Echo 1/SOCOM Gear Timberwolf GBB Pistol review by Booligan
Discuss this review HERE
Basic Gun Information
Echo 1 recently obtained the licensing for Lone Wolf customs, a manufacturer of real steel custom firearm parts including the Timberwolf pistol frame for Glock firearms. This gas blowback pistol is a replica of the Timberwolf and comes complete as a ready to shoot airsoft replica. The frame comes with some awesome features including interchangeable backstraps and an extended beavertail to prevent slide bite. It's a damn comfortable pistol, and I'll be discussing all of the various aspects of this unique replica in this review!
I was sent this pistol by Airsplat, who has it in stock HERE, priced at $134.99. This price qualifies it for Airsplat's free shipping promotion which uses UPS ground. It arrived a few days after ordering with no damage from the shipping process.
Basic Gun Information:
As mentioned before, the Timberwolf is a pistol based on the TM Glock platform, and features a metal slide and barrel along with the polymer frame. The slide is based on Lone Wolf's own design, however it can use TM compatible parts and accessories. The frame is the most unique part of this gun as it has the interchangeable backstraps and extended beavertail. The frame is extremely comfortable to hold, much more than a standard Glock in my experience.
The Timberwolf comes packaged in a black cardboard box with a foam inner liner. There are some hints as to future models of this gun on the box, as it indicates the availability of a "34" model, whereas this is the "17" model. I think we could see a long slide Timberwolf model in the not too distant future.
Click on the individual thumbnails to see the full size photos
Along with the pistol itself, Echo 1 included the two interchangeable backstraps, a spare magazine baseplate, and a manual. The manual is fairly basic but includes detailed exploded diagrams. The backstraps are not installed on the gun, so you must put one on before using the gun.
Weight: 1.7 lbs
Sight Radius: 6.5"
The Timberwolf is considered a full metal replica, as it has the same metal content as the real pistol. The frame is polymer with metal reinforcements and the slide and barrel are made of metal, like on the real gun. The overall color is matte black with a textured finish on the frame and a slightly machined finish on the slide. The overall appearance is very high quality, however the slide does tend to show scratches fairly easy.
Overview, right side
Overview, left side
The grip is one of the most crucial parts of any firearm, and the grip on the Timberwolf is incredibly comfortable. The backstraps can be slid off and replaced with an alternate design to fit your hand shape or grip type. I prefer to use the flatter grip, as it makes the gun feel more like a 1911 with regards to the grip angle, and it lets me point shoot much easier.
The controls will be instantly familiar for anyone who's ever used a Glock before and are actually improved over the normal controls. The magazine release is slightly larger and easier to activate. The trigger guard is rounded and is quite wide and covers the trigger which has an integrated safety lever. My only complaint with the controls is the slide catch, which is flat and somewhat hard to activate.
The frame has an extended beavertail at the rear to prevent slide bite. I also like the fact that it lets you get your hand up higher on the frame to help you manage recoil.
In front of the controls, you'll find the railed dustcover which houses a sliding safety lever in place of the serial number plate. The trigger safety is functional on the Timberwolf, so I see no need to ever use this safety. The rail is made to spec, so adding lights and lasers is a piece of cake.
The slide is metal and features front and rear cocking serrations for easy slide manipulation. The front of the slide has a bull nosed design, tapering in towards the muzzle a bit. Otherwise, the slide is pretty basic with no markings whatsoever.
Rear cocking serration
Front cocking serration
The outer barrel is metal and comes from the factory with an orange threaded metal insert. For most of the pictures, I have removed the threaded insert, as I prefer the flat front over the extended barrel, but the threaded adapter does allow you to mount a can or other barrel device.
Slide pulled back, exposing the barrel
Barrel, threaded insert removed
Can mounted up
The sights are made of plastic and are not adjustable, however they have a high visibility white paint job to make aiming easier. They are standard Glock type sights and are interchangeable with other TM compatible units.
One of the perks of this model are the licensed Lone Wolf trademarks. On the left side of the grip, you'll find Lone Wolf markings, with matching markings on the barrel as well. The magazine baseplate also has the Lone Wolf icon, and the spare one has SOCOM Gear markings.
The included magazine is a double stack metal unit that houses 23 rounds. It is compatible with TM Glock mags, so spares are easy to come by. The base has a hole in it and is easy to fill with gas, and it has a wide slot in the front of the mag for loading BBs.
Chrono results using Airsplat .20g BBs and propane, shot through a Madbull V1 chrono, after a 100 round break in period:
High FPS: 304.8 FPS
Low FPS: 291.9 FPS
Average FPS: 298.5 FPS
Range and accuracy are standard for a stock pistol. I set my torso sized target out to 75' and was easily able to hit it using .23g ammo, which seemed to work best in my testing. The deviation between rapid fire shots seemed to be more vertical as opposed to horizontal, telling me that the deviation is most likely due to FPS change as opposed to hop-up instability.
Gas efficiency is the gun's biggest performance shortcoming in my testing. If you take your time between shots, you'll get out maybe a mag and a half before needing a gas refill. With frequent rapid firing, you'll probably get just a single mag load of BBs.
Disassembly is a piece of cake, like any Glock type pistol, so accessing the hop-up and blowback mechanism is a simple affair. Simply remove the magazine and pull down on the disassembly levers, which will allow you to pull the slide forward off the frame.
Once disassembled, you can access the internal mechanisms for cleaning, adjustment, or lubricating. The hop-up adjuster is located on the underside of the barrel assembly, and the blowback unit is located inside the slide.
Slide and barrel assemblies
Trigger and hammer assembly
As far as modifications go, I will be transforming this into a race pistol by adding an actual Lone Wolf magwell funnel, which I confirmed will work with no modifications, rail mounted compensator/barrel weight, and slide mounted Doctor type red dot sight. I'll also be doing some slide modifications such as porting and lightening as well as stippling the grip. Overall, it'll be pretty badass once it's all done.
Incredibly comfortable grip design
Interchangeable backstraps allow for customized fitting
Rail for lights and lasers
Full metal slide and barrel
Very solid construction, almost no wobble or rattle when shaking the gun
Skirmishable performance out of the box
Gas efficiency is just so-so
Funky safety located under the dustcover
Long, but light trigger pull
Paint on slide is a little bit fragile
I had been tracking the design and construction of the Echo 1 Timberwolf ever since I heard about it from my contact over there, and I'm really happy to say that thus far it has lived up to my expectations. It's incredibly comfortable to hold and shoot, and the interchangeable backstraps let you customize it to fit your hand and shooting style. The grip angle is much better than a normal Glock in my opinion, and that lets me get on target faster and keep on target easier. Overall, I really like how this gun turned out, and with a few tweaks, it should be a pretty awesome race type pistol.
Many thanks again to Airsplat, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!