Early in the pandemic, I started to have a yearning for a piston-driven AR platform-style rifle. Of course, I decided to buy the HK 416, after all, it is one of the best rifles and a proven military platform. However, my wallet did not agree with this decision and the economy was still in a state of well… pandemic, so my search continued. I wanted an affordable platform that also had a pedigree and reputation for reliability. At the end of the day, I decided on the 16” Wolf A1 upper. The Wolf A1 upper is based on the Taiwanese T91, the Taiwanese Militaries’ primary rifle. The T91 is a descendant of the T65.
The development of the T65 was a joint venture between the Chinese and Taiwanese governments to develop a rifle similar to the AR18 and M16 platforms. They based the development primarily on the AR18. What we have today is a carbine length piston-driven upper that is compatible with any standard/ mil-spec AR15 lower. If you cannot tell by now, I have an interest in history and the development of the platforms I chose to collect and shoot. In turn, that results in being very particular about what parts I use to complete a build.
(Disclaimer: I am not a hardcore cloner, but I do like my rifles or weapons to be as true to form as possible.)
The upper itself has been flawless. 1000 rounds in, and I am loving this thing. The Wolf A1 gives you a break from the black rifles that we all love, yet is familiar enough to still operate with ease. Mating to a standard ar15 lower, the controls are familiar and use standard AR15 magazines. What’s not to love?
Now, with the upper running this well, I felt that it deserved a nice dedicated lower. However, I was having issues finding a lower that suited the aesthetic of the upper, and its history. I had gone as far as to source original Taiwanese Grips, their military-style carry handle, and a Taiwanese detachable rear sight. At this point, despite not being a strict cloner- I am invested. I wanted this baby to look as close to the original as possible. The issue I kept running into was despite trying several different lowers, I could not find the look I wanted.
I finally decided that I wanted the original T91 markings. At this point during the pandemic, I gave up on my search and the project sat dormant in my safe.. During my search for said lower, I came across several 80% lowers. That’s all good and well, but I do not have the tools to complete an 80% without it looking like it was dragged down a gravel road for 50 miles.
I had pretty much given up on this project. Jump to 2022. Earlier this year I had decided to SBR my Colt 635 parts kit. The kit came complete minus the lower. So, I started the search again for a lower. This time, I stumbled onto Unbranded AR. I used the “design your lower” feature on the website and was amazed at the shipping times and end product. After using the website and seeing the end product on my 635, I started to think more about my T91 project.
BUT these engravings are in Taiwanese, so I had my doubts if they could deliver. I emailed Unbranded and sent them a screenshot of a T91 lower. To my surprise, within a few hours, Unbranded contacted me and told me to place the order. I was shown a mockup of what the design would look like. I was excited and pleased. I was also expecting an exuberate tag on this lower. However, the total shipped to my FFL was only $129.00. 4 days later, my clone correct T91 lower was sitting at my FFL.
So far, I have run another 500 rounds through her with the Unbranded AR custom lower. I have experienced no malfunctions. Fitment to the Wolf A1/ T91 upper is perfect. Even my AK47 guru buddies love this rifle now. The only issue now is the exuberate amount of DM’s I get when I post the completed rifle on Instagram of people wanting to know where I snagged the lower.
Written by David Sanders (@non_tactical_talor83 on IG).
UnbrandedAR Ambi Stripped Lower Receiver