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  #1  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:24 AM
BAMac BAMac is offline
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Not Another Wilson vs. Nighthawk

I think the comparison has been covered extensively, but one thing I notice is that there seems to be a more active community and perhaps resale value, associated with Wilson. Ask a question in the Wilson forum, you get multiple answers quickly, Nighthawk some go unresolved. Also I wonder 20 years from now, who will still be around?
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:26 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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The Wilson community is definitely larger than NHC. Wilson manufactures 3 or 4 times the annual amount that NHC manufactures (maybe more) . NHC is currently building a new facility but prior to this, Wilson’s facility was 50 times larger than NHC. I have toured both facilities, Wilson surely has their act together, and has great employees. NHC’s production facility up until now was in a few bays of a self-storage unit across from a golf course. When I toured NHC they only had 2 gunsmiths working that day and they were both working on upgrades to customer guns that were sent in, neither gun was a NHC. No one was making a new NHC that day. I saw only one machine.. The new NHC facility looks great based on photos they post on FB.

Wilson’s facilities are neat, clean, organized and state of the art. They have numerous machines, more than I can count that were brand new and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Some probably close to one million dollars each , as I toured with my family of machinists and engineers who are familiar with the machines and their cost. My family was more impressed in the machinery than the pistol building process. I however was focused on the pistols.

Last edited by tjpaxton; 03-26-2019 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:41 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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One more thing to note the difference between them.

Wilson has a humongous walk-in safe where they store their firearms, pistols, shotguns, rifles. I previously posted photos. Each firearm was neatly stored in its own bin, shelf or rack and tagged with make, model, serial number. There were easily 400 firearms in stock. Plenty of room for at least 3 times more.

I didn’t see a storage safe at NHC , but did see about 20 green pistol bags just stacked on top of each other , laying on the floor. Nothing appeared tagged. I thought to myself, “wow, what would ATF think of this?” I hope this isn’t how they store their firearms, maybe they just didn’t show me their safe.

Not bagging on NHC, but there is a big difference in organization, cleanliness, production facilities.
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:09 PM
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apipeguy apipeguy is online now
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I agree that there are more Wilson aficionados than NHC here on the forum. NHC is a smaller company that makes great guns but in my opinion Wilson’s are more “traditional” and NHC’s are more “modernized” in styling.

I don’t think that you’d go wrong buying either. Due to the more modernized styling, it would not surprise me that NHC’s guns become more popular but there will never be a time that people will not appreciate Wilson’s.

I think both will be going strong in 20 years.

I’m not familiar enough with resale values of NHC guns but on a whole the resale value of semi-customs is pretty soft right now.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:04 PM
Harrish Harrish is offline
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NightHawk was started by folks who parted ways with Wilson. So there is some Wilson pedigree there, and I suspect quite a few similarities in how they are built.

That said, Wilson has the history, brand penetration, and volume under their belts. When deciding on which semi-custom to go with, I considered WC, NH, and EB. After month of research, I went with WC. That was a few months ago. I now have 3 Wilsons. And I know what I want for #4! Another Carry Comp
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:16 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Originally Posted by Harrish View Post
NightHawk was started by folks who parted ways with Wilson. So there is some Wilson pedigree there, and I suspect quite a few similarities in how they are built.

That said, Wilson has the history, brand penetration, and volume under their belts. When deciding on which semi-custom to go with, I considered WC, NH, and EB. After month of research, I went with WC. That was a few months ago. I now have 3 Wilsons. And I know what I want for #4! Another Carry Comp
Order two, the alum frame one and a .45 lol! Think about it, a 160g moving at 1350fps with no flip.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:10 PM
vortec vortec is offline
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I didn’t see a storage safe at NHC , but did see about 20 green pistol bags just stacked on top of each other
I toured NHC a couple of years ago. Great big storage room with lots of shotguns and pistols ready to be shipped or sold. I also met probably 10-12 gunsmiths, pro-shooters, and other personnel on my tour. Very nice folks all around.

I have had them do quite a bit of work for me, customizing Colts and Kimbers. First rate workmanship. Having said that, I will say that my tastes run a bit more conservative and do not, at present, own any NHC pistols or shotguns. I am planning on a Wilson buy someday. I already have an Ed Brown. The pistols they customized for me are very satisfying, tack drivers and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:30 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is online now
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Among buyers of top tier 1911s, a lot of things often enter into the buyer's development of manufacturer preferences.

Of course, there are the guns themselves. That's a given.

But as just one of many other examples, right here in this sub-forum, there is the long-standing role here of WCR. +1911 a thousand times over. Really obvious examples include Bill Wilson and his entire family. Warm welcomes extended to visitors. Bill's books and videos. Commitments, philosophies and fulfillments of those commitments and philosophies. Continuity factors, past, present, and perceived future. On and on it goes.

Even seemingly "very little things" add up over time. Maybe not so much with a first time buyer -- who might be mostly comparing two pieces of steel -- but probably a definite factor with repeat customers. Especially when top tier 1911s, all built to exactingly standards, are concerned.

And I'd bet/guess that repeat buyers represent most of Wilson's customers. Top tier 1911s aren't cheap, even for those with fortunate financial circumstances. Most buyers probably aren't inclined to try something else just as a sampling or on a whim, once they have found one or two (for variety) builders who've provided consistent happiness. At least some in this sub-forum have chosen to focus on Wilson Combat and Ed Brown...and it's probably not an accident.

NHC is, if course, first rate as well. I'm focusing my above commentary on Wilson because of familiarity with the latter....and this is, after all, the Wilson sub-forum.. The same OP question, posed in the NHC sub-forum, would likely get more NHC-focused responses.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2019, 07:29 PM
dummykid dummykid is online now
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whats the hype with HNC one gun one smith theory? like, how do i know that smith is experienced one or newbie
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2019, 08:05 PM
K38 K38 is offline
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3 Wilsons and a recently purchased NHC Trooper here. Both companies make outstanding pistols in my limited experience.
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2019, 08:36 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrysanthemum View Post
Among buyers of top tier 1911s, a lot of things often enter into the buyer's development of manufacturer preferences.

Of course, there are the guns themselves. That's a given.

But as just one of many other examples, right here in this sub-forum, there is the long-standing role here of WCR. +1911 a thousand times over. Really obvious examples include Bill Wilson and his entire family. Warm welcomes extended to visitors. Bill's books and videos. Commitments, philosophies and fulfillments of those commitments and philosophies. Continuity factors, past, present, and perceived future. On and on it goes.

Even seemingly "very little things" add up over time. Maybe not so much with a first time buyer -- who might be mostly comparing two pieces of steel -- but probably a definite factor with repeat customers. Especially when top tier 1911s, all built to exactingly standards, are concerned.

And I'd bet/guess that repeat buyers represent most of Wilson's customers. Top tier 1911s aren't cheap, even for those with fortunate financial circumstances. Most buyers probably aren't inclined to try something else just as a sampling or on a whim, once they have found one or two (for variety) builders who've provided consistent happiness. At least some in this sub-forum have chosen to focus on Wilson Combat and Ed Brown...and it's probably not an accident.

NHC is, if course, first rate as well. I'm focusing my above commentary on Wilson because of familiarity with the latter....and this is, after all, the Wilson sub-forum.. The same OP question, posed in the NHC sub-forum, would likely get more NHC-focused responses.
Excellent post as usual chrys!

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Originally Posted by dummykid View Post
whats the hype with HNC one gun one smith theory? like, how do i know that smith is experienced one or newbie
Much like a full custom gun like Greg Derr, Jason Burton, Stan Chen, etc. - one superb smith to build one gun.Just one of many possible build philosophies, kind of like a gun from Holland & Holland where one smith builds the entire gun including screws (they are in a class of their own and nobody else I know of does this currently). This is not always a good approach, but CAN be under the right circumstances, and it is always wise to know the smith building yours IF it is being built by one (and only one) smith. Just a personal opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K38 View Post
3 Wilsons and a recently purchased NHC Trooper here. Both companies make outstanding pistols in my limited experience.
They do indeed, and both have a slightly different build philosophy; both of which are valid approaches, and depend on their customers' own world view of gun building. Again, just IMO.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2019, 08:43 PM
DKRanger22 DKRanger22 is offline
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I have guns from both manufacturers, and in my opinion, both are top quality makes. Wilson has been doing it longer - doesn’t necessarily make them “better”. In this arena of top tier makes, so much comes down to personal preference. I lean towards Wilson when it comes to their more traditional/ conservative aesthetics, but the Nighthawks that speak to me - like the T3 - are some of my favorites from any manufacturer.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:52 PM
BAMac BAMac is offline
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I have 2 Wilsons that are more traditional looking, a NHC Carry, and was considering adding a full size 9mm which I currently don't have, even possibly the Dan Wesson SSC. I wanted something a little more modern for this one. From the Wilson line maybe a Vickers Elite. Yes I posted here about a year ago thinking I'd get only one!
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:51 PM
FightinTXAggie FightinTXAggie is offline
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I don’t know...

I have Wilsons, Browns, several full-house custom Colts from various ‘smiths (a couple of which are my hands-down favorites, both EDC and hard use/range/trainers), and other makes of 1911, but....

Two years ago, I attended the Dallas Safari Club convention, and handled a NHC Classic, with DLC finish. That gun drew me back to their booth several times; I handled that gun for over an hour (I fully expected them to charge me for wear on it ). A member here ended up buying it, I wish I had; possibly in the top 2 of all 1911’s I’ve handled, and WAY above my Wilsons and Browns, IMHO.

I spoke to the (an ?) owner of NH Customs for an hour or so. We talked guns, cattle, land, wives, hunting, guns, scotch, guns, cattle, guns, gunsmiths, Bob Marvel, and guns. I never put that NHC Classic down the whole time, I couldn’t. He seemed not to notice that I wouldn’t. Great guy.

I mentioned to him that I remembered when he broke off from Wilson Combat, and went out on his own, and that I was always interested in his guns but was waiting until he had a few years’ longevity in business before I would be really interested in one of his guns, just to make sure he had “staying power” and would be around if I needed anything.....he just kind of grinned, and said “Yeah, I don’t blame you...but that’s been 14 years ago!”.

So, I suspect they will be around in 20 years. And I REALLY wish I would have taken that NHC Classic home. I haven’t really been interested in another new 1911 since handling that one.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:59 PM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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Originally Posted by FightinTXAggie View Post
I don’t know...

I have Wilsons, Browns, several full-house custom Colts from various ‘smiths (a couple of which are my hands-down favorites, both EDC and hard use/range/trainers), and other makes of 1911, but....

Two years ago, I attended the Dallas Safari Club convention, and handled a NHC Classic, with DLC finish. That gun drew me back to their booth several times; I handled that gun for over an hour (I fully expected them to charge me for wear on it ). A member here ended up buying it, I wish I had; possibly in the top 2 of all 1911’s I’ve handled, and WAY above my Wilsons and Browns, IMHO.

I spoke to the (an ?) owner of NH Customs for an hour or so. We talked guns, cattle, land, wives, hunting, guns, scotch, guns, cattle, guns, gunsmiths, Bob Marvel, and guns. I never put that NHC Classic down the whole time, I couldn’t. He seemed not to notice that I wouldn’t. Great guy.

I mentioned to him that I remembered when he broke off from Wilson Combat, and went out on his own, and that I was always interested in his guns but was waiting until he had a few years’ longevity in business before I would be really interested in one of his guns, just to make sure he had “staying power” and would be around if I needed anything.....he just kind of grinned, and said “Yeah, I don’t blame you...but that’s been 14 years ago!”.

So, I suspect they will be around in 20 years. And I REALLY wish I would have taken that NHC Classic home. I haven’t really been interested in another new 1911 since handling that one.

The owner of NHC is Mark Stone
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:37 PM
FightinTXAggie FightinTXAggie is offline
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The owner of NHC is Mark Stone
Thank you! That was the gentleman I spent time with. Along with another (big guy) by the name of Mickey, if I recall correctly.

Both great guys to converse with.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:40 PM
scw2 scw2 is offline
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One thing that used to amaze me was how quickly these comparison threads went south. Also, about half way through, there would be more guns brought in for comparison besides the original two.

But it is a credit to the members and the moderators that the level of discourse is civil and intelligent. Makes for a nice place to visit!
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:14 AM
BAMac BAMac is offline
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Agreed I appreciate the great stories and insight!
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:51 AM
BgBdBob7 BgBdBob7 is offline
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It's a win-win either way you cast your vote! Just a reminder Nighthawk Custom has more pistolsmiths in the the American Pistolsmith Guild than any company. Each pistolsmith has to submit two examples of there work all by hand. That even means all checkering has to be done by hand. No CNC machine for the build at all. Then the guild determines the quality of the work for acceptance into the guild. Just a small side note. You can request your pistolsmith on a NHC build so you will know who is building your pistol.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:16 AM
Lsingh Lsingh is offline
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I have both and both being excellent guns ... thou I shoot my Wilson more and have used their customer service for ordering variety of parts to fancy or customize my gun up to my parr .: their Coustomer service is top notch and every time I I’ve placed an order during early hours gets shipped out same day ... also they have been quite nice for providing me parts for my edc x9 that are not display to purchase on their websitebto fancy up my everyday carry ...nighthawk is also quite nice to shoot I just prefer Wilson more ..!!!


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Old 03-27-2019, 07:15 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Originally Posted by Grandpas50AE View Post
Excellent post as usual chrys!



Much like a full custom gun like Greg Derr, Jason Burton, Stan Chen, etc. - one superb smith to build one gun.Just one of many possible build philosophies, kind of like a gun from Holland & Holland where one smith builds the entire gun including screws (they are in a class of their own and nobody else I know of does this currently). This is not always a good approach, but CAN be under the right circumstances, and it is always wise to know the smith building yours IF it is being built by one (and only one) smith. Just a personal opinion.


They do indeed, and both have a slightly different build philosophy; both of which are valid approaches, and depend on their customers' own world view of gun building. Again, just IMO.
Exactly. I prefer carry/fighting guns to be done as consistently and precisely as possible and this requires a world class smith or a small army of people who each do one job nearly perfect coupled with high end CNC. For 1911s that means a Brown or WC, for non hard use guns I am more lenient and my NHCs have individual areas that are without equal. However the entire gun doesn’t have this, one section being phenomenal but others sub par is off putting for me hence why I perfer the other two for carry.

However. NHC has triggers, slide to frame fit, and checkering without equal. Those three always seem to be done right on all their guns. Other areas will vary. Relaiblty has not been as good on my NHCs as on my other guns though if I’m honest, I had to send the predator back 4 times and eventually I just ended up fixing it myself. If kept a little more wet than my other guns and more often though there are no issues.

Last edited by Striker2237; 03-27-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:47 PM
K38 K38 is offline
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Striker, what areas have you found lacking on your NHCs?
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:04 AM
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I have 5 WC's and no NH's...I do follow the NH offer's some and my limited view is many of the 1911 offering's btwn the 2 companies overlap. I don't see a lot of differentiation in most cases, except WC offer's a higher degree of customization (+1 for WC)...I absolutely love every one on my 5 WC's and the CS (especially post-delivery) is the best out there of all manufacture's I have (there are many very good ones though). Still, I can't ignore the fact that I've had to send 4 out of 5 of my WC's back for warranty work fairly early in their use cycle's. This lead's me to wonder, if the NH - "one-gun/One smith" model might be a better way to go for instilling NOOB quality in the semi-custom/custom space, rather than the pseudo-mass-production, specialization work station's, along the assembly line model. The latter may work best for a lower cost "rack" 1911's, but may not work best for a gun requiring a decent amount of customization.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:00 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Striker, what areas have you found lacking on your NHCs?
Not just my guns, every NHC I’ve handled has had areas done so well I can hardly believe it and others that are unexpectedly sub par.

My T3 has an amazing trigger that is somehow the same weight as my carry but better in almost all metric and feels like a 2lb but can be controlled. However the trigger rattles up and down and side to side, very odd considering how well it work. All of my WC guns have the same amount of trigger play, nearly nothing whatsoever.

The beavertail is just not blended, same with the magwell, however the rear of the slide is just slightly off, the extractor just slightly clocked. This is also a thing that is unique gun to gun, they sell have areas that are fantastic and other that are not.

https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?p=12283306

That’s my full review of the T3, unfortunately after the time of this review the gun can’t quite make it through a full case of dirtier ammo without some to lube to ensure it doesn’t have a freak error or two.
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