Wilson Combat’s CQB Lightrail Lightweight offers a multitude of options.
When I visited Wilson Combat a few months ago, I really had no plans to order a pistol. But when I was there—surrounded by all those great pistols and, then, later, at the range shooting all those great pistols—my feeling that I had enough .45 autos began to erode. I’ll explain.
I’ve owned a lot of handguns in the almost 50 years since I began shooting, but very few have been custom models. I did purchase a pair of Springfield Operators built by the Custom Shop some years ago and have been very happy with them. I also purchased a pair of Gunsite Service pistols from a friend when he was getting divorced, and I carried and used them for a few years.
Some years ago, a group of friends and I ordered specially built 4566 pistols from the S&W Performance Center. I carried mine for a few years and found it, by far, the most accurate double-action pistol I’ve ever used. And I have had three custom Browning Hi-Power pistols built over the years. Since I carried a Hi-Power for 20 years or so when I did overseas work, I had discovered a few aspects of the basic design that could be improved by a custom gunsmith. One from Jim Garthwaite was the last custom pistol I had built prior to the Wilson I’ll be discussing here.
I know some of you reading this are saying, “You can never have enough .45 autos!” I did manage to drag myself away from Berryville without ordering a pistol, but a few weeks later, I was talking with /Gun World/ Editor Steve Quinlan about a possible Wilson Combat article. That gave me an excuse to order a pistol.
CARRY PISTOL PREREQUISITES
My preferences for a carry pistol differ from most people who carry. Because I write about tactical topics and have trained many tactical units, when I carry a belt gun, it is normally one configured to take a light or a laser. Although I have holsters from Rusty Sherrick and Don Hume that are designed to allow the pistol to be carried with a light mounted, I don’t normally do so. However, I carry a SureFire or other weapon light in my truck in case I want it. Also, if I am carrying a pistol with a rail, if I am somewhere that I can run through a shooting house or do other tactical drills with a light, I can use my own gun, with which I am familiar.
Most of my 1911 .45s with rails are steel guns, but I prefer something lighter for carry purposes. I had been using a Springfield Operator Lightweight or an S&W 4563 ever since I got my custom Operators and 4566. Both of those are out-of-the-box guns, however, and I decided it might be nice to have a custom lightweight 1911 pistol with rail. That brings us to what I chose to order from Wilson Combat.
Black Hills Ammunition
C. Rusty Sherrick
CQB LIGHTRAIL LIGHTWEIGHT
Action- SA semi-auto
Caliber- .45 ACP (tested), .38 Super, 9mm
Mag. Capacity- 8 rounds (.45 ACP)
Barrel Length- 5 inches
Overall Length- 8.7 inches
Weight (empty)- 36.6 ounces
Sights- Battlesight w/fiber-optic front
Grips - Starburst
Slide- Carbon steel
MSRP (base)- $3,145
Story and photos by Leroy Thompson