The Plastic Fantastics That Changed the Industry
By Jacki Billings
From left to right: Glock 19 Gen 3, Gen 4 and Gen 5 (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Today, polymer pistols are some of the most popular handguns carried in holsters across the nation. Lightweight with capacity options ranging from slim single stacks to double-digit double stack magazines, polymers have captivated concealed carriers due to their capacity, ease of use, modular designs and, most importantly, affordable price.
To be fair, perhaps the first production handgun that used lots of “plastic” was the Remington XP-100, a single-shot .221 Fireball-chambered bolt-action pistol based on a Model 40X short-action rifle but held in a DuPont Zytel stock with a funky one-piece grip and stubby 10-inch barrel. Debuted in 1963, it appeared on the market about the same type as Big Green’s Nylon 66 rifle. Of course, the barreled receiver is the actual serialized “firearm” in this case, and you can slip it in any other stock you want, so the XP-100 cannot be said to be the first polymer-framed handgun.
Drink in an original XP-100 .221 Fireball, with the original diamond-pattern inlayed nylon stock and dogleg bolt. This example, in the Guns.com Outlet, is looking for a home, no matter who you feel about plastics, and would make