Review: Wilson Combat Vickers Elite 9mm 1911

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Wilson Combat 1911

Practically perfect in every conceivable way, custom comes standard with the Wilson Combat Vickers Elite line.

What Are Some of the Feature That Makes This 1911 Line A Cut Above The Rest:

  • Full-size carbon steel frame
  • High-cut checkered frontstrap
  • 3 ½ to 4 ½-pound crisp trigger pull with medium-length pad
  • G10 Vickers Elite logo grips
  • Countersunk slide stop
  • 5” carbon steel slide
  • Heavy machine chamfer on bottom of slide
  • Battlesight with gold bead front sight
  • 5” stainless match-grade barrel and thick flange bushing, flush-cut reverse crown
  • Flat wire recoil spring
  • Fluted chamber

The name, Wilson Combat, is well-known throughout shooting circles. It elicits images of fast and accurate shooting.

Now, combine that legendary name with that of 1st SFOD-Delta (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta) combat veteran Larry Vickers, and the result should be something worth noting.

Well, in the case of the Wilson Combat Vickers Elite 9mm 1911, that’s the theory, but will it become reality in testing?

Wilson Combat 1911 11
The medium-length, solid-aluminum trigger allows the shooter to get a much better position on it. This, in turns, helps the shooter’s performance. The extended tactical magazine release allows for faster and more effective magazine changes.

That’s what I set my sights on — no pun intended (well, yes, I did mean that).

When I called Wilson Combat, I found out that the company is trying to keep its most popular firearms in stock and available for immediate delivery. And I applaud Wilson Combat for that. As a result, my only decisions were caliber and color … meaning, I had plenty of options. Decisions, decisions.

Suitable Selections

Although these pistols are available in either .45 ACP or 9mm, I always wanted a reliable, custom 9mm 1911. And that’s where I started. Next came my decision on which finish to go with.

Wilson Combat 1911 1
The Elite’s slide stop is not only the strongest in the industry, it is also the most ergonomic.

Even though I love the classic look of a blued 1911 (who doesn’t?), Wilson Combat had more than a few color options in stock. I decided to go with my personal favorite color combination, black and gray, and selected a model with a black slide over a gray frame featuring Wilson Combat’s proprietary Armor-Tuf finish.

Once the pistol was ordered, I sat back anxiously, awaiting its delivery. When it finally arrived (and let’s admit it, it can never arrive fast enough), I had to sit back and simply take time to admire the work done by Wilson Combat.


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The fit and finish were spectacular. The slide-to-frame fit is both precise and tight — but also smooth as silk. I know that’s a cliché, but it applies here. The barrel fit is also very precise but not overly tight. The barrel locks and unlocks smoothly and consistently.

Wilson Combat 1911 3
The back of the slide is expertly checkered to 40 LPI. This exemplifies the care taken by the Wilson Combat gunsmiths to create a functional and beautiful tool.

Finally, the trigger pull was just perfect — crisp, but not too light — which is, of course, great for self-defense or general shooting. Every part of this pistol is expertly fitted together for a great end product. Here’s another fitting cliché: You get what you pay for.

Hugging the Corners

When it came time to take the new pistol for a “test drive,” I selected a range of seven types of ammunition to use for my accuracy testing. To truly test this gun (or any gun I plan to use for self-defense), I had to be thorough: 124-grain Colt Competition ammunition (by DoubleTap) in FMJ, Colt Defense ammunition JHP (by DoubleTap), Federal HST and Remington +P Golden Saber BJHP. For 115-grain ammo, I brought along CCI Blazer Brass FMJ, Hornady Critical Defense FTX and Barnes +P Tac-XPD.

I set up a shooting rest to test accuracy at my local indoor range. I set the test target at 10 yards, which is the average distance for most practical pistol matches and a good test for self-defense applications. These are the main uses for this pistol. My testing protocol was to fire five-shot groups with each of the seven types of ammunition.

Wilson Combat 1911 4
The rear sight is serrated to cut down on reflections, but it has a “U” notch to aid in aligning the sights.

The Wilson Combat Vickers Elite 9mm 1911 did not disappoint. This pistol really shone in the accuracy department, with all the ammunition I tested grouping right under 1.00 inch. However, my best grouping was with the Barnes 115-grain +P Tac-XPD, which measured right at 0.65 inch. One thing I noticed was that even though the Barnes 115-grain Tac-XPD ammunition is rated +P, it was the smoothest-shooting load of the seven I tested.

With the accuracy testing completed, I decided to broaden the gun’s horizons a bit: a Bill Drill was in order. I set up a standard IPSC silhouette target at 5 yards and fired six rounds as fast as I could, trying to keep them in the A zone. That was not a hard task, because the Vickers Elite didn’t miss a beat.

Taking on the 250

With my visit to the local indoor range complete, I thought I was done with my testing. However, opportunity came knocking: It was Arizona’s Gunsite Academy.

Wilson Combat 1911 5
(bottom) The gold-bead front sight aids in a perfect sight picture and puts this pistol on a higher level of craftsmanship and beauty. The serrations on the top of the slide also add to the pistol’s overall esthetics.

What better place to run my new custom 1911 than at Gunsite in one of its famed 250 handgun classes? For those unfamiliar, the 250 class is Gunsite’s introductory 1-week handgun class that includes lectures, night shooting, outdoor and indoor simulators, and a whole lot of shooting. We’re talking more than 1,400 rounds throughout the week.

I quickly picked up 1,500 rounds of Federal American Eagle 115-grain FMJ ammunition; and, to complete my kit for the Gunsite class, I ordered a Davis Omega Gunsite holster and two single-mag pouches.

We shot between 250 and 350 rounds every day during the 1-week class. I know what you’re thinking: a brand-new 1911 in the desert in a shooting class and with a high round count? Certainly, I’d have to go elbows deep into a detailed cleaning of the 1911 every night, right? Wrong.

Wilson Combat 1911 7
The chamber is fluted for ease of cleaning and prevents the accumulation of unburnt power, carbon or debris.

Despite all the shooting, the only cleaning I performed was a casual wipe-down with Break Free CLP Disposable Wipes and minor lubrication with Gunfighter Gun Oil. Even after this minimal lubrication and all those rounds fired, the Vickers Elite didn’t experience a single malfunction. Think about that for a moment, because the same probably can’t be said for a large number of 1911 pistols.

The more I shot the Vickers Elite 9mm 1911, the more I loved it. And although you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, this pistol is becoming my number-one match pistol for both USPSA and IDPA events.

I told you I had always wanted a reliable custom 1911 in 9mm. Well, that search is over.

Wilson Combat Vickers Elite Specs:

Available Calibers: .45 ACP, 9mm
Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds (.45)
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Overall Length: 8.7 inches
Sight Radius: 6.6 inches
Height: 5.6 inches
Width: 1.3 inches
Weight Empty: 41.6 ounces
Weight Loaded: 47 ounces
Accuracy Guarantee: 1 inch at 25 yards

For more information on the Wilson Combat Vickers Elite line, please visit www.wilsoncombat.com.

The article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


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