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Discussion Starter #1
I am shopping for a couple of Wilson Combat pieces, and had noticed on the forum (closed thread), that there were a few less than positive comments regarding Wilson Combat’s Armor Tuff finish, but no one offered any reasons why.

Are there any reasons why I might want to go with a parkerized finish instead of the Armor Tuff?

[This message has been edited by kendale (edited 11-27-2001).]
 

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kendale,

All of the complaints you have heard center around a single concern: durability of the finish.

Without question, Armor Tuff performs "as advertised" in the corrosion-resistance department; however, it is somewhat prone to premature wear -- especially on defined edges and contact points (muzzle, ejection port, etc.).

In truth, even when this happens, the base metal is still well-protected, so the whole issue boils down to cosmetics more than anything. Still, that alone is a legitimate gripe in a $2,000 gun.

Wilson's history with this finish suggests that accelerated wear is more of a problem with their earlier pistols than those shipping out of Berryville nowadays. Apparently, some refinements in the application process and/or methodology have resulted in a much better wearing finish than before.

In fairness to Wilson, it should be noted that all polymer based finishes are vulnerable to this same problem. Parkerization may be a good solution to the problem, but in reality, I don't think there is much to be gained here in terms of actual protection. We complain about our AT guns largely because there isn't much else to fault them for, but even AT isn't all THAT bad. Just don't tell anyone I said that.


Chuck
 

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kendale,
I tried to reply to your email, but your email address isn't correct. I basically was echoing what StormMaster said.
 

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Kendale, I will email you a couple of images of my Wilson and its wear. I honestly don't know of StormMaster is correct on the metal still being protected even after the finish is gone. The bare metal isn't rusting, but then again neither is the metal on my 1903 Colt .32 that has very little blue left on it. Where I am going with that is that if you take good care of your guns, there should not be a problem, but I am not convinced that the Armor Tuff has protected my gun.

Armor Tuff certainly has not performed as advertised in the abrasion resistence department. I was down to bare metal around the muzzle after my first trip to the range. ANYPLACE something touches it repeatedly, it is going bare. Armor Tuff is even coming off under the trigger guard where my middle finger rides.

In much less than one year, my gun shows more wear of the finish than some of the guns my buddies carry and shoot that they have had since the 1970s.

Unless you want a gun in a particular color (black, green, grey) or combo of colors, I would suggest getting Wilson to hardchrome it.
 

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Originally posted by Double Naught Spy:
...Armor Tuff certainly has not performed as advertised in the abrasion resistence department. I was down to bare metal around the muzzle after my first trip to the range. ANYPLACE something touches it repeatedly, it is going bare. Armor Tuff is even coming off under the trigger guard where my middle finger rides.
Wilson has had some problems with the Armor Tuff. You should contact them about it. They will refinish the gun.
 

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I appreciate the information, Gun Nut, but I am not convinced it will come back any better. Right now, it is purely a cosmetic issue and has no influence on the functionality of the gun. The gun works really well so I see no pressing reason to go through the hassles of shipping it back, waiting for the work, etc. I think it is great that Wilson is willing to do that, but I really would have appreciated them getting it right the first time like they did with the rest of the gun.

The really funny thing is that if they had not pushed Armor Tuff as this miracle coating, I would not have given it too much thought. What I find really amusing is that the Kimpro finish on my Kimber that I carried daily and shot for a year looks about as bad now as the Wilson did around week 3 of my ownership. I put over 10K through the Kimber, had it in various classes, did countless holster drills, and the gun looks great. The Kimber did have some mechanical problems and I had to ship it back twice for fixes - but cosmetically it looks fine!

If this were a real mechanical issue, I would have it back in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, everyone for your comments and insights.

Ricky T - I have noticed a few glitches from time to time. Thank you for the attempt to reply, just the same.
 

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I believe Wilson is going to offer parkerizing with AT on top. This is supposed to help with the chipping and abrasion somewhat. I can see where it would help with the chipping but am not too sure about the abrasion. I am not sure how much more this finish would cost, but if it keeps the gun looking good, I might be intersted.


------------------
Mike,
Mike's Sport Shop
http://www.rcvideo.com/users/msmith
 

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Wilson offered to refinish my CQB at no charge when I complained about premature wear.

I just got one of the new armur tuff mags and it seems different then the armur tuff on my old mags and gun. it is a shinier finish and looks more like black T. maybe they changed the mix of the spray on liquid.

Wilson stands behind their products better then anyone in the industry.

shay
 

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I got to see Double Naught Spy's CQB at the Rangemater class in Dallas. It looked pretty scruffy - just like the owner.
Of course, he had been to Thunder Ranch and, as he has stated, had done Ms of presentations with this gun from (what I recall to be) a Kydex holster. One thing about holsters (particularly Kydex): You can clean the grit off your gun @ night, but you'd better not forget to clean it out of your holster, too -
especially in S. Texas, NM, AZ, and NV. The sand/alkali dust will sure do its best to give your shootin' iron that nice "patina".

Anyway, his gun looked to be in a sorry state compared to my Protector that I have carried off-duty in a Sparks EX and, more recently, a Burns/Alessi GWH for about a year and a half. My gun is just starting to show evidence of wear on the leading edges of the slide and other high-contact spots. I just do ten presentations from the holster per day when I take it off.

My take? I know DNS has a few more 1911s squirreled away. He ought to send his CQB back to Wilson for a (free) refinish. If it still doesn't perform to his expectations or satisfaction, then Wilson's will hard=chrome it for free. Which brings us back to why he hasn't sent the gun back: It's just that it's so good he can't bear to part with it.

[This message has been edited by Andy (edited 11-29-2001).]
 

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It's just that it's so good he can't bear to part with it.
Sounds like the best kind of Catch-22 a guy could hope for.


Chuck
 

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I know I might be the only one, but I have a Wilson Two Tone Classic (Armor-Tuff slide) with over a 1000 rounds through it and I like it. I have not had the wear trouble other people have had, and while I don't abuse my pistols they get heavy use. I do feel if this gun was a carry peice it would show some wear. Not really worried Wilson will refinish it if your not happy with the wear results or have a problem with it.
 
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