My first thought when these arrived was” “OOooooo, Shiny!”. Packed in two little bags with demure labeling were two new Glock Gen 4 Guide Rods by Lone Wolf Distributors. These were their latest release of in-house upgrades for the Glock platform.
Lone Wolf has been specializing in Glock parts, expanding rapidly, making a name for themselves starting with conversion barrels and expanding to full AR-15 9mm kits and even their own frame, the TimberWolf.
Lone Wolf offered to send two of their latest guide-rods to TFB and as one of the resident Glock shooters, I was given the choice of guide rods. Lone Wolf was kind enough to send two of their high-polish models, one for the G17/G34 and G19.
Are they a worthy upgrade or just another “me-too” product in a solid aftermarket? Read below to find out.
Specs & Marketing (Courtesy of Lone Wolf)
WHY PAY MORE?
Why pay $55-60 for a competitors Gen4 guide rod assembly that doesn’t even allow you to remove the springs easily? Our LWD version is half the price and more user friendly. Why pay more?
LWD S/S Guide Rod Assembly’s are a complete drop in unit for Gen4 Glocks.
Special features include:
- Solid stainless steel guide rod
- Precision CNC machined to accept a removable Allen head tip, for easy spring changes.
- 17-7 stainless steel recoil spring.
- Spring weight calibrated to factory weights.
- 75% heavier compared to OEM part. (1.4oz vs .8 oz)
- These combined features make the Lone Wolf Guide Rod Assembly the most durable, longest lasting system available today.
- Available as a highly polished version for only $10 more. High polish option provides a smoother, quieter operation. The best Gen4 guide rod available for only $39.95!
Experienced shooters realize plastic guide rods can chip, crack or break resulting in feeding or ejection failures and guide rod flex can contribute to accuracy problems. The Lone Wolf Guide Rod Assembly addresses all of these issues and will provide you a life time of reliable service.
Shooting with the Guide Rod
Installation was a a breeze, slightly easier than a stock guide rod. Lone Wolf looks to keep the stainless rod just a hair shorter although I did not have calipers to verify. Once installed, the slide mounts to the frame easily and quickly.
Immediately I noticed two things, the slide was smoother (although not easier) to manipulate and the standard “grating” sound that typifies a standard Glock was gone. The high-polish guide-rod was smoother to the touch, but true to their advertising, the spring rate was still the same. It is actually a weird sensation to me, to have a Glock actually feel good.
I did notice two other things on the rod. The first is how obvious it is on the front of the handgun, looking down the muzzle. With track-lights above my work area, the polish was so good it would reflect light like a watch crystal or a flashlight. The second was that it stuck out a small amount further than the standard guide rod. Might allow some extra debris inside, but it would be minor.
Heading to the range, I had high expectations of a significantly superior shooting experience. After the first two magazines on my carry gun, I really did not notice much of a difference. The gun just shot like a Glock. Switching to the G34/35, I was pleasantly surprised to feel just a touch less recoil at the shot’s break. I would attribute it to lower friction across the guide rod allowing unlock to occur faster.
The rod itself did not really change the total pulse, just made it slightly more pleasant. I would say its like a road trip that you can go the same speed versus always stopping and going. You always get to the same place, just one is more enjoyable.
Functioning of the two handguns was Glock’s usual monotonous reliability. The thing just kept shooting everything I could load from steel case, to +P, to typical 115 grain RN. Across the 500 rounds I had with me, nary a hiccup.
Once back-home, I took the handguns apart and converted them back to the stock rods. The stainless steel showed little signs of wear versus the marring that the stamped stock rods show after firing many rounds. That said, both of the stock rods have multiple thousands of rounds on them.
All-in-all, I was pleased.
- Easy installation. Does not deform under firing like the stock
- Noticeably smoother operation of the action.
- Cuts down on spring “grating” noise
- Looks to be the same reliability of the stock spring.
- Price is fair at $29 (matte) -$39 (high polish), but no difference in reliability of the handgun.
- Sticks out from the end of the handgun more than the stock guide rod.
- The high polish finish is just that, bright, clean, but noticeably reflects light under certain conditions on a carry gun.
- Allen-key screws allow disassembly to “change springs”. From my perspective, this is not desirable. Trying to get one back together is a bear and I don’t like the possibility of it coming apart during spirited shooting. I recommend shooters use red loc-tite to keep it together.
- No markings on the base plate to identify which springs or handgun the rod is for.
- I would like to see a QPQ or Black Oxide finished version which cuts down on the high gloss for a few dollars more.
The guide rod is an upgrade to the Glock just as the JP Enterprises silent capture spring is to an AR-15. Is it needed for a flawlessly functional firearm? Nope. Is it a good buy for someone looking to eek every ounce of performance out of their handgun? Absolutely.
This is a “nice to have” part and it will indeed be very nice to have and shoot. After shooting with the Lone Wolf guide rod in my competition handgun, it will be permanently installed and I plan on buying a second for the guns back-up clone.