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Old March 30, 2014, 09:38 PM   #1
k511
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Dan Wesson revolvers....a couple questions..

I was in the local shop today and they had a Dan Wesson 715 in .357 Magnum with a 3 inch barrel, and stainless finish... also included original grips and a pair of Hogues..
This particular revolver had a nice tight lock up, a very nice SA trigger, and a respectable DA trigger....asking price is 450...I know I can get it for 400,,,maybe 350 as I give them a bit of business..
this is not one of their models with the interchangeable barrels.. a couple things I noticed..location of the cylinder release, located in front of the cylinder rather than tword the rear of the frame (I kind of like this idea being left handed myself)... i also noticed the cylinder itself was recessed ( bullets sit down into rather than flush..
I've never owned anything (that I liked) that was not from Smith & Wesson or Ruger. But I'm always open to try new things..
Anyhow for people that own some Dan Wesson revolvers themselves, what do you think of it? Overall quality, accuracy? Trigger? Durability over time?
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Old March 30, 2014, 10:05 PM   #2
C5rider
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Overall, I like DWs!

I think the gun you're mentioning was probably a Palmer-built gun. Look on the right side of the frame and you'll find the location of manufacture. Is it a Dan Wesson (as I think that some High Standards were also manufactured by DW)?

I like mine. It's reliable, easy to work on and, it's accurate. Not having the removable barrels is a bit of a down side. I think if it's in good shape, and you can get it for $350, I think you'll have done well. But I'm also open for someone to show up to tell me I know nothing about them.

Price has been going up lately as more folks are getting keen to the value of DW revolvers. You can also check out http://www.danwessonforum.com. they're full of great guys who know their stuff about these guns.

Hope it helps!
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Old March 30, 2014, 10:42 PM   #3
k511
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Here's a couple pics I snapped with my phone...it
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Old March 31, 2014, 12:42 AM   #4
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I've never had a DW without the changeable barrels. I would still probably take a good fixed barrel one over just about any other .357 revolver, with maybe the exception of an S&W 28. But then again, I have a 715 and a 15 already, and I don't have a 28 anymore. I never should have sold it.
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Old April 24, 2014, 10:42 AM   #5
ese927
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sweet wheel gun

If you got that for 350 it was a steal. Dan Wesson has been my revolver of choice since I was really young. Actions are always smooth, dbl or sgl, and if after several years of wear, a minor polish will put them back on track. relatively simple to disassemble and less parts than any other DA. make sure brl is set to gap and let'er rip. I may be biased cause I got my first pistol pac in 1978, mod 15-2VH .357 Hunter. 6", 10", and 12" brl and I been hooked ever since. I have colt troopers and S&W mod 29 .44 none come close to my DW. trust me, you got a real bargain..
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Old April 24, 2014, 11:18 AM   #6
wogpotter
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Quote:
make sure brl is set to gap and let'er rip.
That's good advice with an interchangeable barrel model, but a bit impractical with a fixed barrel model IMO.
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Old April 24, 2014, 11:39 AM   #7
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>>That's good advice with an interchangeable barrel model, but a bit impractical with a fixed barrel model IMO.<<

LOL!
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Old April 24, 2014, 03:12 PM   #8
BigJimP
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I have way too many years with S&W revolvers..( 50+ ) to consider changing my muscle memory - as to the location of the cylinder release...

But I've fired a few of the DW's ...and their triggers are pretty good / not nearly as good as S&W in my view...but acceptable.

But for $ 350 to $ 400 ...and if you just want something a little different...why not give it a try ....../ if you end up hating the cylinder release location, you can probably get your money back out of it...
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Old April 24, 2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Yes, any DW owner would do well to join the Dan Wesson Forum-just remember to come back here.
S&Ws hade recessed cylinders until 30 years ago or so, Colt never had them, nor Ruger.
The "Official " explanation is that they provide better protection in case of a blown shell head.
I have an M-12 and an M-15, barrels interchange, shrouds do not.
Regarding the position of the cylinder latch, I actually find it quite efficient-I am right handed. Push down on the latch with my left thumb, push the cylinder out with my left hand index and middle fingers, push down on the ejector rod, reload with my right. And I started out with a Colt Trooper. Takes a little getting used, no different than driving a different car or another bicycle.
Accuracy with both of mine is excellent.
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Old July 2, 2014, 08:19 PM   #10
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guess I've never seen a 15 that was fixed bbl.
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Old July 2, 2014, 08:37 PM   #11
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The interchangeable barrels might not be missed. It sounds like a good idea, and maybe others have different feelings, but I have known a fair number of people who own DW's with the interchangeable barrels and only one has ever done much barrel swapping. It seems most owners try a couple of barrels, settle for one they like and the other barrels sit in the box.

The DW ads promoted the idea that a uniformed cop could carry a 5" with large grips on duty, come home, change to a 3" barrel and small grips for concealed carry in civilian clothes to go to the movies. I can't say it never happened, but I never knew it to happen. Most cops had two (or more) guns. And the switch by LEO's to autoloaders made the whole idea moot.

Jim
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Old July 2, 2014, 11:02 PM   #12
SIGSHR
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One plus to the interchangeable barrel is that you can adjust the B/C gap yourself. One DW fan told me he preferred to used blued guns with stainless barrels. I had to have my trusty Colt Trooper rebarreled years ago, a trip to the gunsmith was required, the DW-five minutes. If there are IMHMSA shooters here they can weight in on whether the interchangeable barrel was better with hot loads.
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Old July 3, 2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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It's been said many times that the Dan Wesson design with barrel suspended at each end is what promotes it's extreme accuracy. It's also been said that all the Smith & Wesson X-frames provide extremely fine accuracy for the same reason. (the X-frames are not swappable barrels, but they are two-piece barrels that are suspended at each end. In fact, they are swappable, but only at the factory, but they aren't huge hunks of steel with a rifled hole bored out of them like a traditional S&W barrel)

The newest of the Smith & Wesson revolvers are also going to the sleeved barrel. The new Model 69 and the Model 66 both.

So the "feature" of swapping out barrels on a whim isn't necessarily the real carrot to the Dan Wesson system. And for the guys who used the big DW's back in the day for long distance silhouette competitions, the swappable barrel wasn't a feature they used to change the format of the platform relative to their mood, it was a feature that allowed them to just tear up a barrel and then replace it when they cooked it up enough that it made sense to replace.

The design of a revolver with a two-piece swappable barrel is ingenious and the real beauty of it has been missed by so many.
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Old July 3, 2014, 11:32 PM   #14
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I see they are starting production of the 715 this summer. New ones will go for over a grand. http://cz-usa.com/product/dan-wesson-715/
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Old July 4, 2014, 09:01 PM   #15
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About 15 years ago I picked up a used Monson built model 15 for $150. It had a 2 1/2" barrel and came with its original wood grip and a rubber Pachmayr grip which I much prefer.

Even with the short barrel I found that it was every bit as accurate as my 6" S&W 686+ as long as I did my part and paid proper attention to the sights.

I later bought a 4" barrel which it now wears most of the time.

Trigger feel, both DA and SA is a bit different than my S&W's but is in no way inferior.

I have no problem with the cylinder latch. For me it is very similar in use to an S&W type latch but I am also left handed. It's a matter of using one thumb rather than the other.
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Old July 6, 2014, 09:55 PM   #16
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k511,
The Dan Wesson 715 that you mention came originally with the Hogue grips. I bought 2 0f them around 20 years ago. The wife has one and my daughter in law has the other. With the price increase of firearms, then any of the prices you mentioned would do you good. I paid 234.50 each dealer cost 20 years ago for mine. Well built, good shooting revolvers. Accurate as any 3in quality built revolver of any brand. Fully adj sights. A pleasure to shoot even with full house loads in 357. The wifes carries 180 grain in hers.
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Old July 6, 2014, 10:49 PM   #17
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When Dan Wesson was developing the 44 mag he would take it to the matches .You could look at the prototype, handle it, fire it ,and talk to the CO !! --The good old days !
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Old July 7, 2014, 12:42 PM   #18
caz223
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I have a 715, haven't shot it in years.
It was really inaccurate, so I ordered a new barrel and put it on myself.
Had to buy a barrel tension wrench and feeler gauge.
The accuracy was much improved (As good as anything else I had.), but after a bit it started giving me light strikes (When the barrel was too loose) and binding (When the barrel was too tight.)
Really picky. I figured it had too much play in the cylinder (Don't know it it was worn, or just a design problem.)
I took it all apart and cleaned it really good in case it was just dirty.
That's when I noticed the internals were peeling. They were coated with like a nickel plating and the plating was just peeling off leaving tiny metal flakes in the action. These metal flakes had chipped away at the precision surfaces in there, and the surfaces of such were pitted and eroded, causing the problems.
I threw it in a box, and never shot it again.
I think I paid $215 for it circa 1997ish. I'm not spending another dime on it.
I'm not gonna make it someone else's problem, either.
Maybe newer ones were better. I never liked the trigger as well as a S&W, either.
Now, maybe the previous owner(s) butchered it, and the poor gun was a victim, but the sample size of 1 is all I'm willing to commit to, given the current outcome.
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Old July 10, 2014, 03:32 AM   #19
hemiram
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caz223- I've had 2 715s, and about 10 Model 15s, and I've never seen anything like plated internals in any of them. I bought one of the 15's at a pawn shop with a severely pitted barrel. It shot fine. Not quite as accurate as the ones with the pretty barrels, but close. None of my DW guns has had any problems with light strikes, or anything but the known issues of what happens with too long of a grip screw.

You just got a junker that someone messed up, it seems.
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Old July 10, 2014, 12:15 PM   #20
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DWs were case hardened internally, one of the reasons its a bad idea to monkey with the guts trying to slick them up.
I'd guess some "shade tree gunsmiff" cut through the case hardening & tried some plating to fix the mistake.
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Old July 10, 2014, 02:29 PM   #21
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"Bout 5 years ago I bought a like new DW blue, M15, 6". ($250)
Bluing was much like the dandy blue on a Python. It was very accurate (.357) & a pleasure to shoot.
I'm a revolver guy at heart having many (but not enough) Smiths.
I sold that DW to a fellow panting over it for $350. Upon reflection I regret selling such a fine revolver but I did use the bucks to get my 2nd prestine M-15 Smith.
( O.K. THE PLEDGE: I promise to never part with any of my firearms again!)
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Old July 10, 2014, 10:22 PM   #22
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Back around 1980 I had a chance to buy a Dan, not certain of the model, just remember it had a 6" barrel and a Colt Trooper MkIII. Same price as they were both mismarked at a Gibsons store. I took the Colt and still have it. Love it. Always wanted a Dan since that day and never really looked for one at shows. Found one last April at the Tulsa show. It is a 15V 6". It is not perfect but nice but man does it shoot nice. They are accurate and the recoil is minimal when comparing the same loads in a 4" Smith which may not be a fair comparison. After waiting all these years to get one and at my "advanced" age of nearly 61 I would love to have more of them. I don't know much about the model you are looking at. I would love to have a pistol pac in the full lug/shroud model. It is just a sweet looking firearm. The Palmer's are said to have more potential problems than the Monson assembled firearms. Do go to the Dan Wesson site as mentioned above. I am a regular there myself as are many others. I am not a big snubby guy but they are pretty hot right so that price does not look bad at all.

The same day I got back to town with my Dan I took it to the indoor range and put two cylinders through it at 50'. Only three were not in the black. First cylinder of my reloads which are mild 38's.

Your mileage may vary but I would not think by much. Enjoy
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Old July 11, 2014, 09:11 AM   #23
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I have three Dan Wesson revolvers: a 40V in 357 SM that I shot silhouette with in the 80s, a 715 357 mag, and a 22. They are all VERY accurate and are keepers. IMHO, In double action they feel different than a Smith because the trigger seems to have a shorter stroke giving a feel of a higher spring rate rise.

I had just got a new-to-me bullet mold to play with and I loaded some 38s with the cast bullet. I put 6 rounds in the 715 and just fired 6 shots, double action @ 25 yards with my first load attempt. It strung a little vertically that you can usually work out with powder charge but horizontal shows how accurate these revolvers are. Can't go wrong with a DW!

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Old July 11, 2014, 04:08 PM   #24
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Yeah, I figured as much.
I looked through the factory barrel, and it was in good shape but the rifling was irregular (It went straight for 1/8") , like a bullet got stuck in it, and someone fired another bullet behind it. Or the machine that made the rifling just stopped turning and cut straight for a tiny bit, and then continued on it's way.
She's had a hard life, no doubt.
My intent was not to discourage.
I was happy to be able to install a new barrel and shroud myself, and it took only a minute.
The accuracy with a new shrouded barrel is not in question. A tensioned barrel is at least as accurate as a barrel that is merely supported by the threads.
I've wanted one of the larger models, but those are $$$$$ and you just don't seem to see them in the used market that much.

You do tend to see the 715 available, and very reasonable, just inspect it well, and know what you're getting, so you can identify one that's had a hard life.
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