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I read the posts below on AR15.com. Is it true that Wilson uses Kimber parts and has a bunch of kids building the guns? Say it ain't so Joe(Bill).

Bill Wilson is really good at making a halfway-decent firearm, putting his name on it and jacking up the price waaayyyy beyond what the gun is worth. For his 1911's, he buys his slides and frames from Kimber, drops in some "Wilson" parts (actually bought from other vendors) and charges twice what Kimber does for an equivalent gun.
Bill Wilson hasn't actually built any guns in years. He has a bunch of kids working there that sometimes get it right and sometimes don't. I would find a pistolsmith that knows his business, but hasn't built a name for you to pay for. All the famous 'smith's charge 500$ or so for their name. You can probably buy a Springfield Armory and have it accurized for half price and have as good or better pistol.
 

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The idiot is talking out of his ass. You do not build a good business foundation on "slapping together parts". That practice eventually will come back to haunt you. I'm willing to bet that individual never owned a Wilson.

While Wilson may use some of the same parts as Kimbers, so what? Les Baer and many other top manufacturers buy their parts from S&W among other vendors. Where the money lies is the handfitting of the gun and whether the company backs its product or not. Wilson stands behind his products whether you are the original owner or not.

Shoot a Wilson and a Kimber extensively for a month. If the individual can not see and feel the differences between the two, then there's definitely something wrong him or her.

Make this statement, since it came from ar15.com, a Compass Lake Engineering AR is just an over-priced AR15 that uses a lot of the same parts as a Bushmaster which is half the cost. I guarantee you there'll be a gigantic uproar.

Why? While Compass Lake does use a lot of the same parts, they also use custom parts just like Wilson. Compass Lake adds either a Kreiger or Douglas barrel. Plus the barrel is free floated, etc etc etc. The Wilson 1911 has 30 lpi checkering, some handfitted parts, better sights, grips, barrel, etc etc vs. a Kimber. Just like a plain jane Bushmaster, there's nothing wrong with a stock Kimber if that's what you want. You do pay a premium for a Wilson, Baer, Brown, Burns, C&S, etc etc and there's a reason for that premium.

It's amazing when individuals who don't know jack**** talk out of their ass. They end up making a fool out of themselves.

Sorry for the rant. I just get sick of people making statements such as the one from ar15.com which can damage a good company's reputation. Whether the company is Wilson, LB or a reputable gunsmith, bull**** can spread like wild fire.

Remember, a Rolex uses some of the same parts as a timex. Therefore, Rolex is overcharging their customers for a watch that's basically the same as a Timex

end of rant


[This message has been edited by ArmySon (edited 01-06-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. I agree 100%. I said as much to the guy who wrote the above quote.
I get my CQB next week and I can't wait.
 

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So how do you really feel Son?


You did hit the nail on the head though!!
 

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The counterpoint is my experiences with Wilson's. Sure they sell a fine magazine, but something's up when they can't fit a Beavertail, build a trigger job where the hammer follows, and do that twice, and do a reliability job that ain't reliable. That's what I got from Wilson, and thankfully Wayne Novak does a better business or I'd have one shiny hunk of Worthless Colt sitting downstairs.

Could they have... perhaps... gotten it right if I'd kept on them? Probably. But how many chances should they get to correct their mistakes that they shouldn't have made in the first place?

The -whole guns- Wilson sells are probably fine pieces, but I'll tell you this right now, his custom shop jerked me. Is the guy from the AR forum talking out of his ass? Maybe, but only one side of it. Wilson Combat is not the be all end all of 1911s, not all their 'smiths are competent, and they are VERY overpriced. Consider a Burns Custom costs slightly less than Wilson's top-of-the-line. Are you telling me Dane can't better Wilson's semi-assembly line? Are you going to tell me the CQB or even the $2800
Master Grade Tactical Elite are better than our late friend Brian's $1800 ACP T.A.P.?!?

Rant Terminated.

TRB
 

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I realize that some folks have different experiences with a maker than others, but....

I have had custom 1911's from ALOT of reputable makers out there,from big shop guys like Les Baer, Ed Brown, to smaller one man shops like Jack Green, Leonard Baity, and Richard Zapperoli. Then I have had some WILSON guns. The only guns that have run straight out of the box without ANY problems have been the WILSON guns. They are the guns I have the confidence to trust for a carry gun. Two of my three WISLON's are from their custom shop[work on supplied pistols], the third is one of their KZ-45's. I have a CQB due to arrive this month. They have been uniformly fantastic.

BTW, since this thread was started talking about WISLON/KIMBER, I'll relate that I have one Kimber. It had an OK trigger. It was fairly accurate. It had a so-so outside finish. The internal parts were fair only, with some showing 'goofy' wear marks. I sent to to WILSON. IT has a GREAT trigger. It shoot great groups now. It sports an attractive, functional, even ARMOR-TUF finish. And questionable parts have been replace or refit. My WILSON/KIMBER is a great gun.

I should have just bought a WILSON to start with.

------------------
Will Fennell
www.camillusknives.com
 

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Originally posted by TRB:
Are you going to tell me the CQB or even the $2800 Master Grade Tactical Elite are better than our late friend Brian's $1800 ACP T.A.P.?!?

Rant Terminated.

TRB
That's complete BS when you use a person that passed away to try to prove your point. While you may have had a bad experience with Wilson, it doesn't necessarily mean that their semi custom, production, whatever guns are junk. Currently, I have a VERY bad experience with a so called "big name" gunsmith. I guess I should badmouth all gunsmiths then right? That's the logic you're trying to pull.
 

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I don't see where you're coming from, Son. I didn't say Wilson's guns were all crap, I said they were overpriced, especially compared to the one-off custom market. And in their current state you aren't even buying a shorter wait with the money, especially not on the +$2500 price range Wilsons.
Brian's T.A.P. happened to be a handy thing to compare them to, price-to-features. The fact that Brian's gone doesn't change what the pistol was or what he charged for it.
The only people I'm badmouthing (purposely) are Wilson Combat, and even there I've given a little bit of credit where I think credit is due.
I don't hate Wilson Combat, believe it or not. But I will do what I can to disspell the illusion of infallibility and customer devotion they've generated around themselves. The illusion that got me into that bloody expensive mess in the first place.

TRB

[This message has been edited by TRB (edited 01-08-2001).]
 

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OK my turn.

Wilson certainly uses Jericho slides, produced by Kimber. An article i read a few years ago examined the slide/frame tolerances of Kimber, Wilson, and 1 other manufacturer I forget and found them all to be nearly identical, although i recall wilson's slide serrations were a slightly different setup. The article also asked Bill Wilson what the difference was between his slides and the standard slides, to which he replied "tighter tolerances" which when you then compared the specs was b.s.

Another article i read a few years ago was looking at a Wilson CQB custom shop job on a colt commander. This gun looked absolutely kick gas, however the reviewer was a rare "non kiss-ass" gunwriter and slammed the gun for way too many jams and (of course) the grip emblems falling off. I assume the shop guns are better.

You all HAVE to admit though, for the same price i'd rather have one well known skilled craftsman building my gun than a shopful of whomevers overseen by Bill, though its nearly impossible in the former instance to get the kind of guarantee and customer service that Wilson's can offer. Afterall, Ed Brown offers no warranty whatsover on his pistols.

p.s. my next purchace may be a cqb compact...
 

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TRB:
I apologize for misunderstanding your post. I guess what it boils down to is every gunsmith or manufacturer will have bad moments. So far in my personal experiences, Wilson has been the best. The few custom gunsmiths I've dealt with have shafted me or lied to me one time or another.

So far the best recommendation and reviews I've heard is about Scott from SDM Fabricating. He's going to build my next gun. Knock on wood.
 

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Everything is overpriced. What is the assembly time for a 1911? 40 hours? I'm sure thats too long but lets go with it.

What is the parts cost $500? Remember most of us pay retail. What does a barrel cost $10? A chunk of 416, a lathe, a CNC, a furnance? and you have barrel making....

Do you think it really costs $200 to hard chrome a gun?

Price and cost are two totally different things.

So what you are saying is you rather give a one man shop $50/hr than a company with 30 employees, infrastructure, inventory, customer service, liability insurance, etc...That is your choice.

Go to the Rock River forum. People are waiting forever for their guns and the quality is still an unknown.

These 1911s are all overpriced but guess what
we pay it. Why? because are not happy with mass produced $600 guns
 

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TRB

Lets add one more item to the equation.

Will the shop/business be there tommorrow.

Evan though I retail the Custom 1911 I personally I prefer having a gun built by a one man shop and having it my way not the company's way.

So far my one many shop dealing consists of he now builds guns for IPSC competition and is promoted by his brother who is one of those IPSC Master types. Gave up the basic 1911 for IPSC race guns.

Second one is also out of business. Too cheap prices and also no where to be found. One step ahead of the creditors.

Third one also out of business. Not enough business to eat.

Fourth one. A recent and tragic passing.

Fifth one. I will commission this summer money and time permitting.

Plus a couple of locals who need a "five day" wait on a dremel tool.

Orion Gunworks summed it up in the price is not cost.

You get what you pay for front end or back end.

Be safe and keep the brass flying

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


[This message has been edited by PT-Partners (edited 01-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by PT-Partners (edited 01-09-2001).]
 

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I'd like to respond to a couple of things said in this thread.

QUOTE]Bill Wilson is really good at making a halfway-decent firearm, putting his name on it and jacking up the price waaayyyy beyond what the gun is worth. For his 1911's, he buys his slides and frames from Kimber, drops in some "Wilson" parts (actually bought from other vendors) and charges twice what Kimber does for an equivalent gun.
First of all, everyone seems to know what the deal is with Kimber and Wilson and their slides and frames. But I'm not sure how you can say that a hand fitted gun is equivalent to one that isn't.

Bill Wilson hasn't actually built any guns in years. He has a bunch of kids working there that sometimes get it right and sometimes don't. I would find a pistolsmith that knows his business, but hasn't built a name for you to pay for. All the famous 'smith's charge 500$ or so for their name. You can probably buy a Springfield Armory and have it accurized for half price and have as good or better pistol.
It is true that Bill hasn't built a gun himself in a while. He has been much too busy not only running a successful business, but also running IDPA. Now I'm not sure how old this poster is, but I guess "kids" is pretty subjective of a term. (I have "kids" and when I think of kids.. it is 3 and 4 year olds.) So I suppose that someone could consider a 30 year old a kid. Although there are smiths working at Wilson's who have been there for 20 years, 15 years, etc.. Besides, just because someone is young, doesn't mean that they don't know what they are doing. Look at Bill's son, Ryan. He was one of the best smiths around when he was a teenager.

""Wilson Combat is not the be all end all of 1911s, not all their 'smiths are competent, and they are VERY overpriced. Consider a Burns Custom costs slightly less than Wilson's top-of-the-line. Are you telling me Dane can't better Wilson's semi-assembly line? Are you going to tell me the CQB or even the $2800
Master Grade Tactical Elite are better than our late friend Brian's $1800 ACP T.A.P.?!?"


Most of the guns built at Wilson's are done "assembly line" or "semi-custom" But the high end guns (i.e. Supergrade, Tactical Elite, Stealth) are all done by one smith. So there is no reason why they couldn't be as good as any other "name" smith out there. Heck.. even the semi-custom guns can be and are as good as if they were done by one person.

"Do you think it really costs $200 to hard chrome a gun?"

Actually.. It costs just over $100 (I think)

Anyway.. Take it for what it is worth.
 

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Wilson doesn't always get it right. I sent one back twice because it was jamming about every other round before the problem was resolved. The first time, they returned the gun with replacement parts for a totally different model. The second time, they obviously didn't test fire the gun to make sure the gun was fixed because it was doing the exact same thing, but my gunsmith was able to fix the feeding problem himself without making any alterations that might void the warrantee.

I'd still recommend a Wilson Combat; but next time, I'll probably end up buying a custom job. I felt the smiths were probably putting completed guns out too fast. My wait was a week to ten days. Perhaps that's another reason people are experiencing longer waiting times, so the end product doesn't suffer anymore. At least I hope that's it.
 
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