Dan Wesson Patriot Expert Review
Part 1: First Impressions
Hello. I'd hoped that this would be a "range report," but just as I was finishing the Form 4473 at my gun dealer's, the rains came and they've not stopped. Maybe tomorrow?
In the meantime, I decided to examine my new pistol closely and give my impressions for whatever that might be worth to those perhaps interested in one of these as they're not too widely seen ... yet! From what I've seen, that might very well be changing!
This pistol is the stainless steel Patriot Expert and caliber is .45 ACP. It has sights obviously fashioned after Bomar's excellent adjustable sight and the front sight, which dovetails in the slide, is reminiscent of Benelli's B-76 9mm, kind of a shark fin shape.
The pistol has a solid, polished stainless bushing and a two-piece FLGR. The slide runs very smoothly despite a very nice fit to the frame. I detect very little lateral movement and no vertical movement.
The trigger is an aluminum part from McCormick and the pistol arrived with one 8-round McCormick stainless "Power Mag." The trigger had been set at the factory such that there was a bare minimum of overtravel. The magazine release, stainless and checkered, didn't appear to be either shorter or longer than "normal." I was pleased that the magazine release spring is good and firm.
Stocks are the checkered "diamond" pattern of cocobola and they looked darned nice to me. I also noticed that the stainless grip screws are slotted more thinly to work with common gunsmithing screwdrivers and when tightened in place, the slots on all four are vertical. Kind of a nice touch! I also noticed that the leading edge to the slide stop is nicely melted and sharp edges along the slide's muzzle area are nicely broken.
The trigger pull on the pistol was very clean and light; I'd estimate it at 4lbs or less and very little over-travel. It should be a shooter.
As I don't care for ambi's, I was pleasantly surprised to note a single-sided, extended thumb safety which engaged positively in the "on" position, but required no undue effort to wipe off. Operation is positive and not at all mushy.
I was also quite impressed with the fact that the rear of the slide was NOT just machined away enough for the Bomar type sight to sit. This won't help shooting, but it does offer just a wee bit more protection to the rear sight assembly, but MAINLY it looks good!
The stainless steel barrel is fit to the slide such that it locks up dead bang solid; there is no movement. Up to the last 1/2" or so toward the muzzle, the barrel measures about 0.57"; the last half-inch or so, it measures 0.58." I strongly suspect this gun will "shoot."
I'm further helped along in that belief when I see the "proof" target enclosed with my pistol. In the picture below, I've added three ball rounds for photographic purposes, but keep in mind that the test target, fired at 50', consists of 5 shots.
So, here's another look at the pistol. I suspect it'll shoot up a storm, but won't know of course, until I get it to the range. I will do a range report as soon as possible.