Ever wondered what it’s like to shoot the famous Glock P80? Those of us who are too young or too nostalgic now have the chance to try it out, thanks to Lipsey’s and Glock’s partnership in 2020.
What a time to be alive.
Don’t be confused—the Glock 17 Gen 1 was the model name for civilian use. The new-old Glock P80 G1 is a faithful reproduction of the traditional P80 handgun. It was commissioned as the official handgun for the Austrian Army, but with some added features for the modern era. Feels like a rock’n’roll revival to me.
This retro Glock pistol was one of the first handgun examples to showcase to the world what Glock is capable of with a plastic frame. The first-ever plastic handgun was the Heckler & Koch VP 70, but the P80 popularized the niche.
In this Glock P80 review, I’ll talk about the P80’s features, the main differences between this one and the original, the pros & cons, mention some alternatives, and help you decide whether or not you’d like it.
We have the golden chance to take a trip down memory lane and check out an honorable, near-exact tribute of the original Glock that started it all.
Glock’s Idea Behind the P80 (Glock 17)
This ambitious, unearthing project is a commemoration of when this plastic handgun passed the NATO durability test with flying colors in 1984. It was chosen as a standard sidearm by the Norwegian and Austrian Army, and now they’ve reintroduced it under the P80 name.
The former civilian models were named “Glock 17” not because they had a standard magazine capacity of 17 rounds, as everyone believes, but because it was Gaston Glock’s 17th patent.
It’s a jack-of-all-trades, straightforward, semi-auto 9mm handgun that’s easy to use, has reasonable safeties, and has smooth operation. It’s practically built for self-defense, home defense, and target practice.
As a Glock fan, it still beats me to this day that the Glock P80, a seemingly cheap plastic pistol, was officially approved for military use. I could only imagine the heavy ribbing the Austrian army received for that one.
Using polymer to construct firearms was an odd novelty back in the 80s. People were concerned that the plastic would pose safety issues, not to mention potential terrorist threats via security loopholes with metal detectors.
Over the years, this little engineering trick made every naysayer eat their words with a cereal spoon.
Little did Gaston Glock know that this shot in the dark literally opened up the polymer pistol market and started a whole new era of firearms.
The Name Change
The Glock P80 was also mockingly known as the “Tupperware gun” because of how it was shipped in plastic boxes with plastic lids.
Around 1981 and ‘82 Gaston Glock submitted the unconventional polymer frame and stock pistol to the Austrian military. I’m convinced that the man never once thought that the gun would actually be adopted.
Years later, the same gun was greenlit for production on the civilian market as the Glock 17, or G17, and in 1988 the Gen 2 went into production.
The Pistole 80 was never imported in the US, and rarely did a few first-generation Glock 17s make it across the sea. If you see a Gen 1 G17, know that it’s an absolute collector’s item that’s probably worth a fortune.
In comes Lipsey’s Guns, a firearms distributor that began a partnership with Glock to bless us with the essence of the original Glock Pistole 80. I personally think they kinda nailed this one.
Let’s take a closer look.
Overview of the Glock P80 G1
The Glock P80 G1 pistol is not exactly a replica, but more of a nostalgic remake with better features for modern times, retaining the reliability of the Glock brand. It’s perfect if you want to relive the 80s.
The new Glock P80 is a new semi-automatic 9×19 Parabellum throwback to the Glock 17 Gen 1 with the same frame and stippling, but its internal parts are Gen 2 and Gen 3.
Let’s face it—it’s a Glock, so it stands as a staple of convenience and reliability. It’s perfect for most hand sizes as well as purposes, be it self-defense, law enforcement, or target practice.
I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a decent self-defense handgun, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a seasoned handgun enthusiast. That’s not even mentioning the vast array of various Glock aftermarket parts.
With your purchase, you’ll find two 17-round magazines, a mag loader, a commemorative overbox, a certificate of authenticity, and a nylon cleaning brush inside the nostalgic “Tupperware” style container.
Design and Ergonomics
The original design of the G17 gun had non-railed frames, and the wrap-around pebble-grain texture of the grips really defined the image of the traditional P80/G17. This is the most noticeable difference between the old and new P80 models.
There’s no Picatinny accessory rail, no front slide serrations, but most importantly—no finger grooves, much to the joy of literally everyone.
The slide finish is nDLC, the sights are polymer, but the magazines are metal-lined, unlike the original. I believe that they had to discontinue the Tenifer finish on the traditional Gen 1 slides due to environmental reasons. Looking at the P80 branding on the slide, you can see that it’s the same good old font of 1982.
The frame of the Glock P80 is a traditional Gen 1 with a single pin frame just like the early generation pistols, and it also has the old-school grip textures. The grip feels just right.
As for the ergonomics and overall size, it feels alright in my palms, although it’s definitely not for concealed carry purposes. I could name a handful of CCW handguns that are better suited for the job.
Sights and Accuracy
No changes in the polymer sights either.
You have the front sight white-dot still there that can be secured with a removable nut. The dovetail rear sights are drift-adjustable for windage.
Barrel and Recoil Spring
The early P80 models had pencil barrels but were replaced with 14 mm-diameter ones just like with the modern version.
I think it’s an improvement for the 4.49-inch barrel with polygonal rifling. The Lipsey’s/Glock partnership effortlessly recreated the single pin frame, along with the original-style flat extractor for smooth operation.
The dust cover is smooth and round, in contrast to the slightly edgier one on the original. The recoil assembly still has the good ol’ polymer guide rod with a single captured flat-wire recoil spring.
Trigger and Trigger Guard
The trigger guard hasn’t changed much, but now it serves as a finger rest with the old smooth pebbled texturing, without any thumb indentations.
The front strap is straight, complemented by the molded-in pebble-grain grips, and there’s no accessory rail on the dust cover. Additionally, the trigger face is smooth instead of grooved, thank Glock. The former has always felt annoying on my fingertips.
As for the trigger pull, I’ve never been disappointed by any Glock’s trigger pull. Must be a force of habit. It’s a particular 6-pound pull and feels clean, combined with the ergonomics and safety operations on the fly.
Recoil, Trigger, Magazines, and Shooting
Since the US debut of the G17 in 1986, the simple, trustworthy mechanism and reliability remain the same with the Glock P80. It just shoots as a handgun should. End of story.
Shooting the P80 is enjoyable and the recoil is manageable, just like on any 9mm handgun. Maybe the muzzle rise feels a little tamer than a, let’s say, Glock 19.
Accuracy-wise, the P80 works wonders and is very practical around the 50-yard mark. Reloading, operating the safeties, the mag release—everything is standard-procedure and very smooth. Haven’t seen any hiccups or feeding failures as of yet.
I suggest you try out a box of Winchester Silvertip Hollow Point 147-grain and see an average of 3 inches with five 5-shot groups.
I believe that this 17-rounder can be fun to shoot for anybody. If you’re a Cali-resident, get yourself the 10-round capacity version.
You can find three external safety controls on the left side, just like a standard Glock pistol. They’re easy to operate and easy to move, as the slide lock is still the same throughout many Gens.
Oddly enough, the mag release button feels kind of… off, in comparison to models like the Glock 43.
The slide-stop lever is still flat and sits tight. Additionally, the integral safety lever is also here; a staple of the Glock Safe Action design.
Specifications of the Glock P80
|Model||Glock Pistole 80 (Replica)|
|Action||Semi-automatic safe action/striker-fired|
|Trigger pull||Smooth face polymer with integral safety; 6-pound pull|
|Barrel length||4.49 inches|
|Overall length||8.03 inches|
|Overall height||5.45 inches|
|Overall width||1 inch|
|Weight||24.8 ounces unloaded with empty magazine|
|Grips||Gen 1 wrap-around pebble-textured polymer w/out finger grooves|
|Front Sight||White dot polymer sights|
|Rear Sight||Fixed polymer, dovetailed white outlined sights|
|Accessories||Glock certificate of authenticity, peel-top Glock style storage box, 2 17-round magazines, mag loader, nylon brush, owner’s manual; Picatinny rail not included|
|Finish||Matte black nDLC; Slide finish has DLC coating|
Pros & Cons of the Glock P80
- Impeccable improvement of the Glock P80 while still paying respect to the traditional feel
- Glock reliability
- Lightweight and ergonomic (no finger grooves, thank God)
- Excellent accuracy and ease of use
- Easy to take down and clean
- Massive abundance of aftermarket options
- 17 rounds for competition shooting, target practice, and self-defense
- Blocky and bulky design definitely not for CCW
- Not the most aesthetically modern handgun (but hey, it’s an 80s throwback)
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Glock P80.
Is the Glock P80 a Good Self-Defense Handgun?
The semi-automatic Glock P80 is chambered in 9mm, has 17 rounds, and has all kinds of holster options that make it a great self-defense handgun. However, the bulky design isn’t very suitable for concealed carry purposes, but this is just my opinion.
What’s the Best Ammo for the Glock P80?
What Are the Differences Between the Glock 17 and the New Glock P80 Gen 1
Despite the similar trigger mechanism, magazines, and sights of Gen 3 and Gen 1, the main differences between the new P80 and the original G17 Gen 1 model are that the P80 has polygonal rifling, and a thicker 14mm barrel.
Additionally, in contrast to the original flat extractor, or the “pencil barrel” as they call it, the new Glock P80 has a new and improved flat extractor, and the “Tupperware” style container it comes in is different.
Lipsey’s exclusive Glock surpassed the expectations without tampering much with the traditional feel, while still implementing important features like ergonomics and safeties.
What Do the Others Have to Say?
Here are some interesting testimonials and review snippets from customers that bought the new Glock P80. I suggest you grab one right away before they sell every single one of them, yet again.
Alternatives to the Glock P80
If Glock pistols aren’t your thing, here are some alternatives to the Glock P80, if you’re interested in something similar with fewer or more features.
Close to the frame of the Glock P80 comes the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm semi-auto, a definite improvement of the M&P. With a capacity of 17+1, easy racking and reloading, and a well-controlled muzzle and recoil, the M&P 2.0 is a definite contender to the Glock P80.
It comes with different grip inserts, offering the freedom to customize it to your liking. It’s a handgun that’s clearly focused on ergonomics and handling. The loaded chamber indicator and thumb safety are a nice touch as well.
The Ruger SR9 is another great contender for the 9mm semi-auto niche. It’s similar to the Glock P80 in its upgrades, safeties, and how beginner-friendly it is.
What I most like about the Ruger SR9 is how perfect it is for small and medium hands, in contrast to the blocky and bulky P80. The trigger needs some breaking in and you might feel overtravel, but after that, you get 17 rounds of no-nonsense shooting on the ranges.
There were some complaints about the trigger. Luckily Ruger solved it with these newer models with positive trigger controls which is awfully similar to the Glock. What I like the most is the nice grip texture.
Finally, the SIG Sauer P365 may also be a great addition to your collection of competition shooters. If you’re lucky, you might come across a two 10-round mag deal with your purchase, but there’s also the 12-round and 15-round magazines as well, so pick carefully.
The P365 is for those of you who like smaller pistols with greater capacities, and this SIG is definitely suited for concealed carry purposes.
The trigger feels right, but only after a hundred rounds and break-ins. The compact dimensions welcome all kinds of holsters, and the rear sight plate assembly can accommodate the red dot sight of your choice. Check out the Holosun HE508T-RE X2 while you’re at it.
Conclusion – A Resurrected 9mm Glock With Noticeable Improvements on Ergonomics
In short, if you’re looking forward to the new Glock P80 pistol, please act fast and purchase one. The first run saw a flash sale of 10,000 units in a week, and the other ones throughout the pandemic sold like hotcakes. Don’t wait.
It’s Glock’s first pistol to be approved by an army, and best believe that if a pistol in a Tupperware style box got approved, you can be sure it has some tricks up its sleeve.
Now, this new and improved P80 9mm model of the old traditional one is a definite work of Austrian engineering that stays true to the designs of the old. I haven’t seen any Glock elitists complaining, and believe me—that says a lot about the craftsmanship and overall improvement of the handgun.
Lipsey’s and Glock’s fantastic collaboration just went for it, took painstaking measures, did exactly what had to be done, didn’t do what didn’t need doing, and performed a firearms necromancy not seen in a long time. It’s not just some hipster replica of an ancient Glock—it’s about preserving and honoring a legacy.
I guess ol’ Glock was right, despite everyone’s opinion. Who would have thought that polymer stocks and pistol frames would dominate the market? Much like your Italian nana’s plastic containers for food, the Glock managed to withstand the punishing test of time. Makes you wonder.