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Old 05-22-2005, 03:45 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 663
Wilson 38super mag problem

Having several 1911s chambered in this caliber and of course the only quality maker of mags is Wilson I have some reservations on the design of the internals. The tube body itself is acceptable and so are the follower and base plate. The problem areas to watch out for are the spring and retaining plate. Let me explain.
The lowest, bottom leg of the spring rides straight along the bullet shaped retaining plate. Most of the time it is under the tab/lip that holds the base plate. But, there is nothing to keep to keep it in that postion. Now the metal retaining plate which in turn also is suppose to keep the last leg of the spring resting on it is too narrow. It can "shift" side to side allowing that last straight portion of the spring leg to slip or slide past it tilting the plate and causing the spring to actually bend to contour around it. So now there is a metal lower retaing baseplate sitting on an angle and a mag spring with one or two coils bent around it and binding on the tube body.
I found this out at the range. Testing a NIB Wilson CQB 38Super along with two supplied mags and 10 known mags I brought. My 10 worked flawlessly but I could not get the 2 new one to feed properly. After carefull and deliberate disassembly this was what I found. They had been assembled wrong from the start.
Wilson needs to either put a dog-leg in the bottom last coil over the metal retaining plate or make the plate wide since it slides in and out anyway there is no need for it to tilt or have side to side movement with gaps.
 
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Old 05-29-2005, 04:33 PM   #2
riw
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7
38 Super Mags

I talked to the folks at Tripp Research, and they said they were coming out with a 38 super mag in the next 3 or 4 months. I have several of their 8 round 45 ACP mags, and I can't say enough good things about their magazine design. I see they just came out with an officer's length mag, as well, I don't have any of those....

At any rate, I have Kimber, Metalform, McCormick, and a couple of other brands I can't remember. I've had problems with all of the ones with the spot welded bottoms, so I recently switched to Wilson Combat, and have been okay with them. When Tripp comes out with theirs, I'll switch entirely to them, dump all the spot welded ones in the trash (unless someone wants the things), and keep the Wilson Combats as backups.

:-)

Russ
 
Old 05-30-2005, 03:10 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 663
Thanks for the heads up. I'm a;ways willing to try a better mousetrap. After several conversations with Wilson Combat on the subject I was told,

Quote-"The 38 Super(caliber) is a competion gun(CQB), not a self defense(gun or caliber) and therefore 100% reliability is not a major concern of ours. Just find what ammo feeds the best and stick with it."

Since they designed and produced a CQB in 38 Super, which I purchased as its intended purpose of a self defense 1911 I found their statement highly disconcerting. The CQB is most certainly NOT a competition 1911. Their own magazines are unreliable in it, because of the design hollowpoints such as CorBon will not feed at all. Neither will Silvertips.
So due to a poorly designed designed magazine oe is relegated to PMC 115gr hollowpoint which does feed due to the ball-like ogive or ball itself. Oh yes, Wilson did say they use Hornady XTP reloaded ammunition for testing but since I do not reload and will not carry a self defense load from an unknown source I am out of luck on that road.
All in all I am dissapointed In Wilson, AGAIN. This makes the third 1911 I have tried to make work from them and the third that fell short.
 
 
Old 05-30-2005, 05:59 AM   #4
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Location: SW Ohio
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That's a lousy attitude for WC to have in my opinion, Albert! Heck, I have three Colts in .38 super, and they feed everything I've tried through them just fine. (They've all been used as carry guns too, in spite of the inappropriate chambering.)

Two are Commanders, one being a Series 70 LW, the other a 1991A1 steel frame. The other Super is a Gov't 1991A1 that started life as a 9mm Parabellum. Somewhat pleasantly surprising maybe, all three run fine with my mags, which are a combo of older Wilsons and some CMC Shooting Stars.

How is it those guns work fine, and your CQB doesn't, I wonder? One thing's for sure: Something or other with the Wilson name on it is at fault, eh?
 
Old 05-30-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
 
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Brian,
I just checked the feed ramp angle and its quite severe. My micrometer is at work but eyeballing it vs my Kimber, both with integral ramps, the CQB's ramp angle is more steep. Couple that with the Wilson mag problem and rounds start nosediving into the ramp. Note-I have not had one misfeed with the Kimber. Anyone want to buy a Wilson?
 
Old 06-02-2005, 02:33 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 13
I have also inquired at Tripp's and got the same answer and time line. My understanding is that they will now be doing not only a .38 Super mag, but also a dedicated 9mm mag (I need high quality mags in both calibers and Tripp makes a great mag).

As far as what WC told you regarding your new .38 Super CQB, that is pure B.S. You buy a CQB with the expectation of it being a dead nuts relaible self defense weapon. It doesn't matter what caliber it is. If WC can't make it run reliably, it should never have been shipped to a customer. To call it a competition model and advise you to live with it's unreliability due to it not being a "major concern" of theirs is ignorant in the extreme. I guess that's WC speak for "never buy another of our guns again if you prize reliability because neither you or your freshly built WC weapon is important to us. Enjoy your new WC weapon, we sure enjoy your money" I'd certainly take their hint.......

I have several WC's and have been loyal to them for quite a few years dating back to when it was a tiny shop with Bill only doing custom work. But I recently switched to Nighthawk Custom for a variety of reasons. The slippage of WC's QC being chief among them. Another major reason is NHC will build it your way, and WC isn't at all interested in deviating from their little menu of options. Bottom line, I now have five NHC's (undoubtedly more to come) and I really like not only the weapons themselves, but far more importantly, all of the people behind NHC. In alternative calibers, my NHC Talon 9mm and my Talon 10mm run flawlessly, as do my NHC 45's.
 
Old 06-02-2005, 04:17 PM   #7
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Albert, I'll send you money if you will keep that Wilson. I don't wish to hijack your thread,
but Wilsons has screwed me so many times, it hurts to stand upright. Unfortunately, my Delta
likes the 47N Wilson mags the most, but at least my money when I find them doesn't go to
that company, since they aren't available anymore. I'm sure sorry to hear of your blues, though,
but I wouldn't take that gun if you gave it to me!
 
Old 06-02-2005, 06:10 PM   #8
 
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Posts: 458
Albert,

Sorry to hear about your dealings with Wilson Combat, unfortunately I had the same response several year ago myself (pre-pistol building days) and sold both pistols.

Relative to mags, I used to use the Wilson .38 Super mags until I tried the Shooting Star mags which have turned out to be much easier to load, seat on a closed slide with the mag full, and 100% reliable.

Best,

Ray
 
Old 06-03-2005, 02:57 AM   #9
 
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Posts: 663
All of you are right on about this. Its just not the mags, its the gun also. Specifically as stated the feed ramp angle. Also the machining of the rear of the chamber and underside of the ramp is quite crude(not the ramp itself, it is polished). I tried again but it refuses to feed anything but ball reliably. Everything else just nosedives into the ramp about 3mm below the chamber. A better mag design and shallower ramp angle would cure it, heck either one alone would.
Here are the emails verbatem from Wilson:

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 2:11 PM
To: [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: 38super mags and CQB



Hello,

I have a dilema. I purchased a CQB in38super. The 10 round mags do not feed reliably with hollowpoint ammunition. Since 38super is a semi-rimmed case the rounds do not stack evenly on top of each other and sort of point nose down. The integral feed ramp angle is quite steep and if the top round has pivoted to a more straight line than upward angle it nosedives into the steep feedramp. Ball seems to be the only ammo to feed reliably and PMC 115gr hollowpoint which is almost a ball ogive and is quite anemic for self defense. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Albert Shear

Response from Wilson:
Some hollow points will not feed well. I would have to say use what works well. I wish I had something better to tell you on this subject but not all bullets are created equal.





Thank you

Wilson Combat



-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 5:51 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: 38super mags and CQB



Sir,

Thank you for the response. I do have to say that I am disappointed in your product. I have been shotting 1911s for 30 years and realize the drawbacks some styles of ammunition can offer. However, that said, Your CQB is designed and sold as a self defense fighting tool. For it not to be able to feed the only hollowpoint ammunition available for self defense(CorBOn & Silvertip) is a gross miscalculation in my opinion.

I have a Kimber series II in 38Super that does feed the above mentioned ammunition reiably and has never failed with any style of bullet in over a year of shooting it. I have noticed its integral feed ramp does not have as steep of an angle as the CQB. Perhaps this allows that top round to slide up the feed ramp more easily than on the CQB rather than slamming the projectiles nose into it and causing the "nose dive" jam.

I do not think the answer is the bullets, its the guns design. Namely the feed ramp angle. As I stated previously, because of the semi-rimmed nature of the Super's case the rounds do stack evenly. They want to offset like a hi-cap and the top three or four rounds will not sit nose up. They will pivot nose down. The steep angle of the feed ramp is also a contributor to the problem. A projectile with a limited ogive like CorBon's Sierra will not slide up the ramp if the top round has pivoted horizontal. It will hang up on it. So will Winchester Silvertips.

I am sorry to say that a Kimber at half the price of your CQB is more reliable. I will be selling the CQB as FMJ is not a self defense round and it is the only round to feed 100%.

Albert Shear



-------------- Original message --------------

Some hollow points will not feed well. I would have to say use what works well. I wish I had something better to tell you on this subject but not all bullets are created equal.





Thank you

Wilson Combat





-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 2:11 PM
To: [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: 38super mags and CQB



Hello,

I have a dilema. I purchased a CQB in38super. The 10 round mags do not feed reliably with hollowpoint ammunition. Since 38super is a semi-rimmed case the rounds do not stack evenly on top of each other and sort of point nose down. The integral feed ramp angle is quite steep and if the top round has pivoted to a more straight line than upward angle it nosedives into the steep feedramp. Ball seems to be the only ammo to feed reliably and PMC 115gr hollowpoint which is almost a ball ogive and is quite anemic for self defense. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Albert Shear

Response from Wilson:

-------------- Original message --------------

We test fire our .38 pistols with a ball round and a Hornady XTP bullet that is loaded by us. The XTP bullet is the best hollow point bullet on the market in our opinion when all things are considered.

We do not sell the XTP bullet loaded in a case. It is not popular enough as a self defense load. We market and sell our .38 pistols for competition and anyone who is competing will have someone reloading for them. You will have to find a business that will do it for you. Check with your local shooting clubs.



Thank you

Wilson Combat

So a CQB is a competition pistol? I can see we disagree. Too bad, I won't be a repeat customer and this one will be sold.
Albert

And thats the end of my trying to reason with them. I've had four Wilsons. One when Bill was just starting out also, hand built. A .45 CQB that went down at an LFI II class and a TRS had to finish the week. A Protector Compact that was built on a Colt officers frame and Commanders slide 10 years ago that had so much vertical and horizontal play in the slide and barrel springing 5" at 25yds was normal. I tried, I gave Wilson Combat every chance. I'm done.
 
Old 06-03-2005, 07:21 AM   #10
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,141
What happened to the company motto: "Every customer will be 100% satisfied, no matter what."

Sounds like somebody wanted you to never buy from them again to me, I know, I've had the
same experience with them. I would sooner carry a Lorcin than a WIlson now. Sad that a 'Big
Name' in the shooting industry doesn't know or care that his employees are selling his business
down the river for him.
 
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