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Wilson Combat Recon Tactical Review

by Jason Teague   |  March 19th, 2013 1

The Recon represents all the attributes needed in a well-rounded AR rifle. It's lightweight, balanced, accurate and can handle everything from hunting to defense.

Around every corner you can find an AR-style rifle built to suit any need you may have. Be it hunting or competition, self-defense or a law enforcement application, there is a black rifle that can fit the bill. I really enjoy collecting and assembling ARs in various configurations, but there are times when I like knowing I can grab one rifle to match any role where the gas gun is my preferred choice. The Wilson Combat Recon Tactical in .300 Blackout may be that rifle.

Anymore, how do you build an AR that stands out from the rest? A rifle that as soon as you pick it up it feels…different? Attention to detail applied to any firearm at any price is something that matters to me when making a purchase, especially if the price makes you pay for that detail.

The Recon doesn’t disappoint. Wilson Combat has been a premier 1911 custom shop for years and many professionals use and recommend their pistols. So it should come as no surprise that Wilson’s line of AR rifles equals the quality and performance of its 1911s.

Fit and Feel
Overwhelmingly obvious is how well balanced the Recon feels. Pick it up. It weighs seven pounds sans optics, and gives the perception that it’s lighter than the spec sheet describes. The medium-contour, 16-inch barrel is the perfect diameter that contributes to the excellent balance. Shouldering the Recon makes you want to jump in the truck and head to the range.

The heart of the Recon is the Wilson 416R stainless match barrel. Button rifled and machined with a 1:8-inch twist, this version measured 16 inches. Wilson offers 11.3-, 14.7- and 18-inch barrels with optional 1:7 or 1:8 twist rates. Built specifically for suppressed fire with heavier projectiles, the match-grade barrel handles the supersonic stuff just as well when there is a need to shoot at farther distances. Gas is tapped from the barrel at a carbine-length position via a low-profile gas block. When shooting the heavier loads versus 5.56 offerings, I noted that the recoil from the Recon’s gas system was pleasantly soft.

Fluting fore and aft of the gas block provides a nice cosmetic touch and well executed, but I’ve never really felt it was something that is necessary on a working gun. Fortunately, just as with any firearm Wilson builds, you can have it your way and do away with the flutes if that’s your preference. Finishing off the barrel at the muzzle is Wilson’s Accu-Tac flash hider. Designed not only to reduce muzzle signature, it will not affect barrel harmonics either.

Wrapped around the match-grade barrel you will find Wilson’s proprietary Tactical Rail Interface, Modular (T.R.I.M.) free-float handguard. Following along the popular trend of slim, smooth handguards, the T.R.I.M. system allows the shooter to place the correct rail section length to suit the specific mission. This keeps the handguard narrow and extremely comfortable to handle during a long day on the range. And don’t overlook the dual, integral push-button sling attachment points. They provide ample sling mounting options.

Feeding the highly successful Blackout cartridge into the chamber is an NP3-coated Mil-Spec bolt carrier assembly. Even though Wilson Combat has its own Armor Tuff finish, Wilson partnered with Robar Industries to take advantage of the very durable NP3 plating. According to Wilson, their testing and the testing of others have shown that Robar NP3 plating of the bolt carrier group enhances reliability, lessens cleaning time, improves corrosion resistance and minimizes required bolt lubrication. All of the stated benefits of NP3 simply add to the quality.

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