Discontinued 2010. The Commander Classic Bobtail is a 4.25” series 70 style, commander sized 1911 featuring a stainless steel frame and forged stainless steel slide. Dan Wesson, Colt, Glock and Kimber would all possibly like to lay claims to the resurgence of the 10mm cartridge. Though they all make pistols chambered for this round, the fact of the matter is the 10mm has a cult like following. The 10MM was introduced originally in the Bren Ten and known for being carried by the white jacket wearing Don Johnson in the mid to late 80′s TV series Miami Vice and often referred to as the round the FBI couldn’t handle. With so many pistols chambered for the 10MM now could it be it will finally get the attention it deserves? The 10MM in an all steel compact commander 1911 is the perfect solution for a high powered carry gun. Dan Wesson is most notably known for it’s versatile revolvers often coming with multiple barrels and tools making it easy to change barrel length for different purposes, they’re also known for their strength and accuracy. These revolvers are heavily sought after and have elluded a dayattherange with me. But as luck would have it I have been given the opportunity to drool over and review this gorgeous piece of artwork, yes I said artwork.
The billboard-less hand polished slide, bead blasted surfaces along with cocobolo diamond cut grips give the bobtail Dan Wesson a look of art like refinement. Dan Wesson purchased by CZ in 2005 prevented this craftsmanship from being relegated to books, pictures and internet folklore. This is the best built 1911 I have had a chance to review even more interesting this is not your normal Dan Wesson Bobtail.
Notice anything different in this picture? Let me help you out, clue notice the caliber on the magazine. Why should Dan Wesson revolvers be the only thing made by Dan Wesson known for versatility? Thats right this Dan Wesson has been fitted for the 40S&W cartridge, sometimes referred to as the 40 Short and Weak when compared to 10MM. This brilliance of aftermarket craftsmanship was completed by Bob Barnett of Olde English Outfitters. Mr. Barnett is known for his craftsmanship when it pertains to building 1911′s. Mr. Barnett hand fit a Briley 40S&W 1911 Bushing
and also undercut the trigger card making this 1911 possibly the only one of it’s kind.
The picture above also reveals the 20LPI checkered front strap providing excellent grip to tame the recoil of the powerful 10MM. The recoil of the 10MM is obviously sharper than the 45Auto but not all that much heavier.
The hand fit slide and frame is tight but has the feel of rolling on ball bearings when racking the slide.
The slide is dove tail cut front and rear for Trijicon night sights, with the 40S&W barrel making this a perfect platform for home defense.
It can only serve as a home defense weapon if it is accurate and reliable. On the range 165gr 40S&W Speer Lawman was used as well as my 40S&W reloads, 70 rounds in total. During this entire range session I experienced no failures and tremendous accuracy even at 25yards where I struggle occasionally. My thought has always been 25 yards won’t be seen as a self defense situation in a court of law, and that a handgun’s purpose is to fight your way to your carbine or long gun. Though I continue to practice at distance to get better. With the 40S&W setup all shots were two handed hold unassisted with slow deliberate shots to test for accuracy.
7 Shots of 40S&W at 7 yards
7 Shots of 40S&W at 15 Yards
And Finally 5 shots at 25 yards
The 40S&W accuracy was great and was not as snappy making it a pleasure to shoot, the all steel platform minimized this characteristic the 40S&W exhibits in the polymer platforms. Though I was excited about testing Mr. Barnett’s alterations the 10MM was what I was really anxious about testing. The 10MM being one of the flattest shooting handgun rounds available often being compared to the 41magnum would prove to be a handful in the Dan Wesson. Though as a trail gun against bear I would not feel under armed and would feel confident I could get off multiple accurate shots in a short time.
All 10MM 180gr rounds functioned perfectly and were hand loads developed by me often shot in my S&W 610 Revolver.
8 Rounds of 10MM at 15 Yards
5 10MM rounds at 25 yards at point of aim center torso
Previous results shooting a little left I decided to try 5 head shots at 25 yards
The 10MM with rounds manufactured by ammunition makers like Buffalo Bore and Double Tap lends itself to a great hiking/trail/wilderness round. With that in mind I decided to to squeeze off 8 rounds at 25 yards as quick as I could acquire sight picture, simulating the often talked about bear or hog charge.
The Dan Wesson Commander Classic contains lots of power, accuracy in a some what compact platform, making it an absolute joy to shoot. The 1911 grip angle lends itself to the perfect balance making it a natural extension of your arm. The controls are well thought out and functioned flawlessly. Both 10MM and 40S&W magazines fed 40S&W ammo flawlessly adding to the versatility of this one of kind. The 10MM reloads were just a little long for the 40S&W magazine.
Model: Dan Wesson Commander Classic Bobtail
Caliber: 10MM Hand Fit 40S&W
Overall length: 8 in.
Barrel length: 4.3 in.
Height: 5.5 in.
Width: 1.5 in
Weight: 2.1 lbs.
Materials: Stainless – Bead Blast Surfaces and Hand Polished Flats
Sights: Tritium Night Sights
Magazine Capacity: 8+1 rounds
Price:$1499 Expect to pay more if you can find one Discontinued in 2010
RATINGS (out of five stars)
Accuracy: * * * * *
This handgun proved to be very accurate in both calibers. It even improved upon my 25 yard groupings in both calibers.
Ergonomics: * * * * *
The grip of the 1911 makes for perfect balance, leading to quick sight alignment and sight picture making it possibly the best fighting handgun of all time.
Ergonomics Firing: * * * *
Firing the 40S&W in this all steel platform really tames this caliber. The snappy recoil often exhibited in polymer platforms is tame and allows for quick and accurate follow up shots. The 10MM platform on the other hand is stiffer than that of the 45ACP, though very controllable.
Reliability: * * * * *
Though many 10MM rounds have been fired out of this pistol very few 40S&W rounds have been put through the Briley Barrel, even so with both barrels reliability was 100%
Customization: * * * * *
Is there any other platform out there more customizable than the 1911. The undercut trigger guard, Briley bushing and 40S&W barrel makes this possibly one of a kind and a great versatile shooter.
Overall Rating: * * * * *
Yes 5 stars how could it not be? The versatility of this platform lends itself to the perfect home defense or carry self defense firearm I have ever handled with 40S&W. The 10MM Auto is also a great cartridge selection for this firearm, it’s steel frame and slide absorbs the stiff 10MM recoil with ease. The compactness of the commander platform also makes it ideal for a carry trail gun. If I had one complaint which wouldn’t reduce it’s overall rating is that it must now be returned to it’s rightful owner DM. It was an honor and pleasure to have reviewed this artsy like craftsmanship.