2

As much as I have enjoyed shooting my 9mm-converted 5.56 lower, which uses a magazine well block insert to allow it to accept Colt-style 9mm stick mags, I definitely prefer normal pistol magazines and a lower designed specifically to accept them. Although, yes, this limits you to pistol calibers, it also reduces failure points, extra parts, and time spent tinkering and adjusting to get everything working properly. For much of this year I’ve casually kept my eye out for a dedicated 9mm AR-15 lower receiver that accepts GLOCK or other pistol magazines, and when Lone Wolf‘s G9 became available again I decided to pull the trigger and give it a shot.

Lone Wolf’s GLOCK compatible AR-15 lower receiver is basically a dimensionally-standard billet aluminum AR-15 receiver with one notable exception: it has been milled and modified to accept GLOCK magazines designed for small frame GLOCK pistols. Although 9mm is the runaway popular caliber here, you could also make yourself an upper for .357 Sig, .40 S&W, or .45 GAP, and GLOCK mags for all of those will work in the G9. The magazine well appears to be short enough to even accept “Baby GLOCK” mags, although I only had 33- and 17-round G17 mags and one 15-round G19 mag handy for testing (EDIT: LW confirmed that Baby GLOCK mags do fit).

Options

The G9 is available in a handful of configurations. You can choose a carbine or pistol lower receiver and, if needed, you can also get a complete upper receiver (ordered and shipped separately from the lower to avoid excise taxes associated with the purchase of a functional firearm) in 16″ or 10.5″ barrel flavors. Actually, those are the standard lengths but Lone Wolf will custom-cut a barrel to whatever length you might want. On the pistol lower, there are various options for buffer tube styles with or without Sig SB-15 brace.

10

I ordered up a G9 pistol lower with KAK buffer tube, but no Sig brace as I planned to repurpose the one off my other 9mm lower. Although this was probably the buffer tube I would have purchased anyway were I left to my own devices, I do wish Lone Wolf offered the option to buy a stripped lower. I’m going to end up swapping out the mil-spec / generic parts kit trigger and tossing it into a box with two or three other homeless LPK triggers, and I’ve already swapped out the A2 grip for something nicer. I don’t really enjoy having to pay for something I have no intention of using. Additionally, I ditched the generic buffer and spring after making sure the G9 functioned fine with them — which it did — and installed a JP Enterprises 9mm SCS.

7

A completely stripped lower isn’t actually possible, as the magazine release is proprietary. It’s a pretty nice, oversized piece and it functioned smoothly. The rest of the parts are AR-15 standard, so feel free to swap out grips, triggers, receiver pins, bolt catches, safety selectors, buffer tubes, etc. Like most billet lowers, the trigger guard is integral.

Compatibility

So we know it accepts GLOCK magazines, but what about compatibility with various non-Lone Wolf uppers, bolts, etc? LW states that Olympic Arms upper receivers are not compatible. Other than that, it’s all standard AR-15 dimensions so, for example, my CMMG upper went right on.

8

Now, if you already own a 9mm upper it is highly likely that your bolt is going to require some machining to work with GLOCK magazines. Most “9mm AR-15” bolts are designed for your Colt/Uzi/Sten mags, which do not taper at the top. Therefore, the bottom of the bolt — the part responsible for stripping a round out of the magazine — is wider. Too wide to fit between the feed lips of a GLOCK (or basically any other normal pistol) magazine. Some material is going to have to be removed.

milling
CLICK ANY PHOTO TO SEE IN LARGER SIZE

milling_colorized

Your local gunsmith or machine shop can likely do the milling work, or Lone Wolf can do it for you — pay $45, ship your bolt to them, they’ll machine it and then ship it back. I chose to go this route just to make sure it was done properly. Unfortunately I forgot to take a “before” picture, but as seen above I highlighted the area where milling was done.

Fit, Finish, & Build

The lower is machined from a forged billet of 7075 aluminum and is Type 3 hard coat anodized. Any color you want, as long as it’s black. If black isn’t your thing, Lone Wolf will Cerakote lowers and uppers on request. Machining is clean, parts fit is just right, and the anodizing is even.

5

My CMMG upper fit on with a bit of torsional wiggle. No more than you’d expect mix-matching most random uppers and lowers from different brands and, heck, even with “matching” parts from a lot of manufacturers. Nothing I feel any need to address with a wedge or whatever.

On The Range

4

The G9’s flared magwell allowed for easy magazine insertion and empty mags reliably dropped free. Mag swaps are quick and easy and they lock in solidly. That oversized release paddle is great.

1

GLOCK magazines are absolutely preferable for me to Colt/Uzi/Sten style stick mags. They’re easier to load to capacity and are more reliable, plus they’re lighter for a given capacity. Yeah, they’re more expensive per magazine but you don’t go through the ordeal of buying 5 mags just to find 2 that work reliably, like many of us have done with those aforementioned SMG units.

I’ve put a couple hundred rounds of cheap reloads plus two boxes of factory ammo through the G9 so far and have not had one single feeding, firing, extracting, or ejecting hiccup. It’s actually surprising how consistently it ejects the brass, as my previous experience with 9mm ARs had the empties going a bit all over the place in comparison.

6

As you may expect, the Lone Wolf G9 is quite pleasant to shoot. The blowback action gives you enough feedback to be fun — much more feeling, thump, and action than shooting .22 through a similar firearm — but 9mm through a carbine is still a felt recoil pussy cat.

3
IT RAN WELL W/ THE SPIKE’S HEAVY BUFFER SHOWN, TOO

Only one “want” jumps out at me. I do wish it locked the bolt back on empty. The bolt release / catch is a standard AR-15 piece and works manually as it should, but there’s no provision allowing the follower of an empty magazine to lock the bolt back.

Conclusions

It can be tricky to get a normal pistol magazine to work in an AR-style lower receiver, but Lone Wolf seems to have nailed it here. Magazine angle and placement are spot on, and the proof is in the reliable feeding and ejecting. I can even feed rounds into the chamber in extreme slow motion while guiding the charging handle forwards. Considering the minimal feed bevel on the barrel, it’s quite impressive how smoothly and precisely the rounds glide in.

9

Set up as a Sig-braced pistol like mine — or, better, a registered SBR with a shoulder stock — with a short barrel and a suppressor on it, this really might be the ideal home defense firearm. It’s short and maneuverable, yet extremely stable thanks to brace. It’s significantly easier to shoot accurately and rapidly than a pistol, regardless of your level of training. AR-15 rail space means you can mount optics and lights and whatever else (just don’t forget — no vertical forward grip on a pistol). A 33-round GLOCK magazine full of 147 grain Federal HST should handle it, whatever it may be, plus you can shoot this thing in an enclosed space without suffering hearing damage.

I’m going to get my hands on a couple more 9mm AR-15 lowers, ideally GLOCK mag ones, to do a little comparo work. However, Lone Wolf definitely knows GLOCKs and they’ve created a really nice piece in the G9 that runs like a top.

Specifications: Lone Wolf G9 Lower Receiver

Caliber: 9×19, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, or .45 GAP
Capacity: It takes GLOCK mags. Even drum magazines like the C-Mag.
Weight: Under 2.5 lbs (fully assembled lower including buffer tube & components plus complete LPK)
Material: 7075 forged billet aluminum
Finish: Type 3 hard coat anodized
Grip: Standard parts kit A2
Trigger: 8620 Chromalloy Steel mil-spec
MSRP: $384.95 to $556.95 depending on options. Complete uppers are $689.95 to $779.95.

Ratings (Out of Five Stars): 

Ergonomics: * * * 

Slightly better than your average mil-spec AR-15 lower, as the mag release paddle is oversized. The rest of it is standard parts kit fare, though.

Reliability: * * * * *
I’ll keep putting rounds through this thing, but considering how well it feeds and how consistently it ejects, I don’t see anything changing. It’s pretty darn solid. Most pistol magazine AR-15 lowers aren’t up to this level.

Trigger: * * *
Average, as it’s a mil-spec trigger but it’s definitely better than some other parts kits triggers I’ve felt.

Customize This: * * * * 
Aside from the magwell and the magazine release, it’s a standard AR-15 lower receiver. This leaves you open to near-infinite options for customization.

Overall: * * * * 
I really dig the 9mm suppressed AR pistol genre. It’s a lot of fun to shoot and it’s great for HD. A purpose-built 9mm lower is functionally better than a modified 5.56 lower. Lone Wolf’s G9 is a good one.

 

67 Responses to Gun Review: Lone Wolf G9 AR-15 Lower Receiver for GLOCK Magazines

      • Well this lower won’t accept .45 ACP magazines. Going .45 GAP would allow you to shoot 230 grain .45 slugs, if that’s your thing, while keeping them subsonic — as you said, .45 doesn’t seem to gain much out of a 16″ bbl and that’s okay. In this case I think you’re better staying just subsonic. Building something like this in .357 Sig or .40 S&W could be fun, but suppressing it is a huge benefit and supersonic rounds like those F it all up. Someone on YouTube commented that he loves .45 GAP and reloads it, so I think this would be a pretty fun .45 GAP project for all three of the people in the world who like the caliber 😉

        • The more I think about it, it would be kind of nifty if they would produce a 20/21 series lower. I wouldn’t mind this thing in 10 mm. The FBI has had a lot of success with their 10 mm MP5’s. You could also then use the .45 ACP. Maybe they could produce a 20/21 profile lower with a 17 adapter piece?

        • It sounds like the Quarter Circle 10 lowers are the way to go. Small Frame for 9/40/357/45GAP and Large Frame for 10MM/45ACP. It has a LRBHO, self-centering ejector, Glock feed ramp and an upper receiver tension screw to keep the fit between upper and lower tight.

        • I spoke with the owner of QC10 about borrowing a lower to test out (which should be on the way to my FFL already), and he mentioned that they’re actually considering getting rid of the LRBHO entirely for Glock mags. The lever gets pushed up by the front of the magazine and has to translate that to lifting the bolt catch 3″ behind it. It’s apparently one of those things that a person who likes to tinker and fine-tune can get figured out to where it’s reliable most of the time, but if you expect it to run out of the box it’s going to disappoint, as they only work reliably like 60% of the time. This was a design that they inherited, and they currently have engineers working on improving it. However, it’s just one of those things where you’re merging two different designs (Glock and AR-15) and there’s no obvious simple way to make the LRBHO work reliably. They may just remove it entirely. He said that if he carried it for duty use (and he carries a Glock for a living), he would remove the LRBHO from the lower and train without it. Better than training with something that doesn’t work all of the time.

          I’ll put a bunch of rounds through it, but it may or may not end up being something that is a “plus” vs. the Lone Wolf G9. I do like the option of getting a fully stripped lower. Other than that, looks are subjective. The LW ran perfectly and that’s #1.

      • If you want the .45 round, though, it gives you that option with one receiver.

        Drew, I was thinking the same thing! Ideally, they should come out with a magazine that tapers into a double stack .45 GAP after it clears the lower receiver. I guess the drawback again would be low capacity for a carbine. If you do want a screamer on this thing, the .357 Sig would be the way to go!

        • John, thanks for the info! I’m not familiar with Quarter Circle. How is the quality of their product?

        • FYI I contacted QC10 last week and am hoping to check out a 9mm Glock mag lower from them in the near future. The LW runs like a champ, but the QC does address my two quibbles, which are last round bolt hold open and offering it as a stripped lower. If it runs as nicely as the LW it would probably get 5 stars. But, of course, running reliably is more important than holding the bolt back on empty and I won’t consider replacing my LW unless the QC10 feeds and ejects as nicely.

          Also, I have a Mech-Tech carbine conversion showing up today. I know they sent a 10mm one, but they may have also loaned me a .45 ACP one. The G20SF I have can use either 10mm or .45 ACP mags so can be used for either Mech Tech upper conversion. Looking forward to putting some rounds through it also!

        • Jeremy,

          Thanks for the info and the updates! I’m looking forward to your thoughts and reviews of the QC and Mech-Tech reviews! Mech-Tech is a very interesting system. I hope it works as good as it looks!

      • The claim that .45ACP doesn’t gain much out of a 16″ barrel is simply wrong.

        The heavy bullets, such as the 230’s, gain almost nothing. However, the light loadings, such as 165 grain +P, gain a lot. Thus with a 16″ barrel you can use the heavies to stay sub-sonic, or use the light +P’s if you’re a velocity hound.

        You can check this by going to the Ballistics by the Inch site.

  1. I want a 9mm AR 15 just for fun, but someone needs to come out with a reasonable priced system for it. This system is over a grand, and that’s the budget I’d use for an actual rifle not a plinking toy.

    • Production volume just isn’t as high. I think the least expensive 9mm complete upper I’ve seen is like $575 (RRA). Dedicated 9mm lowers cost more than 5.56 ones but will often cost less than a 5.56 one plus a decent mag well block (Spike’s block is like $150+). If you want a 9mm carbine for fun use you can always go Hi Point or Thureon or Just Right or Taurus or Beretta, etc, and most of those come in way under a grand. But aren’t AR-15s.

      For me, this one is mostly a plinking toy but it doesn’t have to be that way. I do think it’s an absolutely incredible HD firearm. The only way I think it could be better is if you feel you’d rather have less rounds of .45 ACP or maybe build something similar in .300 BLK and have 30-round mags of 220-grain subsonic in whatever bullet type will reliably expand at that velocity.

      • Yeah I understand how the market works, I just don’t like it. I could see it being decent for home defense, but at a grand I’d prefer to build a rifle in a rifle caliber, I see it’s advantages. I want a 9mm AR just due to ease of use, and familiarity of the platform. I have a Sub 2000 and it just doesn’t do it for me

    • It doesn’t seem to matter. This same bolt and buffer setup will run with a 16″ barrel with or without a suppressor and it does run perfectly fine with my 3.5″ barrel and no suppressor on it. It’s a little weird to shoot since the handguard is like 10″ long and the barrel ends only a couple inches into it haha, but it runs reliably. Since it’s just a straight blowback action, it’s much more forgiving than a gas system that has to be tuned to the length of the barrel and the amount of time that the system is under pressure, etc etc. This thing runs with light-loaded 115 grain reloads and it runs with 147 grain defensive ammo. It ran fine with a standard carbine buffer and spring and it runs fine with an 8.5 oz heavy buffer and also with the JP Rifles 9mm Silent Captured Spring system (love the SCS. Run one in my 5.56 AR as well). Doesn’t get simpler than straight blowback and the G9 lower positions the magazine just perfectly for really clean feeding of rounds into the chamber.

  2. If the main reason for purchasing a pistol caliber conversion for an AR is to save money on ammo, someone’s probably better off spending the $$ on buying cases of 5.56/.223 ammo than dumping the money into a conversion. If you reload 5.56 or can get it reloaded, all the better.

    If the main reason is tactical, that’s another story.

    • It can also be more practical in home defense scenarios. Going from a 2,700-3,200 FPS supersonic round to a pistol caliber in the 850-1,300 FPS region is a huge difference. Muzzle blast in an enclosed environment from a rifle round is deafening and disorienting to the shooter, more-so than a pistol round. I do understand that the .223 has less risk of over-penentrating (if using a good JSP or other tactical round), but you do need to account for muzzle blast as well.

      My ultimate patrol rifle would be a LWRC PSD in 6.8 mm with a suppressor. The 8.5″ barrel would be perfect for clearing buildings, and the 6.8 mm round doesn’t suffer the same issues the .223 has when fired from a short barrel. I think something like this would make a great home defense weapon as well for the average gun owner; easy to handle, no deafening muzzle blast, and easy to maneuver.

      Since they have made it “challenging” with NFA to get the practical stuff, this might be a good alternative that uses an easily obtainable magazine that will be around for decades to come!

  3. I wish I had this instead of my overly fussy JR Carbine. The JR isn’t terrible, but cleaning it is a bitch – way too many screws and things to go wrong.

      • I’ll second the CX4! I’ve had one in .40 S&W for around 5 years and still love that thing. I also have a .40 Inox matching PX4. Their optional soft case from their website has a large enough pocket for me to keep the PX4 in it, plus plenty of magazines. It is a nice “bug out” grab and go kit. I just wish they made high cap magazines for the .40 like they do 9mm. The 17’s are the largest you can get for the .40 with the CX4/PX4 duo.

        The Virginia Tech PD went to this combo after the shooting since they wouldn’t authorize AR’s.

      • Unfortunately, unless I move (or, more likely, buy a summer house in PA) I am stuck with what I have in the AR-like space.

  4. For home defense, I’ll take 300 blk over 9mm. Considering the cost of 9mm AR’s I’d rather just go with the real deal and not invest in a lower that can only do one thing. Especially if it’s an SBR lower.

    I imagine a subsonic 300 blk may still best 9mm in stopping power too.

    • Looking at the data, it would be close.

      300blk .308 220 grain going 1010fps
      vs
      9mm .355 147 grain going 1200fps

      I’m not sure the 220 grain bullets will be designed for expansion at that speed (and slower) as the 220gr bullets are generally for 300 WinMags and the like…

    • I almost built that setup this spring. I think the only real downside is if you want to go out and have fun with it, as .300 BLK ain’t cheap. You can shoot five or six 9mm rounds for the cost of one subsonic .300 BLK round.

      • If it’s a “fun” gun, that would really matter.

        Personally, I don’t do much joy shooting. I train and do an occasional class. And I make sure to enjoy those activities because I can’t afford to go dump ammo for the hell of it.

        Joy shooting must compete with gambling as far as $/fun goes.

    • per AAC, besting a 9mm application in pdw style weapons (mp5) was one of the design goals of 300blk. more power subsonic with ability to be an ak47 ballistically supersonic. and be able to switch between them with just a mag change and no gassing issues.

    • Subsonic is all about bullet design. While there are getting to be better 300 blk bullets — there are many 9mm bullet designs that are optimal at subsonic velocities insofar as expansion and penetration are concerned… Most 300 blk subsonic bullets/cartridges I’ve seen are designed for greater penetration roles such as suburban hog control through suppressed weapons…

      In brief, subsonic your max velocity for all rounds are equal. So energy can only be increased by increasing bullet weight While that matters, heavier bullets also tend to penetrate further all things being equal.
      So the optimal combination of energy/penetration/expansion-bullet diameter can only be significantly changed/controlled by bullet design.

      Further at lower velocities, you really need wide mouthed hollowpoints like you see in 147 gr 9mm gold dots for instance over ballistic tips, etc… And do note that wide mouthed hollowpoints do often have feeding issues in subguns as well as handguns originally designed for FMJs.

  5. The Quarter Circle 10 (DDLES-style) lowers do include a working LRBHO.

    As for 9mm ARs, my preferred choices are unmodified Uzi mags (via the increasingly-rare VMH block) and Glock mags. I know Colt mags have a following, but I’ve got two other guns that take Uzi mags and a couple that take Glock mags… I like to share.

  6. Please please find a dedicated m&p magazine lower. Ive been searching and can’t find one!

    …oh, and a 10mm setup like this would be awesome!

  7. If you are having problems with Colt pattern 9mm mags, you aren’t buying the correct ones. Metalform mags are the only ones to buy, they make them for colt but you can buy them for less than 1/2 the price from brownells. And Maglula makes a colt 9mm smg loader that is faster than their pistol loader.

    • Agreed that Metalform are the best and the Brownells-branded Metalform ones (http://www.brownells.com/magazines/rifle-magazines/magazines/ar15-32rd-9mm-magazine-prod57092.aspx) are even better as they’re less expensive. I honestly still prefer the Glock mags as I think feeding in this case is more reliable when the next-up round is centered in the top instead of off to one side. I like the form factor better and enough people already own G17 magazines and/or G17s or G19s, etc, that doing a build like this wouldn’t even require purchasing more magazines — just use what you already have. Plus you can have a pistol (G17, G19, G26, or the .357 or .40 equivalents) that uses the same mag as your carbine, which has its own appeal. Yes, yes, you could have an Uzi pistol as well as an Uzi-mag AR-15 carbine but, I mean… I don’t see a lot of Uzis carried IWB or used in HD roles haha.

  8. I purchase the whole rifle from Long wolf It came with a cheap UTG Rail. The lower was heavy. I purchased a DDLED lower and is way better. To start it has a bolt open on last round, is a dedicated lower with a small mag well instead of a big square imitating a AR lower dimensions. Honestly I was very disappointed!

    • As far as I know the Double Diamond and QuarterCircle10 are the same (they’re also both in Tucson, AZ, so there may be a relationship where one is making them and the other is whitelabeling or whatever), and I do intend to check one of them out in the near future. I’m ambivalent on the shorter (front-to-rear) magwell although, yeah, I assume the shorter one is a bit lighter. That said, the LW is only like 3 ounces heavier than a forged mil-spec assembled 5.56 lower so it’s not exactly “heavy.” The last round bolt hold open is a nice feature so if the DD or QC10 runs as cleanly as the Lone Wolf G9 does then I’d probably like it just a bit better.

      It’s interesting that these ones have a “feed ramp” pinned on the front of the magwell but the Lone Wolf doesn’t, and I think this gets back to the “imitating AR lower dimensions” part of the magwell that you don’t like. It allows the magazine to be farther forwards, closer to the chamber, which allows the LW to feed directly from the mag into the chamber instead of having to go up an additional ramp first. All things being equal I do prefer fewer parts. If the DD or QC10 run, though, then they run and I’m more than happy to put a few hundred rounds through one to find out.

  9. Fwiw, i’ve got one of these from last summer’s batch & even though lone wolf says “not all” korean mags drop free, the 33 round happy sticks ($10 each) all drop free.

    Funny that my glock brand glock happy sticks didnt drop free out of the box (empty), but after they were loaded up once, they did drop free..

    compared to dinking around with 50 year old surplus uzi mags, or $30-$40 colt mags, glock brand glock mags are a bargain..

    Ya know the comments earlier about 300 blackout being “better”, or .223 being “almost the same price” as 9mm just don’t cut it with me. I can handload fmj 9mm rounds @ $0.15 per bang – even a noob can load 1,000 cheap/safe & accurate 9mm rounds on any given saturday. Just cant do that with rifle rounds in any caliber.

    • That would be a big advantage if you’re looking to pour lots of ammo through it.

      While it’s a perfectly valid advantage in that case, not everybody is looking for that.

      I made my comments in reaction to this being for home defense.

      • If you watch the video, you’ll see lots of those “ineffective & weak” 9mm rounds banging the steel in rapid succession – and the author clearly states he can’t do that with a 9mm pistol. For a home-defense gun, you can’t beat one that you can fire accurately and fast & this obviously meets that criteria. With 33 in the rifle & 17 more in your sidearm, you’re not outgunned – and that’s assuming you don’t have any more mags.

        Anyone continuing to threaten you in the face of that kind of firepower is someone you should retreat from.

        • I’ll second that! Plus, people keep forgetting that there are reasons why the military struggles with the 9mm round. They are limited by the Hague convention to non-expanding rounds. Nobody (other than liability-prone restrictive states) should be using FMJ ball ammo for defense. Even so, people in those states should look at Federal’s EFMJ rounds (I think they are now marketed as Guard Dog).

          My agency issues Gold Dots for 9mm, .40, & .45. We use the heavyweight rounds and have had success with all three in officer involved shootings. With modern Gold Dot and HST rounds available, the 9mm debate has become “pointless” in many ways. It is an excellent round, and especially out of a carbine with a premium round, it will be very effective! Cheap(er) and easy to shoot for many people!

          While I wouldn’t advocate a .22 as a primary defense weapon, in many ways this 9mm debate often sound like the argument, “Don’t shoot them with a .22. You will only make them angrier!” I have yet to find someone that is willing to volunteer to be shot with a .22 so I can see if it only makes them angrier! I think the same would be true with a 9mm!

        • Well Gray05 believes that .300 BLK is a better home defense round than 9mm, and that’s fine. I would definitely consider .300 BLK for that purpose and I can shoot subsonic .300 BLK as quickly as I can 9mm (they’re not far apart in power level. .300 BLK subsonic has the same energy as .45 ACP). I’d want subsonic, though, to keep it hearing safe inside, and there isn’t much R&D yet into .308 projectiles that reliably expand at subsonic speeds. Lehigh Defense’s maximum expansion bullet is pretty darn sweet, but they cost a freaking fortune. The gel block tests I’ve seen with expanding, subsonic .300 BLK still show significant overpenetration according to FBI specs (looking for between 12″ and 18″). Gray05 takes the expansion worry out of the equation by saying he’d go with supersonic ammo specifically, but that would not be my choice for multiple reasons. Given the state of bullet technology, my preference between these two rounds is subsonic 9mm, and Federal HST in 147 grain flavor at that. It’s quieter and performs with utmost consistency. I’d honestly rather shoot a .223 round at full velocity than a .300 BLK, expecting the .223 to have a much lower likelihood of overpenetrating through soft targets as well as interior walls. But again with damaging your hearing. Maybe I like being able to hear a little too much. But I don’t feel like 9mm is much of a sacrifice, either. Not with good projectiles.

        • Jeremy, exactly! That’s one reason I also think NFA is one of the dumbest things we could have ever done! I think if suppressors had been developed in the last 20 years, the EPA would have mandated them on all weapons for “noise pollution” reduction. Instead, they are the scary sniper devices that go on big, bad black guns!

          I have a CX4 in .40 (it was the only caliber I was able to get at the time). I also keep in the bag a PX4 Inox and plenty of magazines. Firing a pistol round in a closed environment does not have the same disorienting effect as a supersonic rifle round. That means you are a lot more likely to stay focused in the fight!

          By the way, I really enjoy reading your reviews! You have been testing the more “obscure” but practical items that aren’t in a lot of the mainstream reviews (such as this receiver). Keep up the great and very informative work!

        • Jeff — the 9mm carbine I see as a huge step up from the 22lr. More reliable centerfire rounds, much more capable bullets and ballistics, 9mm out of a 16″ carbine actually shoots flatter than most 22lr out of a 16″ barrel for 9mm and 16″/18″ for 22lr (you need lightweight high velocity rounds like cci stingers to get similar theoretical trajectory equivalencies and as anyone who has shot stingers knows, there is a lot more spread vs minimags, etc), recoil is about the same as 22lr, and muzzle blast and flash for 9mm out of a 16″ barrel is about the same as 22lr.

  10. No VFG on a pistol… Unless it’s over 26″ OAL, in which case it isn’t a pistol, and it’s “just a firearm” and VFG is good to go. Right?

    Just measured my 10.5″ barrel, A2 FH, Sig brace pistol, and it was just a hair over 26 inches. Worth thinking about if you want that foregrip (I’m very happy with my AFG).

    • Yes. Although if you conceal it on your person then you violate NFA law because concealing it in this case makes it a pistol and a pistol with a VFG is an AOW and you’re in lots of trouble. But, yeah, as long as OAL is more than 26″ then you can put a VFG on it. I could on this one with the suppressor on it, as it’s like 28″ long. But I’d hate to forget and remove the suppressor but leave the VFG on and commit a 10-year minimum prison sentence Federal felony so I’ll leave it bare up front or go with an angled one or just a hand stop haha 😉

  11. Let me know when Lone Wolf, or anybody for that matter, makes something like this for 10mm Auto. Then I’ll be interested in it. Until then, I stick to my .300blackout for AR home defense.

    • A “hot” .40 round out of a 16″ barrel is going to perform as well or better than many “standard” 10mm rounds out of a pistol. Most of the 10mm rounds out there today are de-tuned to .40 specs anyway.

      As for 300 blackout, that’s a gun thats designed either for reloaders or the independently wealthy. @ $.50 per bang for the cheap stuff, you either need to roll-your-own or skip practicing entirely – and if you are loading your own for practice, 9mm is a ton easier to do.

      People will argue ballistics without end, but with 30 (cheap) 9mm rounds in your mag, you’ve got a pretty good chance at adjusting the attitude of your “average” home-invader/burglar. That’s a pretty big wall of “ineffective” lead, even if you dont hit any bad guys. If you *need* a lrbho, or a bigger/faster projectile in that situation, you’re probably in the last moments of life anyway. I’ve slept quite well for many years with “only” a half-dozen .38 rounds in the smith..

    • I plan to test out the Mech-Tech carbine in 10mm this weekend.

      QuarterCircle10 is manufacturing an AR-15 lower receiver for large frame Glock mags, so with that you could build a 10mm or .45 ACP (or other, “reloader” calibers) AR-15 carbine.

      Given those 10mm options, I’m still going to choose 9mm for HD use because it can be suppressed and subsonic. 10mm freakin’ rocks, but hollowpoints tend to underpenetrate due to excessive expansion and solid bullets will go nose to tail through a brown bear (and a G20SF loaded with Underwood hard cast is my woods gun). 10mm hollowpoints that function properly are generally loaded to .40 S&W power levels, as Mark mentioned above, and in that case you may as well just build a .40 S&W carbine. But .40 S&W out of a 16″ bbl is going to give you 10mm-from-a-pistol velocities anyway. Of course, 10mm from a 16″ bbl hauls ass and I’m definitely bringing the chrony with me when I test out the Mech-Tech.

  12. I have a very similar pistol. I actaully decided to build one after your last article on your 9 mm AR pistol. I went with an ADCO 4.5″ barrel, ALG Defense 10″ EMR rail and Silencerco 9 mm Octane. I used a CMMG 9 mm lower, KAK tube, and SB-15 brace.

    How do you like the Magpul K2 grip on yours? I have the MOE+ grips on all of my AR pistols and rifles. I really like the grip, but the grip angle just does not feel right on my AR pistols with SB-15 braces.

  13. Rifles > pistols. But I like the concept and it can be useful for a lot of people who want to shoot their carbines more often and spend less doing it.

    • Not that simple. Every weapon has places where it excels vs other options. As outlined here, muzzle blast and flash out of SBR 5.56s (sub 10″ weapons) nears that of flash bang grenades. Even 5.56 out of 16″+ barrels are extremely loud indoors. A 16″ 9mm has blast and flash similar to a 22lr rifle.
      Further, 9mm defensive bullets perform much more capably at subsonic levels against human sized targets than anything out of 5.56. Remember, bullet placement and penetration are king for subsonic bullet performance — and 9mm gives you ~60% more diameter BEFORE accounting for any bullet expansion and 9mm bullets give you 2x to 3x the amount of weight to ensure sufficient penetration to 12″+ (5.56 can only achieve that level of penetration at subsonic levels if it doesn’t expand — effectively subsonic 5.56 rounds are roughly equivalent to shooting 22lr).

  14. This application does fill a want in the market. I would prefer a mag well expressly designed for pistol mags. The size of the mag well just doesn’t look right to me. Now Quarter Circle 10 makes a lower that takes Glock mags too, They have smaller mag wells that don’t make the gun look like a bastardized AR15. They also make a lower for larger pistol calibers that use Glock mags. This means you can build an AR9 in .45 ACP. Gotta love it.

    http://www.qcircle10.com/glock-large-frame-lower.html

  15. Really looking forward to your QC10 review as I’m in the market for a Glock 9mm AR setup. Any ideas on when you might post that?

    • Keith, I know this reply is pretty dang late, but the QC10 review will be up within two weeks from this post. The bottom line is that there are two main factors that will drive a purchasing choice between the QC10 and LW that I see having shot both of them for a while now:

      * the QC10 is only available stripped, and the LW is only available fully assembled. People will likely have a strong preference one way or the other. Plenty of folks don’t want to attempt to assemble a lower themselves and won’t want to pay a gunsmith to do it. On the other hand, plenty of folks will want to choose their own parts to fill the lower with and not pay for parts that they’re going to end up replacing anyway.

      * the aesthetics are different. The QC10 has a slimmed-down magazine well that’s only large enough for a pistol mag, whereas the LW G9 follows your standard AR-15 footprint more faithfully. The QC10 also has other angles and lines and decorations making it look a little more futuristic and “exciting” maybe. Totally subjective here and I personally don’t really care either way, but I can see lots of people having a very strong opinion one way or another. Strong enough to be the deciding factor in a purchasing choice between the two.

      Other than that I see no meaningful difference. Both have run 100% reliably for me. The last round bolt hold open on the QC10 is not very good and I would suggest purchasing the lower without it (costs $10 less, too). If I keep this lower I’m removing the LRBHO from it. So I give no edge to the QC10 for this apparent functionality. UNLESS you don’t care about GLOCK mags. Then I’d say the QC10 Colt mag lower is an excellent choice. LRBHO functions fine with those mags. Just make sure to buy the Brownell’s-branded Metalform ones, as they’re really the only reliable ones on the market.

      • Thanks for getting back to me Jeremy. I’ve started ordering the parts to build my 9mm carbine and was actually all set to order the QC10 next week. One of the main deciding factors for the QC10 was for the RLBHO. But you say it does not work well and would skip it if you could do it again. Does it just not hold open or does it interfere with the operation of the rifle? Any insight as to why it does not work well?

        I talked with CQ10 last week and on their new lowers, they are dropping the Glock Feed Ramp. I wonder if any changes have been made to the LRBHO feature since they are making changes to the internal designs…

        The other major factor for me was that it was a stripped lower. For what is the Barbie of the gun world (okay, so the 9mm is more like Barbie’s friend (and I prefer to call it the Lego of the gun world. lol)), it sure is hard to get what you want with none of the stuff you don’t.

  16. Shot show 2015 is over and I did not read about in my eyes the perfect home defense weopon. i was hoping for an MP5 varient that takes glock magazines with full ambi controls. LWRC has one with a folding stock no glock magazines and no release date.

    I am not the average gun owner i came back into recreational shooting 5 years ago. i came back with a different philosophy. A single caliber over multiple guns with a single magazine. I am up to 3 fire arms now on that platform. G19, G26 Gen 4, and a Kel-tec sub2000. The sub 2000 is ok but I want my next purchase to be similar to what What Jeremy has. I was all set to get the LW lower with KAK tube and sig brace. But the ATF has since ruled the brace illegal. Lone wolf had a back order for months on them but now coincidently
    they have ample stock. It looks like I need to get a stamp now thank you ATF thank you.

  17. Quarter Circle 10 makes a Glock lower with a LRBHO and it comes stripped so you don’t pay for parts you won’t use. Best part is they offer a .45 acp version and the lowers are cheaper than Lone Wolf

  18. I just finished my QC10 9mm build last night. I’ve not taken it to the range yet, but I can tell you the quality of the machining and the anodizing are extremely nice! I’m very new to the AR world, but from picking up and handling various other lowers (5.56 and .308), the QC10 felt silky smooth compared to them.

    I’ll be taking some good detail photos this weekend, so if anyone would like to see them, let me know and I’ll post a link to them.

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