With the recent resurgence in Law Enforcement interest, Dan Wesson drops the ultimate duty ready 1911 into the fray.
Depending on one’s point of view, the 1911 is either the most maligned firearm ever created or the most overrated. However, what the people that criticize the platform fail to understand is that not all 1911’s are created equal, a quality pistol will give you quality results. Likewise, the folks that lionize the platform often fail to understand that even a crisp 3.5-pound trigger won’t solve your problems if you have a 10-pound trigger finger. Looking at the vast majority of Law Enforcement shootings, a quality 1911 in properly trained hands might be exactly what the situation requires. What the platform gives up incapacity, it makes up in precision, and the vast majority of LE shootings are resolved in far fewer than the 9mm 1911’s 10 or 11 round capacity. A properly set up 1911 does require regular lubrication and attention to the recoil spring every 4,000 rounds or so, but guess what? The Austrian polymer gun is also supposed to get a new recoil spring every 5k rounds, so the 1911 is hardly the maintenance hog that its detractors would have you believe. Besides, like a lot of other misconceptions, Dan Wesson just destroyed that barrier anyways, but more on that later. Of course, if you are the type of shooter that prides yourself on neglecting your firearms, the 1911 probably isn’t for you.
You’ll notice that I’ve already used the words “well built”, “quality”, and “well set-up” several times. That’s no tan accident, because I’m talking about the finest out of the box, factory 1911 available, the Dan Wesson. Dan Wesson doesn’t strive to sell the most guns, it strives to sell the best guns. The pistol we’re talking about today, the Commander sized Tactical Compact Pistol is the latest evolution of that ethic. The TCP is an alloy framed commander sized 1911, which is to say that it has a full sized frame with a slightly shortened slide and barrel. That sounds quite a bit like some of the polymer guns that are hitting the market now,doesn’t it? I guess gunfighters 50 years ago might have known a thing or two. Anyways, I digress… The TCP’s barrel is 4 inches long and its forged aluminum frame has a Picatinny rail machined into the dust cover, making it just about the perfect size for duty carry at about 32 ounces. The TCP is available in both 9mm and .45 ACP, so there’s no need to compromise on options just to get the caliber you want, and the TCP has options in spades. Earlier I hinted at Dan Wesson destroying the 5k recoil spring barrier, and they’ve done it with their new flat wire recoil spring assembly that’s rated for 15k in .45 ACP. That’s right, 15k. That’s a number that no other manufacturer can touch. The barrel is a match grade bull barrel that mates directly to the slide and foregoes the traditional bushing, while the muzzle is cut with a generous crown and fits precisely at the end of the slide. The trigger is flat and breaks at a consistent 4 lbs. The hammer is of the square commander style type and all of the components are painstakingly and precisely fit by hand. The beaver tail is generous and up-swept, working with the undercut trigger guard to allow the shooters hands to get nice and high on the pistol. The stocks of the pistol are also tapered, being slightly wider at the bottom than the top, keeping those hands nice and high. Also serving to keep the hands where they need to be is the tasteful 25 LPI checkering on the front and backstrap.
All of these details really don’t mean a thing if the gun can’t get the job done, but this gun flat out shoots.The function of the pistol is on par with custom guns that routinely cost double of what the TCP costs. The controls are all butter smooth and positive,and the slide glides along the frame, even when cycling it slowly by hand.Shooting the pistol is an absolute joy, as the top of slide is cut in a unique bevel, reducing any glare and the brass bead front sight nestles in a very generous (.156) rear notch. The extra light that the rear sight allows in really helps the shooters eye focus on the front sight, and the pistol didn’t shoot a single group over two inches from the bench at 25 yards regardless of ammo weight or velocity. The 1911 is not for everybody, but if you’re the type of shooter that takes pride in your craft, don’t you want your carry pistol to be built by people that take pride in theirs? Take a look at the TCP and other fine Dan Wesson 1911’s, you won’t regret it.
Written by Jeremy Stafford @jestafford