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Old 08-12-2018, 09:54 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Strikers range reviews, Wilson EDC X9

Well here it is. I finally am at the point I feel I can offer a review on one of the most hyped guns currently out there and weigh it against the other common players. I had been going back and forth on if I was even going to buy one but I did end up with one, 1000 and change rounds later here we are. This review is going to be a little different than normal, in additional to my usual points I will also be drawing direct comparisons to three other guns I normally carry as well as one in the same size class I consider to be another alternative. This may or may not effect the flavor of the review but I thought it necessary considering the EDC X9 is touted as the "ultimate" carry gun and I put that to the test for my uses and the results of what I found.

Anyhow now that is said here we go, as usual this review will be very picture heavy and will cover all points of the pistol in question including; The performance metrics of accuracy, speed, ease of shooting, control, misc issues and mechanical reliability. The cosmetic design and execution in fit and feel, finish quality, wear patterns, sound, and materials choice. Finally I will be sharing my thoughts on functionality in terms of ease of carry, range of uses, weight/convenience factor, maintenance requirements and finally it's effectiveness in its intended roll. We will also be comparing functional shooting performance and roll effectiveness vs a Gen 5 G19, CZ Shadow TAC II, CZ P-07, and a Wilson Carry Comp.

Here for your reading enjoyment, is one of the most hyped guns in recent times. The EDC X9.



PERFORMANCE: Accuracy

Right so we are already going to divert from the usual review structure, the following is a quote from the Wilson subfourm on my initial outing with the X9 and what happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
OKAY. Let's get into this then. Brief range review time for the WC sub-forum in particular, full review will be up in range reports in about 2-3 hours followed by the CZ Shadow (you will see why) sometime tommrow after I'm off work.

First off I am going to be totally honest here, I went into this gun with an EXTREMELY high expectation for performance with it being a 9mm 1911ish gun and a Wilson weapon at that. I fully expected the EDC X9 to be able to keep pace with my Custom CZ shadow in terms of ease of shooting and speed/accuracy........much to my dismay that expectation level proved unrealistic and was verified by two USPSA shooters that work at the range that I shoot with often. I used them to make sure I was not insane or having an off day and we all shot the same unfortunately so individual error is not what was happening.

Anyhow my first two mags were simply me running the gun at max speed to get a feel for balance and recoil impulse/stability, already at this point I was getting a sinking feeling since the gun seemed very "bouncy" in the hand with an odd impulse that was very "frontloaded". Finding that odd I then tried some reasonable speed shots, nothing crazy but about a round every .75 seconds or so aka just a nice casual pace that should have produced a 1-2 inch group at 10 yards for a gun of the level I thought the X9 to be.

The train-wreck is below.








Yeah........it was so terrible on the lower letter shots that I for some reason thought to myself "Well maybe this gun is better suited to go fast like my main carry, lets do a draw" and proceeded to attempt a draw with 8 shots. Jesus Christ the gun is unsettled if I try to fire it at my normal speed, the front end whips around like mad and the front sight totally disappears and the gun failed outright my group tightness requirement. After that shocker I thought "okay okay okay, hold on. I just came off the other range with the .50AE so I'm just flinching and not doing this right. I MUST be me not the gun" so to prove that I was just sucking today I pulled out my Shadow TAC II since I am extremely consistent and used to it so that when I inevitably (or so I thought) shot badly with it I would be able to say "Yep, just me sucking. Not the gun".







Well......lets just say the Shadow and myself were both acting normally with the gun giving me it's usual causal and easy feeling 1-2 inch groups at a .50 split pace without any effort. Same story with the draw, I went my usual speed and the gun kept nearly everything within the acceptable range as is usual for it.

I this point I was getting very concerned since it was quickly becoming clear to me the X9 was not going to be physically able to keep up with the CZ, and I fully expected it to be able to going into this...........so I pulled out the NEXT phase of mental self-delusion in the form of "Well maybe I just am not running a 1911 trigger properly today, better break out my carry gun so that when I'm all over the place with that I can say it's me" so I did just that........



Uh......crap? In this attempt with the X9 I went SUPER slowly and tried to make every shot perfect, I'm talking 3-4 seconds or more per shot. I STILL thought it was just me up until I started firing my carry gun, I freaking drilled the target with less than one second splits with very little effort vs the level of concentration I used with the X9. Easy sub inch group with no flyers as is normal for that gun as well.........I am in full dismay stage at this point so I also pulled out the one thing left I could think of, "Well it's a 9mm so it MUST come off target less shot to shot but it's just oscillating due to the light frame is all" so in the above shooting I shot the gun at 10 yards again but I payed very careful attention to how far the sight deflected upward and off my target.





At 10 yards the gun would deflect to about the level my hand is at in the first picture above from the perspective of me looking at the sights, I was using a full strength grip of even tension for both guns BTW and the point I made note of was the highest point of deflection before the gun/me brought the sights back on target. When I say gun/me I am referring to the way a good gun is "neutral" when firing and when the slide cycles it tries to bring the gun level again to make recovery shots quicker.......the X9 doesn't do this and I had to pull the gun back almost entirely unaided with the aforementioned feeling of "bounciness" also making the recoil impulse and sight deflection very random and hard to counteract/recover from. My comped .45 on the other hand didn't even deflect upward half as much and was FAR more calm and predictable not to mention the gun practically self reset when the slide went back to battery and the overall cycle speed had a much more solid and quick feel to it. The WCCC made things easy and helped guide me and the other shooters into shooting quickly and easily, the X9 on the other hand fought us and could best be described as twitchy and unsettled........I really really hate to say it but it reminded me of lighter polymer guns in that respect.

I was so disturbed by this I had two other shooters, one of whom beats me in USPSA enough we have a rivalry going, to shoot the guns and they all shot very similarly to me and without me prompting it described the feel of each gun almost identically to what I experienced. We all were in agreement the gun doesn't help you go fast and it has a speed limit that if you exceed control is lost vs the other two guns that you can run like a maniac and they don't become unsettled. We also all noted how bouncy the front end is and how the gun doesn't respond well to being run as fast as we normally like to run our USPSA guns (Two of us use Shadow 2s, other uses a Shadow Tac II (me) and in addition use I also shoot open) since the recoil event is not predictable or calm.

After we all shot it though and got to talking around the 1911 area of the counter we stopped and considered something we hadn't up to that point.........we were trying to compare a very light and easy to carry gun that was from the ground up envisioned ONLY as a carry gun against full on competition guns and a "carry gun" that is so outlandish most would never actually use it. I further realized that my usual carry gun is basically an old style IPSC Open class race gun in it's current configuration so it was stupid of me to try and compare something like that to the X9 at all since the latter is was never intended to reach that level of performance anyway. Plus it's so much lighter and most think it's easier to carry and that considered it makes total sense, the X9 is the typical carry gun. It trades raw performance to be much more livable.

Now all that said the gun worked 100% for 400 and change rounds with no fuss at all so it is on track to pass the required 1000 for me to trust it. There were no real problems whatsoever and realistically speaking when compaired to stuff like the VP9SK, P30SK, G19, G26, CZ75 Compact, CZ P-07, S&W 2.0, XD 9mm, SIG 320 compact, SIG 229 and basically any "normal" gun from the same size range the X9 crushes ALL of them by a good margin and is without question FAR more comfortable both in hand and in the holster and prints less than any of them. The error I made was I tried to compare it to guns that were not a fair comparison in the first place since I was simply so excited about the gun I truly thought it would defy physics and shoot alongside the race guns.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:55 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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So that was the first trip out, following that train wreck I took it upon myself to do some trigger work and adjustments to smooth out the takeup, lower the weight, and eliminate the "false wall" the gun had. This lead to the gun having the same weight as I normally like to have in a 1911, personally I was not too annoyed by needing to do this but some will rightfully expect the gun to not need user intervention to have a good trigger pull.





For the next trip with the improved trigger and intentional removal of the shock buffer I was far more pleased with the results. I also made it a point to take the G19 and P07 with on this trip for a more fair comparison vs the above initial comparison where the X9 was pitted against the "race guns" that I normally carry. The results of the "reshoot" are below and I will also go into the speed/feel differences further using both a quote from the WC sub-forum again from my second outing. I made the point of refraining from writing this full review because I wanted to make double sure I gave the gun a fair chance AKA 1000 rounds behind the trigger. The most stand out thing to me was that the X9 has far more muzzle rise than a comparable polymer frame handgun but regardless of this and sights that are not ideal for low light shooting I could still shoot the X9 slightly better overall than the other options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
At the range again testing the X9 after some slight changes and running it against my Gen5 G19 and CZ P07, removal of the shockbuff helped a lot to make the gun feel more normal and the improved trigger is also an upgrade. So far I have done some head to head shooting and while the X9 is fast it for sure flips more than he other two and I have an easier time with the CZ for the best slowfire groups and the glock is not far behind. The X9s sights just are not as easy to line up for group shooting, when going fast though they are easy to recover so it nullifies the extra flip.

I feel that the X9 can outrun the other two but I am still learning how to deal with a low-force high flip type gun. I also noticed the rounder grip is far more prone to swimming in the hands than the flat sided glock or CZ and requires a stronger grip and more attention.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Low force high flip meaning the press into your hand is weak but the front end comes up anyway. It's odd to me since I can't just relax my grip more on the gun and if I try to use a lot of tension to control it I overcompensate. If I relax the issue of "swimming" as I call it comes up, you fire, and the gun doesn't settle where you are expecting it since it gun tourqed sideways enough that you have to actually partially release grip tension and correct its alignment relative to your wrist.

The front sight is just a blob honestly, it makes it harder than it actually is to get shots stacked. I shoot far better with blocky sights and notches and the reason for that is I have a odd way of focusing my eyes when shooting that involves partial focus on the target and the iron sights leaving both in good focus but never as sharp as focusing on only one. If I intentionally only focus on the front it's fine but my spacial awareness and target transition speed and overall stage performance goes down and so does accuracy at speed. I usually shoot both ways in my full review since certain guns do not have sights that resolve well with my split focus. I perfer blocky since the alignment has more reference points and honestly just work better for me I have found. The battlesight works well but I only can use it well outside where there is enough light for the edges to be distinct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Sights for the glock, DA shot threw me on the CZ and X9 was the swim. Yes those groups were at the usual distance and the left bias is since my tigger finger is not perfectly actuating the guns triggers since I have to compromise my grip on the gun a lot or get the trigger finger properly aligned. I'm willing to accept a 1 inch deviation left in exchange for a grip that is useable, reason some of those groups were centered was because I forgot to use a natural hold and used proper form for the slow fire. Sure I can use a "perfect" grip but I'm never going to actually be able to draw and fire that way since I would have to draw the gun then position my hand on the gun unnaturally for correct positioning. My hand does rest naturally on CZs though and is why I shoot poa so well with them, I also altered my carry enough that it works well too. Fullsize guns are fine but way too large to carry. I'm temped to just drift all the sights slightly right but that creates more problems than it solves since it's only going to cover the core issue that I just don't have my finger in the right place. I just want compacts to shoot like fullsize guns.

https://shopwilsoncombat.com/EDC-X9-...uctinfo/850OT/ This is on the way now since I firmly believe it will perform better based on the improvement I saw on my main gun.

I think I posted pictures before showing what I mean by finger placement but I might take some more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Video of quicker shooting, I shot them back to back near the end of my session. I'm only about 850 rounds into the X9 vs over 6000 on glocks and over 20k on CZs so relative to my experience on the other platforms the X9 is doing well and clearly has potential since I'm already getting used to it. I'm going to send it back for sights though since I can't use battlesights as well as others, I'm just better with square notches.

Here are pictures of slowfire groups, the CZ grouped best since it's sights were the clearest and easiest to align. Again the lighting is bad in this range so I already know the X9 would walk away if I'm shooting outside but I always perfer sights that work well in low and uneven lighting.














Overall it's shooting far more inline with my other 1911s with my only complaint now being vertical drift and random but even flyers. The former is purely due to sights and the latter is still the trigger, its improved but not quite right yet. As usual no malfunctions at all.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland

Last edited by Striker2237; 08-12-2018 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:36 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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PERFORMANCE: Accuracy/Speed

So with the first two sessions outlined above I will now finally resume the normal format and delve into the gun as it sits follows another range session today at the newly opened Lewis Center Point Blank range that actually has good lighting.

Accuracy in good lighting is now what I expected, I neglected to take pictures but it shoots the same as my main carry gun with the holes being smaller. This is inline with my expectations but as suspected light levels play havoc with the accuracy of the sights., the trigger has smoothed out nicely and I can confidently say it feels like a normal Wilson 1911 trigger now. The gun is easier to shoot now that I am used to it but I will say I have an easier time with other platforms when attempting to just get tight groups with no time/speed demands. The level of accuracy is more than enough for defense or even match use but will not unseat any fullsize guns due to the increased effort needed.

As far as speed goes the X9 is firmly faster than the common alternative in good lighting and now that I am more practiced with it there is no question it can outrun most everything else in it's relative size and weight class. However it can't punch outside of this range and is quickly beaten but guns that are larger or heavier or using a comp/optics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s7FFsgQK2o

The above is the speed portion of my testing and below is how my normal gun runs but from the disadvantage of a draw AND the huge handicap of full power 230g +P ammo. The second is the same gun but using normal 230g range ammo, both videos were from when I first got the gun back from custom work so I had the same round count on it as the X9 so I feel it is fair. The long and short of it is that the X9 is not able to keep up with a gun that I expected it to beat since being a 9mm I thought the recoil would be far less than it actually is, the problem gets worse with my preferred 124g +p ammo to the extent I am actually going to swtich this gun to using 147s or maybe 150g ammo since they will have less felt recoil but more importantly not deflect off target as much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZTypdBNFPc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmQC5hvbvew

Rating accuracy: 8/10, The EDC X9 shoots well but has some issues that held it back as delivered. In the corrected state I think the gun will have no issues at all for CCW accuracy needs.

Rating speed: 7/10, The X9 is actually quite fast for what it is but there is a limit. This is a carry gun in the purest sense and not a competition gun that you happen to be able to carry. It is not as fast as I would like though.

PERFORMANCE: Ease of shooting

Well I have to admit the X9 is a very nice gun to shoot, the larger overall grip and wide trigger are more welcoming and forgiving than a standard 1911 even though this leads to the gun rolling about in the hand under recoil more. As I mentioned in the quoted segment above the gun required a slight reduction of the thumb safety weight but other than that this gun exceeds the SIG 229 in terms of comfort in the hand for me. All controls are easier to access and use than any 1911 and you can even release the slide using the strong hand thumb if that is your preferred method, I don't have any complaints about the control configuration. The X-tac grip and slide treatment is also great since it doesn't abrade at all when shooting yet provides a very solid interface, the wider trigger is something that I like since it allows more contact and that simply feels nicer to me personally vs the more "knife like" width of a normal 1911. The slightly longer frame on the X9 also allows a more natural interface for people with larger hands and this helps with control and recoil management. There are no sharp or high points on the gun during recoil and you can easily shoot a case of ammo without any hand fatigue, its really just perfect and with the corrections to the trigger the gun doesn't fight you at all up to it's speed limit. It's not my fastest gun, not the most accurate, but it is the most comfortable to use.

Rating: 10/10, The EDC X9 is my new standard for comfort in the hand for a gun.

PERFORMANCE: Mechanical reliability

Well this section is going to be short and simple, the gun simply works. I will eventually subject it to a bunch of steel case and other ammo like alum case that is more difficult for guns to use as well as several hundred HP rounds to further confirm the fact that the gun is not sensitive at all to ammo type. So far I have been just re-lubing the gun without cleaning it since I still am nervous about going more than 300 or so rounds in a 9mm 1911ish type gun since normally they do not work this well and quickly start having issues when dry/dirty. This is the firs 9mm 1911 type gun that I actually can say I trust and that doesn't require a bunch of extra attention to keep running or is unable to use certain types of ammo. I will update further as I use it more but I think this gun is perfect in terms of going bang every time you want it to.

Rating: 10/10, I am not quite done with my testing but I think the EDC X9 will make the list of my most reliable guns.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland

Last edited by Striker2237; 08-12-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:40 AM
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combat auto combat auto is online now
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Strider, first, I want to say thanks, you put a lot of effort into this and every report you do. I use to post quite a few detailed range-reports in the WC folder in past years and I know how much work it is. Additionally, I especially enjoy your detailed discussion of the actual shooting dynamics of each gun.

I am glad you pointed out the before and after performance on the X9, because in all fairness, most shooters would not want to go into the gun and personally make the tweek's you did for a NOOB gun.

I was surprised the WC-CC in 45 (with HST+P) was faster then the X9. And apparently more accurate too at speed (if I am interpreting your results correctly). The CC video restarted my withdrawal pains as with the Miami summer up here this year (every day a dew-point btwn 70-77) I am 7 weeks and counting since shooting. I could go to an indoor range but gave them up a few years ago because I am not happy with the level of safety in them. Perhaps some weather relief next week, this week continues to look awful.

I think the X9 is a great SD platform. How much better than an equivalent glock or PPQ in 9mm (keeping in mind the huge price differential)? I'm still not sure, I was surprise your report indicates the X9 has more flip than the glock, but the X9 does have the 1911 style trigger and the trigger is a big aid in maintaining the speed of the gun (if the shooter knows how to use it).

For me personally (and this doesn't mean I think the X9 is not a cool gun, because I think it is a great choice for many people), in 9mm, I'll stick with my PPQ, the value added (vs price differential) of the X9 just doesn't do it for me as shooting 9mm in plastic is pretty easy to start with. However, and although the PPQ likely has the best poly trigger out there, I wouldn't mind having the X9 trigger (even without the tweeks you made) on my side.

I can't wait to get out and shoot my WC-CC-45 again as soon as the weather breaks, and my STI-CC-45 also, I can't be more pleased with both guns and your WC-CC video has inspired me to get back out there, despite the Miami-Summer :-).

Thought I'd post a pic of my PPQ-9 as you don't see them often, the only change I did was to add the custom ultra-thin rubber grips from Taylon.
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Last edited by combat auto; 08-13-2018 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:08 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by combat auto View Post
Strider, first, I want to say thanks, you put a lot of effort into this and every report you do. I use to post quite a few detailed range-reports in the WC folder in past years and I know how much work it is. Additionally, I especially enjoy your detailed discussion of the actual shooting dynamics of each gun.

I am glad you pointed out the before and after performance on the X9, because in all fairness, most shooters would not want to go into the gun and personally make the tweek's you did for a NOOB gun.

I was surprised the WC-CC in 45 (with HST+P) was faster then the X9. And apparently more accurate too at speed (if I am interpreting your results correctly). The CC video restarted my withdrawal pains as with the Miami summer up here this year (every day a dew-point btwn 70-77) I am 7 weeks and counting since shooting. I could go to an indoor range but gave them up a few years ago because I am not happy with the level of safety in them. Perhaps some weather relief next week, this week continues to look awful.

I think the X9 is a great SD platform. How much better than an equivalent glock or PPQ in 9mm (keeping in mind the huge price differential)? I'm still not sure, I was surprise your report indicates the X9 has more flip than the glock, but the X9 does have the 1911 style trigger and the trigger is a big aid in maintaining the speed of the gun (if the shooter knows how to use it).

For me personally (and this doesn't mean I think the X9 is not a cool gun, because I think it is a great choice for many people), in 9mm, I'll stick with my PPQ, the value added (vs price differential) of the X9 just doesn't do it for me as shooting 9mm in plastic is pretty easy to start with. However, and although the PPQ likely has the best poly trigger out there, I wouldn't mind having the X9 trigger (even without the tweeks you made) on my side.

I can't wait to get out and shoot my WC-CC-45 again as soon as the weather breaks, and my STI-CC-45 also, I can't be more pleased with both guns and your WC-CC video has inspired me to get back out there, despite the Miami-Summer :-).

Thought I'd post a pic of my PPQ-9 as you don't see them often, the only change I did was to add the custom ultra-thin rubber grips from Taylon.
Yep, you are interpreting it correctly. The WCCC is not only faster it also groups better and I can actually push it even further and it will still hold a group the same size as the X9, there is no contest what gun puts more effective rounds on target more accurately and in less time. However as I said in the above comparison this is unfair even though it's .45 vs a 9mm due to the comp making the gun have effectively no flip and no punishing felt recoil from the HST+Ps and the fact that the gun cycles "faster" and self resets on target with no user intervention post firing event. However I have tuned and tweeked the gun heavily to suit my style and taste in terms of feel so it's like comparing a tailored suit to a box store off the rack one. Both are nice but the custom item will always suit the original owner better than a generic, but still very nice item.

In terms of literal bang for the buck the X9 fails quite terribly against my Glock or the CZ but be fact remains that even with the nearly double flip/sight deflection per shot I can outrun them due to the trigger and superior grip shape and treatment allowing me to force the gun back on target far quicker. Even though the X9 "swims" a bit the recoil event is always within a consistent range to the upper right unlike the poly guns that while lighter/less overall deflection by distance are far more random as to exactly where they will come off target to. This leads to one having to micro adjust and very quickly read where the sights deflected to and having to pull the gun back to the desired target. For example the glock USUALLY deflects up and to the left a little, except when it goes to the right or occasionally dips down below the original sight plane. This means you have to actually "read" the pistol and not just automatically send a counter response like with the X9 or other metal frame guns that nearly always recoil to the same spot meaning you can "auto pilot" the gun back without active corrections. This is the main reason I love metal guns so much, even though light frame one have more flip (no polymer deforming to act like a masssive shock buff) they have uniform impulses that I can quickly memorize and counter. The main reason the X9 was throwing me was actually the damn shock buff introducing inconsistency and "bounciness" that was like a poly frame without the benifit of reducing flip/sight deflection. To be fair I shoot that G19 the best of any of my plastics outside the VP9 but the latter is too big to carry for what it offers, I really really think glock nailed it with the gen 5 guns.

If money is no object an X9 is simply a superior option. Period. However I can do 80% of what it can with my G19 in terms of actual shooting performance, on that same token the comfort and carry-ability will just never be there with the Glock. I will go into this much further in the fit/wear segment and carry viability sections, it's in those areas the X9 comes into its own.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland

Last edited by Striker2237; 08-13-2018 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:11 PM
kgp1911 kgp1911 is offline
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Great review! I have been eyeing this one for a while. From your review I will continue eyeing it.

I understand craftsman ship and tolerances. Everything that makes an expensive pistol, well, expensive... Its crazy how sometimes you can shoot a much cheaper pistol so much better. I have experienced this first hand with my cz p10c. Anyway, cheers to an excellent and well written review.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:30 PM
citius citius is offline
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Thank you for your review. I look forward to the next installment.
We both seem to be having trouble using the U shaped battlesight. You mentioned having Wilson change out the rear sight...what are you having it changed to? I am also using the new Ameriglo front sight.

Thanks
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:28 PM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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enjoyed reading it. I like that your reviews are usually based on lots of practical shooting and that insight. I sometimes wonder how much shooting some reviewers have done before they start writing. It seems you are the exception of that rule. keep it up.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:55 AM
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Stryker, not a critism but just a question, you continuously expound on “speed” and my question is, is that defined by how fast the trigger can react ? How well the sights stay on target due to muzzle flip, grip profiles ? How much the gun moves around in hand? All of the above?

The reason I ask is that because all the guns I have will simply fire as fast as you can pull the trigger (some triggers better than others) an example i’ll add is my Sig p210, the trigger is good and it’ll fire as fast as you can pull it but the muzzle flip won’t allow it because the sights move around so much, simply won’t stay on target and requires constant adjustment, but my Springfield 9mm RO has a slightly heavier trigger but simply stays on target so will empty the mag much quicker, same with my P320rx, just keeps the red dot on target.

Am I thinking right about this ? Also how about a review some time of that Rock Island ?

Last edited by passx; 08-14-2018 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:10 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Stryker, not a critism but just a question, you continuously expound on “speed” and my question is, is that defined by how fast the trigger can react ? How well the sights stay on target due to muzzle flip, grip profiles ? How much the gun moves around in hand? All of the above?

The reason I ask is that because all the guns I have will simply fire as fast as you can pull the trigger (some triggers better than others) an example i’ll add is my Sig p210, the trigger is good and it’ll fire as fast as you can pull it but the muzzle flip won’t allow it because the sights move around so much, simply won’t stay on target and requires constant adjustment, but my Springfield 9mm RO has a slightly heavier trigger but simply stays on target so will empty the mag much quicker, same with my P320rx, just keeps the red dot on target.

Am I thinking right about this ? Also how about a review some time of that Rock Island ?
Yep, that's exactly it. How fast can the gun be fired and still remain on the intended target/the user can still keep track of the sights. However some guns simply can't be physically fired as fast as others, I can't empty a glock as fast as a 1911 no matter how low the accuracy requirement is due to the tigger taking too long to actuate in terms of distance.

With most guns if you down to the point of only shooting when all is perfect you can generally always hit a 2 inch target at any reasonable range without issue no matter how bad the trigger or recoil might be. At speed the differences come out though.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:55 PM
Lee Woiteshek Lee Woiteshek is offline
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Does it need a comp?
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:43 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Does it need a comp?
It would honestly solve everything "wrong" with it.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:20 PM
CastleBravo CastleBravo is offline
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The big surprise for me is how heavy the trigger was out of the box. The "normal" Wilson 1911's I've gotten to handle always had triggers more like 3.5lbs stock.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:08 AM
jmm01 jmm01 is offline
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Same for me. Mine tested at 5.25 lbs out of the box with considerable pretravel. I sent it back to Wilson and they promptly sent it back at 4.25 lbs with some of the pretravel gone. I am not impressed.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:39 AM
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I have 5 WC's which I accumulated over the years...The older 3 had exceptional awesome triggers, the most recent 2, although still excellent, missing that little something that I would call "exceptional/awesome"...My STI and Infinity-(SVI) are the two best triggers I have, again, just that little something that brings them from excellent to exceptional (and my first 3 WCs are on par with these)...I also still don't like the 3.5# minimum restriction WC started after I purchased my first 3 WC's (unless one signs a waiver). I expect there is a minimum which would make the gun mechanically unsafe, I'm guessing much-closer to 1# (but I don't know), beyond a mechanical safety thing, I don't think a semi-custom shop should get in the business of policing operator behavior in this regard.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:21 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Well that was a long work week.......I'm back now and actually able to sit down and finish this review. Now for the little details in how the gun is built and feels to the user from a handling perspective and how the visual aesthetics of the gun are.

COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR

Now we will take a look at the cosmetics/fit/wear of this handgun, I will be looking at and giving my thoughts on the fit of the parts, feeling to the user of manipulating the controls and slide, machining/hand blending of surfaces, the consistency and quality of the exterior finish and decorative additions, the sound of the actuation of the slide, safeties, mag catch, slide release, and hammer/striker cocking/fall, the wear patterns in both the areas contact appears and symmetry of said wear, and finally the choice of materials used and final finish applied from an aesthetic and functional perspective.



COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR: Fit and feel

Remember my review of the Colt 1911 I did a while back and how I made jokes about the fanbois laying siege to me? Well this time around I am locking the gates and adding extra gators to the moat to keep the Wilson fanbois at bay since I may just trigger a few........ironically as an unabashed WC fanboy myself I have to man the gates and also lay siege to them, lets see how good of a job I can do.

Since I am not one to pull punches lets get this out of the way, this is not a custom level 1911, this is not a semi-custom level 1911, this is not even up to par with a "normal" WC gun in any way in terms of feel/fit/sound/wear so if you are expecting or looking for that kind of mechanical masterwork you will be disappointed. The slide rides smooth, but there was lateral movement even when it was NIB and I was handling it in the store. If the gun is dry you can shake it hard and the slide rattling on the frame can be heard if you are trying to get it to be, for perspective my carry 1911 with over 15k rounds is tighter when dry than the X9 was when NEW and freshly lubed with grease. There is also the distinct lack of that signature "glass on glass" feeling of a true high end 1911, the EDC X9 is VERY smooth but it's more like a SIG P210A kinda smooth not a gun that even a novice can tell someone fit the rails by hand. As mentioned when I first got the gun the thumb safety was HEAVY as all hell to turn on yet didn't require the same level of force to turn off, both directions were heavy but this lack of pressure symmetry is yet another sign the gun is not in the same league as my other WC guns. I would actually warn that if you have weak hands that the safety might require you to use your off hand to turn on, most people I had handle it had issues with it and I could barely get it to turn on with my right hand thumb without breaking my grip for a better angle. The X-tac pattern is fantastic. For use on the slide of a gun there is nothing I have ever felt that is this effective at grabbing your hand yet not your clothes or anything unwanted, on the frame I still prefer 25 LPI checkering by NHC in terms of total grip but the X-tac pattern is less abrasive by far. I do not like the fact the gun lacks under trigger checkering but that is a very personal preference thing as is the lack of a flat trigger, do note that on the EDC X9 the flat is not required for me to have proper trigger placement due to the larger grip allowing me proper placement on a traditional trigger. The swell of the double stack frame fills out the hand superbly as mentioned and combined with the X-tac treatment the gun feels solidly attached in the hand. Lockup of the gun at first was rough and kinda jerky compared to other NIB Wilson/browns/NHC guns but this has smoothed out after 1000 rounds and the gun now has the normal solid and crisp lockup and unlock of most high end guns. I would actually say that after a little shooting the gun really wore in very well, the only downside is that it's now loose enough that you can rattle the slide on the frame if you shake it now. The gun is noticeably loose in my opinion and looser than I would like if I'm honest, I like a gun to have just barely a detectable amount of lateral movement that can be detected when pressing the slide side to side with your hand with the other holding the frame tightly. The reduced frame rails that supposedly increase reliability are directly to blame for this combined with no hand fit or polish I can see of the slide/frame interface, I will say that so far the gun has been flawless in function but I was hoping the gun could also be a little tighter even with less power available to drive the gun. However I will concede that it's riskier with a 9mm being tight vs a .45 or higher power (momentum) gun and still allow the gun to function when dry or with really weak for caliber ammo, so that point is forgiven since it seems to have had the intended effect.

Rating, 8/10: The EDC X9 is fantastic for a production gun and would rate at or above the Sig P210A, the issue is that it is so good that the inevitable comparisons will be drawn against traditional 191s and it, like the 210A will fall short.

COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR: Sound

This was the single greatest letdown for me personally, I LOVE to death the audible precision one can experience simply by hand cycling a high end gun or loading snap caps into one. There is something magical to me that even without shooting a weapon you can already get a good sense for what the mechanical impulse is going to be like simply by the sound the parts make as they interact and in a very weird way allow the user/owner a taste of the fit/precision of the gun without even shooting. When I first picked up my EDC X9 from the hands of my drug pusher......I mean guns salesman, he knows what I like, literally I can walk in the store and he will wordlessly lay 2-10 guns on the table that he knows I like. He has yet to have failed to make a sale on a visit of mine. Anyway when I was handed the gun I was extremely excited for the fact my LGS had finally gotten one in and that they went so far as to call me that one came in and didn't even put it on the shelves since they knew I wanted one. I knew when I walked in that this gun would be MY X9 so to speak, however as soon as I was handed the gun and did a safety check my hope was shaken. NIB the X9 totally lacks the "Wilson sound" that I personally think is the best of any gun out there, the only thing that sounded right was the slide locking back on an empty mag with the loud "POP" of the slide-stop and mag follower all coming to lock perfectly. Not a single other thing on the gun had the tone of total precision, my disappointment on the sound of the NIB X9 was very high. There is a silver lining to this though, after 1000 rounds and hours of playing with the gun almost everything has improved to the normal Wilson sound with the glaring exception of the thumb safety still not having the ultra crisp "click" in both directions I have come to like.

Rating, 5/10 NIB moving to 8/10 broken in: The gun at first is not impressive, heck it was a letdown for what I was expecting and used to in a WC gun. After giving it a chance to wear in though it's far closer to what I wanted.

Now lets take a step back for a moment. This is NOT A 1911. I can sit here all night and bash the X9 quite far into the ground if the basis for comparison is only what most traditionally look for in a high end 1911. The EDC X9 is suffering from the fact it is kinda like a 1911 in the hand, has the same trigger system, has very similar controls and thus like the SIG 210A gets sucked into the black hole of being good enough to be compared to semi-customs while not technically being in the same class. So taking this into account I am still going to compare it against 1911s but only from the perspective of those being my "standard" since my first gun was a 1911. However at the same time I am also going to give my input of what I think about this gun vs production weapons since in my opinion it sits at the absolute apex of "production" type guns. With that little disclaimer/sanity check done I will continue to machining/fit/wear.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:30 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR: Machine work and Exterior finish

Right, I made jokes about Colt now it's time for a Wilson joke. When you have top of the line CNC mills you can literally just have the machines do it and you get this, that is the sentiment I get when handling and examining the X9. "Lets just press YES to all the options and see what the CNC mills put out" so to speak. You can very clearly see that the EDC X9 is superbly well machined but that's just it, it appears to ONLY have really good CNC work with the exception of the barrel. Now it might seem like I am bashing the gun........I am and I'm not at the same time to be honest. I am very impressed with the machining but also simultaneously sad that there is not as much human touch and blending that I have become accustomed to seeing. The exterior is all armortuff and is very even and well done as is the norm for Wilson, the finish doesn't extend over the interior fully though. That was surprising to me but the slide is stainless so I guess it's fine, I will attach a few pictures below showing the machine work and odd gap in the finish on the inside and comment some more on them.



Above picture shows how nicely the CNC rigs cut everything, very smooth but I am still unsure if I like this way of making guns vs the "normal" way for 1911s.



Area where the armortuff is not applied, also note the more user friendly screw in front sight. It's like a Glock now!!!




Frame rail sections are not hand polished, overall though everything is very nice and smooth with almost no visible tool marks internally except in the dust cover.

Rating: 8/10, the EDC X9 has the typical Wilson level of finish consistency and uniformity and falls well within my expectations. I wish more hand work was done on the gun but it doesn't impair function, just my personal enjoyment.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:31 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR: Wear Pattern

The wear pattern analysis will be done by a per picture basis. Further commentary on fit and blend of parts will also be attached to individual pictures.



Backstrap, note the grips near the very top (right under the thumb safety) do not fully contact the frame and do not line up perfectly. The grip treatment also doesn't line up perfectly with the grip starburst trails but is close, the grips do however line up perfectly everywhere else.



Thumb safety and rear left of slide, note the gap on the rear beaver-tail/rear strap and the slight misalignment of the slide and frame rail. Mag release has very fine checkering but is not as nicely finished as an Ed Brown IMO. Heavy machine chamfer is done nicely and the X-tac pattern is cut cleanly and evenly.



Rear of slide, the X9 comes standard with rear of slide serrations that are cut evenly and match the rear sight. I also happen to hate rear of slide serrations but that is just my preference for a perfectly smooth rear of slide that allows me to enjoy a perfect blend job........speaking of this gun has a very good one. The only thing "wrong" is a little gap between the slide and frame rails that you can catch your fingernail on, I prefer a surface so well fit that you can only see the different parts but never feel them.



Muzzle end, note the reverse plug is just slightly under-flush as is the barrel itself. Not a big deal but kinda annoying compared to say my CQB that is cut by hand I believe leading to the X9 having a larger ledge type thing where it draws level with the front of the slide vs the CQB having a nearly knife like border that is almost invisible when in battery.




Side of the gun, note the really cool new lettering Wilson has decided to use on the X9. I personally like this font a lot and think it fits the general style of the this gun in particular very well. Also note the rail and how it fences the slide stop in nicely and has a very nice contour that doesn't argue with the lines of the gun at all. Normally rails ruin the lines of a otherwise elegant 1911/CZ75/SIG229/220 but in this case the rail lends itself well to the theme the gun already has going on. Other thing of import to take note of is the slide stop interaction with the frame, the geometry here is very very good and the lever itself is also longer allowing for the firing hand to perform slide drops if that is the style you like. Finally note how the thumb safety has a secondary ledge to position the main lever further outward to accommodate the wider grip area.



Another picture of the rear of the slide, note the very even and centered hammer strike. You can also see the lack of blend more clearly but again, this is a production gun.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:43 AM
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Nobody can ever claim Striker, you are too biased to give a fair'n-balanced review. If folks can't present pro's and con's wth is the point of a review. On this later segment of your review, I might not be the best person to comment on it critically, because although I like a fine looking well fitted 1911, it is much further down on the important scale vs performance.

But a few comments anyway:

The reduced slide-frame rail contacts deal is not a new invention of course, it is intrinsic to a 2011 design. Both my Infinity-SVI and STI-CC have very tight fitting slides even with this architecture so it can be done.

Still, tight slide to frame fit seems to be very, very, overrated in the importance of the accuracy of the gun. My Conan 357M has a loosely fitting slide-frame. (I was told by Conan this is because the gases from hot 357M need a way to escape.). Yet the Conan is one of the most accurate guns I have.

But, with the apparent level of fit WC decided to role the X9 out with, which for its intended purpose, I have no problem with, I am wondering if a fairer price for the gun might not be several hundred $ lower.

What I still haven't seen in any X9 review is some detailed accuracy tests at 25y. Agree, likely not a SD situation, but at this price point I want it to perform well at that distance anyway, and it may give us a clue as to if the fit-level observed by you is still "plenty-good".
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:50 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Nobody can ever claim Striker, you are too biased to give a fair'n-balanced review. If folks can't present pro's and con's wth is the point of a review. On this later segment of your review, I might not be the best person to comment on it critically, because although I like a fine looking well fitted 1911, it is much further down on the important scale vs performance.

But a few comments anyway:

The reduced slide-frame rail contacts deal is not a new invention of course, it is intrinsic to a 2011 design. Both my Infinity-SVI and STI-CC have very tight fitting slides even with this architecture so it can be done.

Still, tight slide to frame fit seems to be very, very, overrated in the importance of the accuracy of the gun. My Conan 357M has a loosely fitting slide-frame. (I was told by Conan this is because the gases from hot 357M need a way to escape.). Yet the Conan is one of the most accurate guns I have.

But, with the apparent level of fit WC decided to role the X9 out with, which for its intended purpose, I have no problem with, I am wondering if a fairer price for the gun might not be several hundred $ lower.

What I still haven't seen in any X9 review is some detailed accuracy tests at 25y. Agree, likely not a SD situation, but at this price point I want it to perform well at that distance anyway, and it may give us a clue as to if the fit-level observed by you is still "plenty-good".
5 inches total for 10 rounds standing unsupported is about what I can do with it, all rounds are centered slightly high and right (2 inches high and one right) for three groups attempted. If I rested it and used a better target I would think I can get it down to 2-3 inches and more centered as well. If you want I can give it a real attempt at 25 yard grouping since this new range actually has the lighting I need to do so.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:59 PM
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5 inches total for 10 rounds standing unsupported is about what I can do with it, all rounds are centered slightly high and right (2 inches high and one right) for three groups attempted. If I rested it and used a better target I would think I can get it down to 2-3 inches and more centered as well. If you want I can give it a real attempt at 25 yard grouping since this new range actually has the lighting I need to do so.
Thanks for the offer...I'm not really in the market for an X9 (not until I get too old to shoot my WC-CC maybe far in the future ;-)), so it is just an intellectual curiosity for me vs other WC-1911's. You may recall, I posted a target with one of my TEs I shot a 5 round, 2" free standing slow fire group 25y - just about perfectly centered (naturally with a 4" gun it becomes more of a challenge so wouldn't expect the same)...But it is a lot of effort, so only do it if you personally have a need to "know" what the X9 can do at 25Y...But thanks again my Friend!
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:03 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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COSMETICS/FIT/WEAR: Wear pattern continued



Takedown is the same as any modern bull barrel 1911, nothing odd. I will not the gun seems to pile up less carbon than .45 1911s but I am not sure how much of that is due to the altered design vs caliber.




Slide stop wear looks okay, not as even on the feet as I would like to see but centered and symmetrical overall. Note the far longer and wider lever than normal, it makes mag changes way easier to finish up than other, smaller options.




Wear on the rails is not even, the centers area of each "nub" seem to have more contact than the outsides and they are not hand polished like they normally are on a Wilson 1911. Plunger tube is also non-standard and I believe it is integrated to the frame. Note the mag catch on the right hand side (side with the lock) is slightly over flush and again lacks the seamless transition to the frame that the true 1911s have. Also note the frame contour is different and the increased trigger width the X9 has vs a normal 1911.



Recoil abutment wear pattern is surprisingly light and perfectly centered and even, no complaints there at all.



Muzzle as seen from the side, again note how the plug and barrel are both not flush with the end of the slide and the barrel in particular is not really "seamless" with the flush cut crown vs a CQB would be. I wouldn't go so far as to call it sloppy but it's for sure not up to the standard of Wilsons other guns. Chamfering is done well and there is no abrasion up front. Ball endmill cuts DO LINE UP for those that raise hell over that feature.......





Underside of the slide has decent wear, there is some contact with the frame but overall it is minor. The barrel only has a single lug and the wear seems even as well but I would have preferred to see a normal three lug setup since it lends better to handling comps (I still wish this gun had it's comped barrel option available already...)
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:24 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Breach-face is good and centered, the external extractor is weird and doesn't allow controlled round feed and requires a mag to be inserted for the gun to extract properly but it technically works. I do not prefer it personally since it is harder to clean and more likely to lose parts in the process but I guess it functions better with 9mm so I digress.






The barrel wore in well, I see nothing wrong at all and all contact patterns are symmetrical and even. The chamber got quite dirty as did the ramp and it show an interesting path the bullets take on their feed journey vs a normal gun. They are being funneled into the chamber vs "handed" up and in, much more similar to how a modern pistol feeds relying on the round kinda falling into the right zone with the parts all forming a "cone" of sorts that the bullets follow. This system is easier to get right and more tolerant of things being out of spec vs a the feed system in a true 1911, I don't really care what system is used as long as it works but I will say the true system is far more fun to hand cycle rounds super slowly with.




Frontstrap, the X-tac cut is done extremely consistently and is non-abrasive to hold and doesn't snag on anything. However in terms of mechanical traction it falls behind 25 LPI and is slippery compared to 20 LPI, functionally it works very well even with oily hands but I still prefer traditional checkering even though the latter is more "fragile" if slammed into something. My only real "gripe" is that you can clearly tell these are machine made, there is no human touch at all and on the contrary you can see the angular way the mill cut these. Also! Note the missmatch of the grip panel and frame, the grips overhang the area between the frontstrap grip treatment and the trigger guard noticeably. The triggerguard undercut is well done and perfectly comfortable. The rest of the grip/frame area is very well aligned.



Heel of the gun is HUGE. Even with the rounding of the end this makes the EDC X9 far larger in this critical area than a true compact size 1911, the plus side is that the magwell opening is simply freaking massive and reloads are a joke in terms of effort compared to even a magwell equipped single stack gun. This is actually not something that can be changed due to how the gun back-strap locks in and interfaces with the grips and the frame, I also would like to note I wish the blend of the frame/grips/back-strap was better done. The fit is again not bad by any definition but not the usual seamless flow I have become accustomed to seeing.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland
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  #24  
Old 01-20-2020, 06:11 PM
mbacker_99 mbacker_99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post



The barrel wore in well, I see nothing wrong at all and all contact patterns are symmetrical and even.

The wear patterns on the lower lugs and slide stop show a major issue with the barrel fit on this pistol. I am not surprised by the lack of accuracy.
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  #25  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:53 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Central Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbacker_99 View Post
The wear patterns on the lower lugs and slide stop show a major issue with the barrel fit on this pistol. I am not surprised by the lack of accuracy.
It now single holes at 15 yards, barrel beat itself into place after 7k and that's good enough and for a production non-handfit gun I don't see an issue. On my other 1911s sure the bump is bad but on this it doesn't matter, still outshoots any of my plastic guns.
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Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland

Last edited by Striker2237; 01-20-2020 at 08:59 PM.
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