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When I purchased my second Dan Wesson revolver, a 1977 15-2V4 in what appears to be unfired condition, I was very excited about the find and the price, but what I didn't know was that Dan Wesson's often have frozen barrel nuts & the notches for the wrench will often strip when attempting to loosen the nut, especially when using the older, original two-piece barrel nut wrench. Since the original barrel nut only has two notches, once it's stripped it's a big challenge to remove the barrel nut without risk of damage to the barrel & shroud. Of course, I learned all of this the hard way, by attempting to remove the barrel nut with the original barrel nut tool & partially stripping the notches. Thankfully, with a lot of research, primarily on the Dan Wesson forum, I learned what I believe is the best technique to remove the barrel nut without damage. I've posted my steps with descriptions and pictures below so that if any other wheel gun fans on 1911addicts run into this problem, they'll have a resource that may help.

Picture of partially stripped barrel nut:
DW damaged barrel nut.JPG


Step 1: remove the front sight, soak the barrel nut with your favorite brand of penetrating oil for at least 24 hours. I used Liquid Wrench because it's what I had on hand but many recommend PB, Kroil or FreeAll. I used a padded vice to hold the barrel facing up in order to achieve maximum penetration and I ended up soaking it for 4 days. Every evening I used a cotton swab to dab a little more Liquid Wrench onto the barrel nut.
DW_15-2_bnut_soak.jpg


Step 2: Order a better wrench from EWKarms.com. Eric specializes in making parts for Dan Wesson revolvers and his barrel nut wrenches seem to fit tighter in the notches and are easier to push into the barrel nut to avoid stripping the notches. He has two different wrenches for the small frame (.357) and I ordered the EWK Hex Barrel Nut wrench so that I could attached a box or crescent wrench for more leverage.
EWK Dan Wesson hex barrel nut wrench.JPG


Step 3: After at least 24 hours of soaking, using the newer style barrel nut wrench, take a bar clamp and clamp the barrel not wrench tightly into the notches of the stripped barrel nut. An 8" crescent wrench works great on the hex head of the barrel nut wrench and gives you much more leverage than the little 2" handle on the standard wrench. The key here is to make sure the clamp is tightly pushing the wrench into the notches on the barrel nut and to have patience. If it doesn't come loose at first, soak it for another 24 hours and try again. From what I've been told, it will eventually come loose if you give it time. Mine came loose with very little effort after 4 days of soaking, but wouldn't loosen at all without using the clamp.
DanWesson bar clamp barrel nut removal.JPG

DanWesson_barrelnut_removal1.JPG


Step 4: Buy a replacement barrel nut that has 4 notches instead of 2, put a light coating of synthetic grease on the threads (I used Super Lube) and don't over tighten the new barrel nut when re-assembling the barrel & shroud. I used the barrel nut wrench to gently tighten the barrel nut until it was hand tight, then I gave it a 1/4 hard turn to snug it up without over tightening. You can buy the replacement barrel nuts on EWKarms.com or on the CZ-USA online store.
DanWesson new barrel nut.jpg
 

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Good job! I too had a similar situation with one that was used for silhouette shooting (hot loads) .357 maxim. Bought from a coworker at a silly price and fixed and updated with the same parts and tool you mention as well. Then sold for a 3X profit. I posted this on the DW site as well a couple of years ago.

This was a 8″ version with a very stripped barrel nut. The gun had not been fired in over 10 years, nor cleaned. I read the posted barrel removal closely and tried to make it a better mousetrap. I’m an aerospace engineer and not fond of vise grips on all thread so this is what I did.
Mcmaster Carr parts: One 9″ long 5/16-18 steel bolt #91257A122, bag of small diameter flat washers #95229A460, and one bag of small hex nuts #94191A200. Total cost $21.72.
I figured using a hex nut in the cylinder area would allow me to add torque during the loosening attempt. Not a lot of wrench clearance. No go. To tight. Then I added another nut (jam) and tightened everything as much as I could using a soft jaw vise. Next I heated the frame carefully with a heat gun until I saw some bubbling around the threads in the cylinder area. Using all my hand strength, no go. So I said a few choice words and brought out the 3/8 butterfly air impact wrench to put on the hex head on the end of the barrel. Just hit it a little bit and boom that bad boy came right off. After pulling the barrel from the shroud that barrel nut came right off by hand. Go figure.
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Discussion Starter #5
Yep, I saw your post on the Dan Wesson forum & I don't have the heat gun or the pneumatic wrench, so it really wasn't a method I could consider. Also, my barrel nut was partially stripped so I thought I had a good chance of making the clamp method work for me with the right barrel nut wrench. I hope I never have one completely stripped like yours, unless of course I get it for a ridiculous price.
 

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Roger that. I was panicked too...LMAO. Oh crap got this and now what? Your method beats the all thread as well, good job again.
ps..I was the one that stripped the crap out of the barrel nut too.
 

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Nice.
Well done and thank you.
 

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Mike, congratulations! Thats the first time Ive heard of using an impact wrench on a gun!!!!

Sidenote: old suntour bicycle freewheels use the same 2 notch system and are universally hated by mechanics. The fix is the same but without the patient soaking.
 

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LOL Thanks! And it worked so well too. The constant torque from hand applied pressure got me no where. It was bordering a major Oh sh*t moment! The first slight bang of the impact on that bolt head kicked her loose right away. So much so that I just stood there and said really? LMAO
I went thru the entire gun, it was in great shape albeit some minor flame cutting, replaced the barrel nut with a 4 notch stainless version as Jertex mentions and bought the better tool. This was the DW super mag in .357 with extra barrel and custom sights. It had about 400 super mag brass cases with it which are rare as hens teeth. I paid $300 for it, put about $70 in it, and sold it for $1200 in less than 24 hours of posting the ad. I won't work on another one..lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The fruits of my effort in getting this barrel off have culminated in the purchase of my new 2&1/2" barrel. CZ-USA still makes Dan Wesson barrels & blued barrel shrouds for model 15 revolvers, very occasionally, and I've been watching for them to show back in stock since I purchased the revolver. They showed up last week and I ordered one, but was concerned that the bluing wouldn't be as nice. To my pleasant surprise, it looks every bit as nice as the original and the gun looks/shoots great with the 2&1/2 barrel. I love this revolver! Here is the pic:
DanWesson 15-2 w 2andhalf inch barrel.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very nice and great job.

Both very usable pieces of info, now if I only could find the DW revolver for cheap
Yep, it takes a lot of patient shopping but there are some good deals to be had if you don't mind the wait. It's even worth paying a little more if you get as much enjoyment out of shooting the gun as I do with this Dan Wesson.
 

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When I purchased my second Dan Wesson revolver, a 1977 15-2V4 in what appears to be unfired condition, I was very excited about the find and the price, but what I didn't know was that Dan Wesson's often have frozen barrel nuts & the notches for the wrench will often strip when attempting to loosen the nut, especially when using the older, original two-piece barrel nut wrench. Since the original barrel nut only has two notches, once it's stripped it's a big challenge to remove the barrel nut without risk of damage to the barrel & shroud. Of course, I learned all of this the hard way, by attempting to remove the barrel nut with the original barrel nut tool & partially stripping the notches. Thankfully, with a lot of research, primarily on the Dan Wesson forum, I learned what I believe is the best technique to remove the barrel nut without damage. I've posted my steps with descriptions and pictures below so that if any other wheel gun fans on 1911addicts run into this problem, they'll have a resource that may help.

Picture of partially stripped barrel nut:
View attachment 64017

Step 1: remove the front sight, soak the barrel nut with your favorite brand of penetrating oil for at least 24 hours. I used Liquid Wrench because it's what I had on hand but many recommend PB, Kroil or FreeAll. I used a padded vice to hold the barrel facing up in order to achieve maximum penetration and I ended up soaking it for 4 days. Every evening I used a cotton swab to dab a little more Liquid Wrench onto the barrel nut.
View attachment 64024

Step 2: Order a better wrench from EWKarms.com. Eric specializes in making parts for Dan Wesson revolvers and his barrel nut wrenches seem to fit tighter in the notches and are easier to push into the barrel nut to avoid stripping the notches. He has two different wrenches for the small frame (.357) and I ordered the EWK Hex Barrel Nut wrench so that I could attached a box or crescent wrench for more leverage.
View attachment 64018

Step 3: After at least 24 hours of soaking, using the newer style barrel nut wrench, take a bar clamp and clamp the barrel not wrench tightly into the notches of the stripped barrel nut. An 8" crescent wrench works great on the hex head of the barrel nut wrench and gives you much more leverage than the little 2" handle on the standard wrench. The key here is to make sure the clamp is tightly pushing the wrench into the notches on the barrel nut and to have patience. If it doesn't come loose at first, soak it for another 24 hours and try again. From what I've been told, it will eventually come loose if you give it time. Mine came loose with very little effort after 4 days of soaking, but wouldn't loosen at all without using the clamp.
View attachment 64019
View attachment 64020

Step 4: Buy a replacement barrel nut that has 4 notches instead of 2, put a light coating of synthetic grease on the threads (I used Super Lube) and don't over tighten the new barrel nut when re-assembling the barrel & shroud. I used the barrel nut wrench to gently tighten the barrel nut until it was hand tight, then I gave it a 1/4 hard turn to snug it up without over tightening. You can buy the replacement barrel nuts on EWKarms.com or on the CZ-USA online store.
View attachment 64021
I know this is an old thread but I gotta thank you for the info! I was in the same boat - bought a Dan Wesson 15-2 8VH. Tried to get the barrel nut off and it was stuck tight! I partially stripped it using one of the plastic handled wrenches and thought “Oh boy”. Did some research and saw your post. Got the EWK collet wrench, a new barrel nut and a 12” clamp. Soaked the end of the barrel with Liquid Wrench for a few days while I was waiting for the new wrench. It arrived today. I took the grips off, got some wood blocks for the vise and went at it. Literally 10 minutes later the nut was off and the shroud slipped off right behind it. I was so relieved! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Glad I could help, I got the help from the Dan Wesson forum & just added better instructions & pics. I love my DW revolver, BTW, it’s my favorite gun.
 

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Glad I could help, I got the help from the Dan Wesson forum & just added better instructions & pics. I love my DW revolver, BTW, it’s my favorite gun.
I’ve been a Smith guy for most of my life but the Dan Wesson is so interesting. I remember drooling over the pistol packs when I was young and broke. The trigger is less than 3# single action per my Lyman gauge and it feels really tight. I’m looking forward to putting some rounds down range.
 
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