U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- When I was building my “Hellbreaker” AR, I wanted a unique upper receiver and barrel to go along with the Sharps Bros. lower receiver.
One of the companies I have been following on Instagram for a while is Wolfpack Armory. Wolfpack Armory is known for its custom firearms and unique parts. I loved their Cerakote choices and their designs for their upper receivers.
Looking over their designs, I decided to go with a side charging upper receiver. This design choice adds a little character to my new build, and I have been really interested in doing a side charge build. This whole AR is unique so why not?
Wolf Pack Armory designed its upper receiver out of billet 7075 Aluminum. Sharps Bros. made their lower receivers out of the same billet 7075 Aluminum. I figured it would be cool to make to match the material of both receivers to give it the feel that I was going for in the build.
Looking into side charging AR upper receivers, I noticed that a lot of them needed a special bolt carrier group. A cool thing about the Wolf Pack Armory upper receiver is that you can use any BCG. The upper receiver comes with a unique cam pin that lets the user a standard mil-spec BCG in the upper.
When the user inserts the BCG into their firearm, they must close a flap located at the back of the upper receiver. What this flap does is prevent the blowback gas escape from the receiver and going into the shooter's face. The lower receiver keeps the flap closed by blocking it from moving.
The non-reciprocating side charging handle is big enough to grip easily and charge the AR. It isn't a flimsy handle at all. I absolutely love the handle. It is big, yet it isn’t too big. It slides smoothly and is comfortable to grip.
The color I chose for the upper receiver was Wolfpack Bronze, which is a custom color by Wolfpack Armory. I contacted the company and had them Cerakote my lower receiver in the same color to give my AR a custom look. The Cerakote was flawless, and I loved that they were willing to work with me to have the lower receiver Cerakoted as well.
I decided to add a 16-inch Wolfpack Armory .223 Wylde carbon fiber barrel to my build. The barrel was light. And fit perfectly into the upper receiver. One cool thing about the barrel is the way it looked. The carbon fiber gives it a unique look to the gun.
The Wolfpack Armory designed their 16-inch barrel with a 1:8 twist. The barrel only weights 1lb 10oz. It is lightweight, but they built the barrel incredibly well. The barrel is dimpled for a set screw. This dimple ensures that the gas block is perfectly aligned. The barrel will set you back $329.99.
It uses a carbine length gas system. Wolfpack Armory machined their gas block out of 416 stainless steel. The company includes a titanium set screw. It is also a double-backed set screw that prevents the gas block from moving during heavy use.
I went ahead and purchased a Wolfpack Armory handguard as well because it would nail the color. The company sells the handguards starting at $89.99. I paid the extra $30 to get the 15-inch handguard.
The color of the handguard matched the rest of the rifle perfectly. It uses an MLOK system to attach accessories. I prefer the MLOK system to the KeyMod system. A US government test showed that MLOK is far superior to KeyMod.
The only downside to anything that Wolfpack Armory does is the screws that they used for the handguard. I stripped a couple and thought it was me. Maybe I was doing something wrong. I took it to my local gun shop, and they stripped a couple of screws as well. We ended up using different screws. I am not sure if it was just a bad batch of screws, or if it is a reoccurring problem. It was an easy and cheap fix, and still, the value is there.
Wolfpack Armory made the handguard out of durable airplane grade aluminum. Although the handguard is strong, it is also lightweight. Weight saving is something I wanted in this signature build. The carbon fiber barrel mixed with the lightweight handguard let me keep the weight down.
I added a Strike Industries stock and muzzle brake to the build and headed out to the range. When I pulled out my rifle, it got a lot of looks and people coming over to check it out. To my surprise, a lot of shooters didn't even know that you could get an AR-15 with a side charging handle.
I loaded up a magazine and charged the AR-15. I started putting rounds through the upper receiver. My shots were right on target. I was using Warrior's Revolution ammunition. It is a small ammo company out of Colorado. They make great ammo at an affordable price, so I like to stick with them over some of the more prominent names in the gun world.
After I put 120 rounds through the upper receiver without a failure, I decided to up the ante a bit. I have a Franklin Armory binary trigger installed in my rifle, so I switched it to binary mode. Usually, my range frowns on binary mode, but I talked to them about it first.
I put another 120 rounds through the Wolfpack Armory upper receiver. My goal was to see if I could get a failure. With binary triggers, there is always a chance of outrunning the bolt. I am happy to report that it worked great and I didn’t outrun the bolt.
The barrel did get hot as did the handguard, but that is to expect when you are shooting as fast, I was planting freedom seeds. Even though it was hot, the Wolfpack barrel and handguard dissipated the heat exceptionally well.
Over the next three weeks, I would hit the range four more times. Each time I would repeat the same steps. I would put 120 rounds through the upper receiver in semi-automatic mode and then 120 rounds in binary mode. I didn't have a single failure. This is a testament to the rifle and the ammunition.
The rifle was as accurate on the last shot as it was with the first shot. Everything held up well. I could not be happier with my decision to go with Wolfpack Armory. Their products worked well with this project, and I plan on using them in the future.
Readers can find Wolfpack Armory on the web at https://www.wolfpackarmoryusa.com/
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.