Buying a new gun / need input


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mwpslp
December 24, 2005, 09:21 PM
OK here goes a tough question. I am nearing the purchase of a new .45 and have narrowed it down to one of two. I know this will bring some speculation and opinion but I would also like some real world information from current/prior owners or people who have shot one or the other. Now the 2 finalists....

Wilson Combat Professional -or- Ed Brown Elite Carry / Kobra Carry

Both are basically the same size with a 4 inch barrel (approx.) This will be a concealed carry gun for me. Thanks in advance for any input and suggestions.

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The Real Hawkeye
December 24, 2005, 09:56 PM
OK here goes a tough question. I am nearing the purchase of a new .45 and have narrowed it down to one of two. I know this will bring some speculation and opinion but I would also like some real world information from current/prior owners or people who have shot one or the other. Now the 2 finalists....

Wilson Combat Professional -or- Ed Brown Elite Carry / Kobra Carry

Both are basically the same size with a 4 inch barrel (approx.) This will be a concealed carry gun for me. Thanks in advance for any input and suggestions.The Ed Brown guns are known to be unreliable. There are good smiths out there making a living on making Ed Brown guns work. Ed won't make em work for you. Send it back to him and he'll send it right back to you, having done nothing and telling you the reliability is acceptable to him.

As for Wilson, they make reliable guns, but absolutely do not deal with the company directly. Have a gun shop that you trust order into his stock for you, and then purchase it from the gun shop. Wilson has occasionally screwed people over in various ways if they think you are small potatoes. They will not screw a store over as readily, and if you have a problem with the store bought Wilson, you have the store you can deal with directly, and they will stand by you. If you bought directly, you are all alone, and Wilson will give you the run around and just figure you are a lost customer, and they are so big that they figure they can afford a few lost customers, especially after they sold you a gun already that they will not take back and will not make right. Their typical product, though, is excellent. Just don't deal with them directly.

As for the Four inch Wilson CQB, keep in mind that they are a pain in the neck to field strip. Consider getting the standard size CQB instead. Takes down like a GI 1911. Most people think that a four incher is going to carry more comfortably and conceal better. Nope. The other way around. The five incher will conceal better, and be much more comfortable to carry. That's because the extra length is hidden by the pants in an IWB, it actually helps stabilize its position in your pants, making it more comfortable and more concealable, because it hugs your body better.

Honestly, though, you can save yourself about a grand and by a Springfield Armory TRP and it will be just as good as a CQB. I have had all three, and am most happy with my Springfield TRP. It's the gun I have been carrying 24/7 for a few years now. Many thousands of rounds through it, and no failures from day one. The black T type finish they put on it is still on there, almost like the day I bought it. No significant holster wear after many years of every day carry. Cannot praise the gun enough. But, if you want to spend twice as much and get a gun not that much better, then go for the Wilson CQB, not the Ed Brown. My opinion.

taliv
December 24, 2005, 09:59 PM
i've got a long, sordid history with WC. i still carry one though, although not that model. i haven't heard from them in about 8 months, so i don't know if their cust svc has improved or not. i've played around with the brown guns a bit, but never owned one.

if you're making the decision strictly on the merits of the hardware, i think the fit/finish, reliability, quality is identical. there are a couple features that are different, and other than that, it's price and aesthetics.

personally, i don't like the bobtail or snakeskin. and i'm very fond of the grey/black and green/black colors the WC come in. i also like the 4.1" barrel and full-sized frame, but not as much as the compact, so that wasn't an issue for me.

looks like about $100 difference in list prices, but you prob already knew that :)
i don't think you can go wrong either way

mwpslp
December 24, 2005, 10:06 PM
It is surprising to me that there seems to be a good bit of negativity associated with these two makers, especially since they are at the high end of the scale. I have a Kimber Pro CDP and a Loaded Springfield Champion and have been very happy with both of them. I was just looking to take the next step into something more "custom" from a top notch company.

The Real Hawkeye
December 24, 2005, 10:15 PM
It is surprising to me that there seems to be a good bit of negativity associated with these two makers, especially since they are at the high end of the scale. I have a Kimber Pro CDP and a Loaded Springfield Champion and have been very happy with both of them. I was just looking to take the next step into something more "custom" from a top notch company.Don't bother. Have a good reputable smith do whatever improvements you want on the guns you already have. I recommend
http://www.yost-bonitz.com/photos/1asterisk/ He'll make your Springfield twice the gun of anything semi-custom of Wilson's or Ed Brown's, and generally for less money. And you are getting exactly what you want.

taliv
December 24, 2005, 10:25 PM
yeah, don't buy the "custom" crap.

this is from wilson combat's page:
All Wilson Combat®/ScattergunTechnologies™ firearms are custom built one at a time to exacting specifications by master craftsmen. Unlike some of our competitors who build “factory custom” or “semi-custom” firearms, there are no production lines here at Wilson Combat®/ScattergunTechnologies™; we build nothing but “custom” handcrafted firearms. But what IS a “custom” firearm? What makes it better than a quality production firearm? yada yada yada

hey, i guess that means my air jordans were "custom" since they were built one at a time by some actual human (in a sweatshop). "custom" means you send in the specs and they build it the way you want it. it doesn't mean "not made on an assembly line".

WC makes fantastic guns, but hey... try asking them for something unique and see how it turns out. (I did that, actually, and that's where the 'sordid' part of my history comes in)

The Real Hawkeye
December 24, 2005, 10:31 PM
This is a Yost package for a customer supplied Springfield GI Model. http://www.yost-bonitz.com/bigphoto/photos/1asterisk-enhanced/enhanced3.jpg/large It costs $1049.

Preacherman
December 24, 2005, 10:50 PM
I've handled and fired .45's from most of the top names in the business, although I don't own one myself (don't like the 1911 platform). Based on that experience, and on personal acquaintance with Jim Clark Jr. of Clark Custom Guns, and on the comments of those doing courses with me, if I were in the market for a high-end 1911, I'd have only two choices:

1. A Les Baer of your choice;

2. Buy a standard 1911 and send it to Ted Yost, or Jim Clark Jr., or one of half-a-dozen other top gunsmiths, to have it tuned and configured to my specifications.

The cost of either option will be similar, to within a hundred bucks or so. My choice would probably be the second option, simply because I could then specify exactly what I wanted.

I agree that both Brown and Wilson have come in for some very heavy criticism concerning after-sales service and their customer relations (or lack thereof).

Hope this helps.

mwpslp
December 24, 2005, 10:57 PM
My biggest issue is not so much with the cosmetics of having one of my guns that I already own modified. It is that I am not familiar enough to know exactly what to tell a gunsmith that I want. I am happy with the finish on both of the .45's I own and feel they shoot accurately enough especially for a carry / self defense gun. I guess what I mean is I am not really looking for cosmetic updates but want as reliable a carry gun as I can make it. Everyone wants the perverbial 100% reliable gun and I guess I am no different. I just don't know exactly what the weaknesses of each of the 2 guns that I own are and therefore don't know what they would need without just wasting money on items that may not need attention. I have never had the opportunity to shoot some of the high end guns but it would seem that once you do you might get hooked. It's like never having driven a fine car. You don't know what you are missing until you experience it and therefore if you enjoy it any money is not the issue, get what you want. I would love to have the guns I already own modified but just don't know exactly what those modifications should be.

taliv
December 24, 2005, 11:28 PM
les baer has a good product too by most accounts, but a friend also had some customer relations issues. (ordered AR lowers several months ago, and they keep telling him "two weeks" for several months now)

just don't get a les baer with bearcoat ;)


if you don't know what options you want, then buy a copy of bill wilson's book _the combat auto_ link (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BI22JS/qid=1135481018/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl14/104-9816234-2367162?n=507846&s=books&v=glance)
in it, he explains all the details of the mods he makes and when and why you'd want them or not want them. i'm sure you can find it cheaper than that, and don't buy anything from amazon anyways. but even so, $30 is a steal for that knowledge prior to ordering an actual custom gun.

Shipwreck
December 24, 2005, 11:32 PM
Buy a Springfield Profewssional - Owners of them state that they are better than the WIlsons. It's about a $2k gun, though. And, I think ya gotta wait a little while after U order it.

mwpslp
December 24, 2005, 11:37 PM
Let me also add that I enjoy the size of the 4 inch barrel and the weight savings with the alloy frame. I have talked to several smiths about modifying each of my .45's and of course they all seem to have their own opinions as to what should be done, which only adds to the confusion.

f4t9r
December 25, 2005, 12:14 AM
It is surprising to me that there seems to be a good bit of negativity associated with these two makers, especially since they are at the high end of the scale. I have a Kimber Pro CDP and a Loaded Springfield Champion and have been very happy with both of them. I was just looking to take the next step into something more "custom" from a top notch company.

You already have top notch stuff bought from top notch companies.

gremlin_bros
December 25, 2005, 04:14 AM
sorry i went with a 1911 and a baby eagle in 45.

The Real Hawkeye
December 25, 2005, 10:54 AM
My biggest issue is not so much with the cosmetics of having one of my guns that I already own modified. It is that I am not familiar enough to know exactly what to tell a gunsmith that I want. I am happy with the finish on both of the .45's I own and feel they shoot accurately enough especially for a carry / self defense gun. I guess what I mean is I am not really looking for cosmetic updates but want as reliable a carry gun as I can make it. Everyone wants the perverbial 100% reliable gun and I guess I am no different. I just don't know exactly what the weaknesses of each of the 2 guns that I own are and therefore don't know what they would need without just wasting money on items that may not need attention. I have never had the opportunity to shoot some of the high end guns but it would seem that once you do you might get hooked. It's like never having driven a fine car. You don't know what you are missing until you experience it and therefore if you enjoy it any money is not the issue, get what you want. I would love to have the guns I already own modified but just don't know exactly what those modifications should be.Yost-Bonitz has a number of packages for modifications, so you are not left completely in the dark about options. Did you look at the hyperlink I provided? It guides you regarding options, and you can discuss it with them personally too. They will help you decide what upgrades you might appreciate.

I've been the semi custom route with both Wilson and Ed Brown, and both times was very disappointed. Just trying to give you the benefit of my experience. That said, I have nothing but praise for my black Springfield TRP.

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