By Scott Smith
Odds are pretty good that the Glock 17, 19, 34 are the most popular pistols on the market today. The pistols hold 17+1 rounds unless you are in a progressive controlled state that is making you safer by reducing their capacity to 10+1. The popularity of the 9mm Glock is driven by the fact it is reliable and it is easily customizable.
One of the largest providers of parts and custom work for Glocks is Lone Wolf Distributors. The offer virtually every part imaginable to customize a Glock and do amazing custom work to slides, frames or complete pistols. While I had used LWD internals on my Glocks, several years ago they had some of their custom slide at the SHOT Show. This was before optics ready slides became popular.
Their work intrigued me enough to have them do some work for me. I had them machine a Lone Wolf Distributor slide to fit a Trijicon RMR. This was years ago when the industry was first dabbling in mini-red dots on pistols. There was no such thing as an optic ready pistol. I approached them to upgrade my well traveled first generation G17 into an “open class” pistol for USPSA. Because there are a number of RMRs variants, LWD needed to have my sight to make sure the cut was right. When the sight returned home it was perfectly mated to a polished stainless slide. The fit was so perfect looked like one piece of metal.
While LWD makes excellent barrels; I did not have LWD install a barrel because I had a single port KKM Precision barrel that I had picked up off a prize table. The barrel fit perfectly in Lone Wolf’s slide. KKM barrels are known to be quite accurate. When mated with the RMR and LWD slide it was wicked accurate. Off a bench rest at 25 yards using Federal 9BP 115 grain hollow points 10 shot groups hovered at 1 ¾”. To be honest, that is probably as good as I can shoot. I have used this pistol in numerous local USPSA matches and it makes me look good. Several hundred rounds have been sent down range without any failures to feed, extract or go bang.
After the successful upgrade of my G17, I turned to Lone Wolf Distributors to see about getting a one of their Timberwolf pistols. These are a proprietary LWD frame that has an interchangeable back strap. The frame is also smaller than a Glock frame so it fits more people’s hands. Like LWD’s slides the Timberwolf frame will accept GLOCK OEM parts or any other parts for Glock pistols as long as you ensure they are the appropriate size; G19, G17, G20, G21 etc.
Since I had a first generation Glock 17 and 19, I figured a G34 sized Timberwolf would be a good addition. This would be a perfect pistol to let other folks shoot at the range and for three gun. As I had expected, the T34 was wicked accurate, reliable and it fit a lot of folk’s hands well. Over the years dozens of folks have used this pistol to cut their teeth on striker fired pistols.
When one of my best friends told me she wanted a Glock, I let her shoot this one. She is a smaller stature lady so I figured the Timberwolf would fit her. We found that it did and she liked it. Since she wanted it as a carry gun the T34 would be too big.
I dropped LWD an email to see if we could get them to send a sample of a Timberwolf built as a Glock 19. Unlike my 34, which has Glock OEM fire control; I wanted them to build this one completely with their parts to give us a pistol that handled like a Glock but had the trigger of a tuned 1911.
Lone Wolf build the Timberwolf 19 with their match grade parts; barrel, internals, suppressor sights and trigger. LWD’s trigger is flat for a shorter reach and the polished aluminum trigger shoe is smoother. I have noticed is OEM polymer triggers can be problematic with reduced weight trigger springs and connectors. Since this pistol was going to be used to teach her to shoot, we wanted it to be as close to perfect as possible.
Fit and finish were flawless. Lock-up between the barrel, slide and frame was so tight it bordered on too perfect. During the initial trip to the range I found it was a bit slow to unlock. The frame and slide were fit to well. Turned out the angle at the top of the barrel hood was too square. With lighter non-duty loads the barrel was having issues unlocking. A couple passes with a finish file on the top corner and it ran like a champ. What this did was let the slide and hood move by one another easier.
After addressing the use of the barrel and slide fit it was back to the range. After filing the barrel there were no more feeding issues. The LWD T19 shot consistently and accurately. Test ammunition was from Black Hills 115 grain FMJ, 124gr JHP, Federal 115 grain Syntech and 115 grain TP JHP, Sig Sauer 115 grain FMJs and 124 grain V Crown JHP Over 300 rounds were fired through the Timberwolf without a hitch. At fifteen yards 10 shot groups from a rest were all less than 2” The only issue I had was the suppressor sights were causing me to hit low and without any contrast I was losing the front post. Since my best bud was a new shooter I realized she might have the same issue.
To correct the sight picture, I contacted XS Sights for a set of their new FR8 sights. These sights are a radical change for XS from their Express Sights. FR8s have a “U” rear notch and a bright orange front dot around tritium vial. Like LWD’s, these sights too are suppressor height to co-witness with a mini-red dot. Once installed groups were centered and point of aim, point of impact at 15 yards.
To put the Timberwolf through its paces, I made sure to have a mix of ammunition. We had 115 grain full metal jacket and 124 grain hollow points from Black Hills Ammunition; 115 grain Syntech and 115 hollow point Train & Protect from Federal; 125 grain HAP Steel Match and 115 grain XTP American Gunner from Hornady and last from Sig Sauer there was 115 grain full metal jacket and 124 grain V-crown hollow points. This mix would cover training and self-defense ammunition. If there were feeding issues this mix of bullet styles would find them.
Since weather was problematic, rain; I shot at 15 yards because I was not trekking further down range through mud down to 25 yard target. Our initial testing was with mixed ammunition from several partial boxes. I did not want to waste our test ammunition. Having addressed the barrel hood, the Timberwolf ran like a champ. There were no issues. With the new XS Sights FR8 Sights, groups were nicely centered. Offhand ten shot groups at fifteen yards with mixed ammunition were consistently hovering at 3 ½”.
Since we confirmed the pistol was now running properly and well, we loaded up our test ammunition; to shoot five shot groups. Sadly I cannot report that the Timberwolf did not shoot one load of the test ammunition markedly better than others. What I can say is off a bench five shot groups were all 2”-2 ½”. We got this performance even when we fired mixed ammunition in the magazines. Lone Wolf Distributor’s Timberwolf just flat out shoots well. It has no preference of ammunition make or bullet style which is what you want out of a personal defense pistol.
What we did find the Timberwolf T19 to be an ideal pistol for small statured folks. My best bud found the Timberwolf to fit her perfectly from trigger finger placement to how it felt while shooting. After a couple magazines she was hammering the “A” zone of an USPSA target. This speaks highly to the quality of the Timberwolf and the high visibility FR8 XS Sights. Another bonus of the Timberwolf frame is it will fit Glock holsters. This means you will have your choice of holsters for any application.
Lone Wolf Distributors can build you a compact, full size or large bore (10mm, 45ACP) utilitarian pistol, a full blown competition pistol or supply you with just a frame. If you want to make your Glock or a Timberwolf more exotic; LWD can texture the frame, laser engrave parts, machine the slide and do a wild PVD or Cerakote finish for you. You are only limited by your imagination and checkbook. Whether you choose a frame or complete pistol it has to be shipped to your local FFL holder to do the paperwork to keep things legal. Their website; www.lonewolfdist.com will give you all the details on what services they offer.
Get your custom built Timberwolf T19 or have your Glock customized by Lone Wolf Distributors and head out to the range. You will raise eyebrows and have a pistol to be proud of. While you are out there making noise; remember to shoot safely, accurately and have fun.
Lone Wolf Distributor’s Timberwolf T19 size along with the test ammunition. The red mag well sets off the pistol, but it can be had in other colors if you prefer
LWD cuts the slide for a Trijicon RWR min-red dot. The cut/fit is perfect.
For added weight, LWD uses a stainless guide rod. You remove the one end of the rod and install a new spring.
XS Sights FR 8 Sights, they work well and fit perfectly.
LWD’s Ultimate Adjustable Trigger, it’s one of the best Glock triggers on the markt and you can make it match your magazine.
My personal Timberwolf, G34 sized is a practically perfect pistol for any activity; it shoots as well as any custom 1911 in my vault.
This is LWD’s Glock 17 slide cut to fit a Trijicon RMR. You can see the fit is nearly seamless.
Scott Smith is a Disabled Veteran serving in the Army and USAF Reserve. He has been a federal police officer, is a charter member of IDPA and is actively involved with USPSA and various three gun competitions.