Wilson Combat

Wilson explains the genesis and development of IDPA shooting to…

Wilson explains the genesis and development of IDPA shooting to interviewer, 14-year-old Austin Proulx, who also competes in the sport.

About the author: Proulx is 14 years old and is an avid hunter, shooter, and IDPA competitor. Following is his exclusive interview for Combat Handguns with Bill Wilson, a founder of IDPA and manufacturer of some of the finest 1911s on the planet.

Question: With regards to your involvement in the shooting sports, who was the most influential person on the path to you becoming who you are now and why?

WILSON: There’s one guy who’s name I can’t remember, but he was an old bulls-eye shooter, and I would always see him out at the range way back in the ’70s when I started getting serious about competition shooting. I was out there one day and I couldn’t shoot consistently. This was the guy that turned the light bulb on for me that the basics still apply no matter how or what you are shooting. One day I was out there kind of down in the dumps and I began to think that it was my gun, so he picked up my pistol with my ammunition, assumed his normal one-handed bulls-eye stance and shot a one ragged hole group at about 25 yards, really letting me know it was me and not my gun.

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Bill Wilson’s early involvement with the International Pistol Shooting Confederation (IPSC) set him on the path to building some of the finest custom-quality 1911 handguns available today. Photo Courtesy Wilson Combat

Question: What was your first real job and how long did it last?

WILSON: Well I always had a job in my dad’s jewelry store, cleaning showcases, restocking shelves, wrapping gifts and things like that. My first real job was working for my grandpa. He was a carpenter, an extremely good one, so I started working for him in the summers. We were really close, but on the job I was just another employee. It was good because he made me work, it wasn’t just I showed up and got a paycheck. I learned a lot doing that.

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After starting a small gun shop in his father’s jewelry store, Wilson laid the foundation for the exceptional degree of craftsmanship found in the .45 ACP autopistols that now bear his name.

Question: Can you recall one critical moment or event that set you on the path to doing what you do today, and if so, what was it?

WILSON: There really wasn’t any one moment in particular, like I said I always knew what I wanted to do. I guess a couple big turning points were starting the little retail gun shop in the jewelry store, and then when I began to shoot the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) competitively.

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