Wilson Combat 1911

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by newbolddm, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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    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.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    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?
     
  4. 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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  5. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

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    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.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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    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.
     
  8. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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

    Dillinger New Member

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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.
     

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  10. GNXtreme

    GNXtreme New Member

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    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.
     
  11. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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    Sounds like I might need to focus my attention on a Nighthawk. Not that any others are a bad choice but it sounds like Nighthawk has it going on.
     
  12. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    They are pretty hard to beat to be honest. All the features you want/need and all American made with no MIM parts and all match grade barrels. Not that a 5 inch "match grade" barrel is going to provide unbelievable better accuracy, but it's always nice to mention that they are well fit. ;)
     
  13. It would be nice if people posted facts, not personal speculation. Les test fires all of the guns prior to shipping. Both of my Baers - a pistol and rifle - have test targets signed by Les. I also understand, from someone who has known Les for 25 years, that it is not uncommon for Les to inspect guns during production.

    The "other company" that most of the smiths at Nighthawk worked for was Wilson Combat, and several of them have left Nighthawk and gone back to Wilson.

    Nighthawk builds a nice gun, but there are a number of threads complaining about their customer service - or lack of. You rarely, if ever, find a thread critical of Wilson's customer service.
     
  14. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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    I'm glad I am on no rush to buy a high end 1911. I want to do that at some point but I have time and other things to do before spending that kind of money. When I do it I am expecting to pay between $3,000 and $4,000. I want the gun to be something I will use a lot practicing at the range and intend to keep essentially forever. Deciding on which to buy is going to be really tough. So many opinions for so many reasons and they are all over the map all depending on who I ask. The only thing that seems consistent is that most everyone seems to agree that all the manufacturers named in this thread are pretty much well made pieces that are at least somewhat if not greatly better then what you get for say $1,000 - $1,750 range. My guess is that the difference in a gun that is priced over say $4,000 just isn't going to be noticeably better than those that are at that price point. I have to think at some threshold there isn't going to be much more that can be done to a handgun to warrant an even higher price. I am guessing that threshold is probably around $3,000 - $4,000 and beyond that you are just spending more cash for little to no additional return on the investment. Again, just what I am guessing based on reading up and asking these types of questions for a while now.

    Sounds like if I spent $3,000 - $4,000 on one of these manufacturer's guns I'd probably get a top of the line gun and paid about what should be expected for it.

    Seems pretty much right?
     
  15. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    First off, you aren't posting any sources either, so your opinion means about as much to me. :rolleyes:

    So Les Baer signs targets? *yawn* And then? I have a gunsmith that produces guns for a lot of people. I could have him sign ANY of my targets. Doesn't mean he WORKED on the gun I used to shoot the group.

    Show me a thread ON THIS WEBSIGHT about Nighthawk's service! Show it to me and show me that this person bought a true Nighthawk without a middleman, that had a problem with the Nighthawk and not the middleman.

    Frankly I find your post useless. You cast dispersions, you claim allegiance, and yet you provide ZERO facts, along with a limited post count where you could be challenged as you are here, so I say good day. :rolleyes:

    Les Baer, if he is TOUCHING modern production pistols, needs to publish that fact. He isn't.

    Ed Brown, if he is TOUCHING modern production pistols, needs to publish that fact. He isn't.

    Nighthawk was made up of guys from ALL pistol houses, including Kimber, including Colt and including Springfield.

    Get your facts straight and THEN post.

    JD
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  16. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    That amount of money is stupid for one gun. That is Dave Lauck territory to be honest.

    You can get a quality GRP for half that price and have a ton of money for extra mags and ammo. ;)
     
  17. newbolddm

    newbolddm New Member

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    So what would you pay if you wanted one of these guns mentioned?
     
  18. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    My wife found a used Ed Brown with holsters, mags, mag carriers, and ammo in the daily newspaper that she bought for $1800. It is part of my CWP equipment now. The original tag is about $2550 for the pistol alone.
     
  19. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins Member

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    Wow!!!
    That was a smoking deal.
    EB is tops in my book.
     
  20. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Depending on the name, models and features, I would think that $1800-$2200 would be the range you would be in.

    If you are interested, hit up George at Michigan Gunslingers. He always has great deals on high end 1911's. Several folks here have used him and he ships to any FFL without hassle.