Lipsey's GLOCK P80 Review
The story of P80, or Pistole 80, started in the not to distance past, around 1980. The Austrian Armed Forces were in dire need of a new sidearm. They were still using the Walther P-38, a pistol design that dated back to World War II. By 1982, some obscure plastic molding manufacturer in Austria was awarded a contract for 25,000 GLOCK 17 pistols, which the Austrian military dubbed the Pistole 80, or better known as the P80. All the storied European firearms manufacturers like H&K, FN, Sig and others were left collectively scratching their heads and asking themselves: “What just happened?” The GLOCK 17 is what just happened, and it totally rewrote the playbook on handgun design and manufacturing. It also made military forces, law enforcement agencies and concealed carry practitioners around the world rethink sidearms. Norway adopted the G17 in 1985 and Sweden in 1988. By the early 1990s, more than 45 countries were lined up to buy GLOCKs, the United States included.
The new GLOCK P80 recreates that original military firearm down to the original Tupperware-style storage box. It features many First Generation design characteristics like a Gen1 frame with a mild texture grip and sans accessory rail. I’ve always liked the look of the frame without the rail. The Tupperware box gave me flashbacks to the 1980s. In my opinion, the P80 is GLOCK in its purest form. Lipsey’s partnered with GLOCK in 2020 to recreate this iconic pistol and, to pay tribute to the P80.
Like many firearms manufacturers that reintroduce iconic firearms, there is some new engineering to the old design. To pull this off, GLOCK made a new mold that duplicates the original. The original Gen1 mold was repurposed in the early ’90s. The P80 has improvements over the original P80/G17 pistol. And that is a good thing because while the G17 Gen1 was a cutting-edge design when it was introduced, the pistol has evolved through five generations of design changes and tweaks. It makes perfect sense to incorporate those changes into the reintroduced P80. You need to understand the Walther P-38 and the birth of the Wonder Nines to understand why the GLOCK 17 was such a big deal.