Wilson Combat Supergrade Classic Hi Cap - Western Arms
"Oh", I can hear you now, "Another WA hi cap variant. Sure, they are some of the best airsoft guns around, but this won't be anything different, click another link"
But stay that mouse finger a moment, because this WA Hi Cap variant has something different to offer! It's something genuinely different in the familiar shell.
Looking just like a 5" SVI Ltd, except for the bushing style slide and Wilson medalions on the grips, it may not look remarkable, but the WA guys must have been working at the weekend to bring us this little toy and I suspect it's the one they made for themselves to play with.
In the Box
The box and its contents will be familiar to anyone who knows the WA guns.
Being a pre-SCW system gun, the box is plain cardboard with Wilson logos on the top. Inside there is a polystrene bed to suppport the gun. There's the usual pile of Japanese paperwork, including a Wilson Hi-Cap specific manual, and a loading tool, rod, hopper and tube (with the plastic parts in a fetching blue.) - Only that extra pink sheet hints at anything special.
This looks like an Infinity at first glance, with the distinctive all plastic grip and trigger guard and the metal frame, which, revealing its origins, still bears the SV logo. As far as I have been able to ascertain, Wilson Combat do not make a gun in this configuration, although it is possible it was a very limited run model - If you know it exists in real steel form, let me know.
However, the grips bear Wilson Combat medalions and the slide is marked Wilson Combat. There is also a very non-Infinity, 1911 bushing on the front of the slide and racking back the slide reveals a non-cone barrel.
Metal parts are pretty much as an Infinity, with the metal frame being matched with metal safeties, hammer, slide lock, outer barrel and recoil spring plunger (unlike an Infinity there is no recoil rod) and front and rear sights.
The magazine looks just like any other double stacker WA magazine and, of course, is interchangable with anything from the SV range.
The Wilson is a handsome looking gun, with the Wilson Combat medallions looking much better than the plain SV logos on the Infinities.
The frame is short, the standard 1911 length, as on the SVI Standard models and the slide features the lower edge cutout of normal 1911s and the Para Ordnance models. It features serrations front and rear to make racking easier.
Markings are generally good, if fairly sparse, but the SV marking on the metal frame will jar for some. The slide is mark "Wilson Combat" on the left side, in a script form, with "CLASSIC" on the right side. There is also a WA and ASGK mark on the right side of the metal frame, above the trigger.
The chamber is appropriately marked with "WILSON .45 ACP" (on the top of the chamber, unlike the Infinities), as seen on the other WA Wilson Combat models.
Pick the gun up and, if you've handled an Infinity, you will probably be struck by the lightness of this gun, especially without the magazine.
At first, it is hard to pinpoint where the weight was lost, but as soon as you field strip the gun, the lightness of the slide assembly becomes apparent. The slide/barrel assembly on the Wilson Hi Cap weighs 200g, compared with 260g of a 5" Infinity I have to hand.
You might also notice the non-standard appearance of the recoil spring guide; notably the large washer in the assembly. This has the effect of limiting the distance that the slide cycles each time. It will fully cycle, but does not travel far enough to engage the slide lock (You can remove the washer if you prefer the slide lock to work, but this will make the cycling action slower and rather defeats the object of tracking down this particular model).
The sights are pure Infinity Ltd, with a Bo-Mar adjustable rear sight and a dovetailed in, plain, foresight blade.
Some of the detail parts are slightly unusual on the Wilson. The grip safety, for instance, features a more pronounced 'beaver tail' than the Infinity Xcelerator pictured below and there are no grooves on the lower edge of the safety, either The hammer is also a different shape.
At the front of the slide, the Wilson features the usual 1911 style bushing (and no recoil rod, as such), unlike the Infinity range.
It also features a straight (rather than tapered, cone-style) barrel, unlike all the Infinities.
The bushing itself is metal and is engraved with "Wilson's" - This one, however, is mine!
Overall, the Wilson is a nice gun, which some 1911 fans will prefer over the Infinities for its more usual 1911 features. However, where the Wilson really shines is in the shooting!
The whole raison d'etre of the Wilson Hi Cap is Practical Pistol shooting. In this discipline, shooters have to engage a number of targets at varying distances, placing 2 rounds into each target area, against the clock. At the top level, engagement times vary by 10ths of a second, so if you can make a gun fire two shots quicker than other guns, a good shooter can gain an edge with it.
The trigger pull weight is 940g (33 Oz) which is a medium weight pull, but the travel seems shorter on this gun than most others I have tried (of course, the absolute trigger travel distance is very small on any gun) and it is certainly a 'faster' trigger than, for instance, the SV Infinities.
Rather than pure performance or pinpoint accuracy, this speed of action is what the Wilson Hi Cap is all about. In Practical shooting, speed is even more important than very tight grouping.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, my first 6 rounds were hopeless. The gun jumped around all over the place and it was very difficult to keep on target. The 4 that hit the target are shown as the squares above.
I took more care with the next six, shown as circles on the target, and was rewarded with a best 5 grouping of 2 inches (5 CM), with 4 in a group 1.5" across above the target and the remaining two close together in the centre area.
Finally, I fired of 6 more rounds (shown as triangles) and achieved a best 5 grouping of 1.6 inches (4.3 CM) with a notable outlier near the bottom of the target.
The gun is quite difficult to hold on target, especially when shooting quickly. This is probably due to the light muzzle weight. However, my brief testing suggested that good accuracy can be achieved with some practice.
Over 10 shots, the Wilson Hi Cap averaged 285 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas) indoors (around 16C).
The Hi Cap is a traditional 1911 in the top end, and takes down in the normal way for a 1911.
With the magazine out, the slide should be moved back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. The slide and barrel can then be slid off of the front of the frame.
The barrel bushing should be rotated 45 degrees anti-clockwise, it can then be removed. The recoil bushing will pop out, with the spring.
The outer barrel and chamber can then be drawn out through the front of the slide.
Overall, the Wilson is a great gun to shoot, but only worth a premium over an Infinity for those with the need for speed.
Externally, it is very much like any other Hi-Cap 1911, but its lightweight slide and recoil limiting buffer make it a remarkably fast shooting gun, ideal for Practical Pistol shooting competition.
Without hop-up it's probably not the best choice for skirmishers, but if you can find one, it will make a great basis for a Practical Pistol competition gun.
Weight : 910g
Realism : ***
Quality : *****
Power : ****
Accuracy : **** (with practice)
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