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Discussion Starter #1
I just received my new VBOB this week and absolutely love shooting it. Initially, it was my compromise so I didn't spend $3k on that Ed Brown Kobra Carry Lightweight. I'm glad I did and I don't think carry is going to be tough at all. That being said, I do like lightweight carry guns....

I'm relatively new to 1911s (at least new to them since there are more choices than Colt and custom). I've owned them in the past, but I've allowed new models to pass right by me. As I look through the DW choices, I see the Valor line described as their top of the line and the Heritage as their entry option. My question.... Where do the lightweights lie in that spectrum? I just sold some guns and have about $1300 in hand for toy purchases and am looking at the Valkyrie, Guardian, and ECO (also considering Colt Lightweight Commander and Night Defender). My question is.... Are any of those three built to the standards of the Valor series or are they built to the Heritage standards? If so, which ones have the higher-end build quality? Does it matter? Thank you!
 

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The difference of the Valor line and the rest of the line I believe is just the fact that it has no cast parts.. The other lines have a cast mag release and a cast MSH all the rest of the parts are the same as the valor line.. The heritage is cheapest model because it doesn't have front strap checkering I believe is the Biggest cost factor.. From my experience they are all fitted about the same and have all the same small parts besides the 2 cast parts mentioned. I don't think you will be unimpressed by any of the DW line.. If it was me I would buy a Valkyrie tho first choice for a carry pistol. Follows Very closely buy a guardian..
 

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The difference of the Valor line and the rest of the line I believe is just the fact that it has no cast parts.. The other lines have a cast mag release and a cast MSH all the rest of the parts are the same as the valor line.. The heritage is cheapest model because it doesn't have front strap checkering I believe is the Biggest cost factor.. From my experience they are all fitted about the same and have all the same small parts besides the 2 cast parts mentioned. I don't think you will be unimpressed by any of the DW line.. If it was me I would buy a Valkyrie tho first choice for a carry pistol. Follows Very closely buy a guardian..
Wait a Second! Just one damned second! I thought ALL Dan Wesson 1911s are made of tool steel dipped in the same material that made Wolverine's Claws!!!!!???? :rofl:

Just a bit of friday humor.
 

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I am not aware of any cast parts but could be wrong.

I have owned most all of them at one point. All have the same close tolerances CNC machined into them as well as minor hand fitting as required. All are/were tight/smooth and precise instruments. The Valor is touted as the flagship model. What does that mean?

I can only speak from my experience..........My Vbob was my first DW and was perfect in every way. After my nephew "borrowed" it I couldn't get it back from him. It eventually became a gift. He is a police officer so hopefully it will serve him well. I don't shoot .45 anymore anyway. He owes me big time.

Then came a Guardian. The pistol was otherwise perfect except for two very faint tool marks on the top front of the trigger guard. According to Glenn (great guy to work with) those marks were "within spec for a Guardian" and sure enough if you googled for Guardian pics you could see the same marks on most of them. Glenn added that those marks however would not fly on the Valor line. So, as far as I know the Valor is on a pedestal and is pretty much guaranteed to be "perfect" in every sense of the word.

All my other DWs have been flawless in every way.

As always, YMVV.
 

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All of the aluminum framed models use aluminum mainspring housing so they are not cast.

I have 2 CCO's and a V-bob and there is nothing that really stands out as being of lessor quality on the CCO's than the V-bob. I have not seen a post about a Heritage having any cosmetic flaws. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened just I haven't seen one.

I have a Colt Defender also and while it is the best fit and finished sub $1000 1911 I have, it isn't in the same league as my CCO's.

Your $1300 will get you almost a complete CCO but you will need a bit more if you prefer the Valkyre over the CCO. They are the same gun but the Valkyre adds carry cut front of the slide, changes the hammer and trigger, and switches to checkering for the front strap. I am not a fan of the carry cuts so a Valkyre will never be in my possession. But for those that do, it is a fine choice for carry just as the CCO is for those like me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys! That $1300 is a ballpark. I'd gladly add another couple for the right gun. I'd also save a couple for the right gun. FWIW, I took my Colt to have some new parts smithed into it and the smith told me that he carries an ECO. I know internet lore is that no gunsmith in the whole wide world will work on anything less than 4", but this one trusts his life to one of them. Thoughts on the ECO?
 

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I sent them an email a while ago - all Valor and aluminum guns are 100% bar stock, other models may have cast parts.
 

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Thanks BRZ for clearing that up.. I knew some of them have cast mag catches and msh.. From a thread you started couple months ago..
 

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The Valor line has more hand fitting that adds to the cost.
 

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My Valor from 2011 has a cast Ed Brown grip safety, but that's it and it's not a part that sees any real use except swinging out of the way. I've heard the grip safeties are now made by DW themselves.
 

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I've had several Guardians, an ECO, and a CCO. I like the Guardians the best. My .38 Super Guardian is one I'll never get rid of.
 

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Love it! I always cringe when I see the showpiece carry gun with pristine finish. 'Cause it generally isn't a carry gun.
Since you are new here and obviously don't know why I asked, I asked because Dan Wesson Duty Treatment is an EXTREMELY wear resistant coating. Likely as tough as any coating on the market, and if that is worn finish, I would love to know how many rounds and what kind of use that gun has seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Since you are new here and obviously don't know why I asked, I asked because Dan Wesson Duty Treatment is an EXTREMELY wear resistant coating. Likely as tough as any coating on the market, and if that is worn finish, I would love to know how many rounds and what kind of use that gun has seen.

I get it. I probably shouldn't have quoted you though. Makes it look like I was trying to contradict your post which was not my intent.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My 9mm ECO has been 100% reliable and is a pleasure to shoot...as have been my Guardian and CCO.
What if you could keep only one and it was your primary carry gun that gets rounds through it?

I'm leaning towards just carrying the VBOB and buying tons of ammo.
 

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Thats a hard question. The Guardian is actually my most accurate, not surprising I guess. I think the ECO would be the one I would keep. I prefer the sights, and the slightly lighter weight for carry. I do prefer the traditional takedown of the 4.25 inch and longer models however. It's probably a tossup. For a .45, the CCO would be slightly faster back on target. Since my Guardian and ECO are 9mm, I tend to shoot them more.
 

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The ECO is my EDC, and the Valor and PM-9 are range toys. I've never had a failure of any sort with type of ammo with the ECO.

 
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