Lone Wolf

Lone Wolf Dist Compact Timberwolf Frame Review

While attending the NRA Annual Meetings in April of 2015, I got to meet up with Zack, the marketing manager of Lone Wolf Distributors. I was really interested in their Compact Timberwolf Frame for Glock pistols. Through our conversation, Zack agreed to send me a fully built Timberwolf Compact pistol, which I have since purchased. This is part one of two, where I focus on the frame. Stay tuned for my review of the upper assembly, as well as a summary of the pistol as a whole.  20151024_180117-1

Lone Wolf Distributors has been manufacturing accessories and replacement parts for Glock handguns for many years. From slides, barrels, triggers, and more, you could almost build a custom Glock by just using Lone Wolf’s parts. The only thing missing was the frame, until somewhat recently. Lone Wolf saw the modifications that people generally made to their standard Glock frames, and decided to offer a lot of these modifications right out of the box, with their Timberwolf frame.

Common modifications made by end users to Generation 3 Glock pistols include backstrap reduction, frame texturing, adding extended magazine releases, and even removing material in key places to allow a higher grip on the handgun. Well, Lone Wolf Distributors took all of these modifications into consideration, when designing their Timberwolf frame. I will take a look at each of these aspects one-by-one.

Grip

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One of the biggest benefits to this replacement frame would have to be the grip. The Timberwolf offers two choices of backstrap to the shooter. The first is the slim grip. It is an incredibly short (front-to-back) grip that more closely matches the grip angle of the classic 1911. The second is a swelled backstrap. It is a little smaller in the hand than the standard Glock swell, which will come as a welcomed feature to many Glock owners. This setup happens to be my favorite of the two. As good as it feels, the smaller grip leaves the meat of my palm really close to the magwell, and it can actually get pinched in between the magazine base plate and the frame, upon reloading. Do this a couple of times, and it starts to get on your nerves. Luckily, the swelled grip fit me just as well, if not better, and Lone Wolf engineered the swap very well. To make the change, all you have to do is, with an empty gun, insert a flat tool into a slot that can be accessed through the magwell, and gently pry downward.

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In my trials of the differing grips, I noticed an odd, but very well thought out (and well hidden) feature. Under the backstrap is actually a round recess that will hold one CR2032 battery, which is the somewhat industry standard for micro red dots. Alternatively, it can hold two CR2016s. This is a great feature if you’re building a race gun, or just want to carry a gun with a dot sight, and I am honestly a little shocked LWD doesn’t even list this in their feature literature.

The next part of the grip is the texture. Many people feel that the Gen 3 Glock grip is just too slick. I, for one, am in that boat. What the Timberwolf offers is a very aggressive square pattern, without being so harsh as to tear up your hands, with one exception. The edges of the frontstrap have slightly sharper corners than the rest. I suppose that is just a geometry issue of the curve meeting the corners of the texture, but it became very uncomfortable for the end of my pinky. That being said, it could easily be taken care of with a quick pass of some fine sandpaper, just to knock the edge off. Overall, the grip texture is very good at keeping the gun in your hands while firing. Speaking of the frontstrap, one feature many owners elect to remove on factory Glocks is the finger grooves. The factory finger grooves on a standard Glock 19 (Gen 4) actually happen to fit me perfectly, but I completely understand that there are so many different shapes and sizes of people. One good example for me was my Smith and Wesson Model 66. When I would attempt to get a high grip, the finger grooves would jam right into my knuckle, causing much discomfort, and forcing me to get a less that optimal hold on the gun. That is why it’s quite interesting that Lone Wolf decided to leave the finger grooves on their Timberwolf frame. But, to their credit, they reduced them down quite a bit, so if they don’t fit you well, it may not be the largest discomfort, when compared to a factory frame. I would still like to have seen them remove the grooves, though.

Moving up the grip, we have the undercut trigger guard. This is another common modification that allows you to get a much higher purchase on the pistol. To help with that, even further, they also designed the rear grip higher, and added a beaver tail, to remove the risk of slide bite. I have never personally had the web of my hand bitten by a Glock slide, but I have fairly small hands, and can see where it would be a problem to larger-handed shooters.

One last minor change I would like to see in the grip would be a slimmed down portion where the trigger finger rests on the frame, similar to that of the Walther P99. I feel like it would allow shooters with shorter fingers to more properly grip the handgun, and reach the trigger.

Magazine Release

For the longest time, people have been adding extended mag releases to guns, to make them easier to actuate. Lone Wolf, as well many other aftermarket parts manufacturers, offers extended releases. Lone Wolf even offers one that is wider than the factory, but it requires custom machining to make it work. When designing their frame, they decided to incorporate it right in, that way you don’t have to have it modified later. The wider release offers people with shorter fingers, like me, an easier to reach release without shifting the grip, as well as an easier to find release, which is good for everyone. As with the front strap, the corner of the magazine release can be a little sharp and annoying, if you’re performing repeated actuations, but, like I said previously, it’s not something a little swipe of sandpaper wouldn’t take care of.

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Another curious note on the mag release is that Lone Wolf didn’t make it reversible, like the Gen 4 Glock. That would be a nice feature, but seeing as how it was designed before the Gen 4 was released, I can understand the oversight.

Rail

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The final feature of the Timberwolf frame is the rail. Rather than using Glock’s proprietary rail, Lone Wolf decided to go with a Mil-Standard, three-slot, Picatinny rail. This allows users to select from a wider array of rail-mounted accessories, as well as move the placement forward or rearward, as they see fit. I did not attach anything to the rail, though.

 

Overall

The Timberwolf frame is very a very well thought out replacement for anyone that owns a Generation 3 or older Glock handgun in 9 Luger, 40 S&W, 357 Sig, and even 45 GAP. It is available in either the full-size (17, 22, 31, 37) or the compact (19, 23, 32, 38) frame sizes. The improvements offered by a good grip modification company could run well into the $4-500+ dollar range, whereas Lone Wolf offers many of these features at a fraction of the cost. If replacing a Gen 3 frame for a gun you already own, you could buy just the bare frame and use most of your existing Glock parts to fill the replacement. That is, with the exception of the mag release, since the Timberwolf frame comes with their proprietary release pre-installed. The bare frame will cost you just shy of $200, which is a steal, compared to grip work. If you do build your own frame, you should be aware that you will need to buy either a LWD Gen4/Timberwolf Trigger housing, or LWD Ultimate Trigger Stop Gen4, to replace your Gen 3 housing, as the grip is slimmer in the front-to-back dimension.

If you’re planning to build a whole new gun, or just want multiple lowers, Lone Wolf offers a pre-assembled lower frame for $330, which is only about $30 more than buying every individual part and installing them yourself. To save the hassle and time of potentially forgetting or losing a part, I would recommend just buying the built frame. But, if you want to add your choice of custom trigger, you could easily purchase the parts separately from the frame. Lone wolf makes this easy by offering an interactive schematic.

Another benefit of buying the assembled frame is that Lone Wolf adds a few enhanced parts. These enhancements include: LWD 3.5# connector, LWD 6# trigger spring, LWD Extended slide stop, and LWD Extended slide lock. The 3.5# connector and 6# trigger spring makes for a very smooth, and pretty light, trigger pull. This is a great upgrade over the factory Glock parts that I am glad Lone Wolf includes in the assembled frame. It provides a good trigger feel, without being obscenely light, so I feel it would still be suitable for carry. On my example, they even installed the smooth trigger that usually only comes with the full-size Glock handguns. I much prefer the smooth trigger, as the serrated trigger begins to wear at my trigger finger, during firing sessions. I’m not sure if this is the standard feature for the assembled frame, but based on my invoice, it seems to be. The Extended slide stop is useful if you are the kind of shooter that uses it to release the slide. It provides a much larger purchase area than the standard, so it’s easier to manipulate, but it’s not so large that it gets inadvertently hit. As far as the Extended slide lock (the two tabs in front of the trigger guard that you pull downward to disassemble the gun), I really don’t get the purpose of it. The tabs are a little longer than standard, but I’ve never had a problem using the standard Glock part. It’s an upgrade that I could take it or leave it, and be satisfied either way. It did, though, scratch the inside of my holster. That’s not too much of an issue with a plastic holster, but with leather, I’d be afraid of it causing premature wear on the holster.

In summary, the Lone Wolf Distributers Compact Timberwolf Frame is a great upgrade to your Gen 3 or older Glock pistol, or for building your own custom pistol. It is a great value compared to the expense and wait for frame modification work. Some of the features are addressed on the newer Gen 4 Glocks, but with the Timberwolf, the grip is still slimmer (front-to-back) than the OEM. You also wouldn't get the undercut triggerguard, raised and lengthened beavertail, and reduced finger grooves.

At the time of writing, the assembled frame is available for only $234.95 (prices subject to change), and it even comes with Lone Wolf's excellent Ultimate Adjustable Trigger. This is a promotional price for the UAT, and I do not know the timeline for when it will go back to normal, so if you'd like an assembled Timberwolf frame, I would jump on it as soon as possible. The UAT is normally a $50 upgrade, so you are basically paying for the frame and the assembly labor cost, and getting all of the internals for free!

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Replacement frame for generation 3 and older Glock handguns

Target Market: Concealed carriers and competitive shooters

timber

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Improved ergonomics over Glock OEM frame
  • Full-spec 1913 accessory rail
  • Higher grip angle
  • Extended beaver tail
  • Rounded trigger guard
  • Round/extended mag release
  • Improved Checkering
  • Quick change grip panels (2 total)
  • Spare CR2016 battery storage in grip panel
  • Improved trigger over Glock OEM (standard in assembled frame)
  • Extended slide lock lever (standard in assembled frame)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Currently, the Timberwolf frame is only available in black.

What others are saying?:

“The Timberwolf pistol is of particular interest to the small-handed shooter, or to the user who says “I love everything about the Glock but the grip angle,” or the handgunner who just likes to be able to get lots of finger on the trigger and lots of flesh and bone around the “handle.” It’s definitely worth a look.” - Massad Ayoob, Daily Caller

“But the Not-A-GLOCK feels terrific in the hand. No really. Like many, but not all shooters, I find it difficult to come to a natural point of aim with a standard GLOCK. What’s more, the grip angle puts my hand and wrist out of the line that gives me stability. The Compact Timberwolf’s grip is, for me, vastly improved. I can get a high hold on the gun and put all of my fingers on the handle. It boasts a fairly small diameter grip, with good holding surface. I can get a natural point-of-aim and a solid one-hand grip, right or left.” - Jon Wayne Taylor, The Truth About Guns

Price Point:

  • Bare = $199.95
  • Built = $329.95
  • Built with UAT = 234.95 (Limited time offer)

I need it now! Availability: You can get the Timberwolf Compact Frame directly from Lone Wolf, and a few online retailers, but once you spend a few minutes on the LWD website, you’ll most definitely want to pick up some of their other great products, like their Glock Magazine Disassembly tool.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Greatly improves ergonomics
  • Interchangeable grip panels
  • Offers many common custom options
  • Improved grip texture to provide better traction
  • Available as a bare frame or built to LWD’s preferred specs
  • Built frame has improved trigger
  • The ability to build any caliber offered by Glock on this frame size (19, 23, 32, & 38)
  • You can even build it as a “Long-Slide Compact” by using a factory full-size upper (such as a G17), or Lone Wolf upper, and purchasing Lone Wolf’s Slide Adapter, which fills the gap between the front of the 17 slide and the 19’s dust cover.

Cons:

  • Still has finger grooves (though they are greatly reduced)
  • Mag release is not reversible to left-hand operation

Score: 9.090

 

 

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Lone Wolf Distributors Ultimate Adjustable Trigger

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IMG_0430Let me start off this review by saying I am not a huge fan of Glocks. The grips never usually fit me right, they feel really blocky to me and they just don’t excite me like a wood and steel gun does. With my personal feelings on Glocks out of the way, let me say that Glocks are rugged, accurate and reliable handguns that have withstood the early criticisms leveled against them, and have emerged as the top handgun for law enforcement and personal defense. Their polymer frame offers light weight, along with some recoil reducing characteristics and manufacturing economy. The Tenifer treatment on the slide helps ensure that the guns resist corrosion, even after the black finish on the slide is worn away over time. I have seen many police trade-in Glocks with the black finish worn away from reholstering, and the exposed metal still did not show any signs of rust forming. Glocks are definitely in it for the long haul when it comes to quality construction.

The UAT is made of 6061 Billet Aluminum

However, one thing that some people do not care for is the trigger. To me, the factory Glock trigger feels very spongy. I definitely notice a “sproing” feeling just after the trigger breaks, and it can be distracting to me, and many other people as well. Due to the less-than-stellar factory trigger, there has been a growing number of Glock drop-in replacement triggers to help improve the trigger pull & feel. Many of these units use multiple pins in their assembly and generally are not adjustable after the trigger is installed in the frame. They are also quite expensive, with units ranging from $99.00 to upwards of $180.00. For those people who want to upgrade the trigger on their Glock, those features and prices can be prohibitive. There weren’t really any other options out there for people who wanted a easily adjustable and affordable aftermarket trigger….until now.

The pre-travel adjustment screw is visible just under the locking block

The Lone Wolf Distributors Ultimate Adjustable Trigger offers easy adjustability while the trigger is still installed in the gun. Couple that with the low retail price of $74.95 on the trigger, and I think Lone Wolf has a winner here. The trigger shoe is constructed out of 6061 billet aluminum and is held together with one simple, yet robust, allen head screw, and does not use any press out pins like you see in similar trigger units. The shoe is nicely radiused, and to me felt far better comfort wise than the stock trigger. The trigger bar that comes with the shoe is very nicely polished and eliminates any friction that may have been present with the stock trigger unit. The trigger safety has also been altered somewhat, and seems to sit more flush with the trigger unit than the stock unit does. I definitely noticed the difference in the trigger safety; that is to say I barely noticed it’s presence at all (which to me is a good thing!). However, testing the trigger safety’s function shows that it operates just as positively as the stock unit does (provided you adjusted it according to the well illustrated instructions; more on that later.)

The over-travel adjustment screw is easily accessible on the back of the trigger shoe.

I installed the UAT in a Glock 22 using a 9mm Lone Wolf conversion barrel. I used a 3.5 lb connector and a 6 lb trigger spring, also from Lone Wolf. Installation of the trigger was a snap, especially with the really well done instructions provided by LWD. Once the trigger is installed in the gun, the real fun begins. The trigger comes with two allen keys, with one a bit bigger than the other. These allen keys are used to adjust the pre-travel and over-travel screws that are on the trigger. The instructions show you how to do the initial setup of the trigger once you have it in your gun, and it is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT that you follow them. If you do not properly adjust the pre-travel and check it, you can cause a condition where the trigger safety does not rest in the proper place, and the trigger is free to be depressed without the safety disengaged. Following the instructions, it is very simple to adjust the pre-travel safely to your desired setting. Just insert the allen key in between the slide lock and the locking block. To remove pre-travel, you turn the screw clockwise, to add pre-travel, you turn it counter-clockwise. Simple as that. To adjust the amount of over-travel, you simply insert the allen key into the screw on the backside of the trigger shoe (in the magazine well area) and adjust to your preference. The best part about this is that it can all be done by simply removing the slide; further disassembly is not necessary.

After properly adjusting the trigger to my prefered amounts of pre- and over-travel, I checked the pull weight on my Lyman trigger pull gauge. With the 9mm LW Conversion barrel and the Glock 22 slide installed, the trigger broke cleanly at an average of 3.0 lbs. I then installed an Advantage Arms .22 Long RIfle Conversion unit on the same frame, and the trigger pull averaged around 3.4 lbs. There was a distinct difference in the trigger pull between the two configurations, with the conversion unit trigger pull feeling very crisp, like a finely tuned rifle trigger. I headed out to the range several weekends in a row to test the unit, and found that it functioned flawlessly as expected. Be sure to check out the video footage of the UAT in action on both the standard Glock 22 configuration and the Advantage Arms configuration, as it will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about. It is REALLY easy to just feather the trigger with the .22 Conversion unit and get a fast, accurate string of shots.

Glock 22 w/ UAT on bottom, Glock 35 on top with stock factory unit.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with what Lone Wolf has created. The UAT offers the end user a great amount of adjustability with easy installation and a very inexpensive price. Don’t let the price fool you, however; this is a quality unit. The construction is very nice and the precision machining utilized in making the trigger is readily apparent. Once assembled, the seam on the side of the trigger is darn near invisible with a quick glance. To get such precision on a small part like a trigger shoe is really impressive. It is such a huge step up, in my opinion, over the factory unit that, if I were to buy any more Glocks, I would automatically purchase one of these units for them. The inexpensive price coupled with the great quality and performance simply can’t be beat in the world of custom Glock triggers.                           You Tube Video

 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Provides the Glock shooter with a nicely made & robust trigger than can be adjusted for pre-travel and over-travel without fully disassembling the firearm.

Target Market: Those Glock owners who want to upgrade their triggers to a more robust and user-adjustable unit (adjustable WITHOUT uninstalling the trigger).

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Aluminum construction
  • Polished trigger bar
  • User adjustable for pre-travel and over-travel WITHOUT full disassembly.
  • Different trigger shape & radiused edges offers better trigger control & comfort.
  • Assembly uses only one screw.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: It is available only in silver 6061 billet aluminum at this time.

Price point:

I need it now! Availabily: You can purchase from Lone Wolf Distributors

Our Rating:

Positives:

  • Trigger feels amazing to use.
  • Solid billet aluminum construction; no plastic.
  • Polished trigger bar eliminates friction.
  • The trigger shape offers better control & comfort for the shooter.
  • Biggest plus? User adjustability for over-travel & pre-travel without uninstalling the trigger!!

Score: 9.0 Amazing90

 

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Lone Wolf Distributors Custom Slide Cover Plate Review

slide cover2 Tired of that boring old stock slide cover plate? Well you are in luck, Lone Wolf Distributors is here with their custom slide cover plates. With about 50 different designs available in 4 colors you have 200 chances to get find something that catches your eye. Constructed of what I’m assuming is aluminum and laser engraved these are well made and should last pretty much forever due to the minimal stress of this part. Installation was a snap and I am very satisfied with this simple mod.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Basic functionality and limitless customization.

Target Market: Anyone looking to jazz up their Glock.

FNBs (features & benefits of this product):

  • Laser Engraved
  • Looks cooler than the stock Glock slide cover plate

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  There are a ton of designs all available in black, red, blue, and plain aluminum. You can also get a custom design of your own produced for you.   Lone Wolf site

What others are saying?:  I was unable to find any substantive reviews on this product. I would typically turn to Amazon, however each design has only a review or two. That being said, after scanning the different Amazon reviews there were no negative ones.

Price Point:

  • MSRP = $14.95
  • Retail = These can be found at gun shows and I'm sure there is a gun store that carries them.  However, I have never ran across one that does. LWD also sells them through Amazon with each design being a different listing.

I need it now! Availability: As I said earlier, it isn’t exactly a super common brick and mortar item. Howver, since Lone Wolf distributes them through Amazon, you can take advantage of Amazon prime shipping if you have that or free shipping as part of an order.

Our Rating:

+ Individuality + Super easy to install + Fit and Finish

Score: 8.5 Great85