I carried a Glock pistol in one form or another for more than 21 years and have to say they always worked for me. Coming from the PSD world, all I cared about was if it worked when I pressed the trigger and would the shots go where I pointed them. After that I never gave a lot of thought to things like grip angle or texture unless they became a problem. It wasn’t until I started using Gen 3 Glock pistols that I discovered how slippery my older guns had become. The polymer had deteriorated with age to the point that guns simply were no longer useful. This left me with an abundance of perfectly serviceable Glock upper assemblies and no hope lowers. Luckily Lone Wolf Distributors (LWD) solved this issue for us.
Over two years ago I was able to get my hands on one of the full size LWD Timberwolf frames for the Glock 17/22/31 size guns. It was a fantastic addition to this Glockamaniac’s world. I was able to recover some of my older guns with the added benefit of a more ergonomic frame with multiple back-straps and some other upgrades. I immediately built and used that G17/Timberwolf hybrid in numerous classes and range sessions and quickly accrued a round count well over 30,000 rounds. The only real drawback was that it seemed that LWD was going to forsake the G19 sized guns. This was something they recently took care of when they offered a group of prototype Timberwolf frames for the G19/23/32 sized pistols.
I ordered one of the prototypes and since there was a limit of one per end user, I asked my local dealer to order one for his collection. I built one of the guns using a G32 upper in .357 Sig and the other using a G19 top assembly. I say “build” using the term in the loosest possible sense of the word. I essentially had nothing more to do than switch parts. This was a task that took about 10 minutes per gun. Since the LWD frames came with a new trigger housing, I had to swap out the ejector from the old guns. Pushing it out from the rear of the housing and installing it in the new part easily accomplished this. After that, it was all basic Glock assembly work.
I took both guns out to the range and ran them using frangible, FMJ and Speer GDHP ammunition totaling 1500 rounds each. Function was flawless in both guns with all the different types of ammunition. The lock up between the two halves is very tight and the guns yielded perfectly acceptable accuracy.
I like the idea of a larger magazine release and a somewhat extended tang on the rear of the grip. They both added to the ease of handling and shooting comfort. The biggest improvement in these frames is the interchangeable back straps. The arched back strap is somewhere between a regular Gen3 Glock and a 1911 grip angle. The flat back strap is very close to the feel of a 1911. I think the ability to adapt the gun to feel more like a 1911 fills in where Glock fell short even with the Gen4 guns. The only drawback I can see with the new prototype frames is the type of polymer they used. It is not nearly as rough as the original Timberwolf frames. I suspect that LWD will be fixing this when they go into production. If I had to gripe about any one thing, it would be a lack of cut outs or finger grooves on the sides of the grip to aid with the removal of stuck magazines.
Overall, these new frames will help breath some new life into those older Glocks hanging around in the safe. The .357 Sig gun shoots and feels like an improved G32 and the 9mm gun was as soft as ever. Being able to get my hands up higher on the gun definitely enabled a much faster follow up and made the guns significantly easier to control in rapid fire strings. I found that using the flat back straps pretty much eliminated the heeling that is typical with many Glock users. A final price tag should be in the area of $199.00 stripped or $349.00 assembled lower only, plus shipping and, since it is a serialized part, whatever your local FFL charges for the transfer. I think they are worth every penny.
These smaller frames are still in the prototype phase so there may be some changes coming. You can check them out at http://www.lonewolfdist.com/.