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Wilson Combat X-TAC Lightrail

My EDC is a Wilson Combat X-TAC Commander 1911. It cost a bomb, weighs a ton and carries just eight rounds of ammo. On the positive side, it weighs a ton (minimizing recoil), conceals like a jaguar and enables me to hit precisely what I’m aiming at. That said, the Wilson X-TAC is not my bedside ballistic BFF. That honor goes to my GLOCK 19 with night sights and a Surefire snout light. And now this . . .

Wilson Combat X-TAC Compact LightRail

The new Wilson Combat X-TAC Combat LightRail. It shares my gun’s basics — including the high price ($2,985) — and has a rail to accommodate accessories for “working operators everywhere.” Even when they’re in bed. My inner operator says yes. My cash flow says no. Still, I can’t recommend this model enough, made better by this simple addition. This gun buying thing is a sickness. Just sayin’ . . .

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  1. I’m sure WC makes great stuff……. well, actually no I’m not. I get very suspicious about guns that cost more than the GDP of most of sub Saharan Africa. Kind of an Emperors new clothes catch 22… no one that paid that much for a gun is going to admit they wasted their money, so of course they are going to be the best thing ever, right? I mean, for 3 grand it HAS TO BE! Otherwise I just paid a cars worth of money for a few ounces of steel and some springs, and I can’t be THAT big of a jackass! Nope… gotta be awesome.

    My point is, at some point you’re paying for a name. I think Wilson Combat reached that point about 1500 dollars ago.

    • I’ve never shot a Wilson Combat, but I’ve spent some time handling them and dry firing. I know, I know, it’s not the same as shooting them, but…I was prepared to bite the bullet and sacrifice and scrimp to buy one. Then I handled a Colt Special Combat Government at a gun show. Its action felt every bit as smooth (it really is “like butter”) as the Wilson Combat, and the fit and finish were just as good to my admittedly not a microscope eye. There was a tiny bit of take up in the trigger but that was easily fixed. So I ordered the SCG Carry version for $1300 less than the Wilson Combat I was considering. 4000 rounds later and I still love it and have no regrets. But I’m sure people could say no regrets about a 1911 they bought for $1300 less than mine as well.

    • Yep Vhyrus. It’s not for you and me. This is for the luxury types with money to burn. I’m on the shovel AK level right now. How about a llama review. Llama anyone?

      I would be interested to know, given such tight clearances, would it still function well dirty or with a little sand, etc. I mean, suppose I had one and dropped it in the mud and dirt. Is it still going to fire?

      • Shaggy fur, hard to maintain. Don’t carry much. Can’t ride. But at least they’re nimble on mountainsides.

        2 stars

        • And llamas will spit at people they don’t like. That ought to bring the rating up. But they might also spit at you when they’re irritated…so maybe that brings it up to 2 1/2.

    • The 1911 market just works that way man…

      I run Glocks for life and death uses, but for games I’ve been shooting 1911/2011 all my life.

      As a rule of thumb, 2000 is the cutoff mark above which you can be reasonably sure that the gun is reasonably reliabe. AKA you are buying performance, not name. Nowhere near Glock-reliable. But it’s definitely enough to give you confidence in, say, IPSC World Shoot or any other major sports event that it wont hiccup and flush your years of practice down the drain. In order for a 1911/2011 to be Glock-reliable, well, it’s more like a hit-or-miss. Sometimes you find it in a 400 dollar Springfield GI, sometimes a 9000-dollar full custom sucks balls by jamming even on ball ammo (dont ask me how i know). The only brand that’s been troublefree for me since day one, no matter how tough the environment i threw it in (a thigh holster during a 3-day rifle class in the mud, which, by the way, my HK45 failed miserably. I hate HK), is SVI.

      The name wilson combat is not a “name” that you buy. It’s just a semi-custom shop, like mid-tech knives. Great guns, great workmanship, but much short of heirloom quality and reputation.

      Buying a name, and the AMAZING craftsmanship that comes with it, will cost you 5000-10000 if there is no precious material used. Like, Clark, Volkmann, Harrison, Lauck, Yost, Gemini, Chen(he quit), and some others. Of course, the very top model by semi-custom makers, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, and Les Baer, are equally amazing and worth buying “the name” for.

  2. That Wilson of RF’s is the best shooting shorty 1911 I’ve ever fired by far. Really surprising accuracy and speed from such a short barrel and sight radius.

    • Right, because seeing the threat is never necessary.

      Although I partially agree with your implication. A handheld flashlight, to use for idenfitying the threat , is necessary. A gun mounted light (should never be used to identify a threat, just in case that bump in the night is a friend/relative, not a threat) is a “nice to have”


    • They’re great, or at least a great improvement over not having them, for virtually any nighttime excursion in an unfamiliar, or even just unplanned, environment. Stand alone flashlights are fine, but may get dropped in a tussle. Having a light right on your weapon, can make all the difference in the world for the accuracy of a split second shoot/no shoot decision.

      • And Jeff cooper safety rule no. 2?? If you are using your gun light to identify – then you are also muzzling them.

        • A light is not a laser beam. Even tight beams like on a Surefire have plenty of spill. It’s a training issue worth spending your time on.

          Why do we carry in condition 1? Cuz the other hand may be doing something else. In a self defense scenario there are a bazillion better ways to occupy the weak hand than constantly holding a flashlight. Both handheld and weaponmounted require 2 hands. But with a weaponlight it’s easier to do other tasks with the weak hand. And reloads, malfunctions are severely hampered even with whatever rubber ring you put on the tailcap.

          With a handheld light: see possible threat – handheld light investigate – threat – shoot with half the speed and accuracy with only one hand.

          With a weaponlight and a handheld: see possible threat – handheld light or weaponlight investigate depending on the scenario – threat – shoot with full potential (dropping the handheld if it’s in the hand).

          Especially with new small weaponlights there is not really a reason not to have one if the gun is big enough to take it.

          If you have to ditch one and you can choose which to ditch, it really depends on what you do. For me, i simply have no use for a handheld light immediately on person. All i need for daily utility my phone’s flashlight app is enough. If the guy in the dark is approaching so fast that there no time for the phone, i pull the gun with confidence. In emergencys where i need to break glass or hit people less lethal, the pommel of my knife or that steel slide on my Glock does just fine. If your dayjob involves outdoor activities, YMMV.

          But weaponlight = muzzling people is simply not true.

        • We’re talking about a situation where you have already drawn your weapon, with the specific intent to very possibly shoot a specific threat (condition red, per Cooper. And a dark shade of red at that) you are pointing your weapon light at. You’re just making doubly sure you have a good ID before firing.

          We’re not talking about a routine shining the light on your kids, to check in on them.

  3. Once upon a time I was all ready to send my Colt lightweight officers ACP out to Wilson Combat to be made into the ultimate concealable light 1911. While futzing around in the safe I made the mistake of laying it on the workbench next to my workhorse Glock 19. Hmm. They were the same size. No way.

    Then I weighed them. The Glock was lighter.

    Now in fairness, a Glock is nowhere near as accurate as a custom 1911. My Nighthawk and Les Baer are both capable of one hole groups at 25 ft. But even still I was a amazed to realize that my G19 was not only smaller than a Commander, but was smaller than an OACP. And it held 16 vs 7 rounds. With that, I sold the Colt and just resolved myself that as much as I love owning and shooting the 1911, I wouldn’t be carrying it.


    • While a Glock 19 is shorter in length and height while weighing considerably less than a Commander, it is bigger in one key dimension, width. The G19 slide is 1.18″ wide, the 1911 slide is 0.916″ wide. That is a COLOSSAL difference. Standard grips are thick on the 1911 but the frame is only .75″ wide in the grip on the 1911. The contour of the grip panels and the fact that they don’t cover the entire grip frame make the grip of the gun ver concealable. The top of the slide being roundedis another factor in concealability.

      I own a G19 and a Commander. I carry the Commander to work every day. The 1911 is by far easier to conceal well than the G19. Not to say anything bad about the Glock, my 19 stands guard at home. Fir IWB carry though, I’ll take a Commander in .45 ACP all day, every day.

  4. Would love to have one but I have champagne taste on a beer budget. Barring some huge financial success in the next 10 years I can’t see myself owning anything more expensive than a Dan Wesson, and even that’s a long shot. I would venture to say that this gun is financially out of reach for 90% or more of gun owners.

  5. If I’m ever in a self-defense situation and have to use my gun to defend myself, I wouldn’t want a $3,000 gun taken from me and placed in evidence at a police station where it might eventually get “lost.”

    • 1) Unless you live in the ghetto, it’s still really unlikely that that will ever happen. Plan for it, absolutely – but recognize it’s still highly unlikely.

      2) If it does happen, that $3k will be a small rounding error on your legal bill. And paying a big legal bill is still way better than being dead.

  6. I, too, have that “sickness”. I have a Colt XSE Lightweight Govt. Model. It’s not quite as nice, but it does the job.
    My little pride and joy that I carry almost every day is my Para Elite Carry. It’s more compact than an officers model. I had a trigger job and ambi safety installed, got a set of carbon fiber grips ($35 bucks at SARCO), a Don Hume leather IWB holster, and it’s good to go. I got it even up in a trade for a Ruger 1911. The guy was freaked out about all the bad press Para had gotten. Mine has been flawless. I’d compare it to any $1500 1911.
    Les Baers, Nighthawks,Wilsons, are all fine pistols. I’d never spring for a new one. Someday, someone will need a quick $1000 , and I’ll own one.

  7. I own a Wilson CQB and a Guncrafter Industries model 3. While they are both very nice weapons I actually significantly prefer my Sig 1911 extreme edition. It both feels better and shoots better for about 2 grand less. I also really like my Sig ultra compact 1911, which compares favorably with the Wilson above. My suggestion is save the coin and just go with the Sig. I wish I had.

  8. Weapon lights are awesome and I can’t believe we are still having this conversation. You don’t even get close to pointing your gun at a target before you can identify it. But the important thing to remember, if you can’t 100% identify your target then you shouldn’t be shooting. A weapon light allows that last second identification. And the argument about a family member/loved one. How many people have family members breaking into their house? My family has never done that. Is this a thing in some places? It’s ok to say “honey, is that you?”

  9. IThe only thing I add to a firearm is a scope on a hunting rifle. I cant use the other stuff without it catching up on somthing. I have had to draw a 357 colt trooper out of a leather holster( bianchi) and it felt as if it had glue on it. Its all fine at the range and what not, but when being attacked them asessories arent for me. Also you get what you pay for, does have limitations.


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