Wilson Combat is a name synonymous with quality and performance. From its earliest days it has forged a reputation of making some of the finest guns the world has ever known. The core of its business is the classic 1911, not to mention the numerous variants Wilson has mastered. Throw in some exceptional rifles and Wilson Combat becomes a very tough act to follow.

So, combined with this history, when hushed whispers began to circulate from my editors about something new coming down the pike from Wilson Combat I was obviously excited. I finally got the insider info once we were prepping for the 2019 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Driggs, Idaho. To my surprise though, it wasn’t a new gun. Instead, it was entire new line of guns: the Wilson Combat eXperior series.

Wilson Combat eXperior Details

The new line promises to be a winner. These new guns have a unique blend of classic 1911 design with modern reliability and ergonomic enhancements that improve overall handling and shooting. The starting point for these new guns is Wilson’s own match-grade slide, frame and barrel, all perfectly machined and hand-fitted for a lifetime of top performance.

These guns also have the new Wilson Combat TRAK grip texture; it’s a hybrid, large asymmetric checkering pattern that offers exceptional, non-abrasive control without snagging on cover garments. For lifelong fans of Wilson Combat, fear not. The eXperior retains traditional 1911-style slide serrations, fixed with Wilson Combat battle sights, and the classic extractor design to achieve a look that honors tradition but retains high performance.

All the single stack eXperior models feature WAVE frame rail clearance cuts for lower friction operation in adverse environments. The WAVE clearance cuts help ensure your pistol will cycle smoothly even when caked with excessive fouling or sand and grit. The new eXperior barrel lug design reduces forward locking lug to further enhance cycling with reduced power loads without sacrificing durability.

Wilson Combat eXperior Variants

Single-stack versions of these guns will be available out of the gate. The single-stack eXperior models are available in 9mm and .45 ACP calibers. Wilson offers a variety of sizes including: A  6-inch, long slide variant; a 5-inch traditional full size; a 4.25-inch Commander; a 4-inch Compact; and the smallest handgun Wilson makes — a 3.5-inch barrel Sentinel (9mm only).

“But what about a double-stack variant?” you ask with a sad face. Don’t worry — higher capacity, double-stack 9mm X-frame eXperior models will be offered in 5-inch, 4.25-inch Commander, and 4-inch Compact slide versions.

Variant Details

If you are like me, you want a breakdown of what is actually on the table right now for us. Well, I can help you with that. First up is the eXperior Commander 1911. This gun comes in .45 ACP or 9mm and will have a 4.25-inch barrel. The overall length is just short of 8 inches and 5.6 inches high. With a 4.25-inch barrel, the gun is perfectly sized and comes in just less than 38 ounces.

Next up is the eXperior Commander/Compact 1911. This smaller pistol has many of the same features in a more compact package. With a height of just 4.9 inches it sheds a little size to adjust for people looking for a more easily concealed handgun.

Adjusting the size once again, Wilson Combat also offers the eXperior Professional 1911. This model will have a four-inch barrel and an overall length of 7.6 inches. The height will be 5.6 inches, making it a comfortable gun to carry and run.

Next to join the team is the eXperior Compact 1911. This model differs with a 5.1-inch overall height.

Lastly, Wilson offers an eXperior full-size 1911. This long slide gun is available in .45 ACP, as well as 9mm. It has an overall length of 8.7 inches. It also has a very enjoyable 6.6-inch sight radius, which contributes to an accuracy guarantee of 1 inch at 25 yards. The full size is obviously the biggest of the line, but it promises to be a tack driver.

eXperior Testing

I had the incredible fortune of shooting several of these guns during the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. Obviously, it was love at first shot. I have had the fortune of running my fair share of Wilson Combat pistols and yet I found myself smiling after running mag after mag through the new eXperior line. These guns are shooters and melted into my hand like they absolutely belonged there.

The TRAK texture on frontstrap/mainspring housing was the perfect balance between grip and comfort. It is not too aggressive yet gives great purchase on the gun. There is no fear of raw hands after prolonged sessions on the range with any of these guns. The Ryan Wilson High Grip frame modification on these guns helped with getting us even closer to the bore axis, which in turn improved accuracy and speed on the gun. It is a nice touch that is normally reserved as a custom feature on Wilson Combat pistols.

The trigger on these guns is everything you would expect from Wilson Combat. Each broke at just more than 3.5 pounds and was very crisp. They all come stock with Wilson’s own Battlesight with red fiber optic front sight. I found them very easy to acquire and the perfect fit to the gun. While the guns all came in at different weights, I didn’t find any of them to be too heavy or more importantly too light.

Final Thoughts

These are beautiful 1911s and scream classic with their steel frames. The accuracy guarantee that is included on these guns is absolutely true. Each model was easily printing very small groups on the steel downrange. I was essentially just stacking rounds on top of one another. When time came for us to move on, I found it hard to put the eXperior down with a desire to run just one more magazine.

I won’t pretend that I am not a fan of Wilson Combat’s work — clearly, I am. However, I really believe Wilson has outdone itself with the entire eXperior line. These guns obviously aren’t going to be priced in the impulse purchase range, but I believe they are worth every penny. The balance of price and performance falls to the shooters’ favor as we get a lot of gun for the money. They are definitely worth a detailed look.

Retail is $3,750 for single-stack 45s and $3,850 for single-stack 9s. Double-stack models are $2,995 for Compact, $3,045 for Commander, and $3,095 for the 5-inch. For more information, please visit

Wilson Combat eXperior Commander 1911 Specs

  • Available Calibers: .45 ACP, 9mm
  • Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds (.45 ACP) 10 rounds (9mm)
  • Barrel Length: 4.25 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.85 inches
  • Sight Radius: 5.95 inches
  • Height: 5.6 inches
  • Width: 1.3 inches
  • Weight Empty: 37.9 ounces
  • Weight Loaded: 43.7 ounces
  • Accuracy Guarantee: 1.5 inches at 25 yds

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