Anyone savvy in the world of Glocks knows Lone Wolf as a household name. They have been the king of aftermarket Glock parts since 1998. Over the past 23 years, Lone Wolf has given us trigger components, drop-in barrel conversions, slide kits and pretty much anything we needed to make our Glock go. Without question they have been the go-to spot for Glockophiles. As a company, Lone Wolf has enjoyed their success and has continued to add to their lineup, including options like the LTD pistol.
The Lone Wolf LTD Pistol
There is one area, though, that Lone Wolf felt they needed to enter if they really wanted to up the game. With that, Lone Wolf has announced the introduction of a new Lightweight Tactical Defense (LTD) pistol. That’s right: Lone Wolf took their two decades of experience in making enhanced Glock parts and built their own 9mm blaster.
Meet The Wolf
Unlike many other Glock-pattern alternatives on the market, the LTD is not the result of simple geometry changes or polishing of new old-stock parts, but the culmination of decades of experience. Lone Wolf Arms has seen trends rise and fall, fielded thousands of customer comments and questions, and learned what really improves the platform.
The LTD is the culmination of that experience and provides the same capacity as its inspiration, but thanks to the Timberwolf Frame, offers a slimmer, more natural feel. Specification junkies will also note that the LTD pistols are also lighter than the original. They removed critical ounces from the slide for a pistol that cycles more quickly, recoils less and carries more comfortably.
One area that stands out to me is the frame. The LTD has a frame approaching 18 degrees as opposed to the Glock’s 22-degree angle grip. This makes the grip closer to that of a 1911, which for many people offers a more natural point of aim. On the professional shooting circuits, you will find that a vast majority of the shooters’ guns are stock or have been modified to have this 18-degree grip angle.
The gun incorporates Lone Wolf’s popular extended slide stop lever, magazine release and takedown levers, making manipulations easy. Unlike some other guns in this arena, the LTD offers a good balance of surface area while still being low profile enough to avoid snagging on clothes or gear.
The frame also has an extended and flared magwell, which makes for quick mag changes without the “finger pinch” that Glock pistols are known for. A generous, radiused undercut of the frame eliminates “Glock knuckle,” permits a higher grip for reduced perceived recoil and permits larger-handed shooters to enjoy the concealability of this compact firearm. This design feature alone will get the attention of long-time Glock shooters. A majority of us have permanent scar tissue on our index finger knuckle where the triggerguard bites into us.
In the Hand
The rear of the frame has a relieved-radius tang that assists in a higher grip, effectively lowering bore axis while also distributing recoil impulse safely across the web of the hand without beating on the thumb knuckle. The well-designed extended beavertail shields the hand from slide movement and disperses recoil impulse.
The beavertail is significant, and I am sure it will eliminate slide bite in everyone save those with giant paws Wrap it up with the inclusion of the popular Lone Wolf 4-inch barrel, and it becomes a shooter.
The part of the gun that catches your eye, however, is the slide. Lone Wolf offers two slide variations available in nitride or stainless finish. Both variations offer reduced reciprocating mass, resulting in both quicker cycling and less perceived recoil than the Glock 19.
It is a very good-looking slide design and has angle-cut rear serrations deeper than Glock’s traditional straight cut. The forward slide serrations extend 2.5 inches toward the muzzle and work well for press checks and general manipulation. The slide has barrel exposed lightening cuts that are not only eye catching but reduce the weight. As a result, comes quicker cycling and reduced perceived recoil.
On top of these features, the LTD is 2 ounces lighter than the Glock 19 Gen 4. The gun has a stainless-steel guide rod with a single captured recoil spring included “stock.” The purpose behind this is twofold.
First is that a steel guide rod weighs more than the stock plastic version. This in turn theoretically adds a small amount of weight to the front of the gun for muzzle-flip management.
More practically, the steel guide rod is dramatically more durable than the plastic version and eliminates the need to replace a specific part. This is a perfect example of how Lone Wolf Arms has listened to what shooters have requested over the years and incorporated it into these guns.
While lighter, they do not produce any more perceived recoil as might be expected. The overall design of the gun, in fact, gives us less recoil than we experience with the Glock 19.
Dancing With the Wolves
I have been running Glocks pretty much since they hit U.S. soil, so I was looking forward to testing these guns. Lone Wolf was kind enough to send me two models for testing—both a black LTD, as well as their gray version.
Mechanically the pistols are identical, but just finished in different colors. Performance wise, the guns ran flawlessly, as expected. While I fed them Hornady Critical Defense ammo primarily, I did cycle in some Winchester white box as well as a smattering of other HP ammo.
As a defensive handgun, it is critical that it not be finicky about the ammo it is fed. It’s my opinion that if I could chamber a Volkswagen into the gun, it would have run. The HP ammo ran just as smooth as the ball ammo with no feed issues.
The Lone Wolf barrel, as I mentioned earlier, was a hit. I was able to ring steel from bad-breath distance out to 75 yards without any issues.
One point I continuously enjoyed was the flared magazine well. While not as extreme as what is seen on competition guns, it was certainly sufficient for my needs. My mantra has always been that you need to be able to masterfully manipulate and feed your gun. You can be the best shooter in the world, but if you run dry and your manipulations suck, you are nothing more than a bullet sponge. The flared magwell helps me feed the LTD at pace and stay in the fight.
The LTD trigger did OK when speed and accuracy had to come together. The official listing on the LTD trigger is 6.5 pounds, but I measured the pistol out of the box and it broke closer to 7 pounds. In time it might decrease as normal wear takes its toll. Out of the box, though, this will be something that Glock fans will notice.
A special note to those interested: The LTD fits most existing G19 holsters and it takes Glock 19 magazines. I am by no means a LTD fanboy, but I can certainly appreciate what they have accomplished with this gun. To the casual passerby it might look like just another attempted Glock clone, but it is much more than that.
Ready To Run
As far as shooting the LTD goes, it was easy to run. I found it to be very accurate and printed solid ragged-hole groups at 5, 7 and 10 yards. During accuracy testing, the best five-round group I produced came in at a very pleasant 1.5 inches. which is exceptional for a standard production gun. In fact, each of the three ammunition brands I tested shot well.
I ran the LTD through a traditional series of tests that go beyond standing steady and shooting groups. From close contact to 15 yards the gun shot well. Obviously, I will make no claim of any sub-MOA performance, nor should it be expected. This gun is designed for an up-close confrontation that requires a ballistic response.
The best performance was in the 0- to 7-yard range, as it gave me good shot groups even when shooting at pace. The farther back I went, the more the groups opened up. The beveled magazine well made reloads quick and easy.
I ran the LTD from the holster and found it almost identical when I indexed it for the draw. As I mentioned, the 18-degree grip is different from Glocks and will be noticeable to longtime Glock shooters. It did not cause any issues at all and, in fact, I found the grip to be very comfortable.
The only real design features of the gun that gave me pause was the lip of the flared magwell and trigger. The magwell is very abrupt and noticeable even with my bigger hands. While not a deal breaker, I see some owners breaking out Dremel tools to take the edge off the lip of the magwell.
The trigger, with over 6 pounds of pull, is going to result in some forum chatter, but it is not terrible. As with any trigger, sufficient practice with it will allow the shooter to master it. I have seen people shoot extremely well using guns that have absolutely terrible triggers.
Lone Wolf Arms has succeeded in leveraging their two decades of experience into this new pistol design. They have managed to incorporate countless design features into what is truly a good-looking, nice-shooting pistol.
For more information, visit LoneWolfDist.com.
Lone Wolf LTD Pistol Specs
Barrel: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7.16 inches
Weight: 19 ounces (empty)
Action: Striker-fired semi-auto
Finish: Nitride or stainless
This article was originally published in the Tactical Life Gun Annual June/July 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email email@example.com.