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Wilson Combat Ammunition Review (Page 1)
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By Dan S. Defense

Wilson Combat builds outstanding handguns and rifles. You can select a custom 1911, from a long list of possible variations, or get yourself a rock solid AR-15 in 5.556mm or 6.8 SPC. As of late, Wilson Combat started producing custom ammunition. As hey say on their website:" As makers of the finest custom firearms and accessories for over 30 years we have learned a few things about quality ammunition along the way. "

Wilson Combat manufactures handgun, and rifle ammo, for self defense, hunting and range work. To see whether Wilson Combat could produce self defense ammo on par with their custom guns, we ordered a few boxes of handgun and rifle ammunition for testing.

In this article we'll share our impression of the Wilson Combat ammo, as well as test results, and purchasing recommendation. I'll add that sales must be going very well, because I had to wait a long time before getting the ammo I wanted. I just checked the Wilson site and it appears they stepped up production and that most ammo is available.

Wilson Combat produces two lines of ammunition: Custom handgun ammunition and custom rifle ammunition. Rifle ammunition is only available in 5.56mm and .308 Winchester. I was disappointed to see, that Wilson Combat didn't produce any 6.8 SPC rifle ammo.

Handgun ammunition was more diversified and offered choices in 9 different calibers, covering all popular calibers, such as the .380 ACP pocket gun ammo, the ever popular 9mm and .40 S&W, as well as 357 Magnum, 38 Special, and what I suspect is their best selling caliber-the 45 ACP.

Wilson Combat is a successful company because they are highly focused on the end result , and end user of their products. In this case, I agreed their website statement which said that: "Great ammunition isn't just about the highest velocity claims or splashy marketing-it is about matching properly designed bullets to the appropriate caliber with painstaking precision."

We decided to test several products to get a good sense for the ammo Wilson Combat built. We ordered two types of 45 ACP self defense ammunition, since I carry handguns in 45 ACP more than any other caliber. We also got one box of 9mm, since it's a popular caliber and the one my wife opted to carry, and finally, we got two boxes of rifle ammo in 5.56, which is our chosen caliber for a home defense rifle.

As you'd expect from high end ammunition, the cost was higher than average but very reasonable. We like the free shipping that Wilson Combat offers for purchases over $100, since shipping costs always increase the cost for unit in ammunition, and can sometime make a significant difference between price paid, and price seen on the web.

What did we get? In 45 ACP we bought 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, +P 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, and 230 gr. Hornady XTP. In 9mm we got +P 115 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, and for testing our 5.556mm home defense rifle (which also takes .223 Remington), we got the 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX and 52 gr. Hornady BTHP. I would have preferred the heavier, 77 gr. bullet, but my rifle's barrel twist isn't sufficient to stabilize it.

I typically add velocity and force into ammo reviews, but in this case I won't do that, as each ammo mentioned here will get its own detailed review. will provide this for context and for those who must have these data-points for completeness: .45 ACP 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, 955 FPS; .45 ACP +P 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, 1060 FPS; and .45 ACP 230 gr. Hornady XTP, 815 FPS ; 9mm +P 115 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, 1200 FPS ;.223 Rem. 52 gr. Hornady BTHP, 2900 FPS; .and finally the 223 Rem. 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX, 2750 FPS.

Testing ammunition is always fun, since it entails shooting, and this was no different. The plan was to test some of this ammunition, and based on the results, keep some as self defense ammo in my carry 1911, and later order more ammo from Wilson, or, if the ammo wasn't perfect, simply use it all up in the range, and keep our self defense choice unchanged.

We started our testing with 45 ACP ammunition, but first some high level impression of the ammunition itself. All ammo was well packed, in a handsome Wilson Combat box, that had the caliber and velocity clearly marked. Each box, both handgun and rifle, had 20 cartridges in it.

Within the ammo box, cartridges were neatly arranges, and made no contact with each other, which meant it could be stored for as long as needed. Each cartridge had the primer sitting in the same depth, the brass cases looked good, and the bullets were shiny, and new. At the bottom of each cartridge you can see a stamp with 'Wilson 45 ACP'. We then packed our range bag and went to test a few of the boxes.

To make sure I compared 'apples to apples', I didn't bring my typical range ammo (e.g. Winchester White Box or American Eagle), but rather I brought high end self defense ammo (e.g. Corbon DPX, Corbon Thunder Ranch, and Winchester Ranger Bonded and Winchester Ranger T series). The Corbon DPX was very close match, and I figured I'd get a good (yet very expensive to generate) data set.

Test guns included a 45 ACP Wilson Combat Tactical Super Grade, 45 ACP Nighthawk Custom Enforcer (aka Larry Vickers model), 45 ACP Robar modified S&W model 625 JM, 9mm SIG SAUER P226R Blackwater, 9mm Nighthawk Custom special build, and for testing the rifle ammo I used a 5.56 Rock River Arms AR-15 and my best rifle-the 55.6 Bushmaster ACR.

I had so much gear to take, that I needed to ask my wife to assist, in carrying everything. This turned out to be a blessing, since my wife brought her carry SIG SAUER P229, and I was able to get an additional shooter for my evaluation.                    
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