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Wilson Combat Ammunition Review (Page 2)
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By Dan S. Defense

At the range, I loaded the Wilson Combat 45 ACP ammo, into Wilson Combat magazines, which I then inserted into my Wilson Combat 1911 Tactical Super Grade. You can't get any more vendor specific than that. I loaded other magazines with Corbon DPX of similar weight and velocity, and then a few more magazines with heavier 230 gr. Federal HST and Winchester Ranger Bonded.

As I started shooting, the first thing I noticed was the muzzle signature, which was minimal and lack of smoke. This was clean shooting ammo. Why is it important? Because in a self defense scenario, at low light, or darkness, the lack of muzzle signature (i.e. flame and smoke) can mean the difference between life, and death. And it also makes cleaning easier, which is great given the fact that you'll shoot more in the range, than in gunfights.

Shot to shot consistency, which in this case means felt recoil and accuracy, was superb. I was able to shoot tight groups at 15 yards and 20 yards, by using my typical combat grip. I did notice that the Wilson Combat sights were easier to use at longer distances, when compared to the XS 24/7 Big Dot sights which works much better at 12 yards to contact distances. One unrelated lesson was the need to install XS sights on my Wilson Combat Super Grade.

I then transitioned to the Corbon DPX. I noticed that muzzle signature was a bit stronger than the Wilson ammo. Recoil felt a bit snappier, and I only call it out for completeness, since it wasn't a big difference. Accuracy was superb, and the Wilson 1911 liked the Corbon ammo as much as the Wilson ammo. Read this as the process of loading, firing and ejecting each and every round.

I then loaded one magazine, and staggered the cartridges with +P 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP, and +P 185 gr. Corbon DPX. There was some slight difference between the two. But, I wouldn't want to bet on my ability to distinguish between the two, as far as felt recoil, and accuracy. I'm a bit more comfortable in identifying the ammo based on muzzle signature, but not by much. I'll add that both types of ammo performed as expected-100%.

I decided to let me wife test the Wilson Combat 9mm +P 115 gr. Barnes TAC-XP. I didn't have high hopes. My wife, who's an excellent shooter, is very sensitive to recoil and noise. Despite the best available hearing protection, she won't shoot any of my 45 ACP 1911 handguns (she like the 9mm 1911), and even in 9mm, a few sample +P rounds didn't work well. I decided to just load a few magazines, and let her shoot them, while I observed.

I simply kept count of the bullets ,to know when the +P were being used. I mixed Winchester Ranger, Corbon DPX and Federal HST with the Wilson TAC-XP. The outcome really surprised me. My wife didn't flinch with any of the +P Wilson rounds. She later asked if i did something to the ammo, and I confessed, expecting some level of well deserved grief, but all she said was 'I want more of these. I like them'.

I was delighted, and I added one more item, to the 'order when resources become available' queue. But in all seriousness, that's a great outcome, and a very interesting one too.

So which did I prefer? Let's just say that my Wilson Combat carry gun, now has a loaded Wilson magazine, with Wilson's +P 185 gr. Barnes TAC-XP. My wife's is loaded with 9mm +P 115 gr. Barnes TAC-XP. I think that says it all.

The Winchester Ranger and Federal HST, weren't good as comparison ammo samples against the lighter Wilson TAC-XP, but worked well against the 230 gr. Hornady XTP. As expected all cartridges, for all makers, gave a flawless performance. In the heavier category, both shooter (me) and gun (Wilson) worked best with the Federal HST.

The 230 gr. Hornady XTP was my second choice, and felt better than one of my favorite rounds, the Winchester Ranger Bonded. Interestingly, in the Nighthawk Enforcer, the Wilson 230 gr. Hornady XTP, worked best. I found that fact amusing, and I very doubt it will make the front page, of Nighthawk Custom's website. I would have wanted to do additional tests here, but I had very limited supply of Wilson ammo, and I wanted to keep nine rounds for concealed carry (8 in the magazine and loaded in the chamber).

Rifle ammo tests are always fun. At heart I will always prefer rifle to handguns. I attribute this 'feeling' to my four years of service in the IDF, where my different rifles kept my team and good self safe from harm. I only wish that I had had such excellent ammunition, back then, when a stoppage of a bad cartridge almost cost me my life.

I loaded a full box (i.e. 20 rounds) of 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX into one magazine, and did the same with the 52 gr. Hornady BTHP. As expected, both performed flawlessly, but I would have wanted to test at least 100 rounds, prior to loading this ammo into my home defense rifle. As such, I fired all the Wilson Combat rifle ammo, and didn't bring anything back home. To emphasize, this wasn't done because any lack of quality-just lack of sufficient ammo for testing.

The Wilson Combat 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX and 52 gr. Hornady BTHP worked very well in both my test rifles. The Bushmaster ACR was more accurate with the Wilson 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX, and the Rock River Arms rifle preferred, and the 52 gr. Hornady BTHP. I would have liked to test this ammunition at distances up to 200 meters, but had to settle at the available 25 yards.

I was able to make touching holes with both types of Wilson ammo and with both rifles. The Bushmaster ACR was fitted with an Aimpoint Red Dot with 3X magnifier, which made shooting too easy. The Rock River Arms had an EOTech sight, and that took a bit more focus, but I still managed to get superb groups. I then took the Corbon Hunter, but it felt different than the Wilson rounds and while being excellent ammo, it didn't meet my testing needs.

The Hornady LEO TAP ammo, which I favor in this caliber, was a perfect testing partner for the 52 gr. Hornady BTHP. But I had a slight complication. Because rifle triggers aren't in the same class as 1911 triggers, and since the 5.56 is a very soft shooting round, I couldn't provide very accurate testing without an objective measuring device. Still, I think the Wilson worked better than the superb TAP ammo.

The difference was small and not sufficient to call for full replacement of all my rifle carry ammo. At some pint, I will get a few more boxes of the 60 gr. Hornady V-MAX for my home defense rifle. For now I feel very safe with the Hornady TAP ammo. Still, I keep an eye for 6.8 SPC ammo, and look forward to using Wilson ammo, in my Stag Arms 6.8 SPC rifle.

In summary, Wilson Combat makes superb ammunition, for both handguns and rifles. The Wilson Combat experience in designing, building, testing, competing, paid off in a big way. I'll simply state that my best self defense handgun, the Wilson Combat Tactical Super Grade, is now loaded with Wilson Combat ammo. If you are in the market for superb, high end ammunition, I highly recommend you give the Wilson ammo a close, hard look and see if their ammo is fits your needs.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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