The firearms industry rarely creates something new. It’s even more rare that anyone gets it right the first time. Bill Wilson and his engineers at Wilson Combat set out to create a high quality, all-metal 9mm high-capacity gun specifically for every day carry. The Wilson Combat EDC X9 nails it.
Think about it. Most manufacturers usually make a larger gun and then shorten it or lighten it for carry use. The X9 was created from the start as a gun for non-law enforcement civilians to carry at all times.
The top slide is basically the same as a Wilson X-TAC 9mm 1911 short slide with a tri-topped cut, and anti-glare serrations. That gives the X9 a tied-together finished look, one that really make the sights pop.
The X-shaped serrations on the front and back of the slide give plenty grip for racking the slide. You’ll also find an external extractor, making user service easy, as well as an attractive fluted barrel. The slide includes Wilson’s Enhanced Reliability System for 9mm 1911s, designed to keep the gun running well despite varying loads.
On the front side, a deep crown on the bushingless bull barrel lies directly under a bright fiber optic front sight. That front rear sight combination is ideal, allowing for fast acquisition as well as precision shots at distance. It does, however, disappear in the dark.
If you prefer another option, the user can easily swap out sights through a hole extending through the front of the slide to the sight itself. You can choose from red or green fiber, a brass bead or a tritium insert. All of these will be available on the Wilson combat web site later in May. If you can pull off the slide and turn an Allen wrench, swapping them out is simple.
The real magic is below the bore, in the frame. The X9 is not a “slightly modified” version of anything. It’s a new gun, offered either with or without a rail to hang a light or laser. Note that there X9 has no grip safety under the beavertail. The thumb safety clicks on and off solidly and with little effort.
Tucked inside the small, dehorned frame is what I’m sure was a challenge; a 1911-style trigger inside a smaller, non-1911 gun. Wilson pulled it off, and with options as well. They’ll supply short, medium, or long triggers at the users request. And looking at how the gun comes apart, installing your own Wilson-supplied trigger should be a simple task.
This supplied trigger breaks at a consistent 3lbs 15oz, without a bit of variation. With just a tiny bit of empty pre-travel, the not-a-1911 1911-style gas pedal breaks cleanly with a short and obvious reset. But wait, there’s more!
You’ll notice there are no screws on the scales. With a single 1/8 pin punch pressed into a small hole in the bottom of the handle, the back strap swings open and the scales slide out. That allows you complete access to the inside of the EDC X9 for detailed cleaning.
Wilson Combat will put any of their Armor Tuff finishes on the gun, and I’m already seeing some cool variations. The buyer can also decide from a few different G10 color options. I have this finish on two of my Wilsons and it holds up extremely well over time and still retains a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. The magazines are stamped “Made in Italy” and are made by Mec-Gar.
Bill Wilson has said that reliability was number one for his pistols and that there would be no compromise there. I haven’t seen any in the X9, but I was eager to see if the hype matched the performance.
I headed to The Range at Austin and put 300 rounds of mixed 9mm ammunition through the X9. In 22 minutes. The next day I headed to my outdoor range where I put another 300 rounds through it in a series of drills. Through those 600 rounds, I had zero failures of any kind. That includes rounds in 115gr, 124gr, and 147gr. That includes standard and +P, full metal jacket round nosed, hollow points, frangible flat tips, and the Hornady XTP round as well as other ammo from eight different manufacturers.
The next day I pumped another 120 more rounds through the gun. I shot right handed, left handed, in standard and off positions, I intentionally limp wristed the X9. No problems. At no point did I lube or clean the gun, nor did I so much as remove the slide after my initial look until after all of the firing was complete. Not so much as a hiccup.
In all of those rounds, even during the fast fire of that first 22 minutes with the gun, I didn’t experience so much as a pinch, sore spot, or anything other than a solid, comfortable grip on the EDC X9. The slightly oval shape of the grip, combined with the texture of the of the front and back straps and the G10 grips give me a firm purchase on the gun. The slightly enlarged trigger well is undercut, allowing a comfortably high grip on the fairly small frame. This clearly isn’t a sized-down gun originally made for .45 ACP or .38 Super. The X9 simply feels great in the hand.
I expected a little more recoil out of the gun. Despite the high grip, the bore axis isn’t particularly low. There’s about a finger’s width from the top of the frame to the center of the bore. It’s a relatively large slide on a small frame. The gun is fairly light weights only 3 oz more than a polymer GLOCK 19 unloaded. But the recoil is nothing like the plastic fantastic.
The EDC X9 humms along it’s rails, giving a back and forth push with very little muzzle rise. It was no problem at all keeping the fiber optic front sight in view during the recoil cycle, and the gun was fast to fire and faster to fire again. All in all, the familiarization fire and drills I did with the gun for reliability testing proved that not only was the gun reliable, but exceptionally comfortable to shoot.
I thought I had them when I got to the bench. After my first string of five rounds at 25 yards off of bags, I took a look at the holes in the target. They looked pretty wide. Finally a deficiency. Then I measured them. 1.2 inches. A group that small at 25 yards from a carry gun is excellent. And that’s not the best. As I had no baseline with this pistol, I spent a morning shooting many different loads from it.
The Cap Arms 147gr XTP round scored the best, averaging a flat one-inch group. Cap Arms 147gr RN scored 1.2 inches, Wilson’s 124gr HP defensive load scored 1.8 inches, as did the Federal 124gr +P HST, Blazer 115gr FMJ scored two inches as did Team Never Quit’s 100gr frangible round.
This was a solid pattern with the gun. The heavier rounds produced tighter groups, with any 147gr round outperforming any 124gr or lighter round. The lighter the round the worse it got, but it never got anything other than great. Keep in mind this was after 600 rounds of familiarization and testing fire without cleaning. I fired a total of 120 rounds for accuracy testing and the worst group the X9 produced was two inches. From a compact carry gun, I have to tip my hat.
As far as concelability, in my El Paso Saddlerly Summer Cruiser IWB holster, it disappears just a well as any of my single stack 1911s, including my lightweight commander. No surprise on the ease of carry there. However, I can’t use that particular holster for this gun.
Although the slide fits perfectly, the more rounded and enlarged trigger well of the EDC X9 stops the gun from completely entering the holster. That means that the trigger is ever so slightly exposed, including the trigger face. That’s a no go. Remember, there’s a thumb safety, but no grip safety on the X9.
I took a look at a few of the holsters I have and I found this same problem with most of them. That includes the holster for my Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE. If I were to order this gun, I would order it with the long trigger rather than the short version. It’s something to be aware of when choosing a holster for this gun. Every holster should hold the X9, but not all of them will do it safely.
There’s really no good reason for this pistol to exist. I don’t mean the market doesn’t need or want a metal-framed high capacity carry gun with great styling. The SIG Legion P229 proved that, although the X9 outclasses it in every way. No, I mean there was no reason for Wilson Combat to make this gun.
Wilson does just fine with their core business of excellent 1911s and they’ve done well with their long-time production of shotguns under Scattergun Technologies. They could have continued to do what they’re doing forever. I really applaud Bill Wilson and his staff for going out on a limb to create something new in the X9 and they’ve hit this one out of the park.
Specifications: Wilson Combat EDX X9
Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7.4 inches
Sight Radius: 5.6 inches
Height: 5.25 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Weight Empty: 29.09 oz
Weight Loaded: 35.04 oz
Base Price: $2,895
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style * * * * 1/2
The slide looks a little busy. And yes, that may be a desperate attempt to find fault with something on this gun.
Reliability * * * * *
Perfect with any round by any manufacturer. I ran this gun hard and it did not disappoint.
Accuracy * * * * *
A four-inch compact carry gun that hit one-inch five-round groups at 25 yards with defensive ammunition. Even the worst performing rounds were still very good.
Overall * * * * *
This isn’t a good pistol, it’s an exceptional pistol. Congratulations to those of you who gambled and pre-ordered one. It breaks my heart that some of those folks are collectors who will never carry the gun. It’s pretty, but no safe queen. The EDC X9, as its name implies, is a gun to carry. Every single day.