Old School: WA SCW Wilson Combat

At work, people bring in guns that they can’t get any other local shop to fix for them. Though mildly frustrating to work on some of these guns, we occasionally get to see gems, like this Western Arms SCW 1911:

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I got the opportunity to work on something that was pretty cool back in its time: a Western Arms SCW Wilson Combat 1911 (this gun is a bit of a mish-mash of parts from a couple of different guns, so I’m not sure which model exactly this one is). Western Arms are by no means the most gameable GBB pistols around nowadays, especially considering the scarcity of parts and price point within Canada. I was honestly kind of surprised that anyone local would even own a working WA SCW.

Read on after the break for the pictures I took with my phone while I was working on the gun.

Here it is in all its glory:

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Previously fitted with Guarder metal parts (slide and barrel) as well as what appears to be a number of parts in at least 1 rebuild, all the work I did was swap working internal parts from the donor gun (a WA Para-Ordnance P14) into this WA Wilson Combat 1911 gun.

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Plastic externals (though they feel heavy and cold to the touch), magazines use a now-defunct valve design requiring a reset, functional “firing pin” that acts as the valve knocker (though was highly prone to breaking). Anything but field-worthy by most player’s current standards… but it sure does look and feel like something other than a toy or model gun. I wish this WA Wilson Combat all the best in its retirement, as its current owner will be retiring this gun from its shooting career and leaving it mostly on display.

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I am in no means experienced with Western Arms guns; I’ve only opened up one WA SV Infinity prior to seeing these two. I do apologize if I have my Western Arms terminology wrong, but felt like this was an experience worth sharing.

Edit 14/07/2013:

Got some extra info from “Lupo” – hop up is in fact adjustable… though its effect is less than stellar.

“The adjustment screw is part #97 it is VERY small , it may even be .5mm”

Refer to the red circle to see where the hop up adjustment is:

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And… to quote the rest of the pertinent bits that Lupo emailed me:

“I recall the spring issue being fairly common , but it strikes me as happening more when using green gas and having a poorly lubed gun.

Seems like it happened a lot more often on the double stacked guns on green , as the recoil speed was very fast. The faster it is the more often the spring gets pinched and bent out of shape.
They aren’t very stiff springs so they are a bit slow on response time which leads to them getting hung up a lot , which is where more lube comes in handy.
Other then the springs and the less then great hopup they are relatively reliable guns. With after market metal slides they last a really long time.
I never got a chance to test it but the rumor was that the WA HW plastic was a plastic and metal mix , being slightly magnetic. As I say , rumor and never got a chance to test it. But they HW stuff that WA put out was always a lot heavier then anything else on the market. The MGC 1911’s are compatible with WA as well , they are most likely even less common.”
Thanks go to Lupo for giving me an insider’s scoop on owning, shooting and maintaining/fixing a Western Arms.

4 responses to “Old School: WA SCW Wilson Combat

  • j h

    Really great guns. The mags are actually very good. Should be magna blowback and its main selling feature is the ability to fire upside down and sideways which dosent really work with regular gbbs. Alot of people make the mistake of running green gas in them which is where the failures happen. They are meant to use hfc 134/duster gas. They should all have adjustable hopups but it is a very small allen key adjustment on the underside of the hopup assembly. Parts may still be available throuhh xf8re. The double and single stack wa guns used the same sears. I used to own a wilson combat and loved it. I honestly regret selling it as itwas am excellent consistent sidearm.

    • juicy

      SCW based off of Magna design, no? Something like that… I think. Correct me if I’ve got this wrong.

      134 is what most Japanese-produced guns were designed to run off of, but Green Gas/propane is what is most readily available locally now. WA do break on Green Gas, but this is the reality of the limited gas selection that is commonly found here in the Lower Mainland of BC.

      This one has no adjustable hop-up, so far as I can tell. Took apart hop up unit out of curiosity to figure out where the adjuster was, but couldn’t find any recognizable hop up system at all – only chamber packing, no fixed or adjustable hop up mound that I could see. Same as in the P14.

  • lupo

    Pics took along time to load on my phone and it wouldn’t take my regular user name! Saw that it was labelled as magna blowback after I posted my first Doh!
    There are some WA blowbacks that are not magna but they are really old. The older (pre 2000) WA hopup units are really basic. some are just an allen key that pushes a small ball bearing. Others push the barrel up into a raised section of the chamber , both versions although adjustable barely worked. Both my 1911’s were like that.
    hfc134/duster or equivalent is very available still but no one makes adpaters for it anymore. Most electronics stores carry it but an adapater is needed to fit properly.
    It has lower power and faster cool down then green gas aswell.

    • juicy

      Got your email, Lupo. Thanks for updating me on the design, there is an adjustment screw for the adjustable hop up though as you mentioned, its not very effective with or without hop up on. Picture and info as you sent me has been editted into my post – thanks again.

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