Gun Review: Wilson Combat GLOCK 19

Wilson Combat Glock 19

Earlier this year Wilson Combat announced they were putting their gunmaking know-how up against about a million garage GLOCKsmiths. Enter the “Wilson Combat GLOCK Custom Pistol Enhancements.”

Wilson Combat 9mms (image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

RF and I are fans of, and owners of, a few different Wilson Combat pistols. I’ve found their 1911s to be consistently high quality and great shooting guns. RF carries their new EDC X9. So TTAG reached out to Wilson Combat, GLOCK 19 in hand, and asked them to have a go.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 in hand(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Although the GLOCK upgrades aren’t named after him, Wilson leaned heavily on their shooter, instructor and regular contributor Larry Vickers. The retired Master Sergeant and former member of the Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta has been a driving force behind pistol shooting and pistol smithing for decades.

No surprise, then, that Wilson offers aspiring GLOCK modders multiple Vickers products, including the Vickers Tactical Slide Stop, Vickers Snag Free Front Sight, Elite Battlesight and Vickers Grip Plug/Takedown tool.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 Vickers release(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I have the Vickers slide stop on one of my G19s. I can now use the slide stop as a slide release, dramatically decreasing my reload times. (Getting the pills back in the dispenser is particularly important on the plastic fantastic; GLOCKs don’t make as good of a club as my S&W 29.)

Wilson Combat Glock 19 rear sight(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The WIlson Combat-installed Snag Free Front Sight and Elite Battlesights are a massive improvement over the original GLOCK “sights”. The new tritium sights stand out well against targets both dark and light, providing a small view of the target on either side.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 front sight(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Beyond the obvious custom front serrations, the barrel swap is one of the most obvious changes. The Wilsonized GLOCK barrel is flush cut and reverse crowned.  It gives the nose of the pistol a neat, blunt appearance while removing a pain point for Inside-the-Waistband carriers (like me). That goes double for all of you appendix carry devotees.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 flutes(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The WC GLOCK’s barrel is all flutes, all the time. The barrel and the chamber have both been fluted. The latter classes up the whole pistol.

Wilson’s smiths serrated the top of the GLOCK’s slide longitudinally. The chamber flutes flow between the small lines of the top slide cuts, adding some texture to the gun’s otherwise blocky appearance. I doubt they add much (if anything) in terms of performance, but the mod really sets the GLOCK apart.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 ttag logo(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

You don’t need no stinking badges? Then you don’t want this particular gun. Wilson’s mark is on the right and left of the slide, the top of the frame in front of the rear sight, and on the chamber itself.

Of course, you don’t have to Wilson badge your Wilson Combat GLOCK. You could save yourself some dough by not doing so. But come on: if you’re shelling out the cash for a Wilson Combat Glock, you want the plebes to know it.

The frame itself has relatively few upgrades — all of them valuable.

Most obvious: the Wilson Combat Starburst stipple pattern. It extends forward of the frame and the stock texture covers both the front and the back straps of the grip. It’s an attractive, deep stipple pattern that says “Wilson Combat” to those in the know.

It also gives the shooter one heck of a grip.

This pattern doesn’t quite cut up my hands, but it’s akin to holding sticky sandpaper. Right answer, at least for me. I spend a lot of time shooting with gloves on in the western states winter and sending rounds down range with my hands soaked in Texas summer sweat.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 grip(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

For this gun, Wilson left the finger grooves intact. The combination of finger grooves, heavy texturing and the undercut on the trigger guard creates the grippiest G19 I’ve ever held. I can grab the WCG quickly — without catching anywhere in my draw and press to fire single-handed with complete . . . wait for it  . . . confidence.

Of course, the Wilson GLOCK is still just cut-up and molded plastic. There’s no wood here, or G10, or anything with pretty figures, laminates or shine. It’s still a GLOCK. Without the lamented GLOCK trigger.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 trigger(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Wilson fitted our sample with the Zev Technologies Adjustable Fulcrum Ultimate Trigger Kit.

The kit replaces the entire stock firing assembly. The user can take the trigger pull weight down to three pounds. Our T&E sample breaks at 4.5 pounds. It is without a doubt far smoother than the stock GLOCK unit, with less grit and uptake and a shorter reset.

I plan on taking it as low as it can go, and count on good trigger discipline and an outstanding KMFJ holster to keep the trigger in place until I’m ready to “release the round.”

Wilson Combat Glock 19 holster(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The Wilson-modded GLOCK frame includes the Vickers Grip Plug/Takedown Tool. The fact that either this tool — or the factory GLOCK tool — exists at all surprises me. I’m one of the few people I know who bothers to clean his GLOCK pistols. But if you need/want to detail strip your GLOCK in the field, this puts the key in the palm of your hand.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 grip plug(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

More importantly, the grip plug works as a good backstop and angle point for a fast and less than perfect magazine insertion.  I’m all for unobtrusive ways to get the gun going faster, especially when I’m stressed and stupid. This is a effective, inexpensive improvement.

WIlson customers can choose from several shades and patterns of Wilson Combat’s Armor Tuff finish. This particular gun sports the black on silver “Battleworn” paint scheme.

This pattern has become pretty standard in the Cerakote world; it gives the new gun some old soldier gravitas. As far as the finish type itself, I have two other pistols with Wilson’s Armor Tuff coating. It’s been durable over time, with minimal (if any) wear shown from carrying the pistols (albeit in leather holsters).

It looks different, if feels different, but does the Wilson modded GLOCK shoot any different?

Yup.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 groups(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The breathed-upon GLOCK 19 is measurably more accurate than my stock G19.

To be clear, I wasn’t able to shoot this particular G19 before Wilson Combat got its hands on it. So maybe, just maybe, this gun was a particularly sweet shooter prior to being Wilsonized.

I can, however, compare it directly to other G19s that I have, at least one of which is bone stock. I can also compare it to the accuracy of several other GLOCKs I rock.

In terms of accuracy, this one bests them all.

Generally speaking, the Wilson-smithed GLOCK scored roughly 15 to 25 percent better than a stock GLOCK,. The modded GLOCK liked shooting heavier grained rounds (124gr and 147gr.) better than the lighter (115gr.) pills, regardless of bullet type or cartridge manufacturer.

The best scorer: Wilson Combat 124gr+P HP. It shot a consistent average of 1.5″ five round groups at 25 yards off bags. The worst scoring round: the Remington 115gr JHP at 2.6″ — more in line with what I usually see with my stock G19.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 internals(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

In slow fire off the bench, the modded GLOCK’s barrel, trigger and sights likely made the difference. In fast fire, I saw an improvement, but a much smaller one.

My core challenge with the G19 remains the same, regardless of whether it’s factory stock, my no-GLOCK-parts GLOCK, or the Wilson version: I drive the muzzle down too much. I shoot low, and pull the trigger before the gun comes to a full stop, especially when transitioning targets.

That’s the Indian, not the arrow.

The customizations come without any apparent tradeoffs in reliability. I’ve put at least 2,000 rounds through this gun without a single hiccup or issue of any kind, using ammunition from multiple manufacturers, in all common weights as well as several projectile types, feeding it from GLOCK and Magpul mags.

Wilson’s heavily modified GLOCK lived up to the stock gun’s reliable reputation — which is more than I can say for some of my factory GLOCKs.

Wilson Combat Glock 19 left side(image courtesy of JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

OK, so what’s all that cost? Here’s the bill of sale (not including the GLOCK 19):

Vickers Tactical Slide Stop $30
Match Grade Barrel, flush cut reverse crown radius muzzle $340
Vickers Elite Snag Free Front sight $46
Vickers Elite Battlesight (tritium) $65
Combat Tuff silver/black $350
Stipple frame starburst pattern $139
Stipple thumb pad with logo R/L $40
Laser etch Wilson logo on top $50
TTAG logo engraved $100
Install Vickers grip plug/takedown tool $15
Slide serrations $75
Flute chamber $40
Flute barrel $65
Flare ejection port $65
Install zev adjustable fulcrum trigger $226

All that for a total of $1,646. Of course, this particular pistol came equipped with just about everything Wilson Combat can do for GLOCK customization. Take out the bling and the price comes down to about a third of that amount.

I own a few GLOCK pistols, including a GLOCK 19 I made without a single GLOCK part. I like this version more than those. It shoots smaller groups, reloads faster and stays in my hand better than any other GLOCK I own. And it says Wilson Combat on it.

RATING:

Overall * * * * *
If this were a pure gun review, I’d give it four stars. The group size doesn’t make the grade. But judging the customization in of itself, it’s five stars all the way. The tied-in textures and attention to detail are a huge class upgrade, and the new guts increase the gun’s performance.  If the Glock 19 is a Toyota Camry, the Wilson Combat version is a Lexus GS.

comments

  1. avatar Mark says:

    Any plans for a 17?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      They’ll do any model.

  2. avatar strych9 says:

    Out of pure curiosity: How long does such customization from Wilson generally take to get done?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      That probably depends on how much you are having done, but this one took just under 2 months door to door.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Thanks

  3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    The “Battleworn” finish gives the gun ‘some old soldier gravitas’ or ‘the false impression of some old soldier gravitas’? Jon, I know that you are in no way shape or form a pretender, but I think you are being a bit generous with your description of an option that could be construed as an unspoken ready made lie mostly for posers. I suppose it could also be construed as humor though, a polymer gun’s finish wearing down to bare metal that is.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The distressed look is a very old trend in firearms. I have books that show intentional wear added to colonial flintlocks, when they were originally made. That kind of thing is still extremely popular for all makes on models of guns. In this case, it’s what the customer asked for.
      But no, it’s not really my thing. I’ve found that it is a hell of a lot harder to do a finish clean and simple, and get it done right, than it is to do it complicated or “worn”. Worn finishes hide flaws easily, but clean, neat and glossy brings any imperfection right to the top.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        I wonder if they did that with pattern welded swords in the Migration Period “I gotta have more nicks! Break a sliver strand and chip out some of those garnets!”;-)

        1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          “And I don’t want to look like too much of a logo snob, so spell “Ulfberht” differently.”

  4. avatar Madcapp says:

    Nothing is more depressing than artificial distressing. And…that price is out of control for a plastic gun that worked fine to begin with. Two thumbs down, and a foot.

    1. avatar rocketscientist says:

      yeah…my first thought was “oh wow they gave him a really old and beaten down demo gun”. when I read it was intentional i was really surprised folks think this looks good on a new pistol. I suppose to each his own, assuming you can get it in finishes other than “old demo gun”.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        “a plastic gun that worked fine”
        For some people, that’s not enough.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          In the words of Bill Murray : “Chicks in New York spend top dollar on that stuff”, if you consider how much “Pre-stressed” jeans cost.

          It’s interesting, but not for me…

  5. avatar Maxi says:

    1600 on a Glock that is still a Glock? Meh.
    I would’ve understood that if you got a red dot and a compensator to make a cool competition gun or something, but $1600 to make a $600 Glock a little nicer? I’ll pass.

  6. avatar Fraz says:

    The beauty of the Glock to me is the utilitarian sameness of them with decent maufacturing tolerances, and reliability over and over. Better to buy a Caddy than throw money at your Chevy hoping it will be a Caddy. I am a Glock guy tho.

  7. avatar ironicatbest says:

    JB weld can fix the way that frame cracked.

  8. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    Glock fanboys are swooning and peeing in their panties, ok Depends. I’ll pass and put my money into my huge collection of HI-POINTS….LOL

  9. avatar Owen says:

    What’s the total with the cost of the G19?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Exactly $1,646 plus whatever you pay for your G19, which will range from $350 to $600.

      1. avatar Owen says:

        That’s what I was thinking. I was going to make a snarky comment here but then I’ve done similar things to cars so who am I kidding? HA

        If you like it go for it.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          I put about 30k into what started as $400 worth of parts on a trailer. It ended up as a gorgeous 68 Camaro that was my daily driver and ran low 11s in the 1/4 mile. It got featured in Hot Rod magazine and everything.
          Sold it for 15k, and I was lucky to get that.

  10. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    1,646 on a 500 dollar gun I weep for humanity

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Man, if that tears you up I can’t imagine your pain with spending $3k (or double that) on an $800 1911.

      1. avatar little horn says:

        lol

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Or $200 on a hooker when you can get one for $11, huh?;-)

      1. avatar billy-bob says:

        Sometimes it’s worth it to pay more, at least where hookers are concerned.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Eh, just spend a few extra bucks sextuple wrapping it up.

          And don’t kiss hookers and then beat the shit out of them like the ShamWow guy. In fact, just don’t kiss hookers.

  11. avatar little horn says:

    wow, like you said, if you leave off the non-functional cosmetic stuff which will drop the price a little more, thats not a bad price at all.

  12. avatar Chadwick says:

    Man I really like that stipple job. Hmm I might have to pony up for something like that one of these days.

  13. avatar tdiinva says:

    I thought the reason people wanted a Glock was because it was a simple, reliable and inexpensive self defense gun. I guess a lot of Glock owners have 1911 envy.and want to spend $1500 to perfect perfection.

  14. avatar Al says:

    Wilson could not combat the urge to offer you an opportunity to pansify your Glock while surrendering your cash.

  15. avatar Olivehead says:

    1600 bucks and they couldn’t bevel the front of the frame to match the front of the slide? There’re guys on here who wouldn’t buy a stock Gen5 for $550 for that very reason.

  16. avatar JW says:

    I wonder how much it would cost to make it look like a glock again…

  17. avatar FlamencoD says:

    I wasn’t going to comment on the price because most of the time those guys are annoying and can’t afford it so, what’s the point of saying they could have 25 Hi-points for XXX gun? But, I couldn’t help myself realizing that including the G19 this costs over $2,100. I could afford this, but wouldn’t want to buy it. That’s insane to me for a plastic pistol.

    The “battle worn” frame is cheesy, too. It’s black plastic, for heaven’s sake! It would never wear through to a shiny metal underneath. Not my thing, I guess.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      “It’s black plastic…”
      The slide, that is, all the METAL that is coated, is steel.
      I’ll just assume you knew that and didn’t pay attention to what you were writing, and that you aren’t really that phenomenally stupid.

      1. avatar Old Fart says:

        Now I’m confused. Does the frame not have the “battle worn finish”? Or the guy not wanting the gun saying it was all plastic? Today I am probably that phenomenally stupid. Like the old joke, my day in the barrel.

      2. avatar FlamencoD says:

        Uh, I think you’re not paying attention JWT. I said the FRAME is black plastic, but with a battle worn finish to make it look like it wore through to metal (hence the silvery finish on the black plastic frame). I think it’s dumb.

      3. avatar FlamencoD says:

        And…you probably shouldn’t allude to calling your readership stupid – even if you disagree with them. You sound like the online gun blog version of Honor Guard. Not good for business.

  18. avatar ‘liljoe says:

    Question is how does it compare to a zev tech Glock?

  19. avatar Chris says:

    April 1st is still nearly two months away, you jumped the gun with your joke.

  20. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    altezza/ is300?
    this is a yugo abarth.

  21. avatar gun says:

    I read the total post and find an awesome stay with us up to date.

  22. avatar TJefferson says:

    What a bunch of crybabies. Wilson combat action tunings fire as smooth as glass. Product variety is what makes America great. Complain with your snobbish comments if you want, but if you only want to see chunky black plastic guns then move to Russia. Leave the rest of us to spend our hard earned money on what we desire.

    God bless America and companies like Wilson combat.

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