At first glance, the groove-less grip might make you think this is a Gen5 G17 Glock — until you get to the end of the muzzle and realize that there are no front serrations, nor is there an accessory rail on the dustcover. Wait, no accessory rail? That was added to the Glock way back with the Gen3 modifications, wasn’t it? Well, there aren’t any on the P80, because it’s a faithful recreation of the original, 1980s-style Gen1 Glock G17.
It’s kind of amazing to think that Glock handguns have been around long enough to merit a “throwback” or “retro” model. To many gun folks out there, Glock’s still the new kid on the block, the young upstart pistol made out of polymer — insert the standard “Tupperware” comment here. But, it’s been on the radar for coming up on four decades now, having hit the scene during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.
For those who might not get the “P80” name, it’s the original designation of the Glock G17. In 1980, the Austrian military put out a solicitation to replace its aging P38 handguns. Gaston Glock designed a pistol for this competition, won the contract and the rest is, as they say, history. The P80 slowly morphed into the G17 (named because the patent for the handgun was the 17th for Mr. Glock), and the transformation of the handgun market had begun.
Here in the U.S., G17s were not imported until 1986, and two short years later Glock came out with the second generation of G17s, making the first generation somewhat on the rare side. Lipsey’s has done a number of collaborations in the past, mainly different frame color versions or specialty models, but this time, the wholesaler wanted to offer something different, so the company went for the “retro” look — a first for Glock!
Cosmetically, the P80 is virtually indistinguishable from the first generation of Glock pistols, one example of which we have here now. The P80 has been designed to replicate the original G17 in every way, right down to the polygonal rifling that became one of the signature, standout features of the Glock G17. For this project, Lipsey’s worked with Glock to remake the Gen1 frame with wraparound pebble texture, a flat extractor to look like the original, “P80” markings in the original font and even recreated the old “Tupperware-style” box. There’s even a certificate of authenticity from Glock.
The P80 is being produced in an initial run of 10,000 pistols (5,000 this month, 5,000 later this year or early next year). Of course, in today’s active firearm climate these probably won’t hang around on dealer’s shelves for very long. If you’re interested in the P80, either for nostalgia, to complete a collection or just to have, the simplest way to find one is to go to Lipseys.com and check out the company’s “Dealer Finder” to locate an FFL in your area. MSRP will be $669.