9 Best Wilson Combat Handguns – April 2023

Wilson Combat EDC X9 - An amazing handgun you can buy today.

Wilson Combat handguns are some of the best pistols in the world. It’s really that simple.

The Berryville, Arkansas company started out as Wilson’s Gun Shop in 1977. Bill Wilson set up shop in the family jewelry business and brought many of the same principles to the gunsmithing industry.

He started out using top tier parts to tune customer 1911s, but by 1983 he was making his own components.

The first complete Wilson Combat 1911 pistols hit the market in 1996. Since then, the company has more or less established itself as the best handgun manufacturer and tuner in the world.

If you can afford them.

Wilson Combat handguns are seriously expensive, but they are peak engineering and owners claim they’re worth every cent of that high price.

Here are our favorite Wilson Combat pistols, 1911s and custom pistols with a striker fired action.

Wilson Combat CQB 45 ACP.

1. Wilson Combat CQB

  • Price: $3,254.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 5 inch
  • Total Length: 8 inches
  • Weight: 2.4lb
  • Magazine Capacity: 8+1

The Wilson Combat CQB is the flagship handgun, the company’s signature dish.

I mean there is an Elite version that costs even more and we’ll get to that. But this is the head of the Wilson Combat pistols family.

Even with all the high capacity 9mm handguns, the Close Quarters Combat is the classic 45 ACP 1911 that remains the volume seller and the jewel in the crown.

That carbon steel frame gets a high cut checkered front strap. Of course the dramatic High Ride Beavertail Grip Safety and High Ride Bullet Proof Thumb Safety are perfectly engineered and then there are the G10 Starburst grips and front cocking serrations.

It’s a competition grade battle pistol with a match grade barrel and hand fit bushing, low drag rear Battlesight, a fiber optic front sight and a black carbon finish.

This is the traditional 1911 brought right up to date with better materials, tighter engineering tolerances and the very best the modern world can offer at every stage.

Meet the Wilson Combat CQB Family

The CQB has evolved into a model line in its own right and target shooters love the CQB Elite. It’s a heavier gun at 2.56lb and comes with a number of different features. They include a tactical Bullet Proof thumb safety and diagonal grips that ditch the legendary starburst pattern.

Now the Wilson Combat CQB Tactical LE is almost the Elite model, but is aimed at tactical teams, SWAT entry teams and the kind of law enforcement units that can afford to place orders for $3,000 handguns.

This CQB Tactical gets a match-grade bull barrel, hand fit of course. A Tactical Bullet Proof thumb safety and the Elite diagonal cut flat bottom grips.

Load up this battle pistol with the very best 45 ACP ammo and you will see why the CQB never leaves some owners’ side.

Of course you can go for the CQB Commander carry pistol, which almost got a separate entry here. The CQB Commander isn’t quite as pure as the full size battle pistol though.

Wilson Combat CQB Elite Professional. A full size 1911 grip and a commander barrel.
Elite Commander Version is Compact

The Wilson Combat CQB Elite Professional comes with a 4 inch barrel mated to a chopped down version of the 45 ACP full size frame. That 4 inch barrel compact pistol ditches the barrel bushing, which could be a point of failure on a seriously abused workhorse of a handgun. That same fiber optic front sight is loud and proud up top.

Now the Wilson Combat CQB Elite Commander offers a 4.25 inch barrel, flush cut and reverse crown, with a bushing and the larger grip from the full size frame. These are small differences in your CQB Compact, but when you’re spending this kind of money then you should get exactly what you want.

There’s a retro special edition 45th anniversary CQB, too, which is a sexy gun.

Wilson COmbat EDC X9L handgun. A great 9mm 1911 you need in your life.

2. Wilson Combat EDC X9L

  • Price: $3,176.00
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 4 inch
  • Total Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Magazine Capacity: 15+1

Is the high capacity Wilson Combat EDC X9L the best 9mm 1911 on the market? Lots of people think so.

A double stack 1911 with 15+1 rounds built by arguably the best manufacturer in the United States at the helm sounds like a pretty good recipe. It’s meant to combine the character of the 1911 with modern service pistol capacity and reliability.

Originally designed as a concealed carry and a sub-compact 1911 Officer size, these Wilson Combat EDC X9L handguns are built on an aluminum frame.

So you get a 2.2lb full size 1911 with 16 rounds and a much longer sight radius with the Wilson Combat EDC X9L. An adjustable rear sight exploits that.

There is a match-grade bushing style barrel works with an external extractor that is designed to keep going through the worst abuse and lowest grade ammo.

New X-Tac Checkering

For the checkering, you get the X-Tac and the grip is smaller than an old-school 1911. You can fit an optional aluminum flared magwell, too, and give the EDC X9L a slight race gun look. As does the high ride grip safety and Bullet Proof thumb safety.

The Tritium front sight that borders on night vision helps too.

Plenty of others have followed this 2011 route and you can see rivals here in the best double stack 1911 feature. The high capacity Wilson Combat EDC X9L is still an apex predator, though.

Of course you can buy a Commander frame Wilson Combat EDC, but we kinda like the longer gun.

Wilson Combat Vickers Elite Glock 19 on sale now.

3. Wilson Combat Vickers Elite Glock 19 Gen 5

  • Price: $1,588.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel length: 4.49 inch
  • Total: 7.28 inches
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Magazine Capacity: 17+1

This custom Glock 19 is a collaborative effort with Vickers Tactical to transform the world’s best selling 9mm pistol from a high capacity Toyota Camry of a firearm to an everyday carry with a soul. Maybe.

Vickers handled the stippling and this is top class slide work with a Black Armor-Tuff finish that is a Wilson Combat handguns hallmark. We like the fiber optic front sight, too, even though it can’t justify the cost.

The Vickers Elite has a Vickers/Tango Down Magazine release, Basepads and more.

Larry Vickers and Bill Wilson producing the ultimate Glock duty pistol means they can charge more or less what they like. Look out for the Vickers Elite Commander, too, built on a Bill Wilson frame.

We do appreciate the functionality and toned down nature of this custom Glock, though. The Vickers Elite Package for Glock is just one upgrade package package the company is working on.

There are others like the Paul Howe collection that focus on Gen 3 Glocks that combine enhanced reliability with performance mods. Get modern service pistol capacity and reliability, with match grade accuracy, with a package for Glock.

Wilson Combat SFX9 subcompact pistol chambered in 9mm Luger. A double stack carry pistol with 10 rounds.

4. Wilson Combat SFX9 Subcompact

  • Price: $2,923.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel length: 3.25 inch
  • Weight: 1.6lb
  • Magazine Capacity: 10+1

A subcompact 1911 that holds 10 rounds is a pretty sweet deal, or you can opt for the larger grip high capacity model with 15 rounds.

The SF means Solid Frame, as in its machined from aluminum billet for added strength and the lightest possible frame on the Wilson Combat SFX9.

There is no Bullet Proof grip safety here and this is a small, lightweight 1911 for everyday carry with a lightweight solid frame.

Other features including a Concealment Bullet Proof magazine release and slide stop. The frame and stainless steel slide get the X-TAC grip and cocking serrations and there is a green or red fiber optic front sight.

Th WC Solid Frame is one of the finest concealed carry 1911 pistols you’ll find on the market. Technically it’s part of the same X9 line as the EDC X9L, but this is a different vibe. Is it the best concealed carry pistol? It’s one of them.

Wilson Combat Sig Sauer P320. A custom striker fired pistol you can buy today.

5. Wilson Combat Sig Sauer P320 Carry

  • Price: $1,564.00
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 4.7 inch
  • Total: 8 inches
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Capacity: 17+1

Glocks are on here, too, but the company seems to have a pretty sweet deal going with the Sig Sauer P320 partnership.

It looks good for Sig Sauer, too. The company could have made similar changes with their own pistols, and indeed they have, but this is like an endorsement deal with an athlete really.

The high capacity Sig was doing just fine and is still eating into Glock’s perceived authority in the service pistol market. Recent high profile court cases involving accidental discharges isn’t great publicity, but ironically the trigger is one of the things that has been upgraded here.

GreyGuns supplied the trigger parts, which is a return to this company’s old school gunsmithing days of sourcing components from outside and fitting them to customer guns. WC supplies the magic action tune.

Technical Highlights of the Combat Sig

Features include a Diamond Like Carbon Finish on the match-grade barrel and stainless steel slide is nice, as is the X-Tac slide serrations front and rear. The grip gets the trademark Starburst treatment and the trigger gets Grayguns custom parts installed and tuned by Wilson Combat gunsmiths.

Do the front cocking serrations etc warrant the asking price? Probably just about in today’s market. A Spectre Works Sig Sauer P365 can cost well beyond $1000, while the in house Sig Sauer X P320 XFive Legion is around $1000.

So this much for an Optics Ready Wilson Combat Sig Sauer P320 Carry seems just about right. And these are sensational battle pistols if you can live without a hammer fired action.

9 Best Wilson Combat Handguns – April 2023

6. Wilson Combat eXperior Compact

  • Price: $3,348.99
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Barrel: 4 inch
  • Total: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.6lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

The eXperior is one of the new arrivals and features pretty much every cosmetic and performance mod that the company offers.

You get the flatter TRAC grip texture, a new asymmetrical grip that reduces snagging on clothing while retaining a secure grip. A smooth button style magazine release fits the profile perfectly.

Other features include a rear battlesight and green or red fiber optic front, low drag rear sight, a Bullet Proof High Ride Beavertail safety and 3.5-4.5 Crisp Trigger Pull.

We like to think we’ll treat our $3000+ pistol better than that, too, but it does come with WAVE frame rail clearance cuts. So with minimal lubrication and a slide full of mud and sand, it should still fire. A new barrel locking lug design also helps improve cycling reliability when using garbage ammunition in a gritty gun.

Never Fail Mentality Leads to Engineering Perfection

That dedication to making their guns work in conditions you wouldn’t subject a Hi-Point to is one of the reasons Wilson Combat handguns stand above the rest in the custom pistols sector.

The same qualities that make it function when others have long since died is why the eXperior is butter smooth in every day life. It is also why a Wilson Combat EDC has match grade everything even though its designed as a defensive pistol.

Overkill at every stage is really the only way to give you the most reliable and accurate pistol when you need it. Every time you need it.

You can opt for a double stack eXperior Commander with a 4.25 inch barrel, this 4 inch Compact, a full size 5 inch and you can go single stack too. It’s another full model line of traditional 1911 infused with modern technology, and you can choose from old school 230 grain 45 ACP or new school 9mm Luger..

The Beretta

7. Wilson Combat 92G Brigadier Tactical

  • Price: $2,346.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel: 4.7 inch
  • Total: 8.25 inches
  • Weight: 2.25lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

Wilson Combat is no longer taking orders for this match grade and massively tuned Beretta 92. But you can still find them for sale.

Sometimes the 92G Brigadier Tactical crops up on Guns.com, though, and we found one. If it’s still there, buy it. This is an instant collector’s item.

Performance features include a new steel guide rod, a dehorned Brigadier steel slide that is then rematched to the frame by a Wilson Combat gunsmith. A stainless steel barrel, 4.7 inches with a recessed crown, is then mated to the frame and add-ons like a lucury magazine release come last.

New checkering, G10 Dirty Olive Grips and a Battlesight rear and Trijicon Tritium front sight and adjustable rear sight will make your Beretta better. Also look out for the 92G Vertec/Brigadier Tactical with a 1911 style grip angle and shorter frame.

Bill Wilson’s outfit may have pulled back because of a mass of performance Berettas of late, as well as massive demand for the 1911s and long guns. The Double Action/Single Action market has some great competition, too, including the CZ 75 based target shooting specialists like the CZ Czechmate Parrot.

If you want a factory custom Beretta 92x Performance with high capacity magazines, then they are much less money. Wilson Combat handguns, inevitably, cost more.

9 Best Wilson Combat Handguns – April 2023

8. Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade

  • Price: $3,348.99
  • Caliber: 45 ACP/40S&W/10mm/9mm/38 Special
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Total: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

This is a pure defensive pistol that you can order in a range of calibers, from lowly 38 Super through to 10mm Auto. There is even a 40 Smith & Wesson option, largely for Law Enforcement types.

You can order a compact Tactical Supergrade Professional without the bushing, a 38 Special Tactical Supergrade Commander, Supergrade Commander Special and more.

It’s another model line based on using match grade components to produce combat handguns.

Parts & Accessories

Of course you don’t need a WC frame to buy custom parts for your 1911, Glock or Sig Sauer. You can buy performance parts, a high capacity magazine, Bullet Proof parts, an external extractor or other parts for your firearms. A skeletonized hammer, spring and other things can really help more than you think.

You could build out everything from a Rock Island Armory GI Model to something more suitable with these Wilson Combat parts.

A match grade barrel, crisp trigger pull, high capacity mag, fiber optic front sight and other custom gun parts can transform an average pistol into a world beater.

So get WC 1911 parts, Glock parts and more and organise the price low to high to spot a surprise bargain. Our favorites WIlson Combat handguns parts suppliers are:

Don’t Forget the Long Guns

The company does a formidable line in match grade long guns that feature in many of our list pieces. The best 308 Win Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor rifles and the top sniper rifles all have Wilson Combat representation.

So look out for rifles, shotguns too. The Border Patrol shotgun is a favorite among law enforcement with a budget.

You can scope those snipers up with night vision, get high capacity mags and really get reckless if you want.

Meet the Rivals

The company is right at the top of the engineering tree, but there are a couple of options you might want to look at.

Nighthawk Custom, a bespoke gun manufacturer with stunning 1911 pistols
Nighthawk Custom

It’s probably no coincidence that Nighthawk Custom is also based in Berryville Arkansas.

This is a town of 5000 people and it’s hardly a precision engineering hub. But it’s kind of turning into the unofficial capital of bespoke 1911 production.

So these companies either work together or they are the fiercest of rivals.

We’re big fans of Nighthawk Custom pistols round these parts and we did a whole post on them here.

The Nighthawk Custom Boardroom President, Shadow Hawk and more are great guns that you have to consider if you’re buying in this price range.

Dan Wesson Valor, one of the best new breed of 1911 pistols
Dan Wesson Firearms

Dan Wesson started out making precision revolvers, and multi caliber conversions. Now Dan Wesson makes some of the finest 1911 pistols in the world, especially around the $2,000 price point.

CZ now owns Dan Wesson. But apart from an intriguing Dan Wesson DWX crossover 1911 based on the CZ 75 platform, Dan Wesson has been largely left to do what it does best.

The Dan Wesson Valor with its straight cut trigger and effortless combination of range race gun and battle pistol, might just be our favorite 1911 outside of the custom price range.

We could be very happy with a Dan Wesson Specialist battle pistol or a Dan Wesson TCP for a compact EDC.

Handgun hunters will talk forever about the Dan Wesson Bruin 10mm and Dan Wesson Kodiak.

Check the full Dan Wesson line-up here.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 1911
Smith & Wesson Performance Center

The SW1911 Performance Center pistol is one of the most overlooked in comparisons like this, because it’s cheaper than Wilson Combat handguns. But honestly it is one of the best custom 1911s on the market.

A ported slide, two tone finish and upgraded internals with a super crisp trigger pull are all hand fitted by the Smith & Wesson PC engineers and the end result is a custom gun for off the peg money. A new rear sight tends to be cheaper too.

Get a commander for a compact EDC or a full 5 inch barrel. Buy yours here and have a look at the other top Smith and Wesson pistols.

Les Baer Custom 1911 pistols
Les Baer

Les Baer pistols are a little off the beaten path and generally the preserve of experienced shooters who want peak 1911. They’re a similar price to Wilson Combat pistols and largely built to order.

You can get Les Baer special editions, as well as the Premier Custom II and Les Baer 1911 Boss 45 mainstays. Other greats include the Les Baer Black Baer everyday carry.

You can even buy a used Les Baer online, for the price of a new big brand 1911. Should you buy a used Les Baer? Well if it works, yes. If not, not so much…

Check out the Les Baer pistols on offer here.

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