Wilson Combat SDS - Western Arms
The Wilson Combat Stealth Defence System (SDS) is essentially a compact version of the Tactical Special, produced in very limited numbers many years ago, by Western Arms.
Sharing the unusual barrel design, the SDS is a SCW system gun and was produced as a limited edition.
In the Box
Lying in the familiar grey, with white lettering, box, the SDS is a smart compact 1911 style gun, with nice looking grips.
With the gun is the usual array of accessories; some BBs, an Allen key and the usual collection of paperwork.
Picking up the SDS, you will be struck by its weight. Although much smaller, it is about as heavy as a full size TM Hi-Capa and feels extremely solid and well made.
The finish, too, is excellent, as you would expect of a WA with the heavyweight material of the slide and frame looking flawless and the faux-wood grips being attractive, too.
With the slide racked back, the (almost) unique barrel design is evident and what really sets this particular 1911 Compact apart from the rest of the herd.
All the parts you would normally expect to be metal (sights, trigger, slide lock, outer barrel, safeties and hammer) are and the frame and slide are the heavyweight ABS/Metal dust mix material seen on most WAs these days.
OK, let's start with what is wrong with this gun; the magazine.
WA made an awful mistake by making the hole in the 'bumpers', to allow access to the fill valve, on Wilson Combat magazines too narrow to fit 90% of gas can nozzles.
Tanaka acknowledge that it is hard to fill their revolvers and give you an adaptor, but WA make no such concessions.
HFC green gas cans (quite hard to find in the UK) are supposed to fit, but some WA bumpers are deeper than others.
The only reliable way I can find to fill these mags is with the Tanaka adaptor (or something similar - Elite sell one pretty reasonably, so if you are buying from them, get one included!).
On the plus side, they do hold 21 rounds in SCW2 double stack form, so at least you don't need to reload them so often...
Right, having got that out of the way, I have to say this is my favourite 1911 compact of those I have tested so far (July 2005).
The unusual barrel design serves no real purpose on the airsoft gun (presumably it is very heavy on the real thing, acting as a compensator to recoil), but it is stylish and distinctive.
The rest of the gun is pretty standard WA 1911 Compact fare and very similar to the, also excellent, Wilson Combat Professional, with a heavyweight frame and slide, Novak combat sights and very good faux-wood grips.
The chamber is silver with "WILSON .45 ACP" stamped into it. The barrel itself is gloss black and the compensator is a match to the frame/slide material, being a matt finish.
On the left side of the slide, the gun is marked "WILSON COMBAT" in an outline font. The left side of the frame is unmarked.
The right side of the gun bears "STEALTH", again in the outline font, on the slide and ""WILSON COMBAT BERRYVILLE AR. U.S.A." on the frame, with "WA ASGK" just ahead, over the trigger. The magazines have Wilson Combat moulded into the bumpers (upside down on the right side).
The sights are Novak rear with a dovetailed in front post, both with white dots and very clear and easy to use. The right side of the sight is
marked "WILSON COMBAT".
The grips are very good looking fake wood, with the Wilson's medallions embedded into them. If you really wanted to, fitting real steel wood or rubber grips should pose few problems.
The mainspring cover is flat and features fine chequering, which is repeated on the front of the grip, giving a secure, comfortable grip with or without gloves. This chequering is mirrored, too, on the back of the slide.
The trigger is a silver, three hole blade, with 7 ridges and a travel adjustment hex nut. The hammer is skeletonised and black and moves with excellent precision (one for Tokyo Marui to take note of here).
Sadly, there is only a right handed thumb safety, bad for lefties, like me and the grip safety spur extends far enough to keep the hammer away from the hand, without being ostentatious.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the SDS performed very well for a compact, much as I have seen with many of WA's SCW 1911s equipped with tightbore barrels.
The best 5 grouping was 3.5CM (1.4 inches), with a tighter grouping of 4 and the other two shots in a tight pairing, suggesting I shifted aim slightly. All the shots were a little high of the aim point.
Over 10 shots, the SDS averaged 265 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas and .2g Excel BBs) indoors (at 19C). I also tested it with 134a, getting 215fps under the same conditions, about the same as the Colt Defender.
Trigger pull was 640g (22.5 Oz), which is a light-medium weight pull for a GBB.
The disassembly process, however, is very much like any bushing less 1911 (for example WA's own SVIs). With the magazine removed, the slide should be slide back until the slide lock can be pushed out of the frame. At this point, the slide, barrel and recoil rod/spring can be pushed forward off of the frame. To remove the barrel from the slide, you must separate the two halves of the recoil rod and pull the front through the front of the slide bushing. I found this impossible, though, as (unlike on Infinities) the Compact doesn't have a hole through the rod to allow you to leverage the two halves with Allen Keys (as shown in the manual).
This done, remove the guide rod bushing and the barrel and chamber can be pushed forward through the hole in the front of the slide.
Overall, I really liked the SDS.
It is a very good replication of the real thing (judging from photographs), performs well and feels and looks great.
Some will balk at the unusual barrel design, but, for me, it adds a distinctive feature amongst a sea of 1911 Compacts, which, combined with exceptional finish, lifts the SDS above the rest.
Weight : 900g (180g magazine)
Realism : *****
Quality : *****
Power : ***
Accuracy : ****
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