View Full Version : Wilson KZ-45 and KZ-45 Compact

Dave T
09-27-2003, 04:43 PM
After 20+ years of carrying 1911s (Colt Government Models and Commanders) I switched to Glocks for a bout 4 years. This was prompted by the cracking of my third Commander frame (alloy). I didn't just carry them, I practiced with them too. Anyway, I spent 4 years and about 20,000 rounds getting used to the Glock trigger - remember this was after twenty some years of crisp, light 1911 triggers.

I had been intrigued by the idea of the KZ-45 by Wilson as it seemed to combine some of the qualities of the Glock (light weight and great duribility) with the shooting qualities of the 1911. Last November I got a chance to purchase a very slightly used KZ-45 at a good price and jumped on it. The crisp, clean trigger pull was like coming home. In my first 150 round shooting session I surpassed what I had been doing with the Glock 21, 30 & 36 (yea, I'm kind of devoted to the 45 ACP). I was so impressed with the perfromance of the KZ full size (5" barrel) I ordered the Compact version from Wilson. It came in August and has become my daily carry gun.

I have now put 4000 rounds through the full size KZ and very close to 1000 through the Compact KZ. They have performed as well as any handgun I have owned and I am so impressed I recommend them to anyone looking for a lighter weight 1911 that will hold up to a lot of shooting.

Besides the polymer frame with the molded in stainless sub-frame (to hold all the pins, rails, etc) there are three features that I think are worth mentioning. First is the external extractor. Over on the 1911 Forum there is constant talk about "tuning extractors". This one will never need tuning. Maybe the tension spring will someday need to be replaced but that's probably it. Second, the ejector is a fixed part of the sub-frame, not pinned in place. I've had any number of ejectors work loose on traditional 1911 with a lot of shooting. Third, the plunger tube is molded into the polymer frame and can't come loose. I've had them loosen on 1911s too.

Many people want to know how this grip feels. The best way I can describe it is that the front is about like a Glock 17/22/31. The back is pure 1911 (with a flat mainspring housing). It really is no wider than a standard 1911's stocks at the widest point, just a little blockier.

If you ever git a chance to shoot one, try it. You may not like it, but then you just might! Oh, and it is the most inexpensive model in Wilson's catalog.

Bill Lance
09-28-2003, 12:52 PM
Do holsters for the standard 1911 work? I feel sure mag carriers would not. Does anyone know who makes holsters/mag carriers for the KZ??



Dave T
09-28-2003, 03:50 PM
The trigger guard and dust cover of the KZ is slightly thicker than a metal 1911 so tight fitting, moulded holsters may not work. When I got mine I initially used a Wilson Tactical/Practical purchased several years ago for a Colt Government Model. By loosening the tension screw all the way I could make due with the KZ.
My first made to order holster came from Blade-Tech. It is one of their standard belt models (straight drop) and it works as well as any on the blet holser could. It was made for the KZ.
When I got the Compact I initially carried it in a well worn Milt Sparks Executive Companion made for a Commander. It also fit in an old Sparks SSII. It did not fit in the Kydex Commander holster I have from Sidearmor. Their holsters are just too precisely moulded. I now have a Blade-Tech IWB made for the KZ-45 Compact and carry it daily.
Ken Brown up in Utah told me on another board he had talked to the people at Sparks and they were gearing up to make holsters for the KZ. There may be others as well. I'm well served with the two Blade-Techs I have now.

Bill Lance
09-28-2003, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the info!!

09-28-2003, 10:44 PM
The first time I shot one was about three years ago and it was weird. I had been carrying either a Kimber or Glock 21 and the flex of the KZ frame made the recoil impulse a cross of the two guns.

The trigger is absolutely great, and I liked the pointability of the KZ.

Needless to say I picked one up. Very nice.