Dan Wesson Valor SS 5" Review.


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Zerodefect
September 10, 2010, 08:27 PM
I'm sure some of ya'll are familiar with my rants against 1911's with billboards, sloped rear sights, funky trigger holes, weird finishes, etc.

Someone's been listening, and addressed all my normal 1911 complaints. Enter the Dan Wesson Valor:

http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC01418.jpg

http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC01419.jpg


Shot 300 rounds of WWB and Fed 230gn FMJ. No failures. Great accuracy. Very, very nice trigger.

I added the left over thick grips from my Kimber CDP. The gun comes with very nice black VZ thin grips. But since this needs another 700 rounds through her before CCW, I put the thicker grips on. I think she'll get a set of smooth, thick, aboyna burl grips from Sarges grips soon.

Was imediately obvious that this gun was more accurate than my Kimber, and quicker on target. The sights get alot of credit here. The rear Heinie also has a proper straight forward edge. That's good should you need to rack the slide with one hand by setting the sight on your holster and pushing down. impossible with regular sloped sights. Very thin front sight, I think. Much faster than my Kimbers Meprolights.

I'll probally order a "Kimber cut" set of Heinie sights for my CDP, after shooting these, without the tritium lamps though. Anybody know the part #'s for "Kimber cut" versions of the DW V sights??? Standard not night???

Very tight slide. Way tighter than my Kimber, which is quite a bit tighter than my Colt. No play at all in the slide. Bushing is very tight, and hard to remove and install for field stripping.

Came with 2 nice Checkmate 8rnd mags. But those mags have stinky metal followers. So I used Wilson 47d 8 and 10 round mags for those first 300 rounds until I can order some proper Tripp mag followers.

Grip safety seems to allow me to grip higher than normal with my other 1911's. It's a bit slimmer than my Kimbers, seems to be cut better.

As far as feel. The front and rear checkering are really grippy. I think I like it's 25lpi checkering better than 30lpi now. And the checkering is raised above the frames surface, not cut into it. The VZ grips work well and fit perfect, but I want some smooth thick grips for extended range trips and when this is used as a secondary weapon during carbine classes.

The lettering on the pistol all seems painted on and raised slightly. First trip for refinishing/beadblasting years from now may result in a clean 1911 with no markings at all. How sweet is that!

Easy the best "semi-custom" 1911 I've shot.

Pros:
+no billboards, great finish.
+great sights, great thought with the rear sight straight leading edge for one handed operation.
+super tight slide/frame and slide/barrel bushing fit. Thick bushing and unique barrel fit/look.
+no failure with POS WWB ammo.
+no MIM, forged slide, forged frame. Small parts are steel. Al trigger.
+VZ thin grips
+nice grip safety
+ stainless barrel, GI guide rod
+series 70, no FP safety
+light, smooth trigger, like a very, very thin sheet of glass breaking. Probally a full pound lighter than my 5" Kimber CDP.

Cons:
-I'm going to round the rear edge of the safety lever down a little. It's made properly, but my hands are weird. (Long, but kind of skinney hands) Only a noticeable thing if I hold the gun weakly and wrong.

-metal mag followers are so WW1, plastic Tripp or Wilson followers needed. Metal followers ate chunks out of my CDP, I'm not going to chance that on a gun allmost twice as expensive.
-I prefere standard sights, not night sights, but these are clean, and work well in day light. Front sight is easy to pick up.

-expensive, word got out that DW had great deals, I made a low ball offer on a Black Valor a couple weeks ago when it arrived, I got shot down and it sold an hour after I left. So these are moving. But I don't see a Baer as being better. The custom Wilson Tacticals with the cone barrles and long slides, and the Ed Brown Spec Ops models have awesome features. But for regular 1911's, I really don't see any flaws in the DW V's at all.

-with some patience I kept all my rounds on a sheet of notebook paper at 15 yards standing. I'm no sharpshooter with pistols though.

-It would be nice if the bump on the grip safety was 1-2mm taller. But maybe that's more of a "game gun" thing, and not as safe for carry? I don't know? I've heard of some gamers, putting a pin in thier grip safeties, I don't want to go there....

-that same awesome front strap checkering thats so great for grip and control, is also quite painful after 300 rounds. So for long 3 day classes, better bring some gloves, a smooth 1911, or a Glock.



http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC01429.jpg

http://i584.photobucket.com/albums/ss290/zerodefect2533/DSC01430.jpg

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MICHAEL T
September 10, 2010, 08:43 PM
I like my Bobtail DW had for a couple years now Makes me look go when shooting I of course never tell its the pistol not me .

ttheel
September 10, 2010, 08:43 PM
I really like the Dan Wesson Valor series. Have been considering a VBOB myself.

Zerodefect
September 10, 2010, 08:50 PM
I liked the VBOB as well. And had to choose between the two.

But I shoot Glocks, ALOT! And I got used to that lump of plastic on the bottom of the grip. So the VBOB felt weird to me, and my palms do spread all the way to the bottom of a Goverment grip.

And the VBOBs, that I saw, had Novak 3 dot night sights. I didn't check what year thier serial # was. This SS Valor is a 2010.

Jaybird78
September 10, 2010, 09:23 PM
I hope to have a Dan Wesson (or Colt) by next year. That is one sexy pistol.

9mmepiphany
September 10, 2010, 10:32 PM
But I don't see a Baer as being better. The custom Wilson Tacticals with the cone barrles and long slides, and the Ed Brown Spec Ops models have awesome features. But for regular 1911's, I really don't see any flaws in the DW V's at all.

That is a bit amusing as I found the Valor easily the equal of the Ed Brown and Wilson, but would rate the Les Baer a bit higher.

Zerodefect
September 11, 2010, 02:43 AM
That is a bit amusing as I found the Valor easily the equal of the Ed Brown and Wilson, but would rate the Les Baer a bit higher.

Then again I sampled a very small size of these pistols. The Baers were all basic, many with old style ambi safeties and sights that don't really work for me, and were either very expensive (for a regular style 1911) , or very used. But they seemed to have better grip safeties.

The Baer Monolith Heavyweight would be awesome, and it's price is right. But I doubt I'll ever even get to see one. Still don't like it's sights, checkering, billboard, forward serrations, and safety lever.
Suprized we don't see more Monolith type 1911's. More weight, less flip, and more room for my support thumb. If I could get a Monolith Heavy as a fitted kit i'd be all over it.
http://edbrown.com/cgi/htmlos.cgi/001485.1.1054774520643748203

The Ed Brown Molan Labe special was worth a hard look, but it's so much like a Black Valor it's uncanny. And more expensive.
http://edbrown.com/cgi/htmlos.cgi/001485.1.1054774520643748203

9mmepiphany
September 11, 2010, 01:01 PM
I wasn't questioning your choice...at that level it is all about preference and how it looks/feels to the purchaser.

I'm a little odd in my feeling about 1911s. I grew up at a time when they were pretty much the only game in town and you had to take it to a gunsmith as soon as you bought it to get sights you could see and to make it feed hollowpoint bullets. We've come a long way from there/then.

It irritates me as much when folks make a low end purchase that won't hold up to hard use as it does when folks spent more then they need to for comparable features/quality. These opinions are from a lot of experience handling, shooting and talking with knowledgeable people...both users and builders.

I don't begrudge people who would rather spend more money for a high end production/semi-custom, like a Brown, Wilson or Nighthawk, than wait for a true custom gun. I just like to point out that there is a middle level where you get a lot of production gun without the custom/name prices. I think both the Dan Wesson and Bear fall into this category...great values if they offer the features you want.

Suprized we don't see more Monolith type 1911's. More weight, less flip, and more room for my support thumb.
While the Monolith does exactly that in a static setting, it is a much less lively gun to use in target transitions. It is like the difference between a Ford Mustang and a Lotus Evora

Zerodefect
September 11, 2010, 02:30 PM
Yeah, this was close enough.

A good start for something I'll have customized as it wears. A carry melt, hard hat/Melonite/ ION Bond finish is foreseeable years from now. This will be carried eventually, so a refinish is inevitable. Sarges grips are allready on order.

An add on rail seems like a bad idea, but i'm waititng to see how others are holding up.

I'll probally put plain black Warren Sevigney Target sights on eventually as well.

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