For years now, Defense Distributed has been transforming 80% Ar-15 lowers into effective, functional receivers. This has all been done through their genius CNC machine.
However, the company is now ready to take on a brand new challenge. Now, they’re focusing on using their same famous process to transform 80% pistol frames – especially 1911s and Glocks.
Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed has been pioneering the open source software that is now giving him the opportunity to make his own firearms. Better yet, anyone using these materials can do it from the safety and comfort from their very own home.
According to The Truth About Guns:
A quick Cliff’s Notes on 80% receivers: a receiver is the part of a firearm considered by the government to be the actual, regulated “firearm” part; usually the frame or the component in which the trigger parts go. But an 80% receiver is no more than 80% complete. Because of its unfinished state, it is not considered a firearm and is no more regulated than a figureless lump of metal.
This unregulated lump of metal can ship straight to you, of course. As personal firearms manufacturing has never been illegal in the U.S. and has few if any restrictions in nearly all states — no serialization or registration is needed except in, naturally, California — you can turn that 80% lump into a functional receiver. Then assemble it into a functional gun. An off-the-books, untraceable “Ghost Gun,” that is.
Lots of people people finish 80% receivers now using hand tools or drill presses. Results vary based on their skill, patience, and equipment. If attacking a would-be rifle or pistol frame with a drill isn’t your speed, Defense Distributed’s Ghost Gunner, a tabletop CNC mill, will do the job with professional-level precision.
Once your 80% frame is machined into a 100%-complete receiver, you can hit up a shop like Brownells for every other part needed to assemble it into a functional firearm. All of those parts can be ordered online and will ship straight to your door.
This is the first completed 1911 frame — it began life as a Stealth Arms 80% receiver — to come from a Ghost Gunner. We fired 58 rounds of mixed ammo — including steel-cased ammo — through it at the range and it ran perfectly. In fact, it was smoothly fitted and felt extremely well-sorted.
Some slide-to-frame fitting work is expected. We asked Cody if they were cutting the frame rails slimmer than usual so just about any slide would plop right on the frame and run fine, but, no, Defense Distributed doesn’t make maracas. Apparently the rails are cut so a gun will function without hand fitting but will be a bit snug. That means it will probably function best with some lapping compound to perfect the slide-to-frame clearances.
On the not-a-GLOCK side of the house, just drop the parts into the completed frame and hit the range…no fitting work needed. The factory GLOCK 19 slide on this factory parts-filled Polymer 80 frame ran like a champ. I even shot the thing suppressed with a Lone Wolf barrel, and it never hiccuped.
The ergonomics and feel of the Polymer 80 frame put GLOCK to shame, frankly. From the texturing to the shape to the severely undercut trigger guard and the high beavertail, it simply feels awesome.
That’s what we call a Texas glamour shot.