Dan Wesson Silverback – 10mm, .45 ACP

Dan Wesson Silverback 10mm

New for 2015, Dan Wesson is introducing a new 1911-style pistol that will be chambered in both 10mm and .45 ACP. According to the company, these new pistols will be of a quality comparable to the top-of-the-line Dan Wesson Valor pistols.

Let’s take a look at the basics of these guns…


Gun Company Troubles

If the media is to be believed, gun companies are all making money hand over fist: Black Friday gun sales set all time records and the re-election of President Obama has sparked impulse buying.  However, there are a few companies that are experiencing some difficulties right now.

A fire in mid-November shut down the Dan Wesson Firearms plant, halting all production of their guns.  The good news is only one employee was injured, and he or she did not need hospitalization.  The bad news is the company does not expect to re-open for business in 2012.

Superstorm Sandy wiped out the Henry Repeating Arms manufacturing facility in Bayonne, NJ in late October.  An estimated three feet of seawater flooded the facility, damaging at least 100 of the company’s manufacturing machines.  Additionally, parts of the facility’s roof was destroyed and some inventory was soaked with sea- and rainwater.


Dan Wesson Specialist 1911 Pitsol

Dan Wesson SpecialistThe Dan Wesson Specialist is another addition to the company’s 1911 line of pistols that I expect to be on display at the 2012 SHOT Show.  According to the Dan Wesson company, the Specialist is a full sized, single-action pistol that was designed for police departments and “special units” that carry a 1911-style pistol.

The pistol will be familiar to most any 1911 enthusiast, but it has a number of nice features that should appeal to anyone wanting a full sized handgun for self defense or duty carry.

The Specialist is chambered for the ubiquitous .45 ACP cartridge.  We can argue whether this round or that round is “better,” but no one will say the .45 won’t get the job done.  The magazines will hold eight rounds, and two mags come standard with the gun.


Dan Wesson Razorback 10mm: To Be Reintroduced In 2012

Dan Wesson Razorback 10mm

It’s back.  For 2012, Dan Wesson is bringing back the Razorback 10mm pistol.

The Dan Wesson Razorback RZ-10 is a 1911-style pistol with a forged stainless steel frame.  The slide and frame are both polished to a “soft” finish on the flat areas, while the rounded areas are sandblasted.

The RZ-10 has a 5″ match grade barrel.  The grips are double-diamond cocobolo.  The magazines take eight of the potent 10mm rounds.

Weight is measured in pounds: 2.40 of them to be exact.

Dan Wesson states the Razorback will be made in limited numbers, so don’t expect they will flood the market.  I imagine the company will gladly ramp up production if demand outpaces production, though.

MSRP on the new Razorbacks will be $1350.

Discontinuing the Razorback, and then bringing it back due to customer demand mirrors what happened to Colt with their 10mm handgun, the Delta Elite.

The Delta Elite had been out of production for a number of years before it was reintroduced in 2009.  See my article Colt Delta Elite Reintroduced at 2009 SHOT Show.

We expect to see the rebirth of the Dan Wesson 10mm at the 2012 SHOT Show.

When it was introduced, the 10mm Auto cartridge seemed to be the answer to everyone’s concerns about stopping power in handguns. However, concerns about controllability and accelerated wear on guns ultimately led to the development of the .40 S&W cartridge.

Nevertheless, the 10mm retains a significant group of fans. The 10mm is versatile allowing for hunting, self-defense and shooting matches.

While the Dan Wesson gun is a semi-auto pistol, the 10mm can also be had as a wheelgun. Check out my Smith & Wesson Model 610 review to see what a 10mm revolver can do.

I urge caution when reading some online 10mm reviews. While the guns have a greater amount of felt recoil than a .38 or 9mm, the recoil is very manageable. These guns have far less recoil than many people suggest. So, don’t shy away from them if you have a chance to shoot one.


Dan Wesson Guardian 1911 Pistol

danwesson_guardian_03aCZ revamped the Dan Wesson 1911 line, and were showing off the new pistols at the 2010 SHOT Show.  The Dan Wesson Guardian was one example.

The Guardian is a commander-sized 1911 pistol chambered in 9mm.  The forged alloy frame has a black “duty” finish, which is the same finish as what is on the Valor handguns mad by CZ.  The rear of the grip is bob-tailed making it easier to conceal.

The sights are fixed tritium three-dot.  The rear sight is ramped so it is less likely to snag on any clothing when it is drawn from behind a jacket or under a shirt.  I prefer to have a hard edge instead of a ramp so I can use it to perform one-handed malfunction drills and reloads more easily.

The Guardian felt good in the hand, and it balanced well.  It is a touch heavier than similar sized, polymer framed pistols from competitors, but that extra weight should make the 9mm recoil darn-near non-existent.  Weight is listed as 1.8 pounds (about 28.8 ounces).