We missed a one-day-only on these Polymer80 Glock frame kits for $39.99, but at $69.99 they’re still more than half off. Frame, metal guide rails insert, jig, and cutting tools all in one handy kit. Available in black, OD, or FDE.

The only reason we didn’t buy any this time is that we still have two untouched ones (including the one in the picture) — bought for list price.  We’ll get to ’em when we get to ’em. Supposedly, there’s a new version of the G17/17L/34 size frame coming out. These frames will work in 9mm or in .357 SIG/.40 S&W so you can actually clone the Glock 17, 17L, 22, 24, 31, 34, and 35; the compact frame for the G19 size guns is not being blown out, but will still set you back $150.

The G17 etc. frames are considerably blockier than the original Glock (which is saying something), so our guess is that the new version will be closer to the Glock original, like their G19 frame is. But that’s only our guess, we have no crystal ball. These are so popular that inexpensive Glock parts kits have become nonexistent.

What goes with a ghost Glock better than a suppressor? So you’re going to need a threaded barrel (also useful for making politicians’ heads spontaneously ess-plode like Mr Creosote). Most Silencerco Glock barrels are $40 off which brings them to $150, but there’s an even better deal on the higher-priced G43 barrel, for all you wannabe silent single-stackers out there. But Silencerco threadeds are for sale for several pistols: SIG 226, S&W M&P, HKVP9, and Beretta 92/M9.

Beretta 92! We bet this breathes life into a lot of dusty M9s/ 92s out there. Don’t have an M9? We interrupt this Brownells pitch to bring you a deal on an M9 (NB, that vendor has a “mixed” reputation, and its owner has been convicted of felonies under some bizarre California laws. We’ll pass, but maybe you feel lucky… punk). OK, back to Brownells.

Our two favorite AR optics are the ACOG and the Aimpoint, and for up-close-and-personal like shooting masked teenagers in the kitchen, we’d go with Aimpoint 10 out of 10 times. Brownells has a little bit of a deal on the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic); they’re throwing in a $25 Brownells gift card with each one at $437. Your net, $412, plus shipping. We paid more than that for a well-worn Comp M2 used. The PRO is half the price, roughly, of the Comp M2’s successor, the Comp M4.

The PRO includes the features we like, like crazy long battery life, a near-Ranger-proof forged case, and 6 visible and 4 IR reticle brightness settings. (That said, if you don’t have NODS or plan imminent purchase of them, don’t be a tactard: don’t pay extra for NVG compatibility). Likewise, don’t bother with Killflash unless you’re planning on going out and hunting with it (bipeds or quadrupeds, the game is the same); for plinking and home defense you’re good to go out of the box. The one accessory you might consider is a quality QD mount, if you’re in the habit of trading optics a lot.

This entry was posted in Consumer Alert!, Optics, Pistols and Revolvers, Rifles and Carbines on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

27 thoughts on “Brownell’s Buys: Ghost Glocks, Threaded Barrels, Aimpoint PRO


For yahoos like me, the only real advantage the M4 has over the PRO is cheaper batteries and longer battery life. However, you can buy a _lot_ of those little lithium batteries before you make up the price differential. The one I’ve got is mounted on my toting-in-the-woods pig deterrent. Haven’t seen a feral hog since I finished building it, so it must be working. Pretty happy with the BCM upper and MOE-SL furniture on the build too.


You are so wrong about the kill flash

It has the highest ” chicks dig it ” factor of any product!


Pics or it didn’t happen.

Mr. Chubbins


Can you elaborate or do an article on the quick mout for optics? Is it a CDI, is it a nice to have, or is it essential? I could argue either position from my chair, but would like a real app evaluation.


I had to look up “kill flash” thinking it was some hare-brained implementation of the old Patrol Ambush Light on an individual weapon…

which would merely be a beacon shouting aim here. No, it turns out it is a simple collimator to reduce the reflection angle off the objective lens, and easily home-made by packing soda-straws into a sunshade extension. In a Tuco accented hhhhhow moch?, maybe I could make a mint selling such a low cost dead easy thing to make for much moulah to chumps, money, their, soon parted from.


You can also get a long way simply by stretching a piece of flat-colored dark nylon pantyhose across objective lenses, anchored with a low-tech rubber band around the tube.

Soda straws will give you a lot of dead space in your FOV.

But if you’re sinking hundreds and thousands into a carbine, and haven’t acquired a Gen II+ or III NVD, you’re doing this wrong. Ditto for a decent IR laser.

Whether it’s feral pigs or feral perps, there’s just something predatorily elegant about gobsmacking your target from the cloak of nighttime invisibility. I heartily commend it.

I consider fair fight to be smacking baby harp seals with clubs.” – every troop out there since Hammurabi

Bret Stevenson

Amen! My wife gave me a funny look when I told her I was going to repurpose her old nylons. BTW- you don’t need the rubber band- simply stretch the piece over the lens & replace the flip cover back over it. Since class 1 IR lasers came out circa 2011- my (first) PVS-14 no longer rides tandem to the Aimpoint. “…Elegant…” indeed.


OT: Is it possible that Russia did not try to use their more advanced air defense systems because it would have exposed their capabilities or lack therof? Since they weren’t used, we all continue to be left guessing.


Pistol making from scratch as a home workshop hobby, via Brownells??

(And no functional way to require ID of owner or piece, short of stern finger-waving – and draconian penalties – from TPTB.)

Time to take the F out of BATFE, the genie is not only out of the bottle, he’s bringing 100,000 of his friends.

Now, where’s my credit card…?


California can still burn you. The owner of Botach is a felon for breaking an obscure California law. It appears that the firm sold to a mall cop who had a cop-like ID, thinking she was a real cop. She gave a gun to Edgy Boyfriend (if she wasn’t strawbuying all along) and EB whacked somebody with it. CA being CA, everyone walks except the guy who thought he was selling the gun legally.

Some people who have dealt with Botach in the past will call this Karma, and wish him a happy marriage during his time in felony jug.


I have dealt with them a couple of times – the last was when an order I made didn’t arrive after 6 weeks and they wouldn’t respond to my phone calls or emails until I had my credit card company dispute the charge for non-delivery.


Crazy to hear about botach. They had some good deals. My pops used to rave about them


What kind of tools and skills does one need to finish and 80%?

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

Please define “finish.”


Defined: Successfully complete it so that one can attach an upper and have a reasonable expectation of reliable function.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

Well, you’ll need a set of needle files, some other small, single-cut files, a drill press, a cross vise on the drill press, a hand drill (they supply the drill bits and end mill), some polishing paper… and then some skill the hand files. Oh, and you’ll need a bench vise.

Alternatively, if you have something like a Bridgeport mill, you can mill the slot for the slide.

Generally, I find that these conversations with people are really tough. Not that many people any more have the manual (“bench”) skills with hand files and tools that many men used to have, never mind the sort of chops that a gunsmith will have with files.

I’ve helped someone with one of these kits, and for me, it’s pud simple – simpler than some AR 80% lowers, because I don’t really have to set up anything in a mill. But for me helping this person, it was a case of :

“Do you have XYZ tool?”

“No, what’s that?”

“(Sigh) Stay here, I’ll get mine.”

Repeat several times. Hover over person’s shoulder, coaching them on how to file and then fit parts rather than just try to jam them in when the fit “gets close,” etc.

Many people don’t have a proper workbench, never mind a workbench with a vise mounted at the correct height to allow them to do the best manual work they could be doing. Just that one issue – the height of the top of your bench vise (and the choice of your bench vise) affects nearly everything else you do downstream.


Come for the arcana, stay for the master class on setting up your workshop.

Merci beaucoup, D.G.


I would love to have a regular DG column, but I’m not in a position to pay him, not without taking ads or setting up Patreon.

And you see what has happened to those who depend upon Google (YouTube, etc.) for ads. Google keeps your content, but they demonetize your videos by stripping ads (they did this to all — I think — firearms related channels in the past couple of weeks, including favorites like capandball.eu, Forgotten Weapons, and The Firearm Blog TV). You can’t trust a bunch of Silly Valley types to honor an agreement — their heroes are people like Jobs and Gates who made themselves icons by screwing the people who did the actual work (not wonder they’re halfway marxists).

Bret Stevenson

Would you kindly explain the proper height of workbench and/or vise? Would this height be standing, seated or both? Are there separate heights WRT bench/vise? Always eager to learn- and given your record of insightful comments regarding your trade- I figure any answer you deem to provide as solid advice.


I’d like to add something that DG probably didn’t think of because it’s so utterly basic. There are two choices for a cross vise:

1. a quality vise (Kurt is a good name) that will cost hundreds of dollars to buy (unless you get lucky on Craigslist).

2. a schlock Chinese vise that will cost you $39 from eBay, Harbor Fright, etc., that will cost hundreds of dollars in ruined work pieces.

And something for the guys from P80, who occasionally read this blog — a Completion Kit like the one DG describes would be something else you could sell to your repeat customers.

The only thing holding them back at this point is that their success has absorbed every single reasonably priced Glock part in the galaxy. A $150 Glock frame you build yourself is a great deal until you discover you need $600 more in OEM parts to build your own $400 Glock. Where it comes into its own is if you want to build something custom with your own mark on it, using aftermarket patts like a ZEV slide anyway, and for people who just enjoy building stuff.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

OK, on the subject of workbenches and vise heights:

1. When you stand at your workbench[1], wearing the shoes or boots you wish to wear whilst working, hold your forearm parallel to the floor.

Measure from the lower side of your forearm to the floor.

There’s the height of the top of the jaws of your vise.

I’m sure there are a whole lot of people who will want to know why – why this particular height, why a vise height specific to your body geometry, why, why, why?

Yes, well, about that. Hold a hand file in your hand as if you’re going to file something in front of you. Stand up on your hind legs as if you’re working at a bench, hold a file in your working hand (for most of you, that will be your right hand), and pretend you want to file on something to be nice and flat.

If you have your hand positioned so that your forearm is parallel to the floor, you notice something very quickly: you can file flat easily at only one height – the height where your shoulder and elbow allow you to move your forearm parallel to the floor. If you want to file at a lower height (with your hand below your elbow), you will notice that you tend to “dive” the file at the furthest extent of your motion, (which would correspond to rounding off the far edge of a piece of work), and if you hold your hand higher than your elbow, you see that you’ll tend to round off the workpiece edge closest to you as you try to bring the file up on top of the workpiece.

Ah, but if you have the top of the jaws of the vise (where your work will typically be in gunsmithing), at the bottom of your forearm when held parallel to the floor, filing flat along this level is actually fairly easy.

2. OK, let’s talk bench vises. I allow only one brand of bench vise into my shop: Wilton. I’m not interested in any POS ChiCom crap. Shoddy vises result in ruined work and injured hands/arms/etc. Bad, crappy vises are not only shoddy, they’re dangerous. Get a proper vise and mount it to a proper bench.

Now, a good vise costs money – real money. I like Wilton’s 3.5″ to 4″ machinist’s vise – which will run $450 to $500 new. You can find them used if you keep your eyes peeled, especially at estate sales. I’ve picked up a good condition, used, Wilton vise from a widow for $50. I felt immoral, because I thought this was far too low a price, and I offered $100, in cash, on the spot. She barked at me “I’ll take $50 and you’ll take the vise. I want the damn thing out of my way. I have no idea why my husband bought so many tools that weighed so much!”

Well, OK, if she’s going to run down a deceased man who clearly had some taste and intelligence about tools, well then, she gets $50 and I’m not going to feel bad for a second about this.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

Cross-slide vises:

A reasonably priced one can be had from Wilton in the $150 to $200 range. Palmgren has a sexier looking unit that is far larger than needed for most of this type of stuff – 6×10″, at under $700.

Kurt vises are very nice, but they’re typically used on mills and CNC machines, where rigidity is of paramount importance. A Kurt is overkill on a drill press.

A typical Kurt D-688 /DX-6 manual mill vise, such as you might find on a Bridgeport-type mill will run you $500 to $600+. There are other brands out there that are also good in this class of vise – Orange vises (over $1K) and Glacern Machine Tools (about $400 for a 6″ vise).

Good tools cost money. I recommend learning how to spot good condition used machines and tools.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

Oh, one more thing about working as a gunsmith at a bench:

I never sit down unless I’m taking a break.

To quote one very highly regarded gunsmith who has been one of my teachers/mentors on the subject: “About the only thing a gunsmith can do successfully while sitting down is take a dump.”

A few years of doing this sort of work causes me to agree with him. The surest way to screw stuff up, to lose parts as they get launched, to make a hash out of something you’re polishing or filing – is to try to do it sitting down.

Bret Stevenson

Many thanks for the reply & thorough explanation D.G.! Completely concur that good tools cost money- had learned the lesson of false economy long ago. Never.Again.


Bret, DG and all, the A&P saying (which is probably lifted from auto mechanics) is “buy once, cry once.” Usually muttered as the Snap-On or MAC guy hops back in his truck, whistling.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

Well, yes, and after you’re done buying wrenches/ratchets/sockets, etc, then you can hear the same line from Starrett, Mitty, the guys who manufacture good toolholding for CNC mills, then the guys who make just about anything outside of China any more.

There’s a reason why a lathe previously thought of as very humble and low-end as a South Bend “Heavy” 10L is now bid up so furiously high on FleaBay or other places. There’s nothing like it made in the east – at all. When you think of a high-end lathe, South Bend isn’t who comes to mind – ever. Yet, in today’s world, a 10L in good condition will usually command at least $5K, more if well-tooled.