Dan Wesson

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Dan Wesson Firearms

Contents

About

Dan Wesson Firearms was founded in 1968 by Daniel B. Wesson II, who worked at Smith & Wesson from 1938 until 1963, and strictly controlled production quality. After the purchase of Smith & Wesson by the Bangor-Punta, Wesson set out to open his own manufacturing operation in order to produce high quality, American made revolvers for service as well as competition use. Dan Wesson Arms was incorporated in 1968, with its headquarters and production located in a former school building in Monson, Massachusetts.

Dan Wesson's unique double action revolver design was invented by Karl R. Lewis, who was Lewis was also the designer of the M79 grenade launcher as well as the Colt Trooper revolver. Lewis's innovative idea for barrels and monogrips that could easily be changed by the firearm's owner with simple hand tools quickly became popular with shooters. Lewis' idea was to house the barrel within a separate shroud secured by a nut at the muzzle, which places tension on the barrel and provides support at both ends of the barrel. By unscrewing the muzzle nut, the shroud and barrel could be removed and replaced with different barrel lengths and shroud configurations. The fact that the barrel is supported and placed under tension at both ends (along with the ability to fine-tune barrel-cylinder gap) resulted in markedly increased accuracy over conventional revolver designs. Because of this design, many revolvers shipped from the factory with several different interchangeable barrels, and complete sets are worth a premium to revolver collectors. Another distinctive feature of the Dan Wesson revolver is their cylinder latch, located on the firearm's crane, ahead of the cylinder. This allowed more structural integrity to remain on the revolver's sideplate, thus making the action stronger.

After the death of Dan Wesson II, the company continued to be managed by Wesson's son, Seth, but financial issues eventually led to bankruptcy. Despite Dan Wesson's death and financial issues, the company continued to branch out to producing rifles, designing ammunition, as well as a popular line of Dan Wesson 1911 semi automatics in various calibers. The company changed hands and locations several times, and was eventually moved from Massachusetts to New York, where it remains. Currently the company is owned by CZ-USA and the company's focus has shifted from revolvers to 1911s, with the only revolver still being made by the company being the 715 HV6.

Specifications

Founded: 1968

Country: USA

Revolvers

Dan Wesson Model 14

Dan Wesson Model 14 (fixed sights) w/ 2.5" barrel - .357 Magnum

The Model 14 is very similar to the Model 15, only it had fixed sights. The Model 14 was a relatively obscure model and was not produced in large quantities from 1974 to 1981. The first revolvers the company made that were the precursors to the model 14, the Model 12 and 13, were produced in even smaller numbers from 1969 to 1974.

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Black Out (2012) Bas Keijzer Bobby 2.5" Model 14 2012
Black Out (2012) Kempi Björn 2.5" Model 14 2012
Black Out (2012) Raymond Thiry Jos 2.5" Model 14 2012


Dan Wesson Model 15

The Model 15 is very similar to the Model 14, only it had adjustable sights. The Model 15 was one of Dan Wesson's flagship models, produced in great numbers from 1971 to 1992.

Dan Wesson Model 15-V - .357 Magnum
Dan Wesson Model 15-V SuperMag with blued finish and wood grips - .357 Maximum (not Magnum)
Dan Wesson Model 15-VH SuperMag with blued finish and wood grips - .357 Maximum (not Magnum)

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Beverly Hills Cop Various actors Beverly Hills PD 1984
Code of Silence Chuck Norris Chicago Police Detective Eddie Cusack 4" model 15 and 6" model 715 1985
Code of Silence Hitman 1985
Malibu Express Darby Hinton Cody Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1985
Malibu Express Lori Sutton Beverly Mcafee chrome model 15-VH 1985
Raw Deal Arnold Schwarzenegger Mark Kaminsky 1986
Raw Deal Sven-Ole Thorsen bodyguard 1986
Hard Ticket to Hawaii Dona Speir Donna chrome model 15-VH 1987
Picasso Trigger Guich Koock L.G. Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1988
Predator 2 Various actors Gangbangers . 1990
Guns Michael J. Shane Shane Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1990
Guns Dona Speir Donna Hamilton chrome model 15-VH 1990
Do or Die Michael J. Shane Shane Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1991
Hard Hunted Becky Mullen Becky chrome model 15-VH 1992
Hard Hunted Michael J. Shane Shane Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1992
Enemy Gold Mark Barriere Mark Austin chrome model 15-VH 1992
Fit to Kill Michael J. Shane Shane Abilene chrome model 15-VH 1993
Fit to Kill Sandra Wild Sandy chrome model 15-VH 1993
The Real McCoy Henry Stram cashier 8" Heavy Vented barrel 1993
Last Action Hero Charles Dance Benedict Customized 1993
Needful Things Ray McKinnon Deputy Sheriff Norris Ridgewick 1993
The Dallas Connection Mark Barriere Mark Austin chrome model 15-VH 1994
Johnny Mnemonic Takeshi Kitano Takahashi . 1995
Day of the Warrior Kevin Light Doc Austin chrome model 15-VH 1996
Return to Savage Beach Paul Logan Doc Austin chrome model 15-VH 1998
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Mike Myers Fat Bastard . 1999
The Insider Russell Crowe Jeffrey Wigand . 1999
30 Days of Night Melissa George Stella Oleson Snubbie 2007
30 Days of Night Josh Hartnett Sheriff Oleson Snubbie 2007
Black Dynamite Irwin Keyes Thug 2009


Television

Title Actor Character Note Date
Longmire Robert Taylor Walt Longmire 2012
T.J. Hooker William Shatner Sgt. Hooker "The Protectors" (S1E01) 1982


Dan Wesson Model 715

Dan Wesson Model 715 - .357 Magnum

The Model 715 is the stainless version of the Model 15. It was one of the company's most famous models and is currently the only revolver still manufactured by the company, with its HV-6 barrel, the 6 inch-long barrel with a heavy vent shroud. It was produced from 1982 to 2006, and manufacturing began again in 2016 after a ten-year hiatus and continues to this day.

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Code of Silence Chuck Norris Cusack 1985


Dan Wesson Model 744

Dan Wesson 744V - .44 Magnum

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol David Graf Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry 744V 1987
Bille Bird Mrs. Feldman
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege David Graf Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry 744V 1989

Animation

Title Character Note Date
Archer Malory Archer 744V with a scope and laser sight 2009-2010


Dan Wesson PPC

Dan Wesson PPC - .357 Magnum

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
Flypaper first appearance in film 2011
Black Out (2012) Robert de Hoog Gianni 6" model, target sights removed 2012

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Release Date
Team Fortress 2 "The Ambassador" Stylized, stainless steel, engraved barrel, rosewood grips 2007
Call of Juarez: The Cartel "PPC" and "PPC Scoped" Black finish 2011
Uncharted 3 Mag 5 2011


Dan Wesson Supermag

Dan Wesson Supermag - .445 Super Magnum

After having revamped the tooling to handle the larger .44 and .41 Magnum frames in 1977, in 1982, despite the recent death of the company's founder, Dan Wesson firearms made a huge leap in firearms technology by introducing not only the new Dan Wesson SuperMag, a revolver much larger than their standard offerings that was capable of handling much more powerful cartridges, but also three different super magnum cartridges: the .357 Maximum, a magnum version of the .357 Magnum, the .414 SuperMag, a magnum version of the .41 Magnum, the .445 SuperMag, a magnum version of the .44 Magnum, and the .375 SuperMag, based on the .375 Winchester rifle cartridge.

On paper, the Supermags looked great, as they could fire both the magnum and special counterparts of their super magnum cartridges. The Supermags proved to be unsuccessful, however, as the proprietary rounds were both expensive and impractical, and the guns large and also expensive. The .375 Super Mag was perhaps the least successful, as it was meant to fit between the .357 and the .414, but it used a relatively obscure bullet size and had a tapered case that was prone to sticking in the cylinder after firing. The .41 Magnum was already a flop, so a .410-caliber super magnum was not on anyone's minds, and the .445 would soon after be eclipsed in power by the .454 Casull, which would be added to the SAAMI. The only Supermag that was remotely successful was the .357 Maximum, and that was probably only because other firearms manufacturers were already making guns in that caliber. And even then, the .357 Maximum would ultimately fade into obscurity. The Supermags are popular now with firearms enthusiasts, hunters and reloaders, but at the time were too ambitious and not enough to save the company's failing product line.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Cyber Tracker Kevin Carr Cooley With 8" compensated barrel 1994
K-911 James Belushi Det. Michael Dooley With 8" compensated barrel 1999
James Handy Captain Byers

Television

Title Actor Character Note / Episode Date
Firefly Adam Baldwin Jayne Cobb With 8" compensated barrel and red dot sight / "Bushwhacked" (S01E03) 2002
Tremors: The Series Michael Gross Burt Gummer With 8" compensated barrel and hogue grip/ "Project 4-12" (S01E05) 2003





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