Wilson Combat EDC X9 Review - I'm Sorry Bill [2024]

Wilson EDC X9 Featured Image

In January of 2023, I traded into a Wilson Combat EDC X9. I've written three articles pertaining to it since then, leading up to this full review. Now, I've got about 2,100 rounds of ammo through the X9 as of time of writing, which is less than my previous firearm reviews. Well, I've got some reasons for that, which I'll elaborate on below.

As always, I am extremely transparent. This article is very much a follow up to my initial review from last year, so I'd recommend that you read that before continuing on here. In that article, I cover the build quality, feature set, and basics of the gun. Here, I'll be covering what changed in my opinion since last year, and why I made the decision to get rid of the X9.

EDC X9 Shooting Characteristics & Performance

This was the issue for me. As time went on, and I shot the X9 more and more, I found that it took a lot of brainpower to use well. The gun has a fantastic trigger, and fairly light recoil. Package that with a very grippy frame and a red dot, and it should be easy to shoot. However, I found that the recoil impulse made this a difficult gun for me to shoot extremely well.

I do the majority of my shooting with a shot timer, and in the form of drills. As such, I have quantifiable numbers to show how well I perform. Well, I was shooting the EDC X9 worse than my G48, a gun that is significantly smaller, has a worse trigger, a smaller dot, and weighs less. Not to mention, it costs significantly less than the X9. On average, my times were about 10-15% faster with the G48, with scores in the 5% better range.

Swenson & EDC X9
1911s are cool, but I just don't really love the shooting characteristics.

Why? Well, again, it comes down to the recoil impulse. The EDC X9 is a lot more "flippy", rather than a straight back impulse like a Glock, VP9, or similar lower bore-axis gun. That extra vertical movement made the gun more difficult for me to consistently perform with. This may sound like a familiarity thing, but I've been shooting 1911s a lot over the last 11 years. I'm quite familiar with the manual of arms, and the recoil impulse. The X9 is one of the first guns that I felt like I was outrunning with my skill.

That being said, it was a joy to carry.

Every Day Carry (X9)

The "EDC" in the EDC X9 name really is true. With a quality JMCK holster, the X9 was a very easy gun to carry. It was comfortable, concealable in many outfits, and held up well to kydex and sweat. 1911s generally carry well, and the X9 really is no different.

Now, the topic of carrying an expensive gun always comes up. I never really worried about it, as it was just another tool to me. However, I understand that many folks would have trepidation about carrying a gun that costs as much as a small car. I carried the X9 a fair bit to test the gun and holster, but it never became my "standard" gun. Mostly due to the size and shootability when compared to my G48, but the cost was a thought in the far recesses of my mind.

A good friend joked that the X9 was made to fit well in the IDPA size box, and well, he's right. It's also why it carries so well.

One of my opinions that hasn't changed is on the construction of the gun.

Build Quality

The EDC X9 is extremely well made. It is certainly a gun that harkens back to the craftsman, gunsmith era. The finishing is top notch, the fitment is great, and you know that you've got a custom made gun when you hold onto it.

The X9 is also very reliable. Aside from some magazine break in period, I had no issues with the gun running. I did a pretty extensive ammo test last year, with fairly good results at that.

All of that being said, you are paying the price for that level of care. With great craftsmanship comes great amounts of money from your wallet. With that point, I'd recommend checking out the used market for EDC X9s, if you want one. I got mine there, and see them fairly often for about a grand under Wilson's own pricing. Now, condition is everything, so that plays a part, but the X9 is a much better gun when you spend $2500 for it, rather than $3500.

The Verdict

This review is short and sweet. The Wilson Combat EDC X9 is a wonderfully made, custom-craftsman gun. However, I shoot a Glock that costs 4 times less than it much better. For me, I am driven by shooting performance, and as such, stopped enjoying the X9.

Does this mean that the X9 is worse than a Glock, or a comparable cheaper gun? In some ways, certainly. For me, I don't hold onto guns that I don't like shooting unless they have historical or sentimental value. Since I shot the X9 worse than a slimline CCW gun, I ditched it. While the X9 is extremely well made, that build quality did not transfer into shooting characteristics in my case.

Glock 48 EDC X9
I'm driven by performance, and when I shoot something better, I gravitate towards it.

Do I recommend the X9? Well, yes and no. I don't think that you "NEED" something like the X9 to perform well. Obviously, the gun was detrimental to my own skill. However, if you are a big 1911 fan, but don't want a 2011, the X9 is basically the only game in town (along with its brother, the SFX9). So, I'd recommend it if you want that 1911 feel, but with nearly 20 rounds in the gun.

Sorry Bill, but I'll keep shooting my Glocks.

Further Reading, Thanks, & Patreon Link

Below are my other recent handgun reviews.

Thanks goes to Paul over at AmmoToGo.com who provided the ability to do the self defense ammo testing last year. Without his assistance, that would have been a much less comprehensive article.

If you'd like to support me on Patreon, I've got the link for that here. Nearly everything that I do on Primer Peak is paid for out of my own pocket, and my content is not shilled or driven by manufacturers or companies. If you decide to donate, I'd really appreciate it, as it would allow for me to continue to bring you quality work.

About Paul Whaley 197 Articles
Paul Whaley is a guy with an interest in practical and defensive pistol shooting techniques with an eye for quality gear. He has received training from Holistic Solutions Group, John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research, Darryl Bolke, Cecil Birch, and Chuck Haggard. When not trying to become a better shooter, he can be found enjoying a Resident Evil game or listening to Warren Zevon.

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