Went to a Wilson and Nighthawk event last night

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by Green Dragoon, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    I'm an RSO at our local club. I "worked" at a Wilson and Nighthawk event where folks could handle and shoot about 20 various models of firearms. I personally shot a Nighthawk Falcon, Wilson EDC X9, Ken Hackathorn and Nighthawk Vickers model.

    I was carrying my Dan Wesson ECP and I have a few other DW's: Two Specialists and a Government A2 (blued). Each Wilson and Nighthawk were at least $2000 more than what was on my hip. I hate to be the "pearls before swine" guy, but I really didn't see what a customer was getting for an additional two grand. I saw a few more bevels here and there, but the overall fit and finish didn't seem superior in any way.

    In my career, I manage a team of product managers that oversee some very, very high-end product and I have a pretty discerning eye. Keep in mind, I am NOT a DW fanboy, in fact, I've posted some pretty critical things about them on the other 1911 forum. I was all set to see a Wilson or Nighthawk, fall in love with it and then dump two DW's to fund getting it, but I didn't see or shoot anything that motivated me to do so.

    It was a fun time and good experience to be able to handle such fine 1911's though. YMMV...just one man's opinion. I'd certainly like to see peoples take on my experience though.
    Dub, Jimhoag, Fred_G and 8 others like this.
  2. Mike0707

    Mike0707 JMB fan

    Apr 11, 2019
    Interesting. Just bought my first DW this month. In itself, it was a step up cost wise for me. I’m very happy with it.

    Curious to hear the opinions. In for the info.....
    colrhino and Green Dragoon like this.

  3. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    I have two DW’s, a Specialist Cmdr and a special order C-bob in 38 Super. They are very well built and do offer the best bang for the buck because they are at the threshold of the point of diminishing returns. I have one Nighthawk currently and it is excellent in every way. It cost twice what the DW’s cost but the improvements/refinements are subtle and for many, myself included, difficult to justify the cost. I will eventually get a few more however.
    Dub, Anvil_Head, SVG and 5 others like this.
  4. Gafanhao

    Gafanhao Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Dec 24, 2018
    This is how I explain it to the wife. Yes I can drive to work in our Honda Civic but I would enjoy it much better if I drove the BMW M3. If you don't care about the difference between the 2 you're better off saving some money, everyone is different.
  5. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    I understand your position, but I can certainly see and feel the difference between the two cars in your analogy.
    soverystout, DRD and colrhino like this.
  6. Mercury

    Mercury Active Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Well stated Gafanhao; I agree.
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  7. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    what are you seeing as the quality disparity between DW's and the others? This isn't a challenge, it is really an honest question which is why I created this thread.

    Oh...full disclosure, I certainly saw the improved blending of the mag wells in the Wilson and Nighthawk vs. my DW's.
    Dub, JM44 and colrhino like this.
  8. JM44

    JM44 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Feb 2, 2018
    it is nice that you got to experience such an event! Unfortunately I usually have to buy big ticket guns to see if I like them or not and then take a beating on the ones I don’t like...Based on your role I am thinking you are a much more experienced shooter than I am so I am not discrediting your experience at all. In fact I am rather jealous because I wish I shared similar experiences, it would save me a lot!

    I would just like to opine that I have owned many DWs and still own many WCs and NHs. To me, the DWs are a great value and gun. However they just do not fit me well and I do not shoot them well, compared to NHCs and WCs. I only shoot full size so I’ll use this example: the valors that I have had didn’t feel balanced in my hand, felt heavy up front, I need more of a high cut and The DW TS and grip safety do not suite me well. I also shoot them not as well, especially their 9s. Compared to a base CQB or Trooper (less than $2k difference) These both feel like an extension of my hand, are balanced much better, very comfortable TS and grip safety and I am right on the money with each of them. I also like some of the fitting and finishing better and it is noticeable, to me.
    Whiten, Ted A Mc, boatdoc and 2 others like this.
  9. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I think I’ll own a Wilson at some point. I just have to find the one that speaks to me.
    boatdoc and colrhino like this.
  10. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    I have a variety of 1911's and have long said none are with 2,000 more than a DW from a functional standpoint.

    However, if you what some extra details like a flattened slide top, changers, French border, etc it could be worth it and a nice treat on a gun or two.
    gps man, Gafanhao and Stogies like this.
  11. Stogies

    Stogies One more please!

    Aug 22, 2015
    I'm confused. You started a thread stating you see no difference between your Wesson and a couple of higher end guns and could not see why they are considerably more money and yet you are planning on purchasing a Wilson?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  12. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    "If I find one that speaks to me". Don't go all attorney on me. I have to deal with them at the office.
    Austin_TX, Dub, Fred_G and 4 others like this.
  13. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    I did indeed notice the slide stop on the Wilsons.
    boatdoc and colrhino like this.
  14. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon Active Member

    May 6, 2020
    Just noticing your signature. Man, you ARE an addict. Out of all the high-end brands, which is your favorite, if you have a favorite.

    Side note: I'm recently (last year) a big 9mm fan in 1911's. I use on for IDPA.
    colrhino and boatdoc like this.
  15. SVG

    SVG Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2019
    I've got more than a few DW's. I like them and they have performed well (at least the ones I've shot). I have one NH and it is certainly a better gun. Is it worth 3X compared to my DW's.
    In all honesty, probably not. But I like it and will acquire more over time.

    This assuming we don't get a wing-nut controlled WH & Congress. Then all bets are off.
  16. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    Ford is better than Chevy.
    Fight me Bro!
    Brianfede, simonp, Fred_G and 4 others like this.
  17. Babboonbobo

    Babboonbobo Avatar is back to my favorite things!

    Nov 18, 2014
    Screw you! Chevys better! :mad:
    Stogies and boatdoc like this.
  18. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    when I started shooting, I thought DW guns were EXPENSIVE( compare d to glocks they are , compared to sig and H-K--not). I stated back then that I would never buy a wilson or nighthawk. I felt as you did. DWs are probably the top tier of production 1911s. They feel great and shoot very well and are reliable. However , once I felt and then shot a Wilson and a Nighthawk, I got it. The feel of the slide(so smooth) ,the weight of the gun( easier to handle recoil with a .45 acp for sure), the accuracy( for me a big differenc e over my DWs at that time), the craftsmanship and the time spent fitting parts and assuring reliability, the feel of those triggers--so crisp) --well worth the extra cost IMHO. I was hooked. The car analogy goes far for sure. 1911s have all the same parts. The quality of the ones used in the semi-custom guns is better --but not too much over a DW.
    It is how they are put together that makes the difference IMHO.I like to customize my guns--always a rounded butt certain slide cuts, serrations, colors and treatments and of course ,the kind of sights I get on them matters.I also like the WC professionals as they are unique in the 1911 world it seems. Full sized grip and a 4" barrel. They are among my favorite to shoot

    I respect your opinion. DW guns are great. I am glad you love yours. Hopefully ,one day, you can spend some time with a NHC or WC and get to appreciate what they bring to the table

    and then there are the true customs.... that is a thread in and of itself custom vs semi vs production.....
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  19. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    we are ALL addicts ;) .. the folks here are not the kind to own just ONE gun :)
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  20. Nineteen-ElevenObsession

    Nineteen-ElevenObsession Active Member

    Jun 21, 2020
    It's all about perspective. But sometimes the differences can't be seen on just the outside. DW makes probably the best standardized production guns out there.

    WC and NHC just put a little more time into things both internally and externally, refining edges, triggers, cycling, etc. Matters to some, but not to all.

    It's basically the same argument as going from a WC or NHC to something like a Chambers, BEC or Chen. Are you getting several thousand dollars more worth of accuracy and reliability. Some would say yes, others no. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

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