Dan Wesson Valor
I already did a cosmetic review of this pistol elsewhere, so we’ll stick to the shooting portion of the review for today.
I don’t carry 5” barreled 1911’s, so this one is strictly a range/fun gun for me. The only thing I’ve changed since buying her is putting on some smooth Ivory grips. Other than that she’s just the way she came from the factory.
From a practical standpoint, the checkering on the frontstrap and MSH are great! No worries about the weapon moving in my hand at any time during the shooting. I did the Valor test the same day I did my CCO test, and changed weapons every 5 rounds to be fair to both. I started out with my standard setup – 50 rounds at a rapid, controlled firing pace of 1 round per second, with the target out to the 20 yard line.
If you read my CCO shooting review, you know that the guy next to me was keeping up and the whole “macho” thing got me caught up in the spirit of competition, so I started double tapping a little over half way through. Since it all fits in the test of how the weapon fires, I don’t really have a problem with that though.
As you can see in the pic, accuracy in this weapon is more than satisfactory for self defense purposes. If I were after better accuracy, I’m sure this weapon can produce it to a point much better than I can shoot it. Slowing the rate of fire down and carefully aiming each shot would have resulted in much better groups. I’m not after that, instead being after more practical ideals and accuracy in a weapon, and this one accomplished that just fine in my hands.
Shooting was VERY smooth. The 5” length and the weight it puts up front served well to tame muzzle jump and let me acquire a sight picture again very quickly. The slide felt like it was on bearings during the shooting session. All controls were positive and not “mushy” at all. No doubt as to when you snick the thumb safety on and off, and stiff enough to prevent accidentally wiping the safety off, but easy enough to be comfortable engaging it with your finger or thumb (I shoot lefty and use the side of my forefinger ion the absence of ambi safeties).
I encountered one “problem” with this weapon during the shooting – the slide would not lock back after the last round. I tried hand cycling the stock magazines, a couple Chip McCormicks that were in the bag, and my Tripps. None of them could get the slide stop to engage. I haven’t looked at this further to see what the problem here might be. Since this is not a carry weapon, I’m not all that concerned about it though. Not worth sending it back in to get checked in my book. I count rounds, so I know when the last round is out the tube anyway. Not ideal for a nanosecond type reload though.
The sights are easy to pick up with the big white ring around the tritium insert of the front post. This is a great aid in getting that sight picture back quickly.
As for actual malfunctions, there were none. I used WWB for this range trip. This weapon made it boringly enjoyable to shoot. The mere appearance of it drew people over from other lanes to ask what it was and to admire it.
Not much of a shooting review, but then again, when there are no problems, there’s not much to say. Overall, the Valor is a well built weapon with the accuracy to get the job done and the looks to be at home in a display case on the mantle.