Home Built Perfection: Lone Wolf’s New Freedom Wolf 80% Frame

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Editor’s Note: The Justice Department’s new rule regarding 3D printed firearms and 80% lowers goes into effect August 24, 2022.

Lone Wolf Arms’ new Freedom Wolf 80% frame is similar to the frame of their Lightweight Tactical Defense (LTD) pistol. An American-made improvement on the world’s most common handgun, the Freedom Wolf is a feature-rich wonder which uses readily available magazines and upgraded parts of common design. Federal law allows you to build your own guns at home as long as it is legal for you to possess a firearm. (Warning: Some local and state laws may infringe on this right. Know your local laws.) 

While local gun stores are re-stocking COVID emptied shelves, many adventurous shooters have embraced build-it-your-self options. Lone Wolf Arms Freedom Wolf is a significant upgrade to the current 80%ers. The family resemblance to the Timberwolf® frame and the LTD is no coincidence, the great performance features are all present. The Freedom Wolf is not at the stage of manufacturing to meet the ATF definition of a firearm frame. The Freedom Wolf kit can be shipped straight to your door, with no Federal Firearms License required. Simply follow the instructions provided, and 48 hours later, you will be ready to assemble and shoot your home-built Freedom Wolf!

The finished project: The modular Freedom Wolf has unlimited potential for customization and growth. This is a Lone Wolf slide with Lone Wolf internals, Lone Wolf barrel, and Lone Wolf’s Ktyptec pattern laser engraving. You get the picture, Lone Wolf makes all the stuff you need. The optics are Trijicon SRO and the sights are from XS. Streamlight TLR-8, KCI USA magazine, and extension.

Why is Freedom Wolf (FW) such a big deal?

The FW keeps the reliability and performance of easy-to-find Glock-pattern magazines and uses many common parts making maintenance and customization a snap.

FW fits in Glock holsters. If you want to train or use FW for any practical applications, you need a holster. Glock holsters are the most available design on the planet.

The FW has a radiused under-cut trigger guard and high beavertail lower the bore axis. This provides less felt recoil to the shooter for quick and comfortable shooting.

Something I value greatly is the simple design of the gun. If you walk into any local gun store in America (and much of the world for that matter), there will be someone who knows how to replace every part on the FW and they probably have most of them in stock. I can’t say that about other designs even though I may like them (looking at you 1911).

The FW frame’s grip angle is a traditional American 1911 naturally-pointing design. The texture is the perfect balance of grip and comfort fr me. FW offers a slimmer feel with modular adjustments that offer a custom fit. It ships with two backstraps so you can pick the feel you want.

Freedom Wolf Features:

Accepts Gen3 or Gen4 G19/23/32/38 slides (It has a dust cover adapter to fill the gap)

Fits in standard Glock 19 size holsters (Glock 17 holsters too)

Extended beaver tail designed to spread recoil impulse

Ambidextrous reversible Gen4 style magazine catch

Undercut trigger guard for higher grip placement

Removed finger grooves for improved grip position

Optional Magazine Well Funnel

Picatinny rail section under the barrel

Specifications:

Weight: 2.6 oz. stripped, 3.2 oz. partially finished, 4.7 oz. complete with locking block and trigger installed

Length: 7.00”

Height including magazine well: 4.77”

Width: 1.13” frame, 1.49” magazine well

Off to the Range

The frame works. I won’t do a bunch of accuracy stuff because the slide and barrel are the big factors in that. I have got 250 rounds. I am very happy with the results, with and without suppression.

The FW did not disappoint at the range. I shot mostly Armscor but also ran COVID Wolf steel case running it through Glock OEM and KCI USA magazines. Everything cycled and functioned with no issues. Mags dropped free and the slide locked back on empty. While 250 rounds is not exactly a torture test, didn’t find any issues with the build.

My Freedom Wolf with a GSL Trinity suppressor. Accuracy was very good as I have come to expect from Lone Wolf.

The grip texture was nice and the magazine release is the awesome Gen4 design that I can reach without shifting my grip.

Face shots at 7 yards are fast and easy with the SRO

The fit and feel are comfortable. I like the curved backstrap and it points naturally like a 1911. The stock trigger is quite adequate. You can drop in any upgrade trigger you like for different performance.

Steel targets at 50 yards are the perfect feedback tool to refine your trigger pull. There is no way to cheat the steel.

The Build:

I started this post a little backward on purpose. Nobody cares about the build if it doesn’t shoot. Freedom Wolf runs with the big boys.

The Freedom Wolf Kit Includes:

Freedom Wolf 80% lower

Stencil (Jig)

Front rail (x2)

Rear rail (x2)

Flat backstrap

Swelled backstrap

Magwell

Front rail cap (x2)

Left rear rail cap

Right rear rail cap

3mm drill bit

4mm drill bit

Rail Adhesive

Because Lone Wolf has mixed and matched the best of Gen 3 and Gen 4 parts, I went with the Compact Timberwolf Frame Completion Kit – LWD-FrameKit-TW-C to get all of the right parts made with Lone Wolf quality.

The modular FW has unlimited potential for customization and growth. This is a Lone Wolf slide with Lone Wolf internals, Lone Wolf barrel, and Lone Wolf’s Ktyptec pattern laser engraving. You get the picture, Lone Wolf makes all the stuff you need. The optics are Trijicon SRO and the sights are from XS.

The frame will accept both Gen3 and Gen4 slides with a clever adapter. Don’t try that with another guy’s frame. It has a removable magazine well funnel and two changeable backstraps with a lock-in hook accessed inside the magwell.

The build starts with reading the instructions. Lone Wolf has a detailed manual and links to several videos on how to build the Freedom Wolf. Experience with other kits does not prepare you. Don’t skip over this step!

For best results, clamp stencil and frame into a cross vise. Hold the frame and stencil firmly against the
vise as you tighten the clamp. Be sure not to over-tighten as it may deflect and cause
issues with the holes.

1. Drill the pin holes using the stencil provided in the Lone Wolf kit. Use a drill press and the drill bits

provided in the kit. DO NOT use a hand drill either with or without a drill press vise or cross slide

vise to drill your holes.

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2. Only use the adhesive that is provided in the kit. This is designed for contact with polymer-based products. Super Adhesive versions are not to be used on the polymer.

3. Take care to know what chemicals you use on the polymer frame. DO NOT USE ACETONE FOR ANY REASON. I normally use Break Free®, turns out that it contains acetone.

Read and follow the instructions for the drilling holes. You will be drilling from both sides of the frame. Use only the stencil and drill bits provided to drill holes.

The slide rails (shown in green) fit into polymer pockets in the frame. A special adhesive is applied and precision frame inserts (shown in yellow) are pressed into a tight form fit. The adhesive will set quickly but must be left to cure for 48 hours.

Magazines

The FW uses glock pattern magazines. If you use a left-handed magazine release, you will need a Gen4 or Gen5 magazine. If you use the right-handed magazine release, Glock mags are reverse compatible back to the first generation. Any 9mm magazine of 15 rounds or larger will work. If you need a left-hand magazine release or a 10 round magazine, they are also fairly easy to come by.

I have to tell you, common magazines are a strong pull for me on this gun. I have bought guns that came with one magazine and now neither the gun nor their magazines are currently made. They require some intense google-fu or gun show luck to find mags. Unique magazines are never cheap and you better get them when you find them because they are not around forever.

Magazines are not durable. Like tires, shocks, and motor oil in a car, magazines are intended to be replaced after a certain amount of use. My SF weapons sergeants always said that 85% of malfunctions are caused by magazines. My experience proves this out. Don’t keep magazines that don’t work. Throw them away or give them to someone you don’t like.

The good news is that you probably already own Glock pattern 9mm magazines that will fit. If you are new to shooting, they are in stores and all over the internet. I have had good luck with KCI USA mags.

Holsters

I always face a new frame with hesitation. Yes, I love the new features, but does anyone make a holster for it. Will it fit in a holster that I already own? In this case, FW wins. It fits in every Glock holster I tried and the retention features worked.

I pulled out the box of holsters to see if the FW frame was compatible. Safariland, custom Kydex, Fobus, light-bearing Fobus, Alien Gear, FAB Defense, and BladeTech all worked. It fits in every Glock holster I tried and the retention features worked.

The practical size of the FW allows it to fill many roles. In conditions where you don’t need concealment, you can add a light and a practical holster with a couple of mags and a medical kit.

I teach using the Safariland Model 7TS™ 7360RDS. It has both ALS and SLS retention. It accommodates the LTD with a Streamlight TLR-8 and will accommodate a Red Dot Sight. Safariland’s VUBL Vertical Belt Loop allows the user to quickly raise or lower their holster without any tools required.

There are times when you need to get outside the waistband. Going through a class shooting a couple of hundred rounds can make inside the waistband very uncomfortable.

If you have a light, you control the darkness. Streamlight makes some small lights that are a perfect fit for compact guns. I really like the controls on the TLR-8. They are easy to reach with a firing hand or support side with pulse or constant on. The bezel rotates to deactivate the switches so it doesn’t come on in a case.

I love my Esstac belt system. It is a minimalist set-up with their Kywi three pistol mag pouch, a single 5.56 Single Kywi Mid-length pouch with a 4 round shotgun card, a DST medical pouch, and a Safariland Model 7TS™ 7360RDS.

Lone Wolf Arms’ new Freedom Wolf pistol may not be the answer for every shooter, but it is a quality American-made handgun that provides reliable performance in a package that adapts to fit most hands. It uses available components and magazines which make maintenance and upgrades easy and affordable. My only complaint is that it didn’t come sooner.

About Lone Wolf:

Lone Wolf has been making great parts since 1998. Now you can get them all together in a complete gun.

Since its founding in 1998, Lone Wolf has been a leader of innovation in the Glock aftermarket. With the Lightweight Tactical Defense (LTD) pistol line, Lone Wolf makes the leap to whole guns, marrying their Timberwolf Frame to their upgraded slides and barrels.

For more information visit lonewolfdist.com


About the author:
Mark Miller is a former Customs Agent and a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. A student of firearms and shooting, he is an FFL and a SOT. The guiding philosophy of his life is that terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.



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