The tale of the Dan Wesson Razorback

Astro14

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I just bought this gun from my brother (in itself, another tale of FFL to FFL transfer woes, including a lost Glock, but that’s another thread).

Dan Wesson Razorback. An all stainless steel 1911 in 10mm. Beautiful gun. Sweet trigger. My favorite cartridge. A tight fitting slide like a custom gun.

He bought it in 2016, for a great price, buts it’s been trouble ever since. It jammed on the first magazine he ever fired. Took a block of wood to get it apart and find the galling on the frame rails.

So, after about 5 rounds, it was done. He built a jig, cleaned up the galling he could see on one of the rails, the right rail, using 800, then 1500 grit paper. Super smooth. Can’t even see his work. Cycled it by hand about 2,000 times. Felt perfectly smooth.

He thought it was good to go. He hasn’t shot it since, so he sold it to me, for a fair price.

I took it to the range yesterday. It jammed on round two. Locked up tight. Galling on the left frame rail. Took a mallet to get it apart. A big mallet.

7 rounds in its life. Major problems.

Called Dan Wesson. Warranty applies only to the original owner and only for five years. But my brother will submit the warranty paperwork, I’ll ship the gun back, it should still be in warranty.

If not, then I’m not certain what to do. It’s a beautiful paperweight for now. I think the steel is substandard (very soft) and the fit was too tight. It was carefully lubricated before each firing. It was wet, not dripping, but wet, knowing the propensity of stainless to gall.

I’ve got several stainless guns - S&W 3rd generation. They all run great. Never any galling. Good steel. Proper tolerances. I’ve got several 1911s. They all run great. My Colt took a bit of fitting to get the safety to “snick” on and off, it was mushy and not right from the factory. All three of my Springfield Armory 1911s run great.

But not this thing. The most expensive pistol he’s ever bought, the most expensive one I’ve ever owned, is a complete piece of junk. Time will tell if they’re able to fix it. Picture of it jammed. That slide was stuck, hard, in that spot.

TL;DR - Dan Wesson builds a beautiful gun, but their quality control genuinely sucks, because this gun is a piece of junk.
 

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I'm with you on the love of 10mm's and 1911's. I also generally have a soft spot for Dan Wessons (have a .357 maximum revolver). Hate to hear that this one is having so many issues. I don't have any experience with the Dan Wesson 1911's first hand but I've read generally good things about them. I've been deciding between one of the 1911 10mm's or a Glock 40 for my next one.

Side note for any 10mm nerds on here is that we got lucky a few years ago and got a Smith 1046 which is a real odd duck.
 
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Don't fret brotha. DW is a quality piece. I was surprised to learn that DW does not use MIM and is able to deliver a quality pistol at a fair price point.

I have 2 suggestions. First is a simple fact across many 1911 platforms and it's an issue that shouldn't be, but frankly IS! Often the extractor is not timed to the pistol. The fix is pretty easy. Remove the rear dust cover; remove the long extractor and work the tension by bending. It's a trial and error while at the range as you want to go slow with the bend until the failures cease. I have a jig I can mail you to BORROW that makes it much easier. PM if interested. Link to the jig...https://www.jackweigand.com/eat.html. While you have the dust cover off, pull the fireing pin out of the channel it resides in and clean it.

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The above issue corrected a Springfield Armory V12 instantly. I had a few thousand rounds of Wold ball that wouldn't function correctly. I changed spring weight, magazines, etc... but that wasn't it. Adjusted extractor tension and bingo. It is now runs nearly perfect, I mean 99.9% with that dirty crummy target rounds.

I see you are also dealing with 10mm. I have a Springfield TRP in 10mm. I only have a little over 1k rounds down the pipe. First few hyndred rounds were flawless. I didn't shoot it for a while and then went to the range and had serious issues. Many FTE/FTF later I realized my initial shooting was with Armscor target loads. Decent stuff, shoots well, not dirty, and more like a hotter 40 than a full 10mm load. Good for target practice.

My subsequent range trip where I had issues I was using Sellior & Belliot 10mm target loads. Ended up mic'n the rounds and the S&B had a wider girth and that was the issue. Something to look at in your DW.

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Astro14

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Extractor tuning and spring weight don’t help with a slide that is jammed/stuck on the frame and takes a mallet to break loose.

The gun is in parts right now, because it’s so jacked, with galling on the frame rails, that I couldn’t get the slide back on the frame. Even with the mallet.

I do appreciate the offer of the tuning jig.

The frame has galling on it. I can’t slide the slide by hand. It only slides back and forth when smacked with a 1lb polyurethane mallet.

It can’t fire. It won’t feed. Won’t extract. Won’t move at all.

It’s a paperweight.
 
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Extractor tuning and spring weight don’t help with a slide that is jammed/stuck on the frame and takes a mallet to break loose.

The gun is in parts right now, because it’s so jacked, with galling on the frame rails, that I couldn’t get the slide back on the frame. Even with the mallet.

Oh wow, that is extreme. Shocking actually. Do you have a means to measure the alignment? Would incur a FFL headache but might be least expensive to have it returned to your brother and sent back to DW to fix that disaster.
 

Astro14

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I’ve got a Springfield Armory Range Officer Operator in 10mm. It ran fine on American Eagle, but didn’t like the S&B much, either. But a very tiny bit of radius (need a loupe to see it) on the feed ramp to chamber transition and it feeds the S&B perfectly now.

It had been failing to feed, stopping the slide with the cartridge halfway in. The cartridge wasn’t making the turn from angled up to sliding in. That tiny radius, on what had been a very sharp edge, allowed the brass to feed properly, regardless of brand.
 

Astro14

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Oh wow, that is extreme. Shocking actually. Do you have a means to measure the alignment? Would incur a FFL headache but might be least expensive to have it returned to your brother and sent back to DW to fix that disaster.
Yeah. That’s the plan.

He is going to take point on the warranty. Send it in. It’ll get returned to him from DW, I expect. .

Since we already did the transfer via FFL-FFL (he’s in CT, I’m in VA) once he has it back, we will figure out a time when I’m up there, and take care of the subsequent
 

Astro14

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If you look at the left frame rail, sorry cell phone picture quality, you can see how the top of the rail has streaks of galling.

7 rounds total through the gun.

So far, it’s cost about $200/round shoot this thing...when you consider the purchase price.

It’s accurate. I can say that about it. It’s pretty.

But it sure won’t run.
 

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Obviously there is something seriously wrong with it, if DW can't find it you'll likely get a new gun out of the deal. I'm surprised your brother didn't send it in right away but that's water over the dam.

I have two DW's and they as good as it gets in a "non-custom" 1911 IMO. Yours is definitely an anomaly, let them make it right.
 
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Sorry Astro, real bummer man.

Sometimes you get a dog that won't hunt no matter what you do. Ive had 3 in my life.

A rossi pump 22 that refuses to cycle reliably (winchester copy)
A Smith and Wesson 686 revolver whose cylinder jammed frequently, was recalled and came back worse.
An AMT harballer 45 that was cool looking but complete trash.
 
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Hi.
Here's hoping Dan Wesson send a new pistol out. Failing that i wonder if something like a nitride coating would solve the issue. Any specialists on the forum know anything?
 

Astro14

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I'm with you on the love of 10mm's and 1911's. I also generally have a soft spot for Dan Wessons (have a .357 maximum revolver). Hate to hear that this one is having so many issues. I don't have any experience with the Dan Wesson 1911's first hand but I've read generally good things about them. I've been deciding between one of the 1911 10mm's or a Glock 40 for my next one.

Side note for any 10mm nerds on here is that we got lucky a few years ago and got a Smith 1046 which is a real odd duck.
The 1046 is an odd duck. The 3rd generation S&Ws were built to a standard that doesn't exist any more. Sturdy, accurate, well made pistols. I'm a fan. My first gun was a 5906, which I carried in Desert Storm. It served me well.

I've got a 1006, much more common. I would like to get a 1076 one of these days.

Be forewarned, the 10mm and .45 ACP magazines are crazy expensive on the secondary market since S&W stopped production many years ago. Asking prices are around $100 each, for used ones. Higher for new in the box.

I don't expect that to change.
 

Astro14

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Obviously there is something seriously wrong with it, if DW can't find it you'll likely get a new gun out of the deal. I'm surprised your brother didn't send it in right away but that's water over the dam.

I have two DW's and they as good as it gets in a "non-custom" 1911 IMO. Yours is definitely an anomaly, let them make it right.
I was prepared to work with them to make it right, but when I called them yesterday, they were really uninterested. Really uninterested.

"Fill out the form on line, we will call you" was as much as I could get out of the disinterested CS representative. Not willing to talk, not willing to answer questions.

Felt like I was really bothering him to ask him any questions.

I've had worse CS reps in my life.

But not many.
 
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Hope the pistol being officially registered in your name doesn't jack up getting warranty work somehow.

So close to getting one of those but finally realized I just couldn't justify a pretty range pistol.

Hope you get it straightened out.
 

Astro14

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Hope the pistol being officially registered in your name doesn't jack up getting warranty work somehow.

So close to getting one of those but finally realized I just couldn't justify a pretty range pistol.

Hope you get it straightened out.
Gun laws are complicated, with over 20,000 of them in the US, it's difficult to keep track. However...

Since guns aren't "registered" like a car (they are legally transferred, and that paper work is retained for 20 years) and my brother has the original purchase paperwork, I don't really anticipate a problem - he sends it in as the original owner. It's still under warranty. He is the owner, for this purpose.

Ownership, and possession, in the eyes of gun laws, are two different things as well.

Don't worry - You need a law degree to figure this stuff out.
 
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The 1046 is an odd duck. The 3rd generation S&Ws were built to a standard that doesn't exist any more. Sturdy, accurate, well made pistols. I'm a fan. My first gun was a 5906, which I carried in Desert Storm. It served me well.

I've got a 1006, much more common. I would like to get a 1076 one of these days.

Be forewarned, the 10mm and .45 ACP magazines are crazy expensive on the secondary market since S&W stopped production many years ago. Asking prices are around $100 each, for used ones. Higher for new in the box.

I don't expect that to change.
The third gen S&W's are really nice. I knew the mag's were expensive, but didn't know they had gotten that high. I had a 1066 with 7 mag's (my gun bag had 6 pouches so had to fill them) as my truck gun for years. One day I did the math on what all that was worth if it was stolen and decided to move that one into the safe and put a cheap Ruger .40 in the truck.
 
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My first duty gun that was semi-auto was a Smith Gen 3 in .40 caliber. Great gun, never a whimper of trouble out of it, but it was HEAVY.

Astro do keep us posted on developments.
 
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This is a very well known issue with them, particularly of that era.

The short answer is once the galling is polished out run it dripping wet with something other than remoil or hoppes.

I wouldn't let them work on it unless they will replace it, it'll come back looking bubba'ed IME.

Search trough the relevant forum at 1911forum...

GL
 

Astro14

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My brother and I talked at length about the right way to proceed. I’m happy to polish it out myself. Using a diamond stone (I’ve got several grits for sharpening plane blades and chisels) I can keep it dead flat and remove the galling after I strip it down to the bare frame.

But why should I? Why should I fix what they failed to manufacture properly? That was the sticking point. Also, any work I do will void the warranty, so I reckon I’ll give the warranty process a try.

Yes, I’ve found lots of other owners from that era who have posted problems. They are met with hostility by the DW “Fan boys” on those forums. Interesting.
 
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