In a somewhat back-handed sign of success and market penetration, the aftermarket for Glock pistols is so massive that it’s entirely possible to build a complete gun without using any parts actually made by Glock.
Despite the handgun giant’s accomplishment in securing a huge chunk of the market, many people have found the design to be wanting, especially in terms of grip size, shape, angle and ergonomics in general.
While every other Glock component has had a handful of aftermarket counterparts for most of the gun’s history, if you didn’t like the feel of the gun that meant a visit to a gunsmith who would perform the risky procedure of re-shaping the pistol’s grip — a permanent and irreversible alteration of the handgun — in a process that if any mistakes are made, that’s it, the gun is ruined.
A grip reduction isn’t the only answer any more. A handful of companies have developed Glock-compatible frames to entirely replace the factory grip, with Lone Wolf’s WolfPack series of TimberWolf frames the most successful of them all.
The WolfPack addresses the biggest complaints about the factory Glock frames. They have a smaller diameter for a tighter grip that’s also more friendly to small-handed shooters. The grips sport interchangeable backstraps for a 1911-style or SIG-style grip depending on the user’s preference.
They’re smaller than what’s possible with a grip reduction because the frames were designed from the ground up to be smaller. Additionally the trigger guards are contoured like an undercut trigger to prevent “Glock knuckle,” scraping your middle finger across the bottom of the trigger guard.
The rear of the grips are swept to replicate a beavertail and allows shooters to grab very high up, taking advantage of Glock’s low bore axis. It’s an attractive upgrade for third-generation Glock pistols.
There was a gap in the WolfPack family for a long time, but thanks to overwhelming customer demand and some tinkering on Lone Wolf’s end, the company now offer a Compact TimberWolf frame for Glock models 19, 23, 32 and 38 actions.
The Compact TimberWolf frame can upgrade existing Gen 3 Glock pistols or as the groundwork for building a fully-custom compact 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG or .45 GAP pistol.
Like we’ve said before, it’s possible to build a Glock-pattern pistol without a single Glock component — although when it comes to magazines, don’t stray too far — and in that vein Lone Wolf offers a complete line of compact slide and barrel assemblies in various stages of completion.
If you’re starting with a stripped TimberWolf frame it’s up to you to decide how much, or how little, project you want to take on.
There are other options when it comes to slides and barrel assemblies, including factory Glock uppers. If you’re only interested in a factory slide and barrel assembly those can be purchased separately without having to buy a complete Glock pistol from companies like Glockmeister.
Lone Wolf is taking pre-orders for its Compact TimberWolf frame for $199. These include the backstraps and have mag buttons installed. These frames, like AR-15 lowers, are firearms and must be transferred through an FFL.
Building a Glock-compatible firearm starting with a TimberWolf frame will, in the long run, cost a little more than buying a factory Glock. The advantage is that with a little research and know-how, it’s possible to make a completely-custom pistol, selecting each part tailor-fit for your needs.
But by building a pistol from scratch you might be able to save a little compared to a what it costs to retrofit a factory Glock — and avoid the whole grip reduction process along the way.
Plus it’s a project piece. The new Compact TimberWolf frame is a gift to gun-loving tinkerers everywhere. If you’re looking for something to sink your homespun gunsmithing skills into, head over to Lone Wolf for more information.