My first experience with Dan Wesson was when I reviewed the ECO a few years ago, you can find my review here, Dan Wesson ECO. Since then I have completed reviews on the Bruin and PM-C and now the Discretion. I have come to understand that Dan Wesson makes a fine handgun, and when the new Discretion arrived for review, I had high expectations.
From back to front, incorporated magazine well, beavertail style grip safety with palm swell, skeletonized speed hammer, silencer night sights, threaded match barrel, incorporated Picatinny Rail, extended thumb safety, and checkered front and back straps.
The aluminum trigger broke clean at 4 1/2 pounds with just a little overtravel and take up and the face is nearly straight and is textured for a solid purchase. VZ grips G10 stocks are standard. The thumb safety is extended and requires some effort to engage and disengage with an audible click. The slide stop is also serrated and locked the slide back on an empty magazine.
An incorporated Picatinny rail is almost a necessity for any pistol for home defense or duty carry. The ejection port is lowered and flared to ensure no issues during ejection. The front and back strap are checkered to 25 lines per inch. The slide stop did not protrude through the other side of the receiver. I understand why they did this, in the event you added laser grips the slide stop would not affect the laser beam but it did make it a bit more difficult to field strip.
The front and rear sights are tall Straight Eight Trijicon night sights. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage via set screw. Out of the box the sights on the test pistol were on at 25 yards but being they are silencer sights the point of aim will be a bit higher than point of impact, think 12 o’clock hold. Point of aim and point of impact can change with the addition of a silencer so it would be wise to spend some time with the Discretion to learn the gun, as with any other firearm you plan to use.
The barrel is a 5 3/4″ .578×28 threaded match grade well fit to the barrel bushing. Note the relief cuts on the slide, removing weight to compensate some when a silencer is threaded on.
The rear sight and the along the top of the slide is serrated to stop any glare or reflection that could impede a correct sight picture. Slide to receiver fit is snug with no deflection. Fit was not so tight that tools were required for field strip.
After some 600 rounds everything looked just fine. While that is not a lot of ammo through a gun, if something were wrong or ill fit it would show up by now. The barrel is fully supported and offered match grade accuracy without affecting reliability. Note, the mainspring housing and magazine well are machined from a single piece of steel. The stock screws uses small O rings to ensure the screws remain snug and do not back out, a very nice touch. This pistol does not utilize a firing pin safety, for those that do not care for such. Keeping with the other Dan Wesson pistols I have reviewed, a reduced radiused firing pin stop is standard, If you are curious as to why that is such an upgrade, here is an article by 1911Tuner that explains how that helps reduce perceived recoil.
25 yard accuracy 3 shot group from a rest.
The 1911 style market is more than saturated with pistols at all price points. I have been reviewing guns since 1999 and have learned that, more often than not, you get what you pay for. There is also an abundance expensive pistols out there, but you have to be mindful of their quality as well. It is no secret that Dan Wesson 1911s are expensive but taking into account the forged receiver and slide as well as the machined steel small parts it is little wonder for that price tag. These pistols spend a lot of time in human hands for the final fit and finish. Being 100% reliable and able to consistently get inch and a half to two inch groups at twenty five yards is a reflection of the quality of the handguns. With about 600 rounds down range, with and without a silencer, using the supplied eight round magazines as well as other magazines, we experienced no issues through a variety of ammunition. I am satisfied this pistol is exactly as the manufacture claims it to be. Bear in mind when running a pistol with a magazine well, it will help you funnel the magazine in for a faster reload but you will need to use magazines with extended base pads. This pistol would serve you well for home defense with the accessory rail and ability to add a silencer. I could also see this as a fine concealed carry pistol if you could dress around it, though a holster may be tough to find with the rail and tall sights. The Discretion is a fine addition of the line of Dan Wesson line up. I am a firm believer in buying cheap paper towels and nice guns, buying something you may have to depend on to save your life is not time to skimp, in my opinion.
Caliber: .45 Auto available in 9mm Luger
Magazine Capacity: 8
Receiver Material: Forged Stainless Slide
Finish: Duty Finish
Overall Length: 9.5″
Barrel Length: 5.75
Weight: 42.2 oz
Trigger: Mech Single Action
Front Sight: High Front Night Sight
Rear Sight: High Night Sight
Safety: Manual thumb safety, grip safety