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Just the other day , I walked in to a sporting good store and saw a Wilson 1911 priced at $1,800.00 . Is it possible that this weapon can be that much better or that much more advanced than the other 1911s ? If so , what makes the difference ? I'm not tring to sound negative about this matter , as I thought this was a really good looking gun . I just wounder if I'd be getting my money's worth .
 

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I think its worth it. The differences are the details. Handle a Wilson along with some of the other semi-custom-production-line 1911s for a while and it will become evident that there are a lot more manhours that go into the creation of the Wilson. The slide feels like its on swiss bearings, the barrel lockup is truly lock tight, the beavertail is actually fitted and blended seamlessly into the frame, the safety clicks smoothly and positively on and off and, the trigger breaks like glass with absoulutely no creep. Its not perfect but for $1800 its about as nice a 1911 as Ive seen.

More details. I like that the fact that a Wilson comes with a production inspection checklist that actually has the signature of one their smiths on it. It gave me a sense of confidence in the reliability of the gun before I shot it, and made me feel like the guy who signed off on the checklist was held accountable for the proper functioning of the gun before it left the shop. The Wilson Owners Manual is also pretty nice. Its actually the only owners manual Ive ever seen that I felt contained useful information. Wilson also provides a test target, and load data for the rounds used in the accuracy and function testing. I also appreciate the fact that the gun came with a pistol rug instead of a hardcase. It sends a message that the gun is meant to be taken to the range often.

At one time I wasnt so sure that Wilsons were worth the money. That was before I had bought and sold 2 Springfields and a Kimber, after failing to customize them into the gun that the Wilson is out of the box. The price difference is in the details. These details are what makes Wilson Combat a 1st class operation that produces a product thats a few steps above a production line gun thats passed off as a semi-custom.
 

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I paid about $400 for my Colt 1911 in 1978. I put about another $400 in it for ramping and throating, better sights, grips, a trigger job, and accurizing including a S.S. bar-sto barrel. It shoots great, easily an inch at 25 yards, and I use it for IDPA. The trigger is starting to get gritty, probably needs a new hammer and sear.

Last week I bought a Wilson CQB, at a discount (demo model) for about $1600. It shoots into about an inch at 25 yards, has a great trigger, better sights, and has a lot of features I never had installed on my 1911. The Colt is a little more forgiving about ammunition, but not much.

If you allow for inflation, it cost me about the same as the Colt, plus it has a warranty. And the workmanship makes Colt look sick.

That is why it costs more.

Tim
 

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You get what you pay for.

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"ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE..."
 

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Like Wilson states in his catalog,

"The desire to own a Wilson Pistol is analogous to the hunger to possess a Rembrandt, BMW or other recognized art form. It is simply the desire to own "The Best".
 

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It's to cover the cost of additional fixes in case the out of the box gun does not live up to your expectations. Fortunately, Wilson is one of a few semi-custom shops that lives up to his own words. You won't be disappointed with the quality and accuracy.
 

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I just wonder if I'd be getting my money's worth.
This is certainly a valid question, and I think that the answers given above really cover the basic argument quite well.

When one is still somewhat new to 1911s, it does seem rather odd to find such a great price differential between nearly identical guns. After all why would you want to spend $1,800 when you can get what appears to be the same thing for almost 1/3 of that?

In order to understand this phenomenon, you really have to immerse yourself in some of the wonderful idiocyncracies of Browning's masterpiece.

While we often -- perhaps too often
-- resort to automotive comparisons around here, I think this may be one of those cases where it may help to communicate the basic message...

Let's say you went out and bought a stock Camaro Z28. It was pretty quick, fairly agile, and generally a kick-in-the-pants to drive. 275 hp, 0-to-60 in 5.5 seconds, 156 mph. You're happy, right?

Then, you see a Callaway Camaro C8 go by. 404 hp, 0-to-60 in 4.8 seconds, 178 mph. Sure, they are both Camaros to all appearances, but the performance gap between them is nothing short of staggering.

Casual observers probably wouldn't even recognize the difference between these two sleds, but any car enthusiast would! More importantly, you would -- every time you drove it.

Colts, Springfields and Kimbers are all rock-solid Z28s. Buy one, and you'll be extremely happy with it -- maybe forever. But, for many of us who have really learned to love the 1911, we often can't resist the urge to do some tweaking in search of our "ultimate" 1911.

Now, you can do this one of two ways: you can send your gun off to a competent pistosmith for various retrofits, or you can buy a "high performance" model out of the box. That's really what the Wilson is -- a very high performance 1911.

Once you add up the costs of doing piecemeal upgrades, you will often find that you have exceeded what it would cost to buy a new Wilson, to say nothing of the time and aggravation involved in getting it back and forth to the shop.

So, is the Wilson really worth the money? That all depends upon what sort of handgunner you are, how you intend to use your pistol, and how your preferences change over time. You may want to go back and re-read what the other members have said, but for most serious afficianados of the 1911 design, the answer is a resounding YES!!

Chuck
 

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As one who retails the custom as well as the production 1911.

Two comments come from all of the customers.

You get what you pay for either on the front end or back end. That is how I got my tag line on my signature block.

Second comment is once you go forward you never go back.

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.
 

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First, you have to get beyond the idea that it was a good looking gun. If you are buying art, there are prettier guns. Same for status. Don't buy a gun because it is pretty or because your buddies will admire you for it. Those are not terribly relevant issues to what the gun does, shoot really well.

Wilson makes a fine product and they stand behind their product very well. I have just under 10,000 rounds on my full-sized CQB I got this year and it is still very smooth and cycles flawlessly. With a Wilson product, there is a much less chance of getting a bad product. They check the guns thoroughly before leaving the factory, with some other brands that isn't the case. And with some crappy guns, one in a million turn out to be fine, but most suck (like Raven). If you got something from Wilson that was bad, they would make it right.

Is the Wilson worth the extra $? I think so. That being said, my wife has a Kimber Stainless Target that is 2 years old. I took it out and shot it today. Aside from some features that are different, the Kimber cost us only $700 and functions as reliably and smoothly as the my CQB. It too is a really nice shooting gun and like the Wilson, we have had to do nothing other than cleaning and changing springs as needed. If I thought all Kimbers were that good, I would buy a lot more. Kimber makes a good gun, but I think we got lucky to get one as good as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to each one of you that took time to respond . I do appreciate each response and I'm proud to say that there must truly be so wonderful people here on this forum . As dumb as my question may have sounded , I want each of you to know that I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness in your replys . I do know that I have a honest answer to my question and you all have help with a decision which was very important to me . Now I have no doubt at all as to wheather a Wilson will stand out above the crowd , as I can clearly see that the people that shoot them do . Thank you all again !

1
 

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Never had a Wilson. Too rich for me, but from what I hear the customer service and peace of mind is outstanding! I thinks that is what makes Wilson sell. A decent product which has an great customer service record.

I just stick to my old Colt. My skill level doesn't warrant a Wilson yet.
 

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Wilson Combat customer service is the best of any industry I have dealt with.
Handle one of their pistols. Work the slide, then work the slide on a stock 1911. The WC feels like it is on ball bearings. Like the other posters mentioned, craftsmanship, warranty, and their personnel are 1st rate. The point of my gibberish---I firmly believe they are worth it.

Bill Lance
 

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While our opinions are undoubtedly honest, they are not free of bias. The fans of any particular brand of gun can be an almost cult-like following in many cases. Many people will boast about a product being the best or better than others, but actually have not dealt with other brands or no many of them. Also, the needs we have for the product may not be the same as your needs.
 

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Double Naught Spy brings out a very good point on personal bias.

If the owner of a product is pleased with the product he/she supports it. If not the opposite usually or always applies.

The best advice given to me when I started in this business was by an old army Fort Benning gunsmith during my last year before I retired. (We competed at high power and service rifle matches at Fort Benning, GA)

"If the gun fits your hand, has the features you want and you have the money to buy it. Think twice, don't haggle and then get it. If not you will be sorry. That is the best buy for you for your money."

That still holds true.

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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.
 

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I purchased at a gun show several months ago, maybe close to a year, an Israeli made GAL 1911A1 in commander setup. I paid $275 with tax, to date the gun has 4,509 rounds through it and it functions as good as my other 18 1911's. Moral? Sometimes price has nothing to do with quality.
Originally posted by Glock_Racer:
You get what you pay for.

 

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Originally posted by sousana:
I purchased at a gun show several months ago, maybe close to a year, an Israeli made GAL 1911A1 in commander setup. I paid $275 with tax, to date the gun has 4,509 rounds through it and it functions as good as my other 18 1911's. Moral? Sometimes price has nothing to do with quality.
18 - 1911's? Wow, where do you find time each day to give each one their needed attention?


Anyways, my statement about getting what you pay for holds true in most cases but you do get lucky sometimes and find a great deal. The more I get into shooting 1911s, the more my taste gets expensive, so I may be more prejudice to lesser valued items in this case...



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"ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE..."
 

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The more I get into shooting 1911s, the more my taste gets expensive ...
Somehow, I don't think you're alone in this Glock_Racer. Every 1911 I've ever purchased has been more expensive than the previous one -- but you do get what you pay for!

At this rate, a full-house BCP or Heinie should probably come next. Then I guess it will be time to start gearing up for one of those $10,000 Vickers guns.
(Not to make light of Larry's stellar artisanship, but I still can't believe Cam Hopkins printed that in his July/August AH article.)

Personally, I'm not sure I'd want to spend too much money on ammo shooting a "discount" gun when I have some much nicer 1911s on hand. Still, it is good to hear that sousana has reason to be pleased with his GAL purchase. One certainly can't beat the price.

Chuck
 

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Glock Racer, I stand corrected, I have 27 total 1911's in my safe. I'm going to compose a list and post it. And no, I'm not a gun nut, I've been shooting 1911's for 30 years, and I rarely if ever sell one once it's purchased.
Originally posted by Glock_Racer:
18 - 1911's? Wow, where do you find time each day to give each one their needed attention?


Anyways, my statement about getting what you pay for holds true in most cases but you do get lucky sometimes and find a great deal. The more I get into shooting 1911s, the more my taste gets expensive, so I may be more prejudice to lesser valued items in this case...

 

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Glock_Racer: Here is my list of 1911's:

2 Wilson CQB's
2 Safari Arms Matchmasters
1 Safari Arms Black Widow
1 Safari Arms GI Model
1 Thompson Auto Ordnance
1 Norinco
1 Rock River Arms Limited Match
3 Springfield Armory Loaded models, Park/Blued/Sts
1 Springfield TRP
1 Springfield Loaded STS 9mm
1 Colt Commander 9mm
1 Colt series 80 sts gold cup
2 Colt Combat Elite's
2 Colt sts Gov't models
1 Colt sts commander
1 Colt Blue 1991A1
1 Essex
1 Caspian arms with damascus slide
1 Israeli Arms GAL M5000 duo tone
1 Les Baer Concept I
1 Ithaca 1911 ( cleaned, oiled and vacuum sealed and never shot )

Sounds like overkill, but I like em, and in most cases I get them at very discounted prices. This is just a list of my 1911's. I do have other models like Browning, Kareen, Glock, CZ, TZ, Llama, S&W, Ruger.
 
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