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Old 10-28-2002, 09:52 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,882
"Practical" Range Report: Dan Wesson Patriot Expert .45...

Hello. Today's range session didn't take nearly as long as the standard ones in which bullseye shooting's emphasized; by comparison, it was a "quickie," but as we all know, there's often much to be said for a quickie!

The Pistol: It's the same Dan Wesson Patriot Stainless Expert .45 ACP used in the previous test. I did replace the broken magazine release with one I had at home, but a new one from DW is on the way.

Ammunition: Today, the following types of ammunition were used:

Handload: 200 gr CSWC/5.0 gr Bullseye (For more detailed information on the load, see the original "Range Report."

S&B 230 gr FMJ

Winchester USA 230 gr FMJ

CCI/Speer 230 gr TMJ

Shooting: Today's shooting was more or less what one might see in an "action pistol," IDPA, or "practical" match. Distances ranged from about 6, 10, 25, and 65 yards. The 25 yard shooting amounted to two-hand, slow-fire, shooting for groups to be sure that the sights were "on." The Winchester 230 gr ball was used in doing this.

NOTE: I make NO pretense at being a quick shot. Many of you here can easily beat me at speed shooting. I brought a very knowledgeable fellow along to shoot this pistol as well and to offer his comments. It's just the best I can do to offer you some "insight" into what this pistol might be capable of in hands better than mine.

6-Yard Double-Taps:

Actually, mine were more like controlled pairs. They were timed using my buddy's timer. Ammunition was Sellier & Bellot.

My Times (First shot/second shot):

1.31/1.95 Seconds




Shooting was 2-handed from a ready position. I used a modified Weaver stance. Eight rnds were fired.

Here's the results on the target.

The McCormick 8-rnd magazine was used. No problems.

Friend's Times (First shot/second shot):

He, too, fired 8 shots and used an Aggressive Isosoles stance.

0.99/1.52 Seconds




His Target Results.

While his group had an errant shot or two, the times were quite a bit faster. He also had problems with the single-dot front sight, but only at speed.

6-Yard One-Shot Drills:

In this drill, we just started in a ready position and fired one shot at the bullseye. Stances were respectively the same as above. Ammo used was Seiller & Bellot.

My Times:

1.15 Seconds








My target results:

[i]A Wilson 7-rnd magazine was used in this exercise. No problems.

Friend's Times:

0.80 Seconds








His Target Results:

2-Shots on 2 Humanoid Targets:

I didn't get any pictures of these, but they're the same man-shaped targets seen above in the report. Shots were all in an area slighty smaller than an 8 1/2 X 10" sheet of paper and centered. Ammo was the Speer 230 gr TMJ.

My Times:

1st Shot/2nd/3rd/4th in seconds.


Friend's Times:


Falling Plates: A row of six falling steel plates were shot at a distance of 10 yards. Timer started with shooting in a ready position, but not aiming the gun as was the case for drills shot above. The plates are 6" in diameter. Ammunition was 230 gr S&B.

No pistol was on the rack when shooting!Bahahahahaha!

I shot this drill twice and had no misses: Times were 5.58 secs to hit the six plates the first time and 5.46, the second. Again, I make no pretence at being a speed shot; I am not, but was pleased with these times.

I also shot at 2 bowling pins from 65 yards, standing w/2-hand hold: Both pins were hit, but I missed one shot so a total of three shots fired. Ammunition was the CSWC/5.0 gr Bullseye handload.


First, with the factory rnds and the use of the factory-supplied McCormick 8-rnd magazine, a Wilson 7-rnd and a 8-rnd, as well as an old Colt 7-rnd magazine, there were zero failures to feed or hold the slide back on the last shot. Frankly, I don't remember exactly how and when some of the magazine changes were made, but I will keep better notes in a more extended range report and included this only because so many of us have many more than one kind of magazine.

Ejection remains positive and as best I can judge, very consistent, dropping rounds in about a 4' circle about 8' from the shooter.

Malfunctions only occurred with the CSWC handload, but the problem was NOT in feeding; this was flawless. The problem was not the pistol, but the ammo! This pistol's chamber is evidently tight and held to minimal tolerances. My CSWC were just a touch long at 1.26". I'll bump some back about 0.03" and see what happens. I suspect it'll work. It might help if I check 'em in that chamber, but the gun's not been cleaned internally since the initial test and will not be until after the next range report in which I get the 25 and 50 yard shooting done.

The sights held true during today's shooting session. This Bomar-like rear sight appears to be the same as on my 9mm and .45 Trojans. The pin on which the sight moves has remained tight and in place.

I asked my buddy, a current LEO and tactical officer and 1911 addict of the first-order, to give his thoughts and observations on the Dan Wesson Patriot Stainless Expert:

Here they are:

"1. Fit and finish looks very good and I especially like the radiused edge on the rear of the thumb safety." (He shoots "high-thumb.")

"2. The slide release was also radiused well, but my first impression was that by radiusing the outside of the thumb pad it would provide less purchase during speed reloads. This was later determined NOT to be a problem." He had no problems at all with speed reloads w/slide locked back during the change, releasing the slide and making the shots.

"3. The contour of the grip safety and undercut triggerguard allowed the hand to sit high on the gun and was comfortable."

"4. The trigger was about what's expected on the newer age of production guns in this price range."

"5. The big dot on the front sight was easy to pick up, but for ME it was hard to regulate a height relationship with the rear sight. If the dot were smaller I could pick out the top of the front sight or if a dot or dots were added to the rear, it would be easier to use for ME.

"6. The gun appeared to be a reliable and effective carry piece for those wanting an accurate pistol w/adj sights. A fine firearm."

I normally shoot and prefer plain blk-on-blk sights, but my shooting is primarily shooting for groups. My buddy religiously uses night sights which are a form of "dots" on the sighting system. The single dot on the front sight did cause him problems and me little concern! That truly surprised me. I was able to find the top of the front sight easier, but then my times were not so quick at his, either!

In short, the pistol "done good."

(I will make every attempt at getting the completion of the initial report done this week, but I WILL be gone to the deer lease starting this coming Friday evening!!!!!!!)

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Old 10-29-2002, 05:10 AM
Gary1911A1 Gary1911A1 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ohio for now.
Age: 67
Posts: 4,985
Thank you Mr. Camp for your followup range report. I have a blue Expert on order and hope to have it soon. You may be a bit slower than your friend, but your groups are tighter on paper. If you ever want to shoot in competition IDPA may be your game. Good luck on your deer hunting with the weather as being able to shoot a deer shouldn't be much of a problem with the way you shoot. Have a good time.
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:00 PM
TheBishop TheBishop is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 4
How much do one of those Dan Wesson's go for, anyhow?

I know the whole, "If you gotta ask," thing but I have some spare cash coming my way soon.
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Old 11-09-2002, 08:25 PM
GLV GLV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Indiana
Posts: 538
Stephen, nice report. George
"Kindness to the bad man is cruelty to the good"
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Old 11-09-2002, 09:15 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,882
Hello and thank you. I've shot the gun a few more times since this report and continue to have 100% reliability and very fine accuracy. The gun's worth the price, which I've heard is MSRP at about $965 to around $850. I'm sure DW can comment more accurately on this than can I.

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Old 11-09-2002, 10:46 PM
macktruckturner macktruckturner is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 788
nice shootin man! Have fun on the lease, hope you have better luck that I did!

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Old 11-09-2002, 10:47 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,882
Hello. Well, I got my truck stuck and no shots fired! Hahahahahaha! Just part of it. Thanks for the kind words on the shooting. The Patriot is capable of very fine accuracy.

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Old 11-09-2002, 11:09 PM
macktruckturner macktruckturner is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 788
better man than I. If I got my truck stuck, I garuntee there'd be some shots fired Bulletholes add character to old Chevy trucks
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Old 11-10-2002, 02:55 PM
Siren Siren is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 194
Nice job on the report, Stephen.

Thanks for your assistance on my questions by pm.


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Old 11-10-2002, 05:24 PM
Stephen A. Camp Stephen A. Camp is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,882
Hello, sir. You are most welcome.

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