Custom Dan Wesson PM-9

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by JNW, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
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    My first 1911 was this PM-9 which I got just under 2 years ago. I liked it a lot and this led to me buying 2 more production 1911s and then having a custom frame built for my .22 Nelson conversion. Owning multiple pistols and trying various accessories and after market replacement parts has allowed me to figure out what I like on a 1911. I definitely like a high frame cut, front strap checkering and front cocking serrations, so this made my PM-9 the perfect gun to completely customize. I also need an optic to see both my sight and the target in focus, so I tried an EGW red dot mount on this gun. It worked, but it does put the optic very high above the bore. I bought a Kimber with an optic cut on the slide and really like it, but I liked shooting my DW more. So, I discussed my desires with John Vincent at Hallston Custom and sent him my pistol. John built the frame for my Nelson conversion and it is a fantastic gun, so I knew I liked his work. I sent him my gun, a Kimber optic plate for a Leupold DPP, the DPP, an EGW wide thumb safety and a new DW slide stop with the small pad - my left thumb hit the pad on the original slide stop. I also asked for a disconnector ramp to get rid of that nasty Dan Wesson disco bump. I’ve had some issues with the trigger which DW said was normal when I sent the gun back to them for hammer follow, so I asked John to go through the trigger and make it 3.5 pounds. He cleaned up the trigger components and put in a new Wolff sear spring. John is a Master bullseye shooter and I asked for a Kart barrel and bushing if he thought the gun needed it. I wanted this pistol to be uber accurate. John thought with the new, larger slide stop the barrel was excellent, so we kept the original. The barrel, bushing, slide fit was very tight from the factory. I already had the VZ grips and Alexander & Smith one piece magwell on the gun. I got it back this morning and all I can say is WOW! I shot it this afternoon and it’s everything I wanted. I was on the verge of having a Wilson, Guncrafter or possibly a full custom built to these specs, but I have no reason to do that now. It is sleek, smooth and sweet to shoot. Seeing as it hasn’t been in my hands for several months I was pleased that I shot it well - as good or better than my Kimber which I’ve put 2,700 rounds through in the last 6 months. It’s dialed in and I’m going to start shooting it in league tomorrow night. I’ve got a Range Officer .45 that I’ve considered tarting up a bit, but I’m leaning heavily towards a new PM-45. I’d probably leave the sights on that gun, but do all the other mods I’ve done to this gun. Dan Wesson’s are really nice, but they can be made even better.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2018
    My PM-9 is my most accurate semi auto. Yours is beautiful.

    JNW likes this.

  3. NPV

    NPV Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2017
    The enter key is your friend

    Just kidding, seriously good write up. That PM-9 is sweet and let us know how the optics holds up.
    JNW likes this.
  4. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Been Tweaking up Dan Wesson pistols for the last year and half now. Barrels are usually excellent, but they just need a little love.. One of the finest base guns to start with imo.. Their tolerances are usually pretty good, they just need some real hand fitting, some a fanny lift and front end high cut, FPS, usually a new barrel bushing, A good True Radius trigger job, and a few other extras and your in business and yes the disco cut on a 9mm DW is absolutely a must. A big benefit for such a small investment. Have a PM9 myself and it's always been a pleasure to shoot.
    Badabing11, boatdoc, cgff and 2 others like this.
  5. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    Thanks for the comments. When I started shopping for a 1911 I was going to buy a less expensive gun, but after reading about and then handling some Dan Wessons it was a no brainer. In my mind easily the most gun for the money. I’ve got to play with all the semi customs, but just can’t see the value. Yes, they’re I bit nicer, but not $2k nicer to me. This gun has a tight slide to frame fit that is really smooth when you rack it, the barrel locks up solid, it is accurate and reliable. I’ve got right around $2,000 in it without the Leupold and don’t think I could buy a pistol this nice for that much money. I’ve got over 3,000 rounds through it and plan on around 4,000 rounds a year. I’ll probably keep my Kimber as a backup - I must say it’s been a fantastic, reliable gun and I can’t fault it. Oh, almost forgot - this PM-9, like all my 1911s, has Challis bushings and O rings.
    Badabing11 likes this.
  6. cgff

    cgff Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2015
    Congrats, nice write up. Just sweet, I’ve wanted to go with an optic but don’t want to change or add Another platform etc, now you have me thinking about my next project, lol

    JNW (Jeff) Would it be possible for you to post some pics of the top of the slide,maybe looking down at the optic?
  7. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    nice write up. nice PM9
  8. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    I'll take some more pics of the slide and mount with better lighting.
    cgff likes this.
  9. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    Here’s more detailed pics.

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  10. Baldwin

    Baldwin Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2018
    Very informative write up. I'm new to 1911s and also have a PM9. It's a true pleasure to shoot. I was not aware something could be done about the disco. Thanks for taking the time to do this write up.
    JNW likes this.
  11. cgff

    cgff Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2015
    Thank you
    JNW likes this.
  12. Gimpster

    Gimpster Kevin G Supporting Addict

    Apr 6, 2017
    I'll take it! J/K but WOW, what a sexy looking gun! This has my wheels turning yet again because I have a 9mm Valor commander that just sits in my safe. Nice write-up.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    JNW likes this.
  13. pcar157

    pcar157 Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2019
    Am new to Wesson 1911's. What is the "disco" I hear you referring to? Also, JNW, after the slide cut was done to accept the Kimber plate, was any refinishing required on the slide?
  14. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    The disco is the disconnector. For some reason DW builds their guns so that there is a very noticeable “bump” when your slide goes forward from lock back. This only occurs if your gun is empty or as you load the first round - during firing the disconnector is held below the frame while you are holding the trigger back. I dry fire a lot so this is annoying. Most other brands don’t do this as much either - my Kimber is significantly smoother.
    No refinishing needed, one of the joys of a stainless gun.
  15. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    Interesting note about the disconnector bump. Now I need to go see if ours are as objectionable. My Wife's PM-9 I thought has been uber smooth racking but then again, it's had a lot of rounds thru it. My Silverback is realitively new. Should be a good couple to compare for me. Both have bone stock internals except for a 9lb Wolfe spring in the PM-9 and a short flat trigger in the Silverback.
  16. SteveCNJ

    SteveCNJ Member

    Oct 17, 2019
    Wondering if you carry what Holster you use.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
  17. JNW

    JNW Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2017

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