When TTAG announced the arrival of the new Wilson Combat X-TAC Compact, more than a few members of our Armed Intelligentsia wondered why in the world anyone would pay $2680 for a pistol. (And that, 1911 fans, is a non-customized “entry level” model.) Sid put it succinctly: “The price! My God! The price!” So I asked John May to justify the cost of his employer’s 1911s. Billy Boy’s marketing maven sent the following bullet points explaining “why Wilson Combat Pistols are more highly valued than other makers pistols”:
1. All of our pistols are hand built, one at a time from the best components. Wilson Combat has more collective experience than any other custom builder. Calling on that experience and the world’s best components gives you the best final products.
2. The only way to get the best components is to machine them from the best raw materials and use modern CNC machines that hold the parts to the highest possible tolerances. We have simply made huge investments in this area so we can continue to improve the quality of every component that we use and every accessory that we sell.
3. Our Customer Service is the best in the industry. A simple statement guides our service: “You will not just be satisfied, you will be extremely satisfied” and it guides us every day. We service not only the original customer but our service follows the pistol after the sale even if it years down the road.
And then I saw my gun. Now I’m a believer. There’s nothing like racking the slide of a Wilson Combat gun. Well, there is, but there’s a line between gun porn and plain old porn.
Anyway, just don’t tell my daughters, whose champagne dreams and caviar wishes have suddenly become Budweiser naps and pork rind aspirations.
Meanwhile, Cameron Hopkins over at American Rifleman reckons there’s another reason to pay a few grand for a Wilson in the hand.
Fueling the desire to own high-quality guns might be caused by a demand for tangible investment instruments, which is pushing gold and silver to record highs. “People are scared,” Bill added. “They’ve seen their paper investments go to nothing while gold has risen. Guns are the same.”
Hmmm. If you’re looking for investment-grade firearms, a new Wilson Combat 1911 may not be the way to go. It’s a great time to buy important shotguns, for example. But who said justifications had to make sense?