Many years ago, I purchased my first Glock pistol, in 9mm. Almost immediately, I went to the Lone Wolf website and ordered a replacement barrel for it. Why? Because the advice of all the serious Glock guys was to do exactly that. This was at a time when the Glock G34 was the go-to gun for IDPA and similar shooting sports. The reputable scuttlebutt was that the Lone Wolf barrel was more accurate and would last longer. And also, perhaps more importantly – for reloaders it meant spent brass that would resize better; and you could shoot unjacketed lead bullets if you so desired (a no-no for a factory Glock barrel). I was more interested in the reloading benefits, but a little better accuracy – especially with my feeble skills, would also be welcome.
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I don’t know how many thousands of rounds have gone through that barrel now, but I still have it and I still shoot it, with no signs of reduction in performance. But Lone Wolf is about much more than just making some of the best aftermarket barrels you can buy. They have been milling custom slides for a long time, offering a long list of standard options as well as customized to customer spec work.
So, it wasn’t a great leap – nor was it much of a surprise to this writer when Lone Wolf began to offer a full-blown handgun. The expiration of some of Glock’s patents has caused an explosion of aftermarket clones and alternatives built on that familiar platform. Many are simply trying to cash in on a proven design without the R&D costs or fear of lawsuit… but a few companies have taken a “we can take something we all know is good, and make it even better”, approach. Lone Wolf is among the latter. The LTD19 is its interpretation of a Glock 19 style pistol – reimagined, by shooters – for shooters.
It starts with the Timberwolf frame. A high-quality polymer molded unit that is simultaneously Glock-like and completely re-invented. Clearly, to function with the gun’s design there are certain specs that just can’t be changed. Nor should they be, arguably – after all, why copy a design and change the parts that work best?! The trigger group, locking block, slide lock/takedown mechanisms – all exactly as expected. Most Glock Gen3 parts should drop right in. The key differences are external. Mainly, the grip itself. The angle of the grip is much more 1911-like than Glock-like, something that all but the most faithful to the Austrian company will likely rejoice. Any conversation I’ve had with people who “just don’t like Glocks” almost always boils down to “it’s that grip angle”. In addition to “correcting” the angle of the grip, Lone Wolf has omitted the finger grooves on the front and added a nice combination of raised squares and ridges for friction. This is one area I might enhance if I owned the pistol – but that’s an easy upgrade. The trigger guard is nicely undercut for a high grip, and the flared magwell makes for easy speed reloads. A very nice touch is the inclusion of deep side bevels in the magwell for manual magazine extraction if necessary. Speaking of magazines, the LTD19 v2 arrived with one 15-round Glock 9mm magazine. As with Glocks, longer magazines with greater capacity (including the 33-round fun stick) will work just fine.
The slide assembly of the LTD19 almost looks too pretty to shoot….almost. It’s a very nicely milled slide, with a lot of interesting and complex precision cuts. It is available in a Nitride or stainless finish. Our sample has a satin finish that looks good sitting atop the light gray frame that our sample included. Adorned with complex cuts and shapes for eye candy, there is also very practical millwork done to provide lightning cuts in the sides and deep-aggressive serrations front and rear. If you’re a survivalist, bring this gun and leave the cheese grater at home… it would redundant.
SHOOTING THE LONE WOLF LTD19 v2
The Lone Wolf LTD19 feels good in the hand, due mostly to the grip angle and overall size of the grip itself. Shooters with smaller hands will appreciate that they can wrap their fingers around it comfortably. This also helps put controls in better reach, such as the mag release and the slide stop/release. Ergonomics are further enhanced by the lip of the magwell, which helps to lock in the shooter’s grip by creating a defined space for the primary and support hand to share. The aggressively cut generous serrations in the slide make its manipulation very easy and sure, whichever method you use. A personal pet peeve is a handgun with front slide serrations that offer little to no traction. This is not where I want my hand slipping off or short-stroking the action. No danger of that here – these serrations mean business and bite into the fingers for a no-nonsense connection between shooter and gun. I teasingly referred to it as a cheese grater, but I mean that as a compliment.
The sights on the LTD19 are standard Glock sights, or exact replicas as far as I am able to discern. The sight picture is good, and I found the Lone Wolf to prefer a center hold more so than a genuine Glock, which favors 6 o’clock. The real benefit of the sight choice is in aftermarket compatibility. It is likely that there are more aftermarket sights available for the Glock 17/19 than any other single handgun. This means near limitless choices if you decide to upgrade later.
The trigger of the LTD19 is obviously a Glock-patterned trigger, but feels to my finger to be much improved overall. Lone Wolf specs it out at 6 ½ pounds, and my Lyman digital gauge agrees. But due to the polished internal parts, it feels much smoother and crisper than the pull weight would suggest. For a potential self-defense handgun, it is just right.
To record the accuracy, I chose the off-hand method from a distance of 12 yards. I often prefer this over the rested tests, because this is an evaluation of how well I can shoot the gun – and so it becomes as much a test of ergonomics, sights, and yes – shooter. I shot two groups of 115-grain ball ammo – one from Magtech and one from the perennial Remington green and white box. Both groups were very good and surprisingly similar in location and pattern. When sending lead downrange at an array of steel targets, I found the same consistency with a mix of all types of ammunition, including the often debated and soon to be rare steel cased stuff. There were no malfunctions of any kind.
JUST MY OPINION
I asked for the test sample of the Lone Wolf LTD19 v2 to be the gray frame with a silver slide. To me, that is the color of a lone wolf. And in that tradition, I think this pistol stands alone from the pack of Glock-patterned handguns that are carving out a place in the market. Because Lone Wolf has been around for years as a trusted maker of high-quality aftermarket and custom parts from barrels to full slide assemblies and more, I think it has an advantage both in experience and customer loyalty.
I like the feel of this gun. The grip angle and size are very comfortable and should please those who have a dislike for the Glock grip angle and feel. The trigger is free of any grit and has a smooth pull with a crisp break – something that I prefer over simply “lighter” every time. It’s a shooter – putting hundreds of rounds down range without a hiccup, and as long as I did my part it put them on target.
And if you like your guns to stand apart from the crowd, it doesn’t get much better than the interesting and aggressive look of the LTD19 v2. But then, standing apart from the crowd is what a Lone Wolf does.
Check out the full selection here, at Lone Wolf Pistols