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Back to the Future at Wilson Combat

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It wasn’t that many years ago that this seemed so easy to figure out…

People who wanted inexpensive, reliable 9mm pistols with double-digit magazine capacities went with Glocks. People who wanted classic steel handguns of the “MUH TWO WORLD WARS” variety and a caliber that started with a four, went with a 1911-pattern of some sort. Lastly, people who wanted a personalized pistol… well, they usually went with a 1911-pattern, too, if only because that’s where all the custom aftermarket parts support was.

Wilson Combat was one of the early members in that once-exclusive tribe of aftermarket providers. In the years since then, they’ve gone from a source of custom parts and tuning work on customer pistols, to a manufacturer of high-end off-the-rack 1911s, to a company that has designed and produced their own vision of an ideal carry pistol, the EXC X9.

These days, when it’s not uncommon for aficionados to wind up with a couple grand in custom work on a Glock, the EDC X9 is marketed as an alternative to having yet another CNC-milled, gold TiNi barreled, heavily stippled Instagram-ready blaster.

Debuting at the NRAAM this year is a stablemate to the original 4-inch EDC X9. The new gun is a 5-inch variant, perhaps obviously dubbed the EDC X9L.

In addition to being a full inch longer, with the concomitant bumps in muzzle velocity and sight radius, the barrel of the new gun has a conventional 1911-style barrel bushing up front, in a departure from the bull barrel on the 4-inch gun. However, it still features a single locking lug at the rear for smooth operation and more reliability when dry or dirty. The gun also features a detachable magwell that will allow use with longer 18-round magazines when attached, or the conventional 15-round flush-fit mags when removed.

Wilson is also getting deeply committed to the slide-mounted MRDS trend, seeing optics as the wave of the future. To this end, they’ve been working on an adapter plate system for optics on their pistols that minimizes the biggest disadvantage of adapter plates. Namely, it mounts low enough to achieve a co-witness (or at least very nearly so) with most MRDS sights.

One other interesting item on view in the Wilson booth was a true gunsmith fit barrel for Glocks. The barrel is slightly oversized in not just the barrel hood area, but also the bottom lug and muzzle, allowing it to be fit to an individual slide at all points of contact. The demo barrel in a 26 was indeed immune to being budged when the gun was in battery. Accuracy was claimed to be down to an inch or less at 25 yards.


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