The Ultralight does exactly what it was designed to do — perform like the quality full-size 1911 it is and be more comfortable to carry.
During a call to John May at Wilson Combat/Scattergun Technologies, the subject of alloy-framed 1911s popped up and he said they had been offering this option, without really advertising the fact, for quite some time. “In fact,” he added, “we are about to make that more publicly known, and need a name to use. Seems like all the good names are already taken.”
We batted potential names about for a while without me tossing out a winner, and then moved on to other things. Alloy 1911s are my favorite because they provide the portability that makes the pistol more likely to be carried. Seems Wilson Combat got the naming thing straight because I handled their Ultralight Carry a few weeks before this writing.
What, you might ask, is the rational for a full-size 1911 built on a lightweight chassis? After all, alloy-framed compact 1911s abound. A fair question, and one I asked myself at one point. Then I realized that over the years the 1911 I had gravitated to was a compact configuration, which included an alloy frame. Reduced weight for all day comfort was my rationale, which applies quite the same to a full-size pistol.
The original Colt Commander had a 0.75 of an inch shorter barrel/slide mated to a full-size aluminum alloy frame. Even such a luminary as Colonel Jeff Cooper praised this configuration for the combination of portability and shootability.
The weight saving from an alloy frame becomes evermore important to those who choose to go armed more often than not, as gravity drags the heavier pistols down. Weight is one of the leading factors in the decision to carry a less potent handgun, or even ceasing to carry anything at all.
For those enamored of the full-size 1911 like me, and who feel comfortable in their ability to conceal the package, an alloy frame makes perfect sense. It retains all the positive attributes of a full-size pistol with less weight on the belt to interact with gravity.
For those of you who like to skip to the end of a book before you read the rest, here it is: a typically excellent Wilson Combat 1911 with all the expected amenities, capable of reliably delivering fight-stopping accuracy and power. Now that your anticipation is whetted, lets get down to the nitty-gritty.
The Ultralight makes use of a mid-length solid trigger, which broke at 3.75 pounds.
Pulling the Wilson Combat Ultralight Carry out of the gray cloth case bearing the Wilson logo, I was presented with no visible clues to the presence of an alloy frame. However, at a svelte 32.8 ounces, the missing 7 ounces (compared to another full-size on hand) was immediately obvious to the hand.