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  #1  
Old 07-03-2019, 08:45 PM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is offline
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Why so many aluminum frames?

The Dan Wesson 1911 line up seems overly dominated by aluminum frame models. Why is that?

Is the market demanding lighter 1911s?

Are aluminum frames sufficiently cheaper to make a difference to MSRP?

Am I missing some other advantage?

I much prefer their steel frames.
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2019, 09:42 PM
actionexpress actionexpress is offline
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The concealed carry market is where the money is and why they're offering more carry oriented pistols and discontinuing slow selling products like the Valor.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2019, 07:02 AM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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I wish 90% of my all steel 5" guns were aluminum framed. Then I'd carry them. I'd take my steel framed guns to the range, and carry the lighter ones.

I only carry my aluminum framed Commander sized and CCO guns. Some guys are more tolerant of the weight in the holster than others. I wish I was one of those guys, but I'm not.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2019, 07:09 AM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is offline
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I can absolutely see the value of an aluminum frame for a carry gun. I have a Colt Lightweight Commander for just that purpose. And my long ago Defender had an aluminum frame, too.

Perhaps there are a lot of folks seeking carry 1911s these days, and good for them.

I don't see the value of aluminum in Government frames near as much. And aluminum frames aren't as durable for high round count competition or range use. So I don't want Dan Wesson to stray too far into aluminum frames.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2019, 07:41 AM
K38 K38 is offline
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I suspect it's because it's cheaper to make alloy frames.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2019, 07:48 AM
Chunker Chunker is offline
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As mentioned CC market is selling at the moment. I love my steel frames but the lighter the better for CC IWB for me atleast.
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2019, 07:58 AM
Starship Enterpris Starship Enterpris is offline
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The subset of gun owners who carry 1911 pattern pistols is aging. As this occurs, the demand for lighter frames increases. Weight reduction is paramount in the 55+ crowd. This way we can still carry 1911's without resorting to some form of fantastic plastic. Apparently, DW understands this paradigm shift in their consumer base and are responding accordingly.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:18 AM
kilowatt3 kilowatt3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rockefeller View Post
The Dan Wesson 1911 line up seems overly dominated by aluminum frame models. Why is that?...
Pretty sure that it's simply because that's what's selling.
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:59 AM
Philip A. Philip A. is offline
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The newer generations are accustomed to light polymer frames, as they grow straight from plastic baby bottles to Glocks (do you remember the heavy glass baby bottles we had to deal with? )

The 1911 has been declared dead and buried by a ton and a half of tacticool instructors-youtube-pontiffs, but it still keeps its unbeatable appeal... My guess is that as they grow into gun ownership and knowledge, more and more people get interested in the platform. An alloy-framed 1911, while still slightly heavier than a G19, makes much more sense to them than a full size steel Govt.

Also, my impression is that there are many more people carrying concealed nowadays than fifty years ago. Everybody had a gun back then, but not so many were actually carrying a concealed handgun - times were more civilized, and threats less widespread.

Demand drives the market, and manufacturers build what sells.

Besides, I have 4 steel Govt hanging around the safe, and carry none of them (I did try very hard to do that). But I have an alloy framed 1911 on order, and that one is for carry... So, many thanks to Dan Wesson for giving us the largest assortment of lightweight 1911 available from any production outfit!

Last edited by Philip A.; 07-04-2019 at 10:04 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2019, 10:02 AM
mhl6493 mhl6493 is offline
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Iíd tend to agree with the previous posts and guess that itís market-driven. I canít blame DW for trying to make what sells. I AM glad, though, that I was able to pick up a stainless V-Bob this week, while I could still find one. The Valor line sure was nice!
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2019, 10:32 AM
Harrish Harrish is offline
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Concealed Carry is more popular now than ever. There are more States allowing carry and Constitutional Carry laws are being voted on in State legislatures every year. Look at the handguns ALL manufacturers are marketing and selling these days. Look at actual gun sales. What is being made and sold? Concealed Carry handguns are at least 80% of the market.

Aluminum framed 1911s are carry guns. While I generally carry a steel framed 1911, I am in the minority. My carry gun loaded is almost 45 ounces. Plus a belt and a holster. I also live in super hot and humid South Florida. Most concealed carries are not as dedicated to carry as I am. They prefer lighter and smaller guns.

Dan Wesson is wisely positioning themselves in the market. They are in business to make money and sell as many guns as possible. So you should expect their line-up to reflect that; which, as you point out, indeed does.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2019, 02:02 PM
actionexpress actionexpress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrish View Post
Concealed Carry is more popular now than ever. There are more States allowing carry and Constitutional Carry laws are being voted on in State legislatures every year. Look at the handguns ALL manufacturers are marketing and selling these days. Look at actual gun sales. What is being made and sold? Concealed Carry handguns are at least 80% of the market.

Aluminum framed 1911s are carry guns. While I generally carry a steel framed 1911, I am in the minority. My carry gun loaded is almost 45 ounces. Plus a belt and a holster. I also live in super hot and humid South Florida. Most concealed carries are not as dedicated to carry as I am. They prefer lighter and smaller guns.

Dan Wesson is wisely positioning themselves in the market. They are in business to make money and sell as many guns as possible. So you should expect their line-up to reflect that; which, as you point out, indeed does.
And to add to that - DW will build you whatever you want, so not like you can't get something with a steel frame.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:00 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrish View Post
Concealed Carry is more popular now than ever. There are more States allowing carry and Constitutional Carry laws are being voted on in State legislatures every year. Look at the handguns ALL manufacturers are marketing and selling these days. Look at actual gun sales. What is being made and sold? Concealed Carry handguns are at least 80% of the market.

Aluminum framed 1911s are carry guns. While I generally carry a steel framed 1911, I am in the minority. My carry gun loaded is almost 45 ounces. Plus a belt and a holster. I also live in super hot and humid South Florida. Most concealed carries are not as dedicated to carry as I am. They prefer lighter and smaller guns.

Dan Wesson is wisely positioning themselves in the market. They are in business to make money and sell as many guns as possible. So you should expect their line-up to reflect that; which, as you point out, indeed does.


Very similar thoughts and practices here, too.


Hot & humid Georgia.....but I have zero complaints about all-steel government & commander sized 1911's.

I have on aluminum framed 1911.....and one is enough. The future handgun funds will go towards steel framed 1911's & big bore wheel guns.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:23 PM
gc45 gc45 is offline
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Action Express - I doubt DW will build whatever now, at least when I tried getting the A2 in 9mm Keith said they have no more carbon steel slides for 9mm, only SS. I got the impression DW is clearly and no longer planning, additional all carbon steel offerings other than the A2 in 45 only. How long the A2 remains is anyone's guess but hopefully it lasts as they are very nice guns that shoot well and feel much like old Colt's besides being an attractive offering to the minority who like all steel pistols of a higher quality.

GC45
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:40 AM
Bercilak Bercilak is offline
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I $u$pect that there exi$t a number of rea$on$ why $teel i$ u$ed le$$ and le$$. . .

$ee what I mean?
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:19 AM
Lab4Us Lab4Us is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bercilak View Post
I $u$pect that there exi$t a number of rea$on$ why $teel i$ u$ed le$$ and le$$. . .

$ee what I mean?
I h-ear you!
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  #17  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:41 AM
drail drail is offline
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Because men today are basically WIMPS. If a full size steel 1911 or DA revolver is "too heavy" for you to carry then your carry rig is garbage - or you are a wimp. Everyone wants ultra light gear now.
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  #18  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:00 PM
jmurch jmurch is offline
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Higher profit margin maybe / probably ?
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  #19  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:24 PM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bercilak View Post
I $u$pect that there exi$t a number of rea$on$ why $teel i$ u$ed le$$ and le$$. . .

$ee what I mean?
Hmmm. Ed Brown charges $250 extra for an aluminum frame. Nighthawk $200. So it's likely to be as others have said, aluminum frames are in demand.
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  #20  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:11 PM
Harrish Harrish is offline
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Anyone who thinks an aluminum frame is cheaper and easier to work with on a 1911 is very much mistaken. Unless your slapping them together like Colt, Kimber, Springfield, etc. Then there isn't much of a difference.
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  #21  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:36 PM
bradsvette bradsvette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drail View Post
Because men today are basically WIMPS. If a full size steel 1911 or DA revolver is "too heavy" for you to carry then your carry rig is garbage - or you are a wimp. Everyone wants ultra light gear now.
The AR-15/M-16 was adopted because the US Military wanted a lighter weight combat rifle. They also went to the Beretta M9 with an aluminum frame. The new Sig is a lightweight gun too. I guess every service member who carried(s) one is a wimp. Virtually every police force in the USA has adopted plastic or aluminum frame handguns. I guess they're all wimps too. Glad to know that the computer warrior drail is the one real man left amongst the rest of us wimps.
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  #22  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:36 PM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is offline
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Dan Wesson gets to sell what Dan Wesson wants to sell. And if their market calls for Aluminum frames, then that's what will be on their product list.

While I fully understand the weight savings from an aluminum frame, my carry gun is a Colt Lightweight Commander, I don't carry all my 1911s. The others see range and practical shooting competition time where a steel frame's weight helps mitigate recoil.

And in thousands and thousands of rounds, I worry about the durability of an aluminum frame. Specifically the frame feed ramp, the slide top holes, and the barrel fit to the frame. I really like Dan Wesson 1911s and want to buy more, but I'll limit myself to the steel frame offerings.
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2019, 07:22 AM
Wiskey_33 Wiskey_33 is offline
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Went with the A2 for this exact reason. No Valor? No problem.
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  #24  
Old 07-09-2019, 01:25 PM
wproct wproct is offline
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I think it has to be market driven. For me though, I just have a obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to aluminum framed 1911 pistols. I'm just afraid that I am going to strip a grip screw bushing or worry about wear. I know that is unfounded and I know the advantages of aluminum frames, but I just can't own one myself.
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  #25  
Old 07-09-2019, 03:06 PM
Philip A. Philip A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drail View Post
Because men today are basically WIMPS. If a full size steel 1911 or DA revolver is "too heavy" for you to carry then your carry rig is garbage - or you are a wimp. Everyone wants ultra light gear now.
I carry a rifle from dawn to dusk for a living. On foot in the bush, up hills and down ravines. In my hand, no sling (slings get caught in the brush).

I went from a 10.5 lbs double to a 8.5 lbs bolt for several reasons, among them the weight: after 12 hours, you sure do feel the 2 lbs difference.

That bolt action has been lightened, most rifles in that caliber weigh 9.5 to 10 lbs.

Drawback of light weight is recoil... But I wimpishly prefer carrying a lighter whatever-it-is-I-carry.

Now, you come and shoot half a dozen rounds from that 8.5 lbs .458 Lott, then we'll sit by the campfire and talk about the many meanings of "Wimp"...

Last edited by Philip A.; 07-09-2019 at 04:03 PM.
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