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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Okay, maybe I'm getting a bit picky here but the depression for the center punch is slightly off center. While this photo is taken with a macro lens, I can assure you that this caught my naked eye almost immediately. I work with 4x loupes when working on teeth but this just sticks out with just a glance.


***right side***

***left side***

As you can see, if you follow the bevel from the frontstrap to the MSH/backstrap, the bevel becomes irregular on the right side; the left side shows even execution all the way through. Sure, some may say just get a speed chute and forget about it.....but for me, it's like leaving chipped ceramic on a crown b/c it's in an area no one (including the patient) can't see.


This photo shows the bottom part of the checkering on the front of the trigger guard. It extends down almost exactly to the mid-point of the arc between the front and underside of the guard. The vertical 'peaks' are just a bit off level - this takes a bit closer inspection to reveal to the eye. At first I was hoping that they could 'frame' or 'border' the bottom part with a defined horizontal cut but guess that only looks good with a 'squared' trigger guard.

Anyone out there have photos of checkering on the front of their trigger guards? I'd like to see how WC terminated the lower border on other models. Nevertheless, the checkering looks very 'cool' and I guess I really can't complain.


***view from bottom***

***view from right***

***view from left***

If I weren't a dentist who by training looks for contours, symmetry, and paralellism, this may have escaped my eyes. Looking at the first photo (view from underside of guard), you can see that some more 'rounding' is required on the pistol's right corner (left side of photo). This is verified by looking at the side views where the 'view from right' shows a very small excess of metal.


I sent Matt a file prepared with these photos and a written description of what I saw. He 'saw' what I was 'seeing' and forwarded the file to the shop forman. The response from the forman was "from his point this gun is acceptable;that it is a handbuilt weapon and irregularities should be expected." Matt also said that the Super Grades do get more finishing labor on those points, hence the price. He was sincere in expressing his discomfort with my dissatisfaction with some of the finish points but did say that "you won't see that stuff in a production gun cause that is machinery at work; not human hands."

I can probably swallow that bitter pill for the checkering job, and be okay with the MSH pin as a new one could be made (with the depression centered), and the dehorning improved at a later date if and when I need to send it back for some other service. The magwell bevel is still a confusion for me; their catalog states that their frames 'in the white' come with the magazine well beveled so I assume that this is something done by machine during the CNC milling work and I let them know that this could be a computer programming issue, but shouldn't this have been caught or seen during hand finishing? I did happen to look at a used consignment Wilson Protector at my range and its mag well bevel was perfect. Dunno but beyond some of the little extra tweaks a supergrade gets, shouldn't some of these issues have been recognized and corrected during production? In the least, the MSH pin and well bevel should be perfect on a gun of this price point or any other price point they offer.

Based on their first response, I feel like I have to live with this as according to them, my firearm is 'acceptable'. Like I said, I'm keeping the gun, it shoot better than anything I own (maybe on par with my HK mark23), sits on my hip like an appendage, and is so darn easy to shoot! But what bothers me is that there was no offer on their part to address any of these issues, lumping their response into a generic 'acceptable'. Doctors often say 'within normal limits'. I never say that to my patients nor expect that on a firearm of this price and reputation.

I did respond by suggesting some re-treatment, including re-coating the areas that need polish work but haven't heard from them since I sent my reply on Friday afternoon. Matt is darn fast with his replies so I should hear back from them on Monday.

If you made it this far through my review, I thank you for taking the time to read and listen to my comments. Like I said, I love this gun to death and it ain't going anywhere. Like Charleton Heston said, " You can have my gun when you pry it from my warm, living hands"

God Bless and Good Night.


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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Addendum; Elite Professional review, more photos

I will be the first one to admit I am not perfect in a profession where so many of my collegues profess that "their poop don't stink." I too have an unwritten patient satisfaction policy and make every attempt to address any concerns or criticisms - my practice can't be all things to all people but I can genuinely say that patients who leave for whatever reason, usually return because I go above and beyond expectations to make everyone happy. Unless the patient has no idea what end of a toothbrush to use, I never hold them accountable for failures. Redos are a part of dentistry (and in any other customer oriented business) and I plan for them in the structuring of fees so when a complication arises, I can solve the problem w/o getting involved in a discusion on who's fault it was, etc.

That being said, I hate to air 'dirty' laundry and was hoping that I could post a stellar review on my entire experience with Wilson's Combat on my purchase, giving them an opportunity to at least leave the door slightly open to some resolution. Their response that the the gun was 'acceptable' and the results to be 'expected' left me real upset this weekend and was literally a slamming of the door in my face. My original plan was to get these issues resolved and then write an entirely glowing review of my entire experience with them, with emphasis on the efforts they made to make things right.

Based on one of your replys, I hope Wilson's Combat does not find offense to my sharing of this experience with members of this forum. I hope they can appreciate the value of discussions like these and use it as an opportunity to bring their service to a level above and beyond others in the business - without question, they have the products and capablilty to produce some of the best 1911's.

Moving forward, some other little "things that make you go uhummm..."

<safety hole show-thru with safety engaged>

I checked through every photo I could find of any 1911 out there, thumbed through Wilson Combat's color catalog and this show through is apparent in about 50% of the guns I've seen. Granted, this is probably the smoothest 1911 thumb safety I've tried, some feel that this should not be visible in a custom gun.

<serrated (not checkered) magazine release button>

Let me first say that I actually don't mind this result; the serrating actually is consistent with serrations found on the gun's other manual controls (slide stop, ambi thumb safety, hammer spur) , and is parallel to the grip angle so it actually works well aesthetically. However, back to the QC issues, I checked every photo in the Wilson catalog, and checked thru various forums with Wilson's 1911's and they all have serrated mag release buttons, not serrated. Just wondering.

<finish wear/metal show thru - hammer relief cut in beavertail>

Now, regardless of the two schools of thought on wether the hammer spur should/or should not contact the relief in the beavertail during the rearward slide movement (see thread http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111850), my concern is over the consistency of the application of the Armor Tuff finish.

I only fired a total of 400 rounds prior to taking this photo and surmise manual thumb cocking about 50 times in the course of dry firing. Inspection of the contact area between the front end of the slide and rear portion of the cone bushing shows absolutely no wear, and I can only assume the forces at lock-up/battery in this area after a round is fired is greater than forces imparted by the momentum of the hammer being 'cocked' and pushed back against spring tension and subsequent contact with the relief cut.

Again, I'm sure certain areas will wear over time as no finish is impervious to wear and abrasion, but find it odd that this became apparent only after 400 rounds of use.

To be told that my issues are 'acceptable' and are to be 'expected' makes me feel that results like these are the norm and that at least half the owners of a Wilson Combat 1911 will find these very similar problems. I can only conjecture a guess that if this were the case, they would not be in business today; therefore it follows that their response is an attempt not to deal with my problems for the time being. I can only hope they will stand by their 'customer will be extremely satisfied' policy.

Sorry for the long winded reply and thanks for listening.



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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Update - Customer dissatisfaction unacceptable and Wilson Combat willing to evaluate

Spoke with Matt this morning and he sincerley recognized that my issues needed further attention - he already spoke with the powers to be prior to our conversation this morning and they are willing to do their best to address my specific concerns. Like I've stated previously, this gun is a keeper and it shoots VERY well. It even ate up 100 rounds of the old-style Federal Hydra Shoks without a burp or hiccup which Wilson Combat does not recommend due to the less than ideal bullet nose geometry (i.e. not rounded like the new)

...dead balls accurate

Therefore, while I am not completely happy with the military block font lettering and the front of triggar guard checkering, I am willing to accept those issues as this pistol shoots dead on. To request a entirely new gun with new checkering and Stealth (SDS) standard print lettering or even script would risk a barrel/slide/frame combination which produces a test target I could find fault with, when compared to this one. Furthermore, I don't think Wilson Combat would even consider making an entirely new setup for me.

....Then again, all their guns probably shoot like this...or better...anyway...

So, after another 200 - 300 more rounds of a break-in, dissasembly, cleaning and check of the internals, it's going back to Wilson Combat with a description of items to be addressed. New MSH pin (with punch depressions centered), refinement of mag well bevel, re-radiusing/dehorning of trigger guard/dust cover junction and subsequent re-coating including re-treatment of the beavertail GS.

The serrated mag release button will stay as is - it visually complements the serrations on the other manual controls like the slide stop and ambi thumb safety, and even the slide top serrations.

Inquiring if this was a QC issue, I was told that the serrated mag release buttons were in production now. As for the general QC issues I have with my weapon, I was told that they were likely attributed to the fact that my gun was one of the first few produced when they decided to offer the Elite Pro as an official model (Note, elite professionals have been available as a custom item prior to their decision to include it in their product line) and the 'bugs' had to be worked out in production. While I could argue that the quality and execution of MSH pins, magwell bevels, checkering, dehorning and coatings are independent of 1911 model within a product line, the important take home message is that they are willing to address some of these issues, responding in a manner that is congruent with their customer satisfaction policy.

I will certainly post an update in the near future and for those detractors who think I have been too critical in my manner and approach, especially with these macro photos, please understand that I am a person who would rather sing praise and compliments for a job well done in a manner that exceeds the depth and magnitude of what you have just experienced, with even larger photos.

I appreciate your interest and again, thank you for listening.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Don't get me wrong, I love the 1911's Wilson can produce. My next item I will get from them will be the full-size Tactical Elite. I will inquire if they will do their supergrade finishing touches if I paid extra for it; it would be definitely worth it for me.

After having shot my WC ElitePro (only 400 rounds), handled and caressed it daily, evaluated the ergonomics, worn on the hip and enjoyed the simple lines on this pistol, I now understand the addiction many 1911 owners have which justifies owning so many. The variety of customization available out there just makes the choice more difficult and it looks like I'll have to add '1911' to my annual expense and budget sheet! The good news is that since most 1911's generally have the same lines, I can always tell my wife I just own one, but change the grips once in a while!!

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