Author Topic: WILSON COMBAT EDC X9 AND PADRON 1964: THE FINER THINGS  (Read 826 times)

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Online Graybeard

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« on: August 31, 2020, 03:42:32 AM »


It’s funny how over time people’s tastes change and refine. We figure out all the small things within our interests that are important to us and we are willing to spend our hard-earned dollar to purchase and enjoy. I started shooting at a young age with my grandfather but didn’t really cross over into being what I would consider a firearm connoisseur until I was well into my active duty career.

This just happened to be around the same time that I found cigars on deployment and started into that hobby as well. It is always humorous to watch how people perceive their own experience and knowledge about a subject as it is usually the opposite of the truth. Time and experience show us how limited our initial impressions and opinions of things are based around and limited by our true lack of experience.

How do you know how amazing something truly is if you are comparing it to a sample size of one to two? It has taken me over 25 years of shooting and over a decade of smoking to come to truly appreciate things like the Wilson Combat EDC X9 and the Padron 1964 No. 4 Toro Maduro.

Wilson Combat EDC X9

Shooting is my ultimate passion, followed shortly behind by the soft curls of smoke drifting off a good cigar with a nice glass of bourbon. I was blessed with a grandfather that bestowed a solid love and respect for firearms within me, but he had a small collection of factory firearms that had been well used and carried over his 30 years as a Sherriff. I then entered the military and into the special operations community I go.

Surrounded by all the guns and accessories I had only seen in video games I thought I had a pretty solid grasp of weaponry… Then in walks a friend with a custom 1911. While I will make no attempt to delve into the use and application or tactical relevance of the platform in this article, the gun made me realize that there was a world of firearms out there that were hand-fitted and were on a whole different level from anything I had experienced up to that point.

If you have been in the gun industry and have ever looked at a 1911 lovingly then you probably know who Wilson Combat is. Wilson has been making parts, magazines and customizing 1911s and other firearms since the late 70s. Known for their well-made parts and “factory” custom pistols, their quality and attention to detail on a fairly large scale is pretty impressive.

Wilson fits between the one-man custom shop who will build a pistol one at a time and deliver you a piece of metal artwork, and the factory assembly line pumping out pistols as long as they fall between the right and left limits of their “spec”. I would say they are to 1911’s as Shelby is to the mustang for all of the car guys and gals out there.

As the decades have passed since the original birth of the 1911 platform many other advancements have been made in manufacturing, design, and just the tastes of the consumer. The platform still holds the hearts of many for its amazing trigger feel which all other guns are compared against. Followed shortly behind by its innate ability to point easily for many people and incredible accuracy.

Wilson Combat EDC X9 Design

The biggest perceived downside of the 1911 is its single-stack design versus a more modern double-stack (rounds in the magazine stacked in a single column, one over each other vise staggered left and right for higher capacity). Many companies have tried to make a traditional one-piece frame to utilize these sought-after characteristics while adding the ability to hold more rounds. Very few of these attempts have survived, insert the 2011 with its two-piece frame design utilizing a polymer or more recently metal grip assembly which is then mated to a metal frame.

The 2011 has been plagued with finicky magazines and reliability issues while being insanely popular. They are arguably one of the most widely used competition platforms of all time but have not seen wide-spread duty use until a very recent push by Staccato or Formerly known as STI. This was due to a recent redesign in magazines leading to better reliability.

Wilson went a different route and decided to start with a known and reliably magazine design and build a gun around that. A gun that was easily concealable yet large enough to train with and be used in a duty type roll. A gun similar in size and application to the venerable Glock 19 while having all the popular features of the 1911. Insert the Wilson Combat EDC X9.

Wilson Combat started with a magazine and designed the frame around the magazine. Using the Walther PPQ magazine as a base, Wilson made multiple modifications to optimize it for their 9mm 1911 love child. They also did not use a two-piece design like a 2011 and instead made a one-piece frame that accepts clam shell G10 grips.

Wilson Combat EDC X9 G10 clam shell grip.

Other modifications over the 1911 are an external extractor versus an internal extractor. This external extractor is held in place with an Allen key screw which is a very nice touch. They also removed the grip safety and rely on the thumb safety as the primary safety mechanism for the pistol. Wilson then wrapped this up with a very modern style with slanted cuts in the slide and X-style serrations found on many of their other pistols.

Wilson Combat EDC X9 frame.

My personal Wilson Combat EDC X9, as seen in the pictures, has approximately 2500 rounds on it as I’m writing this and gets carried frequently. I have found the gun to be the perfect size with a great feel even with having fairly large hands. With guns like the Glock 19, I find without base pads or a magwell my pinky slides off the bottom of the grip, but the Wilson Combat EDC X9 is just long enough for me to get a good grip. This makes the gun very controllable. I like a good metal-framed gun and appreciate the feel and weight that goes along with it.

The finish on the gun is great and wears really well. The slide to frame fit is fantastic and it does give that “ball bearing” feel that many come to expect in a high end 1911 or similar pistol. Does the Wilson do anything that a Glock or Sig p320 or similar can’t do? No, it is a reliable and accurate pistol that comes along with a price tag that is reflective of being a hand-built pistol out of the Wilson Combat shop.

If you appreciate the quality and attention to detail that goes into a high-end pistol and want something that can be used hard and not just sit on your coffee table as a display piece then the Wilson Combat EDC X9 is a great option.

In Conclusion

A good trip to the range can happen with many other pistols and you can defend yourself just fine with a stock Glock 19. There are plenty of cigars that can be smoked and enjoyed that are less expensive than the Padron. They both are representative of companies that care about the consistent quality product they produce and have a firm grasp of where they fit in their marketspace. I pair these together as fine examples of companies who have spent the time to figure out what they do well and stick to doing that day in and day out.

If you are looking for options in either of these worlds and want a recommendation I highly recommend you give these two a look.

Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!

Offline Lloyd Smale

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 12:37:39 AM »
wouldnt want the cigar for free and i love that 9 but id about bet id cringe at the price. Never owned a wilson but have been fortunate to shoot a few and there fantastic guns but even when i worked my budget stopped at guns like les baers and i only owned two of those through the years. Its kind of like a porche. Out of my price range but im sure not bashing one.
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Online DDZ

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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 03:34:28 AM »
I always wanted a gun from Wilson combat, but they were always more than I wanted to spend. Although I did buy a number of their quality parts when I built a 1911 from a colt 1911A1 frame.
Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.    Wm. Penn