Wilson Combat AR9G 9MM Carbine

Not long ago we did a video review of the Wilson Combat AR9G 9mm Carbine. Since James had a few feeding problems I wanted to test this carbine myself. I contacted Wilson and requested they send me the same carbine we previously tested. Not to call into question James results but having shot a good number of Wilson guns I couldn’t fathom them shipping out a gun with problems.

Great fit and finish of every part I examined.

Great fit and finish of every part I examined.

When the rifle arrived it was dry which was good since I intended to make it that way and use lubes I’m familiar with. Lubes have a great deal to do with any guns function and I’m sure we all agree with that. I lubed the rifle with Wilson Combat Universal gun oil. On the small rails of the bolt carrier I use TW25 in a small amount.I hand cycled the action which felt very smooth. This rifle is blowback operated in 9mm.

Flared magwell

Looking the rifle over it is very well made with snug tolerances between upper and lower as well as all of the other parts of the rifle having to do with function. This model uses Glock 9mm magazines. Wilson included the same mags James used and added a few more for me to test. These mags were of various capacities. The AR9 can be ordered to accommodate Glock, Beretta and S&W M&P magazines. You just need to specify when ordering.

Bolt carrier with heavy claw extractor.

The carbine weighs just over 5 pounds making it a pleasure to handle and carry for long periods. The purpose of the AR9 is primarily competition and home defense. They can be ordered in pistol or SBR configuration, as well as the carbine, tested. The pictured soft case is included with the Wilson logo seen in the photos.

From Wilson Combat:

Not simply a converted AR-15, the Wilson Combat AR9 has been specifically designed for superior reliability and maximum accuracy, while retaining the familiar handling and controls of the AR platform. Wilson Combat engineers have designed three unique AR9 lower receivers with last-round bolt hold open that are compatible with the most popular 9mm service pistol magazines from GlockⓇ, BerettaⓇ and S&WⓇ. These new billet-machined aluminum receiver models also accept standard AR accessories like furniture, triggers, charging handles, buttstocks and optics, and incorporate an integral trigger guard and flared magwell for fast reloading. The Wilson Combat AR9 closed-bolt blowback operating system is soft shooting and reliable with a wide variety of 9mm loads and exhibits flawless feeding with all common pistol bullet shapes, including hollowpoint and +P tactical ammunition. The AR9 bolt hold open ensures reliable lockback on empty with your pistol’s factory magazines. The AR9 proprietary bolt carrier group with heavy-duty claw extractor and plunger ejector is tuned for exceptional reliability. The AR9 is also an optimized suppressor host with minimal gas blowback and enhanced accuracy over other designs. Wilson Combat carbon steel match-grade button-rifled 1-10” twist 9mm barrels ensure that the AR9 meets our stringent quality and accuracy requirements.
AR9G Note: Because of wide variability in factory ammunition and many generations of GlockⓇ pistol magazines we recommend the use of ETS brand GlockⓇ magazines or the latest generation factory GlockⓇ magazines and extra power magazine springs for optimum reliability in the AR9G model.

Slim rail

BILLet-AR 7075 Aluminum Flat-Top Upper and Lower Receiver
Threaded Muzzle (5/8 x 24) with Q-COMP Flash Hider
Wilson Combat® T.R.I.M. Rail
Wilson Combat / BCM Starburst Gunfighter Grip
Wilson/Rogers Super-Stoc®
Wilson Combat TTU (Tactical Trigger Unit) Two Stage, 4.5# (TR-TTU-H2) only.
Mil-Spec Hard Anodize Finish on Upper / Lower Receivers
Armor-Tuff® Finish
Use of Commonly Available Service Mags
Positive Lock Back on Empty Magazine
Match-Grade Accuracy
Standard AR Furniture/Sight Compatibility
Proprietary Bolt and Barrel for Excellent Feed Reliability with Common Bullet Profiles
Quiet Suppressor Host

Over the course of several weeks I made a good number of trips to the range firing a total of 800 rounds of various loads ranging from 115 grn to 147 grain. Regular ball ammo, as well as +P defense loads, were also fired. A great deal of the ammo used is from our sponsor Aquila who supplied 124 grn. ball ammo.

With optional fluted barrel

During the course of the 800 rounds fired I had one malfunction which turned out to be an older Hornady round which when examined showed the bullet backed up a good deal into the case. It functioned with 100% reliability otherwise. I did try to make it malfunction by mixing various rounds in the magazine but that had no effect on reliability. The Glock mags also fall free when empty.

For the carbines intended purpose most accuracy shooting was done from 50 yards using a backpack as a rest. The 147 grn loads were the most accurate grouping right at one inch at 50 yards if I did my part. I actually expected the 124 grain loads to be the most accurate so I was a bit surprised. No problem with that I found the load it likes the best. Most shooting was done with my Leupold 1-4 scope.

Shooting this carbine was just plain fun. With the 5 pound weight, it was so easy to move from target to target. Of course, this weight makes it very easy to hold very steady when shooting at greater distances. For home defense, the pistol version with the Shockwave Blade – Pistol Forearm Support would be a good choice.

In summary, I have to say I was never really sold on an AR in a pistol caliber.I’d also never shot one much at all. It just goes to show you that you need to shoot a gun before deciding you don’t care for it or it’s usefulness. That said I found myself really enjoying this 9mm carbine. I can see now how it would be useful as a home defense gun as well as competition and well just plain inexpensive, reliable fun on a weekend range trip. With the quality of this carbine, it’s one you can hand down to a son or daughter.

The MSRP of all models is $1995.00 which does include the Wilson gun case.

Wilson Website

Many thanks to our ammo sponsor Aquila Ammunition for supplying ammo for this review.

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • Don Ward

    Yes. But the test is only valid if we have a YouTube video of Phil in a two-sizes-too-small-T-shirt.

  • It is rather naive to assume that Wilson returned the carbine in the same condition it was in when it last left James’ possession.

    • I disagree not everybody is dishonest.

      • Any gun company that doesn’t at least examine the gun after a negative review due to reliability issues shouldn’t be in the business.

        • I asked them to only clean it period nothing else was done.

          • SignalFromTheRim

            Even the smallest hint of bias can ruin a media outlet. This article reeks of bias. You should pull this article, post haste.

          • glenn cheney

            Phil, Someone at SHOT 17′ rolled out a 45 ACP in what was, I believe an SBR. I talked initially with Wilson months ago about mfg’ a 45 ACP bbl for AR-15.
            Wilson, you’d think, heavy into guru 45 acp, would lead the way. So many of my LEO acquaintances now carry 45 ACP sidearms and are looking for a barrel alternative for AR platforms in 45 ACP..
            Did you happen to notice what company and possibly the product? Thnx.
            BTW, Congress has 6 months to reverse Exec. Orders of the prev. Admin., next week, Congress will turn it’s attention to “reviewing” the orders for Soc. Security to report to NICS, likely a HEPA Law conflict, in order to remove certain recipients from ability to procure firearms. This is the Granny Get Your Gun” move effective 1/18/17 I believe, I’m loosing track of which day this n’ that were effective…4473 revisions were effective 1/16/17.

            Rep.’s Sam Johnson of Texas and La. Rep. Ralph Abraham will sponsor action for vote NEXT WEEK with the backing of Speaker Paul Ryan. We have a long way to go to “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” but we’ll get closer, step by step.

            First, we UNDO, then, we’ll RE-DO.

      • Scott Tuttle

        once he broke it in it worked fine. mystery solved.

        • valorius

          For $2000 it should work better than fine. It should probably do your taxes and make you coffee.

          • Scott Tuttle

            yeah, I was being semi-sarcastic. if thats what did happen it shouldnt have had to.

      • PersonCommenting

        But what about preferential treatment cause you are media? Why send it back if you said not to do anything?

  • Alex Waits

    Who wrote this article?
    ETA: nvm – found it.

  • Ratcraft

    Love this thing. Watched Vickers video on it. Then the price. Choked up a little and went along my merry sub2000 way.

    • billyoblivion

      Beretta CX-4 Storm.

      Hmm…Have to get that to the range soon.

      • Ratcraft

        I know Beretta has their own mags but if only glock mags. I know I know cliché but I already have lots and lots of them.

        • Kivaari

          The CX4 can be had in either M92/96 or PX4 configurations. I believe you can buy a conversion kit having a new mag-well liner and catch for under $50 to change it to and from the other.

        • billyoblivion

          I have a 92fs and a bunch of mags.

      • Sean

        Took mine yesterday. 10 years, at least 25000 rounds, and it still hasn’t failed once.

      • Kivaari

        I have one as well. It works great and I bought it used for $335.

    • Russ Kell

      Same, but with Sub $600 DIY with dedicated New Frontier Glock lower. No LRBHO, but it runs like a tank.

      I do like that you can get them in M&P mags though.

    • PersonCommenting

      Try an ATI 9mm AR. 740-800 bucks. Mine works great.

    • Sean

      I did the same with my Beretta CX4

      • Kivaari

        The CX4 is smaller, lighter, smoother and less expensive as well.

        • Sean

          I paid $549 10 years ago. They seem to be around $850 these days

          • Kivaari

            I lucked into a like-new-in-the-box used one that took PX4 magazines (less desirable than the M92) and only paid $335 including a $35 sling swivel QD mount. I bought a PX4 during a promotion (since sold) and it made a good set. I kept the carbine as there wasn’t anything quite as nice for the money as the Beretta. I have a M92A1 and would like to buy another CX4, but I really don’t need two of them. I found one I can get for $500. It’s tempting.

          • Sean

            If I found another for $500 , I would buy it to give to…someone. Although many of my friends and family have purchased CX4’s over the years after shooting mine. I had a 92fs, but it got stolen.

  • Graham2

    So, was it a lubrication problem that caused the carbine not to work for James?
    Or maybe it was the ammo he used?

  • Swede69

    From barely working to running almost perfectly. Hummmm

  • st381183

    I was balking at the $1995 MSRP until I realized it included the $20 case with the Wilson logo embroidered in it, then the price seemed reasonable.

  • datimes

    I purchased the SBR and it was received by my SOT in July. I get to handle it occasionally and hope to go with him for some range time in the near future. It is an extremely well made firearm with excellent fit and finish. I hope to take delivery before July 4th.

  • Bub

    Glad to hear you are having good luck. I have one ordered and one can be a little apprehensive about what to me anyway is a higher priced item.

  • Connie Ring

    Now I know why I really enjoy my $300 HiPoint TS995. Shoots straight (as I can shoot), eats anything. Fun.

    • Jack_A_Lope

      I know for a fact you can’t hit a damn thing with that HiPoint, even with a $200 optic.

      • 1050cc

        If I get a $20 case, I’ll be just fine and deadly.

        • Jack_A_Lope

          Sorry for making fun of your Carbine rifle, Dad. Can’t wait to shoot it again.

  • DataMatters

    Did you know that a 16″ barrel actually slows down a 9mm bullet? The optimum barrel length is like 11″.

    • That is simply not true.

      First it varies on the load. But most get additional velocity until you take the barrel out to 18″.

      Now with a blowback gun shorter is better for accuracy.

    • Vitor Roma

      Not really. You could say it gains very little extra velocity, but still not enough to slow down. Maybe a very head load like 158 or 165gr that eats up powder space would slow down in 16″ barrel. But 147 and below do just fine.

    • diana pierce

      I’d like to read comments on this…plz.

    • valorius

      Ballistics by the inch (BBTI) does not support that conclusion.

      Corbon 90gr JHP – 16″ barrel: 1740 fps, 11″ barrel- 1690 fps
      Corbon 115gr+P- 16″: 1525, 11″: 1496

      Of 10 loads listed in 9mm, not one is slower from a 16″ barrel than from a 11″.

    • Kivaari

      Not true. I tested regular HK 94, Uzi Model A and Mini Uzi v. SBR variants (same guns) and the longer barrels gave roughly 100 FPS higher velocity. Some ammo gave even larger increases.

  • georgesteele

    Wow – what a great deal. Of course, I assume at that price that the magazine comes loaded with diamonds . . .

  • valorius

    Only $2000 eh?

  • PersonCommenting

    I am pretty fond of my ATI 9mm carbine. It works, handles all the ammo I have put through it and has a few bells and whistles. Just wish it had last shot hold open but suppsedly a good gunsmith could add the feature if you desired per ATI rep at shot show.

  • retfed

    “The 147 grn loads were the most accurate . . . I . . . expected the 124 grain loads to be the most accurate so I was a bit surprised.”
    The reason the 147-grain 9mm loads exist is because they’re the most accurate. Back in the late 80s after the Miami debacle, the FBI wanted to be able to make 50-yard head shots with their MP5s, and the 147 was the round that came closest to doing that. The main rap on the 147 was its lack of expansion and alleged overpenetration.

    I don’t know if the 50-yard head-shot goal was ever reached.

  • seancaseytx

    Yeah! It comes with the case. There are so many less expensive 9mm ARs out there, gee, CMMG and Angstadt come to mind, that this has to be a joke. For $2K there’s great options, plus extra mags and accessories, more ammo and a Double Double with cheese and a Dr. Pepper, too.

  • GR Arnold

    Why all the 9MM developments only? Can’t somebody come up with a decent .40 caliber AR carbine … ???