I'm no expert on wheel guns, this is just my 3rd, but this is why I chose the Dan Wesson: excellent machining, no MIM parts, no Obama lock, interchangeable barrel lengths, built like a tank like a Ruger yet better trigger with the shortest DA trigger pull from the factory that I've seen, adjustable trigger and an accuracy reputation that is second to none, etc, etc. I was not impressed with the new Smith & Wesson's that I saw, but I'm no expert either since this is just my 3rd revolver. I also own a Ruger Match Champion & a pre-Taurus Rossi that belonged to my Dad and both of those guns seem like better fit & finish than new S&W's that I saw in the LGS. The Ruger is an excellent gun and my great experience with that gun gave me the wheel gun fever, thus the Dan Wesson purchase.
Edit: PS - I'm also becoming somewhat of a gun geek :nerd: and I like the physics involved in the tensioned barrel, the ability to optimize the headspace and I just thinks it's flat out cool!
Hey, I've got one of those pocket rockets too.....changing the barrel is an interesting evolution, but the finished product is a shooter....however, little tight in the front pants pocket....."you happy to see me, or do you carrying a Dan Wesson in your pants?"
I can offer some insight since I own both the Dan Wesson 715 & the Ruger GP100 Match Champion.
The Dan Wesson
fit & finish is excellent & the quality of the parts seem to be outstanding. As far as I can tell, there are no MIM parts and I've done a detailed strip & reassembly. The DA trigger pull is the shortest I've ever seen in a revolver and very light. It feels like it can't be more than 6 or 7lbs. The SA pull is very crisp and light as well.
You also have a lot of front sight choices. The gun game with a flat black sight which doesn't work for me so I purchased a fiber optic front sight that I like much better which takes about 2 minutes to swap. You also have the option of a traditional front sight with either a red, orange, yellow or white insert, depending on your preference.
The DA pull is so short that I have experienced light primer strikes about every 3 or 4 cylinders. I have read that this can happen when the grip screw is too tight and interfering with the mainspring but if I loosen the grip screw any more the grip would flop loosely on the gun. I hand tighten it and stop as soon as I feel any resistance, then back off a 1/4 turn and it hasn't helped.
There are also few grip choices so you're pretty much stuck with the Hogue monogrip or an original Dan Wesson wood grip. You can find an old, used Pachmayr Presentation Grip on ebay for anywhere from $20-$35. I don't like any of these grips. I have nerve damage in my wrists and the grips make or break a magnum revolver for me. The Hogue is too narrow at the web of my thumb and makes shooting the gun fairly painful for me when shooting magnum loads. The Pachmayr isn't as narrow but is not much different than shooting a wood grip as far as comfort. As a result, I don't shoot the gun as accurately as I might. It's not bad, just not where I want it to be.
Ruger Match Champion
Excellent fit and finish as well and, as far as I can tell, no MIM parts either. This gun really shines from an engineering standpoint. It's much more advanced than either the Dan Wesson or a S&W for that matter. Disassembly is achieved by removing the mainspring, pulling pin from the hammer and the hammer pops right out and then pushing on a button through the open grip area and the entire trigger assembly drops right out of the gun, fully intact. It is a much more advanced design and much less prone to springs flying and parts coming off than the Dan Wesson or S&W revolvers.
SA pull is crisp and light and DA pull, while significantly heavier than the Dan Wesson initially, is smooth and extremely shootable. After a couple of hundred rounds, it seems quite a bit lighter than at the first shot. I love to shoot this gun both in DA & SA & shoot a ragged hole in either mode at 10 yards. I shoot this gun better than any other handgun I've ever fired.
Rear sights are full adjustable for elevation & windage & the fiber optic front sight if highly visible in all but the lowest of light conditions.
The hardwood grips that come with the gun are very attractive but because of my nerve damage, I put Hogue Tamer grips on the gun and they are aptly named. I can shoot as many magnum rounds as I want with no pain.
I don't like the large roll marks on the barrel which read "Match Champion", I think that they are a little unattractive, but they're not terrible. I would also like to be able to purchase this gun with a 6" barrel, but the 4.25" is all that is available currently.
Conclusion: I like the Dan Wesson, I love the Ruger & I have concluded that the Ruger is the better all around gun and, like all Rugers, it's built like a tank. It's quite an improvement over the standard GP100 and if I had to sell one of the two revolvers, I would sell the Dan Wesson & keep the Ruger. It's just a better gun in my opinion. I even prefer it over the Smith & Wesson's I've fired over the years, but maybe that's because I've never owned a Smith and don't have much range time with them. I bought my Match Champion for $650 new & out the door at a gun show. Here is a pic:
Jertex....Really nice review.....my only Rutgers are a Redhawk (.45 ACP and Long Colt) and a SR-22....the SR-22 is just a plinker, but the Redhawk is a quality handgun....but neither have what I would call a good DA or SA trigger....My DW 715V has a nicer trigger action, particularly in SA, and I have not had light strikes.....your Match Champion is a nice looking wheel gun.....
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