm.
  • Customizable: A Polymer 80 frame allows you to build a firearm that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. You can choose the parts and components that work best for you, and you can customize the look and feel of your firearm.
  • Ghost Gun: Building a firearm using a Polymer 80 is legal in most states, as long as you follow all applicable laws and regulations. This can be a great option for gun enthusiasts who want to build their own firearm without a serial number or being tracked by the government.
  • Ergonomic: Many people find that Polymer 80 frames are more ergonomic and comfortable to use than traditional firearm frames. The grip angle is often more comfortable, and the lack of finger grooves allows for a more natural grip.

Overall, if you’re looking for a cost-effective, customizable, and legal way to build your own firearm, a Polymer 80 frame is definitely worth considering.

Disadvantages of Polymer 80s

While Polymer 80s offer many advantages, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not to purchase one. Here are some of the most common drawbacks:

  • Requires Assembly: Unlike traditional firearms, Polymer 80s require assembly which can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you are not experienced with assembling firearms, it is recommended that you seek professional help.
  • No Warranty: Polymer 80s do not come with a warranty, which means that if something goes wrong during assembly or use, you will be responsible for fixing it yourself.
  • Less Reliable: While Polymer 80s can be reliable if assembled correctly, they are generally less reliable than traditional firearms. This is because there is more room for error during the assembly process, and the parts may not fit together as tightly as they do in a factory-made firearm.
  • Not Legal in all States: Some states have laws that prohibit the ownership or assembly of Polymer 80s, so it is important to check your local laws before purchasing one.

Overall, while Polymer 80s offer many advantages, they also come with some drawbacks that you should consider before purchasing one.

If you are experienced with firearms assembly and are willing to take the time to assemble your Polymer 80 correctly, it can be a great option for those looking for a customizable firearm.

Glock vs Polymer 80

When it comes to reliability, Glock has a proven track record. They have been around for decades and are trusted by law enforcement agencies and civilians alike.

polymer 80 vs glock

Polymer 80, on the other hand, is a newer player in the game. Their frames are made out of polymer just like Glocks, but they are marketed as 80% frames that can be completed at home.

One of the biggest differences between Glock and Polymer 80 is the price. Glocks can be expensive, but they are backed by a well-established company with a reputation for quality.

Another point of comparison is the level of customization. Glocks have a vast aftermarket of parts and accessories that can be used to modify and upgrade the firearm. Polymer 80 frames are also compatible with many Glock parts, but they may require some fitting and modification to work properly.

Overall, both Glock and Polymer 80 have their strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking for a reliable firearm with a proven track record, Glock may be the way to go. If you are on a budget and want to try your hand at building a firearm from scratch, a Polymer 80 frame may be worth considering.


Based on the information presented, you can conclude that Polymer 80s are generally reliable firearms. While there have been some reports of issues with certain parts or components, these are not widespread and can often be resolved with proper maintenance and troubleshooting.

One key factor in the reliability of a Polymer 80 is the quality of the parts used in its construction. Using OEM parts and following the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly can help ensure that your firearm functions properly.

Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent malfunctions and ensure that your Polymer 80 operates smoothly. This includes cleaning the barrel, slide, and other components, as well as inspecting for wear or damage and replacing any worn or damaged parts.

Overall, if you are looking for a reliable and customizable firearm, a Polymer 80 may be a good choice. Just be sure to do your research, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and take proper care of your firearm to ensure that it functions properly and reliably.

Written By

Dan M.
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