How to build a Glock at Home – no serial number, no registration!

by Ryan Cleckner

May 20, 2020

25 comments

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Yes! You can build your own Glock handgun at home! In fact, under federal law, you can build any standard firearm at home.

First, a couple of disclaimers:

  1. This applies ONLY to federal law. Your state may restrict this activity and/or certain firearms
  2. You must still file for approval with the ATF for NFA firearms (silencers, short barreled rifles, etc.)

How to Make Your Own Glock

We’re going to walk you through the entire process to build your own handgun at home – without a serial number and without registration.

One of the benefits to this process is that you have a lot of choices you can make about the firearm you are going to build at home. Of course, there may be too many choices for you so we are also going to help you with lists for three sample builds of a compact/Glock 19-sized pistol:

  1. Mostly Glock (where every possible part is made by Glock – can’t be the frame)
  2. Budget Non-Glock (where NO parts are made by Glock – a true non-Glock Glock and the parts are the least expensive options)
  3. Ryan’s Build (where Ryan will pick out his favorites for inspiration for your build)
  4. Overall Budget Build (this build will only be featured in the final build tables because it will incorporate the cheapest option of each of the three builds as we go)

In each step of the process, we’ll list some of the parts you can choose from and highlight which match each of the builds above.

At the end of this guide, we’ll share the complete parts list for each!

We’ll start with which parts to get and then move into how to make/assemble them!

If you’d like to skip to the end to see the complete build lists, you can jump straight to: Complete Build Lists

Step 1 – Choose Your Pistol Frame

If you’re building your own firearm, you must actually “make” the frame or receiver.

Under federal law, only firearms (and their frames/receivers) that are made by a licensed manufacturer (FFL) must be marked with certain markings – these include a serial number.

Therefore, if you are making this firearm for yourself, and don’t intend to sell it, then you don’t need an FFL and you don’t need to mark it with manufacturer markings or a serial number (under federal law)! Your state may require markings.

In fact, you can even decide to sell it later – you just can’t build it with the intent to sell – BE CAREFUL HERE!

If you think you’d like to do this for some side-income (or even a full-time business), you really should look into getting your FFL. It’s not as difficult as you might think and it’s a great way to save money on guns, make money with guns, and be the “go-to source” in your circle of firearms friends.

Polymer 80 Glock Frame

Polymer-80-Frame-Kit-300x148-1
Polymer 80 Frame Kit – Polymer80.com

We recommend using the Polymer 80 frame for your pistol build.

The term “80% receiver” is NOT a legal term. Do not be confused here. An object is considered a firearm once it is able to be readily converted to expel a projectile. This means sometime before it is finished, the ATF will consider it a firearm!

Most companies that sell “80%” receivers have obtained approval from ATF that their product hasn’t crossed that magical line yet. This means that when you finish the work, you’re the true manufacturer of the firearm.

Don’t start from scratch – use one of these kits! This is because the percentage has nothing to do with the determination of a firearm – if you did the wrong 10% first, you’d have a firearm even though it’s only 10% complete.

If you’d like to learn more, check this out: 80% Receivers

The Polymer 80 frame kit comes with a polymer pre-frame, a jig to help you finish the the pre-frame into an actual firearm frame, the necessary drill bits to create the firearm, and the front and rear inserts for the frame rails.

The Polymer 80 frame is available in various colors and grip textures:

Colors: The Polymer80 kit is available in Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE), Coyote, TacGrey (Grey), OD Green, Robin Egg Blue, White, and Cobalt.

Textures: The Polymer80 kit is available in a standard textured grip, an aggressive texture, and ReadyMod variant that comes with a smooth grip that is ready to be custom textured via stippling with a soldering iron or with a laser.

For the “Mostly Glock” and “Non-Glock” builds, any of the frame options will do because you can’t use a Glock frame and still have this be a firearm that you built as a homemade firearm.

For “Ryan’s Build,” I was tempted to go with the ReadyMod because I love a good custom texture job. However, I’m choosing the aggressive texture because I want a final product that is exactly what you can have/build yourself. Therefore, I’m avoiding anything custom and I’m choosing the aggressive-textured grey frame.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIZE OF YOUR FRAME!!! If you purchase a “19” sized frame like me, you MUST ensure that you are purchasing parts for a “19”-sized Glock as you go. For example, if you weren’t paying attention, it would be very easy to accidentally purchase a barrel or a lower parts kit for a “17.” Neither will work properly with your “19” build!

PartCost
Mostly GlockAny Polymer 80 Frame Kit$149.99
Budget Non-GlockAny Polymer 80 Frame Kit$149.99
Ryan’s ChoiceGrey Aggressive Texture 19$149.99
Homemade Glock Frame Choices

Step 2 – Choose Your Lower Parts

Glock Lower Parts Kit – Brownells.com

Glock Lower Parts Kit – Brownells.com

The lower parts are what will be installed in your pistol frame.

The lower parts for a Glock include:

  • Magazine Catch Spring
  • Magazine Release
  • Trigger Housing Pin
  • Locking Block Pin
  • Slide Lock, Slide Lock Spring
  • Extended Slide Stop Lever with Spring
  • Trigger Housing with Ejector
  • Connector
  • Trigger Spring
  • Trigger with Trigger Bar
  • Trigger Pin

You can either purchase all of these parts together in a kit or you can purchase each part individually.

The simplest (and least expensive) option is to purchase a complete kit. However, if you’d like to truly customize your pistol build, purchasing the parts individually might be your best option.

Some of the most commonly customized parts for Glock pistols include triggers, connectors, and magazine releases. We’ll explore each option below.

Glock Lower Parts Kits

There are two options for lower parts kits:

  1. Kit with Glock parts
  2. Kit with non-Glock parts

Glock Parts Kit: This kit includes all of the parts listed above. The connector is a factory 5 lb connector and the magazine release is the factory extended release.

Non-Glock Parts Kit: This kit includes mostly non-Glock parts. As far as I know, nobody makes a non-Glock trigger housing. Therefore, I guess it’s impossible to make a truly non-Glock Glock…but we can get close. This kit comes with a 3.5 lb connector, extended slide release, extended take-down lever, and an extended magazine release.

If you’d like to customize these parts other than what the kits come with, you’ll need to purchase each part individually or purchase one of the kits above along with whichever custom part you want and then simply not use the replaced part from the kit above.

Individual Glock Lower Parts

We’re going to cover the most popular upgraded parts. If you buy one of the kits above, you don’t need to purchase any individual parts below.

TRIGGER:
If you want a Glock-style trigger, you might as well go with one of the kits above. If you’re going to go with a custom option, however, purchasing an individual trigger is your only way to go.

Zev Tech Trigger Kit – $180.00

The Zev Tech trigger is amazing. However, I have adjusted these too light and had reliability issues. Therefore, I use these for “fun” guns (plinking/competition) and not defensive guns. This trigger kit comes with a neat feature: a set-screw in the trigger housing that allows you to easily adjust for over-travel.

If you go with this trigger kit, you’ll also get a trigger housing with ejector, trigger spring, and connector. You’ll also be getting striker springs and a firing pin safety and spring. This is something to keep in mind when we’re covering the slide parts below.

CMC Trigger Kit – $172.99

I have never owned a CMC Glock Trigger, however, I have tried them on friends’ pistols and I have been impressed – they really are nice triggers! I have large hands, however, and the lip on the bottom of the trigger is not for me. But, as far as I know, it is factory Glock parts with only a new trigger shoe – so, if you’re looking for ultimate in reliability, this may very well be the best Glock trigger upgrade for you.

If you go with this trigger kit, you’ll also get a trigger housing with ejector, trigger spring, and connector.

Apex Action Enhancement Trigger w/ Bar – $112.99

Apex makes a whole lot of great upgrades for popular pistols. This is their “action enhancement trigger” which is also sold as just the trigger shoe that you can add to your factory trigger bar, However, since we are building our own Glock from scratch, I’ve included the option that comes with a Glock Gen5 trigger bar installed.

These are just the top three Glock replacement triggers based on my experience. If you’d like to see many more triggers for Glocks, check out the Glock Triggers page on Brownells.com

My personal favorite is the Zev Technologies Fulcrum Trigger Kit.  When it comes to defensive use, I prefer a factory Glock with factory parts for reliability.  However, because this is a “fun gun” that I doubt I’ll be carrying for concealed carry, I’m going for the most fun trigger trigger to shoot.

Here are a few more of our part recommendations:

CONNECTOR:

Mostly Glock: GLOCK – Connector, 8 lb.

Budget Non-Glock: Lone Wolf Dist. – 3.5 Connector

Ryan’s Choice: Ghost – Rocket 3.5 Trigger Connector

SPRINGS:

Mostly Glock: GLOCK – Trigger Spring

Budget Non-Glock: Zev Technologies – Trigger Spring

Ryan’s Choice: Ghost – Complete Spring Kit

SLIDE STOP:

Mostly Glock: GLOCK – Slide Stop

Budget Non-Glock: TangoDown – Vickers Tactical Slide Stop 

Ryan’s Choice: TangoDown – Enhanced Slide Stop

TAKE-DOWN LEVER:

Mostly Glock: GLOCK – Slide Lock

Budget Non-Glock: Lone Wolf Dist. – Extended Slide Lock Lever

PartCost
Mostly GlockGlock Parts Kit$71.99
Budget Non-GlockNon-Glock Parts Kit$51.99
Ryan’s ChoiceNon-Glock Parts Kit$51.99
Zev Tech Trigger Kit$180.00
Ryan’s Build Total$231.99
Glock Lower Part Choices

Step 3 – Choose Your Slide

If you’re wanting to build the “mostly-Glock” option, this could be a difficult step for you. Glock factory slides are available, however, they can be hard to find and are often used.

If you’ve already got a Glock at home…great! You can borrow that slide until you’re ready to upgrade.

I wanted to take this opportunity to have a truly custom pistol so I am opting for an aftermarket slide. Here are the best options for aftermarket Glock slides:

Lone Wolf Alpha Wolf Slide – $174.95

If you’re looking for a budget build, this is the least expensive slide I could find.

I have zero experience with this slide and I can not vouch for how well it works (or whether it will work at all).

If you can afford it, or you aren’t going for a “cheapest possible Glock” for fun, please consider upgrading to a slightly nicer slide.

Brownell’s Front-Cut RMR Slide – $209.99

This slide is an amazing value for your Glock build!

I was very leery of purchasing it (spoiler alert- it’s the one I went with) because it’s cost is so low compared to other slides. However, I thought it was worth the gamble because it was so close to being the cheapest slide and it had the features I wanted: forward cocking serrations AND an RMR cut.

I am happy to report that this slide worked AWESOME! I highly recommend this slide for function and value. It is a bit more squared off on the corners, though – this might cause an issue for some holsters.

If you’d like to check out this slide without the RMR cut (it’s $20 less expensive), you can see it here: Brownell’s Front-Cut Slide.

Of course, these are just a FEW options for your Glock slide. To see the rest of your choices, check out Brownell’s Glock slides.

Here are some pictures of the slide I selected along with the barrel (covered next) and recoil spring.

PartCost
Mostly GlockGlock Factory Slide$325.00
Budget Non-GlockLone Wolf – Alpha Wolf Slide$174.95
Ryan’s ChoiceBrownell’s Front-Cut RMR Slide$209.99
Glock Slide Choices

Step 4 – Choose Your Barrel

There are MANY options for Glock barrels.

Glock Factory Barrel – $149.99

Glock factory barrels are awesome.

I know that it is popular to upgrade a Glock’s barrel but I have never understood why in most cases.

The Glock barrel is reliable and plenty accurate. I didn’t go with one on this build because I thought it would be fun to avoid Glock brand parts.

However all of my other Glocks, even those with threaded barrels, have factory barrels.  In fact, I prefer Glock factory threaded barrels because the metric threads allow for a better silencer mount.

So, unless you’re trying to go “non-Glock” on this build (like me), you really should consider one of the factory barrels.

Lone Wolf Barrel – $139.95

The Lone Wolf Barrel is the cheapest barrel I can find for a Glock. Unless you can’t afford to, please consider a better barrel.

In my experience with these barrels, they can work, but they are very finicky with ammo and if your slide’s dimensions are slightly tighter than the factory dimensions (common for a “tighter” lock-up), then this barrel likely won’t fit and/or function.

So, doing an “el-cheapO” build? Go with this barrel. Want some reliability? Go with a nicer barrel, please.

Bar-Sto Semi-Fit Barrel – $264.99

Bar-Sto is known for making great replacement Glock barrels.

This barrel is “semi-fit” which means that it might require some “fitting” to work properly in your gun.

Many competition shooters swear by Bar-Sto barrels for their accuracy potential.

SilencerCo Threaded Barrel – $178.99

This barrel seems to be the best value for a threaded Glock barrel.

This is the barrel I chose because I wanted the ability to add a silencer and perhaps a muzzle brake.

I wasn’t sure about the quality of it, but I can tell you that I’m already 500-rounds into mine and it works great!

Storm Lake Barrel – $232.99

If you’re looking for a threaded barrel, Storm Lake is another option that won’t break the bank.

However, you will be gambling a bit with quality. I’ve seen AMAZING Storm Lake barrels and I’ve seen HORRIBLE Storm Lake barrels. You might get a good one and you might not. I personally avoid these and the AAC branded barrels because they are also made by Storm Lake.

As you know, I went with the SilencerCo barrel and I am very happy that I did!  I can shoot with a silencer and my non-Glock Glock functions great!  You can see pictures of the barrel above next to my slide.

 PartCost
Mostly GlockGlock Factory Barrel$149.99
Budget Non-GlockLone Wolf Barrel$139.95
Ryan’s ChoiceSilencerCo Threaded Barrel$178.99
Glock Barrel Choices

Step 5 – Choose Your Slide Parts

Glock Slide Parts Kit – $89.99

Let me save you some trouble…unless you want “upgraded” parts, just go with this kit!

Even if you want to upgrade your striker, it still may be a better option to get this kit and use your replacement striker and save the factory one as a backup.

Lone Wolf Slide Parts Kit – $79.95

In my effort to have a non-Glock Glock (for no reason other than novelty), I went with this kit.

I should have gone with the Glock factory kit above. Not only would it have been cheaper, the parts would’ve likely been better.

Most of the parts in this kit seemed ok (who really knows) but the striker looks like a piece of junk. It has worked for me so far but I might end up “upgrading” to the factory part.

 PartCost
Mostly GlockGlock Factory Kit$89.99
Budget Non-GlockLone Wolf Slide Parts Kit$79.95
Ryan’s ChoiceLone Wolf Slide Parts Kit$79.95
Glock Slide Parts Choices

Step 6 – Choose Your Sights

Trijicon RMR Adjustable – $489.99

AmeriGlo Suppressor Height Sights – $44.99

 PartCost
Mostly Glock
Budget Non-Glock
Ryan’s ChoiceTrijicon RMR Adjustable$489.00
AmeriGlo Sights$44.99
Glock Sights Choices

Step 7 – Choose Your Magazine

Magpul G19 Magazine – $13.99

I went with this Magpul magazine to keep up the non-GLock theme of my build.

I must admit, I never knew the appeal to a MagPul Glock magazine when the factory magazines are relatively inexpensive and extremely reliable (I think that part of a Glock’s reliability is its excellent magazines).

Glock Factory Magazine – $27.99

You can’t go wrong with factory Glock magazines.

Especially if you’re looking for “high-capacity” magazines like my personal favorites, the Glock 33-rounders.

 PartCost
Mostly GlockGlock Factory Magazine$27.99
Budget Non-GlockMagpul G19 Magazine$13.99
Ryan’s ChoiceMagpul G19 Magazine$13.99
Glock Magazine Choices

Step 8 – “Make” Your Frame

Making a Polymer80 Frame into a firearm can seem daunting – but don’t worry….it’s actually very easy!

Polymer80 frames comes with instructions that are very complete/detailed. You can view/download their pdf instructions here.

They also have a great video that walks you through, step by step, how to complete a Polymer80 frame (below).

However, a mill is NOT necessary – we completed the frame in this build with a cordless drill (for the holes) and used hand files to complete the frame. The hand files may have taken a bit longer (not much) but we were VERY happy with the results.

Doing it by hand gave us all the control we wanted.

Here are the files we used:

Flat file set

Rat-tail hand file

Step 9 – Assemble Your Homemade Glock

Here are two awesome videos on how to assemble your frame and slide for your Polymer80 build at home Glock:

Assembling the lower (frame):

https://youtu.be/ThzFOIYZgIg

Assembling the upper (slide):

Step 10 – Have Fun!

Build Lists

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest option to have a homemade Glock, I recommend that you purchase a complete Glock (new or used), then purchase a Polymer80 kit and then replace and sell the factory frame. It just isn’t possible to beat that price.

 PartCost
FrameGrey Aggressive Texture 19$149.99
Lower PartsNon-Glock Parts Kit$51.99
TriggerZev Tech Trigger Kit$180.00
SlideBrownell’s Front-Cut RMR Slide$209.99
BarrelSilencerCo Threaded Barrel$178.99
Slide PartsLone Wolf Slide Parts Kit$79.95
Optic Trijicon RMR Adjustable$489.99
SightsAmeriGlo Suppressor Height Sights$44.99
MagazineMagpul G19 Magazine$13.99
Total (with RMR)$1,399.88
Total (w/o RMR)$889.89
Ryan’s Build

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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25 COMMENTS

    1. Glad you liked it! I installed the channel liner (it was white from the Lone Wolf kit) with a large roll-pin punch. The roll-pin punch was the right diameter and the middle “nipple” seemed like it would help keep the channel liner from collapsing in on itself. It worked. 🙂

      1. Hey Ryan, been reading some of your articles.. almost none of the parts in your home glock build are available at brownells and some are flat discontinued… I think it’s time you remade this list, its gotta be 3 years old and with the virus, people have the time and inclination because guns are sold out.

  1. This is a great ‘how-to ..’ and easy to follow description with nice documentation for building a Glock at home without a serial number or registration.

    1. Its asshats like you who think making a expose`is cooll to seem educated in some niche thing, all you have done is exposed this shit to idiot Americans and their tyrannical authority that will most vigorously attack small arm manufacturers of these kits….just like thewar on drugs in the 80s..now it’s will be a war on cights and freedoms of defending ones persons family or constitution.

      Wake up people we are dying at an amazing rate and none of it is gun violence, but putting this shit online with the natrative”homemade” gun just scares people and disinforms the rest I to thinking it really is that easy, the facts are this:

      To build a fire arm takes mechanical prowess and patience

      2nd ask yourself this……. do you even need a fuc`n pistol? Chances are your just gonna shoot your spouse or her lover nextdoor when you come home early for so,e afternoon delight.

      Lastley….the media is gonna destroy the I integrity of major gun manufacturers over this type of bullshit. No registered guns will never happen , but snubbing the atf and the feds with “LOOP HOLE” TACTICS IS GOING TO BRIMG THEIR BAN HAMMER DOWN WITH FORCE

  2. Why are these so expensive? I’m looking to build/buy a Glock for $200 or less – surely this must be possible, if not easy?

    I’m willing to use parts that don’t look new, to clean off rust/gunk, file, whatever – I just don’t have much money to spend on it.

    1. Get a Hipoint Yeet cannon g1 for $170, you will not be able to get a working glock for $200, just simply not possible.

  3. Yeah, no way I’m shelling out a grand to build a Glock myself when I can get a new one for around $400. This is simply a work around for those that can’t pass a background check.

    1. No. Some people enjoy building things themselves. Take a car enthusiast for example, they easily can spend way more fixing up or building a car on their own than they could buy one brand new. It’s not because they’re criminals, it’s because it can be fun to build something yourself exactly the way you want it (if you’re capable).

  4. Question: why does a metric threaded barrel allow for better silencer mounts? What is the specific advantage over imperial thread?

    1. Great question – it’s not the thread-rate per se. Instead, it’s the specs for the different thread systems. The metric plans call for a better shoulder/stop for the silencer as part of the drawings whereas the imperial is just a thread rate without any specific should specs. Also, I’ve noticed a left-hand thread helps keep my silencer on with a right hand twist (most rifling).

  5. Great guide! Thanks Ryan. I used this to build a Glock 22. I will say there are better options than Brownell’s out there. Was able to do complete build for $650.

  6. Great over view thank you for your efforts! Couple of suggestions for your consideration: (1) under the section about optics – I would consider adding Holosun as an option the Holosun is very highly rated at about half the price of the Trijicon RMR (2) How to videos – Brownells puts out some fairly decent high-Level videos. My suggestion for super -detailed excellent quality how to videos I would recommend pointing readers to Marine Gun Builders channel. His videos are excellent and crazy minutely detailed how-to instructions.

  7. Hey Ryan, I’m really excited about this because I enjoy building things and figuring out problems. I’ve never completed a build like this and want to make sure that I should align everything with the same model. I clicked on the frame link which goes to a model 19 where you can decide 9mm or .40 and then when I click the RMR slide it went to a model 17. The trigger link went to .357/40. The magazine went to 9mm. Are the links you provided to give a general idea and then we have to decipher whether we want to build something different? I don’t know whether the slide for a 17 will fit a frame for a 19 and in reading the Zev Tech trigger kit, the Q&A area listed a different part number for a 9mm. I’d like to order these items once and make sure to build them correctly. Any advice would be great! For clarity, I was following the links in the “Ryan’s Build” since the other lists may work differently. Thanks man!

  8. Love the video, but the Store bought Glock was a full $200 cheaper than your build.. I wish there was a way to make Canik, Sig, or S&W. I like Glock, but I have other handguns that IMO are just better. Thanks again for the great content!

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