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Posted: 11/25/2003 10:47:09 AM EDT
I have this overwhelming need to purchase my first 1911. It must be stainless, good quality, fun to shoot, and something I can reasonably carry. I see used Kimbers here and there but never a used Wilson Combat. Are they too precious to part with? Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:07:26 PM EDT
Wilson's are build on slides and frames from the same foundry. Obviously, you're going to be getting a little more attention to detail in how its fit from Wilson. I have a Wilson Service Grade Protector that is totally reliable and my most favorite handgun that I have at this time. However, Wilson's prices have jumped CONSIDERABLY since I bought mine. If I were in the market for a stainless 1911, Id get the Kimber with night sight, pay for the few extra modifications I want and spend the difference the Wilson would have cost on a good holster system and practice ammo.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:09:35 PM EDT
You will rarely see a used Wilson or Baer for sale unless someone needs bail money. Wilson is a better gun than the Kimber & Wilson doesn't use cast or plastic parts, AFAIK.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:12:07 PM EDT
I recently went through the same decision making process.

I bought the Wilson CQB.

Love it, no regrets whatsoever.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:13:28 PM EDT

Originaly posted by Lumpy196
11/25/2003 4:07:26 PM

Wilson's are build on slides and frames from the same foundry. Obviously, you're going to be getting a little more attention to detail in how its fit from Wilson. I have a Wilson Service Grade Protector that is totally reliable and my most favorite handgun that I have at this time. However, Wilson's prices have jumped CONSIDERABLY since I bought mine. If I were in the market for a stainless 1911, Id get the Kimber with night sight, pay for the few extra modifications I want and spend the difference the Wilson would have cost on a good holster system and practice ammo.




Word
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:35:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/25/2003 1:36:07 PM EDT by bvmjethead]
No flames.......

but no REASONABLE amount of money or work will make a Kimber as nice as a stock Wilson.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 1:38:35 PM EDT
Dont get me wrong, I love my Wilson. Ive had ZERO problems with it, and it has NEVER malfunctioned. Its a great gun. I just get sticker shock when I look at their MSRPs. For that kind of bank, I could get a Kimber or a Springfield Mil-spec, send it off to Wayne Novak and have a one-of-a-kind near work of art that has the EXACT features I want.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 4:59:17 PM EDT
I used to have a series I Kimber Gold Combat, it was a very nice gun, but it is NOTHING like my Wilson CQB.

I've owned H&K Tacticals, Mark 23, Sigs, Glock, Beretta....you name it, there's a good chance I've owned or own one......there is nothing out there that compares to my CQB, imo.

It is by far the most accurate handgun I've ever owned or shot. It's also the most reliable.....it has NEVER jammed!! I can't say that about some of the others, including my Gold Combat.

So......are they worth every penny? Yes they are!
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 5:10:04 PM EDT
I had a Kimber Series 1 and loved it. I thought there was no big diff between the Kimber and Wilson. Then I traded for a Wilson. Wow, was I wrong. The Wilson's fit and finish are well beyond the Kimber. The Wilson also shoots a ton better. Just pull back the slide on a Wilson, then a Kimber, you can tell right there.
Is the Wilson worth double the cost(or more), if it is your primary carry gun yes, if not, then I do not know.

I would also say that I own a Springfield Ultra Carry that I have been carrying this fall and like it a lot also, not as nice as the Wilson, but very small and shoots well.

I would suggest not buying a Wilson, once you do, you can never go back. It will be Wilson, Les Baer, or Brown.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 8:41:55 PM EDT
Ahh, marketing. Ever notice these discussions always revolve around Kimber and Wilson? Both are very well made. However, you may wish to broaden the pool from which you choose a 1911. There are a lot of very good 1911s out there, and not all spend top advertising $$$. Just a thought.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 8:55:23 PM EDT
Wilson, hands down
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 8:58:26 PM EDT
How do you feel about firing pin safeties that were not a part of the original design?
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 9:20:53 PM EDT
Unless you have a specific reason for considering only those two, also check out:

STI
Caspian Arms
Ed Brown
Enterprise Arms
Les Baer
Evolution Gun Works
Rock River Arms
Valtro
*Maybe Even the New SIG GSR*

Similar to the "AR-15 Brand Comparison Chart" in GFD, we should make one up for 1911s and get it tacked in GFD or in Handgun Discussions.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 10:54:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/26/2003 11:07:20 PM EDT by 1911Shootist]
Forget the Kimber. It's just another mass-produced hit-or-miss ho-hum over-priced 1911.

If you want a stainless gun, get the Wilson Protector. I've got one and it's one of the 2 or 3 really outstanding pistols I've ever owned. Another is the Les Baer TRS. It's a true work of art. When I first got mine I kept saying "wow" for days. I don't believe you can get a stainless TRS, however.

RRA and Valtro are excellent choices if you're in no hurry to get the gun. Expect an 8-12 month wait on either. I'm on the list to get a Valtro, which I don't expect to see until next summer.

At this point I'm a little leery of STI. I've heard a few horror stories. A friend of mine bought a brand new STI Eagle and had parts falling off it in the first few hundred rounds of use. The front sight nearly came off. It apparently was a real nightmare for him, and this was a brand new, nearly $2000 gun.

Oh yeah. The fact that Wilsons and Kimbers are built from slides and frames from the same foundry is completely immaterial. They are built to different specs, and the important thing is the fitting and finishing that occurs after they leave the foundry. The company is Jerico (sp?) and they have been bought out by Kimber. You can now try to make the claim that Kimber supplies frames and slides to Wilson, but that would be misleading.

Just my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 2:18:42 AM EDT
And yet, I love my Kimber BP Ten II.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 5:30:13 AM EDT
I LOVE my Kimbers. I really like Springfields too. One day, I hope to own a Wilson CQB.

Nothing but praise from me on Kimber. They have me hooked. As for their firing pin safety, doenst bother me that it wasnt part of the original design, so long as the gun works. Mine do.
Link Posted: 11/27/2003 2:38:14 PM EDT
I probably wouldn't spend a fortune on my first 1911, but if I were I'd go with the Les Baer TRS before the Wilson.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 7:31:02 AM EDT

I probably wouldn't spend a fortune on my first 1911, but if I were I'd go with the Les Baer TRS before the Wilson.


WordMy first 1911 was a SA loaded stainless. Nice pistol but compared to my Les Baer SRP it seems like it was built in a third world sweat shop.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:43:51 AM EDT
YOU FELLAS DO KNOW THAT WILSON COMBAT BUYS THEIR SLIDES AND FRAMES FROM KIMBER DON'T YOU. HONESTLY. I DID MY HOMEWORK AND BOUGHT MY CUSTOM II. GREAT GUN BUT PROBABLY NOT AS NICE AS A WILSON. A HELL OF A LOT CHEAPER THOUGH.

BILLYXM15
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:13:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By billyxm15:
YOU FELLAS DO KNOW THAT WILSON COMBAT BUYS THEIR SLIDES AND FRAMES FROM KIMBER DON'T YOU. HONESTLY. I DID MY HOMEWORK AND BOUGHT MY CUSTOM II. GREAT GUN BUT PROBABLY NOT AS NICE AS A WILSON. A HELL OF A LOT CHEAPER THOUGH.

BILLYXM15



They buy the slide BLANKS from Kimber's foundry. That means the raw material spec is the same: alloy and heat treatment.

The Kimber and Wilson slides and frames are then machined and assembled totally independent from one another. This is where the Wilson advantage comes into play, for example, the hand-fitting of slides and frames to each other.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 9:29:03 AM EDT
Thanks to everyone for their valuable insight. Your suggestions were great. I gotta go with the Wilson though. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:39:05 PM EDT
one more vote for the Wilson. i have had 5 Kimbers, none have had any problems but they dont compare to my Wilson.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 6:53:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 6:54:54 AM EDT by 1911Shootist]

Originally Posted By billyxm15:
YOU FELLAS DO KNOW THAT WILSON COMBAT BUYS THEIR SLIDES AND FRAMES FROM KIMBER DON'T YOU. HONESTLY. I DID MY HOMEWORK AND BOUGHT MY CUSTOM II. GREAT GUN BUT PROBABLY NOT AS NICE AS A WILSON. A HELL OF A LOT CHEAPER THOUGH.

BILLYXM15



I guess you missed my post. Kimber and Wilson bought slide blanks from the same company, Jerico, then Kimber bought Jerico, and Wilson continues to use the company. If you think that means Wilson uses Kimber parts, then I guess you'll admit that Ford is a Japanese car.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 3:35:18 PM EDT
I HAD a full size 5" Kimber Gold Match in all Stainless and it was a real nice gun. I bought the SS Ultra Combat Carry and it was a very nice gun too ..... UNTIL I tried out a Wilson Combat at the local range. Since I've sold BOTH Kimbers and invested in an all Stainless Protector and a now discontinued Lightweight SDS Stealth Compact. I wouldn't trade ANYTHING for either one of them. If you like an all stainless gun save up for a Wilson Protector (night sites) or Classic (w/adjustable sights). You won't be sorry! They come with an extra mag, blue Wilson gun bag. They have the build sheet with every gun along with the sight-in taget for your gun. 2-Wilson Video tapes, Wilson Ultra Lube, Chamber cleaning brush, bushing wrench, Silicone Gun wiping rag, Headphones, Wilson hat, and the usual DETAILED instruction Manual.....plus not to mention one of the best out of the box shooting 1911's available
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