Handgun Beauties: Dan Wesson 50th Anniversary

Handgun Beauties: Dan Wesson 50th Anniversary
A fitting tribute to the legacy Dan Wesson left behind.

Dan Wesson was the great-grand-son of D.B. Wesson of Smith & Wesson fame, but decided to go it alone—designing a revolver with many innovative features to include interchangeable barrels, sights and grips. He worked for the company that bears his name for about 25 years and left when it was sold in 1963. He passed away in 1978.

Dan Wesson’s facility is close to me in New England, and I got to know Mr. Wesson and watch the company grow. Today it is owned by CZ-USA and is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a limited-edition 1911—and it’s a beauty.

The finish is extraordinary, with every part perfectly polished. This perfection is especially noticeable on hard-to-reach places like inside the trigger guard, the beavertail safety and more. It almost looks like a blue chromed finish, but it’s actually a nitride finish toned to resemble the high quality deep blue seen on premium guns in the past.

While conservative, the scroll engraving on the slide and frame commands attention. There are gold accents on the DW logo found on the beavertail safety and the “50th” marking on the recoil spring plug.

Topside you will find a precision-built Dan Wesson Tactical rear sight assembly. The rear sight is angled and serrated to eliminate glare, and it’s mounted low. It is paired with a brass bead that fits perfectly into the notch of the rear blade.

The rear checkered mainspring housing and the beavertail safety mate perfectly with frame, and slide-to-frame fit was excellent as well. The matte finished trigger broke at 4.5 pounds of pull with just a hint of travel before the sear broke. There was no sideways play as the trigger was pressed.

The hammer is skeletonized and has a non-slip serrated surface. Standard operator controls consist of an extended manual safety, polished slide stop and a checkered magazine release.

The five-inch barrel is match grade, and the barrel bushing was fitted so precisely you would need the included bushing wrench to disassemble the gun. The G10 grips look like simulated ivory, with the Dan Wesson logo inletted halfway up the sides.

Two magazines are included with the gun, and if you have to ask, current retail is listed at $2,999 with a hard case.

For the record, I did not fire this gun. To do so would only hurt its value, and I know Dan—looking down at all this attention—would certainly not have approved of me pushing ammunition through this fine work of art. It’s a fitting tribute to the legacy he left behind.

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