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Discussion Starter #1
I am mostly a .357 guy, and have previously owned several S&Ws and Colts and currently have a couple of rugers (bh and sp101) and a winchester 94.

In most reloading manuals there are loads for all guns and then there are loads listed as only for rugers and Contenders - but where do the DWs stack up?

I have known a few Silhouette guys that swear by Dan Wessons and typically load far heavy than would ever do for my ruger blackhawk.

So, are the Dan Wessons capable of higher pressure than the Smiths (I have shot a few S&W's loose in the past and had a 629 that used to lock up after a few cylinders of factory rounds - one reason why I only have rugers now).

Are the new Wesson arms as good/better than the old Dan Wessons?

I am thinking of making a large frame double-action my next need/want purchase and was thinking of another ruger but the Wesson's have piqued my interest.

Any thoughts?
 

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I bought a DW 41 6" VH back in the 80's when they were considered a premier maker of revolvers. Of course, they had quite a bit of financial difficulty and changed hands a few times as a company, but I think they still have a good product even if their reputation has suffered some. As for strength, the sample I have certainly has enough steel in it, as I am reminded after carrying it for a while. I have been feeding it heavy cast loads with no ill effects and certainly don't expect any either. Others here have not heard of any failures with the DW's, at least not when I asked some time ago. Hope this helps.

Bill
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If the silhouette shooters can't shake a DW loose, they must be pretty stout. That is the conclusion that I can draw. Plus DW guns were available in some high-pressure loadings like the .357 Max and various SuperMags.
 

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I can't speak for the large frame Dan Wesson revolvers, but I shot with a lot of guys who beat the piss out of them shooting silhouettes with no problems whatsoever. I have two small frame Dans, a 357 and a 32-20. The 32-20 has only had 2-3000 rounds through it, from factory level to 357 plus levels. The 357 was my first centerfire handgun, I got it when I was 16 or 17. This revolver has had over 15K rounds through it, 10K of which have been heavy 180 grain loads. It is is still tight and shoots as well or better than the day I brought it home. I don't think you can go wrong with one of these revolvers, just take into account that they are big and heavy if you intend to carry it around with you. It's also kind of nice to take a 8" target revolver and make it into a handy 4" carry gun or a 6" hunting revolver. Unless your are looking to do some long range hunting or silhouette shooting, which is a waning sport, I would advise to avoid the 357 Max. I shoot one in a TC and like it a great deal, but the revolvers for it are huge. I've also got a unfired Ruger with the 10 1/2" bull barrel. That thing would pull my pants down with my belt cinched up, and it's lighter than the Dan Wessons I've shot. Be aware of sticker shock, the new Dan's are not cheap. As for quality, they are being built on the latest greatest new machinery, so they should be at least as good as the earlier ones. Lastly, if you're used to shooting real S&W's, you may want to have a trigger job performed by Dan Wesson.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input.

I ended buying a used .357 supermag with an 8 inch barrel with vented shroud for less than $400 (I actually traded a rifle and shotgun for the beast and some cash).

It has already had the trigger done.

It is definitely the biggest six shooter I have ever handled, but I have no plans of carrying it (I have an sp101 for that) and am planning on using it more for .357 mag load development and the occasional max. DW even has an in-between round now called the dw .360 which is equally between the .357 mag and max.
 

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I would be careful of doing hot load development in the longer cylinder of the SuperMag. You could possibly damage the cylinder, and max loads developed with the additional "freebore" might not be safe in conventional .357 Mag revolvers. My guess is that you might be frustrated by high velocity spreads in the longer cylinder. Good luck with it, you'll be suprised how soft it shoots for a 44 Mag level cartridge in the big revolver.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the warning, but I do not intend to load off of the map.

I just figure a gun this big gives me a more comfortable platform to try new loads.

Until now, I have put a few rounds of anything new through my Blackhawk before moving on to the smaller .357s.

Now I have a bigger test platform to start with.
 
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