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Old December 29, 2012, 09:27 PM   #1
Aristides
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Help me out: Colt XSE or Dan Wesson Guardian?

I'm about to buy my first 45 ACP. I have several 9mm and 357 mags, and assorted other pistols. I've tentatively narrowed my 45 choice to one of these three pistols:

1. Colt XSE Govt, 5", Blued Finish
2. Colt XSE Commander, 4.25", Stainless Finish
3. Dan Wesson Guardian, 4.25", Duty Finish

I have two unresolved questions.

First, how would you rank the above three regarding a finish that will be most resistant to showing scratches, dings, etc?

Second, from a carrying comfort standpoint, how much consideration should I give to the 5" barrel length of the Govt vs the 4.25" barrel of the Commander size? I carry IWB with a belly band. A friend told me that he notices the difference when he carries his 5", that it tends to pinch a bit and it's more noticable when he sits down. Does anyboy else have both a 5" and 4.25", and can you tell the difference when carrying?
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:49 PM   #2
Andrewh
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yes, you can tell the difference, but mostly when sitting.

jeans bind up a bit more with the 5 inch vs the commander length. and occasionally you bang the chair when you sit with a 5 inch over commander.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:04 PM   #3
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I shot my friends Colt Lightweight Commander XSE and was immediately sold. Accurate, great out of the box trigger, feeds everything. Great package.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:18 PM   #4
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In terms of finish I would rate them in this order:

Guardian "Duty Treatment" is a molecular level hardening and blackening ferritic nitrocarburizing metal treatment. The nitrocarburizing process are a very durable finishing for handguns. Similar to tennifer on Glocks IIRC.

Colt stainless is next.

Colt blue is last.

Carrying a 1911 is all about a proper belt and a proper holster. If you have both then you can carry IWB with minimal discomfort. IMHO Your friend is accurate in his assessment that sitting with a 5" Govt the gun is more present than with a 4.25" commander.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:16 AM   #5
KyJim
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If I try to carry a five inch 1911, I also find the barrel bumping a bit when I sit down. As WVsig said, the Duty Treatment is a pretty good metal treatment.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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I'd choose the DW.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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I would go with the Commander size for carry. As others have said, the Government size isn't that noticeable when standing but causes problems when sitting. As far as which gun, I have no experience with the Dan Wesson but the Colt Commander that I have experience with is an awesome gun.
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Old December 31, 2012, 10:15 PM   #8
Aristides
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Valor or Guardian?

I'm the OP.

Another consideration is the V-Bob Valor. The only thing that would make me choose the V-Bob over the Guardian is the heavier weight, to reduce felt recoil. The V-Bob is 35 oz compared with 29 oz for the Guardian. I plan to shoot 185 grain +P.

Will the weight help that much? The Guardian is already a stretch for me, price-wise. I'm not thrilled about spending another $400-500 on the Valor if it won't make much difference.

Any thoughts about the recoil difference?
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:29 PM   #9
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felt recoil will be based on barrel length not just weight.
a 4.25 inch barrel will feel like it kicks more than the 5 inch. just the way it is.

the added weight does help dampen the recoil of course, just plain physics but the majority of it will be barrel length.
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Old January 1, 2013, 12:46 PM   #10
WVsig
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Quote:
nothing colt makes even comes close to the fit and finish of
a dan wesson
This is not true statement. Some of the guns that come out of the Colt custom shop are as good as what Dan Wesson makes.
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Old January 1, 2013, 04:00 PM   #11
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All I can say is I love my Colt Government XSE.




Quote:
nothing colt makes even comes close to the fit and finish of
a dan wesson
Not true at all.

Colt's Custom Shop puts together some very impressive pistols - equal or better than Dan Wesson.

Even the assembly-line pistols (like the XSE) coming from Colt these days are very well-built. The slide-to-frame fit and bushing fit of my XSE are as perfect as any 1911 I've ever handled.
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Old January 1, 2013, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
All I can say is I love my Colt Government XSE.
Quote:
nothing colt makes even comes close to the fit and finish of
a dan wesson
Not true at all.

Colt's Custom Shop puts together some very impressive pistols - equal or better than Dan Wesson.

Even the assembly-line pistols (like the XSE) coming from Colt these days are very well-built. The slide-to-frame fit and bushing fit of my XSE are as perfect as any 1911 I've ever handled.
Fishbed77 is online now Report Post
I've been very pleased with my Colt Combat Commander XSE. Fit and finish are excellent, it's accurate and easy to shoot well.

[IMG][/IMG]

Plus, the Colt is made in the USA.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:33 PM   #13
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Commander size for me. All my 1911s are full size so I'd love something easier for carry purposes.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:35 PM   #14
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Comparing DW to Colt is like comparing Toyota to Mercedes.
The Toyota drivers are so deep in the Koolaid they don't know anything else.
Buy the DW and be happy in the fact you are two steps above Colt in quality and function.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:36 AM   #15
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I vote Dan Wesson, mainly because I want one and hear good things.
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:01 AM   #16
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I've gotten two DW. No Colts. I've haven't see a new colt that I've liked as much.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:53 PM   #17
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I have 4 Colt Commanders They are good pistols But my Bob tail DW Commander has better fit,trigger, sights, and finish It will out shoot all my Colts .
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Old January 4, 2013, 10:33 PM   #18
Aristides
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I'm the OP.

Came across a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander 45. Couldn't resist, pulled the trigger!

I went back and forth in my mind between the Dan Wesson and Colts, but wanted to handle the different guns in person. I'm a little shy about making $1,500 purchases without seeing the product with my own eyes.

Visited several LGS to see if I could find either the Dan Wesson or Colt SXE. No luck with any of those, but I saw the Colt Commander and it just called my name. Haven't been to the range yet, but I like the looks and feel of the Colt.

The best thing is, I can still snatch up a Dan Wesson sometime in the future, if one presents itself. I've also got my eye on the new Ruger SR1911 Stainless Commander, which just appeared on their website. Interesting!
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:44 PM   #19
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You purchased a solid pistol in the Colt Wiley Clapp Commander. Congratulations.
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Old January 5, 2013, 08:08 AM   #20
WVsig
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Nice pick up. It should serve you well. For those who doubt that the Colt Custom shop guns are as nice as what DW is offering I suggest you check out one of these.

Colt Special Combat 1911



Quote:
Comparing DW to Colt is like comparing Toyota to Mercedes.
The Toyota drivers are so deep in the Koolaid they don't know anything else.
Buy the DW and be happy in the fact you are two steps above Colt in quality and function.
These comments are so misleading. Colt is not Toyota maybe more like Lexus. Ruger is a Toyota in terms of build quality and performance. Nothing spectacular about the product in terms of fit and finish but is runs, getting you from point a to point b for a good price and is generally reliable. Colt is a step up.

Where the analogy really breaks down, and make me question has the person posting ever owned a Mercedes Benz, is the fact that MBs are less reliable and malfunction more often than the Toyota does. If anything it is MB owners who drink the koolaid believing that they have to have a 400 HP AMG to drive 30 miles a day in bumper to bumper traffic..... LOL

Dan Wesson makes a great gun but they have pushed their price point too high. It is in no way shape or form 2 times the pistol over the Colt in terms of quality or function. Maybe 1.25 but you are paying more than 50% more to get that difference. The law of diminishing returns really starts to kick in when you get over $1000 in a 1911. If you are going to go to DW territory why stop there you are close to Les Baer territory Dan Wesson is still a production pistol where a Les Baer and other semi-custom guns are not made in the same assembly line way.

In the end each person has to choose what price point they are comfortable with and purchase what fits their needs within that price point. The OP was hesitant to pony up $1500 right out of the gate so he chose Colt which IMHO is a great place to start. They hold their value better than any other 1911 if he chooses to sell in order to upgrade down the road.

I am a long time Dan Wesson fan. I just liked them better when you could still get them for well under $1000. The old CBOB was the best value in 1911s at one time but these days not so much. Here is a pic of mine..... which IIRC I paid around $800 for LNIB

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Last edited by WVsig; January 5, 2013 at 08:23 AM.
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Old January 6, 2013, 04:53 AM   #21
Pilot
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I bought two Colt custom shop pistols (WWI Repros), new, in the last two years for $899, from authorized dealers. They are superb, and a great value in a true 1911. DW are very nice also, but Colt is putting out some of the better 1911's for the money, and a new National Match or S70 Repro are next on my list.
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Old January 8, 2013, 01:49 PM   #22
thinkingman
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Quote:
Quote:
Comparing DW to Colt is like comparing Toyota to Mercedes.
The Toyota drivers are so deep in the Koolaid they don't know anything else.
Buy the DW and be happy in the fact you are two steps above Colt in quality and function.

These comments are so misleading. Colt is not Toyota maybe more like Lexus. Ruger is a Toyota in terms of build quality and performance. Nothing spectacular about the product in terms of fit and finish but is runs, getting you from point a to point b for a good price and is generally reliable. Colt is a step up.

Where the analogy really breaks down, and make me question has the person posting ever owned a Mercedes Benz, is the fact that MBs are less reliable and malfunction more often than the Toyota does. If anything it is MB owners who drink the koolaid believing that they have to have a 400 HP AMG to drive 30 miles a day in bumper to bumper traffic..... LOL

Dan Wesson makes a great gun but they have pushed their price point too high. It is in no way shape or form 2 times the pistol over the Colt in terms of quality or function. Maybe 1.25 but you are paying more than 50% more to get that difference. The law of diminishing returns really starts to kick in when you get over $1000 in a 1911. If you are going to go to DW territory why stop there you are close to Les Baer territory Dan Wesson is still a production pistol where a Les Baer and other semi-custom guns are not made in the same assembly line way.

In the end each person has to choose what price point they are comfortable with and purchase what fits their needs within that price point. The OP was hesitant to pony up $1500 right out of the gate so he chose Colt which IMHO is a great place to start. They hold their value better than any other 1911 if he chooses to sell in order to upgrade down the road.

I am a long time Dan Wesson fan. I just liked them better when you could still get them for well under $1000. The old CBOB was the best value in 1911s at one time but these days not so much. Here is a pic of mine..... which IIRC I paid around $800 for LNIB
The idea that Toyota/Lexus is superior quality is a myth.
And an expensive one.
Having owned two Toyota's over the past 10 years, and spending $60k to find out they are no better than many other manufacturers.
People try to convince themselves Toyota is better, but I can assure you and have plenty of evidence, they're not.
Lexus is probably THE most overrated automotive experience there is.
The new ES is so obviously a Camry with a tasteless cosmetic treatment(much like their drivers!) yet the buyers will tell you how that's just not true.
Ridiculous.
Don't get me started on Tacoma/Tundra drivers and their inflated sense of quality.
Mercedes(the real thing, just like BMW and Audi) drivers NEED that 400hp to get around the unattractive blond in the Lexus, applying more makeup and talking on her cell phone while traffic backs up behind them.
Anyhooo, at least we agree that Colt doesn't compete with Dan Wesson in terms of quality.
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Old January 8, 2013, 01:56 PM   #23
thinkingman
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Quote:
Quote:
Comparing DW to Colt is like comparing Toyota to Mercedes.
The Toyota drivers are so deep in the Koolaid they don't know anything else.
Buy the DW and be happy in the fact you are two steps above Colt in quality and function.

These comments are so misleading. Colt is not Toyota maybe more like Lexus. Ruger is a Toyota in terms of build quality and performance. Nothing spectacular about the product in terms of fit and finish but is runs, getting you from point a to point b for a good price and is generally reliable. Colt is a step up.

Where the analogy really breaks down, and make me question has the person posting ever owned a Mercedes Benz, is the fact that MBs are less reliable and malfunction more often than the Toyota does. If anything it is MB owners who drink the koolaid believing that they have to have a 400 HP AMG to drive 30 miles a day in bumper to bumper traffic..... LOL

Dan Wesson makes a great gun but they have pushed their price point too high. It is in no way shape or form 2 times the pistol over the Colt in terms of quality or function. Maybe 1.25 but you are paying more than 50% more to get that difference. The law of diminishing returns really starts to kick in when you get over $1000 in a 1911. If you are going to go to DW territory why stop there you are close to Les Baer territory Dan Wesson is still a production pistol where a Les Baer and other semi-custom guns are not made in the same assembly line way.

In the end each person has to choose what price point they are comfortable with and purchase what fits their needs within that price point. The OP was hesitant to pony up $1500 right out of the gate so he chose Colt which IMHO is a great place to start. They hold their value better than any other 1911 if he chooses to sell in order to upgrade down the road.

I am a long time Dan Wesson fan. I just liked them better when you could still get them for well under $1000. The old CBOB was the best value in 1911s at one time but these days not so much. Here is a pic of mine..... which IIRC I paid around $800 for LNIB
The idea that Toyota/Lexus is superior quality is a myth.
And an expensive one.
Having owned two Toyota's over the past 10 years, and spending $60k to find out they are no better than many other manufacturers.
People try to convince themselves Toyota is better, but I can assure you and have plenty of evidence, they're not.
Lexus is probably THE most overrated automotive experience there is.
The new ES is so obviously a Camry with a tasteless cosmetic treatment(much like their drivers!) yet the buyers will tell you how that's just not true.
Ridiculous.
Don't get me started on Tacoma/Tundra drivers and their inflated sense of quality.
Mercedes(the real thing, just like BMW and Audi) drivers NEED that 400hp to get around the unattractive blond in the Lexus, applying more makeup and talking on her cell phone while traffic backs up behind them.
Lexus is known as the brand for status, not performance.
Anyhooo, at least we agree that Colt doesn't compete with Dan Wesson in terms of quality.
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Old January 8, 2013, 02:17 PM   #24
AJD21
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The Guardian is going to be your best choice for what your looking for a carry 1911. Its lighter(aluminum frame), easier to conceal(bobtail frame, commander length) and the Duty finish on the Dan Wesson is among the most durable finishes on the market for handguns.

Having owned over a dozen Colt's from with production dates from the 80's to 2012 including a two Colt Special Combat's and three newer production Dan Wesson's including a Guardian in 9mm I can say that Dan Wesson puts out a much nicer built 1911. Colt's are well made and reliable but Dan Wesson has them beat in fit, finish and overall quality of parts.

However, RELIABILITY of Dan Wesson's are not as proven as Colt IMO because Colt's are a little more "combat fit". This is not to say Dan Wesson's can't be very reliable I just think that with Colt you might have less issues at least in the first 1000 rounds.
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Old January 8, 2013, 02:38 PM   #25
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The Dan Wesson is superior to the Colt in just about every way, save that the Dan Wesson doesn't have a pony on it. As a base gun for custom work, the Colt is a better choice. But the Dan Wesson has a more wear- and corrosion-resistant finish, better sights, has been properly dehorned (Colts have razor-sharp edges on the dust cover and front of the slide in particular), and will have an overall better fit and finish.
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