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Wilson Combat Celebrates Its 45th Anniversary

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In 1977, champion pistol shooter Bill Wilson launched Wilson Combat from the back of his family’s jewelry store to support his passion for firearms. Forty-five years later, Wilson Combat is a fully integrated specialty gun and accessory manufacturer that employs hundreds of people in northwest Arkansas and at sister companies across the United States.

The company began with basic M1911 gunsmithing, parts and accessories, but quickly became a one-stop shop for competitors and handgun enthusiasts looking for high-quality service and gear at a fair price. Many of the world’s top pistol shooters became customers as business grew, and Wilson Combat branched out into defensive carry guns and gear, tactical shotguns and AR rifles. Today, it manufactures nearly every gun part needed for production in its state-of-the-art precision manufacturing facility, and with new in-house designs— like EDC X9C and partnerships with industry leaders SIG Sauer and Beretta—Wilson Combat firearms are more popular than ever.

A big part of that success is due to the fact that Wilson Combat has been honored to employ some of the finest M1911 pistolsmiths in the country over the years. These master craftsmen, like Ron Phillips, Jim “Henry” Wilson, Mike Campbell and Victor Tibbets, have worked for decades refining the M1911, becoming true masters of the platform and ensuring that Wilson Combat Custom M1911s remain among the most functionally reliable and cosmetically appealing available at any price.

“It’s hard to believe that the one-man gunsmithing shop I started in a 10′ by 20′ area in the back of my dad’s jewelry store 45 years ago has grown to a multi-brand enterprise with over 200 employees in three states,” company president and CEO Bill Wilson said. “It’s been quite a ride, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without our awesome team members.”

During the past 45 years, the company has also acquired other innovative brands, including Scattergun Technologies, Chip McCormick CustomLehigh Defense and, most recently, New Ultra Light Arms.

Article by GUY J. SAGI

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