How They Build a Wilson CQB 1911 – Behind the Scenes at Wilson Combat Part 4

I am here with Greg Martin, who’s a 14 year veteran of Wilson Combat. He’s going to take us through the process of building a Wilson CQB. If you order one, and it comes in here at the Berryville, Arkansas factory, this is how they are going to build it. Greg?

First of all, the kits are put together down the hill in the other building and then they are brought up here and the frame and the slide is put in with the kit. The builder will come in here and grab, from left to right, grab the gun that’s there, go back to their shelve.

Left to right is what’s the first order.

Yes, this is the first order to build. If someone walked in here right now, that’s the pistol they would grab right there.

Okay, and then you are going to take this back out to the CQB cell, more or less, okay.


All right Greg now that you’ve brought the parts kit out here, what’s the step?

Well, the first step is what we call our A-Op and Michael, Eric over there, Jared, Bobby over in the corner; they’re the ones that typically do that job. One of them will get the gun, they’ll bring it out here, they’ll go through the kit and make sure if it’s supposed to be a carbon frame, they’ll make sure it’s a carbon frame, all that. They’ll do the slide-to-frame fit. Any checkering that has to be done to the frame other than the front strap, they will hand check the trigger guard. Round butt, bobtail, they do all that, fit the barrel, the wing, slide to stop.

These guys are doing the meat and potatoes, getting the sliding frame together, checkering other than the front strap, like you said. Which is done on the machine when they frame is made.

Then at the B-Op operation, that is the extractor, the firing pin stop, throating, the barrel, chambering the barrel, the fed ramp, a speed shoot, if the slide, back of the slide needs durations or checkering, we do that. The mag catch, so as that, is what the B-Op operation is.

Okay, so once A-Op and B-Op’s done…

Then it goes to the Trigger.

Okay, it goes to the Trigger, so only a few guys are doing that, right?

We only have two guys over here in the CQB cell that does trigger work.

All right, Greg, I think that’s the next stop.


All right, Greg, where here at the station where the trigger job is done, correct?


Now, these guys were trained by Vick Tibets, I would gather.


Because I knew Vick, trained me back in the day, and he is a maestro at 1911 triggers.

Yes, sir.

He passed on his knowledge to these guys. Cool, now what’s generally, how long do they normally take during the trigger and where do they need to get it in poundage wise.

Well, typically unless it’s specified by the customer it’s 3 3/4 pounds.

Three and three-quarter pounds, and how long usually does it take for the guys to do that?

An hour, hour and a half.

Okay, now the triggers done, where do we go from there?Well, from here we go over to the prep station.

All right, let’s do it.

All right, Greg, where here at the prep station.


Okay, now take us through what they do here.

Well, we have 7 guys that are prepping and the prep they complete gun so at any one time there’re 7 guns being prepped over here.

Now, in prep for the guys, the people at home, means…

They’re getting the gun ready for finish, whether it’s blueing, armour tough, case hardening, Parkerization.

How long typically on just say a standard 5 inch CQB, one of these guy take prepping it and getting it ready for finish.

I’d say probably three hours, armor tough guns, probably three hours, a blued gun, probably more.

Once it’s done here, what’s the next step after that?

It goes to finish, whether with send it off, for blueing or case hardening. We actually apply the armor tough finish here in house and  Parkerization here in-house. That’s where it will go and until it comes back from finish, then it goes to, what we call final assembly.

Good deal, well, I tell you what, let’s head to final assembly since it’s right across the room and check it out.

Yes sir. All right.

Okay Greg, the CQB’s been painted, let’s say with armor tough and now it’s back here and it’s ready for final assembly.

Yes. This is actually a very important step, obviously, when they get the gun back and finished. The first thing they’re going to do is unwrap all the parts, the frame. Then at that point, they just start putting the gun together slowly, getting the slide onto the frame, making sure all the parts fit and even putting the sites on the gun here. Double-check the extractor tension, they double check the work order and make sure everything’s done. If it needed the rear of the slide serrated, they make sure that hasn’t been skipped over.

They go down that checklist and make sure everything’s been done.

These guys double check everything we do.

Okay, so once these guys have put the gun together and they’ve went through the checklist, double-checked it, where does it go from here.

It goes to test fire.

Okay. Let’s head there.

All right.

All right Greg we’re here in the test fire range, take us through what happens here.

This where all of our hard work inside the building is put to the test, all of our guns are test fired here. They use at least three different types of ammo, lead, hardball, hollow points, with each of the guns. Its hard work, stand out here and pound out 2500 rounds of ammo a day, you know.

Is that a pretty typical amount between a couple of test fire guys?

Oh yes, yes.

That’s a lot of shooting.

When you’re looking at 80, 100 rounds per gun, at the number of guns we’re putting out, it’s…

It’s a job.

No doubt.

Now, once they do this and everything looks kosher, they come back in here, and clean up and wrap up, right?


Let’s check it out.

All rig

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