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Old 05-04-2012, 06:35 PM
WobbleZone WobbleZone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,281
SIG and Dan Wesson, side by side.

Took two 1911's to the range this week, both brand spanking new - a 5" SIG Nightmare and a Dan Wesson RZ45.

Initial Cleaning and First Impressions:

The DW was tight, and the best fitted and finished 1911 I have ever personally taken down. DW markets this as an entry level gun, but it certainly looked premium to me. The slide rails were flawless. Although tight, the barrel bushing could be removed without tools. The recoil spring was a bear to put back in the gun, and was noticeably stiffer than that in the SIG. I have never before lost control of a spring, but I had to go retrieve the plug from the backyard grass three times!

The SIG was also well fitted, but with a couple of small scratches on the slide rails. I was surprised to find that the recoil spring was a flat wire coil type. It was noticeably less stiff than the one in the DW. However, this was the only 1911 I have ever reassembled where the short recoil spring guide was not gripped at all by the spring, slipping freely out every time the spring/guide assembly was tilted from level. It took several attempts before I could hold everything together in reassembly until the plug was locked in by the bushing. A third hand would have been handy.

The DW trigger was nice, and I estimated it to be between 4 and 5 pounds.

The SIG trigger was somewhat lighter than the DW, but, it had a gritty
feeling takeup. When the trigger was operated slowly, there was a final, slight but definite spot of gritty resistance, kind of a single grit "pop", that occured just before the trigger broke. It was difficult, but possible, to pause the trigger between that spot and the trigger break. In a rapid-fire pull, it was not possible to feel it. In any case, somewhere in the first 100 rounds it dissappeared completely, leaving a very nice trigger.

Both guns came with two magazines with base pads.


Both guns went through 100 rounds of Winchester White Box 230 grain hardball with complete reliability. After that I fired 50 rounds of WWB 230 grain JHP in each gun. The DW had one failure to return completely to battery on about round 15 of JHP. This only happened once and extraction and feeding was otherwise flawless. The SIG had one JHP feed ramp hangup when the slide was sling-shotted from slide lock on a full magazine. During firing it fed perfectly.

The next day I went back to the range and put 50 more JHP's through each gun. The SIG once more had a feed ramp hangup when sling-shotted on a full magazine, the same magazine that it happened with before. Examining the feed lips closely, they permitted the eighth round to tilt downward slightly at the nose. The round could be pushed up with a finger into good alignment and would then feed properly. The gun worked perfectly with the other magazine.

The grip frame on the SIG is a revelation. I have always liked the feel of a bob-tailed grip, but the rounded base of the Nightmare grip feels better than any other bobtail I have handled. The sharp lower rear edge of a standard straight grip digs into the meaty part of my rather large hand when gripped tightly, and the DW was no different than any other straight grip in that regard. I wish DW had rounded this edge as they did on my CCO.

I shot a little bit of paper and a whole lot of targets of opportunity on the unattended range. Accuracy accessment was subjective, but both guns easily shot "minute of soda can" at 20 yards. Now it gets a little weird. I am ambidexterous and usually split my range time into 50/50 right and left.
I shot the DW better right handed and the SIG better left-handed. Go figure.
In any case, maybe trite but still true, either of these guns will shoot better than I can.

So which one did I like best? I am keeping them both.

Last edited by WobbleZone; 05-04-2012 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:50 PM
Bigmant Bigmant is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 2,002
Sounds like the DW is built just a bit better, which is what I would expect. Good review and congrats again on the two new purchases.
S&W 1911SC Performance Center, S&W 1911SC E series, Kimber Ultra Carry 2
NRA Member
"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife." -Daniel Boone
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:07 PM
WobbleZone WobbleZone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,281
Went back to the range this week and put 100 more rounds through each gun, with no functioning problems at all. Shot smaller groups with the SIG, although with my 65 year old eyes I wouldn't read too much into this. The SIG is zeroed for a dead-on hold at 25yds. The Dan Wesson requires a 6 O'clock hold at that distance. (So does my Dan Wesson CCO, by the way.) I shot slightly high and an inch or so left of center with both guns, so this is probably me rather than the guns.

The earlier trigger problems that I reported earlier with the SIG have seemingly totally cleared up with a little shooting, and I now would rate the trigger right up there with the Heritage. I would hate to be forced to choose between them, but would still probably choose to keep the Heritage due to the fit, finish, and total absence of MIM parts. In hand it just has a little more "substantial" feel, if that makes sense, but the SIG is still one heck of a gun. I will feel extremely well armed with either.
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