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It was fall of 2019 when Dan Wesson first announced and showed off the DWX pistol, which was slated to hit dealers the following summer. As a huge fan of both the CZ 75 platform (in particular the competition-oriented models) and the 1911 platform (with a sweet spot for Dan Wessons), I was truly excited to get my hands on Dan Wesson’s and CZ-USA’s marriage of those two things in the DWX. Then COVID happened.

Thanks to all sorts of ‘rona-related supply chain issues, both domestically and from the Czech Republic, it wouldn’t be until a couple weeks ago when DWXs finally started shipping to dealers.

In early December, TTAG flew me out to Gunsite Academy to attend a range day that CZ and Colt were holding. Top of mind, of course, was getting my grubby mitts on the DWX.

Frankly, this was a perfect recipe for disappointment. I went from thrilled to shoot this gun in 2019 to bummed about delays to hopeful to despondent to forgetting all about it. More than three years after first learning of the DWX here I was, a two-and-a-half hour flight from home and a two-and-a-half hour rental car trek from Phoenix out to a very cold Arizona high desert range day.

If the DWX is a really good gun, will I care? At this point it’s cool but I’m “over it,” having written it off and mourned its loss at least a year ago. How good does this darn thing have to be for me to get excited about it again?

Well, while I can’t answer that question exactly, I can tell you that however good it needed to be, it’s that good and more.

The DWX is finely-tuned 1911 perfection mated to one of the most ergonomic frame designs ever.

Top half? Effectively a nice, long, 4.95-inch bull barrel 1911. Though the barrel locks at the barrel hood instead of via lugs and takedown is done in the simpler, faster CZ 75 style rather than the 1911 style, the slide size and shape, the trigger and fire control unit mechanisms, and the external hammer are all 1911.

The bottom half, however, is CZ’s most modern frame design. It’s effectively a CZ 75 TS (Tactical Sports) type frame, with aggressive front- and back-strap checkering, a big, high beavertail, and an undercut trigger guard.

A full-length Picatinny rail dust cover extends right to the muzzle. All steel top and bottom, the DWX tips the scales at 45 ounces and with a bull barrel and that long accessory rail there’s plenty of weight at the muzzle to help it shoot flat.

There aren’t many types of pistols that I enjoy shooting more than a 9mm 1911. They’re smooth and flat and fast no matter what. But the DWX takes this to a whole ‘nother level.

Without stuff like porting or large thumb rests or other “race gun” tricks, this thoroughbred is ready to rock on a competition course. Holy crap does it shoot fast and flat. Keeping track of the fiber optic front sight through the entire recoil cycle is easy as pie.

Given those world renowned grip ergos, sticky 25 LPI checkering, and sharp sights, I found the DWX very easy to shoot accurately and quickly. A jewel of a crisp, very lightweight trigger definitely doesn’t hurt. Everything about this gun feels hand-tuned.

The DWX holds 19 rounds in its standard-length magazines, which are the same mags as CZ uses in the P-10F and P-09. This is great news, as these magazines are both reliable and inexpensive. Some of the least expensive factory mags on the market, actually (about $30). Plus extended baseplates are available that bump capacity to 24 rounds.

While this isn’t a full review, as I’ve only put a handful of magazines through the DWX so far, I now have one at home and when I get 500 rounds through it I’ll write a follow-up.

As I type here today, though, the Dan Wesson DWX is easily one of my favorite pistols ever. This thing’s a gem.

MSRP: $2,099 (under $2k at Brownells). . . and given the DWX’s competition either in the high-end 1911/2011 category or guns like the CZ Tactical Sports Orange or TS2, etc., it’s a screaming deal.

 

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23 COMMENTS

  1. “Top half? Effectively a nice, long, 4.95-inch bull barrel 1911. Though the barrel locks at the barrel hood instead of via lugs and takedown is done in the simpler, faster CZ 75 style rather than the 1911 style, the slide size and shape, the trigger and fire control unit mechanisms, and the external hammer are all 1911.”

    …though the internal extractor is gone, the barrel linkage system is gone, as the locking lug system making this more like p22x than a 1911; if you turn the lights off and only touch the left side of the slide will totally seem like a 1911.

    • The stuff you feel and, unless you have a sharp eye and notice the different shape to the barrel hood and ejection port, the stuff that you see, are all 1911. The internal mechanisms of how the barrel locks into the slide (lugs in front of the hood or the hood itself) aren’t something you can feel when shooting the gun or cycling the slide manually. There’s no functional difference for the shooter at all. Everything that the shooter interacts with from the trigger to the slide shape and size to the hammer and other dimensions is 1911-familiar from the beavertail up.

      It’s a hybrid, which is the whole point of it.

    • They have been selling barrels for them. Last year, they sent me a 4″ barrel with shroud for an original 8″ .445. Pretty sweet. I can even slip it in my pocket now, if I’m wearing the Carhartt coveralls.

  2. Worst new product roll out ever. I’d like to see reviews on the compact. It looks like the compact still isn’t out yet.

  3. This is finally a gun I would buy… but I’d rather have $2000 of emu to run through the gunms I already have.

    I don’t think they’ll sell many.

  4. So sweet – except I’m not seeing it as being optics ready – I could be wrong, but adding easy optics compatibility would really make this a standout.

      • Doing alright! Been dealing with massive storms in South Lake Tahoe and working on building a house in Nevada – excited to have a governor who isn’t a raging communist! Hope you are doing well. – A.

  5. Not optics ready in 2023? That’s a serious miss. Too bad, as it otherwise looks like it could be a stellar gun.

  6. So between this and the truly new RIA 5.0, one can really see the difference that 3 years makes in the development stage. Apples to apples and one apple is 4 years old while the other is fresh off the basket.

  7. Wake me up when it can mount an optic.

    Meanwhile I have plenty of CZs and 2011s with optics on them so not really sure who this pistol is for; especially given its stuck with minor power factor in USPSA.

    • And it won’t be that hard to lighten it by merely bending the leaf spring back.
      Just like every other 1911 on the planet.

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