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The Dan Wesson Heritage 1911: Initial thoughts and observations

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dragonfly, Nov 28, 2018.

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  1. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    I wasn’t really planning on picking up another pistol but I was 1911-less and saw this (in .45ACP) for sale recently at a price I couldn’t resist.

    I’ve previously owned a half dozen or so 1911s but never a Dan Wesson. They’ve got a good reputation for making quality pistols and the Heritage is their entry-level offering, although as an entry-level pistol it’s still good some nice features.

    The slide and frame are both forged stainless steel, and mine, which was made in 2009, has the sides of the frame and slide nicely semi-polished, while all other surfaces have a sandblasted matte finish, providing a subtle two-tone look. The front step is not checkered, but the matte-finished steel provides a surprisingly secure grip.

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    The pistol has a “match” barrel, apparently, although I’m not sure exactly if that means anything.

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    The solid trigger is adjustable for overtravel—I’m not sure if the previous owner adjusted it or not but it’s just about perfect. I don’t have a trigger pull gauge but the trigger is as good or better than the Baer and Nighthawk pistols that I’ve owned.

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    The mag release is slightly enlarged which I appreciate with my smallish hands.

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    The slide stop is slightly enlarged too, but not enough to get in the way.

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    The straight steel mainspring housing is aggressively checkered (25 LPI maybe?) but comfortable to grip. The frame is a standard government frame with no “bobtail” treatment. The grip safety is polished and has the usual “memory bump” than most modern grip safeties have.

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    The polished safety keeps with the “slightly enlarged” theme, and the hammer is the most “skeletonized” one I’ve ever had.

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    The rear sight is my favourite 1911 sight—a Novak-style model.

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    The front sight, oddly, is a Trijicon night sight. With the plain black rear it’s just about useless in low light, and mine has lost a lot of its glow. I’ll likely add a bit of fluorescent orange paint in the concave section of the sight.

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    The pistol has a standard-length guide rod and bushing…

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    …and an attractive grooved rib on the top of the slide. Supposedly this is to reduce glare, but when looking down the sights you don’t see the top of the slide at all.

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    I usually replace the factory grips on my 1911s with VZ grips but these ones will probably stay—they look great and the stippled portion provides a little extra grip.

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    So the initial impressions are quite favorable—the pistol is rattle-free, and the slide racks wonderfully smoothly (although the recoil spring is really stout). I’m looking forward to getting it out to the range.
     
    equin, ATLDave, Walkalong and 4 others like this.
  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Dawson front night sight, Warren Tactical plain black rear is my go to setup on my ''nightime'' Glock 23. You're going to see more and more advanced shooters going that route. Think about it, my 3 gun prepped shotgun, only has a front sight.

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    I'd recommend sticking with that, and just getting a fresh sight, or put a Dawson fiberoptic up front. .100 to .115 wide.

    Enjoy, DW has the best production 1911 out there right now. Looks like an '09 model. Good parts in those. IIRC, no cheap parts anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  3. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks! It is indeed a 2009 model according to the fired case. I do like a prominent front sight—since this will be a "range only" gun I will try a bit of fluorescent paint on the front sight before any other changes.
     
  4. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
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    Beautiful pistol and congrats on a great deal!

    1911s are like Mustangs. Some are crude and common, while others are beautifully executed, and all are unfortunately impractical for my needs.

    But they are still nice to look at and fun to test drive...
     
    Dragonfly likes this.
  5. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    My Heritage has the best trigger of any pistol I own and is amazingly accurate. I feel like I can't miss with it. Trigger measures 3.25-3.5 lbs. Best 1911 in the ~$1000 range bar none, IMO.
     
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  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Dragonfly

    As usual an excellent, straight forward review of a well made pistol. Great photos too! Thanks for your insight into this fine 1911.
     
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  7. drband

    drband Member

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    Looks great! I have a carbon copy of that pistol an I love it. DW easily makes the best value 1911 out there. Enjoy!
     
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  8. railroader

    railroader Member

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    I have a heritage too. Mine isn’t the typical stainless. It has a grey frame with a blackened slide. It is one of 50 that was made in that color factory finish. The gun shoots great but I wasn’t thrilled with the factory sights. It now has Dawson sights which work much better for me. 14F81F9F-FE4C-4DF4-A745-D1ED6F2E91CA.jpeg
     
    equin, drband, bannockburn and 2 others like this.
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Dang that's sexy. That 2-tone scheme is the only one I like.
     
  10. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

    Joined:
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    I like the Dan Wesson 1911's. It is a good value. My DW Pointman 7 - 10MM is fun to shoot and is my favorite 1911. Their customer service is very good as well.
     
    drband likes this.
  11. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    I finally had a chance to take the pistol out yesterday. I was out to the range yesterday with my Dad to finish out the year. Temperatures were around freezing and a little breezy but not too bad. The pistol worked great with no issues at all. I'd forgotten how pleasant 1911s are to shoot—it's been a few years since I sold my last one—and the superb trigger made for easy shooting. I hadn't been out handgun shooting since July so I was for sure out of practice—I was able to get around 2" groups at 15m so I'm happy with that. Here's a video of the pistol in action plus a couple of others I had out yesterday.

     
    drband likes this.
  12. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Beautiful!
     
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