GUN GUY by Bill Wilson
Authors: Bill Wilson with Michael Bane
Forward by Ken Hackathorn
Introduction by Michael Bane
Back cover copy:
This is the story of Bill Wilson and his passion for life in the gun culture, and of his world famous company WILSON COMBAT. Bill is, what many people refer to as, a “self made man”.
Starting out from humble beginnings in the small town of Berryville, in northwest Arkansas, he has taken his passion for firearms and shooting and turned it into a successful competition shooting career and business. Beginning with a keen interest in guns, Bill has been eating and sleeping gun stuff since the 1960s. He is one of the rare breed called “GUN GUYS” and this is his personal journey and that of WILSON COMBAT, the premier custom gun company in America.
Also included are educational chapters, from Bill, with useful information on firearm selection, improving shooting skills, firearm maintenance and handloading ammunition. Additionally, photo chapters showcasing pistols built by the early pioneers of custom 1911s and unique deluxe pistols created by Wilson Combat are included.
This unique book is a combination of educational material as well as Bill’s personal biography and the history of Wilson Combat.
1 The Early Years Pg 1
2 The Drive to Excel in Competition Shooting Pg 12
3 Watchmaker or Gunsmith? Pg 35
4 Couldn’t Have Done It Without Them Pg 54
5 The Need for Parts Pg 64
6 The Complete Wilson Combat Pistol Pg 80
7 Life Beyond the 1911 Pg 95
8 Wilson Combat Today (2016) Pg 121
9 The Second Generation - Ryan Takes the Helm Pg 145
10 Blessed with a Wonderful Family Pg 154
11 IDPA - Putting the ‘P’ Back in ‘Practical’ Pg 173
12 Bill’s Favorite Guns Pg 197
13 A Passion for Hunting Pg 226
14 Still Shooting After All These Years Pg 252
15 Finally A Texan Pg 261
16 Firearm Maintenance Bill’s Way Pg 272
17 Handloader, not Re-loader Pg 289
18 Bill’s Favorite Handgun Training Drills Pg 296
19 Bill’s Buds Pg 314
20 Guns of the Past Masters Pg 338
21 Wilson Combat Unique and Deluxe Pistols Pg 358
Click here for Jay Langston's Review of Gun Guy
Click here for Rob Sadowski's Review of Gun Guy
Click here for Fred Mastison's Review of Gun Guy
"I received a copy of your new book GUN GUY. I always have several books going at the same time sitting in different places in the house and I grab whichever one fits my mood at the time. You have now joined books on Theodore Roosevelt & The Rough Riders, Frank Hamer Texas Ranger, and Jelly Bryce Legendary Lawman. Just got yours yesterday and I'm already halfway through it. Excellent read!"
GOOD SHOOTIN' AND GOD BLESS,
Forward by Ken Hackathorn:
Bill Wilson and I met nearly 35 years ago and have been friends ever since. In the world of the “Gun Culture,” Bill has become a powerhouse. While many Gun Guys hunt, others collect, and some are hard-core shooters, Bill Wilson is all three. Early on, we shared interests in handguns and the early days of IPSC competition, and we both suffered from champagne tastes and beer budgets, too.
Bill was a revolver shooter first before he became a 1911 pistol devotee. Like him, my first efforts were with wheel guns. We still disagree about his preferred taste in revolvers; Bill is hard-core Colt fan with a passion for Pythons. His collection of Pythons is impressive beyond belief. Just a year ago I found him the Holy Grail of the Python world, a 3-inch barreled Combat Python that was a factory new-in-the-box blue pistol at a great price in the Cablea's store in Missoula, Montana. While I readily admit Pythons are beautifully made attractive revolvers, I have never had much use for handguns that were as fragile and lame as the Python. Bill, as a hard core Python shooter, tunes his Pythons to make them hold up like a Smith & Wesson. And, believe me, Bill can shoot his Pythons like no one else.
His taste in firearms varies widely, and his rifle collection alone is superb. Not only does Bill love owning and shooting his prize firearms well, he is one of the most knowledgeable ammunition handloaders I know. If you shoot a lot, you better have either a great deal of money, or learn to reload. When Bill tells you what a good load is for a given cartridge, you can take that to the bank. The amount of ammo that Bill Wilson has consumed in his lifetime is well in excess of a 1.5 million rounds, and probably closer to 2 million rounds. As a real Gun Guy, Bill Wilson holds his requirements for precision and performance to a high standard that only a highly-skilled shooter would begin to understand.
When the term “hunter” is applied to guns it can mean many things. Walking into Bill's trophy room at his lodge on the Circle WC Ranch in Texas will quickly make it clear what Bill's idea of hunting is all about. Again, the best guns and cartridges or big game hunting is a highly educational experience when Bill shares his experiences afield. His passion for hunting wild boar and deer on his Texas ranch give him daily updates on what works and what does not. Early on, Bill became a passionate handgun hunter and has great success taking trophies with large-bore handguns in both Africa and the USA.
Unlike many shooters, Bill has always been driven to be a top performer in shooting competition. In the early days of IPSC he was on the USA IPSC team and represented the USA team in the World Matches.
The dream that most Gun Guys have is to make a living in the gun business. Wilson Combat is a top name in the firearms industry that is recognized as a source of super high quality guns and accessories. After 105 years, the M1911 pistol is as popular as it has ever been. In a land of “soul-less” polymer pistols, the 1911 radiates a level of class that any hard-core Gun Guy can really appreciate. Over the past three decades, Wilson Combat transformed from merely customizing and tuning Colt and other brands of 1911 pistols into beautiful and accurate weapons personalized to the owners taste, to today’s handcrafted marvels. Bill Wilson has constantly set the standard higher in his goal to make the Wilson Combat 1911 the gold standard in a fine 1911 pistol. While others make custom 1911 pistols as a business, Wilson's passion a Gun Guy and successful businessman take 1911 pistols to a new level. Wilson Combat’s 1911 pistols are some of the finest ever made. There are no M.I.M., cast, or stamped parts in these guns. People often ask me to recommend a good 1911 to purchase. I always respond with the answer, “Buy a Wilson Combat.” They scream value at their $3,500 cost. Yep, that’s the price of a really good 1911. You get what you pay for; pride of ownership, long-term quality, and great resale value never comes cheap. There are many fine 1911 pistols for much less money, but few are ever referred to as truly good.
Wilson has expanded his business to include custom shotguns based upon the Remington 870 and 1100 line in his Scattergun Technologies brand. He offers a complete line of highly-tuned and top quality ARs in special hunting calibers as well as standards like .223 and .308. Latest in his line-up is the Beretta M92 pistol built by Beretta to Wilson's precision specs and using Wilson Combat custom parts. Trust me, these things are nice. They reflect the standards that only a real hard-core gun guy like Bill Wilson would accept.
Lots of folks are into guns today, and in our society guns are cool. When you look at the experience and passion that Bill Wilson has invested in his life, business, and shooting goals, any real Gun Guy would be envious. When you see the name Wilson Combat feel free to tip your hat to a real Gun Guy that did it his way… and got it right.