January 12, 2012
The very first .357 Service Revolver by Dan Wesson, the Model 11, had some one-of-a-kind features about it. Features never before offered on a fixed sight .38/.357 Service Revolver. I do not know of any revolvers developed since the demise of the Model 11 in 1972, that has had this particular design feature. I’m not speaking of the removable barrel, which was a first too, but of the fixed sights that was unique to the Model 11 and Model 14. The Model 14 replaced the Model 11 very shortly after the 11’s 1970 introduction. The barrel-nut was recessed in the Model 14 but the fixed sights with dovetail rear was retained in the 14 and subsequently changed in the Model 14-1. The older front sight set up high, very high and allowed for a quick target acquisition with the dovetail rear. In a 1978 American Handgunner article, well known gun guru Massad Ayoob, wrote of this feature unique to the Model 11. in this article Ayoob writes ; “IF YOU GOT AN EARLY DAN WESSON MODEL 11 WITH THE DOVETAIL REAR SIGHT, YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING SPECIAL. ITS THE ONLY WEAPON IN ITS CLASS THAT QUALIFIES AS A FIXED SIGHT GUN, YET THE SIGHT (DOVETAIL) CAN BE ADJUSTED TO THE EXACT POINT-OF-AIM/POINT OF IMPACT WITH THE LOAD YOU WANT BY DRIFTING THE SIGHT BLADE FOR WINDAGE.” Massad goes on to say in this same article this; “THIS IS WHY THE EARLY DAN WESSON’S (MODEL 11&14) WERE PRIZED BY COMBAT SHOOTERS IN MATCHES THAT REQUIRED FIXED SIGHT SERVICE OR OFF DUTY GUNS.”
I was to discover this very same advantage in shooting my Model 11 in recent service pistol matches. The unrivaled accuracy of a plain Jane service revolver along with those EXCELLENT sights gave me an advantage I never before enjoyed in a service revolver! In recent years I have been shooting against the ‘latest’ in semi-auto pistols. Shooting, sometimes placing, sometimes not, but competing and wishing I had got started earlier with this same Dan Wesson that I was introduced to late in 1997. I hope that I haven’t bored the readers with this small bit of DW history. Yes, the gun is strange, but after my first trip to the range with it, it suddenly became “Miss America” to me. Thank you my friends!
June 25, 2013
Excellent post Mr. Abney
This thread Dovetails nicely with this other thread…
It brings some more details and history concerning our shared interest in Dan Wessons.
Endeavor to persevere,
Press on regardless.
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