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newbolddm 10-03-2012 12:12 PM

Wilson Combat 1911
Does anyone have any experience with a Wilson Combat 1911? If so would you say they are worth their price? If so, why? If not, why? Also, any considerations that a person should know that perhaps only someone experienced with these guns might know and would be worth relaying to someone looking to get one?

I've been thinking I might want to get one in 9mm. I like the look and I hear great things about them but mostly that's coming from people who have never had one themselves. I do see their magazines are often purchased for other guns and because they are considered as superior so that leads me to think this really would be a good brand and perhaps worth the high price.


danf_fl 10-03-2012 03:29 PM

Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer, and others have the time to dedicate some "hands" on time and thorough testing before they offer it for sale.

Shoot one and compare it to a RIA, and you will not only see the difference, but feel it as well.

canebrake 10-03-2012 04:33 PM

First there's nothing wrong with WC 1911's.

With that said, before I'd lay down cash for any of Bill's creations, I would be compelled to look at the Nighthawk offerings.

JD, care to chime in here? You/your's has a NH 9mm, right?

buckhorn_cortez 10-04-2012 05:46 PM

You'll have to define "Worth the price." I own two Wilson Combat 1911's: a Tactical Supergrade Professional and a CQB Elite. The Supergrade was built to my option list while the CQB was picked up at a gun store, as it had most of the features I would order. The fit, finish, and operation of both of the guns is impeccible with nothing I could complain about. You put ammunition in them and they fire it. They do it accurately, and I'd expect the guns to last long after I'm gone.

Unless you shoot professionally and put a hundred thousand rounds a year through the gun - you're really not going wear out parts (other than springs). Wilson's service for their guns is also one of the best in the business as the service guarantee follows the gun - not the owner. If you buy a used Wilson and there is something wrong with it - they will fix it - within reason. Meaning if it is a mechanical problem they'll fix it, if it's a cosmetic problem - you'll end up paying to have it refinished.

The Wilson prices are getting really high - to the point that my Supergrade today would cost nearly $1000 more than I paid for it in 2011. That's more than a 20% increase over what I paid for it in two years.

Functionally the Wilson guns really don't do anything differently than my Les Baer, Springfield, or Dan Wessons - and the Les Baer is more accurate than either of the Wilsons - as it should be because it has a 1.5-inch guarantee. If I wanted a 9mm 1911, I might look at several manufacturers. STI makes good 9mm, and Dan Wesson makes very nice 9mm.

From Wilson, if I wanted a 9mm for self defense, I'd probably look at the Spec-Ops 9. I've handled one but never shot it. However, from people who have shot them - they're Wilson quality and function 100% of the time.

You can't go wrong with getting a Wilson they are really nice and I'm happy to own two of them. But, as pointed out previously, Nighthawk makes good 1911's and I will again say that at the mid price point Dan Wesson is hard to beat.

If you want a semi-custom gun, built to your option list - I don't think you can beat a Wilson unless you go to a full custom maker.

limbkiller 10-04-2012 11:11 PM

Personally from what I have experienced neither Wilson or Nighthawk are on my shopping list. I don't think the price increase is worth it. Les Baer and Ed brown for the price are better guns for the money spent. Do I own one NO. But have shot several of each and the Les Baer gets my vote. Still if you have money to burn Wilson and NH make great guns.

buckhorn_cortez 10-05-2012 01:26 AM


Les Baer and Ed brown for the price are better guns for the money spent.
The statement makes no sense. There is no "better" only different manufacturing and design philosophies between the three makers.

Brown makes a good gun within the restrictions of what Ed Brown will produce (options). The Les Baer guns are fine guns but not nearly as refined as the Wilson. You get what you pay for from each of them. The options from Wilson and what they will build is far greater than what you can get from either Brown or Baer.

I have a Heavyweight Monolith from Baer because that is a gun that is unique to Baer. Neither Baer or Brown build anything near a Supergrade in options or fit - the closest being a Classic Custom from Brown. Brown uses careful CNC machining with a minimum of hand fitting, Baer uses a LOT of hand fitting, including hand checkering, and Wilson uses careful CNC machining as a basis for the final hand fitting.

An example of hand fitting with a Baer is that the barrel and barrel bushing are numbered as they have been hand fit matched to each other, while you can interchange barrels and bushings with a Brown because of his CNC program accuracy and quality control. Neither Brown nor Baer would give you the extreme dehorning available from Wilson or many of the options from Wilson.

You really can't go wrong with either a Baer, Brown, or Wilson - but there are differences and you have to understand that "better for the money" is a personal value judgement - not a fact.

newbolddm 10-05-2012 11:57 AM

To me worth the addition cost would mean that the gun:

- Performs with very rare to no FTF, FTE, etc. problems

- Is made of higher quality parts that last longer than most less costly guns

- Shoots very accurately out of the box as compared to less costly guns

- Has a fit and finish that is obviously superior to less costly guns

It sounds like the manufacturers of interest that fit this expectation are Les Baer, Wilson, Nighthawk, Dan Wesson. These were the obvious choices but I wasn't sure if they all really lived up to the hype according to folks that had real experience with them. Sounds like they pretty much do.

It's hard to get a feel for these when none of my local gun shops seem to carry any of these new or used. It would be nice to see some of these in person.

newbolddm 10-05-2012 11:57 AM

Oh and I forgot Ed Brown on that list...

Dillinger 10-05-2012 03:35 PM

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I have shot a model from the entire list on this thread. Wilson Combat makes a good gun. It's a tight fit, the finish is great and the thing flat shoots.

Having said that, I only buy from Nighthawk Custom. My gal has a 4.25" Talon II in 9mm and she loves it. It runs like a champ, feeds anything we put it in and has never failed in any function.

I have several Nighthawks because I believe they make the best 1911 for my dollar in the market. I have a new one on order right now as a matter of fact.

They got their start as 11 guys who worked for other 1911 builders and decided to form a company and turn out the best quality guns, with the best parts, and not have bean counters dictate where corners had to be cut. They have a passion for the 1911 and they do it as well, or better, than anyone in the business.

When you factor in the fact that Les Baer and Ed Brown most likely haven't touched a pistol bearing their name in production in years, you have to ask yourself what are you buying? A name? Or a weapon?

There is a reason NHC has such a high backlog right now. The word is out and the word is good.

Ask around the forum, there are a couple of other NHC owners here that will tell you the same thing. Excellent gun, excellent service and outstanding quality for the money.

GNXtreme 10-05-2012 06:38 PM

Yeah those Arkansas boys know how to build a 1911. I've been to both NHC and Wilson's... Berryville is a pretty small town for all that 1911 action.

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