Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mr. Wilson Goes To The Doctor

My custom Wilson Combat Elite Professional is on its way back to Berryville for repairs.

When it stopped locking open on an empty mag, my first thought was pilot error. I had several respected friends including two professional gunsmiths look it over, and they all agreed wear on the slide stop and slide were the true culprits. So I called Wilson and made the appointment.

What I found interesting was everyone agreed they'd never seen anyone with a custom Wilson actually shoot it as much as I do. I can't imagine having a gun built expressly to your shooting and carrying preferences and then not shooting and carrying it. There is plenty of wear visible on the gun, outside and inside. Honorable scars, just as with working dogs and horses. I hope they'll consider them honorable scars.

Until it comes back, I'm carrying my Government-size Wilson CQB. It's a major pain to switch to a longer barrel, especially when you carry appendix IWB.

I'm also sufficiently bummed that I'm considering picking up a Dan Wesson VBOB with the black "duty finish" as a spare carry gun. I seriously considered their CBOB before I ordered my bobtail Commander from Wilson, but the CBOB only came in stainless. I have to do too many stealth transitions between holster and lockbox to ever want to carry anything other than an all-black gun. Nothing has driven home the value of a bobtail frame for carry like having to go back to a standard frame.

As long as it's in the shop, I'm having the rear sight switched out for one of these. I've wanted a rear sight with a cocking ledge for easier one-handed gun manipulations for a long time.

Oh well, they told me it should be back in a week. It's gonna be a looooong week.


George said...

Why not get a duplicate of your shorter Wilson? Then, there won't be an adjustment, if switching carry guns is warranted? Just an idea...

Kevin said...

The cheap Wilsons are not "cheap". They are nice, but it's serious cash. That's one reason I shoot glocks. $550 buys a gun that goes bang every time. Though I have had springs break in classes on my two two used glocks, but that's what I get for not servicing them. I'm hoping the Glock course in a few weeks at Gunsite will help me with that task.

Kevin said...

Oh, and her isn't a "cheap" Wilson, a new one lists for over 3K. Nice, but it's serious money to keep a spare in the safe.

Hecate said...

Yep, my custom build was about $3,500 when I ordered it several years ago, and prices have gone up since. I can get a VBOB for under two grand.

My custom is based off Wilson Combat's Elite Professional, a departure from strict classic 1911 design. With its 22-pound recoil spring, the gunsmiths (one of whom works at Cylinder & Slide) felt this kind of wear was inevitable. It never fails to go bang, it just won't lock open when empty.

That's okay. I wear a Rolex about 23.5 hours a day, and it needs to go back to Switzerland every few years for a tune-up, too.