This post will be a slight departure from the norm, but it should be worth it. A while back, I departed on the adventure of building a Glock-like firearm without using a single Glock OEM part, just for the sake of doing it. Personally, I am much more a CZ person, and have never understood the attraction of Glocks, but I also love building firearms, and the Austrian bricks are some of the most-heavily-supported when it comes to aftermarket parts.
I chose to use a receiver/frame from Lone Wolf Distributors, but if I had a drill press, I could have had one of these delivered to my door, no FFL, no paperwork, no background check, nothing:
That carefully-formed piece of plastic is not legally considered a firearm, given that you cannot currently install the trigger group, recoil assembly, slide, or other essential parts. However, after less than a day of work with a drill press and a few other basic tools, you will have a full-operational Glock-like frame. And if you never sell it, it never even has to be serialized.
No doubt the “gun control” extremists are already lining up to figure out a way to shut this company down.
Ok, fine, here are the blueprints necessary to build an AR-15 receiver out of sheets of aluminum. No joke.
And lest any “gun control” useful idiot get the bright idea of trying to get WordPress to pull down the blueprints, do not fret – I have them backed up on my computer, and will happily host them elsewhere on the internet.
Oh, we cannot forget the mad genius who successfully built a fully-operational AK-47-pattern rifle out of an old shovel and junk parts. I am not even close to kidding. It was even capable of keeping all ten spam-can rounds inside the 10-ring at 50 yards.
So what are you going to do now, folks? Ban shovels and hammers? You might as well try to ban the Khyber Pass as a whole.
For heaven’s sake, jewelers down in “gun control” utopia Australia are supplying bikie gangs with sub-machine guns and silencers. Inmates in German prisons are building shotguns. And apparently staple guns have become a platform of choice for improvised firearms.
And that is a core concept that “gun control” extremists simply refuse to comprehend – you cannot ban, restrict, or otherwise regulate firearms in any meaningful way. Or, as some of my friends like to put it, “engineers > politicians”. The truth of the matter is if “gun controllers” get their way and make the ownership of a previously-lawful semi-automatic rifle as illegal as owning an open-bolt, short-barreled, fully-automatic rifle… well, Aisle 6 at your local Home Depot has all the parts necessary to make the latter. And given how easy it is to make the fully-automatic firearm – variations were literally being produced in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation – why would anyone bother with the less-capable rifle?
In turn, I think that is a core concept that the pro-rights advocates do not comprehend as well. “Gun control” extremists do not want to regulate firearms. They do not even want to regulate you. They want to destroy knowledge, pure and simple. Though, if they could kill a few peaceful, law-abiding Americans along the way, a disturbing number of them would be sanguine with that (and this is a mere sample of the screencaps I have).
Not only do they want to ban “assault weapons”, they would be absolutely ecstatic if no one could ever make one ever again. One need only look at their outrage over the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act for an example of this – “gun control” extremists attempted to use lawfare against firearm manufacturers by suing them over the criminal misuse of their products. The government rightly stepped in and said, “this is dumb,” and the wailing and gnashing of teeth that continues to this day borders on “epic”.
To put it another way, “gun control” is another variation – both morally and functionally – to book-burning… but at least the book-burners were – and, sadly, are – more honest about their motivations.
And lest you think I am being hyperbolic in my comparison, consider the recent YouTube Terms of Service changes wherein they banned any content that included perfectly-legal activities such as demonstrating how to reload ammunition. The only possible motivation behind this move is to attempt to suppress knowledge and limit its spread – just like with book burnings.
(Note: Since YouTube is a private corporation, they can set whatever standards they want for the content they host; however, let us be honest about the situation and call it what it is – pure censorship.)
But just as the printing press removed the power of book-burners, so too is the internet rendering “gun control” extremists impotent. They can no longer control the narrative. They can no longer massage the message. They can no longer spout their lies unchallenged.
The truth will out, whether they want it to or not. That is, after all, one of the reasons I started the “graphics matter” series of posts here – to demonstrate that so much of the information and arguments used by the “gun control” extremists is fundamentally flawed, if not outright dishonest. That is also why such things as the Ghost Gunner exist – the democratization of technology will ultimately render “gun control” a meaningless phrase, and that is why they hate it.
And that is part of the reason I like assembling firearms at home. Sure, sue the manufacturers into oblivion. Shut down the FFLs. You cannot stop the signal.
So on to the build itself.
Like I said, the goal was a firearm that was a “Glock” in everything but name, from the ground up, including all the fiddly bits. This did limit a few of my choices, and resulted in a fair bit of trial-and-error to determine which aftermarket part would play well with another aftermarket part, but the end result appears to be a success.
Frame: Compact (G19-equivalent) Lone Wolf Timberwolf, old model, built. $150. Since Lone Wolf was clearing these out in preparation for their new frames, buying it built-out by them was actually cheaper than buying a stripped version and building it myself, and certainly easier. NOTE: Unlike the 80% lower kits, this part must be shipped to an FFL, and you must fill out an ATF Form 4473 and pass a background check before taking ownership of it. It is legally considered a firearm, and serialized as such.
Barrel: Lone Wolf AlphaWolf M19/L. $140. I wanted kind of an inverse Glock 19X – a compact frame and a full-size slide – because, apparently unlike Operators Who Operate Operationally in Operations, I find it harder to conceal grips than slides. Due to that, I had to buy a specific barrel that could interface with the G19-style locking lugs – which are different from the G17 ones – while still giving me the proper length.
Slide: Brownells Glock 17 RMR Slide + Window. $170. I have no idea if I will ever want to put an optic on this, but buying it with the option available seemed cheaper than trying to go back and add it later. The window is a purely aesthetic indulgence that only cost $10 over an un-windowed-but-RMR-caable slide.
Optic Plate: ZEV Adapter Plate. $48. If I had not just gone for the easy, right-there solution, I might have considered one of these from Maple Leaf Firearms, LLC instead, both because an equivalent one would have been cheaper, and because I could have had a brass one for the same price.
Dust Cover: Lone Wolf Slide Adapter Gen 3 to Gen 3. $55. Basically, if you do not have this, the gap between the slide and the frame will show off your recoil spring, plus the recoil spring assembly might not work properly. Make sure you get the right model for whatever generations your slide and frame are.
Guide Rod: White Sound Defense Steel Guide Rod. $20. This is an uncaptured guide rod, but they give you a handy little hole through it that lets you “screw” the recoil spring onto the guide rod and then drop it into the slide. Note: I ordered – and, according to the packaging, received – a G17 guide rod, but it does not extend past the slide as it is advertised to do on normal G17s. This could be because of the G19-ish frame and different take-down lever location.
Recoil Spring: ISMI 17lb Recoil Spring. $9. I figured I would start with the stock weight and go from there.
Upper Parts Kit: 80% Glock Billet Extractor US Manufactured Upper Parts Kit. $90. It was cheaper to purchase the kit with the billet extractor than to purchase one with a normal extractor and have to replace it down the line. Unfortunately, for some reason, the slide cover plate was a Glock OEM part, which brings us to… (Note: this kit is no longer available from 80% Glock; it looks like they’ve gone to offering complete packages instead.)
Slide Cover Plate: Fixxxer Rear Cover Plate. $12. Perhaps not the classiest name in the world, but it was inexpensive, and it occurred to me that nothing else on the firearm – not even the barrel – indicated what caliber it was.
Sights: Trijicon Suppressor Night Sights. $110. I may never put a red-dot on this thing, but it seemed to make sense to go ahead and get the sights that would allow for it.
Magwell: Lone Wolf Blue Anodized Magwell for Timberwolf Frames. $10. Ok, this was almost completely unnecessary, and was mostly purchased because it looks cool. However, these magwells are being discontinued courtesy of the host frames going away, and I figured I should go ahead and grab it. Likewise, thanks to above-average hand size, I have drawn blood while enthusiastically reloading my Walther PPS, and I could see the same happening on this frame. And that is totally a rationalization.
Magazine: PMAG 15 GL9. $15. The compact frame can, of course, take 19 and 17 magazines, as well as any long-stick magazines you care to feed it. (The PMAG number comes from the capacity – G17 magazines hold 17 rounds, while G19 magazines hold 15 rounds. And Glock’s numbering scheme is totally not confusing.)
Shadow Gunworks Firing Pin Channel Liner. I do not know if the firing pin channel in the Brownells slide is a little to narrow, if this particular liner was a little too wide, or if trying to install it without the proper tool was the wrong idea, but it failed spectacularly.
Lone Wolf Stainless Steel Guide Rod. This one perplexed me a little. You would think it would work, but the screw at the end of the guide rod repeatedly bound up on both the dust cover and the slide unless it was perfectly installed. Sometimes, I could only get the slide as far back as was necessary to get it off – thankfully. Other times, the screw stuck on the outside of the slide, meaning it could not go back to battery properly. This general unreliability caused me to go with the alternative above.
Ok, so the approximate benchmark was the Glock 19X, which is currently on pre-order for $650. Not counting a few tools I purchased to build it (because those can and will have other uses) or the parts that did not work out (as annotated below), and adding two more mags to make it more equivalent to the G19X, the Not-A-Glock cost…
So, yeah, it cost more. I do not think anyone is surprised by that. But it did not cost that much more – in fact, once you factor in the cost to mill the 19X slide to accept a red-dot sight and the cost of replacement suppressor-height sights, the Not-A-Glock barely cost more at all. Additionally, I was able to build it to fit what I wanted, learn a lot about the platform in the process, and it does not care what kind of bullets you throw down the tube.
Again, the only part that absolutely had to have paperwork on it was the frame / receiver – that is legally considered a firearm, and there is a 4473 somewhere with my name and its serial number on it. And while I did purchase all the rest of the parts online, and there are undoubtedly records of all those transactions at those retailers, a good-sized gun store will have all the parts necessary, and you could pay in cash.
In other words, if my clumsy, uncoordinated arse can successfully build a fully-operational Glock from bare parts, what hope do you think you have trying to regulate – if not outright ban – the production of firearms? Seriously.