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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Near the end of March, I received my Wilson CQB. I had it done in all black because I don't like OD Green and the gun looked sharp. By day 3, I had bare metal showing around the muzzle from one trip to the range and some holster practice. Now, approaching mid May, I have 3100 rounds through the gun, a good amount of holster wear (much of my shooting involes from the holster drills, plus dry firing holster practice at home), and the gun has more wear on it than my father's police service S&W 38Sp he got in 1958, had reblued once in the 1970s.

Muzzle polish is pronounced. Wear along the corners of the slide is now down to metal all the way back to the ejection port. Corners of the frame, especially around the hood all show metal. There is finish missing from all around the back of the ejection port and slide top behind the ejection port. The beavertail and butt show a good deal as well. Even the trigger guard is showing wear from the holster. My holsters are Milt Sparks and are leather. I have the oldest looking, well taken care of 2 month old gun I have ever seen.

All that being said, the gun shoots phenomenally well. Sure, I have had a few failures to go into battery, but never with the ammo suggested for use by Wilson. My practice ammo, Fiocchi, is not on their list of ammo to use. Checking my records, said problems are less than 1 in 250 rounds fired. Fed HydryaShok 230 and Speer Gold Dot 185 hollowpoints feed great and have not bobbled once. Targeting is great as the sights are aligned as they should be. The night sights work very well. Strangely, the bluing on the sights seems to be holding up better than the Armor-Tuff on the gun.

I have found I like Wilson's grease for the gun. Any good lithium grease may work, but I am using the freebie stuff I got from Wilson. With warmer weather, I appreciate not having the oil draining down along side the gun's muzzle. It takes very little grease and even after 600+ rounds one time and 500+ another (the break-in), the gun did not go dry at all. I followed the instructions from the video as to how to properly lube the gun with grease and no problems! Cleanup of grease has not been a problem either, not anymore so than oil. I expect my little tube of grease to last me about 10,000 rounds at the current rate I am going, or about another 40+ gun cleanings and relubes. In short, cleaning the gun and relubing once a week for a year.

Other than the wear that makes my gun look like an old and tired pro, I could not be more pleased. Fortunately, I did not buy the gun for beauty and beauty is not a real issue for me so long as the lack of finish does not compromise the gun. It isn't a show gun, but it is a performace gun, no doubt. It is a sweet carry gun.
 

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I have had exactly the same experience with my CQB. I bought it, broke it in , and took it straight to a four day handgun class at Front Sight Training Institute. After that class and about 800 rounds, my gun looked like it was years old instead of days old, but it ran flawlessly and was a real joy to use in the class. The Armor tuff finish is not much, but I love the gun.
 

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Strange that your leather holster is doing this, as I have been presenting my CQB from BLADE TECH concealex for a month of so....about 1500 rounds of ammo, and ALOT of draw practice[dry-fire]. I have almost NO observerable wear. The top corners of the slide are showing silver about the size of a pin head.

I would have thought concealex/kydex would be harder on the gun than leather? I have carried the gun in my GALCO Royal Gaurd a bit, but have not don many presentations. I'll keep an eye on the wear and let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Strange, but leather is doing it. My Kimber Ultra Elite was carried for the better part of a year, several classes, countless holster drills at home, and it still looks good with no metal showing on the slide at all from the practice. Apparently the KimPro finish is infinitely more durable than the Armor Tuff.

I have traded notes with others and this pattern is not uncommon. I am personally just shocked by the amount of finish damage that is present. I contacted Wilson and they told me that such wear was normal! Great, my biggest enemy to my gun is my supple holster.
 

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You have to remember that the Wilson finish is basically a paint job. Its simply a spray and bake finish like so many others on the market. It does offer good rust resistance but only as long as the finish stays intact. As you can tell it isn`t very abrasion resistant. The finish is rather soft. I mention this to all my customers before they decide to go that route.
 
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The Wilson Armor Tuff fish is garbage it is probably the worst firearm finish I have ever used period! Hands down, I have had an SGT 870, M4 tactical, and CQB compact with it.
I took a Wilson/SGT 870 Police model into the jungle last year for a 10 day hiking trip to the amazon. It rained the first three days stratight and by the evening of the 1st day my SGT had nicks, scratches, and large patches of visible metal as the Armor Tuff finsish peeled off. FYI: after the first serious dunking of me and the 870 in deep water the surefire light stopped functioning. By the morning of the 4th day the SGT had bright visible rust spots almost everywhere, I ended up using a bottle of tetra lube and soaking a rag in the tetra then wiping the whole gun down at each break point. To the 870's designers they deserve credit as the Wilson treatment sucked, but the 870 continued to fuction I believe in part to the realtively simple action. Did I say sucked yet? $100.00 extra for crappy black [email protected]#@ Well Robar was nice enough to resurect the SGT and apply a satin NP3 finish and salvage an $800 investment.
FYI on the CQB, I purchased a compact black model in December 2000, it has been to Wilsons shop four times for feed/function problems and in March the dealer I bought it from took mercy on me and took the gun back and gave me a store credit to buy a new gun. Did I mention that the Wilson Armor Tuff finish is garbage?
For my money I'm going with Black T or a Glock at least Walt Birsong's Black T wears much slower and does provide high corrosion resistance, I think enough of it to have had my Sig P210 done in Black T.
 

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i had a sa commander model covered in black AT last june. after the first day of shooting (200 rounds) i could tell a huge difference in the finish for the worse! i have not sent it back for refinish, but will. will probably go for the silver coat and hope it is better the second time around!
 

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I had a gun done in black AT about a year and a half ago, and it is quite nice. The gun shows little wear after numerous range sessions and holster work. It's my understanding that AT was the hot setup for a little while, and even gave Black T a run for the money. In fact, that's why my gun has AT on it, as Wilson was able to beat Birdsong's turnaround time. I'm not disappointed, but I am now leary of AT and have gone back to Black T, which has proven to be consistent in quality.
 

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Ok, I completely take back the positive comments re: Armor Tuff that I posted above. It would seem that AT has a wear threshold, a degree of wear after which it'll just start coming off. I reached that threshold this week. I noticed that only about 2000 rds have cause small chips behind the ejection port and a total loss of finish a the top corner of the port. The muzzle is starting to wear down, and it's coming off in small chips and rips, not the subtle wear you'd see in bluing or Black T. I'm not sure if the wear pattern will ultimately add character to a very expensive and otherwise outstanding custom gun, or if it'll make it look like cheap crap. Armor Tuff gets a thumbs down from me. A friend also reported extremely poor wear characteristics from AT on his custom 1911, giving it a big thumbs down as well.
 

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My Wilson CQB is 5 months old and the AT is coming of everywhere! including the safety. it is nothing like my other gun in Black T that is 3 years old and only rubbed off a little on the slide by the muzzle. even though the AT has rubbed off it doesnt show any signs of rusting so maybe it seals the metal a little or something like that??

Black T over Hard Chrome is the way to go IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So will Wilson give us a discount on hard chroming if we all send our guns back since the finish isn't so hot? The guarentee Armor Tuff or they will refinish it. That's what all the adds say. So, we just ask for hard chrome instead of AT.
 

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i just talked to wilson combat about my at finish and asked if this wear is normal for the use i've put it through(around 200 rounds)! it is wearing all around the front of the barrel, the ejection port is chipping away, little scratches are showing in several places and the slide release and thumb safety are wearing off(and i take care of my weapons like they are gold). response: this is normal wear and to take a cold blue pen and touch it up in bad places. i told them i would check out the pen and see how that looks, then contact them again. do you guys think this will help or make my pistol look like some rigged piece of trash? should i try it or demand a new finish? (by the way my dad's m1911, blued in the 70's looks 1000 times better than my 1 yo at)!! thanks
 
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I would like to see how many of us have been "had" by this optional finish from Wilson. I tend to believe that they will want to refinish our guns in Black T at no charge if they want to avoid the negative reputation.
IMO,
I would not use the pen to fill in the bare spots as they are likely to look odd and if you were to want to sell an otherwise quality piece it may send the wrong impression..??

_________________
Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.
Thanks,
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-05-25 21:56 ]</font>
 

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Can you guys post some pictures of your guns with this finish, I have been thinking of a KZ45 and wanted this finish until I started researching the topic.

Thanks All
 

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Don't do it. I've got a CQB with the basic green/black colors. It is about 5 months old with about 2,500 rds thru it. Finnish is worn off of all edges, muzzle end, basically anywhere anything comes in repeated contact with it. Interesing thing is I bought this gun as a basic model and then added a Wilson Bulet proof slide lock lever and a S/A arched mainspring with magwell right after I got the gun. The stock finnish on these replaced parts shows zero wear. I wish the whole gun had the same finnish as the S/A magwell.
 

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Armor Scuff is for the birds. I cannot in my right mind understand why Bill Wilson would put such a terrible finish on his fine firearms. It is garbage. Wilson will lose his reputation if he doesn't address this problem.

Bob
 

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Can you guys post some pictures of your guns with this finish
While this view may not be the most instructive, it does reveal some common AT wear pattterns ...



... although this WC Classic was in a near-new condition when this image was taken, you can already see the bare metal showing beneath the front serrations and at the muzzle. Wear patterns on the opposite side -- particularly around the ejection port -- are much more noticeable, but I don't have a photo of this at the moment.

The point is that AT looks and works great, as long as you don't intend to carry/fire/use the pistol; otherwise, it will show accelerated wear at alarming rates. I'm extremely fastidious about maintenance, care and cleaning, so you can imagine how I felt when I saw the finish chipping off at the 500 round mark. This is the best finish available for a $2000 pistol?

The question remains: what is the best AT remedy? When you have a chromed stainless frame and carbon slide setup as I have, does it make more sense to just give up and hard chrome the entire gun, or is Black T a good alternative. (I suppose that I would prefer to maintain the two-tone appearance for now.) How have other WC owners dealt with the refinishing issue?

Chuck
 

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I sent Wilson email about how my 5 month old gun finish was all worn out and they sent me back a note to send the gun to the warranty dept for refinish. so it seems Wilson DOES stand behind their products.
I have decided not to send the gun because i dont want armur tuff on it anyway but i was happy with the answer i received from wilson.

shay
 

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Shay,

I have to agree with you ... Wilson WILL certainly make things right, but as you've implied, that's not a whole lot of consolation when their solution is to re-apply a coating that didn't impress you much to begin with. Sort of a Catch 22, you know? :sad:

Chuck
 

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It cost them a sell from me. I was looking to get a Protector but after the finish horror stories I decided against it.

I am rough on my firearms and I know the gun would show more wear then is pictured here and on other forums.

Refinishing isn't a solution. It should be great to start with.
 
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