Wilson Combat has long been known for its custom 1911 pistols, and they make a number of them to suit just about any need. Most are chambered in .45 ACP, but many are available in 9mm, .38 Super, and even 10mm calibers. One look at their site and you’ll notice that 30 different models are offered. Given that each pistol is put together by hand and tested prior to being shipped out, the choices are pretty significant.

The vast majority of their pistols are either compact or larger, but Wilson does offer a few pistols that could be carried in a pocket. Bill Wilson has always prized reliability in his pistols. This is one of the reasons Wilson does not offer a .45 ACP pistol in a barrel length shorter than 4 inches. Many 1911 pistols chambered in .45 ACP with barrel lengths shorter than 4 inches suffer from reliability issues—something Bill will not tolerate. In order to maintain the highest standards, Wilson Combat offers a great alternative to a compact .45 ACP 1911 pistol.

Chambered in 9mm, the Sentinel line of pistols is their smallest and most compact Wilson Combat offers. Built to the highest standards, they are put together one at a time, by hand, and above all, they’re reliable. They easily have some of the nicest features available in a 1911 pistol without regard to size.


The Sentinel offers maximum concealment while providing excellent accuracy and reliability. Utilizing an aluminum frame and a 3.5-inch carbon-steel slide, it is a half an inch shorter than a compact 1911 pistol. The barrel is match-grade, stainless, coned, and measures 3.5 inches. Like all Wilson pistols, it is hand-fit for precise accuracy. The frame is cut high and checkered at 30 LPI (lines per inch). The Sentinel sports a high-ride beavertail safety as well as a tactical thumb safety. The trigger pull is a crisp 3.5 pounds. A Battlesight U-notch rear and fiber-optic front sight blade are standard. The entire pistol is cut and melted for clean and comfortable carry. Carrying 8+1 rounds of 9mm, it’s an excellent concealed carry pistol.

Ms. Sentinel

The Ms. Sentinel was designed with the special needs of the female shooter in mind. With 30-plus years of building custom pistols, Wilson Combat has had many requests for these features. Built from their shortest frame, the Ms. Sentinel is one of their shortest and lightest pistols. The concealment beavertail, grip safety, and hammer are used to keep it controllable yet smaller. The frame includes 30 LPI checkering as well as a round butt and contoured magazine well. The slide stop is nicely countersunk, making for a really smooth frame.

The 3.5-inch match-grade barrel is fluted for lighter weight, and it’s hand-fit into the carbon-steel slide for reliability and accuracy. The slide has 30 LPI serrations on top to protect from glare and a set of Tactical Combat Pyramid sights are installed. Both the front and rear utilize tritium inserts. The cocobolo starburst grips round out the package, providing a really nice and professional look. A short trigger is great for smaller hands, and Wilson sets it to a crisp and predictable 3.5 pounds. Given the effectiveness of modern 9mm ammunition, the 8+1 capacity provides for an excellent self-protection pistol in a very small package.

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