THE 1911 PISTOL has experienced a pretty significant resurgence in the last few years. A pistol that was once maligned as “too aggressive” or “unsafe” by police administrators is once again gaining wider acceptance. With the exception of a
few states, and some less knowledgeable administrators and armorers this mythology has all but disappeared. Agencies are not only allowing the 1911 pistol as a personal choice, many are moving to them department wide. It is a testament to the design for sure. The 1911 pistol is rugged, reliable, accurate and has proven itself in actual gunfights time and time again. Tactical teams and high-risk units have used them for years with great success. Given the opportunity, many special operations units will take a 1911 over just about any other pistol. It is a proven design, and as is often the case, it is making a full circle back into popularity.
There is a reason this particular design has withstood the times — it aims and shoots naturally for most people almost without regard to experience level. Given various grip changes it can accommodate most any hand, and the slim design makes it perfect for inside the waistband carry. Given the quality of materials and machining today they can be built to incredible tolerances. Even some custom pistols today cost less than the same upgrades would have cost 15 years ago. It has really put the 1911 in a place where it can accommodate just about any task it is called upon to undertake.
During the initial onslaught of the polymer pistol, the 1911 enjoyed broad use in the police world, especially undercover, off-duty, or in plainclothes. This was especially true for agencies that issued 5-shot .38 Special revolvers to their detectives. Many wanted the extra capacity and the ability to use the venerable .45 ACP cartridge. This was especially true for those officers that found themselves in need of their pistol as something other than a desk ornament.
Key to the X-TAC’s excellent handling characteristics is the “X” pattern serrations on the front- and backstraps. The X-TAC features Wilson Combat’s iconic “Starburst” grips, featuring smooth grooves radiating out from the center.
The first time the X-TAC pistol came to my attention was while attending a Hog hunt at Bill Wilson’s ranch. Two other writers and I were invited to enjoy the hospitality and expertise of Bill and Ryan Wilson for a few days in northeast Texas. Along with the hunting some time was spent on some new pistols that were in the works. One of these was the X-TAC. This pistol is the brainchild of Bill Wilson, and at the time was mostly a prototype. It is a basic pistol with a couple of twists. The cocking serrations and the checkering were in an “X” pattern. The idea was to make a pistol that was designed to work in both wet and dry conditions.