August 15, 2023
OUTERWILD is a firearms manufacturer dedicated to producing weapons rugged enough for hard use in the field. To get there, they build their guns using the most advanced corrosion-resistant materials available today along with state-of-the-art precision craftsmanship. The result is a rifle that is as attractive as it is functional. Whether your mission is hunting, personal defense, competition, or recreational shooting on the range, OUTERWILD weapons come standard with the high-end upgrades that you’d normally have to source yourself. The end-result is the sort of tool that will keep you safe, fed, and entertained no matter the circumstances. Modern sporting rifles in America represent a spectrum ranging from superb, rarefied quality to not so much. This is the good stuff.
It’s All About Materials—The Pizza Wars
In 1995, Papa Johns International Inc, adopted the slogan, “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” The following year, Papa John’s filed for and received federal trademark protection for this simple marketing slogan. On 1 May 1997, Pizza Hut launched an ad campaign called, “Totally New Pizza.” This was a part of an overarching $50 million effort titled, “Operation Lightning Bolt.” While that sounds like a covert ops mission to rescue the Swedish bikini ski team (lamentably, not an actual team) from some evil warlord’s jungle lair, it was actually just a way to sell a lot of pizza. Operation Lightning Bolt purported to “declare war” on poor quality pizza. Papa John’s responded with a targeted ad campaign of their own.
When the dust settled, Papa John’s market share went up by 11.7%, while that of Pizza Hut declined by 8%. Apparently, Operation Lightning Bolt sort of fizzled. Smelling blood, Papa John’s launched a new salvo of ads comparing taste and ingredients between their own pies and those of an unnamed “competitor” that was obviously Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut sued, claiming false advertising under the standards of the Lanham Act (also known as the Trademark Act of 1946). Pizza Hut won the case, but the verdict was reversed on appeal. In the end, both companies still sold plenty of pizzas and a bunch of lawyers got filthy rich, so I guess it all turned out okay. As for myself, I like them both. Papa John’s is my favorite, because Pizza Hut always struck me as a bit unduly greasy. However, I can kill me some ground beef Pizza Hut thick crust despite the inevitable havoc it wreaks upon my arteries. The point is that “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” has applications well outside your local pizza joint. If you want to make a top quality product you should start out with top quality components. That’s where OUTERWILD really shines.
Outerwild Timbrwlf Photo Gallery
Outerwild Timbrwlf BCG
The bolt carrier group makes extensive use of high-end stainless steels in its manufacture. (Photo by Sean Utley)
Outerwild Soft Case
The superlative soft case that comes with the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF carries everything you might need for a day at the range or a trek through the hot zone. (Photo by Sean Utley)
Outerwild Timbrwlf Breakdown
A superb rifle starts out as superb components. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is made of the finest materials modern science can offer.
At 100 yards off of a tripod rest the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF shot better than I do.
Outerwild Timbrwlf Accuracy Data
Outerwild Timbrwlf Rifle
The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is a refreshingly pretty weapon. Despite its attractive aesthetics, it remains a rugged utility tool underneath. (Photo by Sean Utley)
The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF doesn’t much care what hand you favor. The controls are equally handy from either side. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF’s custom stainless muzzle brake looks cool and is maintenance-free.
The forearm has a thin profile for light weight and reliable manipulation. The fire control group is nickel boron-coated for long life and smooth operation. (Photo by Sean Utely)
The beating heart of an AR-style rifle is its upper and lower receiver set. These are billet cut from 7075 aluminum and then Cerakoted. Magpul furniture accents this superb sporting rifle. I loved the extended takedown pins. These represent a huge improvement over the originals. (Sean Utley)
Outerwild TImbrwlf Aesthetics
We really shouldn’t care what our guns look like, but we do. This one looks awesome. (Photo by Sean Utely)
OUTERWILD’s key to excellence starts with its ingredients. Our review rifle is an OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF. The TIMBRWLF 16-inch barrels are cut from top-quality 416R stainless steel blanks with a 1:8-inch twist to stabilize all reasonable bullet weights. The tube features a government profile, and the barrel extension is nickel boron-coated for extreme wear and environmental resistance. The chambers are cut to .223 Wylde specs, so it really doesn’t care if you use .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition. The custom OUTERWILD muzzle brake rides on standard 1/2x28 threads and is cut from 303 stainless steel. It also looks sexy cool.
The upper and lower receivers are milled from 7075-T6 billet aluminum and then Cerakoted Midnight Black or Tungsten Gray. The Raptor LT ambidextrous charging handle is nickel plated before being nickel boron-coated for extreme wear resistance. The custom M-LOK handguard is machined from extruded 6061-T6 aluminum stock. The buffer tube is Cerakoted and houses a 17-7 stainless steel buffer spring. The fire control group is also nickel plated before being nickel boron-coated.
Each component of the bolt carrier group is optimized for performance and long life. The M16-style carrier is formed from 8620 steel, while the bolt begins as 9310 stock. The bolt is Magnetic Particle Inspected, and both components are naturally nickel boron-coated. The extractor is one of the most critical components of any rifle system, and this one is cut from 4140 billet. The gas key is staked in place as it should be. The firing pin is turned out of 8640 stock and then hard chrome plated. The finished rifle ships with a MAGPUL MOE grip, a MAGPUL CTR stock, and a MAGPUL GEN M2 30-round PMAG.
I was myself particularly smitten with the lower receiver details. The safety, magazine release, and bolt catch are all three legitimately reproduced on both sides of the chassis. Additionally, the two takedown pins feature extended heads for easy purchase. Anyone who has struggled to get these pins started on a conventional rifle without a handy pointed tool will appreciate the value of this design. The sundry small bits are all silver which offers a nifty chromatic dissonance when juxtaposed alongside the deep black or gray of the receiver set. The cumulative effect is an utterly optimized rifle. The TIMBRWLF weighs a paltry 6.6 pounds and is reliable as a direct gas impingement AR might ever be. Without a bunch of extraneous tripe hanging off of it, the TIMBRWLF is also as handy and easy to tote as the original M16A1 that inspired it.
The Miracle of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the modern term for a mystical concoction of chromium, carbon, and iron. Most modern stainless steel is about 11% chromium. The resulting material is legendarily resistant to rust and corrosion. Interestingly, this is not for the reasons you might expect. Chromium, like aluminum, reacts readily in the presence of oxygen. However, the resulting oxides are profoundly stable. In both cases, these oxides form a passive film on the outside of a part that tend to self-heal as a result of mechanical surface damage. This is the reason aluminum makes excellent window frames and stainless steel is great for forks. This same resistance to corrosion makes stainless steel the perfect material for gun parts. So, why doesn’t everybody use stainless to build their guns? Because, relative to conventional carbon steels, it is expensive.
What we now call stainless steel was first developed in 1798. By 1821, the remarkable properties of chromium-infused steel were being marketed for use in kitchen cutlery. By the 1850’s, the Germans were using it to make cannons. In 1908, the Essen firm Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft built the hull for a 366-foot sailing yacht out of the stuff. Such profligate use of stainless steel would be cost prohibitive today. Arguably the most iconic industrial application of stainless steel in the modern era was the DeLorean sports car. This radically-advanced automobile featured body panels formed from stainless sheets and left bereft of paint. Even if you aren’t familiar with the DeLorean roadster, everyone has seen the time machine in the movie Back to the Future.
Sundry companies applied trade names like Rustless Steel, Staybrite, and Unstainable Steel to this remarkable material until the era of the Great Depression. That’s when the term Stainless Steel just kind of stuck. The various grades and their unique individual properties are adequate to drive many a mechanical engineering student to distress. However, modern production techniques make the availability of stainless alloys much more affordable than was once the case. Regardless, stainless steel yet remains the material of distinction for manufacturers wishing to produce guns and gun parts you might conceivably clean in a dishwasher. In fact, I have an old college chum who does just that. When his stainless defensive pistols get icky he simply locks the slides to the rear and runs them through the dishwasher. I am not quite that bold myself, but stainless really is that robust. That’s the reason OUTERWILD chooses to make so much of their rifle out of it.
In the Eyes of the Beholder
What makes something beautiful? That’s a question as old as humanity. This is a curiously subjective function of breeding, environment, and perception. Countless artists, poets, and crooners have explored this oddly diaphanous construct. My wife has it, while I, lamentably do not. However, somethings are just objectively attractive. Most all children are beautiful. Some unfortunate kids come from the factory ugly, but not many. Prior to the ravages of hormones, most adolescent creatures whether they be human, canine, simian, or otherwise strike a certain viscerally appealing chord. My
daughter once caught a baby armadillo. In adulthood, those things are positively hideous up close. However, this small one had a certain primal appeal despite its unfortunate genetics. While I might have a tough time quantifying the motivations, the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is similarly just an objectively attractive gun.
We grizzled gun nerds really shouldn’t care, but this thing is just gorgeous. The rakish lines and dichotomy of hue between the silver and black conjure something instinctively appealing. It is in the little things where this curious phenomenon is most manifest. The forward assist is bright silver as is the buffer tube retaining nut and ejection port cover. We ought not pick our tactical firearms based upon appearances. However, whether we admit it or not, that is a large part of the way we select our spouses. The human animal is drawn to physical beauty, and I was indeed smitten with this rifle.
It almost seemed a shame to befoul this beautiful gun with carbon, yet befoul it I did. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF shoots as well as it looks. The optimized trigger combined with the natural lubricity of the top-end components combine to make a superb shooting experience. As expected, recoil is not really a thing, and the gun moves with a natural grace. I tested this rifle with everything from 55-grain M193 ball analogues up to 77-grain Black Hills Mk 262 Mod 1C. This latter load is what Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill used to send Osama bin Laden trundling off this mortal coil. In between was Winchester 62-grain mid-range fodder and some top-end SIG loads. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF naturally performed flawlessly throughout.
Zeroing at 20 meters the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF prints contiguous cloverleaves. At a football field, the gun flirts with 1-MOA performance, so long as I really did my part. Though I’m not God’s gift to precision riflery, I’ve squeezed more than my share of triggers. In my experience, this is as good as it gets for an AR-style autoloader. There is a reason the entire planet’s military weapons seem to be inspired by Gene Stoner’s original M16. The interface between gun and flesh is optimized for tactical performance. The controls are literally impossible to improve upon, though many have tried. In the case of the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF, magazines fire out of the magwell when the release is stroked from either side. A quick slap against the bolt catch either right or left puts the gun immediately back in action. Literally nothing is faster.
The applications for such a rarefied black rifle are legion. Killing an afternoon tormenting steel plates at the range will reliably cure what ails you. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF would also be right at home in a three-gun match or tucked into the trunk of a patrol car. However, what I see as the ideal application for this rarefied weapon is in the realm of personal defense.
It’s a creepy old world these days that gets daily creepier. Memories of the George Floyd riots fade into the distance, but it was not all that long ago that American cities were aflame as the result of civil unrest. I have no interest in offering commentary on the nature of these events beyond that burning down American cities is an unacceptable response to literally any conceivable circumstance. In the face of such chaos, however, responsible Americans seek out the means for self-defense. Whether at home or on the road, nothing screams, “Don’t screw with me, dude!” like a nice modern sporting rifle. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is the top of the heap. With accuracy, reliability, and aesthetics that define the genre, the TIMBRWLF is good company when the world goes bad.
The TIMBRWLF ships in a superb soft tactical case that includes shoulder straps and plenty of room for ammo, tools, and accessories. Thusly configured and properly secured, it would tuck readily behind the seat in your minivan. With a security device in place to keep the gun out of reach of little fingers, it would be comparably at ease leaning behind the door to your closet. The OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is good medicine against most any conceivable threat.
Modern black rifles stratify into several layers economically. At the bottom are the cheap parts guns. You can get into a no-frills bargain basement AR variant for around $500 or a little more so long as you’re handy with tools. On the other end of the spectrum you will find the FN SCAR with an MSRP of $3,839. By contrast, the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is a two grand rifle. This is about typical for a truly high-end AR with all the bells and whistles. The TIMBRWLF offers the added benefit of profound environmental resistance and striking good looks.
So ask yourself what you want in a defensive rifle. If money is tight and you don’t mind a mongrel pedigree then pull up M&A Parts or Sarco from within these hallowed pages and get to building. My personal collection is liberally sprinkled with such stuff. However, if you are investing in a weapon for personal protection the same way you might invest in a piece of medical equipment or a bespoke automobile, then the TIMBRWLF is your iron. Accurate, fast, reliable, and cool, the OUTERWILD TIMBRWLF is the good stuff.
Outerwild Timbrwlf Specs
- Type: Direct gas-impingement, semi-automatic
- Caliber: .223 Wylde
- Length: 33.5 in. (collapsed), 36.75 in. (extended)
- Weight: 6.6 lbs.
- Reciever: 7075-T6 Billet Aluminum
- Finish: Tungsten Cerakote
- Muzzle Device: Custom 303 Stainless Steel, 1/2x28 threads
- Bolt Carrier Group: NiB-X 9310 Bolt/8620 Carrier
- Gas Block: .750 low profile stainless steel
- Charging Handle: Raptor LT Ambi
- Feed: STANAG M4 mags
- MSRP: $1,999.95
- Contact: Outerwild
About the Author
Will is a mechanical engineer who flew UH1H, OH58A/C, CH47D and AH1S aircraft as an Army Aviator. He is airborne and scuba qualified and summited Mount McKinley, Alaska, six times…at the controls of an Army helicopter. After eight years in the Regular Army, Major Dabbs attended medical school. He works in his urgent care clinic, shares a business building precision rifles and sound suppressors, and has written for the gun press since 1989.
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