First Look: Wilson Combat 45th Anniversary SE 1911

A special edition pistol to celebrate the legacy of a legendary gun manufacturer.

posted on August 8, 2022
Wilson Combat Special Edition

Legendary gunmaker Wilson Combat is unveiling a special edition 1911 CQB pistol to commemorate the 45th anniversary of its founding. As a true lover of the 1911 pistol and a serious enthusiast, the founder of Wilson Combat, Bill Wilson, spent his early years customizing handguns using his skills as a watchmaker. Over time, he started making his 1911s in-house and grew to become the largest custom firearm company in the United States. They design and use their own parts and offer production, semi-custom and fully customized pistols to their customers. Nowadays, Wilson Combat works on more than just 1911 handguns, but the venerable design by John Moses Browning is still the cornerstone of Wilson Combat and what they are best known for.

The 45th Anniversary Special Edition 1911 is a traditional, Government-model, 5-inch pistol that evokes nostalgia via its late 1970s and early 1980s “customized 1911” look. Upon first glance at this 1911, you’ll notice the BoMar rear sight mounted on the slide in addition to the “old school” upswept beavertail grip safety that cradles a classic 1911 Commander-style hammer. A Swenson-style ambidextrous safety keeps the hammer safely in Condition One. The top of the 45th Anniversary 1911’s slide is coarsely serrated and the front of the slide has a staked-on target front sight—both cues reminiscent of times past. Hand-rubbed desert ironwood stocks adorn this pistol’s grip and are flanked by a 30 lpi-checkered front strap.

These 1911 pistols are built in limited qualities but can be had in both the classic .45 ACP chambering with an eight-round magazine in addition to a 9 mm version with a 10-round magazine. The retail pricing for the .45 ACP-chambered 45th Anniversary Special Edition CQB 1911 starts at $4,000, while the 9 mm version begins at $4,100. For more detailed information and all build specs pertinent to this special edition Wilson Combat pistol, please visit the company’s website at


Rico RS HD75 thermal optic
Rico RS HD75 thermal optic

First Look: iRayUSA RICO HD RS75 Thermal Optic

Setting the standard for other thermal optics with an outstanding resolution and a great feature set.

Shotgun Light Roundup

When it comes to home defense, a shotgun brings a lot to the party. Bring some light as well.

Controlling Our Fear

Having the ability to stay calm when trouble shows up takes time, effort and training.

First Look: Riton Optics Thunder Ranch LPVO

A new 1-6x rifle optic designed in conjunction with a renowned rifle training expert.

I Carry: Springfield Armory Prodigy 9 mm 1911 Double-Stack Pistol in a DeSantis Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry," we feature the new Springfield Armory Prodigy double-stack 1911 in 9 mm along with a Hex Dragonfly red-dot optic carried in a DeSantis Speed Scabbard holster.

Skills Check: Present Arms

We refer to the draw stroke as the presentation at Gunsite. It’s a better explanation than simply “drawing” the pistol, because it describes the act of presenting the pistol from the holster to the target or threat. In our “basic,” five-day pistol class we expect students to present the pistol and make hits on targets from 3 to 7 yards away in 1.5 seconds. Most students can do this in two or three days of training.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.