Jan 6, 2001
Anyone yet opened their Wilson Combat catalog yet? Just got mine in the mail tonight.

To anyone in the crowd not familiar with Wilson, they are one of the big custom after marketers for what started as the 1911 pistol, and then branched out to other firearms and now knives. I believe it is Bill Wilson’s son who has spun knife making into the business.

From what I can tell in the catalog, they look like very nice designs averaging around $250.00. This seems a tad bit overpriced considering it is Mr. Wilson’s debut as a blade maker.


Has anyone purchased one yet? Or do I have to be the first one? Like I said, they seem to be very nice blades.


Hmmm... These look like real utility, hard-working knives. I like them. The model 1 seems a bit overpriced at $349 considering its 440C but the other models sound reasonable.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
I had one. I can't remember the model #. It was the one written up in Tactical knives. Not a bad design, but not worth the price in my opinion. From what I read, Wilson only does part of the knife work, the rest is handled by someone else.
According to the magazine article Dirk referenced, the fabrication of the knife is handled by Wilson gunsmiths and Jr.Wilson only grinds the final edge and does general QC.
They want a lot of money for a custom that you will never know who actually made it. Two words; GenO Denning! Spend about the same and geta quality knife and great reputation behind it. IMHO

AKTI# A000150
NC Custom Knifemakers Guild member
NC Knife Knuts member
Thanks for the great info........

Your opinions are consistent with my impressions as well. Slightly overpriced, but a decent product.....

As KO stated above, Ryan Wilson has started his own company Wilson Tactical and makes a excellent knife.

I have two of them on my desk, model 2 and a model 4, and can say that grind, fit and finish are outstanding. Considering that the price includes either a BladeTek kydex carry system or sharkskin leather sheath(which is absolutely stunning)and that Ryan has,even at his young age, 10 years of knifemaking experience I don't see where his prices are out of line. Pretty good bang for the buck, IMHO.

Medicine Man of the Extinct Fugowee Tribe
Ryan's Knives are first rate in every respect.

The Model-1 referenced is an integral knife, the guard is contoured and machined along with the blade. It has some beautiful machine-work. Ryan does this in 440C because it is a high-carbon ss that is machineable by his equipment. It is the least expensive integral knife with scales that I know of.

The fit/finish is very, very good.

As his design skill improves with his age, I think he will emerge as one of the best "tactical" knifemakers out there.

"The most effective armor is to keep out of range"-Italian proverb
I thought I would provide a little insight and background on Ryan Wilson and his knives.

I first meet Ryan when he was 13 years old. He was a quiet kid, sipping on a coke while I talked to his father about custom pistols. I gave him a CAMILLUS pocketknife as I got ready to leave, and his eyes lit up like a christmas tree. His dad, Bill Wilson, told me that Ryan was a good kid, but seemed to like knives more than pistols, "imagine that!". When I got home a few days later, there was a letter from Ryan, thanking me for the knife. We have stayed in touch ever since.

Ryan's father's company, WILSON COMBAT, is the most famous custom shop for 1911 style pistols and accessories in the world. They build some of the finest custom fighting handguns ever made. When I met Ryan, he had already been working in the shop for years, cleaning up and bagging parts. He finished high school in "home schooling program" so he could work in the customshop. By 16, he was head of the customshop, not only making cusom pistols fulltime, but overseeing and planning the work of other pistolsmiths. He was head of the customshop for the last 5 years, a period inwhich I believe that WILSON COMBAT has produced the best .45's it has ever shipped. I believe in his work enough to trust my life to one. I carry a WILSON STEALTH compact .45 everyday. Ryan started making knives on the side a few years ago, mainly for friends. Beginning last year, they have been pictured in the WISLON COMBAT catalog, but they were really a side line for WISLON, as they are perpetually backordered on pistols.

Now, at age 22, Ryan decided to go full time into custom knives. When Ryan was still with WISLON COMBAT, his time was seriously limited, and he did rely on help from others at the customshop. Now that he is making knives full time, he is involved in every aspect of building his knives. He does have a couple of guys helping in his new shop, but he is grinding, sanding, heat treating, buffing, and finshing everyday. He knives are now marked with the WISLON TACTICAL logo, and they are nicer than ever. His fit, finish, and attention to detail are as nice as WISLON COMBAT's pistols. He works primarily in D2, except for his Model 1 intergral fighter, which is 440c because it is easier to machine the intergral 3 deminsional guard. All on the knives that I have seen so far are full tang, usually with canvas micarta scales, but he does work in natural handles like stag and desert ironwood. His sharkskin sheaths are to die for. Ryan has standard models, but also takes custom orders. While at the SHOTSHOW last week, he showed me a "one off" version of his Model 1, with ironwood scales and a full polish job that he was delivering to Larry Connelly [ www.knifeart.com ] that was simply stunning. I'm planning on placing an order tomorrow for one myself

Guys, his work is really that good, and it is backed up buy a young man that knows how to build tools that professionals and "normal people" like me trust their lives to. Do yourself a favor and take a look at his work when you get a chance. He has a website in the works, but he does have a nice color new color catalog that he will mail you. His email address is
wilsontactical@alltel.net . His phone # is 870-545-3844. Ryan has been lurking here for a couple of months, and after I tell him about this thread, hopefully he will start posting

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
Camillus Cutlery

[This message has been edited by Will Fennell (edited 01-17-2001).]
Will, I'll bet Ryan will appreciate your comments. I think they are on the mark. Anthony, you're right. I have a model 1 here and I unsheathed it for an inspection. It is indeed an integral product and it is flawless. The one I have here has red and black micarta scales. So this knife is made up of only 6 parts - The knife, the two scales, the two stainless pins and the stainless tube that lines the lanyard hole. The machining is of very high quality indeed. The other knife that lights my fire is the stag handled model 10. The knife is polished D2 and Ryan has included some nice touches like filework on the spine and attractive red liners between the scales and handle of the knife. He's also extended the liner between the guard and scales so you see some red color from the side. The angle where the liners come together is beveled which is a nice touch. This knife has the sharkskin sheath. I would describe it as dressed up tactical fixed blade that would also make a nice hunter. Given the way the industry is running out of stag, I'm tempted to put this one in my own collection. Take care.

Knife Outlet
I appreciate you guys setting me straight on Ryan Wilson. My opinions were based on obviously outdated info.I am happy to be wrong if it means there is another quality custom maker in the cutlery community.
I am eating crow and washing it down with diet coke


AKTI# A000150
NC Custom Knifemakers Guild member
NC Knife Knuts member
I have been watching Blade Forums for a few months trying to absorb everything that I can. I am excited to be a part of Blade Forums and look forward to participating.

Will and Anthony pretty much explained who I am and how I got into knifemaking. I build several standard models, but I am always open to special orders.

I don't have a website up yet, but I do have a free color catalog that I can mail. I can be contacted via e-mail at wilsontactical@alltel.net or via phone at (870) 545-3844 if anyone has any questions about me or how I build knives.

Ryan Wilson
Wilson Tactical, LLC
I met Ryan at the shot show for the first time a few days ago. All the info above is what he explained to me also. He is on his own now and carries with him the experience from Wilson Combat gun building. IMHO to have a Wilson is to have the best! Ryan has the right stuff to be a great knifemaker. He is honest, humble, gives a damn, listens to good suggestions and is not a flash in the pan type of a guy.

Congrats to you Ryan! My hats off to ya!

Web Site At www.darrelralph.com
I received Ryan's Tactical Model 2 not so long ago. The knife is made to a really high standard. Looks great and feels great. Haven't have time to test it but it definitely looks like it could take a lot.