Over the last 25 years, Lone Wolf Arms has been providing distinctive, high-quality upgrades and customized components for Glock pistol fans. Their extensive catalog of slides, barrels, triggers and smaller parts have served civilian self defenders, handgun hunters and those looking for an edge in competition. With the arrival of the Timberwolf polymer frames a few years ago, Lone Wolf was ready to start shipping complete factory-custom pistols.
For 2023, Lone Wolf launched the American-made Dusk 19 series of Compact-size 9 mm pistols based on the eminently popular Glock G19. The Dusk series features a radical re-design of the polymer frame and an impressive package of upgraded features. Here are a few of the reasons why the Dusk 19 stands out from the 9 mm polymer pistol crowd:
Grip Geometry & Texturing
Grip shape is important for shooting sports enthusiasts of all hand sizes. But it seems that for those of us who have somewhat smaller hands it becomes an even more important feature. Grips that are too large for our hands are like shoes that are too big for our feet. It doesn't take long before that shape translates into shooting hand discomfort.
The Dusk 19 pistol offers a factory-custom package of features at a fair price.
The Lone Wolf team put a good deal of thought into the frame of the Dusk 19, especially the grip. I found the previous Timberwolf frame to be good to work with but this one is even better. This frame has a 19-degree grip angle which has a more natural feel. The Glock-type front strap finger grooves have been smoothed out and the backstrap drain channel has been omitted. This decreases the front-to-back grip distance significantly. Two interchangeable backstrap inserts are provided. One maintains the more hand filling Glock palm swell some folks prefer. The other provides a flat profile that slightly reduces the distance from the tip of the shooting hand thumb to the Glock Gen 5 style magazine release making it easier to press.
The pistol ships with two grip inserts including the straight profile insert shown here.
The trigger guard is enlarged and undercut where it meets the frame for improved shooting comfort. All sides of the grip feature molded in Complete Custom Stipple (CCS) texturing. It’s a tough balancing act to provide plenty of grip purchase without the texturing being overly abrasive but the Dusk 19 pulls it off. Other grip features include textured trigger finger touch points, an extended beaver tail and a magazine well which is gently flared (Gen 5 style) for easier magazine swaps without the bulk of the adapter used with previous Lone Wolf models.
Although a trigger's pull weight is often used as the metric to measure its desirability, the trigger's feel is just as important, if not more so. Striker-fired pistols that employ the Glock Safe Action trigger design commonly exhibit a 5-lb. 8-oz. trigger pull, or there about, which is something of an industry standard set by Glock years ago. But even though many trigger pull weights are similar, trigger feel can change significantly depending on the model. Glock factory triggers are known for being somewhat mushy on the uptake, a somewhat firm resistance before breaking followed by a short, distinctive trigger reset. In other words, not great but certainly good enough for government work.
The Rival X1 micro red-dot optic is mounted directly to the slide just in front of the tall rear sight.
The Dusk 19 ships with a straight profile, flat-faced trigger made of aluminum, instead of polymer, and a much wider integral safety lever for improved comfort. This one weighed in at 5 lbs. 6 oz., which is spot on for this class. However, Lone Wolf reworked the trigger to reduce the peak force required to cycle it by 30 percent. They also smoothed it out nicely. The result is a trigger pull that feels lighter and more consistent from start to finish with a trigger stroke that seems shorter because the trigger face sits further back than that of a curved trigger.
The Dusk 19 slide has a uniquely beveled muzzle profile and the flush-fit barrel features a recessed crown.
Do-All Sight System & Optics Ready Slide
Some companies cut costs by shipping defensive pistols with basic polymer sight sets. This means the customer is either stuck with an OK sight system or the time and expense of getting them upgraded. The Dusk series ships with an upgraded metallic Night Fision Stealth Series sight set that provides a brightly outlined Tritium night sight lamp up front with a serrated square notch sight block at the rear. These sights are tall enough for a one-third co-witness when a red dot optic is in use or for use with a sound suppressor. However you choose to use the pistol, these sights are well suited to most roles.
The slide ships optics ready with a removable metal filler plate installed at the factory. The optics slot is sized for Trijicon RMR/SRO optics or Holosun 407, 507 and 508 footprints (not the K models). Optics adapter plates are not required with these models but no mounting hardware is provided with the gun either.
The straight-profile flat-faced aluminum trigger has a wide integral trigger safety lever for improved shooting comfort.
For this evaluation, the Dusk 19 was fitted with a Rival Arms model X1 3-MOA red dot featuring 29x17mm multi-coated objective lens, an IPX7 water and dust resistance rating and a set of provided mounting hardware which was compatible with this gun. This particular optic's relatively wide lens is a useful fit for a defensive pistol. The more generous field of view allows more of the intended target to be visible around the dot. Other X1 features include a 50,000+ battery life, adjustable brightness and a durable aluminum chassis.
Factory Custom Features
Lone Wolf's extensive experience with customer requested upgrades and in-house custom work served as a guide for the Dusk 19's feature set. Like the flexible sight system sight, the other components of this factory custom gun have been selected to elevate the pistol's function and appearance while maintaining the suggested retail price of $649.95.
The 17-4 stainless steel slide is artfully beveled with front and rear cocking serrations. Finish options include matte black nitride, gold-tone FDE or various PVD colors like flat dark earth, graphite gray or oil-rubbed bronze (ORB). Frame colors options are black, gray and ORB. The model shown here (LWD-DUSK19-BLK-ORB) features the black slide and barrel paired with the ORB frame. This gives the gun a noticeable, but subtle individualized 2-tone look.
The Dusk 19 breaks down in typical Glock fashion for routine cleaning.
The barrel is made of 416 stainless steel and treated with a matte black PVD coating. The surfaces around the squared-off chamber have been beveled and grooved for faster cycling. Customers can choose pistols shipped with either a 3.9" flush fit barrel with a recessed crown or a 4.6" barrel threaded at 1/2x28 TPI for the same price. These barrels are sold separately in case a Dusk 19 owner wants to swap them out.
Customers can choose from flush fit barrels (top) or extended threaded barrels (bottom) which ship with a knurled thread protector.
There are a few more nice touches that may not be readily apparent to folks less familiar with the platform. The captured recoil spring is supported by a steel guide rod instead of a polymer one. This rod is fitted with a screw so the spring can be exchanged. The takedown lever is of the extended variety, which makes it noticeably easier to use, and the slide's serrated end plate is made of aluminum instead of plastic and the dust cover has a molded in 2-slot accessory rail. The pistol evaluated here shipped with two metal lined, G19 type 15-round magazines made by KCI USA in Korea.
Crossbreed's Top Notch Holsters
The Dusk 19 is intended for daily carry as well as home defense. Weighing in at 23.3 oz. with the Rival optic installed, this pistol rides comfortably in CrossBreed's SuperTuck in-the-waistband holster. The wide leather backing provides plenty of support and protection to the body while the Kydex shell holds the pistol securely in place with a cut out to accommodate the optic.
The thick leather backing of Crossbreed's SuperTuck IWB holster make it all-day comfortable to wear.
Crossbreed also offers the innovative modular Belly Band 2.0 sized for this pistol. Ridged Kydex holsters usually need a belt to support them while typical belly bands are so soft and flimsy that it’s all but impossible to re-holster a pistol once it’s been drawn. The 2.0 system is a modified band which uses hook-and-loop fastener to support a Kydex holster module. Both the band and module can be shifted and adjusted to attain a just right fit without the need for a belt or specific clothing. The band has two pockets for spare pistol magazines and a third pocket to hold cash, credit cards and identification. These holster systems have suggested prices starting at around $75.
Crossbreed’s modular Belly Band 2.0 is a great fit for carry with belt-free outfits.
A Smooth Operator
At the range, this pistol was put through its paces using Glock G19, Magpul PMAG 15 GL 9 and the two KCI magazines provided with the gun. The Rival red dot optic's housing covered up the bottom half of the front sight's bright yellow dot from the shooter's point of view. Nevertheless, the sight set was still tall enough to be co-witnessed with this particular optic.
This pistol passed the range evaluation with flying colors using practice and premium-grade 9 mm ammunition.
Test ammunition included 9 mm practice-grade and premium loads topped with typical bullet weights with standard and +P powder charges. There was not a single malfunction in the course of testing related to the guns, magazines or ammunition. Even the optic remained tightly secured in place. Formal, bench rested accuracy testing was conducted at 15-yards using ammunition manufactured by Hornady, SIG Sauer and Sovereign Ammunition. Here are the results:
During the time that I've worked with Lone Wolf's components and complete guns, the company has constantly been striving to be innovative and to meet their customer’s demands. The Dusk 19 is clear evidence of the company's willingness to continue to evolve and to improve upon the ‘perfection’ of the Austrian pistols they support. This gun is fitted with one of the most comfortable to use grip frames in the G19 size class that I've worked with. Just the frame change would have been enough to get a positive review. But this gun is a complete factory custom package that arrives ready to use and without the need for any additional modifications to be both reliable and enjoyable to shoot. For more information, visit lonewolfdist.com.