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Wilson Combat EDC X9

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If you’re a really hard-core gun nut (if you’re reading this, you probably are), choosing a carry gun can be tricky. On one hand, you have the absolute practicality and utility of concealable 9mm factory handguns from Glock, SIG, and the like. But how do you reconcile that with the desire to carry a truly fine gun, one that demonstrates your individuality and desire to carry the absolute best? I love 1911s, but even the ones that actually work are big and heavy — so, sorry, I don’t carry one on a daily basis. What if there were a precision-built handgun that melded the concealability and reliability of a compact 9×19 with the style, trigger, and performance of a tuned 1911? That handgun may just exist in the Wilson Combat EDC X9.

The X9 is built on Wilson’s unique X-frame, machined in-house from 7075-T6 aluminum. The idea was to create a high-capacity 9mm frame that was smaller than a traditional 1911, while maintaining its traditional controls. The frame uses a 15-round, dual-column magazine that tapers to a single feeding column, built by Mec-Gar. Though many have opined that the mag looks like a Beretta design, it’s actually derived from the Walther PPQ M2; however, the two are not interchangeable. Since the magazine is tapered, it lends itself to funneling its way into the magwell in a hurry. The X9 ships with two mags, and Wilson will sell you as many as your heart desires for $42 each. Ten-round magazines are available for those who live behind enemy lines.

This 4-inch barreled compact 9mm is comparable  in size and weight with common carry guns on the market. A Glock 19 weighs 20.9 ounces unloaded while a SIG 229 Legion weighs in at 34.4; this Wilson splits the difference at 29. It has an overall length of 7.4 inches and is 1.4 inches wide. The black VZ G10 grips are so thin that they don’t use screws to attach to the frame and instead lock on via dovetails. This is a compact handgun that could easily be concealed in a traditional IWB or AIWB holster. Since most of what makes this handgun unique is at the grip end of things, the X9 is compatible with most 4-inch 1911 holsters on the market.

EDC X9 handgunwilson combat edcx9

The basic design is very similar to most compact 1911s, but there are some notable departures. All of the controls — hammer, safety, trigger, and magazine release — are straight-up 1911, and everything’s exactly where you expect it when running the gun. The stainless steel barrel is a cone-type, deleting the Browning-designed bushing but maintaining the tilt-barrel locking system. The external extractor is another modern deviation from traditional 1911 territory. The barrel is fluted both along its length and on the outside of the chamber, while the crown is reverse-cut and sits flush with the front of the slide. But for the lack of a barrel bushing, takedown is identical to just about any 1911 design.

There’s a great deal of detail on this gun done on the CNC mill: crosshatch cocking serrations on both ends of the stainless steel slide, 45-degree flats along the 10 and 1 o’clock slide edges, a recessed dust cover, and an aggressive yet not abrasive grip pattern on the frontstrap and backstrap of the frame. The rear of the slide is serrated at 40 lines per inch, and the sight radius is similarly cut at 30 LPI. The bottom edge of the slide is chamfered significantly, and the slide is narrowed near the muzzle. Some of these cuts are functional, some are aesthetic, but all help accomplish the goal of minimizing the handgun’s weight. The entire handgun is coated black with Wilson Combat’s Armor-Tuff finish, which is both durable and corrosion-resistant — but less than 0.001-inch thick, lending itself to this handgun’s precision tolerances.

The real appeal of this handgun is the 1911-style trigger. If you’re a cocked and locked, short and light trigger pull kind of shooter, no double-action or striker-fired handgun is likely to ever make you happy. Our example broke at exactly 4 pounds, with no creep. The Wilson Bulletproof extended safety lever and slide stop are straight-up 1911, as is the magazine release. There’s no grip safety on this gun, which most shooters would agree is a positive. Varying hand sizes can be accommodated by choosing between three different trigger lengths and two different backstraps. At the end of the day, this is a custom handgun, and Wilson is perfectly willing to work with customers to build one that suits their individual wants and needs.

wilson combat edc x9

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