Wilson Combat is releasing their take on the pistol-caliber carbine, an AR-style design called the AR9. Like a handful of new AR-based carbines chambered for 9mm Luger, Wilson Combat’s AR9 accepts service pistol magazines. What makes it stand out is that Wilson Combat has developed three versions of AR9: one for use with Glock-compatible mags, another for Beretta-pattern mags and one that uses Smith & Wesson M&P mags.
This makes the Wilson Combat AR9 the perfect companion to a huge number of popular 9mm service pistols. Extended magazines are available for Glock, Beretta and M&P pistols and the carbine accepts standard-capacity magazines in a heartbeat. Not only does this make it easy to stock up on magazines, in a real-world self-defense situation, it means a shooter can reload using the same magazines they keep loaded on their hip, console or nightstand.
Wilson offers the three models in several configurations including a full-size carbine and a compact pistol with different barrel lengths available for each. These are serious firearms designed for personal protection and law enforcement use; the fact that they’re less expensive to practice and train with is an added bonus.
See Also: We Shoot the Wilson Combat Beretta 92
Developed from the ground up the AR9 series is designed with durability in mind; blowback-operated ARs can be hard on receivers so the AR9 is overbuilt, based on their machined BILLet-AR 7075 aluminum design with a beefy buffer tower built to handle the direct force the lower will encounter.
The lower receiver also features an integral oversized trigger guard and giant flared magwell to make reloading easy in even the most stressful of situations. The lower uses standard AR fire control group components and will lock back on empty, a feature some pistol-caliber carbines compromise on.
The upper is also constructed from machined billet aluminum and designed to maximize accuracy. Standard or fluted barrels are the option. Wilson has a handful of barrel offerings ranging from 8 to 11.3 inches for their pistols and short-barreled rifles and 14.5 to 16 inches for their carbines. The barrels are Wilson’s match-grade and have a 1-in-10 twist for accuracy and stability across a wide range of ammunition weights.
Other accessories include a Wilson Combat modular TRIM Rail with quick-detach sling swivel sockets, a custom Wilson Combat Bravo Company Manufacturing pistol grip, a 5/8×24 Q-Comp flash hider and either a Wilson/Rogers Super-Stoc or a Shockwave Blade pistol stabilizer.
AR9 carbines and pistols use a proprietary Wilson Combat bolt with a large oversized claw extractor and oversized plunger ejector to ensure reliability with all ammo types. The AR9 was designed to shoot the full spectrum of ammo from cheap plinking and training ammunition to overpressure 9mm hollow point rounds.
“We have extensively tested the AR9 and it has exceeded my expectations for reliability and accuracy,” said Bill Wilson, Wilson Combat president. “When the AR9 is mated with a quality red dot sight and weapon light it is an exceptional training and home defense firearm for shooters of all skill levels.”
As usual, Wilson spares no expense with these carbines and pistols. These firearms start at $1,995, which is steep, but not out of line with the rest of Wilson’s premium offerings.
The Wilson Combat AR9 series also underscores the future of AR-style firearms. With the AR-15 market thoroughly saturated, more and more companies are getting in on the pistol-caliber carbine action, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s a very good thing.