Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25: Refined 1911 for Personal Defense By: Todd Burgreen


There I was in Idaho, with the Grand Teton Mountains in the distance, handling various Wilson Combat offerings at their range station. Attendance at the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous is something I always look forward to with great anticipation. 2022 was the 6th rendition. The Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25 had me thinking how far Browning’s 1911 design had come. Would the genius old John himself even recognize it? I have a feeling he would appreciate what Wilson Combat has been doing with it.

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The Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25 is Ideal for Concealed Carry

John Browning’s 1911 pistol has, beyond a doubt, earned the right to be called an icon. The plethora of current 1911 manufacturers now in the marketplace feature 1911s in shapes and sizes that would impress Browning.

One company that has constantly separated itself from the competition is Wilson Combat. Bill Wilson’s attention to detail and insistence on accuracy combined with reliability is at the root of Wilson Combat’s reputation for effectiveness.

The Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25.

I do not intend to rehash all the well-known 1911 design characteristics. However, the 1911’s frame/slide width makes it an ideal carry gun, and the single-action trigger promotes accurate shooting. Wilson Combat’s SFX9 is a strong contender for being labeled as the ultimate version of this quest.

Wilson Combat only builds upon bulwark 1911 characteristics with its SFX9, offering a high capacity 9MM without resorting to a hybrid polymer/metal frame.

I certainly appreciate the 1911’s history and proven track record of performance on the battlefield and street. The Wilson Combat SFX9’s slim profile wrapped around fifteen 9MM cartridges makes it ideal for concealed carry. Especially with inside-the-waistband carry techniques.

Someone who is a practitioner of concealed carry quickly realizes that grip length, overall weight, and width of a pistol are the key defining parameters for discrete carry handguns.

However, many will decry not having much success with finding a true compact concealed carry 1911. Wilson Combat’s entry into the compact 1911 market offers hope.

Solid Wilson Combat Construction

The Wilson Combat SFX9 I tested features a frame machined from solid T6-7075 aluminum. Likewise, it has dimensions and measurements more compact than even Officer-style 1911s, with some important Wilson Combat tweaks.

Wilson favors their metal frame approach over the two-piece grip/frame construction used in competitors’ high-capacity 9MM 1911-style offerings. The SFX9’s aluminum frame generates a distinctive positive ergonomic feel that will appeal to many. What could be better than a proven high-capacity single-action 1911-style handgun exuding the classic feel of metal in your palm?

The pistol can be field stripped without tools.

The SFX9 weighs in at 26.9 ounces empty and measures 6.75-inches long with a 3.25-inch Match grade barrel and 5.25-inch height. The 3.25-inch Match coned barrel does not require a barrel bushing as it is hand fitted to the slide. Additionally, field stripping the SFX9 is toolless.

The barrel and chamber areas are fluted, providing not only a unique aesthetic but also weight savings. The trigger pull is 3.5 pounds. The SFX9 benefits from Wilson Combat dehorning—removing sharp angles that could cause discomfort when carried for extended lengths of time or, more importantly, snag on clothing when drawn from concealment.

The match grade 3.25-inch barrel is fluted for weight savings and aesthetics.

Even if presented in bullet point format, the list of SFX9 features is too long for the space restrictions of this review. However, I do want to point out that Wilson Combat’s ERS (Enhanced Reliability System) is utilized in this build.

I encourage you to visit the Wilson Combat website to read the list of features for yourself. It is a great source of information detailing what separates Wilson Combat from its competitors.

The SFX9 is a sub-compact 9MM 1911 specifically designed to function with short barrel 9MM. Not a scaled-down model of a .45ACP Government trying to gain market share.

Running the SFX9 at the Rendezvous

At the Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, firing was at a relatively steady pace, with different shooters running the SFX9 thru its paces on plate racks, dueling trees, and other drills.

During this, all commented on the SFX9’s surprisingly uncanny accuracy. Even with its lightweight aluminum frame, the 9MM SFX9 was amazingly tame in the recoil department. Several associates stated disbelief that the Wilson Combat SFX9 performed so well, considering its compact size.

I experienced numerous 1911 models from different manufacturers. I admit not having much success with 1911 models utilizing short barrels and bushingless designs. The SFX9 had no such issues performing in a fashion that is a credit to Wilson Combat’s methods.

The natural pointability of the SFX9 was confirmed, along with the speed in getting it into action. A Wilson Combat Concealment Battlesight is mounted to the SFX9’s slide, coupled with a fiber optic front sight. The beavertail frame settled the compact 1911 naturally into your hand and provided a point of reference when drawing the pistol from a holster.

The Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25 uses a Concealment Battlesight coupled with fiber optic front sight.

Condition One “cocked and locked” carry typified by the 1911 allows a shooter to merely swipe off the safety and benefit from the lighter, shorter single-action trigger pull.

Wilson Combat offers custom-loaded ammunition and holsters to support the SFX9 3.25. The 9MM Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25 allows a user to indulge themselves by having something not so typical yet still retaining cutting-edge functionality.

For more information, please visit WilsonCombat.com.

Wilson Combat SFX9 Specs

Caliber: 9MM
Magazine Capacity:
15 rounds (two magazines provided)
Barrel Length:
3.25” inches
Overall Length:
6.75 inches
Sight Radius:
5 inches
5.25 inches
1.15 inches
Weight Empty:
26.9 ounces empty
MSRP: $2,995

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