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Has anyone ever had a quality problem with Wilson's guns? Every manufacture seems to have its problems. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has a problem with Wilson and how they handled it.
 

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I have two Wilsons, and although I don't have a lot of rounds thru them I have had no problems with either. They are absolutely tremendous pistols.

I have called Wilson several times to ask questions, get opinions and advise, and feel that they have an outstanding organization. I have several friends who have dealt with Wilson for a while and they all are satisfied with the support they receive.

Keep reading forum articles and you will undoubtedly get a lot more opinions.

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NRA Life Member
 

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I retail the production 1911 as well as the custom 1911. I only say this as a reference.

I also handle the Wilson Combat line. Customer comments overall have been excellent.

The only consistent complaint is the armortuff finish. The finish wears as all finishes wears.

The following is from seeing about 500 semi and custom guns go through my retail operation ( I do not count the production guns here). All finishes wear and usually the buyer expects the finish to perform more than the finish can or is designed to do.

I have a NP3 coated SIG I carry as a back-up on my other line of work (see profile) and the finish is totally worn through on the holster contact points. I have also had rust come through hard chrome on another semi-custom builder as well as a factory plated production SIG.

Holster wear or any wear is unsatisfactory to many of the buyers and you will read posts to that effect.

Wilson backs their product and that is one reason Wilson is one of my primary lines. I am out of business if the maker does not back the product as two things happen.

The product does not sell and the product is returned and the buyer makes it my the sellers fault not the maker.

From a retailers point of view and NOT the buyers point of view many complaints are simply buyer lack of knowledge or inexperience.

The buyer public does not have the knowledge on firearms that it used to 10 to 15 years ago. The only knowledge is what is seen on TV and videogames (Notice the action movies).

For example. Forgetting to take the warning label on a magazine and the warning label causing jams (DUH). Extreme example but I have had three guns in one year returned for that reason (2 Ruger and 1 Walther). Also one 1911 shooter (also self proclaimed very experienced shooter) forgot the price tag on a used mag and brought the new production gun back. Much to his chagrin when I looked and the mag release and asked what the white paper was.

Sorry if I got off subject but I hope this helps.

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Be safe and keep the brass flying

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

Do your research but you get what you pay for front end or back end.

[This message has been edited by PT-Partners (edited 07-08-2001).]
 

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The problem with Armor Tuff is the way it is marketed. Wilson markets it as some sort of "ultra protective coating" on par with the Glocks tenifer finish. Wilson claims that the finish will survive X hundreds of hours submersed in sea water, and many other false claims. The reality is that the finish is no better than the phosphate finish which Glock (and Bushmaster) put on the outside of its firearms (which is not even the tenifer finish beneath it). Wilson's marketing technique leads to this misconception. With so many other companies now using finishes similar to Glock's tenifer finish (the shiny stuff under the phosphate), I don't know why Wilson hasn't gone a step farther and offered a similar treatment for its firearms. True the paint would still come off, but the gun wouldn't rust.

IMHO Wilson has come a long way towards bringing the 1911 into the twenty-first century, but for some reason it decided to stop short. Just look at the KZ-45 as an example. It has a great polymer lower, but the steel upper is not treated with a tenifer style finish, hence its still subject to rust. I don't know why Wilson doesn't get off its butt and offer a complete package. A true modern combat sidearm, would be stainless steel, treated with some process to strengthen it even further (tenifer finish won't work on stailness, but I bet something else would), and then coated with Armor Tuff (so that it won't reflect light). I won't buy one until Wilson offers that type of package.


-SouthernShark





[This message has been edited by SouthernShark (edited 07-08-2001).]
 

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SouthernShark,

Being a Wilson owner, I am concerned or confused over your comments about Wilson and false claims. Seriously, have you taken this up with Bill? How do you know that what Wilson claims is not true? Give examples please. I agree the Armour-Tuff finish may or may not be an issue. The Wilson that I own, it's not an issue.
Otherwise, the suggested finish that you mentioned sounds great. Have you contacted their R&D with your suggestions? If they do make the changes to meet your specs, I will be the first to welcome your aboard. Keep us informed with your progress.

J Scott
 

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I have read the many complaints about "armor-tuff." But as far as I can tell "armor-tuff" wears as well (or as badly) as any of the other teflon finishes. I have a Wilson w/armor tuff and another gun that has the "black-tea" finish. These finishes wear similiarly. I have handled guns w/"bear-coat" (sp?)that members of my shooting club own and the wear characteristics of the finishes on these guns seems no better than armor tuff or black-t. Just my 2 cents. Take care.

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"Quid hoc ad aeternitatem?"

[This message has been edited by Hobbes (edited 07-08-2001).]
 

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I think the "tuff" finish may be the quickest wearing of any quality 1911 I've ever owned. That said, I don't care. I had to send my KZ back to Wilson, but after I got it back it has worked perfectly. I love the accuracy and I purchased it to shoot, not admire.
 

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Hi Guys . I work for a subcontractor of Wilsons . My Boss has several Wilson Pistols . The finish on a Commander that I am currently using is worn off the corners but still looks good . My boss told me that Wilson has been working on correcting that problem and may have it corrected . The guns we have from there are absolutely flawless in performance , fit and function . 1996A2, series 70 rebuilds , commander rebuilds , all perform perfectly . My Brownells finished cheif special is carried almost every day has held up over five years with only minimal wear on the barrel leading edge . The only fault I can find on the wilson guns was the finish wear . But All my guns have finish wear from extensive ( read Daily ) carry . I wish I could afford to buy one to save and one to carry . I think honest Holster wear adds character to a well used and loved Handgun .

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S.L. Caldwell
Leathercrafter
Rafter S Gunleather 417-277-5636
www.raftersgunleather.com
 

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I agree that Wilson pushes their armor-tuff finish as some sort of wonder finish when it really is pretty crappy given the cost of the gun. While I have not brought up the issue with Bill Wilson personally, Wilson kindly informed me that the finish wearing down to bare metal was normal! What a bunch of crap! My CQB has virually all the finish removed from most of the corner edges such as around the muzzle end of the slide, off the edges of the slide rails, all around the ejection port, off the hood, of the leading and bottom edge of the slide release, off both sides of the ambi thumb safety, and of course off the trigger.

Sure Armor-Tuff will protect your gun for X number of hours in salt water, but ONLY if the finish hasn't worn off and exposed the metal. With less than 1000 rounds through my gun and two weeks time, the finish was gone from the leading edges of the muzzle and the ejection port was thoroughly scuffed.

I even have bare metal showing along the rear left side of the slide from and including to serrations to about an inch forward of that. They wear there has been produced by my thumb slightly touching the slide while the gun is being fired (riding the safety).

I agree with Peak that this is a quick wearing finish and it looks a lot worse than My Kimber's Kimpro finish and I have had the Kimber a lot longer and shot it a lot more.

So, Wilson advertises this stuff as being a wonder coating, but then tells you AFTER the fact that it wearing off is normal. I think I would have done better to have a simply blued finish.

Aside from the finish sucking, the only other complain I have about the gun is that it came with a cheesy PLASTIC recoil spring guide rod that has since cracked apart.

Otherwise, the CQB is a fine gun, shoots very well and very accurately and I would likely buy another (Which I have, the compact CQB), but I would not get the "Armor-scuff" finish. Too bad I had already ordered my Compact CQB before I realized how bad the Armor-scuff was.
 

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Just an FYI. Armor-tuff, like Black-T and blueing is a finish. It will wear off and lose the properties for which it was applied. Tenifer OTOH is a metal treatment. When the finish wears off, the properties protecting the metal still continue doing it's job protecting the metal to which it is applied.

That is my understanding of these particular finishes.
 

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Wilson and all of the other weapon makers in the U.S. do not offer a Tenifer finish because there's no way they'd get the permits, and even if they did the costs would probably double the price of the gun. The process generates a lot of cyanide by-products which would need to be disposed of.
 

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A local gunsmith here in CA farms out for a metal treatment called Melonite that he claims to be the same process as tenifer. I've seen the guns that he's treated to this process and it does seem quite similar. Here's the website for that smith if anyone is interested:
www.egsw.com
 

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I see this as a much simpler deal. When you work with metal (and I do) one of the most costly things is finishing. Finishing is like painting in that the result is all in the surface prep. A thin coating (such as bluing or hard chrome) will show every defect present in the underlying metal. Armor Tuff on the other hand is a little thicker and has a matte finish. I guarantee you it covers a lot of little imperfections that would take a lot of time to polish out properly.

and time=money.

If you look at the Wilson site you'll see that if you want a HC finish on the gun they charge you for a "detail prep" (IIRC) as well as the chrome job. That means someone has to spend some time detailing the gun before hard chrome.

If you want ultimate corrosion resistance get a stainless gun and have it Hard Chromed. That's what I just did. And I carried it in Alaska for a couple of weeks in rain, inside chest waders, around dirt, etc with no corrosion at all. The only components at risk are the sights and the sear spring. The rest are HC'd Stainless.

Armor tuff is just a business decision. Wilson makes more money this way. Can't blame them. I hope they stay in business for a long long time. They have the most important stuff sorted out (the guns run and they stand behind their product). The finish is an issue because we want a gun that looks good too for the money. Fair enough. Just go in with your eyes open when you buy. My suggestion is to get the HC from the get-go and avoid all of this frustration.

Full disclosure: own a CQP compact that I bought unfired used and the Armor tuff is wearing fast. I intend to HC once it gets intolerable.
 

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ok i have a wilson all black cqb, just finished up the 2500 round mark today, everything has gone with out a hitch, yes my at shows sign of wear, so does mt colt and my glocks and my kimbers, marketing is marketing if we bought it it worked and if you have a problem with at, call customer support and they WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU, as long as you haven't totally abused the gun. I use my guns and do not ecpect them to stay the way they came out of the box, if you don't want any of them to wear, leave it in the box. i am satisfied, the cost of at verses parkarized is minimal and it does protect after its finish is worn. i am fixing to order a scattergun and it will also be at.
 
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I own three Wilson's, two of which have the Armor Tuff finish (CQB Compact and Protector Compact).

I haven't shot the Protector Compact yet but the CQB shows a little wear on the edges (from the holster) and on the barrel (this gun did not have a stainless barrel like the newer ones). I do not consider this poor quality and would have been surprised if such wear did not occur. With the CQB, I did have some problems with jamming when it was new. But, I think I was responsible for those, not the gun.

I'm not overly impressed with Wilson service, but they make a heck of a good quality product and they do stand behind it.

Dennis D. Carter
 

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I have 2,500 rounds through my LW Protector. Using 8 round Wilson mags I have had no problems at all with the gun. Dead nuts accurate, too! Out of the box I had a hard time getting more than 150 to 300 rounds through it of S&B 230 before it started running really rough, (S&B is very dirty) but it always functioned 100% Just last week I put 450 rounds of S&B through it at one sitting and it was just as smooth at the end of the session as at the beginning. This is my daily carry gun. I'm trying to come up with an excuse to get another Wilson...
 

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Dennis Carter, I shipped a Wilson that came back, working flawlessly, after 9 days. That included a 3 day holiday weekend. I guess I have a different experience and attitude about Wilson's service than you do.
 
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Originally posted by Peak:
Dennis Carter, I shipped a Wilson that came back, working flawlessly, after 9 days. That included a 3 day holiday weekend. I guess I have a different experience and attitude about Wilson's service than you do.
It's OK if we disagree on the question of service.

We're probably in full agreement on the high quality of Wilson's products. I own three Wilson's (just picked the third one up, a CQB Compact, last week).

From all I've read and been told, Wilson's has a quick turn around when there is a problem with one of their products. It's good to know they stand behind their products.

But, when I pay nearly $3,000 for a gun (a Tactical Elite), am told it will be delivered in 4 to 5 months, at 6 months am told that it's being built, and after 7 months am told they don't know when they'll even schedule it to be built...that's poor service.

Dennis D. Carter
 
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