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Old June 26, 2008, 10:03 PM   #1
skydiver3346
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Wilson Combat vs. Ed Brown

Am looking at buying a 1911 type .45 auto shortly and looked at both of these models. Can anyone share with me why they would choose one over the other (condsidering they both cost around the same money)?
Thank you for your advice.
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Old June 26, 2008, 11:24 PM   #2
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Once I was at a public range and the guy next to me was doing some of the best shooting I had ever seen. I had to know what he was shooting. It was a 45 Wilson Combat. I can't see me ever spending more than a grand for a firearm but if I ever did, I would want that Wilson Combat.
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Old June 27, 2008, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hard to go wrong with either. Wilson has some of the best customer service you will come across. I would also consider Baer and RRA as both offer a lot for the money. Good luck.
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Old June 27, 2008, 08:58 AM   #4
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Sorry, but I don't have any experience with Ed Brown guns. I do like my Wilson Service Grade.
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Old June 27, 2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Both are excellent, personally I have Brown gun's as I feel one gets a slightly better gun at a lower price point in the brown line as compared with Wilson. I'm talking the 1800-2200 range here. In this range I feel the brown offering are as good as Wilsons that are slightly higher in cost; and if you read their info wilson will at times charge extra for accurcy rating and stuff like that -- Brown simply states they build all of them as best they can...

To me this is the optimum on cost benefit for 1911's -- you can get a great gun like the specal forces that is very much improved over say a 1200 dollar factory gun; at the same time I can't figure the differacne between the 2k guns and the 3k or more "elite" from either maker.

I also have a hard tome figuring out Wilson's many seemingly redundant models.... maybe it's marketing which I shy away from... Wilson does have slicker marketing

The only thing I don't like about brown are his mags, I use wilson mags.
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Old June 27, 2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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After spending lots of time with both Brown and Wilson, I have been a Brown buyer for some time.

Wilson makes a GREAT product, but there are minor fine finishing touch differences between the two. Brown only makes about 500 handguns a year whereas Wilson makes around 1,700 to 2,000. If you look at a Brown next to a Wilson with similarly priced models (Say a Kobra next to a CQB) and you will see more attention to detail with the Brown. These are minute differences, but to me it's telling about the level of personal craftsmanship afforded the Brown guns. That's what I'm after when I buy a high-end 1911, that level of detail.

But if you want a high performance handgun, you will be well served by both.
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Old June 27, 2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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I prefer Wilson pistols to Brown's. First, I like the style/looks better. Brown pistols are just a tad too glossy (barbecue gun style?) or something. Secondly, I think Wilson has MUCH BETTER customer service than Brown. Have heard/read/talked to people who had problems with Mr. Brown and his son when trying to resolve pistol malfunctions. And even more reported problems with Baer. My money has gone to Wilson Combat for the five custom 1911's in my gun safe and will again if I decide to buy another.
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Old June 27, 2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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I like mine.......

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Old June 27, 2008, 07:11 PM   #9
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If I were buying a 1911 now, I'd buy a Les Baer before looking at anything else.

IMO they are better out of the box with less failures and issues than any other manufacturer short of a total custom build.
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Old June 27, 2008, 07:14 PM   #10
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IMO they are better out of the box with less failures and issues than any other manufacturer short of a total custom build.
That's what an eddy brown is....a custom build.
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Old June 27, 2008, 07:19 PM   #11
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Not exactly...a custom build has parts from various manufacturers.

Such as a slide from brand x, a sear from so and so, a beavertail from this company. etc


That's what I meant by custom.
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Old June 27, 2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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So a custom is putting a lot of different parts together to make a superior gun...most time when folks want superior parts....they say, "I got an ed brown barrel, etc."
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Old June 27, 2008, 07:29 PM   #13
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All depends on who is doing the work. Both the Brown and Baer 1911s are just as good if not better than a lot of the so called "custom" 1911s. I always thought it was slightly humorous that some of these smiths that people think are so great send their machine work out to Pete Single or Chuck Rogers.
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Old June 27, 2008, 07:36 PM   #14
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Well, lets say you had someone like Larry Vickers do your smithing work and recommend parts. That would be a solid gun once completed.

Some of these guns that are more mass produced, aren't my favorite choice.

I'm not buying a 1911 though so my opinion matters very little anyway.
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Old June 27, 2008, 08:02 PM   #15
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Fusion Firearms is a new 1911 competitor that is getting some rave reviews for their quality. The company was founded by the former owner of Dan Wesson Firearms, Bob Serva. He had purchased the company from Dan Wesson, but eventually sold Dan Wesson to CZ, the new owners.

Now he has started up an entire new company, from scratch.

Fusion will custom build your gun to your specs. And they have guns starting as low as $1,200

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.fusionfirearms.com/

They also have a very limited number of completed pistols available for sale on gunbroker.com:

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/SearchR...usion&Cat=3026


Here are some comments and photos by owners:

http://forum.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=187720

And some cool photos of a Fusion being built by hand at the factory:

http://forum.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=202565


This gun below is very close the Fusion that I have on order. Except mine is chambered in .45 Auto, has a fiber optic front sight, and has a standard 5" barrel and slide, and not the extended 6" version show in this photo:

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Old June 27, 2008, 08:04 PM   #16
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Ed Brown is about as far from mass produced as it gets. Again, he makes 500 1911's a year. That's 1/4 of what Wilson or Baer turns out a year. Even the relatively new start up Nighthawk cranks out twice as many or more 1911's a year than Brown does.

Brown has long time, many family, smiths that build one gun at a time and not on an assembly line for speed. Each one is built from the highest quality parts made and assembled by highly qualified craftsman. Brown parts are accepted universally as top of the line, and many other well known smiths use his parts in their builds.

If you want absolute perfection, you can't beat Brown.

You hear more about Wilson because he's into volume and glitzy ad's. There's nothing wrong with that, it's a different business model than Brown uses. But Brown goes for quality over quantity, and his guns are truly custom in that they are all completely hand built.

I don't know where you get the notion a "custom" gun has to be built from a bunch of parts made from different manufacturers. Custom, to me, means a gun either built exactly to your specs, or a gun that's built from the ground up with every part hand fitted by a master smith. The former is exactly why I buy Browns.
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Old June 27, 2008, 08:16 PM   #17
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And that's why I never touch 1911s and stick to my HKs...
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Old June 27, 2008, 10:24 PM   #18
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I've handled but never owned a Wilson. I have one Brown and am getting another Monday. My Brown is absolutely wonderful. Technically, Brown may not be custom because you can't call them up and order different sights and that sort of thing. However, the level of detail and hand fitting is obvious.

When I decided to buy a high end 1911, it came down to Brown and Wilson because I wanted a gun that was more likely to function right out of the box and did not have to be babied. This eliminated Baers. They are fine guns and I may get one in the future. However, they are extremely tight to the extent that it is recommended that you don't even field strip one until shooting it 500 or more rounds. Nighthawks are more glitzy but not worth the significant extra money, IMHO. That left Brown and Wilson. I finally decided on Brown because I just could not see paying the difference in price between comparable Browns and Wilsons.

I haven't had to have service but just about everything I've seen negative about Brown's service has come from one or two complaints and I'm not sure there's not some customer fault.
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Old June 27, 2008, 11:41 PM   #19
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What I like about Brown is that they build a fighting handgun. Brown won't overly tighten his slide to frame fit because he knows it reduces the reliability of the gun without improving the accuracy in any measurable way. He builds his guns a certain way because he knows putting his name on them means something. They must work, and if they don't he takes it personally.

He also won't build a 3" micro 1911 for the same reason. The man knows 1911's and he is very opinionated. If you want a 1911 built by a master that will work in the most adverse conditions, buy a Brown.

If you want a range gun that can be had for less than a Brown or a Wilson and will put rounds through the same hole at 25 yards but needs to be cleaned every 200 or so rounds, buy a Baer.

If you want a 1911 that looks great but may have a few problems out of the box, but they will fix it and make it right... and it's the latest and greatest in 1911 buzz talk... buy a Nighthawk.

If you want a properly built 1911 that is better than any assembly line gun but isn't exactly as finely finished like a true custom... but will work when you pull the trigger, buy a Wilson.

YMMV
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Old June 27, 2008, 11:52 PM   #20
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And that's why I never touch 1911s and stick to my HKs...
I own plenty of HK's. They are fine, yet over priced, guns for what they are. Yes, they work great. Yes, they are well built. Yes, they are mass produced and mostly unrefined utilitarian pistols which serve a purpose.

I have lots of utilitarian pistols.

After 20 years of carrying around utilitarian pistols I decided I wanted to check out works of art that were also utilitarian. I guess making more money, maturing, slowing down a little in life prompted the decision.

I still like and use my HK's (and countless other makes of pistols) but none of them compare to the truly exquisite look and feel of a hand built classic like a Brown 1911.

If you think your HK can out shoot, out perform or otherwise "show up" a Brown 1911, then you're speaking from a lack of first hand knowledge.

I'm glad your happy with your HK(s). I am too, just not at the same level you are.

I also happen to appreciate the finer things in life and I can appreciate a work of art when I see it or hold it. As an added bonus, when that classic work of art can also serve a useful purpose... well, it's win - win.

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Old June 28, 2008, 11:15 AM   #21
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Wilson makes a GREAT product, but there are minor fine finishing touch differences between the two. Brown only makes about 500 handguns a year whereas Wilson makes around 1,700 to 2,000
Quote:
Ed Brown is about as far from mass produced as it gets. Again, he makes 500 1911's a year. That's 1/4 of what Wilson or Baer turns out a year. Even the relatively new start up Nighthawk cranks out twice as many or more 1911's a year than Brown does.
I am not an expert on Brown's by any means, but maybe he doesn't get as many orders as Wilson or Baer. Now if he makes the guns himself then I can understand the small output that your responses. I think if you have more orders, then you will make more guns.

I do know that Wilson has people working for him, doing different jobs, but final quality is still HIGHLY important.

Last edited by txbirddog; June 28, 2008 at 03:40 PM. Reason: typo
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Old June 28, 2008, 02:20 PM   #22
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If you don't understand the concept of a "small shop" far be it from me to try and explain. If you think Brown is inferior to Wilson because Wilson is a true manufacturer vs. a gunsmith shop, then following your logic Kimber should be the absolute best made 1911 because they crank out 50,000 1911's a year.

I guess Chuck Rogers makes really bad 1911's given he only produces a handful a year... maybe 30. If he had more orders he could be as good as Wilson!

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Old June 28, 2008, 03:38 PM   #23
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If you don't understand the concept of a "small shop" far be it from me to try and explain.
Quote:
I am not an expert on Brown's by any means, but maybe he doesn't get as many orders as Wilson or Baer.
I don't think I said anything about "small shop[s]".

Let me explain my point, "number" of guns produced, in my opinion, does not assure quality. You see, I could make 1 gun a year and it would not be high quality!

The point I was trying to make is, that these shops all make "quality" firearms.

Kimber on the other hand, still makes a "good" 1911, I would just not put them in the same class as the semi-custom market.

I apologize for not being explicit. Jim

Last edited by txbirddog; June 28, 2008 at 06:37 PM.
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Old June 28, 2008, 03:45 PM   #24
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Sturmgewehre,

Very nice looking Kobra. It looks like a longslide. Is that just perspective?
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Old June 28, 2008, 10:27 PM   #25
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Brown vs. Wilson Combat

Thanks guys for the great feedback on my question about the two
1911's. Very good info indeed. Looks like you can't go wrong with either one.
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