Wilson Combat CQB Elite .45 1911 | Combat Pistol Review

The Wilson Combat CQB Elite .45 pistol is a 1911 package designed to meet the needs of tactical shooting professionals!

The CQB Elite is a top-notch combat pistol built to the highest standards, incorporating features commonly requested by armed professionals.

Wilson Combat’s CQB pistols are among the most popular pistols for operators on the market today, being used for both concealed carry and duty use. I personally recall working the retail counter at a gun store when they first came out. It was about impossible to keep them in stock since it was a pistol that many had been asking to see built for years. Long known for its higher end custom pistols, the CQB was a custom pistol at a price more attainable for the average person. It was pretty bare bones, had all the features you really need in a working pistol, yet still built with the attention to detail seen in custom pistols. Although not an entry-level pistol by any means, it was really no-nonsense and void of some of the gadgets many other custom pistols sported. It was a strong seller then and maintains that strength to this day.

wilson-combat-cqb-elite-45-bSerrations run the length of the top of the slide to prevent glare in direct sunlight, while a flared ejection port ensures reliable ejection.

Gun Details
The Elite really offers the best of the features typically seen in a combat pistol. Like all Wilson pistols, it is built one at a time to the specifications of the buyer. The basic package of this pistol has it all though—starting with a forged-steel frame and slide, it is constructed with Wilson Combat’s finest internal components. An extended magazine well is added, hand-fitted and contoured to the frame for fast and accurate magazine changes under stress. It is fitted with their new and very popular Pyramid “U” notch rear sight and a green fiber optic front sight. Having a good deal of time on these sights they are some of the fastest to acquire on the market.

The frontstrap is cut high with 30 lines-per-inch (lpi) checkering as well as the 30-lpi mainspring housing. This housing has a lanyard loop, a feature becoming common in duty pistols. The match grade barrel is hand-fitted using a standard guide rod. Along with checkering, the top and rear of the slide have serrations assisting with glare reduction. There are cocking serrations both on the front and the rear of the slide. It is completely dehorned for concealed carry and covered in Armor-Tuff on the colors of your choosing.

This pistol came in a very nice black lower with a gray slide and G10 grips that provide a very nice and professional look. All the parts were in a nicely contrasting black color. The package contains two of their proven magazines, in the case of this pistol the Elite eight-round magazines, all included in a really nice case.
Shooting Impressions

Instead of the typical test and evaluation, this pistol was taken to Gunsite for some real work. Gunsite Academy provided a 250 Pistol class in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 1911 pistol.

Although it included a number of special lectures, the training was the standard 250 curriculum. This is a solid class with proven doctrine, and expends about a thousand rounds over the course of five days. The majority of that is expended in the first three days on the square range. The last two days are split amongst some range time and time on the simulators. This school is not only a fantastic means to learn and or test your skills it is a solid test of the equipment you use. Shooting a few rounds on the range does not always bring out the weaknesses in your equipment. There is nothing like a solid pistol school to work out the kinks in any weapon system, or the equipment you field with it. Having attended many of these schools, it is not uncommon for “tested” equipment to end up on the bench or in the truck after the first day. Although a couple of pistols were used in this class at least half of the class was accomplished with this pistol. Expending about 1,200 rounds overall, close to 700 of those were fired through the Wilson Combat Elite.

With the exception of a box or so of frangible ammunition used in the shoot house, the entire class was completed using Hornady’s new Steel Match ammunition. Utilizing a 230-grain HAP (Hornady Action Pistol) bullet it is loaded into a steel case that is coated in polymer. It is designed for those that shoot more, such as competitive shooters and provides a cost savings of about 40 percent.

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  • Dave Dworak

    I absolutely LOVE mine! Best pistol I ever shot!