Lone Wolf AlphaWolf

By Oleg Volk

Well-Balanced with the Right Ammunition

The 45ACP carbine has been available in submachine guns since the iconic 1921 Thompson. At 11 pounds, even with the short 10-inch barrel, it was a hefty weapon. The later M3 “Grease Gun,” much simplified and lighter at 8 pounds, remained pretty chunky for a short-range personal defense weapon. While controllable in automatic fire, both guns were limited to roughly a 50-yard effective range even when fired single shot.

AlphaWolf Pistol Caliber Carbine (AW-PPC) from Lone Wolf Distributors is a deliberate effort to make a lighter and more accurate 45ACP carbine under the constraints of the NFA: no short barrels, no recoil-reducing open bolts. At 6.4 pounds with the 16-inch barrel—twice as long as the Grease Gun—it also tames the recoil with a locked breech, gas-piston design. The first generation of this gun, designed by Flint River Armory in Alabama, used a proprietary metal magazine, always in short supply. It also had a rather uncomfortable buttstock that could not be swapped out. The new second-generation carbine uses standard 13- and 25-round Glock magazines, accepts AR-15 buttstocks and fire control groups.

The gas port is located close to the chamber to utilize the limited amount of gas available with a pistol cartridge. Because of the proximity of the gas block to the chamber, the piston head should be examined every 3,000 rounds and piston rings replaced if necessary to avoid inconsistent cycling. The short-stroke gas piston permits AlphaWolf 45 to use a light bolt and carrier group without undue recoil. In fact, low recoil is the feature of this carbine: it feels more like a .22 rimfire than like a 45ACP firearm. Combined with the soft buttpad of the Minimalist stock means AlphaWolf can be fired comfortably and extensively without fatigue. Minimal muzzle blast and non-existent flash (with most loads) also add to a comfortable experience. For testing, I used Glock 13-round pistol magazines and SGM Tactical 25-round extended magazines: both fed ammunition reliably in Glock pistols, and I experienced no stoppages attributable to the magazines. The tapered single-feed magazines were easy to insert and...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N9 (November 2018)
and was posted online on September 21, 2018


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