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Thread: Dan Wesson Revolvers...

  1. #1
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Dan Wesson Revolvers...

    What can you tell me about Dan Wesson revolvers? I saw an ad for a 357 with 6'' barrel and adjustable sights. I've been looking for that setup and had been considering a Ruger GP100, but this looks like a good deal to me. What would this gun be worth in used but good condition?

    Thanks, schmidty

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    Member AK_Stick's Avatar
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    Dan Wessons, are probably the best, under rated revolver ever made.

    The front locking cylinder, and removable barrel, are unique, and both lead to very good accuracy, and IMO, they have some of the best triggers made.

    The nice thing, about them being under rated, is they only bring about 350-400 for even a very nice pistol.

  3. #3

    Default Dan Wesson

    During the era in which Dan Wessons were popular, they were made in all popular calibers also in 357 Maximum and 445 Dan Wesson. They won every major revolver class in metalic shilouette and a lot of speed matches.
    The front style cylinder latch and interchangeable barrels was introduced by Dan Wesson the great-grandson of the Smith and Wesson empire. When they refused to let him introduce his handgun in their line he started his own company.
    Single action Dan Wessons have a respectable trigger and are extremely accurate.Double action Dan Wessons have a long camming style of trigger pull acceptable but not as smooth as a Smith and Wesson N or K frame.
    The good part is there isn't much demand for this revolver and good examples are about half price of simular styled Smith and Wessons.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member nrc's Avatar
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    Default thumbs up

    I had an 8" 357 mag which I used for ihmsa revolver class competition. It was very accurate with 170gr Sierras. I believe it had a faster than average twist.

    They have been manufactured in a few different places over the years. The one I had was from "Monson, Mass." and was stamped as such on the side.

    The only downside is resale value. They are not widely known, and if you go to trade or sell it off later, you'll need to wait and find a DW-Fan in order to get a good price for it.

    I believe I bought/sold mine for ~$325. That was 5 years ago.

    Have fun -

    Nate

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    I've owned two DW .44 mags, and I really like them a lot. Accurate to shoot, comfortable, and nice triggers. But, the last one I owned developed a problem. When I'd pull the hammer back for single action trigger pull, the cylinder would over rotate. In other words, the cylinder would spin past the next round and stop between rounds. I could prevent that if I didn't cock the hammer as hard, but that isn't a very good option if I'm excited when I slap the hammer down with my left thumb!

    I ended up selling that gun to a guy that was going to tinker on it. I had my eyes on a Redhawk in 44mag w/5.5" barrel anyways, which I love.

    Something worth checking on the DW you're looking at before you drop some cash.

    Mike

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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    HuntKodiak, is that something easily noticed when holding a gun or do you have to try and shoot it to notice? Just don't want to go hold it and it have a problem like that and me not know it until a few days later after I already paid for it and can't take it back to some guy I bought it from.

    Thanks, schmidty

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    Default My first gun was a Dan Wesson model 15

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntKodiak View Post
    I've owned two DW .44 mags, and I really like them a lot. Accurate to shoot, comfortable, and nice triggers. But, the last one I owned developed a problem. When I'd pull the hammer back for single action trigger pull, the cylinder would over rotate. In other words, the cylinder would spin past the next round and stop between rounds. I could prevent that if I didn't cock the hammer as hard, but that isn't a very good option if I'm excited when I slap the hammer down with my left thumb!

    I ended up selling that gun to a guy that was going to tinker on it. I had my eyes on a Redhawk in 44mag w/5.5" barrel anyways, which I love.

    Something worth checking on the DW you're looking at before you drop some cash.

    Mike
    My first gun was just such a Dan Wesson. Six inch .357. The cylinder over-rotation problem sounds like a weak spring under the cylinder bolt. An easy fix.

    My gun had the opposite problem when I first got it. Cocking slowly, the advancing hand did not rotate the cylinder enough. In fast cocking, the cylinder's momentum carried it into lock. DW fixed it super fast, no questions, no charge. But that was back in the 70's. No problems since.

    Three features of the Dan Wesson that contribute to accuracy are:

    1) The barrel is under tension inside that barrel shroud, so should be very straight. Whether this is marketing hype or a real factor, I don't know.

    2) The hammer fall is very short, contributing to a fast lock time from trigger break to ignition. I believe this does make a difference.

    3) The geometry of the trigger and sear along with the adjustable trigger overtravel stop makes for a very crisp (single action) release.

    The double action pull is a bit heavy, but still very smooth, especially after I put a thousand rounds through the gun. Then, I had it tefloned (inside and out) and that smoothed the trigger about as much more as the break-in did. Pull is still heavy, but VERY smooth.

    Great gun, and if you can find an extra grip (or their walnut blank) you can make whatever grip shape you want since there is only a grip post, not a full grip frame.

    Note that the mainspring is a coil spring, not a leaf spring.

    I am particularly fond of the fact that the lockwork inside is very simple, yet works like a champ. The first day I had my gun, I took it apart and put it back together. By contrast, I took the side plate of my first Smith & Wesson, saw the number of parts inside, put back the parts that sprang out when I opened it up, lubed it and never opened it up again. Traded that K-22 for a Dan Wesson 22 and never looked back. That little .22 won a Turkey for me in my first ever competitive shoot.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

    Shooting Times made it their cover story gun Sept 1976.

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    The DW's are great, just take a good look at the overall condition, same as you would any other used gun.
    I used to have the "Pistol Pak" with the 2", 4", 6", and 8" barrels in .357 mag. Mounted a scope on the 8" for varmint hunting, used the 6" for silhouette compitition, 4" for carry and PPC compitition and the 2" when I wanted to carry it in a coat pocket.
    I put a lot of loads through that gun with no problems or complaints.

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    My first shooting handgun was a used 6" DW .357. I loaded and shot it a lot. It had a wonderful single action trigger pull; it was less than 100% in double action, but I almost never shot it da. At some point the cylinder seemed to "float" when I shot heavy loads. I sent it to the factory and they rebuilt it for me...free of charge!...customer service, those were the days!! The single action trigger was still great, but not as good as it was before they "fixed" it. I still enjoy shooting it, but only shoot lighter loads now.

    I bought a .22 to go with the .357. Had 4, 6, and 8" barrels and shrouds to share between the two. My .22 never shot very well for me...or I never could shot it well. It never seemed right that I could shoot my S&W 63 better than the DW .22.

    I bought the first DW.44 I saw and I like it. Two great guns and one so-so from DW.

    For .357 I have a SS Ruger 4" Security Six I enjoy packing. When it comes to shooting heavy loads, I've got a 6" SS GP100 that really gets the job done. I like the extra mass of the GP100 for shooting and I think it won't shoot loose as quickly as the lighter guns.

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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Leonard. I think the Dan Wesson gun has fallen through on me because the guy doesn't want to sell it now. What a bunch of bull...

    Anyways, I might steer towards a GP100 if I can't find another nice Dan Wesson.

    I appreciate any input guys, thanks

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    Default Gp100

    For what it's worth: my GP100 trigger pull seemed nice and light, very smooth. When I weighed it I was shocked it wan't lighter, it sure felt lighter. In any case, a nice gun and very stout.

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Schmidty Dog,

    Sorry for the delayed response. Too darn busy, and I'm glad I didn't cause you to miss out on the buy.

    The problem I mentioned is easy to see without shooting the gun. Just cock the hammer sharply (you don't have to do it too hard), and just lookiat the cylinder. You can see if it's over rotated or lined up with the barrel. You just have to know to look, which is why I mentioned my experience.

    It might very well be easy to fix. I didn't bother tinkering because I was also wanting a stainless steel revolver, and the DW was blued. I got my asking price regardless.

    Nothing wrong with the GP100! I love the one I've got....errr, I mean that I bought my wife.

    Good luck,
    Mike

  13. #13
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike, I appreciate the advice.

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