The Specialist is billed as Dan Wesson’s defensive/ duty government sized 1911. It utilizes the 70 series style safety mechanicals with a short guide rod. The frame and slide are forged stainless. They have incorporated a 1913 picatinny rail on the frame for lights or lights with lasers . For those that like laser grips such as crimson trace, the Specialist has the slide stop pin recessed in the frame on the right side so no modifications are necessary.
This is a nice touch. The Specialist model also includes a magwell, extended magazine release and an ambi safety. The mag well is a bolt on, some have stated that the screw can loosen after some use, I have had no issues to date.
The extended magazine release with the cut in the left stock/ grip panel is a big plus as I have trouble reaching mag release buttons on most pistols.
The night sights are Dan Wesson’s version of heinie straight eights with trijicon inserts. The rear sight has a nice ledge for one handed operation of racking the slide if necessary. There is good light side to side in the sight picture which makes for quick target acquisition.
The fit and finish of this gun is exceptional, details you are only likely to find in higher end customs like chamfered edges on the slide and an under cut trigger guard to allow a slightly higher grip on the gun. There are no tool marks left anywhere. The checkering on the frame and mainspring housing is 25 lines per inch and feels just right. The top of the slide has the same rib as the Heritage model and the sides are clean and only having cocking serrations at the rear. The match grade barrel and bushing fit is tight, I actually have to use the bushing wrench to disassemble for cleaning .
Out of the box the trigger pull was measured at 5lbs. and after 1000 rounds it has lightened up to a consistent 4 lbs 11 ozs. , just right for a defensive pistol. The trigger breaks crisp and reset is very short as it should be on a gun like this. All internals are tool steel, no metal injection molded parts on the pistol. The ambi safety clicks on and off very positively. The finish on the frame and slide are what Dan Wesson calls their duty coat, which is impregnated/ bonded to the metal, this is no spray and bake coating. This stuff is tuff and wears well. The grips are VZ Operator G10 in hyena brown and give a nice contrast to the frame and slide. There is a nice groove cut into the grips to facilitate mag changes putting your thumb right on the extended mag release button. The beaver tail grip safety with bump pad fits well and is very positive. This gun really feels good in the hand, very confidence inspiring.
Range time with THESLIDESTOP.COM crew:
I like the straight 8 sights on the gun, plenty of light side to side, I have actually become a fan of this type of sight . Perhaps it is that I am cross eye dominant. The sights were perfect, no adjustment necessary. This gun is a nail driver. The trigger is excellent on this gun and feels lighter than measured. I passed the gun around to gather some initial impressions before anyone put rounds down range. Everyone commented on how smooth the slide is and how tight the gun was built. One or two commented that the grips felt a little aggressive until actually shooting the gun and then changed their opinion. Nothing but ear to ear grins and passing it on to the next saying “you gotta shoot this”. Everyone that has shot this gun comments on how smooth it functions and how accurate it is. I say, “want a tighter group, shoot a Dan Wesson”. After expending 8 or 9 rounds there is usually one big hole in the center of a paper target. This gun, like the heritage model previously reviewed has never failed to put lead down range and create a nice pile of brass on your right. It has been fed a well balanced diet of factory ball ammo, jacketed hollow points and reloads with no malfunctions. Reliable and accurate and very well built, this is by far my favorite tactical response pistol.
Dan Wesson packages the Specialist with 2 Check-Mate magazines, gun oil and a bushing wrench. All this for @ 1850.00. Is it worth the money? Shoot one and you decide. My answer is an emphatic HELL YEAH! Please give us a like on Facebook