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Which Mfg. of Model 1911 to buy?

  • Buy Wilson Combat

    Votes: 24 40.7%
  • Buy Ed Brown Products

    Votes: 19 32.2%
  • Buy Kimber

    Votes: 12 20.3%
  • Buy Springfield Armory

    Votes: 7 11.9%
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Discussion Starter #1
I am seriously considering purchasing a Wilson Combat CQB. Tuesday, 11-25-03 , my son in law and I are making the 5 hour drive to Berryville, Arkansas to view the Wilson Combat facility and their products. I'm old fashioned and like to know the people I'm going to do $ 2000.- $3000. worth of business with. Are there any suggestions regarding questions I should ask or observations I should make to assist me in my decision? I'd like to hear from all. This is my first thread, so I hope I did it right. Iwo
 

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Well aside from judgements about Wilson and the prices they are fetching, I would say the following would be reasonable questions if you don't already know them. I will caveat my responses by saying that I do not own a Wilson firearm at this time, but I'm pretty familiar with them.

1) What are the return, customer service, and warranty conditions. What fees (shipping, handling, insurance) apply for shipping the firearm back for service. How stringent are they about warranty repairs using handloads?

2) Are all the conditions from question 1 the same if any modification is done to the gun such as trigger jobs, different mag wells, beavertails, etc, etc?

3) What is their current warranty return rate? They'll intially say "not much" but push them for a quantitative answer, believe me, they have the number.

4) If you're going to buy the gun from their stock (not sure of your state residence or their purchase policy etc) but of course make sure you can handle the gun. I would be a little disheartened if they pull the "these guns are too valuable to be handled unless you're buying them." They should have some inventory that you can rack and try out the trigger. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive, and I certainly don't think its appropriate to pay that kind of money for a gun if you can't inspect its fit, finish, and function. Yes, you as the consumer want a pristine, never touched specimen, but they should have some demos, especially at the factory.


All in all, the questions above may be a bit over critical, but if you are going to make the 5 hour drive and lay down that kind of cash, it says you are a pretty motivated consumer and deserve to have any and all questions or concerns addressed. Best of luck, and let us all know your impressions of the facility and staff.

Gunslinger45
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot Gunsliger45. I had not thought about asking about rate of Return Warranty Work. I'll press them for some firm figures. I am cosidering some up grade options and would like to know if their accuracy claims of 1 inch groups at 25 yards and other customer satisfaction issues will remain the same considering the upgrades I select. Thanks again for your reponse and suggestions. I will post a note upon my return. www.1911forum.com is the best

Iwo
 

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I've been there several times buying parts and had the opportunity to walk through the shop (I live in the area) and would advise you to skip the drive unless you are coming into town for other reasons. It's a shop just like any other, but I doubt you will glean anything from the trip that you couldn't figure out in a few hours on the net and with a phone call to Wilson's. Just my $0.02.

If you do make the drive, welcome to Arkansas. FWIW the shop is not in Berryville, rather it is outside in a town (actually it is just a place name) called Rudd just off of Highway 103 (between 103 and 21). Get a map and directions. You may want to call and see if they even give tours. The cost of the drive in gas, food, time, and lodging would go a fair piece toward buying you that CQB.
 

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You could, if you don't mind, ask them for a response to the e-mail I sent them regarding parts and tools I ordered over a month ago.
 

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I'm not sure what you hope to learn by the trip either. Unless you like the idea of seeing a bunch of pimply-faced teenagers assembling $3k guns.....

I wouldn't buy a Wilson if I were you. For the cost of their guns you can have a custom guy built by a reputable 'smith. I don't see the point in paying that kind of money for a production (see above) gun. If it's important to you to have a gun that was in the same air space as Bill Wilson (maybe) at some point during it's manufacture, then I guess go for it.
 

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Iwo,

When customers come to me with such a question, I simply ask, "Does (fill in the name of any manufacturer) make the pistol that you want?". For most people, there is a deal breaker in there somewhere--type of parts used, serrations, options, etc. Typically, the customer narrows it down almost immediately at that point.

Be well!

Damian
 

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Having owned and shot several Wilson/Baer/C&S/Yost pistols over the years, I will say they are all worth the money. Are you planning on buying a CQB, Protector, Stealth? These will all be semi-custom/production blasters. If you are looking at a Tactical Elite, a Superior Grade, etc. this will be a full house custom built blaster. Are they worth the money, can't say; not my checkbook.

A trip out to the shop, and spend ten hours to see it, nah. Its a shop. The crew are all good folks, they are knowledgeable, and skilled; you'll get the same info over the phone.
 

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EmbraceTheHate said:
You could, if you don't mind, ask them for a response to the e-mail I sent them regarding parts and tools I ordered over a month ago.
You know places like Wilson's get buried in email. Pick up the phone and call.
 

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The Wilson CQB is an excellent gun. Tackdriver, reliable and great looking. It comes with a lifetime warranty. The magazines come with a lifetime warranty.

They are real workhorses.

Steve
 

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Wonderful. :mad: A guy ask for questions he should ask of Wilson Combat... and two mental midgets think they are being cute by offering one word responses to buy something else. If you have something pertinent to say about Wilson guns.. then say so. But if all you're gonna do is post a one word off topic response, just save the key strokes.

I own a Wilson CQB. I also own a couple of Les Baer Thunder Ranch Specials. And I have a custom gun built up from a Kimber platform. Another custom built on a Colt platform. And a custom built by Nowlin. I own a few production pistols from Kimber and Springfield. I shoot over 10,000 rounds a year. My best shooting buddy has Wilsons, Baer's, Rock River, Dawson and Novak. Several other team mates shoot STI and SVI custom built pistols. So I have just a small amount of experience with high end 1911s from a number of smiths/companies.

So my opinion on Wilson? Not bad. Their customer service is something the industry should emulate. Am I a fan of Bill Wilson? Nope. I do appreciate some of the things he has done. Other areas, I am at odds with his ideas. Do I think the CQB is a good buy? When I got mine for $1495 and compaired it to the same money I spent on the Les Baer pistols, I found the value to be very close. Now with the CQB running closer to $2000... I might pull back on that assesment. The Baer may be a better value.

My biggest complaint on the CQB has to be the coating. I have a couple of coated guns and I expect some wear. I have one with a tefcoat finish that I have run over 7000 rounds through. The CQB has maybe 1000. Yet the wear on the CQB is worse than on the gun with 7000 rounds. My question to Wilson would be on changes made to the coating process in the last 2 or 3 years and what would be the process involved for defining if a pistol should be recoated. What would be the costs involved.

Would I buy another Wilson pistol? Probably not. I don't see anything in their product line that really excites me. Not that I find anything wrong with the Wilson pistols. For the most part, the price to value ratio is not bad. A little high but not too bad.

Shooting with the croud I do, I have seen a lot of high end production, upgraded, semi-custom and custom pistols. I have had the opportunity to shoot most of them. My next purchse will most likely be a upgraded STI from Dave Dawson. The Dawson team is incredible and their customer service is on par with Wilson.

Will you be unhappy with a Wilson CQB? Not likely. It is a fine pistol. If it were the only one I had, I would be very happy with it. In many ways it's similar to "should you by a Ford F150, a Chevy Silverado or a Dodge Ram 1500?" All three good trucks. Every one of them have their champions and their foes. Personal preference will dictate which one you buy. And you will get a great truck regardless. Wilson, Baer, Brown, Dawson or something custom build by a good smith will all be great blasters. Which one you choose will be the one that makes your eyes light up and gives you that 10 year old on Christmas morning feeling.

Best of luck with your choice.
 

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Like Bubba, my main complaint about the CQB is the finish. I'm no fan of any surface-applied "paint". I've seen too many chipping or flaking instead of wearing gently. My favorite (and all my current pistols) is stainless steel. The only finish I'd like better is hard chrome OVER stainless steel.

The CQB is a great pistol mechanically. I'd suggest the stainless Protector, but that's just because of the finish. I love my stainless Classic. Unfortunately, Wilson's pistols are increasing in price faster than the competition. They're getting dangerously close to Ed Brown's guns in price, but cannot touch Brown's quality.
 

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I have a CQB and for the almost 2K I paid for it (including sales tax and the CA DROS fees) I am underwhelmed. The front sight was noticably off-center (shot six inches to the left at 7 yards) and the trigger would not reset a majority of the time - - problems a 2K gun shouldnt have. I centered the front sight and a detailed stripping and oiling solved the trigger reset problem.

If I were to do it all over again, if I wanted a factory semi-custom, I would buy another Les Baer TRS, or if it were available here in CA a Brown.

My preference though would be to send Ted Yost a NRM Colt and have his 1* enhanced package done to it. For less $, you would get a significantly better gun and would know that Ted did all he could to ensure you received the best high quality custom gun.
 

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tbarone said:
Wilsons warranty is lifetime. Dawsons is one year. Something to consider?
I'd rather not have a warranty that I don't need than need one that I have to use all the time. That's just me though.
I like products where I have no idea whatsoever what their customer service is like, because the product is so good I've never needed to find out. Again YMMV.
 

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I've got both a Wilson Protector and a Les Baer TRS, and would recommend either one without question. You might give some serious consideration to the LB TRS or Premier II, as these are both comparable to the WC CQB in quality but slightly lower in price.

Oh, yeah, I'd strike Springfield and Kimber from your list and add Colt and Valtro in their place. :p

Good luck in your pursuit of a new 1911.
 
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