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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm brand new here (even though I'm pushing 60), and am glad to have found you guys. Although I have owned a variety of handguns in my life (including carrying a Colt 45 in Vietnam), I am about to purchase my first 1911; a Wilson CQB Elite. Thru the years, I have heard and read of many "problems" with the 1911, most I am sure are urban legends. However, anything man-made comes with that human falicy (sic). So, shooters, what are some things that I should lookout for and be prepared to encounter? :scratch: Thanks for being here! :)
 

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I'll give it a first shot. You should be prepared for a handgun that in all likelyhood you will never be able to shoot at its best accuracy. And if any problems or breakages occur, you'll have the best customer service around to fall back on, no questions asked except "Describe the problem and we'll send a pickup."

Given the firearm you've purchased, relax and enjoy. There's nothing to worry about.
 

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Welcome here. I've been a long time and >

many time Wilson pistol owner over the years. Currenty there are 3 Wilsons that I still own, two that I shoot quite often and or use when I teach. All that said I've never owned a Wilson that didn't have to go back for one thing or another after receiving it which I find very frustrating after laying down a huge chunk of change for something marketed heavily as being totally reliable but not proven to be the case in my experience. You should use the reccommended ammo Wilson suggests on the list provided with your new pistol to give yourself the most trouble free experience possible, I think Federal AE 230 gr ball is on the list if you can find that as that seems to work well, and be ready for some FTF's etc, during your first 1000 rounds or so. Keep the pistol clean and lubed and by the time you reach 1000 rounds most of the bugs should hopefully be out of it. Don't forget to run about 100 or more rounds of your carry ammo through the pistol before carrying it or using it during a possible defensive situation just to make sure it functions flawlessly in your Wilson, just as you would in any other pistol you owned.

Just had a student receive a Wilson Tactical Supergrade a couple of months back and had to nurse him through his first 1000 rounds with it. Other then the expected FTF's and a couple of the grip screws falling off, I thought it all went pretty well though he thought he wouldn't have any malfunctions with the pistol at all. He now has about 2000 rounds through it and the Federals are able to feed without any problems anymore. Just a matter of resonable expectations IMHO. Sorry guys but that is just the experience I've had with Wilsons.

And yes I too would agree that a well maitained Wilson will shoot better than most people can accurately shoot. IMHO 1911 are more problamatic then Glocks, no question about that and that 1911's require much more attention than Glocks and the like. 1911's have about 20 more parts in them then Glocks do and even during a simple field strip break apart to around 8 pieces verus 4 for a Glock. However most, including myself, find Glocks ugly, impersonal, and lack the personal connection most of us feel with our 1911's. There is a reason the 1911 platform has lasted 100 years and that is that it is a thing of true beauty, that you can personalize them to taste and that it will also serve a useful function. There is no question that I get 1000% more enjoyment out of shooting my 1911's than my Glocks. However I am not sure that a 1911 would be my first choice of firearm during the next civil unrest or other such situation that may occur, for capacity reasons and several other reasons. But for pure shooting fun, a 1911 can't be beat! :)
 

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In my experience my CQB elite has been more reliable than my G-29. My SA is also dead nuts reliable. Any mechanical device can have problems. My 1911's have had a similar failure rate to other auto's I have or have owned. The wilson has had zero failures though it has only 550 rounds through it. My SA has maybe had 3 or 4 instances of failure to go into battery. It was my fault as the pistol had several hundred rounds through it (dirty as hell) and it was very cold out that day. a shot of clp fixed it right up. I am far more accurate with my 1911's than anything else.

Im sure you will love your Wilson...they are functional masterpieces.
 

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SHAMUSPI,
You are going to love the CQB Elite. It is money well spent. What options are you going to choose? I have owned 5 1911s and it is by far my favorite. Here's mine:



This gun has been reliable and flawless with no break-in issues and no accuracy issues.
 

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I think in the older days when Colt was for the most part the only serious producer of 1911’s, a lot of people (myself included) just accepted as fact that you would have to buy the Colt 1911 as a “base” gun and then fully understood that you were likely going to have to pay a custom gunsmith to make it what you wanted. I think that Colt really dropped the ball on not listening to their customer’s requests and from what I experienced they pretty well took the attitude “buy what we make and like it, or don’t buy at all”…

In fairness, many of the “problems” labeled many years ago on the 1911 weren’t the fault of the 1911… new ammo variations/shapes started hitting the market and competition shooting was really growing, the 1911 was designed to shoot hardball FMJ 230gr – when fed SWC’s or HP’s, many choked because they simply weren’t designed to feed ammo that didn’t exist at the time.

1911’s produced by Wilson and many of the other custom shops produce smoothly functioning handguns that are as reliable as a handgun can be made (with current ammo produced). As new ammo designs come out, I’m sure they will have to adjust accordingly (I recall that when some ultra-light frangible ammo first came out, the bullet weight was so light that adjusts were required to feed reliably in some handguns).

You will love your CQB Elite, the craftsmanship is outstanding and it is a true work of art in both form and function.
 

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First of all...Welcome to the Forum!

I have a full size CQB and couldn't be more pleased. I have absolutely no regrets or buyer's remorse whatsoever.

You asked what you should look out for and be prepared to encounter:

1. There's a very, very small chance that your CQB Elite could arrive and for some reason, need to go back to Wilson for service. Granted, this would be very disappointing, but know that the Wilson organization will bend over backwards to correct the problem.

In my case, my CQB had to go back because it arrived with a poor overall finish, especially the slide. I sent it back, Wilson paid for shipping both ways, and I had my CQB back within a week. The finish was now flawless.

Mistakes happen with any high end 1911 manufacturer. The advantage with Wilson is that their customer service is outstanding.

2. Regarding ammo....Wilson for all the right reasons has a list of preferred recommended ammo. The experience I've had with my CQB is that I've shot essentially every brand of ammo (except Wolf) and have not had any problems whatsoever. My CQB eats anything. Of course, I'd like to stick with their recommendations, but given the scarcity of ammo today and the ridiculous prices you have to shoot what you can get a hold of.

So don't feel as if you need to absolutely stick with recommended ammo. There's a darn good chance you won't have any ammo related malfunctions with other brands.


3. Maintenance....personally, I'm very meticulous about cleaning and lubing my 1911's. I field strip after every range trip and detail strip about every 1000 rounds. You're certainly not new to handguns, and if you're good about maintaining your CQB Elite, you'll ensure long time reliability.

Hope this helps! :)
 

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Welcome to the forum and to 1911a1 ownership.

You are certainly starting at the top.

The 1911a1 is a true thing of beauty and many are works of art.

At the end of the day, though, they are all tools and fine ones at that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some of you have mentioned that Wilson has a specific listing of recommended ammo. Not knowing, yet, what that is, I am planning on a carry load of Hornady's new Personal Defense load, or a MagSafe load. Am I looking at problem's? The extremely high cost of the MagSafes will preclude me from firing more than a few dozen. :confused:
 

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Then you should pick another self defense load. Regardless of what I said, and I fully expect the gun to work with a large majority of available loads, any self defense load should be fired fairly frequently. You have to be sure it ALWAYS works with that load. You don't have to make it your only practice load, but it should still be fairly frequent.
 

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I own seven Wilsons and another on the way. All were purchased new and have worked flawlessly OOB (unlike many of 30 other 1911s). I own all the other high-end brands and I'm a Wilson guy because I like how they feel in my hand.

The CQB is a great pistol. I picked up a Tactical Supergrade because I couldn't get the CQB Elite. Do keep your Wilsons lubricated. If you are shooting hundreds of rounds in a session consider taking Bore Snake and lube break at the range.

Start with the recommended ammo first to make sure your new pistol is working properly. Keep a rough round count and change your springs as per recommendation.

I can't comment on customer service because I have never had a problem
 

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I think in the older days when Colt was for the most part the only serious producer of 1911’s, a lot of people (myself included) just accepted as fact that you would have to buy the Colt 1911 as a “base” gun and then fully understood that you were likely going to have to pay a custom gunsmith to make it what you wanted. I think that Colt really dropped the ball on not listening to their customer’s requests and from what I experienced they pretty well took the attitude “buy what we make and like it, or don’t buy at all”…

In fairness, many of the “problems” labeled many years ago on the 1911 weren’t the fault of the 1911… new ammo variations/shapes started hitting the market and competition shooting was really growing, the 1911 was designed to shoot hardball FMJ 230gr – when fed SWC’s or HP’s, many choked because they simply weren’t designed to feed ammo that didn’t exist at the time.

1911’s produced by Wilson and many of the other custom shops produce smoothly functioning handguns that are as reliable as a handgun can be made (with current ammo produced). As new ammo designs come out, I’m sure they will have to adjust accordingly (I recall that when some ultra-light frangible ammo first came out, the bullet weight was so light that adjusts were required to feed reliably in some handguns).

You will love your CQB Elite, the craftsmanship is outstanding and it is a true work of art in both form and function.
A great example of this is the Hornady Critical Defense load-it has a rubber tip that hits the feedramp and..........stops.....not 1911 friendly ammo.
 
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