Dan Wesson Vigil, put your carry gun on a diet.

It was a few months ago the Dan Wesson Vigil showed up for review. We pressed it into service right away. As expected, it was well fit and quite attractive, but how would she act?

The Vigil is a very traditional looking pistol with classic lines. It has what you need in a defensive pistol with no frills, which I see as a good thing.

The Vigil has excellent sights, with a drift adjustable rear sight that is serrated on the face to keep any glare down. The front white dot sight is also a night sight and contrasts well against the black rear sight.  I like the single front dot sight set up over a three-dot sight. The fact the front sight has a night sight is a bonus.

The mainspring housing is twenty-five lines per inch checkered with a well-fit traditional grip safety above it. The hammer is skeletonized to cut down on weight.  The front strap is also well serrated, with the checkered MSH and textured stocks help you keep a solid purchase on the pistol during recoil. The bottom of the mainspring housing is slightly rounded to help a bit with concealment.

The extended single-sided thumb safety is serrated and engaged off and on with a bit of effort with an audible click.

Accuracy wise the gun averaged two to two and a half-inch groups from twenty-five yards from a rest.

Range time.

After just over 400 rounds through the gun, everything looks exactly as it should. I realize 400 rounds is not a lot of rounds downrange I am confident if there was an issue with any parts or fit it would have shown up during the review.


The Vigil has proven to be reliable and accurate. If the full-size .45 Auto is not really your speed, the Vigil is also available in 9mm Luger and also in a Commander size, so you do have some options. It is worth talking about the forged aluminum receiver while saving you considerable weight over a steel receiver; some will notice that in recoil. Everyone that picked it up commented on how light the pistol was, but there is a bit of a trade-off in recoil. Dan Wesson is, as usual, using a reduced radiused firing pin stop to help with perceived recoil. You can read how that works by following this link.  For most, this was a non-issue, but a few folks did notice an increase in recoil. Now some of that can be mitigated by technique and range time; it will affect different folks differently. If you are very sensitive to recoil but really dig the Vigil, consider it in 9mm Luger. During the review, we used several types of magazines and ammunition with no issues, so I would be confident in carrying this pistol for self-defense.



Model: Vigil
Caliber: .45 Automatic
Magazine Capacity: 8
Frame Material: Forged Aluminum
Slide Finish: Duty Finish
Stocks: Wood
Overall Length: 8.6 in
Barrel Length: 5″
Width: 1.45 in
Weight: 32.8 oz
Trigger Mech: Single Action
Front Sight: Fixed Night Sight
Rear Sight: Tactical Night Sight
Safety: Manual thumb safety, grip safety
Trigger Pull: 4 1/2 pounds
MSRP: $1,298

Armscor Ammunition 

Barnaul Ammunition 


DoubleTap Ammunition 

Gorilla Ammunition 

Tiffany Outdoors


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2 Responses to Dan Wesson Vigil, put your carry gun on a diet.

  1. Bob Bonenfant July 27, 2020 at 11:12 pm #

    Excellent review Hunter. Nice package.

  2. Barbara Elliott July 30, 2020 at 10:56 am #

    Great review Hunter; however, you know I love to shoot any Dan Wesson but that call never came in. I will forgive you this time but you are not on thin ice.

    Loved the review and video. Keep up the good work.

    Barbara Elliott

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