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Discussion Starter #1
Being a Wilson (1996A2) and Colt (SAA, Python, .25 and .38 pocket pistols) owner, I know this is a "no lose" situation, but I want to know what the esteemed members of this forum would choose. I am leaning towards the Wilson, due to the night sights, accuracy and life-time warranty. Thanks in advance!
 

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Night sights: ~$100, maybe $150 installed by a 'smith

Accuracy: Yes, many of the WC pistols will shoot 1.5" at 25+ yards. Do you really need that? If you like the idea of night sights, I'm guessing this might be used as a defensive pistol. If so, what's the practical difference between a Bill Wilson Special and a Colt Commander at 7 yards? My answer would be "None."

Life-time warranty: One of the reasons many of us have a love-hate relationship with the 1911 is that we often *hate* them when we first get them--they can be finicky--however, once they're "dialed in," most seem to run confidently thereafter. So, in assessing the value of this lifetime warranty, factor in the probabilities of (a) are you really going to need it post-6 months of your purchase date and (b) if "Yes" to (a), how often?

Well, my prejudice is probably leaking out: I can't really see the justification of paying WC prices, when there's a wonderful platform gun like the LWC to purchase. Yes, you may have to add some of the bells & whistles yourself ('smith), but I still think you're money ahead by doing so.

PS I purposefully ignored the issue of Colt's firing pin safety, because I think it's irrelevant in the CCW context.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
fremont said:
Night sights: ~$100, maybe $150 installed by a 'smith

Accuracy: Yes, many of the WC pistols will shoot 1.5" at 25+ yards. Do you really need that? If you like the idea of night sights, I'm guessing this might be used as a defensive pistol. If so, what's the practical difference between a Bill Wilson Special and a Colt Commander at 7 yards? My answer would be "None."

PS I purposefully ignored the issue of Colt's firing pin safety, because I think it's irrelevant in the CCW context.
Thanks for the input. This will absolutely be a defensive pistol. In fact, it will be my daily carry weapon.
Since you mentioned it, :) the lack of the firing pin safety is definitely a plus, but it will not likely be the defining factor, as it can be removed.
 

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JosephH1 said:
the lack of the firing pin safety is definitely a plus, but it will not likely be the defining factor, as it can be removed.
I guess my point is that it's irrelevant, because it should not noticeably impair the quality of a CCW trigger pull.
 

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I think it boils down to the magazines and butts.
KZ gives you a couple of extra shots (I am more confident with a 7 round magazine in my Commander than 8.) at the cost of a squared-off shape. It feels odd and bulky to my 1911 hand but you might like it or think it worth the extra capacity.
 

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Be faster to pick up a SA high cap mag , for a micro compact... ;) ;) :p
 

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This is a topic I have some experience with. I bought my first alloy framed Commander when I became a detective in early 1977. It became my favored carry gun both on and off duty until I retired and stayed my favored carry gun when my state passed the Shall Issue CCW law. During that 20+ years I cracked the frames of three Commanders (I shot them a lot).

Looking for a light weight gun in 45 ACP that would last I gave the Glocks a try (I had the 21, the 30 and the 36). Never could get confident in their silly trigger. The chance came along a little over a year ago to get a like new KZ-45 and I jumped on it. What a difference. I liked the KZ-45 full size so much I ordered a KZ-45 Compact directly from Wilson. It is now my daily carry gun.

I have about 4200 rounds through the full size KZ and a little over 1000 through the Compact. No weapon related malfunctions to date. Everything about the KZ is excellent (IMO) except the three dot sights. My middle aged eyes just don't like three dot configurations. It has nothing to do with the quality of Wilsons sights, they are as well made as anyones. My eyes just can't differentuate between all the dots quickly anymore.

XS Sight Systems is supposed to have 24/7 Big Dots for the Wilson dovetails soon. When they do my KZ-45 Compact will be just about perfect.
 

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I have a fullsize stainless KZ and I like it. It's a little tough to get a holster and mag pouch for it, but certianly not impossible. The things I like with the gun are that is that it's light, extremely corrosion resistant (great summer carry), and does have the bonus of 10 rounds in the mag. I found it's grip shape a little blocky, but when I fired the gun, I found it made no real difference. It's a bit stouter in recoil, but not badly so. I guess you could put in a tungsten guide rod to dampen that. I just use a stock GI plug. I would go with the Wilson over the Colt, just because the Wilson doesn't need any tinkering, whereas I would like a beavertail, extended safety, and night sights on the Colt. Plus, the Wilson is pretty nicely fit-up. Try to find a lightly used one, that's what I did.
 

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Wilson but...

I would definetly say Wilson except for one thing. Who is going to work on this pistol but Wilson? I don't think they are going out of business anytime soon but as much as I like the KZ series I have decided not to buy one because I doubt any other gunsmith will work on them due to their hybrid nature. Also they require a special magazine. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great pistol but that is what has stopped me from buying one.
 

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Steelshooter,

By all means, don't buy a KZ if your aren't comfortable with the idea. That being said, I don't understand your comment about "...any other gunsmith will work on them due to their hybrid nature." Why in the world wouldn't any competant gunsmith work on a KZ as well as any other polymer framed gun???

A local smith in my town has already told me he will install the XS Sight System 24/7 Big Dots in my KZs when I finally get them. He doesn't seem at all bothered by their "hybrid nature". And other than changing the sights (for the reasons I already stated) I see no need to "work on" the KZ-45. If something breaks it will go back to Wilson anyway.

As for "Also they require a special magazine.", I got a flash for you. STI/SVI guns require a specia magazine. Para Ord requires a special magazine. The list goes on, and on, and on...
 

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I wouldn't buy any of those either. Hardly a newsflash to me btw. Try to keep in mind that I said I think the KZ is a great pistol just makes me a little uncomfortable buying one for the reasons stated.

Dave T said:

As for "Also they require a special magazine.", I got a flash for you. STI/SVI guns require a specia magazine. Para Ord requires a special magazine. The list goes on, and on, and on...
 

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Well, I'm going to go the opposite direction and pick the LW Commander. The Commander didn't get it's reputation for being one of the best personal defense weapons by chance. It has proven itself now for app. 50 years as being one of the best (not that the Wilson won't in time). Colt at times might be like a punch drunk boxer, but they always have managed to stay on their feet, and they are producing the best guns they have in many years, as far back as the 50's IMO. Plus, holsters, spare parts, mags, etc can be picked up just about anywhere. Not a knock on Wilson at all, I just don't see it in the same class as the tried and true Commander.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
SteelShooter said:
Do you plan on getting it worked on or are you going to keep it stock?
If I go with the KZ, I would order the night sights, so I likely will not have any other work done. If I go the Commander route, I will want the Commander to have the same enhancements that my Wilson 1996A2 has. Throat and polish, expanded ejection port, night sights, Wilson beavertail, firing pin, extended safety and extractor. I have a feeling that this work might nullify any initial cost savings with the Colt.
 

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Not being a Wilson fan ( we've had too many in the shop to repair) I'd personally go and did with a lightweight Commander for my daily carry gun.

Ladies have a real problem finding a suitable gun/holster combination for daily wear. I wanted something very light but controllable and easy to wear all day in any weather. The commander was the perfect answer in the really fine leather holsters made by Jim Burke of Paris, Tx.
 
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