Dan Wesson 357 mag

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by luger89, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. luger89

    luger89 New Member

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    I am looking for information on a dan wesson model 15 357 mag that was made in Monson Mass. It is stainless with a black hammer and trigger. Everywhere I read says that if it is a model 15 then it is blue metal but this is stainless.
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    First of all, it's a good thing it's a Monson gun as they're better quality than the later Palmer made guns. DWs aren't necessarily known by model numbers, rather by frame size & caliber. DWs are "notorious" for being tweaked so I expect it may have an aftermarket hammer/trigger. From what I understand, the serial # records of Monson DWs was "lost" when the company first went under so it's tough to find specific data on a particular piece. CZ-USA now owns the DW label and continues to provide parts for the older guns. I just ordered a 2 1/2 barrel & shroud for one of mine at $118 shipped from the factory...

    BTW I live in Marietta, welcome...
     

  3. luger89

    luger89 New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the info. I called CZ and just as you said she did not know anything about this model. She said that I could send them a pic and she would look into it.
    I will put up a picture and maybe that would be helpful. The barrel is 3 in and the frame is 4 1/2 x 4 not including the grip.
    BTW I live in Snellville
     
  4. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

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    Hi Luger89, the stainless .357 is a model #715. The "7" denotes stainless, but the model numbers weren't stamped on the gun. I don't know why you have a blue hammer and trigger, but I suspect NGIB is correct and yours has been modified by a previous owner. NGIB is also correct about the Monson production guns being better made than the later Palmer guns. I have an unaltered Monson #715 that I've owned since the mid 80's. It wasn't originally part of a "Pistol Pack" and came with the 6" VH Shroud, but I've acquired the 2" VH, 4" V and 8" VH barrels and shrouds over the years. Prior to that, I owned a regular blued model #15, which I liked a lot, but hated cleaning, so I traded it in for the stainless model.
    There was also a model #14 which was Blued in .38 Special only, I believe the frame height was the same size as the #15 with a slightly shorter frame window for the shorter .38 cylinder. They also made a smaller frame for .22 and a much larger frame (#44 and #744) which was chambered for .44 Mag. There were also a few made in .445 Supermag and .357 Maximum.
    These are pretty stout guns and the unique barrel attachment system made them inherently very accurate. Even though they dominated silhouette matches for years, they didn't prove very popular with the average Joe and never acheived the sales success they deserved.
     
  5. luger89

    luger89 New Member

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    Here is a picture of the gun as well as the engraving. What add'l barrels do you suggest that I buy. This one measures a little over 3 in. Is it considered a 3 or 4?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

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    Those photos won't enlarge for me but it looks like a 4". The barrel measurment is taken from the front of the cylinder to the end of the tube, not from the front of the frame. What size barrel do you want? They made them in 2", 4", 6", 8", 10", 12" and 15". Do you have the barrel tool and .006" feeler blade for setting the cylinder gap?
     
  7. 1HD1

    1HD1 New Member

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    Looking for a DW gunsmith

    My first "real" handgun was a DW 357 purchased in the early/mid 70s (if I am remembering correctly). It has long past been sold in lieu of children, but since there departure into their own lives, I have again started a small collection of firearms, among them a dozen DW 357s and four 44 mags. The only problem this presents, is finding a good gunsmith to perform some "tuning." Mag-na-port will perform any porting if desired, but does not do any trigger work. I found a guy in VA that will do hot bluing, but have been able to find anyone do replace the springs, crunch, grind and clean up the action.

    Does anyone have a recommendation on a good gunsmith ANYWHERE? I don't mind paying shipping if the work is good.

    Thanks
     
  8. hdfxrs91

    hdfxrs91 New Member

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    About 3 or 4 years ago I was looking over my DW 14-2 and noticed that the spring that hold the cylinder detent was a little weak. I called DW and the guy that answered the phone said he would send me one for free. He sent two. My guess is that if you need any parts, just call DW. I'm sure they're willing to help.
     
  9. Defender

    Defender New Member

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    I haven't shot a DW in years, so I can't speak for the newer ones.

    However, the old ones from before 1980 were some of the finest revolvers you'd ever want to shoot.
     
  10. TMCXJ

    TMCXJ New Member

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    I agree... I've had a DW 744VH with 8" bbl since the 80's, bought it new. H-E-A-V-Y, but what a shooter. It's the best accuracy I've ever found in a handgun. It favors heavier bullets (240 gr factory, but even heavier with appropriate handloads), hates 180 gr factory loads, but I've been good with handloads with lighter bullets if I back off the charts a little bit so's they don't spit out like hellfire. Even though it doesn't prefer the lighter loads, it'll still send 'em down range better than ahything else I've shot. Anyhow, sorry to get off topic... That DW is one gun I'll never sell. I paid under retail back then - $584, IIRC - and I've been offered $750 for it. It been shot a lot, but still looks new. Last year, I had to get my guns appraised for insurance, they picked the appraiser (also happened to be the guy running the pistol permit dep't at the County back then), he rated it at 98%. I asked why 98 and not 95 or something else, he said "It's used. Can't give it 100%. Otherwise I would!"

    BTW, Zappa, thank you for the other thread with the DW history link.

    - Tim C.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  11. medic627

    medic627 New Member

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    dan wesson

    What you have is a very early Dan Wesson. This is most obvious by the barrel shroud having the odd looking extention protruding down well below the lug entire length of and the frame as your shows. This was used in the earlier guns to index the shroud to the frame. The newer modle 15-2 made in the 1980's did not have that. Another way to date an early DW is by by the barrel nut location. the very early nut holding the crown of the bbl was unshrouded. Yes, the nut was totally exposed and actually very visable from a side view. It is difficult for me to see this from the small pic posted but, if it is exposed you will know it and that would make it a pre modle 14. I have to ad that I am unaware of such an early DW being made of stainless steel as Dan was against using S/S. In fact, ALL the factory blued guns had noticably smoother action than any of the S/S 357's from any year DW. I am sure a few owners of a S/S DW will argue that point, but belive me all the blue factory DW's ARE smoother actions. You may also notice that DW has the shortest action of any revolver ever made to my knowledge. Anyway, to sum it up... you definatly have a very early Dan, it is not a 15-2 and are you sure it is S/S and not just the funny unfinished looking finifh common to the very early dans?. I can go on for hours here but hink I may have started you in the right direction. If you post a large clear pic I will give you more info. Also let me know if it is S/S and not the old crude DW finish of the early guns. Hope I helped a bit....
     
  12. hotbluer

    hotbluer New Member

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    Dan Wesson Repair

    I may be able to help you out I worked at Dan Wesson for 5 yrs and have alot of parts you can contact me at Blue Ridge Bluing: Home
     
  13. Charger Fan

    Charger Fan New Member

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    I know this is an old thread & the original poster may have found the info he needs by now, but I thought I'd pop in & help with what I know.

    The gun he has is a Model 15 "no dash" Porkchop in nickel. The Porkchop nickname refers to the unique barrel shroud design. Dan Wesson guns were not available in stainless until 1982, with the Model 15-2 guns.

    Dan Wesson guns started production in 1970 with the Model 11 & 12, in both .38 Spl & .357 Mag. The 11's use fixed sights & a matte finish, the 12's have adjustable sights & a glossy finish. These guns were also available right outta the chute in Pistol Pac's and also in a nickle finish...although I have yet to see one in captivity.
    Here are Ed & Fred ( :D ), two 2-digit sequential number Model 12's.
    [​IMG]

    More to follow, apparently I'm limited to the amount of pics & smileys in one post.:eek:
     
  14. Charger Fan

    Charger Fan New Member

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    It's hell being a newbie sometimes. LOL! I didn't notice that the Mods need to approve my posts at first...so Mods, please delete my duplicate post.
    Ok, so onward...

    A few months later, the model designation added some letters, D11 & W12. This one is a D11 in .38 Special, made sometime in 1971 AFAIK.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a W12 in .357 Magnum.
    [​IMG]

    These guns use an external barrel nut to hold the barrel & shroud together.
    [​IMG]

    For reasons unknown to me just yet, some of the D11's have a non-removable barrel nut...sort of an early fixed barrel design.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Charger Fan

    Charger Fan New Member

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    In those early years, Dan Wesson guns were going through constant refinements...some for functionality & some for aesthetics. Dan listened intently to feedback regarding the guns, in an effort for improvement. The big knobby barrel nut was always a topic of discussion in the gun rags, so with the new 1st generation Model 15, along came a smoother barrel nut.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    While that was a slight improvement, it was still considered unsightly & shortly afterward the barrel nut was moved inward, flush with the frame. THIS is the type that our thread starter (Luger89) has in his possession...
    [​IMG]
    Because of the additional cost at the time, nickel guns are not near as common as the blued guns.
    It's still a gray area to me, as to where the Model 15 "no dash" leaves off & the 15-1 begins...as of now, I assume that the gun with the older style sights & flush barrel nuts are part of the "no dash" family. A little later with the 15-1, they changed the sights to a smaller style & improved the ejector rod, by putting a mushroom head on it.

    While I do not yet own a Model 15 like Luger89's, I do own a Model 14, of the same era.
    [​IMG]

    BTW, all the grips on these guns are directly interchangeable with the later Model 15-2 guns...to help dispel any myths.
     
  16. Charger Fan

    Charger Fan New Member

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    By early 1975, as part of the ongoing effort to make the gun more appealing to the masses, the Porkchop style was changed to the current & final Model 15-2 style.
    At first, the 15-2's had pinned front sights, then after a year or so, the interchangeable sights came along. The Pistol Pac's also got some snazzy gold/yellow cloth inside, to really showcase the available combinations.:cool:
    This particular gun was made in 1978, the same year as Dan's passing. It would be interesting to see where things would have gone, had he lived for another dozen years or so.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. SHOOTER540

    SHOOTER540 New Member

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    Hi. I know this is an old posting. I recently obtained a super clean W-12 Dan Wesson. I am looking for a few things for it. If you still have items for these please contact me. My # 443-625-8585. My email- garydu4@comcast.net Thank you.