Wilson Combat Ammunition Review (Page 1)
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By Dan S.
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.
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
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.
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
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)
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
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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situation, as well as a great training tool. We'll review
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In-depth handgun reviews ranging from pocket guns to combat
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