There is a sad fact of life for those of us who live in rural America; big cities have big gun shops and small towns have small shops. A perfect example is the local FFL dealer that transfers the firearms I review for Athlon Outdoors. They’re a good group of guys and as friendly as they can be. However, to say they have a vast selection of firearms would be a bit of an overstatement. It is nothing new for the latest review firearm to be the first of its kind to enter their doors.

Over the past eight years, they have been able to handle several of the model 1911s being offered by Wilson Combat, but last week the guys were stopped cold in their tracks when an AR came in bearing the Wilson Combat label. As soon as I walked through the doors I was met with, “When did Wilson start making ARs?” As a gun writer, I love these questions. I actually get to act like I know what I’m talking about.

RELATED STORY: Is the Wilson Combat Pinnacle Pistol Really Worth $8K?

Wilson Combat began in 1977 and is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. The manufacturer’s first venture in expanding its business profile began in the year 2000 when Wilson introduced its re-creation of Remington 870 shotguns. Wilson followed shortly with its first ARs in 2001.

I doubt anyone would question the quality of a Wilson Combat 1911, but you may wonder how the Wilson Combat rifles and shotguns rate.

I can safely say that they are the best on the market. That isn’t me being nice or just trying to make them happy. It is a knowledge of the process Wilson Combat goes through before they turn out a product.

Wilson Combat studies the operation of each firearm and then review the function of every part in the weapon. Wilson not only studies on how it can improve each part, but how it can improve the interaction from one part to another.

Then begins the process of hand-fitting each part into the complete firearm. When you consider that the relationship between two parts may require a good gunsmith, you realize that a true craftsman is required when the interaction often expands to three, four, or more parts.

Wilson Combat Rifles

If anyone has any doubts about Wilson’s process, all you have to do is handle the Ultimate Hunter that had just arrived at the gun shop.

The Ultimate Hunter is one of Wilson’s latest designs. Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, at 50 feet the rifle looks like any other AR-10. However, once you’re close enough to read the barrel inscription, you’re more than close enough to notice the perfect fitting of every piece and part of the rifle.

The design criteria of the Ultimate Hunter was to create an AR-10 style rifle that would be lightweight enough to be suitable in the field for medium and large game.

Most companies would be content with an 11/16 inch diameter on the 22-inch barrel, but Wilson Combat goes a step further my fluting the barrel to cut weight. The same can be said about the machining of the upper and lower receiver to cut excess weight.

Every aspect of this rifle works to complete the design from the tip of the barrel to the carbon fiber butt stock. However, reliability and accuracy always come first on any weapon manufactured by Wilson Combat. I got my hands on the Ultimate Hunter at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Gateway, Colo. The rifle features both reliability and accuracy in spades.

Base price on the Ultimate Hunter is $3,345.

Wilson Combat Shotguns

One nice thing about Wilson’s 1911s and ARs is that it manufactures all of its own parts. But some may wonder about the shotguns. After all, the Wilson shotguns begin life as a Remington 870. However, this only makes sense since the 870 is one of the finest shotgun ever designed.

Of course the first thing Wilson does is to make a good shotgun even better. You have not felt smooth until you handle these shotguns after the Wilson Combat craftsman have tuned their actions. Then it is a matter of selecting just the right features as additions to each shotgun. The configurations of the aftermarket parts are selected to enhance the purpose of each model of shotgun.

My favorite model is known as the Standard. This model has everything you need on a defensive shotgun without burdening the user without useless additions or gimmicks.

After tuning the action and trigger, Wilson adds an extended magazine tube to increase the capacity to 6+1 rounds. That is all done without affecting the balance of the shotgun with its 18.4-inch cylinder bore barrel.

Wilson adds a combination of the adjustable Trak–Lock Ghost Ring rear sight and the ramp front sight with Tritium insert to aid in aiming, day or night.

The Hogue Overmolded Buttstock and a SureFire Tactical Forend, with its 200-600 lumen light, are a couple of the upgraded parts included with the Standard.

You will notice the Sidesaddle Shell Carrier, but it takes further investigation to pick out the high-visibility, non-binding follower, as well as the extra-power magazine tube spring and jumbo dead safety button.

Base price for the Standard shotgun is $1,540.

Final Thoughts

You may not find a Wilson Combat firearm in every local gun shop, but they are worth searching out. If you need help just check out Wilson Combat’s web site for a nearby dealer.

RELATED STORY: Mega Makeover: Restoring a Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade Compact

So now all of us know that Wilson Combat is about more than just handguns. Do the Wilson Combat rifles and shotguns compare to its handguns? Oh yeah.

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