Lone Wolf Distributors TWL-L Frame/Gray Man Slide 45 Auto

The grip angle and girth made this 45 ACP easier to grasp, and the 4.4-pound trigger helped us shoot more accurate groups. Plus, you can have it customized.

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GUN TESTS GRADE: A

$884

The TWL-L is a semi-custom pistol completely manufactured by LWD except for the magazine and sights. TWL-L uses Glock OEM magazines, and the slide is configured for Glock OEM sights or you can get any Glock aftermarket sights. This pistol is not so much a Glock clone of the Glock G21, but a refined variation of the G21 platform.

ActionLocked breech, striker fire, semi-auto
Overall Length7.5 in.
Overall Height5.5 in.
Maximum Width1.2 in.
Weight Unloaded31.5 oz.
Weight Loaded38.0 oz.
Barrel4.6 in.
Capacity13+1 (double stack)
SlideMatte stainless steel
Slide-Retraction Effort16.0 lbs.
FrameBlack, polymer; modular grip
Frame Front Strap Height2.4 in.
Frame Back Strap Height3.3 in.
GripTextured polymer
Grip Thickness (max)1.2 in.
Grip Circumference (max)5.5 in. (flat grip insert)
Front SightFixed; dot front
Rear SightOutline; optic mount
Trigger-Pull Weight4.4 lbs. SA
Trigger Span Single Action2.8 in.
Magazines1; polymer
Manual SafetyNone
WarrantyLimited Lifetime
Made InUSA
WebsiteLoneWolfDist.com

Our sample combined the TWL-L full-size frame ($275; lonewolfdist.com) and a LWD Signature Series Gray Man slide pattern ($660; lonewolfdist.com). LWD offers a variety of slide patterns, and they can also configure a slide to your idea. While some gun builders take months to deliver your gun, LWD can typically turn it around in a few days. Ours came a few days after ordering. It was packaged in a soft-nylon case with one 13-round Glock OEM plastic magazine. The only other Glock OEM parts on the pistol were the sights. LWD likes to refer to the frame as a lower and the slide assembly as an upper, similar to AR-15 nomenclature. We found that appropriate because the polymer TWL-L frame is compatible with either Gen3 and Gen4 Glock slides. Those slides have different recoil spring designs, and LWD uses an insert in the dust cover of the frame to make Gen 3 and Gen 4 slides compatible. Insert the U-shaped plastic adapter to accommodate a Gen3 slide, or remove it to use a Gen4 slide. It snaps out with a small screwdriver, and easily snaps back into place. We like the ability to use the frame with different generation Glock-compatible slides. The frame had a matte-black finish.

The LWD full-size frame features a full grip that holds 13 cartridges of 45 ACP, yet feels like a 9mm.

The grip design is impressive. It is nearly the same grip-size girth as the 9mm Glock G17, yet it accommodates the longer and larger 45 Auto round. That is pretty amazing, and you can feel that difference when you hold the pistol. It feels like a 9mm pistol.

The front grip strap has serrations, and the back grip strap and side panels have a mildly aggressive texture similar to a Gen4 or Gen5 grip texture. We thought this texture helped control the recoil from the 45 Auto. The rear grip strap is modular, and you can fit a flat or swelled, meaning arched, backstrap to accommodate your grip. The back strap modules easily fit in place. We preferred the flat back strap.

The bores were nicely crowned and aesthetically pleasing.

Using either back strap changes the standard Glock grip geometry. A slim beavertail extends straight out from the frame about 0.3 of an inch to protect the shooting hand from slide bite. The trigger guard also has a pronounced undercut, similar to what DIY shooters do to a factory Glock with a Dremel tool. This gives the user a high grip and reduces the distance between the bore’s center axis and the shooter’s hand. A removable magwell slurps up magazines and gives the shooter’s small finger a shelf on which to rest. There are cut outs on the sides that allow the user to grasp the magazine by the floor plate and pull it out in the event it does not drop free. A Picatinny rail dust cover allows the attachment of light and laser accessories.

The slide stop is similar to the extended slide stop Glock uses on the G34 and G35 models, which we found easy to manipulate. The magazine-release button is larger than the standard Glock magazine release, which makes manipulating the button and dropping an empty magazine faster. The trigger is LWD’s Ultimate Adjustable trigger, which allows the user to adjust pre- and over-travel of the trigger without having to disassemble the pistol. You just field-strip it and use the included tiny hex wench to adjust. Another LWD part is the extended slide lock, which extends slightly more out of each side of the frame than the OEM part, so it provides more leverage when field-stripping the pistol.

The stainless-steel slide has a Grey Man pattern designed with concealed carry in mind. It has smooth, rounded edges and wavy slide serrations rear and front that offer good texture when racking the slide and doing a press check. The top of the slide had decorative serrations. The rounded edges made reholstering the LWD easier. It also sported Glock OEM plastic sights that are adequate, but if we owned this pistol we would swap out the sights with a set of aftermarket night sights. The slide had a matte stainless finish.

The LWD-made barrel had a length of 4.61 inches , standard G21 length, with a custom flush-cut crown, which we thought was not only well executed but aesthetically pleasing. Inside the slide was LWD’s lightweight titanium firing-pin kit, which includes maritime spring cups and a mid-weight firing-pin spring. An LWD tungsten guide-rod assembly uses a stainless back cap and a heavy, one-piece tungsten guide rod. This guide rod provides increased weight at the muzzle to help reduce muzzle rise and allows faster follow-up shots. It also makes the pistol cycle more smoothly.

At the line, the grip was comfortable to grasp, with enough texture to control 45 Auto-generated recoil. The LWD trigger had a 4.4-pound pull that was an improvement over the Glock OEM trigger. We preferred this trigger over the stock G37 trigger. Our smallest five-shot group at 25 yards was with HPR’s 185-grain JHPs, which measured 0.74 inches. On average, five-shot groups at 25 yards averaged 1.5 to 2 inches. This is good accuracy. In our Wizard speed test, the LWD TWL-S was easy to control, though recoil was noticeable. Trigger reset was short, so follow-up shots were fast. We found reholstering the LWD-L was easiest with the Kydex Bravo Concealment holster, due to the rounded edges of the pistol’s slide. Magazines dropped free and fresh ones easily snapped back in place.

Our Team Said: The LWD TWL-L offers a very different shooting experience than the Glock G21. We liked the performance, and the pistol’s ability to eat up recoil. The LWD was easier for small-handed shooters to shoot more accurately. If a full-size 45 Auto pistol is on your wish list, you should consider this pistol. While the LWD pistols are more expensive, they do allow the buyer a high level of customization.

45 AUTO Range Data
Smith & Wesson M&P45 M2.0 CompactWinchester Train 230-gr. FMJFederal American Eagle 230-gr. FMJHPR 185-gr. JHP
Average Velocity770 fps800 fps830 fps
Muzzle Energy303 ft.-lbs.327 ft.-lbs.283 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group1.3 in.1.2 in.1.8 in.
Average Group1.4 in.1.6 in.2.2 in.
Lone Wolf Distributors TWL-LWinchester Train 230-gr. FMJFederal American Eagle 230-gr. FMJHPR 185-gr. JHP
Average Velocity797 fps809 fps963 fps
Muzzle Energy324 ft.-lbs.334 ft.-lbs.381 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group1.7 in.1.0 in.0.7 in.
Average Group2.0 in.1.7 in.1.4 in.
10MM AUTO Range Data
Lone Wolf Distributors TWL-SBuffalo Bore 180-gr. JHPSIG Sauer V-Crown 180-gr. FMJHornady Critical 165-gr. FTX
Average Velocity1317 fps1213 fps1222 fps
Muzzle Energy693 ft.-lbs.588 ft.-lbs.547 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group0.8 in.1.6 in.2.0 in.
Average Group1.3 in.1.9 in.2.2 in.
45 GAP Range Data
Glock G37 Gen 3Sellier & Bellot 230-gr. FMJSpeer Lawman 185-gr. TMJSpeer LE Gold Dot 200-gr. GDHP
Average Velocity840 fps1027 fps943 fps
Muzzle Energy360 ft.-lbs.433 ft.-lbs.395 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.1 in.1.6 in.1.9 in.
Average Group2.3 in.2.1 in.2.0 in.

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