I like custom pistols. I like playing around with what you can do, and see what comes out, what works, and what doesn't. Heck, that probably deserves it's own thread, because I'd love to see what works for other people here when they tweak and poke and outright change.
Anyway, I've owned a few of custom and semi-custom 1911's all in .45. And Ed Brown, a Guncrafter No Name, 2 Wilsons, a Chuck Rogers, a Dave Berryhill AFP (RIP Dave), and a MARS build. I've sold all except for the MARS. But recently I wanted to try a 9mm 1911. I know, there's sort of a groan in there, but heck it's only money! And the groaning is sorta justified.
Anyway, I bought a "custom" build Wilson Combat CQB Compact 9mm. Not very custom, but it had an a solid/long trigger, a magwell, serrated rear U sight and a red fiber front and Wilson's flatwire recoil spring kit. I bought it from Tractus Arms, and they seemed pretty good. I bought this for fun and for IDPA primarily.
Side notes, I'm not MIL or LE, but I do train and shoot quite a bit. I try to make 5-7 training courses (normal training and armorer courses) per year, and I typically shoot 1000-2000 rounds per month. My former career choice has earned me a number of threats against me an my family, so I try to take it seriously. It's one of the reasons I cam here in the first place.
Here's a couple of pictures of it brand new.
So now that I've got a few thousand rounds through it, I thought I'd post about it.
First trip to the range and all I was thinking about was all the "I told you so" threads I read here and elsewhere about 9mm 1911's. This thing was a total fucking $3,500 pile of steaming monkey shit. In the first 600 rounds, shooting Magtech 124 and Speer GDHP +p 124gr, I had around 70(!) failures. Normally I log them, but it got so ridiculous I gave up. Loads of failures to return to battery and failures to extract. By the end of that I went home alternately beating myself up for spending that much on a lemon but also laughing at myself for spending that much on a lemon.
On the upside I'll say this. It fits my hand beautifully. The craftsmanship is nice as one would expect. Trigger is amazing, safety very positive. And I like the sights a lot. And a gun that weights almost 3 pounds and shoots 9mm is REALLY nice to shoot, except the thing is like a really expensive, 3 pound single shot pistol.
So, back to my really beautiful donkey, I call Wilson and start talking to them. On the phone, they were responsive. I asked what the default recoil spring was, and they said they "think" it was 11#s. I purchased some different ones (a #12 and a #15 for .38 Super). They sent me the wrong springs. Call, try again. Get the right springs. So I go back to the range. The thing is still useless with the #12. And with the #15 it'll shoot the +p reliably, but that's it. So STILL a shitter. I kept asking for #13 pound springs and they kept not having them in or wouldn't sell them. They never really told me why. They always SEEMED to want to help, but never really seemed to get things right. Sent me the wrong things a couple of times. Didn't return calls. That sorta thing. Not really what I expected from what others have said about Wilson. But that kinda thing doesn't bother me. I like tinkering and messing around with stuff. I think they TRIED, but just seemed kinda messy.
Finally, after a couple of more range session of this thing sucking, I talk to a friend who says wilson has new mags, AND are now selling the #13 flatwire recoil springs as standard for this model pistol. I get some. And holy hayzeus. This combo of the new ETM mags and the 13 pound spring seems to have sorted this pistol. In the last 1200 rounds of Magtech, AE124, and the Speer, I've had exactly one failure. It's fun as hell. Recoil is almost nothing, just one of the funnest guns I've ever shot. And now I think I'll start shooting IDPA with it.
I'll also say, I didn't think Wilson's finish would be that good. but after a few thousand rounds, this thing really looks good. It's got the usual scratches and dings, but their finish really seems to hold up. I live in an extremely humid, coastal environment, and these finish seems to hold up. Although I think the shadows in this pic make it look a little less dinged than it actually is. I don't much care, as I've now set a personal goal to shoot the shit out of this pistol.
Sights: The U shaped "serrated battle rear" is excellent. Easy to pick up. the Red FO front is excellent. The only sight I have that I like better is the large, round gold front sight on my MARS Colt.
Trigger: For $3,500, the trigger aught to be perfect. It is.
Shooting: Wow, this is about the easiest gun I've owned to put on target and keep on target. Follow up shots are just EASY.
Magwell. reloads on this are great. The magwell is very well blended and wide open.
Grips: I like the G10s that it came with, but they could use to be a little more roughly textured.
Barrel: I like the bull barrel, with no bushing. I'm told it adds weight to the front, which I believe. and taking the pistol apart is easier than traditional bushings.
Overall, (and I know this has been said) I think if you want a 9mm 1911, you're going to spend some money, if not on the gun, then on finding the various combinations of things that work. I tried numerous different magazine/recoil-spring/ammunition combinations before I got something I'm satisfied with. And it's going to take time and work. If you're looking for something that goes bang out of the box, this experiment isn't for you. If you're looking to spend some time on the range tinkering, tracking, shooting and repeat, it's a fun thing to get behind.
So it's been an interesting and expensive experiment So anyone else here run non-.45 1911s? I'm not sure I'll carry it, simply as a matter of function since it's heavy and holds 8+1. Does anyone else here carry or use a 9mm 1911 regularly? What else have you done to it for function or ergos that help?