Wolf A1 Upper aka Civilian Type 91 Explained In Detail

Burst Review spends time explaining the Wolf A1 Upper in detail. At last Big 3 East Media event, Wolf Ammo unveiled their Wolf A1 upper. Check out the post I wrote last October to refresh yourself.


Having shot the Wolf A1 upper myself it works very well suppressed. There is a hint of gas to the face but not nearly as bad as one would expect in a direct impingement setup.


Burst Review also made a disassembly guide for the Wolf A1

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Slim934

    HURRAY NEWS!!!…..OR ATLEAST MARKETING MATERIAL! I was afraid they had just stopped doing anything with it.

  • SGT Fish

    I wonder if there is anything to combat the typical carrier tilt issue with a piston AR, I do see the rear of the bcg is beveled to keep it from digging into the buffer tube. Stoner’s original internal piston leads to a very in line system keeping wear and tear down to a minimum.

    • Scott Connors

      You could always install the Wolf Gas Piston upper receiver on a lower receiver built with a Primary Weapon Systems enhanced receiver extension, which is designed to prevent carrier tilt issues. I think that D. S. Arms has also marketed a solution as well, although I’m not sure about the details.

      • noob

        hmm has TFB ever reviewed a PWS Mk109? that uses their enhanced receiver extension with a PWS piston system.

        more pricey than this wolf offering though

      • Matthew Fox

        There’s also the POF anti-tilt buffer tube, MUCH closer in price to a regular buffer tube and install the same (ala castle nut). So far I’m running three PWS buffer tubes and three POF buffer tubes (yes, six piston uppers). So far they all work exactly as described, or maybe my uppers just aren’t exhibiting carrier tilt. Either way, no issues with these.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      You need to build a receiver (and matching carrier) like every single other classic pistol design on the planet: One that has rails for the carrier to ride on.

      It’s not likely anything else will solve carrier tilt.

      Faxon does exactly this. They’re the only AR pistol upper design to my knowledge that actually addresses the issue the way it should be.

    • kalashnikev

      Probably the extreme bevel at the rear of the carrier.

  • Wang Chung Tonight

    Where oh where do we buy these uppers????

    • abecido

      Where and when. My money waits. A lower waits. I wait.

    • gunsandrockets

      No kidding. I’ve been asking my dealer since October to sell me one of these things and he keeps telling me he can’t find any listing for them.

  • Walter E. Kurtz

    At $599 I think they’ll be selling gobs of these. Still. I continue to think that a gas piston AR is a solution in search of a problem. The horror…..the horror…

    • gunsandrockets

      I’m fascinated by the unique piece of firearm history that suddenly is available that I always thought would never happen. The Type 91 falls into the same Unicorn category as a MAS-49/56 or a VZ-58, yet here we are.

      Interesting times we live in.

      • I wonder how long it will take for someone to take an 80% lower and rework it to look like a Type 91 lower.

        • Max

          lol a buddy of mine has that in the works already

  • R H

    Burst Review….I’ll admit he’s gotten a little better. The review seemed knowledgeable, there was lots of good information, but he’s still insufferable.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    They should make it out of brass so it’s pretty much like shooting normal ammo when you use their ammo!

    • kalashnikev

      The Taiwanese Wolf Gold is brass cased.

  • Joshua Knott

    and why would someone want to buy a Russian AR upper? Makes no sense, especially when you can build a complete rifle for a little under that cost.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Apparently you don’t know what a type 91 is or understand the point of this upper.

      • Joshua Knott

        apparently you just went full r3tard, for real. The AR180 type 91(the type 91 being a derivative of the AR180) rifles respectively were designed by Stoner and to be utilized by countries that needed an intermediate cartridge firearm that shared the same type of six lug bolt and STANAG mag. So what were you saying again? what dont i know?
        here lamen terms, its a dumbed down less expensive to make upper made IN Russia.(this particular product)
        I have nothing against the AR180. And thanks for proving how utterly stupid you are for replying to the question with a solid answer.

        Go back to COD noob.

        • abecido

          Taiwan is not a part of Russia.

          • Tritro29

            Shhhh don’t wake him up.

          • Twilight sparkle

            Glad someone got that.

          • Joshua Knott

            sorry my fault, so wolf is Russian owned company, they import the uppers from Taiwan and then distribute them to their subsidiary Wolf company in the states?
            Wolf is Russian owned company, i was under the presumption they were actually producing the uppers and skating around the Sanctions.

          • AdamB

            Wolf is an American company.

          • Joshua Knott

            No it is not (facepalms) Wolf has been manufacturing ammo for Czars all the way up to Putin.

          • John

            Wolf IS an American company. They are an importer, not a manufacturer. Sources for ammo include Russia, Germany, TAIWAN, etc. If anything they are inpotting Taiwanese uppers

          • Joshua Knott

            wolf ammo is a Russian based company with a North American headquarters to handle their imports, think of kalashnikov concern, same principal.
            So When Ford manufactures a car in mexico is it still a American Company or a Mexican Company?

          • AdamB

            No that’s just wrong. They’re owned by SSI, which is an American company.

          • int19h

            > Wolf has been manufacturing ammo for Czars all the way up to Putin.

            The amount of facepalm you have already generated in this thread is rapidly approaching the Chandrasekhar limit (at which point the thread collapses into a 4chan-type singularity). Before that happens, let me set the facts straight.

            There’s no company named Wolf, American or otherwise.

            There is most certainly no company named Wolf that “has been manufacturing ammo for Czars”. The actual companies manufacturing ammo in Russia are Tula Cartridge Plant, Ulyanovsk Cartridge Works, Barnaul Cartridge Plant etc. These are all separate organizations with separate ownership.

            “Wolf Ammunition” is a *trademark*, under which ammunition produced by some of these plants (mostly Tula) has been sold in US. This trademark is currently owned by a company headquartered in California. Said company doesn’t have anything to do with Russia, except that they buy *some* of their ammo from Russian manufacturers.

            Historically, they have also bought a lot of it from Ukraine. They have been diversifying their suppliers considerably, and so you can find many other countries of origin on Wolf-branded ammo these days. Wolf Gold .223, for example, is manufactured in Taiwan, and was manufactured in Serbia (by Prvi) for a while before that.

            TL;DR: at this point, Wolf is just a generic brand of “gun stuff”. It doesn’t imply any kind of association with Russia.

          • Joshua Knott

            I dont even have time for your 4chan nonsense, let alone references of chasms being broken underneath us. Nor would i even entertain the thought of seeing what the likes of Martin Shkreli and yourself have to say.
            The handle of the company OTHERWISE knows as a DBA is wolf, that is by definition a Company, whether owned by a parent company or not it is, by law and definition its own entity.
            “Wolf Ammo
            Wolf Ammunition Wolf ammo is manufactured in factories located across the former Soviet Union and is imported into the US under the Wolf and WPA (Wolf Performance Arms) brands, such as Military Classic and Polyformance. Unlike other foreign low-priced ammo, Wolf ammo is non-corrosive and comes in polymer-coated steel cases.
            Wolf Ammo Wolf ammo is manufactured by Wolf Ammunition. Wolf Ammunition is a Russian based company with its headquarters located in the United States in Placentia, CA.
            So how is the importation of nearly all of their cartridges from Russian factories

            When in language you use the word “Russian Based” Company that does pertain to the origin of such said company? A DBA is a DBA.
            Yes Volkswagen has headquarters in America so i guess that makes them an American company now

          • int19h

            For starters, “nearly all” of their cartridges aren’t from Russia. The entire WPA line is from Ukraine. You’re not one of the people who confuse the two, are you? Then there’s the aforementioned Wolf Gold, which has nothing to do with either.

            Volkswagen has a *branch* in US, yes. But the company that manufactures VW cars in Germany is fundamentally the same company (owned by the same people) as the one that imports then into US and sells them here.

            That’s not the case with SSI (the company that owns the Wolf brand). It is an importer and distributor, not a manufacturer. It is not owned by the same people that own the factories that actually manufacture the ammo that it imports and distributes.

            SSI was always an American company. In the 90s, it saw a lucrative business opportunity, and made some contracts with Russian ammo manufacturers to be their exclusive importer, and to own the associated trademarks.

            The fact that SSI and Tulammo (the main manufacturer) are two different entities has been made obvious a few years ago, when SSI actually sued Tulammo over violation of its contracts and trademarks (Sporting Supplies International Inc v. Tulammo USA Inc et al, 2012). If, as you’re claiming, it’s all the same entity in the end, why would it sue itself?

            Now, Tulammo USA *is* a Russian corporation with headquarters in US. But, again, it has nothing to do with SSI, except that it has a bunch of contracts with it.

          • JoshuaK27

            That makes sense, I was actually going to ask you about the lawsuits as when I tried reading through them I couldn’t completely understand why a subcontractor (tula) is suing ssi or wolf however it’s handle is .

          • int19h

            It was the other way around – SSI was suing Tula & Ulyanovsk. What happened is that after SSI made the Wolf brand popular, Russians decided that they don’t really need any importers, and can sell directly, with lower prices. And started to do so, but using existing packaging (with Wolf branding), and meanwhile also applied for Wolf trademark outside of US. Tulammo USA was the US corporation established by Tula & Ulyanovsk for that purpose

            SSI then sued them over the trademark, and won. Consequently, Tula & Ulyanovsk started using Tulammo as branding for their ammo sold in US. SSI switched to Barnaul (who also make Brown/Silver/Golden Bear), Lugansk and some other factories for steel-cased Wolf – I don’t believe they’re selling any Tula ammo at this point.

            At the same time, some other companies are also importing some or all of these under their own branding (e.g. “Red Army Standard”).

            I’m not sure whether Wolf Gold brass-cased ammo line (which is either Serbian or Taiwanese, depending on the caliber) appeared before or after this showdown.

            It’s all really confusing, and I think to some extent deliberately so.

          • Correct, Wolf Performance Ammunition is a trademark owned by a California-based company: Sporting Supplies International, Inc. While the bulk of their centerfire ammunition has been imported from Tula Cartridge Works and Ulyanovsk Cartridge Works, these are not their only suppliers. SSI actually sued the Russian firms several years ago after they both made distribution deals with other US importers.

          • iksnilol

            Why the ever loving f### would Russians produce piston ARs for export?

            Please, go back to COD.

          • Tritro29

            Because Russia does everything evil nowadays.

          • Joshua Knott

            I cant post the article as its currently pending from the moderator but i threw in a link referencing Russians ussing AR10’s and Molot developing one in house.
            why would the Russians want an Ar, Idk, why would Americans ever want to build their own AK’s?
            I dont even play call of duty, the last one i played was in 2008(Modern Warfare) or something.
            You really have some serious Issues you need to work outwith yourself man.

          • iksnilol

            Nah, it’s just you that is unacceptably rude.

          • Joshua Knott

            good way to answer the question sent forth. Let alone seen the movie tropic thunder. Sensitive nancy you are.
            I simply asked why would someone want this particular upper when there are other that can had or made for less, and then it turned into this whole mess just because the first person to answer was more vague than a white sheet of paper, Then the rest of you turned it into who operates where and who uses what instead of the original question i asked.
            If thats an attack you need thicker skin.

        • Twilight sparkle

          That language was rather uncalled for… this upper is not made in Russia and nowhere in any of the literature about the upper does it say Russia made it. Wolf (a Russian company) just happens to be importing this upper. This upper is specifically marketed to people who appreciate semi retro builds something I was hinting that you don’t understand. Perhaps next time you’ll do a little more research than what Wikipedia says about something before you try calling someone out.

          • Joshua Knott

            Dude i dint have to wikipedia nothing on the AR180, Stoner happens to be of someone i admire as a designer. Just as i admire the story of the Air Force being the first one to adopt the AR platform. Sorry i was wrong on it not being made in Russia, But was genuinely looking for an actual answer to why someone would spend more from a dumbed down version of a platform.

          • Twilight sparkle

            Sorry about the Wikipedia comment I tried to edit it out before you saw it. Anyways the reason people want something like this is like I stated earlier about doing semi retro builds. A lot of people think it’s cool to have something built with an older style to it or in this case the way another country would build it. It’s why BCM did the Canadian c8 sfw uppers a few years back and why xm177 builds are so popular lately.

          • Joshua Knott

            its all good, I took the somewhat vague answer as an insult in way, tis the only reason i went that route.
            i can understand the popularity of early cold war rifles, this particular one doesnt make sense to me as theres AR180’s on gunbroker for 700. In hindsight I shouldve added that.

          • iksnilol

            Who mentioned wikipedia? Your attempt at digging outta this hole are proving futile. You attacked Twilight sparkle and you are condenscending. Now you’re trying to weasel out.

            For shame.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I actually did mention Wikipedia the comments about the ar 180 and six lug bolt seemed like something from Wikipedia. But I realized that comment was a bit aggressive and I didn’t want to make the conversation worse than it already was so I edited it, I just didn’t edit it fast enough apparently

          • Joshua Knott

            Attack? No, I would say there was angst yes, but i was actually looking for a genuine answer to why someone would want the such said item. To be fir and honest i took his reply as an underestimation of ones knowledge which to me is arrogant, its just how I took it. Also not to mention he had mentioned wiki, as you can see below which i admire his honesty. (as i acknowledged the understanding of where the upper was actually manufactured,which i admitted i was wrong. admitting wrong is something I havent seen you do, from a first hand experience, you quite literally can be the definition of stubborn.)

          • roguetechie

            He also keeps bringing up the AR 18/180 like it has ANYTHING to do with anything on the type 91

          • roguetechie

            Except that this has nothing to do with the ar18 or 180 at all

          • john huscio

            To clear the air, the Type 91 is the taiwanese service rifle. It’s also currently in service in Indonesia (border guards), India, Bosnia, and various parts of the middle east.

        • iksnilol


          “lamen” sounds like a racist asian impression of “ramen”.

          • roguetechie


        • rjackparis

          Sperglord mode activated.

  • john huscio

    Need one to replace my DI PSA upper

  • Kyle Blaylock

    I prefer DI Ar’s, but damn that handguard is sexy.

  • Gary Kirk

    At least now the ar180 fans can stop whining about ARs now.. What are they gonna do with all that free time??

  • noob

    If this concept takes off, I hope they start making Daewoo K2 replicas

    • PeterK

      Yeah. Do want.

    • mig1nc

      Hell yes.

    • kalashnikev

      Who is “they?” Taiwan uses the T-91.

      • noob


        • kalashnikev

          Daewoo is a South Korean company.

          • noob

            Indeed Daewoo is.

            Wolf Performance Ammunition purchased the WolfA1 uppers from Taiwan’s 205th Armory and finished them with american made barrels according to a previous The Firearm Blog article.

            Similarly Wolf, which is an american company headquartered in Placentia, California, USA could purchase some K2 uppers from Daewoo of South Korea and finish them in America for parts compliance.

            It should be okay. I’m sure Wolf wouldn’t be in some kind of exclusive contract to only purchase uppers from Taiwan. That would be crazy.

          • kalashnikev

            You are confused about Wolf’s relationship with 205th and how this came about. For many years Wolf has been bringing in 5.56 Ammunition from Taiwan under the “Gold” line. If you want someone to negotiate with Poongsan/Daewoo, PMC would be the folks. Unless your statement is simply “Gee, I wish I had an FNC/Galil/etc and Wolf should call Pindad/Indumil/etc”. Also, the barrels are CHF Taiwanese blanks finished in the US.

          • noob

            Ah i didn’t know wolf had a special relationship.

            Well i hope somebody makes the deal. The demand is here.

          • Bean Guy

            Wolf also brings in some German rimfire ammo, lots of Russian steel ammo, and Russian-made optics – they do have a prior business relationship with Taiwan, but they are really just an importer.

            While it’s way more likely that PMC would have an easier time importing K2s, don’t discount the *possibility* of Wolf being able to bring in K2s.

          • kalashnikev

            No. I just discounted it. I’ll do it again. BOOM! As I said below, they’re just as likely to walk into anywhere and import anything.

  • mazkact

    For what it is worth Wolf .22 LR is made by S K in Germany and is some of the best .22 LR in the world. S K ,Lapua and Wolf .22 LR are basically the same ammo.