Wilson Combat SDS 1911 Displays Unmatched Excellence
It’s no secret that the 1911 has been the workhorse handgun for military and law enforcement personnel for more than 100 years. In the year 1911, Colt’s Manufacturing Company obtained the contract for what would become the world’s longest-standing military and law enforcement service handgun, the appropriately named 1911.
Since then, the basic design of the 1911 has remained unchanged.
Power, performance, and structural integrity have improved with advances in technology, but today’s 1911 is essentially the same weapon that Colt launched 104 years ago.
Yet now, the 1911 is reaching new heights. Bill Wilson, of Wilson Combat fame and Pistolsmith of the Year winner in 2002, has designed the ultimate 1911 — the Stealth Defense System or SDS.
Author George Hill describes some of the specialized features on the SDS in his article “The Wilson Combat SDS” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Wilson Combat gave the gun a number of custom features, such as a beveled magazine well, the checkering I already mentioned on the high-cut front strap, flat and checkered mainspring housing, ultra-light hammer and trigger, tritium-filled night sights and gorgeous, checkered, wood grips.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The finish on the SDS is also a one-of-a-kind Bill Wilson Armor-Tuff finish that starts with blast scrubbing the metal, dehorning it, then Parkerizing it. After that, the Armor-Tuff finish is sprayed on and heat cured at 300 degrees to ensure protection against just about any plant, animal, or mineral. The sleek finish is available in black, gray, or OD Green.
The specs on the Wilson Combat SDS are fairly standard for a 1911 with a few tweaks. The frame is shortened by one-half inch and the slide length is reduced by a full inch for an overall length of 7.7 inches. This reduction allows for an increase in discharge velocity. The width on the SDS is 1.3 inches and the empty weight is 35.6 ounces. Magazine capacity is seven rounds. The size reductions on the SDS, while not particularly noticeable, greatly increase the weapon’s concealability.
During range testing, the gun was flawless. The Wilson Combat website promised a 1.5 inch grouping at 25 yards and it was true to form. At fifteen yards, the SDS rounds tore through the target like a laser, leaving a hole slightly larger than the ammo. The gun performed nearly as well in low-light situations because the pale orange rear and the green front battle sights make lining up the target a cinch.
The downside to the Wilson Combat SDS is the price. Even though the gun is a top-shelf custom piece, the price tag still evokes sticker shock. The MSRP for the SDS is around $3500.00. That kind of money can buy a lot of other firepower, but if you’re interested in owning what may be the finest 1911 ever made that also happens to be an excellent concealed carry weapon, the SDS may be a good investment.