The 10-inch hand guard is an M-LOK compatible octagonal model, while the muzzle is tipped with Wilson Combat’s proprietary Q-Comp combination flash hider/muzzle brake to minimize muzzle rise and flash signature. The Wilson Combat marked lower receiver sports a specially engraved BCM Mod 3 grip, oversize trigger guard and an excellent Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 stabilizing brace. The latter uses a proprietary buffer tube and 5-position polymer brace that has buttons on the right side which will adjust for length. Meanwhile, the trigger is Wilson Combat’s two-stage TTU, which provides a very crisp, light 4.5- to 5-pound pull. My trigger gauge in fact measured 4.5 pounds every time. All external metal is coated in an attractive black Armor-Tuff finish. Weight is a slight 5 lbs, 10 oz, with an overall length of 27.5” with the brace collapsed. My copy was topped off with a set of BUIS, which I never used because the 2 MOA Trijicon MRO red dot that was also included gave me no reason to. The whole outfit comes in an attractive Wilson Tactical embroidered black nylon tactical carrying case, including a 20-round .300 Blackout marked D&H aluminum magazine.
Field testing with the Wilson Combat Protector AR Pistol held no great surprises. My research and anecdotal evidence indicated that with the right round, the .300 Blackout is capable of sub-MOA accuracy from a quality rifle- or carbine-length platform. I frankly did not expect it to be that good with an SBR-length gun, even one with the Protector’s pedigree. But I came close enough.
Firing at 50 yards from a bench rest, the Protector AR Pistol reliably turned in groups of about an inch from five different loads, with top honors going to Hornaday Black Box 208-gr. AMAX subsonic, with a five-round, 0.90-inch group that printed 3 inches below and a bit left of POA, and my initial group with four shots in a ragged hole of 0.75 inch in the same spot, with the high outlier my initial cold-bore shot. Honorable mention went to the SIG SAUER 220-gr. OTM, which grouped at a consistent one inch, again about 3 inches below POA. Keep in mind this is with a 2 MOA red dot, my 50-year-old eyes and a brace that was being shouldered very incidentally in the manner of a stock (ATF take note). The outstanding trigger was certainly an aid in getting tight groups. Recoil was manageable if not minimal, being noticeably lighter with the subsonic loads. Fifty yards is a realistic testing distance considering the primary mission of this platform, but if it isn’t quite far enough to convince some of you, I also shot on an 8-inch steel disk at 100 yards using a folding chair as part of the “Chair Qual” drill, which mimics shooting from various positions around or under cover. Hits were consistent with supersonic, as well as subsonic loads when adjusted for holdover (.300 Blackout subsonic typically has the ballistics of a rock beyond 75 yards). Reliability through over 100 rounds was perfect using five different metal and synthetic magazines, with no lube.
To say I liked the Wilson Combat Protector AR Pistol in .300 Blackout is something of an understatement. Its high-quality construction combined with SBR-like handiness, power, standard AR compatibility and reliability are tough to match. A good friend said it would make a great truck gun. I don’t know about that, as those parameters tend to be fairly subjective (Q: What is a truck gun? A: Any gun in your truck.). But I think a strong case can be made for the Protector AR Pistol being near optimal for home defense suppressed, or as a “backpack gun” unsuppressed, as it will fit easily in a small pack yet has the power to ethically deal with up to medium-sized game out to 150 yards or so with the right load. Given all of its attributes, I was really sad to have to send the Wilson Combat Protector AR Pistol back, but simply didn’t have the $1,999.95 available to keep it. If you happen to, however, there will be no disappointments. See the new Protector line at your nearest dealer, or for more information contact Wilson Combat; Tel.: (800) 955-4856; Web: www.wilsoncombat.com
Caliber/Gauge: .300 AAC Blackout
Barrel: 11.3inch/1-7 Twist
OA Length: 30 inches extended, 27.4” collapsed
Weight: 5-pounds, 10-ounces
Sights: Full length Picatinny top rail
Stocks/Grips: Tailhook brace, Wilson Combat grip
Action: Rotating bolt, direct gas impingement
Finish: Black Armor-Tuff
Capacity: Standard AR15 capacity (300 BLK magazine preferred)