Good guns are easy to find, but great ones are truly special. In today’s market, it’s hard to find a handgun from a major manufacturer that doesn’t function as it should with a reasonable degree of accuracy and reliability. For $500, there are dozens of modern designs that will do everything 99% of the population would need from a pistol. And, the differences often come down to the splitting of hairs related to minor details. Personally, I’ve bought and sold a number of perfectly good service pistols in the search of something special. In my quest for remarkable accuracy, I bought (and later sold, and regretted doing so) an STI Spartan in 9mm that was by far the most accurate 9mm I had owned up to that time. Since then, my Beretta 92fs has held that title and continues to be my “go to” range gun for making small groups from a “9”. However, today, I believe another pistol has come along that will claim that distinction.
Rewind about 3 – 4 weeks ago when I decided to “thin the herd.” Since then, I’ve sold a Sig P226, Sig SP2022 (and have a little seller’s remourse already on that one), a Springfield Armory Loaded Target in 9mm, and an old (but perfect condition) Tanfoglio TZ-75. These transactions left me with some cash to get into something nice. I knew I wanted another 9mm, but not a standard service pistol; I was looking for something supremely accurate and high qualty. Being a 1911 guy, this immediately led me to looking at “nicer” 9mm 1911s. Les Baers were more than I wanted to spend. The Sig target 1911 in 9mm intrigued me, but having owned a Sig 1911 in the past I knew they were nice but not up to the level of quality I was seeking. I thought about a Springfield Range Officer, but then realized I’d basically not be any different than I was with the Loaded. Even the Kimber Team Match II crossed my mind, but $1,600 seemed like a lot for a Kimber (sorry Kimber fans). STI and Dan Wesson seemed like the most logical choices as “mid tier” 1911s that exhibit quality and fit without getting into the 2k range. After a lot of online shopping and cruising posts on the 1911 forum, I decided the Dan Wesson Pointman 9 was my logical choice. $1,399 seemed about the going price for a new on Gunbroker, and when I saw a 2015 manufactured Pointman in like-new condition for $1,199 with no bids I bit. One hour later, it was mine; couple weeks later it was in my hands. Immediately I changed out the factory trigger to my standard Greider short solid unit (I make this modification on all my 1911s) and swapped the grips to prepare for her maiden voyage to the range.
Today was a beautiful day in north Texas, and my son and I hit the local range and were surprisingly some of the only people there. Accompanying us were my Dan Wesson Pointman 9 and Beretta 92fs. I’ll break this down now quickly: I love my Beretta, but this Dan Wesson is now already one of my all time favorite pistols. It exhibits an extremely high quality of parts, fit, and finish. The trigger breaks crisply at 3.5 lbs with no hint of creep or grip. The slide glides on the frame like it’s on ball bearings with no movement besides a perfectly clean back and forth motion. The barrel hood and muzzle are locked in like a Ft. Knox bank vault, and overall the pistol shows a high degree of attentioin to detail. Having had all the guts out of the frame to fit the Greider trigger, I can tell you the interals are very high quality and the sear is the nicest I have seen. I do have another Dan Wesson, the .45 Specialist, and it is very similar in terms of fit and finish. These Dan Wessons are fit even nicer than my S&W Performance Center 1911. I’ve heard the Dan Wessons compared favorabley with high end 1911s, and I can understand why. For $1,500 I seriously do not think you can find a higher quality 1911. Reps from Dan Wesson are also active on the 1911 Forum and routinely step in to help customers, which says something about their attention to shooters.
Anyway, here’s the results of my first outing with the Dan Wesson as compared to what I did with the Beretta. The Beretta is no slouch and I believe it can almost keep up with the DW, but not quite. The trigger and fit on the DW is just that much nicer that it will likely outshoot the Beretta in apples to apples comparisons over the long run.
Here’s shooting from 7 yards, Weaver stance, 5 shots per target. The Beretta is on the left, the DW on the right. Yes, the upper right target has five shots.
Moving back to 50 ft the Beretta flexed its muscles and turned in a nice 7 shot group. The DW did well too, but shot a larger group. However, I pulled the two bottom shots and knew it when it happened so that’s reflective of me, not the pistol.
My workplace is having a virtual pistol competition this fall, and here’s some targets I shot for that today. It’s three groups of 10 shots on each, one from 7 yards, one from 10 yards, and one from 15 yards. Check out the 10 yard target especially, it shows what the DW can do in even my hands.
Well folks, there you have it. the Dan Wesson Pointman 9 is a pistol that I see getting a LOT of range time in the future and one that I think is a great example of a high quality 1911 that won’t require a 2nd mortgage to purchase. I’m really enamored with these Dan Wesson 1911s now, and may even pick up a Valor at some point just because they are such nice pistols and I have to believe they will only continue to increase in price. If you are in the market for “one” 1911 to own that you’ll never feel like you compromised in buying (and don’t want to spend $2,000+), take a look at a Dan Wesson… you will likely be pleasantly surprised.