The Predator Tactical Wraith: $4,000

Iain Harrison of Top Shot and competition shooting fame wrote a piece for Guns & Ammo about picking up his beautiful new Predator tactical race gun.  As a professional shooter it’s a whole lot easier to justify a steep price for a brilliant top-shelf competition 1911.  Not even having shot the thing, he’s clearly in love. 

“Recently, however, Predator Tactical owner Matt Burkett offered me the chance to replace that worn-out open division gun with a Predator Tactical Wraith race gun (I guess you could also call it a pistol or handgun).

“The Wraith in 9mm is built on an STI 2011 frame and features a chopped commander length slide with a 4 5/8-inch bull barrel threaded into a fairly compact compensator. Despite the added length of the compensator, it weighs less than a steel-framed Government model and points like a magic wand. All the usual refinements you’d expect from a mechanical device of this quality are present; Scheumann Ultimatch barrel, Dawson magwell, undercut and stippled grip frame, six-port compensator, Extreme Engineering fire control parts, Ed Brown beavertail, etc, etc, etc.”

But does it merit the price?

STI 2011 Tactical Frame, $600 
STI slide, $180
Schuemann Ultimatch barrel, $300 (with threading)
Predator Tactical Compensator, $150?  (PT doesn’t sell them separately so we’re just guessing)
C-More 8 MOA red dot sight, $250
Allchin C-More Mount, $80
Extreme Engineering Trigger Kit, $130
Aftec Extractor, $80
Dawson Precision magwell, $80
Ed Brown beavertail, $40
Ambidextrous safety, $50
Two magazines, $60

Total: $2000

That’s what it costs, give or take, there are other parts, obviously, not listed.  Springs, rods, etc.  (Man, choice 1911s are expensive.)  And there’s some machining and refinishing to pay for, and perhaps some fitting.  All said and done, let’s just make up a number and say that’ll run you $500 more.  Probably less.

Now we’re not saying getting a Predator Tactical Wraith isn’t a smart idea.  It comes with a warranty, like, a really, really good warranty.  It’s also fitted and tested and sighted in by shooters, shooters with high standards and a reputation to maintain.  It includes training with the PT shooting team, and a free refinishing for down the road when your gun doesn’t look pretty no more.  And it comes with a range bag.  (Extra mags are a hundred bucks a pop.)

And you could, probably, spend $1500 over time, paying for service on a gun you built, along with a refinish, and some range time with some master shooters.  But, ah, you might not, either.  That’s a good chunk of cash that presumably you could spend on a holster rig, magazines, and lots and lots of ammo.

A Predator Tactical Wraith in 9mm is a $4,050 gun.  Let’s assume you were working with someone else’s money.  Would you get a Wraith (or similar pistol) and spare yourself all frustrations, or would you get down and dirty with parts and save a pile of cash?