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  #1  
Old 04-11-2004, 06:40 AM
Valnar Valnar is offline
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Dan Wesson vs real Colt for first 1911?




I want to buy my first/only 1911 and am tempted to get a Dan Wesson Patriot based on all the press from this forum. However, since I have never owned a 1911 before, I wouldn't miss all the "extras" that the clones give you (ie. loaded stuff) if I got a basic Colt. Colt of course, has the name.

But nevertheless, I need to know the differences. Based on fit, finish, functionality and extras, what is the difference between a good Colt and the Dan Wesson Patriot series? I imagine the closest equivalent Colt is the XSE or the Gunsite model?

Can anyone compare the exact specifications of extras of the two?

-Robert
  #2  
Old 04-11-2004, 08:14 AM
Renegade360 Renegade360 is offline
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I can't compare the exact differences because I don't own a Colt Nor have I ever except for a wheel gun.

The only Colt Auto's I've shot were in the military and they were loose heck. Also my local FFL says the Dan Wesson's he's seen are much tighter,in general, than his Colt. They just haven't been in the game nearly as long to produce the name recognition that they are slowly but surely getting.

I do expect that you will pay more for a colt with similar features. After all you are paying for a name.

One of the differences I've heard about, and SCF and others will probably get more detailed than I can on it, is Colt uses little to no MIM. Where in the past DW has used alot of MIM, but their newer models are using much less.

I think the Dan Wesson models that are being produced today are probably a much better product than just a year ago.

Hope this helps a little. Others will know more than I.
  #3  
Old 04-11-2004, 08:26 AM
Bullcarver Bullcarver is offline
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Why Compare Extras?

Nobody builds a real "horsey" quite as well as the original horsey people.
The Colt Gunsite has everything you'll probably ever need in a quality pistol.

Last edited by Bullcarver; 04-11-2004 at 08:29 AM.
  #4  
Old 04-11-2004, 10:40 AM
tsp45acp tsp45acp is offline
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Buy the colt!!!!! Tracy
  #5  
Old 04-11-2004, 10:41 AM
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Great questions..! Good thread! You might also want to post it in the Colt Forum, as some do for another perspective...

So - let's look at some of the options....

The Colts XSE or Gunsite versions are excellent (sorry - only shot the XSE, and it is a fine pistol). For my Colt's you might want to look/compare to the Gold Cup, though? That being said - I won't personally recommend the newer Trophy GC for various reasons – especially as compared to the DW Patriot. I had GC Trophy - and I guess the operative word was "had". But - I would recommend a S'70 GC (no, you can't have mine , or if you can find one a Pre '70s GC (no, you can't have mine, either ). Unfortunately - if you want "new" - what you'll be forced into if you want a "newer" GC is the Trophy (an no, contrary to some opinions expressed on the Internet - my personal experience is Colt Customer service does not "swap out parts" for cosmetic reasons, or admit that the scarring/gouging of the frame could ever be caused by their parts - even when their products are purchased NIB - but that's a different story for another time - and who am I to complain, I am only a "customer" and perhaps things have "improved" in the last 5 months?...).

For the Gunsite models - WOW!!! Yep - there you have me! They are excellent. Yes - they are "pricey". Yes - they are good. But - I think the question you are asking is, "is the price differential" worth it or "justified" from an XSE/Gunsite to a Patriot? Honestly - I'm not so sure it is? For an unbiased review of the Patriot, instead of listening to those with an "axe to grind" or a "cheerleader opinion" - you may want to read Mr. Camp's excellent detailed review of the DW Patriot. Mr. Camp is a no-nonsense writer, and whose only main drawback is he is somewhat of a "Hi-Power" fanatic and authority (Hi Steve )

http://www.1911forum.com/dw_001_01.shtml

As well – like the Colt – the Patriot has forged frame and slide – so they are equal on that comparison. Some will say watch out for MIM on the DW – but, this is a debate which has been the fodder of debate in Internet forums for quite a while – and it continues to be “all the rage” today (go to the Kimber Forum). As for the earlier production Patriots, I believe DW moved away from John Masen’s parts for the MAG release and MSH. As for the MIM SS specificially, it ran perfectly fine on my DW .40 for several thousand rounds – without a glitch/hitch. So – to MIM or not MIM? Great question – but, until I see conclusive evidence that MIM has a higher failure rate then non-MIM by well informed experts with technical backgrounds – rather then “shoot from the hip” speculation – my opinion is MIM is a viable/reliable option. If you don’t like an MIM piece – swap it out for a forged one. BUT – I got’ta say – swapping out a SS still won’t account for a several hundred dollar price differential between a Patriot and/or a Colt XSE or Gunsite model.

As well - looking at the "entry level" models of the Colt vs. the Patriot - it's sort of an "unfair" comparison as well. The entry level Colts are terrific out-of-the-box, but I wouldn't expect the accuracy that the Patriot will deliver. And if there are parts you want to add to the Colt to "make it like" a Patriot - my guess is you'll spend a lot "more" then the Patriot can be purchased for... And "out-of-the-box" - I think you'll find that the DW is of better quality then an entry level Colt - from either a "fit" or a "finish" perspective.

Hmmm - nope - the Patriot doesn't have the "horsey" thingy (which I love as well, as well as the "tradition" that goes behind it), but then again, the Colt's don't have someone like Bob Serva as president backing their products (and oh - I've never met Bob. Never talked to Bob. Don't know Bob from "Adam". But - based on what I've been lead to believe - if I needed something as a "customer" - I'd know who to call, and more importantly to me - that my call would be returned). And oh - I'm not sure how you place a "monetary value" on that to factor into the price of any 1911? That would have to your own opinion and value judgment as well....

Anyway – these are my opinions – and choosing a firearm is like choosing an automobile – certain aspects, manufacturers and features appeal to particular owners, but once we become “customers” – brand loyalty becomes more demonstrable based on our need to justify of purchase decision. So understanding that – take any and all opinions offered here “with a grain of salt” – including mine. And go with what your gut tells you – and what feels “right to you”… You’ll be happier for it in the long run and it become your “choice”, rather then a “Group Grope”. Errr – I mean “Group Vote”..

Let us know what you decide, OK???

But no - you can't have my Colt's, Dan Wessons nor STI's - I like them all for what they are..... Just my $0.000002 - maybe worth less.....
  #6  
Old 04-11-2004, 11:01 AM
SamColtFan SamColtFan is offline
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We all have our own 1911 favorites. DW makes a really sharp handgun in the form of the Patriot. Likewise, Colt makes sharp handguns. But, when the rubber meets the road and you buy a Colt 1911 and you buy a Dan Wesson 1911 and it comes time to trade them in or sell them, the Colt horsey wins everytime in $ value retention and acceptance by the dealers that I've worked with.

As far as the MIM thing goes.....The forged slide stop on a factory Colt is a great item to have for function & durability. Unless the Patriots have changed, DW has used MIM slide stops that are problematic to put it kindly. Too many reports of small parts breakage on the DWs.

As for the tightness of the guns.....Colt makes their pistols more in the mil-spec tradition. (Ever wonder why military specs call for a looser slide frame fit?)

Bottom line, the choice is yours and yours alone to make.

Regards,
Sam
  #7  
Old 04-11-2004, 08:26 PM
Valnar Valnar is offline
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PM7-S vs PTE-S?

I almost started a new thread on this, but I'll keep it in mine.

Can anyone compare & contrast these two Dan Wesson models? I can't get all the info from their web page.

PM7-S
PTE-S


Thanks,
Robert
  #8  
Old 04-11-2004, 08:38 PM
gendarms2000 gendarms2000 is offline
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A friend of mine has a gold cup and the front sight keeps flying off. I hear folks say they were not made for shooting a lot of normal power ammo.

On the other hand my DWs keep having small parts breakages, so they also aren't made for USPSA either (at least w/the factory small parts?)

Perhaps the other colt models you've mentioned would fare better? However colts are sounding more interesting to me.

Definitely LOOSE is not bad in terms of reliability, so don't let that scare you. Some of these guns are too "tight" for their own good. A bit of dirt, sand etc. and they grind to a halt (literally)

Last edited by gendarms2000; 04-11-2004 at 08:49 PM.
  #9  
Old 04-11-2004, 09:11 PM
SamColtFan SamColtFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar
I almost started a new thread on this, but I'll keep it in mine.

Can anyone compare & contrast these two Dan Wesson models? I can't get all the info from their web page.

PM7-S
PTE-S


Thanks,
Robert
Identical pistols except for the cast frame with no finger relief cut on the 7 (forged frame with finger relief cut on the PTE) and the external extractor on the PTE (and internal extractor on the 7). Also, the PTE comes with a proof target.

Regards,
Sam
  #10  
Old 04-11-2004, 09:17 PM
Renegade360 Renegade360 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar
I almost started a new thread on this, but I'll keep it in mine.

Can anyone compare & contrast these two Dan Wesson models? I can't get all the info from their web page.


Thanks,
Robert
PM7-S - Cast frame, Forged Slide, Internal extractor.

PTE-S - Forged Frame, Forged Slide(Smith&Wesson), External Extractor.

They probably both use similar/same small parts. Some one else will know more about this than I.

Both have the same Match barrels(Jarvis? forged blanks).

All of the Dan Wessons are fitted the same and assembled the same regardless of parts selection or design.

The main differences between the two are the extractors and frame. Other than that, they should be very similar.

I personally prefer the External extractor, but only because I think it is a more reliable design and don't really care how JMB designed it. Others WILL disagree with me.
  #11  
Old 04-11-2004, 11:01 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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I bought a DW PTE-S for my first 1911, carry it daily, shoot it often, and trust it. I did replace the OEM slidestop with an Ed Brown, just for comfort's sake.

Very happy with my decision, but I really didn't look at Colts. I compared Springfield, Kimber and DW.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:15 AM
bnormal2 bnormal2 is offline
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I personally own 3 dan wessons in 9mm, 40 and 45. They are hands down the best 1911 on the market for the price. They use ed brown parts and I have never had a single problem with any of mine. I took the 9mm straight out of the box and shot 96 of 100 pins. If you are looking for a similar gun for features you'll have to buy anyone else's gold cup for $250-$500 more than a Dan Wesson. My dealer sells the PM7-S for $597. You can't touch a new colt under $750 and unless you buy a colt gold cup you won't get the accuracy or trigger that the DW has. I collect colts but shoot Dan Wesson's.
  #13  
Old 10-13-2004, 11:48 PM
jimb100 jimb100 is offline
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I shot a Colt Series 70 in Bullseye competition for 20 years, thousands of rounds. It had been worked over by a very talented and reputable gunsmith. It was extremely accurate but reliability was so-so, although this was not much of a factor in bullseye competition.

I switched to IDPA and wanted a 1911 without the bowmar rib I had on the bullseye gun.

I have 2 DW's,, a PM9S and a PTE.

Believe it or not, the PM9s 'feels' more like the Colt in terms of ... well... 'feel'. And that's a compliment.

The PTE, while its an excellent shooter and very attractive, just doesn't have the 'ball bearing' slide feel. All the triggers I rate about the same.

Only buy the Colt if you are hung up on the name, and there's nothing wrong with that. You can take a DW and have a good smith work it over for less money than the Colt in the same end condition.
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2004, 12:53 AM
Xander27z Xander27z is offline
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i say go w/DW... if you want to invest your money... look into mutual funds... not Colts...

  #15  
Old 10-14-2004, 08:23 AM
nstn8 nstn8 is offline
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I have to say that I own a Colt Commander that I have done some work to and a DW Patriot Marksman and I have to say that I like them both but my Patriot is by far a better pistol out of the box and fit and finish is way better. But the Biggest Difference to me is Customer service. Try emailing or calling the Colt President and asking questions, I have emailed Bob Serva and asked a whole bunch of questions on their product and service and he emailed me back the same day answering them and said if I had any more to feel free and call him direct. All in all I like both makers and colt has the heritage of the 1911 but I have to say that My next gun will be the Patriot Bobtail Commander.

Thanks
NASTYNATE_1911
  #16  
Old 10-14-2004, 09:03 AM
potthawg potthawg is offline
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Just a thought....

Since this thread is six months old I'm betting that Valnar has already made his choice and purchase. But ya never know.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2004, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potthawg
Since this thread is six months old I'm betting that Valnar has already made his choice and purchase. But ya never know.


Good point, potthawg!

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