Firearm: Polymer80 serialized FDE Frame (MSRP: $135 at Brownells); Apex Tactical Trigger (MSRP: $99.95); Brownells RMR-cut slide (MSRP: $232.99)
We’ve covered the Polymer80 serialized frames here previously on “I Carry.” They’re available as stripped, serialized frames that are transferred through an FFL like a complete handgun so that the end user can finish the frame with components of their choosing. In this case, we’ve opted for an Apex Tactical trigger and Glock Gen3 frame components - the only Glock parts in a Glock-based build.
Atop the Polymer80 frame is a Trijicon RMR-cut Brownells slide. A benefit of building your own pistol is that you can choose the exact configuration. In this case, we’ve opted for a Type 2 RMR with a 3.25-MOA dot, a robust option built to handle, well, anything. The slide is finished with a Lone Wolf Distributors slide kit and recoil spring and a CMC Triggers Glock barrel. Total cost of the build runs slightly over $800, which admittedly is more than a G19 MOS, but not by much.
In the end, this handgun has the ergonomics desired with upgraded components for shootability. The grip texturing helps anchor the pistol in the hand, while the undercut trigger guard helps foster a high grip to counteract recoil. The Apex trigger offers a smoother trigger pull and, as a matter of personal preference, adds a flat-face option rather than the standard curved trigger. The upgraded slide allows attachment of a mini-red-dot sight while adding front serrations, an improvement over all but Gen5 Glocks.
The option to build your own versus buying a factory pistol ultimately is a personal choice. If you’re not comfortable with it for any reason, go with the factory. There’s certainly nothing wrong there. Building your own allows more flexibility and upgraded components while keeping costs reasonable. Of course, you’re going to want to test your pistol extensively - but, shouldn’t you be doing that with any handgun you’re thinking of carrying?
One quick note on the Polymer80 serialized frame: It’s available through either Brownells or Rainier Arms, and (to reiterate) does require it ship to an FFL. Also, as a side note, if you’re intrigued by this setup but don’t wish to build your own pistol, Agency Arms offers a similar build with a mind-boggling array of custom options.
Holster: JM Custom Kydex AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 (MSRP: $70, $77 as configured)
One disadvantage to the Polymer80 serialized frame is that it doesn’t fit standard Glock holsters, requiring a slightly different configuration. Fortunately, the folks at JM Custom Kydex offer their AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 holster with a fit for the Polymer80 frame, bringing another high-quality, specialized offering to fans of this particular frame.
We’ve noted that “Custom” is the company’s middle name previously, and it’s on full display with the AIWB Wing Claw 2.5. Not only can you get the holster for a wide variety of handguns, but in excess of two dozen different colors and patterns available. We’ve gone with FDE (a $2 upcharge) with a red-dot cut (a $5 upcharge). Attachment options abound, too, with everything from the DCC monoblock to steel clip to the pull-the-dot loops we’ve chosen for this rig.
Adding to the modularity of the AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 is the ability to choose the height of the sweat guard, where belt loops attachment points sit and adding a muzzle pad to increase comfort and concealability. Of course, all holsters come with the Mod Wing claw to assist in this endeavor as well, rotating the grip into the body to anchor the rig firmly in place.
Magazine Carrier: JM Custom Kydex AIWB Single Pistol Mag Pouch (MSRP: $35)
For those that carry a spare magazine as part of their daily kit, there’s plenty of ways to approach it. JM Custom Kydex’s AIWB single pistol mag pouch allows your spare magazine to ride securely below the beltline, keeping the same low-profile as the appendix holster. Obviously, the AIWB mag pouch is intended to be carried in the same position as the holster (on the other side, of course), but can be used at the support-hand position as well. A similar palette of colors and belt-attachment options are available for the mag pouch, and for our kit we’ve opted to match the flat-dark earth hue and pull-the-dot loops.