My journey with Wilson Combat custom firearms began in 2011 while writing Gun Digest Tactical Shotgun. Every firearm I tested for that book as well as the several I’ve evaluated since have been great guns. Fast forward to the present day, and I find myself once again captivated by the innovation and craftsmanship of Wilson Combat. In this article, I’m excited to share my insights into one of their latest creations, the EDC X9 3.25” Subcompact—a true 21st-century masterpiece.
About the Wilson Combat EDC X9 Handgun
One of four double-stack 9mm pistols the Wilson Combat line now offers, the bushingless EDC X9 is a double-stack 9mm pistol, representing a departure from the traditional 1911 format. The bushingless EDC X9 is one of four models of double-stack 9mm pistols now available in the Wilson Combat line. Rather than a grip safety, a large external extra extractor is used. It reminds me of the innovative Star PD 1911 in terms of weight, feel and design features if not caliber.
The Wilson Combat EDC X9 seamlessly incorporates modern features, making it a true 21st-century 1911, also known as a 2011 gun. Available only in 9mm with a 15- to 18-round magazine capacity, the EDC X9 offers a 5-inch, 4-inch or 3.25-inch barrel. The 3.25-inch barrel configuration proved to be excellently balanced.
Barrel length: 3.25 inches
Overall length: 6.75 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Weight: 27.6 ounces empty
Capacity: 15 rounds
The EDC-X9 mates an in-vogue stainless steel tri-top slide with a lightweight T6-7075 machined aluminum “X” frame. For long-lasting corrosion and abrasion resistance, the frame’s chromium and tungsten underlayers are coated in the most advanced black diamond-like-carbon (DLC) finish available.
The slide is tuned for reliability with a wide range of 9mm ammunition and equipped with Wilson Combat’s X-TAC front and rear cocking serrations. The X-TAC serrations are non-abrasive and provide a solid grip. Rounded in an almost bobtail effect, the backstrap also utilizes the X-TAC serrations. My sample had a machined-in accessory rail, but the EDC 9 is also available without one.
The Wilson VZ/G10 Starburst grips are held in place via tension from the hammer spring as the frame is a screwless design*. The G10 Starburst pattern provides an excellent non-abrasive gripping surface that mates perfectly with the X-TAC front and rear backstraps. Wilson combat medallions are embedded both panels. There is an extended beavertail to shield the hand from hammer bite.
Wilson 9mm Handgun Features
Magazines, crafted in collaboration with Mec-Gar, boast a red plastic follower and smooth loading. Wilson offers 18-round magazines with an extended magwell, while the 15-round magazines have a Wilson Combat baseplate and fit flush.
The rear Tactical Concealment Battlesight from Wilson features glare-reducing horizontal serrations that blend seamlessly into the serration pattern of the slide. These fine serrations add to the precision appearance of the EDC X9. The WC Battlesight uses a U-notch (the best and fastest precision combat sight available) and is adjustable for windage and elevation. The front sight was a green fiber optics type. Yellow or white gold bead sights as well as Tritium sights are also available as options.
There are three Wilson Combat “Bullet Proof” controls: the skeletonized hammer, extended thumb safety and the magazine release. All are superbly positioned. The slide release is also excellently positioned. The 3 ½- to 4 ½-pound trigger uses a lightweight grooved pad and is extremely crisp and adjustable for overtravel. The trigger guard window is enlarged to accommodate gloved or larger hands and is undercut at the rear to provide more room for the middle finger. It’s extraordinary how much this relatively small modification to a 1911-style pistol frame can improve the handling and feel of a pistol design already renowned for excellent handling.
The match-grade hand-fitted stainless single-lug tapered steel cone barrel is equipped with a Reliability Enhanced Lockup system with a flush-cut reverse crown. It has a fluted chamber and exterior, that are aesthetically appealing with the slide locked back. The bright stainless-steel muzzle stands out against the black slide and frame.
Shooting the Wilson Combat
I was eager to test the EDC X9, especially as Wilson Combat sent along a quantity of their own branded ammo to run through it. Wilson included 9mm Lehigh Defense XD self-defense ammo topped off with the wicked-looking Lehigh XD solid copper bullet, as well as a box of 135-grain HBFN Remanufactured FMJ training ammo.
Due for my retired officer requalification, I chose to run the EDC X9 through the Ohio firearms certification as a structured test for the Wilson pistol. I started out the course using the Lehigh defense ammunition** for hip-shooting at 3 feet and progressed to one and two-handed shooting as I moved farther back to the maximum distance of 50 feet. A total of 25 rounds were fired.
The 90-grain Lehigh XD ammo has a factory velocity of 1,300 feet per second and does not require a hollow-point to create a destructive wound channel. The XD rounds entered the paper target, cutting a unique four-point “star” shape entry hole. Recoil was easily controlled. I used the Wilson Combat practice ammo for the remainder of the testing. The practice ammo sent its flat nose Berry HBFN bullet down range at a sedate 950 feet per second and created a more conventional hole.
Both rounds functioned flawlessly during the qualification course and beyond. Wilson’s claim that the EDC’s slide was tailored to function equally well regardless of the ballistic characteristics proved true.
Recoil with the hot Lehigh ammo was easily controlled. The fiber optic front sight was quite visible and easily and quickly popped into alignment with the U-notch rear. Following the course, test firing continued at 21 feet, turning in tight 2- to3-inch groups with multiple bullets in the same hole. It was a privilege to shoot this fine custom pistol. There were no malfunctions.
Should You Buy the Wilson Combat EDC X9?
I have been carrying the Wilson Combat EDC EX to get a feel for it in a DeSantis Vanquisher ballistic nylon inside-the-waistband holster. The Vanquisher is the only IWB holster I can use these days for long-term carry, and it accommodates a huge variety of pistols. It also keeps most of the pistol protected below the beltline.
The Wilson Combat EDC X9 is not just a source of shooting pride but a practical and versatile shooting implement. It feels nearly the same in the hand as a single-stack 1911. With its thoughtful design, impeccable craftsmanship and reliable performance, this pistol stands as a testament to Wilson Combat’s 46-year legacy. Whether for wilderness carry, home defense or competitive shooting, the EDC X9 is a magnificent companion for any firearms enthusiast.
Base price of the EDC X9 is $3,210.
*Read the disassembly directions in the Wilson EDC operating manual before attempting takedown.
**Stay tuned for a full review and clay block testing.