Wilson Combat’s new EDC X9 is stupid.
There, I said it!
This isn’t to say it’s a bad gun, or that you’re stupid for wanting one ‘just cause’. That’s fine. This is America1. A free country. And you can buy whatever you like with your hard-earned money. I won’t stop you. It’s a nifty design from an engineering perspective.
But selling stuff isn’t just about engineering. It’s also about marketing. So let’s review what we know about the EDC X9 and then put on our business-guy hats.
The EDC X9 is a double-stack 1911 design (a ‘2011’), that comes with 15 round magazines derived from those in the Walther PPQ M2. It has an aluminum frame and weighs a bit over 29 oz. empty. The trigger pull should be between 3.5 and 4.5 lbs. And the pistol costs just shy of $2,900.
Now, a double stack 1911 screams competition. That’s where those pistols live. They are most popular in the Limited and Open divisions of USPSA (and IPSC, the parent organization). They’re very popular because you can combine a great trigger with a lot of ammo and plenty of weight. Other popular limited guns include the Glock 35 and the CZ-75 family (including derivatives made by EAA and Tanfoglio). Let’s see how the EDC X9 compares with them.
Caliber: The EDC X9 is chambered in 9 mm. Nearly all serious Limited guns are chambered in .40, to take advantage of Major Power Factor scoring, which is lower score penalties for hits outside the A-Zone of the IPSC target. This lower penalty is pretty significant, and as a result most serious competitors make Major, usually by going with a .40 gun, since it’s easy to make power factor in .40.
Magazines: Magazine length in Limited must not exceed the 140 mm gauge. In this length, a 2011 can fit 20 rounds of .40. Stock full-size .40 Glock magazines hold 15 rounds, and can be combined with an extender to also hold 20 rounds of .40 while staying under the 140 mm length limit. On a PPQ M2, you’re looking at 18 rounds of .40 with the basepad extensions, which is what we could compete with in an EDC X40, if there was such a thing. A little less than ideal.
Size/Sight Radius: Competitors don’t have to bother with concealment, so they tend to go for full size or long slide pistols. The EDC X9 is a compact. Less slide to work with. Less sight radius.
Further, at the price point you’re looking at for an EDC X9, you’re also looking at semicustom 2011s from guys like Brazos. They’ll be able to set up a gun the way you like. Want specific trigger tuning? You got it. Want a superlight slide and a superheavy frame/barrel/guiderod? No problem. Big mag funnel? But of course. The EDC X9 is a pretty specific package, and they don’t have the same kind of options as the hardcore 2011 builders. Entry level open guns are also price competitive with the EDC X9, not to mention ridiculous custom packages for Glocks and CZs. And practice ammo.
Okay. Suppose you’re not looking for the ultimate competition gun. Suppose you want a really good trigger. Maybe for carry. Maybe for more casual competition. Whatever. Well, you can get much better mag availability, and save a lot of money by looking elsewhere and having some modifications done. If you like striker fired guns, you can get some really great triggers in them if you know where to look. For example, if you start with a Glock, or have one lying around, talk to DK Custom Triggers for a phenomenal trigger kit. Professionally tuned, and serious competitors love these triggers. If you like HKs or SIGs (striker or hammer fired), contact Gray Guns. Get an awesome trigger. If you like hammer fired guns, CZ Custom also sets up some fantastic triggers in their guns. And if you’re heart is set on a real Single Action trigger, take a long, hard look at the SIG P226 Legion SAO. You’ll really like the trigger.
Any of those options will come in significantly cheaper than the EDC X9. They’ll have really good triggers. You’ll be able to afford a whole bunch of ammo to get to know your new blaster better. And some professional instruction so you don’t practice bad habits.
And yes, I know EDC is probably intended to stand for Every Day Carry. Very unwise. Get in a shooting, that gun is going to spend some time in an evidence locker. Are you going to want your $2,900 blaster to sit in an evidence locker for a while? Didn’t think so. You’ll carry something cheaper. And I’m not even talking about all those people who think something a bit bigger than a Glock 19 is ‘too much gun for carry’. And all of the above applies if you’re looking for a carry gun with a great trigger too. You can get a pair of matching, tuned pistols from the list above for less than $2,900.
So, whatever you’re looking for, the EDC X9 is suboptimal. Unless you just think it’s cool. Then go for it. Also, feel free to show off that you have more money than sense.
[Editor’s note (11/2020): okay, Internet randos, I spend an awful lot of time cleaning up garbage comments on this post. So, since most of you land here from God knows where, get fired up, and start mashing your keyboards to bang out yet another rage-fueled diatribe like so many before you whose comments I also unceremoniously deleted, I’d like to direct you to our comment policy: you are permitted to be at most one of rude and wrong. We, being the people who go to the effort of running this place, are allowed to be both. Take a look at the existing comments, remember that I’m a lot less patient about this post now than I was a few years ago when I allowed them, and save yourself the trouble of slaving over that assault on English and reason for an hour and so save me the trouble of sending it immediately to the trash can. -Fishbreath (i.e., not the author of this piece, but still fed up with its readership)]
- Thanks to The Internet, you might be reading this from someplace that isn’t the United States of America. If this is the case, I’m deeply sorry. ↩
Have you ever heard the phrase”you get what you pay for”? It sounds to me like you are basing your decision on the price tag and have never fired or even held the edc x9. If you prefer to buy an inferior handgun and want to try to build it up to the quality of a Wilson Combat, well that’s your prerogative, and good luck. I’ve noticed in your opinion statement that there is no account of you actually firing or even handling the handgun. Wilson Combat is a premier gun manufacturer that obviously isn’t for everyone. But to suggest that you duplicate the quality and performance that goes into a Wilson Combat firearm with some upgrades to some other firearm is simply the words of a novice. If you wish to be taken serious with your opinions in the future, please educate yourself beyond the price tag.
That’s the whole point. You don’t get what you pay for. A Cajun-tuned CZ 75, or indeed a Wilson Combat Beretta 92, is just as much gun as a tuned 1911 at literally half the price.
Parvusimperator owns a Springfield Professional, which is inarguably built to the same standard as the EDC X9. It’s a very nice gun, but it’s insane to suggest that either one is somehow on a different plane than well-tuned cheaper guns, and flies in the face of several Soapbox project guns to boot. If you like the idea of a well-crafted, carry-sized 9mm 1911, more power to you, but saying it’s untouchably good reeks of manufacturer favoritism, which we try to avoid around here.
Oh, do tell how “holding one” is supposed to make me think it’s awesome.
Does it jam less than a Glock 19? Nope. I can tune a Glock 19, customize the grip for me, play with sight options until I’m blue in the face, and I still haven’t spent half the cost of the X9. Value fail.
This is a factory gun at custom prices. At the price we’re talking about, I want to be able to spec out parts and slide cuts and build options, but I can’t. Go look at an actual custom shop like Infinity or Akai if you want to talk about options. And they’ve won major matches with their guns. Custom Fail.
I read some interesting replys from the poors. The EDC x9 is superior to any Glock and yes I shoot mine more than most Glock owners will ever shoot theirs. I have owned CZ’s from the custom shop, Langdon Berettas ect. Great guns. However, I no longer own them because the EDC X9 is superior.
Oh do tell holding one show you the difference between a volkswagen and porsche GT3. bullseye your talking to people who have never shot one so there talk out there ear. i can’t stand people who have never driven the car but they know all about. good luck.
Er, did you miss the point of the article? We aren’t saying a Porsche GT3 is a bad car. We’re saying that a Jetta is better for driving everyday.
I wonder how you can manage to hold a Porsche GT3 in your hand. Maybe you mean the little die-cast ones? The GT3 looks better, it’s true.
Your missing the boat the gun is made for everyday this gun is made to shoot just like the GT3 drive it everyday. warranty for life.
Carrying two bags of groceries does not an everyday driver make.
Nor does that answer the main critique. When you buy an EDC X9, you aren’t buying a GT3. You’re buying a bog-standard Carrera with GT3 badges at the GT3 price. If you’re going to blow $3,000 on a gun, you owe it to yourself to blow $3,000 on an actual custom shop gun, which will outperform the mass-market-gun-at-custom-shop-price six ways from Sunday and be made to your exact specifications to boot.
At that price point, especially in 1911s, you have to do something unique, because you’re competing on price with actual custom shops. Much as I like Wilson Combat, you just aren’t getting your money’s worth. Full stop.
like i said you never shot one and talking out your ear the same with the car carries a lot of groceries i can see you like talking about things you have no idea about custom shops what are you talking about.
If you don’t know what a custom 1911 is, I’m not the one who isn’t qualified to comment here. I tire of this exchange.
I agree. Of course, the loss issue can be negated with good self-defense insurance. If I wanted an expensive toy, the X9 might fit the bill. I carry a Glock though..
I know that gun nuts love an argument and usually will cry wolf on anything but their own. That said I am only going to state that I have in my carry case right now the following: Sig p226 stainless with the srt, a cz 75b performance high polished , a Beretta 92 performance , and my Wilson edc x9 5″ barrel 1911 with strong side safety only. The first three are excellent guns that I love, although that Brigadier slide Beretta is too darn heavy for me personally to carry. The Wilson is a monster for me. It is a wonderfully made firearm. FYI I have glocks, ppqs (great guns), S&W s. They are good solid guns but the Wilson is absolute boss. To call Bill’s guns mass produced is rather narrow minded and one can only question such a declaration. There is nothing that puts this gun under a Les Baer, Nighthawk, or Ed Brown in the 1911 class. If it makes you feel smarter or bigger to criticize the Wilson edc then go for it. You folks who are looking at quality can’t go wrong. JMHO. Everyone stay safe and God bless.
The thing is that you don’t have to hold the X9 to address the actual design improvements, and what it was they were trying to go after with the gun. You didn’t do that. Custom made 1911s do not address those things like a reworked extractor, the lug changes, and so forth. The problem with the idea that you can get anything you want in a custom is that in the EDC world there are a lot of people who are not qualified to make those choices. This thing is like a Glock in that it has a base design you have to go along with, but it is executed at a high standard, and is basically a unique package. 1911s are great, but there are a lot of people out there thanks to the Sandbox, who have different expectations from guns, and the 1911 needed a reworking to bring it up to speed. That is what Wilson is trying to do, but a lot of people will not see the point. Probably why Wilson also customizes Glocks.
Jus like when people buy a Honda and spend so much money In aftermarket upgrades when they could of just bought a BMW and just enjoy the ride
It’s more like buying a Caterham or an Ariel Atom instead of a Honda. It’s cool. It’s not practical.
I just have to comment on the Jetta being a better everyday driver then a 911 GT3…..it’s not
I’m not sure I’d agree with the GT3 in particular, but I think you could conceivably make a case for a more sedate 911.
Very interesting and timely exchange!! I am looking to purchase the EDC X9 compact however I am also considering the Staccato C2. The minute I held the X9 I fell in love…wow. I buy in to the luxury concept and the road less traveled. After all when you buy a Rolex you buy the intrinsic value with the quality. It’s not hand made for me but I don’t want to contact a luxury watch company to make a watch for me when I’m not a watch maker….I’ll rely on their expertise even if it’s not a one of a kind. And a swatch does keep better time!
So, I don’t know if I’m writing to be talked into or talked out of buying the X9? I just don’t want buyer’s remorse, you all understand.
Currently I have a CZ P10c and I am looking to step up. I actually hear better reviews on the Staccato C2 than the X9 for $1,000 less. What’s a guy to do?
If I were choosing between the two (and I probably wouldn’t be, mind), I’d probably go with the Wilson Combat option, but it’s for potentially bad reasons. In the competition world, Staccato/STI is kind of the entry-level option for double-stack 1911-pattern guns, and I trust Wilson’s reputation a bit more.