Dan Wesson Specialist


October 4, 2012, 10:08 AM
As a hopelessly addicted gun geek, it seems my curse is to spend my life watching firearms manufactures almost get it right. Most of the time, I'll read a review and it'll have me hooked until I get to a certain part that will completely spoil any interest I have in the firearm. For example, reading about an AR-15 until I find out it has a 1:9 twist barrel. I guess being opinionated has it disadvantages as well.

Anyways, I had almost given up on the 1911 platform. I was interested for a while in a Gov Model with a rail. I went back and forth between the Springfield MC Operator and the Kimber Warrior. But while it might be nitpicking, the MIM parts thing kinda stumped me. Who wants to buy a $1200+ handgun and then send it to someone to have parts replaced and fitted at the cost of several hundred more dollars?

Then I found this beaut:

It's perfect. It is Series 70, with no MIM parts, and it has the ambi safety and the night sights to go with the light rail. I wouldn't change a single thing with it, not even the Micarta grips. I am an opinionated, detail oriented nitpicker that hardly ever finds a factory production firearm that I wouldn't tinker with a little. I can't find a single thing to mess with on this one. If it is half the pistol it is advertised as, and it's price would suggest it is, it's perfect.

So I would like opinions on anyone with experience with this pistol in terms of quality and reliability, esp in comparrison to the aforementioned Springfield and Kimber pistols. I would also like to know how much these things actually go for, with an MSRP of $1800 and change.

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October 4, 2012, 03:27 PM
For that kind of money have you looked at Les Baer Custom carry?

el Godfather
October 4, 2012, 04:40 PM
I have, currently, two Dan Wesson products. Vbob and Havoc. I could not be more satisfied.

Red Cent
October 4, 2012, 06:41 PM
Armscor supplies Tanfoglio, STI, and RIA with parts and/or complete firearms. Until 2008, Charles Daly sold some very expensive 1911s that were manufactured by Armscor. There has been a lot of rumors of Dan Wesson using the Armscor parts/guns. I have no idea.

I believe if I had the money to spend, it would be a Novak.

October 8, 2012, 09:20 AM
I have had one for over 30 years, it has had at least 1K rounds thru it, tight shooter, NEVER a problem.

I went to take my CC Test several years ago, I took the CZ, the gun shop guy questioned me, are you sure you want to use that, we have others, etc.

When I shot my first 5 round $.05 group, he decided to leave me alone.
Great firearm...

Good Luck


October 8, 2012, 10:10 AM
I would really, really like to get a DW V-bob in stainless or duty-treated (black). I might have to "settle" for a Sig 1911 Fastback (blued with rosewood grips).

October 8, 2012, 10:16 AM
CZ has been heaven-sent for Dan Wesson.

One of the first things that CZ did after acquisition in the 2006 to 2007 time frame was to send over their manufacturing engineers to look over the tooling that had been bought by the prior owners along with the overall manufacturing process. There had been some unkind, but accurate, reports within the industry on the quality control. CZ took nearly a year to come back with a report with recommended changes.

Those changes have resulted in Dan Wesson producing some fine 1911s. The reviews out in the industry, while not often objective, do show a trend towards higher quality work.

Bottom line, you'd do just fine with a Dan Wesson Specialist.

October 8, 2012, 11:08 AM
I'm having this dilemma as well, but in the 4.25" platform. I originally planned to go with the Dan Wesson V-bob.

But, for $1500 to $2000......I've decided to go with a Les Baer Concept VII. No MIM (like the DW) and each forged part is hand-fit to all others each gun.

I like the minimalist design and finish of the Dan Wesson's a bit better, but the process at Les Baer will turn out a tighter firearm. (Whether you like that tightness or not is personal preference)

A video I found the other day that swayed me a bit:

October 8, 2012, 01:23 PM
why is the stainless model $300 less?

Black Butte
October 8, 2012, 05:30 PM
I was hooked on the Ruger LC9 until I saw that stupid, oversized LCI. It's the same thing that turned me off on their MKIII Hunter.

October 9, 2012, 06:08 PM
Dan Wesson has arrived in the last couple years as a top-notch maker of 1911s that, though technically production, are competitive with the semi-customs.

In general, you can't go wrong with a semi-custom; same can be said now for DW's 1911s.

A good read: http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=321236

October 9, 2012, 10:02 PM
Dan Wesson all the way! ;)

October 10, 2012, 10:11 AM
Thanks guys!

Special thanks to Hapworth--lots of info in that link. Good read. The Dan Wesson did better as a production gun than either of the Les Baers tested. Going strictly by reputation, having never handled or even seen an actual Les Baer, I found that surprising.

Has anyone seen one of these Specialists around anywhere so they can comment on what they actually sell for?

October 10, 2012, 01:50 PM
why is the stainless model $300 less?

Because the salt nitride finish on the black over stainless version is pricey but worth the extra cost. I have a Valor and a V-Bob and both have the black finish and you'll be hard pressed to find a better finish on any firearm. You could have Dave Severns do his black nitride finish for less but good luck getting him to answer any emails.

Dan Wesson must have copied my "custom" Ed Brown Special Forces that I ordered and received before they announced the arrival of the Specialist. I would prefer DW's nitride finish over EB's finish but I will reluctantly admit that the Specialist is a great choice. Here's my Special Forces Light Rail with VZ grips and the original grips.



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