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Gentlemen:

Do any of you guys own and/or recommend the polymer frame Wilson KZ-45? I have always been a hardcore 1911 steel frame single stack guy but am now a reserve sheriff and we are allowed to carry single action pistols. I don't feel unsafe with a single stack but would rather carry a high capacity .45 if possible. My experiences with other high cap. 1911's ( Para Ordnance, Enterprise Arms )has been less than favorable mainly because the magazines don't feed as reliably as single stacks. Apparantly, this is more of a problem with the .45 cartridge than with some other calibers. I have witnessed the Long Beach, CA SWAT team's Para Ordnances jam multiple times during practice sessions. I have been told by various custom 1911 gunsmiths that the only reliable high capacity .45 they would carry is the Glock M21 or M30.

Wilson claims that the KZ-45 and it's magazines are "totally reliable" but they will claim that for their 8 round magazines as well. However, several guys I know that own custom 1911's like myself have had multiple problems with Wilson 8 round magazines and have reverted back to Metalform 7 round, steel round top follower magazines with no problems. Dave at Wolff Springs can give you full details. This is why I'd rather have first hand info. from anyone who owns a KZ-45 and has shot it extensively.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks Much.
 

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Single Action;

Correct me, but I believe we spoke over the phone a couple of weeks ago about the KZ-45.

If not, I have sold a few and have had no bad reports on them. The first buyer bought it to shoot IDPA and has but several thousands round through it with no gun or mag problems. He did say there was an ammo problem with poor reloads ( a friends ammo) as on bullet pushed itself inside the case (poor or no taper crimp). Wouldn't feed then.

Other than that no other reports.

Be safe and keep the brass flying

Terry Peters
http://www.pt-partners.com

One other thing. Several gunsmiths have mentioned to me the original 1911 design was an 8 round gun meaning 7 plus 1 and with the desire for "high capacity" the push for the 9 round gun 8 plus 1 came out. Mark Morris in particular used to send the 7 round metalform with the rounded follower and a wolf extra power spring. Now Ed Brown does the same.

Baer went back and forth from 8 to 7 then back to 8.

On the Glock. We get factory mags with bad followers in Glock also, not to mention the occasional "kaboom" you hear about.

There is no 100% reliable gun.

Just 99.999999999999% and when you don't want to to go wrong IT WILL.

From what others wisdom (their goofs) and my own "experience" (my multiple goofs) problems run from gun, to mag, to ammo, to shooter, and/or a combination of the aforementioned reasons.

All you can do is eliminate or reduce the variable as much as you can.
 
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Might want to consider the price of the mags for that pistol & if they are they are the only ones it will be able to use?
 

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Single Action,

I have owned a KZ-45 for several months now and have over 2500 rounds though it. I have fired many different brands of ammo through it and have never had a malfunction with it. It shoots 1 1/2"-2" groups offhand @ 25 meters.

With regards to the magazine question, I always load them one round down. The KZ holds 10 but I only load 9. On their 8 rounders for my single stack 1911's, I still only load 7. I have never had a feeding related problem by doing this. Feeding 100% of the time is more imporant then having one more round stuffed into a magazine.

Good shooting,

Dean
 

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Have you looked into a BUL M-5 Series? BUL is an Israeli company that actually makes the composite frame that Wilson uses in the KZ-45 (also used by Kimber for their composite gun). The upper assembly is, I believe, from Chip McCormick. The BUL usually sells for less than either the Kimber or Wilson. Each BUL is hand-fitted / assembled by one of their gunsmiths prior to leaving the factory. I bought one a couple of weeks ago and love it. Additional magazines are available from their USA importer for around $35.00 per. Great gun.

BUL Web site: http://www.bultransmark.com

USA Importer Web site: http://www.isa-isa.com

NOTE: On the BUL website you can find a short video clip of a BUL M-5 Gov't pistol that their gunsmith modified to fire full auto! He is shown emptying a 55-round magazine through it; note his sheepish grin at the end...
 

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Rob Jones,

In a communication today with Mr. Doron Madmony of ISA, he informs that they do not make the frames for Wilsons. Ryan Wilson also confirms that the Wilson's KZ-45 frames are made in So. Africa expecially for them. Wilson's is working on building their own factory here in the US to increase their production. It would be interesting to have a side by side comparisson of the two units.

There is something comforting knowing Wilson's name is on what you are betting your life on. You can just feel the Wilson's quality in your hands.

Good shooting,

Dean
 

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Originally posted by Deang:
Rob Jones,

In a communication today with Mr. Doron Madmony of ISA, he informs that they do not make the frames for Wilsons. Ryan Wilson also confirms that the Wilson's KZ-45 frames are made in So. Africa expecially for them. Wilson's is working on building their own factory here in the US to increase their production. It would be interesting to have a side by side comparisson of the two units.

There is something comforting knowing Wilson's name is on what you are betting your life on. You can just feel the Wilson's quality in your hands.

Good shooting,

Dean

Dean,

I stand corrected. My information came from my gun dealer, who started selling BULs about two years ago. Maybe they USED to provide the frames for Wilson. Now I need to verify that they still provide the frame for Kimber. I'll email ISA and ask them. Thanks for the information.

Rob
 

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Rob,

Thanks for the information on BUL. Since they are right here in my backyard I plan to visit their facility in the next few weeks and give their products an indepth inspection.

Please keep us posted on their response about providing the polymer frames for Kimbers. I have seen several of our students using the polymer Kimbers with mixed results. The Kimbers stocks are also much fatter then the Wilsons. The Wilson's stock circumference is the same as a Glock 22' which tends to fit more people.

Dean
 

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Dean,

I just got off the phone with Doron, and he tells me that Kimber does in fact get their frames (for their polymer pistol) from BUL, and that BUL, in turn, gets their uppers from Kimber! The uppers look a lot like a Chip McCormick to me - maybe that's where Kimber gets them.

Here's some bad news about BUL...A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time calling the various testing labs that have been certified by CA DOJ to perform the handgun testing. I learned a lot about what I believe will happen to the availability of handguns in this state next year. Anyway, I had emailed the phone numbers of the labs to Doron, as he had not yet done anything about getting BULs tested (he told my gun dealer that he was waiting on CA DOJ to contact him!).
When I spoke to him today, I asked him about having the BULs tested. His response was that he is inclined to NOT have any BULs tested for sale in CA due to the high cost. As I'm sure you know, he would have to submit three samples of each model (in each caliber) to be tested, along with 1800 rounds of ammo for the three samples. The test lab would charge him approximately $1,000.00 per sample being tested, plus he has to pay CA DOJ $200.00 for each gun that get's listed by DOJ as being OK to sell (this is an annual charge as well).
This does not bode well for CA. Right now, there are only 15 gun models listed by CA DOJ as Ok to sell, and they're all from Ruger. I fully expect that come January 2001, we'll be lucky to see 40% of the current roster of available handguns being legal to sell in CA - probably Ruger, Glock, and S&W. Imagine what the prices of those guns will be...
CA is rapidly becoming the most gun-hostile state in this great country, and I don't see any relief in sight.

Rob
 

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Glocks will pass because the trigger 'tit' is Ok per ATF. FYI, here's the pertinent text from the California Code regarding this safey nonsense:

12126. As used in this chapter, "unsafe handgun" means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 12001, for which any of the following is true:
(a) For a revolver:
(1) It does not have a safety device that, either automatically in the case of a double-action firing mechanism, or by manual operation in the case of a single-action firing mechanism, causes the hammer to retract to a point where the firing pin does not rest upon the primer of the cartridge.
(2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns pursuant to Section 12127.
(3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns pursuant to Section 12128.
(b) For a pistol:
(1) It does not have a positive manually operated safety device, as determined by standards relating to imported guns promulgated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
(2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns pursuant to Section 12127.
(3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns pursuant to Section 12128.

12127. (a) As used in this chapter, the "firing requirement for handguns" means a test in which the manufacturer provides three handguns of the make and model for which certification is sought, these handguns not being in any way modified from those that would be sold if certification is granted, to an independent testing laboratory certified by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 12130. The laboratory shall fire 600 rounds from each gun, stopping after each series of 50 rounds has been fired for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the weapon to cool, stopping after each series of 100 rounds has been fired to tighten any loose screws and clean the gun in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, and stopping as needed to refill the empty magazine or cylinder to capacity before continuing. The ammunition used shall be of the type recommended by the handgun manufacturer in the user manual, or if none is recommended, any standard ammunition of the correct caliber in new condition. A handgun shall pass this test if each of the three test guns meets both of the following:
(1) Fires the first 20 rounds without a malfunction that is not due to faulty magazine or ammunition.
(2) Fires the full 600 rounds with no more than six malfunctions that are not due to faulty magazine or ammunition and without any crack or breakage of an operating part of the handgun that increases the risk of injury to the user.
(b) If a pistol or revolver fails the requirements of either paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) due to either a faulty magazine or faulty ammunition, the pistol or revolver shall be retested from the beginning of the "firing requirement for handguns" test. A new model of the pistol or revolver that failed due to a faulty magazine or ammunition may be submitted for the test to replace the pistol or revolver that failed.
(c) As used in this section, "malfunction" means a failure to properly feed, fire, or eject a round, or failure of a pistol to accept or reject a manufacturer-approved magazine, or failure of a pistol's slide to remain open after a manufacturer-approved magazine has been expended.

12128. As used in this chapter, the "drop safety requirement for handguns" means that at the conclusion of the firing requirements for handguns described in Section 12127, the same certified independent testing laboratory shall subject the same three handguns of the make and model for which certification is sought, to the following test:
A primed case (no powder or projectile) shall be inserted into the chamber. For pistols, the slide shall be released, allowing it to move forward under the impetus of the recoil spring, and an empty magazine shall be inserted. For both pistols and revolvers, the weapon shall be placed in a drop fixture capable of dropping the pistol from a drop height of 1m + 1cm (39.4 + 0.4 in.) onto the largest side of a slab of solid concrete having minimum dimensions of 7.5 X 15 X 15 cm (3 X 6 X 6 in.). The drop distance shall be measured from the lowermost portion of the weapon to the top surface of the slab. The weapon shall be dropped from a fixture and not from the hand. The weapon shall be dropped in the condition that it would be in if it were dropped from a hand (cocked with no manual safety applied). If the design of a pistol is such that upon leaving the hand a "safety" is automatically applied by the pistol, this feature shall not be defeated. An approved drop fixture is a short piece of string with the weapon attached at one end and the other end held in an air vise until the drop is initiated.
The following six drops shall be performed:
(a) Normal firing position with barrel horizontal.
(b) Upside down with barrel horizontal.
(c) On grip with barrel vertical.
(d) On muzzle with barrel vertical.
(e) On either side with barrel horizontal.
(f) If there is an exposed hammer or striker, on the rearmost point of that device, otherwise on the rearmost point of the weapon.
The primer shall be examined for indentations after each drop. If indentations are present, a fresh primed case shall be used for the next drop.
The handgun shall pass this test if each of the three test guns does not fire the primer.

Rob
 

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DON'T you just love it when you read some guys shoot 1" 1/2 groups free hand at 25 PLUS YARDS!! they should be PRO SHOOTERS.
 

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Gunnuts,

Since I stated that my KZ-45 will shoot 1 1/2" - 2" groups offhand at 25 meters, I will respond to your post. Am I a professional? yes and no. I am a paid Rangemaster/Instructor with the Front Sight Firearms Training Instituite so to some that may make me a professional. Am I paid or sponsored on the IPSC circuit, no.

At Front Sight we have a policy that all of our instructors must be able to demostrate on demand everything we teach our students. One of the handgun classes I teach is our Handgun Combat Masters class. So I must perform on demand all of the skills required to pass the Handgun Combat Masters test. This includes shots from 25 and 50 meters.

Am I a good shot? NO, not if I were to judge by my fellow instructors and some of the students we see. Part of the fun of being an instructor is learning about others equipment. We love to stand back at the 25, 50 or 100 and challenge each other shootintg the other guys pistol. We even pit ourselves against our rifle students out to 200 meters on occasion, us shooting our handguns. Plenty of my fellow instructors and students have shot my KZ and they too are able to offhand shoot 1 1/2- 2" groups with it at 25 meters. In our classes we are able to get our advanced handgun students to hit steel plates from the 25, 50 & the 100 meter mark offhand with their eyes closed under no time pressure.

Are we exceptional? I would say no. What we are are people who are willing to train hard, practice, practice and practice and learn from each other, including our students and willing to lay ourselves open by standing in front of a group of students and peers and perform what we are asking of them.

Can my KZ-45 shoot the groups Wilson's claims, yes. The only real question is are we as shooters willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to shoot UP to the level of the pistol in our hand ?

Good Shooting,

Dean
 

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In support of Dean's statement, 1.5 to 2" groups handheld aren't unrealistic. Some folks can shoot that way most all the time.

For the rest us "mere mortals", a volume of training and practice can make those groups achievable on a fairly consistent basis. "The harder you work, the luckier you get."
 
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