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Dan Wesson Review
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11.8.2002
Firearm
Dan Wesson
Stephen A. Camp

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.

Dan Wesson Patriot
The barrel's smoothly crowned with no nicks or visible mistakes.

Dan Wesson Patriot
This picture shows the pistol's sights pretty clearly as well as the polished slide and frame flats. The top and rear of the slide, front grip strap, and trigger guard are matte finished. The most obvious "difference" in this 1911 is obviously the external extractor. The front sight has one white dot while the rear sight's black.

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.


Dan Wesson Patriot
Here's how the slide fits the Patriot frame as viewed from the front at the dust cover; it's well-centered.

Dan Wesson Patriot
...and from the rear...

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.


Dan Wesson Patriot
The "marks" visible are not! They're fingerprints...mine!

Dan Wesson Patriot
View of the external extractor. The slide serrations are nicely cut and even as well.

Dan Wesson Patriot
Another view of the external extractor doing what it does. Again, the "marks" are my fingerprints.

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!

Dan Wesson Patriot

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.


Dan Wesson Patriot

Dan Wesson Patriot
The standard frame/barrel feed ramp's throated and polished and is expected to feed smoothly.

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.


Dan Wesson Patriot

Part 2: Slow Fire

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