Firearms|Challenge Accepted

About two weeks ago, Triggrcon 2019 happened up in Bellevue, Washington. It is a smaller firearms industry event. It still attracts some big companies within the industry. Sig Sauer, Maxim Defense, and Strike Industries were a few of the major companies in attendance at Triggrcon 2019.

Last week, I was discussing some of news from Triggrcon 2019 with one of our armorers whose nickname is Gunny. I was informing him about how Polymer 80 was coming out with complete pistols to be sold through firearms dealers.

I informed Gunny that the P80 pistol will have all P80 parts. The P80 pistol will include: P80 DLC slide with front and rear slide serrations, a match grade barrel, P80’s trigger, 1911 angled pistol grip and two magazines for $550. 

I told him, “It was a steal and a deal for a pistol.”

Gunny replies, “Nah, man that’s not a good deal in my book. If it was like $400 bucks or something I could see it being a deal. Why would I buy a P80 Glock when I can buy a real Glock?”

I replied, “I thought it was a good value because you are getting essentially an upgraded Glock for the same price.” 

After Gunny said that I began to think about it from a different perspective. Was it really worth it? Did it bring that value I imagined? Would buying a P80 versus a factory Glock be a better investment?

Mentally I said to myself, “Challenge Accepted! I am going to find out is it worth buying a factory Glock versus an aftermarket Glock.”

To find that answer first, I will going discuss two consumer perspectives. Next, I would compare the two pistols to see which pistol had greater initial value. Finally, I would give my verdict on which pistol I would buy between the two pistols.

Would I choose factory or aftermarket? We shall see. 

During this challenge I will be using the Glock 17 Gen 5 versus Polymer 80 Full Size.

Competing Perspectives 

Factory Glock 17 Gen 5 

When it comes down to firearms some consumers want I a complete factory product they can upgrade later. The consumer knows what he or she is getting from a Glock in build and part quality. Brand loyalty also comes into play for consumers buying a factory firearm versus an aftermarket build.

P80 Pistol (Aftermarket Build)

Then, there will be other consumers who may want that complete aftermarket experience from their firearm. Some firearm owners are all about the complete custom build. The want to upgrade slides, barrels, triggers, and etc. They want to build that firearm from the ground up to fit their needs. Those consumers will have the initial investment plus aftermarket parts. The P80 pistol could potentially avoid some of that investment in aftermarket parts saving the consumer money.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Vs P80 Full Size

Glock 17 Gen 5 

The Glock 17 Gen 5 is newest generation of Glock’s successful pistol lineup. The G17 Gen 5 will include a storage case, two magazines, adjustable back straps, and lock. 

Specs and Features

G17 Gen 5 Specs:

• Caliber 9mm

• Magazine Capacity: 17 Rounds

• Barrel Length: 4.49 inches

• Weight: 22.2 oz

• Weight loaded: 33.33 oz

• Price: $599

The G17 Gen 5 Features are:

• Upgraded barrel design for increased     accuracy.

• Improved aesthetics for slide and barrel.

• No more finger grooves.

• Ambidextrous design for slide stop lever.

• Enlarged magazine well.

Polymer 80 Pistol 

The P80 pistol is Polymer 80’s first foray into building a complete aftermarket pistol available to sold through a firearms dealer. All the parts of the P80 pistol are made in-house by Polymer 80. The P80 pistol will include a storage case and two magazines.

Specs and Features 

P80 Specs

• Caliber: 9mm

• Magazine Capacity: 17 rounds 

• Barrel Length: 4.49 inches

• Weight: 22.2 oz

• Weight loaded: 33.33 oz

• Price: $550

The P80 Features are: 

• A P80 DLC G17 slide w/aggressive front and rear slide serrations 

• P80 Match Grade Barrel 

• P80 Enhanced trigger 

• 1911 angled grip

• Grip comes with accelerator cut, trigger guard under cut, sled cut, and stipple 

• Picatinny Rail for light accessories 

Accessing initial value

When it comes down to initial value with the G17 Gen 5 and the P80 Full Size it is very close in initial value. Yet, when it comes to features Polymer 80 has a better initial value when it comes down to it. The P80 gives you better initial value with a more feature rich pistol from jump street.

Winner: P80 Full Size


When it comes down to comparing these two pistols it is close. I mean very close in my opinion. Each pistol has its strength and weakness but, in this contest one has to reign supreme.

Winner: P80 Full Size

When it comes down choosing a factory G17 Gen 5 versus a P80 Full size I would choose the P80 pistol. I know I am sacrificing the name brand of Glock and the product quality I expect from the brand. When it comes down to it Polymer 80 has a more feature rich pistol out of the box. 

There are two main reasons why I picked the aftermarket P80 over the factory G17 Gen 5. 

First, the P80 pistol has a better initial feature list than the factory G17 Gen 5. When it comes to specifications of course it was a draw. When it came to features the P80 stood above the G17 in that area. 

With the P80 pistol you are getting a P80 DLC slide w/serrations, match grade barrel, enhanced trigger, and better ergonomics out of the box. That’s just to list major features. The additions of  the undercuts, and stipple you would have to pay extra for to get those done aftermarket. As, a consumer you are getting those stock at no extra cost. On top of that the P80 comes in $50 dollars less than the Glock and it provides more features. As, a consumer you can’t beat that deal.

Second, you would have to do less on the aftermarket and customization side for your pistol. You don’t have to worry about upgrading your barrel, trigger, or slide. I know a lot of shooters like to add serrations to the slide, drop in a match grade barrel they prefer or, replace the stock trigger. No, need for extensive work to be done to the frame to get that desired grip and feel. I would personally do a little more stipple work but, that is me. 

Of course you could obviously upgrade the slide, barrel, and trigger if you wanted to but, the beautiful thing is you don’t have to. For all the reasons I mentioned before. 

At the end of the day I would choose the P80 cause it gives me more bang for my buck. Which would mean potentially less aftermarket work and greater savings on the front end and back end.

I will admit I have some reservations about owning a complete aftermarket pistol. Polymer 80 will be using OEM parts for their P80 pistols so they will be of good quality. Yet, and still I am kind nervous about having a complete aftermarket build. Even in light of those concerns I would take the dive and purchase a P80 pistol. 

What pistol would you choose? A G17 Gen 5 or P80 Full Size?  Do you have any reservations about owning a complete aftermarket pistol? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for Reading

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  1. The only concern I would have is springs. Aftermarket springs are known to have a wider tolerance on a specific targeted weight. I’ve heard of aftermarket 5.5 lbs springs just measuring over one pound.
    The extractor spring is one very easy to overlook, yet is vital to extraction. Most aftermarket parts have been nailed down, but buy good springs.

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