The Protector has been a bread-and-butter design for Wilson Combat for some time now. But recently, the workhorse pistol received what looks like a pretty slick makeover.
The legendary Arkansas manufacturer has released the Protector 2015 series, a lineup of three semi-customizable pistols that are an update of the original. And for those who are hunting after a 1911 with all the bells and whistles — along with the name to back it up — these might be right down your alley.
Comprising the Protector 2015 line are Full-Sized (5-inch barrel), Professional (4-inch barrel) and Compact (4-inch barrel) models. The pistols are all available in either 9mm or .45 ACP and feature a number of refinements to the original design.
One of the more notable tweaks is the inclusion of a light rail, which should make the pistols a bit more operationally flexible. And given the proliferation of accessories nowadays, it also has the potential to make the line more appealing to a wider swath of the market.
Wilson has outfitted the line with bull barrels, a move that could likely make the guns a bit more pleasant to shoot. The heftier barrels’ added weight should help reduce recoil. This feature also has the potential to mitigate muzzle flip, placing more material toward the front of the guns.
The barrels have aesthetic appeal as well, featuring attractive fluting, an attribute that extends back to the chamber. Finally, they have been topped off with a flush cut reverse crown muzzle.
One of the major customizable features of the Protectors — at least in their Full-Sized and Professional iterations — is frame material. Shooters can choose either steel or aluminum, depending on if they are after a range or a carry gun.
The Compact version, on the other hand, is more tilted to carry and is only available with an aluminum frame. But like its compatriots, it has a steel slide that features cocking serrations fore and aft.
The whole Protector 2015 line is outfitted with Wilson’s Battlesights, with fiber-optics front sight. They boast countersunk slide stops, extended Bullet Proof magwells and G10 Starburst Grips, among other features.
The pistols have a 3 ½- to 3 ¾-pound trigger pull and weigh in at between 28.22 (Compact) and 37.54 (Full-Sized steel frame) ounces. The Full-Size and Profession models have 10+1 capaticity in 9mm and 8+1 in .45. The compact has 8+1 in 9mm and 6+1 in .45.
The base price of the protector series is $3,875 for the .45 models and $3,985 for the 9mm.