When I found out that Wilson Combat was planning to release a double stack gun, my first thought was inevitably something along the lines of a 2011. And they’re nice, but I don’t really need one of those. It’s hard enough keeping enough mags for everything when each and every one doesn’t cost a fortune. But I should’ve known that Bill Wilson and the crew at WC would be more innovative than that.
For those of you who didn’t see the press release, the EDC X9 from Wilson is a new double stack carry gun from Wilson Combat that is about the size of a Glock 19 and holds 15 rounds. It uses the proprietary EDC slide with external extractor that Wilson developed to be more reliable with 9mm rounds in the 1911 platform, and it has a magazine designed from the ground up to be reliable in 9mm. Additionally, even though this is a double stack gun that holds 15 rounds, the grip (thanks to a combination of great engineering from the WC team and a nifty set of screw-less grips from VZ Grips) actually has a SMALLER circumference than a normal 1911. To me, that was the most impressive feat of all. The slide is tri-topped and serrated and the rear of the slide is serrated as well. The new adjustable Battle Sight adorns the rear dovetail and the front sight is easily swapped out, similar to a Glock front sight.
The X9 utilizes a fluted 4″ cone barrel and the attention to detail is exactly what you would expect from Wilson Combat, which is to say that this gun shoots and shoots and shoots. I have personally shot or witnessed about 400 rounds go through this gun, but the test gun I fired has more than 2000 rounds through it at this point without a single malfunction. It’s digested everything from 147 grain HST rounds to 115 grain factory stuff to lower-powered 165 grain HUSH suppressor loads from Freedom Munitions. No problems with any of it. And the accuracy is exactly what you would ask for from a custom gun.
I’ve been asked what the X9 feels like in the hand, and it’s really hard to describe because its grip is actually smaller around than a 1911. The best I can describe it would be the rounded feel of a Beretta 92 or a Sig 229…but smaller. Not too small, mind you. I have bigger hands and I shoot it just fine…even without the long trigger option (and Wilson offers different backstrap options as well). The X-Tac texture on the front and back straps is semi-aggressive but also comfortable, and it’s easier on shirts than sharp checkering, for what that’s worth. It’s meant to be functional, even when wet, and in my experience, it retains a grippy feel even when your hands are wet or sweaty.
This isn’t meant to be a competition gun. Although there might be divisions this would fit into, that was never the intent behind the design. It’s meant to be a dead-reliable, 1911 esque carry gun that can keep up with more modern designs from a capacity standpoint. It’s like a Hi-Power with the trigger everyone always wished a Hi-Power had. And it really does seem like the team at Wilson Combat have outdone themselves with this one.
Inevitably, since this is roughly the same size as a Glock 19, the Facebook comments tend to go something like this: “Awesome.” . . . “Nice. Need this in my life.” . . . “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen” . . . “No gun should ever cost this much. I could buy a truckload of Glocks and a Benelli for this much money and have enough left over for a bottle of Old Thompson. Therefore, this gun sucks.” Someone always goes there.
Sorry for the rant in advance, but here’s my take…and you’re reading my article soooo…my take: (1) If I can shoot it well I don’t care how much it costs…and this applies 1000% more to what I carry because I don’t value my life anywhere between $500 and $2895. (2) This is an American-made gun that is assembled with parts that are machined in America, hand fit, and test fired. (3) Just because I drive a Ford doesn’t mean I’m going to hate on anyone who drives an Audi R8 (I borrowed this analogy…you know who you are). Bottom line: I enjoy shooting Glocks and I carry my G43 all the time, but Glocks use plastic frames (with essentially melonited slides to make the cheaper underlying metal harder on the surface) and they aren’t exactly full of billet parts. That’s why they don’t cost a lot. This isn’t a Glock; there are fundamental differences in everything from materials to manufacturing costs between this gun and a Glock. Liking things that cost more than Glocks doesn’t mean we don’t think Glocks work well. If you would be better served by spending your money on different things, that’s completely alright. Give other people the same consideration. Because like it or not, this gun can hold its own.
The gun in the photos you see here is a prototype. So while I am not going to point to anything that is different about this one, please note that certain cosmetic things might not be IDENTICAL to what you see here. I wouldn’t want anyone giving Wilson a hard time if they happened to notice one tiny difference in a photo I took compared to the gun they end up receiving later, so I have to make that disclaimer. Overall, this is a fantastic gun that offers a lot to people who have been asking for a high-capacity 1911 that doesn’t give up anything in the reliability or conceal-ability departments. If you’re one of those people, you probably already ordered one. If not, I am betting that Wilson will have one or two on the NRA Annual Meeting floor next month for people to play with. HP
-Colt Driver; For more info check out the X9 on Wilson’s website- https://www.wilsoncombat.com/edc-x9/