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“This is the year of the 1911,” Wilson Combat’s John May tells TTAG. “Thanks to the gun’s centennial, our marketing efforts and our huge number of customization options, sales have just taken off.” Roger that. May reports that Wilson Combat’s already built 68 percent of last year’s total sales figures. “We’ve got 1140 guns on back order. If you want a Wilson this year, you better order it now.” Well he would say that wouldn’t he? But give Bill’s Boyz credit . . .

Most companies respond to skyrocketing demand by raising prices, making hay while the sun shines and reducing demand. Wilson Combat has only elevated the price of its CQB—by a single Franklin. “We’ll never compromise quality,” May assures.

At the same time, May warns newbies looking to carry a Wilson Combat 1911 to get training before—and after—writing his employer a check. “A 1911 is an expert’s gun,” May says. “They’re not for everyone.” Easy to say when you’ve got more than enough people who want one. But true, nonetheless.

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  1. I wonder where in that 1,140 deep waiting list my name falls?? 🙂 .. Time will tell (and a review will follow!)

  2. Ah, so this explains a post over on about a guy waiting forever for his Wilson.

    With the multitude of quality 1911 manufacturers out there, why would you wait a year for a gun from these guys? I’d go buy a Lippard and have it in a few months. And have a cooler gun too.

    • You pay and wait for a Wilson because of two main reasons,

      1) It is one of the best semi custom 1911s on the market today with both reliability and accuracy to boot.

      2) Thier customer service is far above the rest. There is no company, gun or otherwise, with a CS like Wilson Combat. Not only do they stand behind thier fine products but they work above and beyond to help you out. Be it a $2 part or a $2000 part you get the same service.

      Ive spoken with John May many a times, hes Gtg in my book. If he were to tell me that the sky is green with red stripes running across the horizon I would not question it.

      -Corporal Rice, Eric USMC
      Kajaki Afghanistan

    • I do not mean to trivialize the two points you made. But these are characteristics of many companies which make excellent 1911-style guns. Kimber. STI. Springfield Armory. These manufacturers do not make their customers wait months and months for ordered guns.

      And I have had similar experience with Para Ordnance’s customer service (Chris Craig, CS Manager) to yours with Wilson. That’s all about people as much as product. And Para is not making Wilson quality guns.

      • Ill give you the STI and Springfield Armory hands down. However I can not follow on the Kimber, I use to think they had themselves a squared away company however both my dad’s and my buddy’s Kimber both have thier finish wearing off only a few months after purchase. As well as a few function issues.

        Kimber’s QC seems to be slipping. Note that my dad has only put 300 rounds in his and you can see bare metal where he places his thumb to cock the weapon. Also untill I cleaned the burs out of my buddy’s Custom II it would FTF every mag. I would rather wait a year for a gun then recieve it with flaws.

        As for Para Ord I have 2 on the way with a 14 week waiting period. They never answer the phone when I call but on the rare occation when they do, I have to agree with you they are quite polite and helpful.

        I will simply say that people pick thier gun company by what they want from thier 1911. I want a reliable good shooting 1911 that happens to look good, for me the best choice is Wilson Combat and a Caspian made by Jim Milks, My S&W1911 while a fine gun is not to those standards nor do I expect the Para to be. I believe WCs long waiting period stems from not predicting the influx to so many customers so fast. Since Im in Afghanistan at the moment it tends to not effect me on how long the waiting period is 😉


      • Order a Professional from Springfield. It’s the closest thing they have to a Wilson and there’s an 18 month wait. Comparing a semi-custom maker to production gun companies is apples to oranges.

  3. So there are suddenly a lot of lottery winners out there? OR people who got great tax refunds? Wilson’s are like Aston Martins to me. I will never be able to afford one. But I can appreciate them.

  4. The reason I wouldn’t carry a gun that costs that much or one that I have an emotional attachment to is that if you had to use it for serious social work you would never see it again.

  5. Thank you very much for post. My opinion this article is interesting . I like your post. I need to know how can I subscribe to your blog?. I will be follow you blog each 9 days.

  6. Quality, best customer service, accuracy gurantee, and innovation. Thats why I ditched kimber and bought 3 wilsons.

  7. Wilson Combat makes the best pistols my money can buy, I own Para’s, Colt’s, Les Baer’s, Ed Brown’s, Nighthawk’s and one Kimber, If you can afford a Wilson Combat handgun, you will never regret the customer sevice and the thousands of rounds of fun with total accuracy.

  8. In my view after owning 1911’s for 40 years is that there are many top gun manufacturers making them like Les Baer, Kimber, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Springfield, Colt, etc. What makes Wilson Combat my favorite is their remarkable quality, accuracy, and dependability. The same can be said of all of them but WC just goes that extra mile. I own a WC Tactical Elite and I love it as it is my favorite pistol but I also own Heckler and Koch’s, Sigs, Seecamps, and a Kimber. Asking if WC can justify their 3000 dollar plus price tag is like asking if a Porsche is worth 30,000 dollars more than a Cadillac. It all depends on your taste and budget……I would add that WC, Les Baer and the other finely fit 1911 would NOT be ideal in a combat situation where you would get sand, dirt, and any other detritus in the weapon as they are too perfectly fit to allow for that level of contamination. There I would go with a looser fit weapon like the Colt or Springfield.

  9. Mr. Fritz,

    I take exception with your comment that many pistol manufacturers dont make you wait many months. You cite Kimber. Well buddy have you tried to purchase a Kimber solo in stainless lately? You are looking at least 6-12 months. Most professionally built watches, cars, homes, etc require waiting. Buying a custom made pistol to your specifications is a VERY important decision and required many choices including alot of field testing to determine what you really desire and need in a pistol. If all you want is a pistol to pop off at the range then…yes….many lesser pistols will do the trick. But if you know precisely what you want and will demand that your pistol be truly professionally built and tested with milled parts, not forged, then go to Wilson Combat and wait 12 months, or more, as you life may depend on it, particularly if you carry them as I do. The Wilson Combats have a lifetime TRANSFERRABLE warranty. If you are looking at a slick-fast food-persian bazarre type of pistol for the range to go shooting cheap ammo just go to a gun show and ask for a Taurus or some Eastern European pistol or upgrade and buy a used STI, Kimber, or Para. Even better buy a Colt or Springfield, Sig or H&K but Wilson Combat is something you have to see and shoot to appreciate. The first time I bought my tactical elite in .45 ACP it shot like a .380 ACP. Very smooth recoil and dead on center target. Incredible and I have bought 3 more Wilson’s.


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