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Old October 3, 2011, 02:41 PM   #1
Skans
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Dan Wesson Revolvers - question

I recall that back in the late '70's to early '80's the Dan Wesson revolver with the interchangable barrels was considered to be a really nice revolver. Perhaps it still is, but it seems like you can find them pretty cheap, comparatively speaking.

What's the story with those older DW revolvers? Are they any good? or just "Fair" as far as quality goes?
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:55 PM   #2
overkill0084
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They are very strong and accurate revolvers. My 15-2 VH dates from 1981. It was my silhouette gun when I was a teenager. It still works fine. I like the fact that many people have never seen one. I love the "what the heck is that" look people get when they see it (it's got the 8" barrel installed.) Well kept examples are a good buy considering what S&Ws and Colts go for. I've been thinking of hunting for one of the supermags. I think a .460 Rowland would be a hoot, though a .357 Supermag version wouldn't hurt my feelings either.
Initially, when my father bought it, it had really tight chambers and the cylinder alignment was not quite on. It was sent back and fixed by the company without drama. I still have the paperwork. It went back again in 89 for another cylinder alignment issue (many thousands of rounds later.) It's been fine since. So, quality issues did exist, but they were typically not the end of the world. Fit and finish is otherwise good. It's still a joy to shoot.
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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I bought my DW back in 1974 with the 6" barrel/.357 magnum. It is by far my most accurate pistol and due to its size/weight has very little recoil even with the stoutest of .357 magnum loads. Carry it as a concealed pistol? No, on my body frame it would be like trying to hide an elephant under my shirt!
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Old October 3, 2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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They had a much tighter than average cylinder to forcing cone fit, and thus yielded more energy through the barrel rather than out the sides. The barrel shrouds also locked the barrels in front and back, so barrel flex was kept at a minimum, which was generally the explanation for their better-than-most accuracy. I considered them among the finest revolvers available at the time, but rather out of reach for me in price. To me, they are still desireable, and I wouldn't turn one down if it presented itself to me at the right price, and I'm not even a revolver guy.
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Old October 3, 2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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They are being made again...
http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/dw715/

The new ones are selling for approx. $1000 and are the same as the originals. You'll find a lot of detractors but these are some of the finest, and definitely most accurate, double action revolvers ever made. The only revolvers that could compete with them in silhouette shooting was the near-custom (and much more expensive) Freedom Arms.
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Old October 3, 2011, 05:06 PM   #6
dustbusterplus
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DW 15-2

I have a Dan Wesson 15-2 .357 that I bought off my dad when I turned 21 for $350 (which is what he bought it for at a gun show) and I love the thing. It was originally the 6"V (not heavy) and I went ahead and bought a 4"V barrel assembly off gunbroker. All my gun buddies think it is the coolest thing ever to be able to interchange barrels like that and they love shooting it. It has an amazing SA pull and with a little home-grown gunsmithing the DA can be equally impressive. I think they are a great value and a hoot to shoot!
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Old October 3, 2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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The Dan Wesson, like the Colt Trooper (Old Model) seems to have no "cachet" or mystique, but those who have them, keep them. I have both the Model 12 and the Model 15-barrels interchange, also grips, I think the lockwork is the same. Both are superbly accurate when I do my part.
The Dan Wesson revolver was actually designed by one Karl R. Lewis, who also designed the Colt Mark III action and the Browning Lever Rifle.
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Old October 3, 2011, 06:09 PM   #8
Charlie_98
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I've always wanted one since I became interested in firearms back about 1978... and I finally got one! I have a 2-barrel .357 on the way.

Actually, if you can find them in good condition, they go for some pretty big prices, especially some of the not-so-common ones (like .41MAG) or any of the SuperMags.
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Old October 3, 2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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Be careful of the .357 Maximum SuperMags. Some of these have been abused by well-meaning folks trying to get maximum velocity with lighter bullets. The rarest are the .360 Dan Wesson, .414 SuperMag and the .460 Rowland, but they didn't make many .22 Magnums or .32's (either H&R Mag or .32-20) either. The .44 Magnum can be rechambered to .45 Colt (a custom barrel will be required) and can easily handle the "Ruger only" loads.
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Old October 4, 2011, 12:41 AM   #10
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You guys need to quick talking up the DW revolvers like that. You'll just drive up the prices for those of us that are still buying.

Wait until I go crazy and want to sell one, then talk them up all you like.
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Old October 4, 2011, 05:06 AM   #11
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Dan Wesson revolvers have to be the best deal in double action revolvers going. Most people know nothing about them so prices are still good however more people are learning of them and driving prices up. I'd rather have a Dan Wesson than any of the major name guns in double action revolvers. Not that the other brands are bad but I like the best accuracy possible.
These guns are also very strong and will handle heavy loads by the thousands and stay tight, they were designed for it. The action is very simple and if you're mechanically inclined at all you can work on it yourself. Slick up the action and put some Wolf springs in and you'll have a very nice trigger pull. Best knowledge base for these guns is: www.danwessonforum.com.
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Old October 4, 2011, 05:53 AM   #12
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I've owned two of their 22's over the years. They are about as accurate as you could expect a 22 revolver to be. I mean they shoot like a lazer. Great guns. About the only thing "bad" I can say about them is they are heavy, and have a long trigger reach in D/A. Don't forget their 22's are made on the same frame as their .357's and that is more the size of an "L" Smith & Wesson than a K frame.

I sold/traded mine both off. Nothing wrong with the guns at all, just my interests moved more toward Smith&Wesson revolvers.
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Old October 4, 2011, 06:03 AM   #13
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DWs are great Revolvers...

with narrow customer demand.

The concept of barrel changing and or caliber conversions on just one frame is a good idea for those that are restricted by the State to owning one pistol only. The idea never really caught on in America. An example would be the .22RimFire conversion for the 1911 .45acp, or the .22 RimFire conversion for the AR-15s. Finding them rarely used, inexpensive and still in great condition is common at many gunshows.

If memory serves me correct, in the late 1970's a DW with 3 or 4 extra barrels along with the little tan suitcase with red cleaning rod, was more than twice the cost of a new Colt Python or wood cased S&W Model 27. H&K had a Walther PPk size pistol with conversions for .22LR. .25acp, .32acp, and .380acp., magazines were extra. Eeewww.

I worked a second job for about a year and had to settle for a 6'' blue Python and Walther .380 PPK. Darn if that H&K didn't come in a cool looking box.
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Old October 4, 2011, 07:00 AM   #14
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I have a .357 pistol pack, and a nice .22 stainless that both get shot a lot. They are probably my favorite out of all my handguns. I won't ever sell them.
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Old October 4, 2011, 08:56 AM   #15
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It seems to me the prices on used DW's has doubled in the past 4-5 years. The complete 15-2 pistol pac I bought for $400 is going for north of 1 grand now. I've sold two of my 15-2's, kept the pistol pac and have a Super Mag I'm keeping for a burial shroud. Check out the DW forum.

http://www.danwessonforum.com/
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Old October 4, 2011, 09:37 AM   #16
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>>It seems to me the prices on used DW's has doubled in the past 4-5 years<<

Until it comes time to sell one...then expect to take a bath. (with a very few exceptions)
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Old October 4, 2011, 12:29 PM   #17
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DW's a great revolvers and in my area somewhat difficult to find in calibers other than 357. Here is a picture of my 745 (45 Colt) with an non-fluted cylinder.

As other have suggested anyone interested in Dan Wesson's should come on over to the DWF for a visit.
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Old October 4, 2011, 01:43 PM   #18
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Dan Wessons

My first was a 4" satin chrome M-14. I carried it for a week and shot it and went back for a 4" satin chrome M-15-2. This before any of the Vs or VHs were on scene in the early 1970s. If memory serves I paid around $125 new for the 14 and around $150 new for the 15. They are the sweetest shooting revolvers I have with the arguable exception of my set of Colts, (An old Trooper .357 and an old Python, both 4 ".) The DWs have the shortest lock time I have seen personally. By the time I had broken in the M15-2 I had to use it on the job and it performed to spec for me.
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Old October 5, 2011, 09:58 PM   #19
revolvers&w
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there is one for sale on indiana gun owners forum.
357 Mod 14 I think $550.
Google INGO
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Old October 6, 2011, 06:41 AM   #20
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
>>It seems to me the prices on used DW's has doubled in the past 4-5 years<<

Until it comes time to sell one...then expect to take a bath. (with a very few exceptions)
I put a 15-2 in 90% condition with a 2.5", 4" and 6" barrel on my local gun forum this summer and it sold in days for $500. Maybe I just got lucky. Gunbroker shows sales of single barreled 15-2's at $350 and $125 ea for barrels. Nothing cheap anymore.
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Old October 6, 2011, 06:44 AM   #21
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>>I put a 15-2 in 90% condition with a 2.5", 4" and 6" barrel on my local gun forum this summer and it sold in days for $500<<

With three barrels I would hope so. But a M14 for $550.00?? Somebody's dreaming.
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Old October 7, 2011, 05:55 AM   #22
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For all of you DW enthusiasts, I have a DW VH8, serial# IHMSA67.
I might be interested in selling it. I bought it new in the late 70's, early
80's. I think I still have the box it came in.
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Old October 7, 2011, 09:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
For all of you DW enthusiasts, I have a DW VH8, serial# IHMSA67.
I might be interested in selling it. I bought it new in the late 70's, early
80's. I think I still have the box it came in.
There are a good number of members over at the www.danwessonforum.com that would be very interested in one of the IHMSA guns.
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Old October 9, 2011, 03:15 AM   #24
shooting4life
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I enjoy my dw's. They are nicer than rugers but not as nice as smiths. I really like the supermag series and have 3 of them. Love the looks when i take out my 15-2 with a 15 inch barrel (also have the other 4 barrels for the pistol pack).

Here is my 445 supermag

375 supermag

357 supermag

And 22
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Old October 9, 2011, 05:36 AM   #25
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"Until it comes time to sell one...then expect to take a bath."

That's an interesting statement. I'd like to know where you found that info. I own several Dan Wessons and each one is worth significantly more than I paid for it, like anywhere from 50.00 to a 100.00+ each more depending on which gun. Dan Wesson revolvers are appreciating in value. You're more likely to make a profit when you sell a Dan Wesson than lose anything if you paid fair market value.
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