Ah yes, the GLOCK 40. Or is it GLOCK Nine? Problem solver? Whichever name you pick, Gaston’s Gat needs no introduction. When it comes to the market for semi-automatic pistols today, GLOCK still holds a top spot. And as a result, there’s a huge aftermarket for parts. That aftermarket is so large that you can make a GLOCK without any actual GLOCK-brand-GLOCK parts. You know, non-GLOCK GLOCKs.
Reader Jack asked . . .
I am wanting a G19X, but don’t like the FDE color. If the information I have received is correct, the G45 is same as the 19X, just in black ?
I’m trying to decide if I want to build one or just buy it. The only upside I see to building one is you can get the best parts you can afford and don’t have a box of leftover parts when you’re finished.
Also I’ve read your articles on the ATF’s raid on the P80 factory.
So my questions – what P80 kit do I need for the G45? Is there a kit you prefer? Is there a barrel you prefer? Why? What about the springs, pins, etc.? I’m sure I’ve forgotten to ask several questions.
I will try to keep these in order as much as I can. So yes, the first question Jack asked is about the model features. The G45 (which is not a .45 ACP, just a confusing model number…it’s chambered in 9mm) is basically the same as the G19X in terms of features. It is a 4” upper (G19 size) on a full-size (G17) frame. The 19X comes in FDE and the G45 is in all black.
As far as I understand it, and don’t directly quote me here, GLOCK went with an all-black G45 to appeal to the law enforcement market, the G19X looking a bit too military for many jurisdictions to appreciate, notwithstanding the lack of functional differences. It’s essentially a cosmetic variant with some other minor differences in the grip area.
Now, as for building or buying…that’s the $500 to $700 question. If it was me, and in many cases it is, I would buy one. You’ll be getting a very reliable, decently accurate gun right out of the box and it won’t be a pain to put together.
I know some guys love building out kit guns. It’s fun and they get the features they want. But when it comes to a pistol for self-defense or serious use, I defer to factory guns with the caveat that I will usually install a new set of sights that are high-visibility. I don’t mess with my carry guns’ triggers unless there is a factory replacement or upgrade.
That said, I like to work on handguns and I’ve done a lot of work on 1911’s. I hunt with high-end builds I work on, but I don’t carry them for self-defense if I can help it. If it’s my only handgun and I’m far from home, it will be on my belt, but that’s not my fist choice in most cases.
If you buy a G45, it will be a good gun and it will likely serve you well for decades without an issue. If you build one, I can’t say the same as that has much more to do with your craftsmanship abilities than it does the quality of parts you buy.
I know plenty of novice foodies who buy expensive ingredients and their cooking still tastes like sh!t, however I can go to any McDonald’s in the country and get exactly the same, reliable (but boring) food. I’ve never been disappointed in Ronald’s food, perhaps because the bar is low. Or perhaps it is easier to be disappointed when you pay $50 for a steak at a nice steakhouse that chews like bubblegum.
To wrap up the last set of questions, I don’t really have a favorite set of parts and I am unfortunately not acquainted enough with the Polymer80 product line to give you an informed opinion on what you should buy.
Polymer80 a good reputation and, if you decide to go that route, you probably won’t be disappointed. Plus there’s a huge selection out there with dozens of options for slides, barrels, triggers and more.
My friends at Brownells have a full inventory of Polymer80 parts as well as everything else you’ll need to get started on a build. They also have a good instructional video series on how to build out your pistol, including choosing slide and barrels.
I’d suggest digging into the forums or talking to someone who has actually built a non-GLOCK GLOCK for specific parts recommendations. I wish I could give a more definitive answer, but I simply can’t make a recommendation on something I have only marginal experience with.
Ask Josh: GLOCK-Type Pistols…Should I Build Or Buy? is written by Josh Wayner for www.thetruthaboutguns.com