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Dan Wesson Firearms

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Dan Wesson Firearms
Subsidiary of CZ-USA
Industry Defense Products & Services
Founded 1968
Founder Daniel B. Wesson
Headquarters Norwich, New YorkUnited States
Products Firearms and law enforcement goods
Owner CZ-USA

Dan Wesson Firearms (DW), part of CZ-USA, is an American handgunmanufacturer. The corporate headquarters is in Kansas City, Kansas, and the customer service and manufacturing plant is located in Norwich, New York. Dan Wesson Firearms is known for its revolver expertise and for some types of ammunition it has introduced over the years.

Company history[edit]

Daniel B. Wesson II (1916–1978) was the great-grandson of one of the founders of Smith & Wesson, where he worked from 1938 until 1963. He earned his degree in Material Science and Metallurgy and controlled the quality of his production strictly.[1]
After the purchase of Smith & Wesson by the Bangor-Punta manufacturing concern, Daniel B. 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.[1]
Wesson was aware of gunmaker Karl Lewis’ modular designs which had been proposed during Lewis’ tenure with Browning, and then further refined during a period spent with High Standard. Wesson signed a production agreement with Lewis, and began setting up the necessary machining and manufacturing equipment. Urging Lewis to prepare prototypes for display at major gun shows, Wesson began tirelessly promoting the company, while working to build a sales and distribution network in an extremely competitive market largely dominated by three or four manufacturers.
The new Dan Wesson revolver proved to be extremely accurate, though sales were limited – in large part due to the gun’s unorthodox appearance. After reworking the design to improve its aesthetics and correct some detail faults, Wesson introduced the revised model as the Model 15 in .357 Magnum and .22 Long Rifle calibers. This new version of the revolver again demonstrated the inherent accuracy of the threaded barrel design, and the Model 15 and its successor Model 15-2 became extremely popular with both civilian target shooters and hunters.[2] A large framed version in .44 Magnum caliber was introduced in 1980, and was also a success, particularly with competitors in IMSA metallic silhouette competition.[2] The new revolvers compared well in all respects in fit and finish to the best models offered by Colt and Smith & Wesson, using heat-treated, investment-cast 4140 chrome moly steel frames with a deep, highly polished blue finish. Later, Dan Wesson offered revolvers in stainless steel as well.[2] Barrels and shrouds were constructed of chrome moly steel.
Despite the success of the revised design and new caliber offerings, Dan Wesson Arms experienced significant upheaval and ownership changes after Wesson’s death in 1978. The original Monson facility and production equipment became outdated, and production costs of the gun reduced profits. The company declared bankruptcy in 1990. The corporation was initially moved to Palmer Massachusetts, and the name was changed to Dan Wesson Firearms. In 1995, poor sales led to yet another bankruptcy, after which Bob Serva purchased the corporation and its assets, moving the group to Norwich, New York, where it is currently located.[1]
Seeking to diversify its product line, the company introduced a popular series of high quality M1911A1-type pistols in various calibers. Dan Wesson revolvers also went back into limited production, though this required a substantial investment in new CNC tooling and equipment to replace the old worn-out tooling. Despite increased sales, the company faced further financial hardships, and in 2005 the company was purchased by the CZ Group’s American branch.[3]

Dan Wesson revolvers[edit]

Dan Wesson Revolver . 357 Magnum, barrels

Dan Wesson, barrel system

The double-action revolver design introduced by Dan Wesson was invented by Karl R. Lewis.[4] Lewis was responsible for a number of new firearms designs while working for various firearms manufacturers, including the Army’s 40mm break-open grenade launcher and the .357 caliber Colt Trooper revolver. Lewis had previously invented an interchangeable barrel system for revolvers, and this system was incorporated into the Dan Wesson prototype. While nearly all revolvers are constructed with a barrel screwed tightly to a frame (which must be removed and installed by an experienced gunsmith), Lewis’ idea was to house the barrel tube 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 DW 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.
Another difference in the new design was the placement of the cylinder release latch. Other revolvers place this latch on the frame, behind the cylinder. The Dan Wesson revolvers have the latch mounted on the cylinder crane, which was intended to increase the strength of the revolver by placing the locking mechanism at the point where the cylinder crane fits into the frame. Another change from most other existing designs was the use of a coil mainspring, which Lewis had pioneered with his design of the Colt Trooper .357. Revolvers with flat mainsprings must have a metal framework to anchor one end, while the other contacts the hammer. This framework generally forms the primary shape of the handgrip, to which the stocks are attached. The Dan Wesson design houses the coil mainspring inside a short extension of the frame, and the stock attaches to this extension with a screw inserted vertically through the bottom of the stock. The lack of a steel frame outline permits a wider amount of grip sizes and styles, since any grip that can accept the short mainspring housing can be used.
The first interchangeable barrel revolvers produced were the Dan Wesson Models W8, W9, W11, and W12, all medium-frame size frame revolvers chambered in .38 Special or .357 Magnum. The W8 and W11 had either a fixed rear sight, or a rear sight adjustable only for windage, while the W9 and W12 featured a rear sight fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. The barrels and shrouds for both models were interchangeable and used a large externally mounted nut on the muzzle end to secure the barrel and shroud. The shrouds on these early models had an elongated flange (known to collectors as “Pork Chop” shrouds) which mated with the front of the revolver’s frame. Initial barrel/shroud options were 2 1/2-inch, 4-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inches. A custom barrel nut wrench and feeler gauge were supplied with each pistol, and barrel changes could be accomplished in two minutes or less.[5]

Models 14 and 15[edit]

In 1971, DW introduced the Models 14 (fixed sights) and 15 (adjustable sights) in .357 Magnum caliber. The new models still used the “pork chop” flanged barrel assembly, but the muzzle nut was redesigned and recessed inside the shroud to improve the gun’s appearance. As a result, barrel change tools for the Models 12 and 15 are non-interchangeable.[5]Another new feature was the introduction of a mechanical stop to prevent trigger overtravel, which reduces the effect of trigger movement on the gun itself while reducing trigger return time, thus increasing accuracy.[6] Models W11 and W12 were discontinued in 1974.

Models 14-2 and 15-2[edit]

During 1975-1976, further refinements to the Models 14 and 15 were incorporated into production as the MOdels 14-2 and 15-2. The Model 15-2 became the most well known and the best selling Dan Wesson revolver model to go into production. The 15-2 used a roll pin inserted into the frame as a centering dowel combined with a precisely drilled hole in each shroud assembly to facilitate proper shroud centering and alignment, thus eliminating the need for flanged barrel shrouds. The 15-2 introduced more barrel and shroud options, including barrel/shroud lengths of 2.5, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 inches, partial or fully lugged shrouds with choices of solid or ventilated ribs, plus removable and interchangeable front sights.[5] The Model 15-2 could be ordered as “Pistol Pacs” with 3 (initially) and later 4 (or more) barrel/shroud sets shipped inside a fiberglass briefcase with barrel changing tool and clearance gauges; however, most pistols were sold with only one barrel, with the buyers able to purchase other barrels later. All barrels and shrouds within a model series are compatible, thus a Model 15-2 frame from the 1970s may be equipped with a barrel from the 1990s and shroud made in 2016. The 15-2 increased sales markedly over the earlier models, and were often seen in use with both target shooters and hunters.

Large Frame Magnum Models[edit]

In late 1980, after three years of development the Dan Wesson company introduced a large-framed revolver in .44 Magnum/Special caliber, intended for hunters and target shooters (especially metal plate or silhouette target competitions).[2][7] Designed for extended use with full-power magnum loads, the new Model 44 used a larger and stronger frame than the Smith & Wesson Model 29 (M44 weight was 48 ounces with a 4-inch barrel), and featured a solid frame without a separate sideplate, which also increased strength.[8] In addition to the one-piece frame, the Model 44 incorporated other new features designed to increase accuracy, such as broached rifling and choke-bored barrels.[8]
The Model 44 or Large Frame Dan Wesson was initially offered with 4″, 6″, 8″, or 10″ interchangeable barrel/shroud options,[6] and most guns shipped with a 6-inch barrel. A 2 1/2″ barrel/shroud was later introduced, available as a separate option from the factory. Like the Model 15-2, the Model 44 could also be purchased with a variety of shroud configurations – either partial lug or full lug with a solid rib or ventilated-rib barrel. The Model 44 could also be obtained with a “Power Control” barrel compensator.[9] This was a stainless steel barrel drilled radially at the muzzle end with a series of small ports. Two small vents cut into the top of the barrel shroud vented excess gas and reduced apparent recoil of the gun, although this feature eliminated the option of using cast lead bullets due to lead and carbon accumulation. At the time, Dan Wesson M44 was the lightest recoiling .44 magnum ever produced.[2][7] Light recoil was a side benefit in IHMSA silhouette competitions. The Model 44’s high level of intrinsic accuracy, combined with an excellent trigger, and fast lock time, caused a surge in popularity of the M44 in heavy-caliber revolver competition, though the gun was also popular with handgun hunters and sportsmen who desired a gun for personal protection against bears or other large predators. The Power Control barrel and vented shroud were eventually dropped, though DW did experiment with an external shroud-mounted compensator in later models.
Within a few years, Dan Wesson introduce their Large Frame revolver in other calibers, including .41 Magnum (Model 41) and .45 Long Colt (Model 45). Stainless steel version of these guns were designated with a 7-prefix i.e. Model 744, 745 etc.

Other Calibers[edit]

Later the company offered the Model 15-2 chambered in .32 H&R. A new Large Frame DW was offered in the Supermag series of cartridges – .357, .375, and .445 Supermag (later called the Alaskan Special. The Model 7460 was also produced in .45 ACP/.460 Rowland/.45 Winchester Magnum. A “Hunter Pac” could be purchased in all Magnum calibers which included a heavy vent-rib shrouded barrel, barrel changing tool, and Burris scope mounts in a travel case.[5]
In addition to current production of the Model 715 revolver in .357 Magnum, CZ still supports the Model 15-2 and Large Frame models with a variety of shroud and barrel offerings, replacement parts, and repair and refurbishment services.

1911 pistols[edit]

While the traditional image of Dan Wesson has always been centered around revolvers, over the years the company has also developed and produced rifles, ammunition, and a popular line of Dan Wesson 1911 auto pistols in various calibers.

Company history Dan Wesson Firearms
Timetable Company name Production place State CEO Owner Notes
1968–1978 Dan Wesson Arms Inc. Monson Massachusetts D.B. Wesson D.B. Wesson much development
1978–1991 Dan Wesson Arms Inc. Monson Massachusetts various owners various owners
1991–1995 Wesson Firearms Co. Palmer Massachusetts Seth Wesson Wesson family
1996–2005 Wesson Firearms Norwich New York Bob Serva New York International Corp. new plant
2005–present Wesson Firearms Norwich New York Alice Poluchová CZ-USA

Patent information[edit]

DW patents concerning revolvers:

  • U.S. Patent 5,225,615 — Compensated barrel shroud 1993-07-06 Talbot; Arventos; Wesson Firearms Co., Inc. (Palmer, MA)
  • U.S. Patent 5,305,678 — Compensated barrel shroud 1993-04-26 Talbot; Arventos; Wesson, Seth; Wesson Firearms Co., Inc. (Palmer, MA)
  • U.S. Patent 4,833,809 — Firearm hammer construction 1989-05-30 Domian; MacWilliams; Dan Wesson Arms, Inc. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 4,807,380 — Firearm (Revolver locked breech mechanism) 1989-02-28 Domian, Robert E. (US) Dan Wesson Arms, Inc. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 4,833,810 — Firearm (Revolver interchangeable barrel)1989-05-30 Domian, Robert E. (US) Dan Wesson Arms, Inc. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 4,058,050 — Gun leveling device 1977-11-15 Brouthers, Paul E. Dan Wesson Arms, Inc.
  • U.S. Patent 4,015,354 — Gun sight 1977-04-05 Brouthers, Paul E. Dan Wesson Arms, Inc.

Lewis patents for revolvers:

  • U.S. Patent 3,633,302 — Cylinder Mechanism for Revolver-type Firearms 1972-06-11 Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,683,535 — Handgun Grip Construction 1972-08-15 Lewis, Karl R. (US) Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,648,374 — Adjustable Firearm Sight 1969-08-15 Lewis, Karl R. (US)Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,367,053 — Firearm construction 1968-02-06 Lewis, Karl R. (US)Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,303,594 — Firearm barrel, shroud, frame, and cylinder construction 1967-02-14 Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,237,336 — Cylinder ratchet mechanism for revolver type firearms 1966-03-01 Lewis, Karl R. (US) Browning Industries, Inc.
  • U.S. Patent 3,157,958 — Hammer safety for fire arms 1964-11-24 Lewis, Karl R. (US) Browning Industries, Inc.
  • U.S. Patent 3,701,213 — Revolver Firing Mechanism…(SA/DA)1972-10-31 Lewis, Karl R. (US) Colt Industrial Operating Corp. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 3,163,951 — Firearm firing mechanism 1965-01-05 Lewis, Karl R. (US)
  • U.S. Patent 2,927,390 — Single and double action revolver firing mechanism 1960-03-08 Lewis, Karl R. (US)


  1. Jump up to:a b c Radielovic, Marko; Prasac, Max (31 August 2012). Big-Bore Revolvers. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 58–59. ISBN 1-4402-2856-6.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e Taffin, John, The Gun Digest Book of the .44, Gun Digest Books (2006)Ch. 31, pp. 198-201
  3. Jump up^ “CZ-USA purchases Dan Wesson Firearms”. CBS Interactive. April 2005. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  4. Jump up^ Karl Lewis – Revolver Designer Official Web Site
  5. Jump up to:a b c d Carpenteri, Stephen D. (Ed). The Gun Trader’s Guide: A Comprehensive, Fully-Illustrated Guide, 34th ed., SkyHorse Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1-61608-843-9 (2012), pp. 190-191
  6. Jump up to:a b Peterson, Phillip and Johnson, Andrew (eds), The Gun Digest Book of Modern Gun Values, 18th Ed, Krause Publications, ISBN 978-1-4402-4501-5(2016), pp. 251-253
  7. Jump up to:a b Taffin, John, A Massive New Dan Wesson .44, Sixgunner (1981), pp. 39-43
  8. Jump up to:a b Metcalf, Dick, Dan Wesson Revolvers Return, Guns & Ammo online (3 Jan 2011), retrieved 5 November 2016
  9. Jump up^ Bradshaw, David, A New Look At The New Dan Wesson .44, American Handgunner (Sep/Oct 1981), pp. 38-41

External links[edit]

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Blasts From the Past: A 4-Bore Rifle A look at a handmade big-game stopper BY PHIL BOURJAILY

Ken Owen 4-bore rifle

The Ken Owen Rewa 4 bore.
Last week we had a .410 from Rock Island Auction’s upcoming Premier Auction on December 1–3, which comprises guns both tiny, like that .410, and gigantic, like today’s gun, a 4-bore double.
That’s not a misprint, it’s a 4 bore. “Four bore,” as a reminder, means four lead balls of that diameter weigh 1 pound, and the diameter of a 4-ounce ball of lead is just over an inch, making this gun a 1.05 caliber.

Ken Owen 4-bore rifle receiver, action

The gun was inspired by a Holland & Holland made for an Indian prince.
This rifle, one of a number of big game–stopping rifles to be sold at the December auction, was made in the 1990s by custom gunsmith Ken Owen of Memphis.
It took him a thousand hours to build the gun. His inspiration for this gun, and five more like it, was the Holland & Holland 4-bore made for the Maharaja of Rewa, India, in the ’20s.
Evidently it was good to be the maharaja back then, and I suspect he had someone on payroll to carry it for him. The gun weighs 26 pounds and shoots a 2,000-grain (4.57 ounce) bullet out of a 4-inch case.

You can get an idea of how massive the 4 bore is when you realize the barrels that look short and stubby are actually 26 inches long. You can also see what a beast is if you take time to watch this video of stopping rifles vs. pumpkins:
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Sturm, Ruger Laying Off About 50 Workers Around the Country

Valley News Staff Writer

Friday, January 05, 2018
Newport — Sturm, Ruger & Co. is in the process of laying off about 50 workers, or about 2.7 percent, of the company’s workforce, a top executive for the gunmaker said on Friday.
Ruger Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reid Sr. said the layoffs are happening companywide, and he isn’t sure how many of the roughly 1,300 workers at the Newport location would be affected.
“It was for the needs of the business and tied to employee performance,” Reid said of the layoffs. “At Ruger, we routinely adjust our workforce.”
Reid, who is based in Ruger headquarters in Southport, Conn., said the company focused most of the layoffs on “indirect labor positions” such as marketing, sales and engineering, and not on employees directly involved in production.

Ruger employs between 1,800 and 1,900 people around the country.
He declined to comment on the timeline for the layoffs.

Ruger has three manufacturing locations: in Newport; Prescott, Ariz.; and Mayodan, N.C.
It also has a precision metals branch in Earth City, Mo., according to Ruger’s website.
Reid shied away from commenting on whether a third-quarter sales decrease impacted the layoffs, but noted that the company has “been in a fluctuating market, which I don’t think is lost on anybody.”
Ruger, a publicly traded company, has seen its stock price decline for the past 12 months, reflecting weaker sales and lower profits. Stocks fell from a high of $68 per share in July to $53.35 at closing on Friday.
U.S. gunmakers enjoyed robust sales some five years ago following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., amid fears that new gun-control legislation sought by then-President Barack Obama would be enacted.
However, since President Donald Trump took office, firearms sales have slowed. Reid on Friday noted that a Republican-led administration, under Trump, has meant “less fear of legislation,” which plays into the market.
Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3248.

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Uberti New Model Russian .44 S&W Design .44 Russian

Uberti - New Model Russian .44 S&W Design
This a reproduction of the Gun that saved S&W after the Civil War. It is also the first large cartridge revolver that S&W put out. Uberti - New Model Russian .44 S&W Design - Picture 3
The Russians used 44 Russian though instead of the American version of 44.Uberti - New Model Russian .44 S&W Design - Picture 4
But both were & still are excellent target rounds. That give great accuracy for the time. It then led to birth of the 44 Special & 44 Magnum.Uberti - New Model Russian .44 S&W Design - Picture 2 Note the Russian writing on the barrel

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Is Your Rifle More or Less Accurate with a Suppressor? by TOM MCHALE

Is a rifle more or less accurate with a suppressor? There's only one way to find out.

Is a rifle more or less accurate with a suppressor? There’s only one way to find out.

Would you rather be quiet or accurate? Do you have to choose between them or do this two concepts coexist like politicians and sex scandals?
Not so long ago, I competed in an F-Class match, shooting at a distance of 800 yards. One thing that stood out was the competitors’ finicky attention to muzzle devices, or more accurately, the lack thereof.
First, F-class allows none, so there’s that. Second, the chatter on the firing line was that muzzle devices like brakes, flash hiders, and suppressors only reduce the accuracy of a rifle. I have no reason to doubt that, but it did get me thinking.
Would my everyday rifle configurations be more or less accurate with a suppressor? These aren’t tweaked out F-Class race guns. I use them for plinking, less-rigid competition, home defense, and denting steel plates.
As an experiment, I decided to compare the accuracy of a couple of rifles outfitted with the standard muzzle device – a flash hider or brake – with the same rifles and ammo geared up with one of my suppressors.
Just to be clear, suppressors can help you shoot more accurately because they reduce the blast, noise, and smooth out recoil. That helps the shooter focus on breaking a perfect shot with less noise and distraction.
What I was looking for here was any “mechanical” impact on accuracy, not my ability to shoot better using a can.
To keep optical and wind error out of the picture, I shot a boatload of five-shot groups in each configuration at 100 yards. Yes, there might be some stabilization differences that show at longer distances, but then I would be adding more weight to other variables like wind and my eyes.
Again to try to minimize some variables, I aimed for “warm barrel” scenarios. After some sighters to get on paper, I alternated rifles to give each a chance to cool back down after each five-shot group. By resting the rifles and taking my time, I figured I would stay in the “warm” range and not run into accuracy issues from some groups coming from cold, warm, and smoking hot barrels.
Let’s take a look at some results.

Masterpiece Arms MPA BA Lite with SIG Sauer OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor

OK, so maybe this isn’t an everyday rifle for plinking and home defense, but I like to shoot it. Don’t judge. On the other hand, it’s amazingly consistent. It’s also built from the ground up for pure accuracy. Potentially offsetting factors like weight and semi-automatic operation aren’t going to interfere with its accuracy mission. I had a hunch that this one might just shoot better out of the box before sticking a suppressor on the end but there was only one way to find out.
I used Sig Sauer’s brand new OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor ammunition. Based on my previous experience with the accuracy of Sig’s match ammo, I had high expectations. This load with its 140-grain open-top boat tail projectile didn’t disappoint.

Sig Sauer's brand new 6.5mm Creedmoor OTM Match Grade ammo shot like a champ from the Masterpiece Arms MPA BE Lite rifle. This is a five-shot group from 100 yards.

Sig Sauer’s brand new 6.5mm Creedmoor OTM Match Grade ammo shot like a champ from the Masterpiece Arms MPA BE Lite rifle. This is a five-shot group from 100 yards.

I shot a bunch of five-shot groups from 100 yards with only the default muzzle brake in place. As you can see from the photo, this brake is a beast. It’s about the size and weight of a grenade and makes a similar concussion. The Range Officer was convinced I was shooting a .338 Lapua Magnum until I showed him the comparatively small 6.5mm Creedmoor cartridges.
I also shot a bunch of groups after removing Brake-Zilla and adding a SilencerCo Specwar 762 suppressor. Also a quality piece of gear, this can makes a great impact weapon in a pinch. Over the years I’ve had it, I’ve found it to be consistent regarding point of impact shift and consistency.
Here’s what I found.
Shooting in the factory configuration, my overall average group size came out to 0.63 inches with a best five-shot group of just .44 inches. That ain’t shabby, and I have to say I was pleased with the performance of the new Sig 6.5mm Creedmoor ammo. For factory ammunition not sized to a specific chamber, that’s pretty darn good.

The Masterpiece Arms rifle seemed to shoot better without a suppressor.

The Masterpiece Arms rifle seemed to shoot better without a suppressor.

After I added the suppressor, my group size actually increased as I suspected it might on this particular rifle. After all, it’s built just so for accuracy, and monkeying around with weight on the end of the barrel, as heavy as it is, probably isn’t going to help things. My overall average five-shot group size worked out to 0.90 inches with the smallest group of .80 and largest of 1.01 inches at 100 yards.

Perhaps the metric ton weight of Brake-Zilla kept the rifle stable...

Perhaps the metric ton weight of Brake-Zilla kept the rifle stable…

Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Performance Center 6.5mm Creedmoor with Sig Sauer OTM Match Grade

Next, I decided to move to a more “everyday” rifle configuration. In past tests, I’ve found this Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Performance Center model to be a consistent and accurate rifle. I repeated the process, keeping the rifle in the “warm” range while firing all of my five-shot groups from 100 yards.
Because tinkering is fun, I had added a Smith Enterprise Vortex Flash Eliminator to this rifle, so I elected to leave that as the “default” instead of the factory flash hider. My overall average group size with the flash hider installed was 0.98 inches with the smallest group being 0.75 inches and the largest 1.14 inches.
I added the same SilencerCo Specwar 762 can that I used on the Masterpiece Arms rifle and proceeded to burn more Sig Sauer ammo. The overall group size? It was 1.03 inches with a smallest of 0.97 inch and largest of 1.12 inches.
To properly use the words “statistically the same” I would have to burn a few thousand round of ammo, but indications were that this rifle really didn’t care between these two configurations with the Sig Sauer 6.5mm Creedmoor ammo.

Expanded Testing

Being curious, I decided to informally expand my testing a bit on this one. I shot some group using American Eagle’s 140-grain Open Tip Match ammo with and without a Gemtech Tracker suppressor. The Tracker is a lightweight model designed for low-volume hunting applications so I figured I might see some more variance with that. I did. My unsuppressed group average was 1.09 inches while the Tracker suppressed groups averaged out to 1.255 inches.
Hmmm. So this rifle wasn’t as happy with a lightweight can. That didn’t surprise me. Next, I decided to go back to my original “heavy suppressor” configuration and swap ammunition. I had worked up a batch of handloads using the Hornady 140-grain ELD bullets, so I tried those unsuppressed and with the Specwar 762. Unsuppressed, my average group size was 1.02 inches. When I added the suppressor, the average group shrank to .65 inches.

I alternated rifles to keep them all in a "warm barrel" state.

I alternated rifles to keep them all in a “warm barrel” state.


It seemed there were conflicting results depending on the combination of rifle, suppressor, and ammo. Here’s how it all netted out.

Rifle Ammunition Muzzle Configuration

Average Group Size

Masterpiece Arms MPA BA Lite Sig Sauer OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor Factory Brake


Masterpiece Arms MPA BA Lite Sig Sauer OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor SilencerCo Specwar 762


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC Sig Sauer OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor Smith Enterprise Vortex Flash Eliminator


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC Sig Sauer OTM Match Grade 6.5mm Creedmoor SilencerCo Specwar 762


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC American Eagle’s 140-grain Open Tip Match Factory Flash Hider


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC American Eagle’s 140-grain Open Tip Match Gemtech Tracker


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC Handload Hornady 140-grain ELD Factory Flash Hider


Smith & Wesson M&P 10 PC Handload Hornady 140-grain ELD SilencerCo Specwar 762


VooDoo Review

So let’s boil this down into some probable explanations and learnings.
First of all, there’s clearly no universal takeaway from this limited experiment. Will your rifle be more accurate suppressed? Maybe. Or maybe not. It all depends on the combination of ammo, rifle, and suppressor.
The whole subject of barrel harmonics and what happens when you add objects of different weight to the fiery end is pure VooDoo. In theory, if the barrel moves in exactly the same way every time you pull the trigger, then precision should always correspond with the overall quality of the bore. Since the MPA BA Lite outperformed the suppressor configuration with its factory brake, I’d assume the smart folks at Masterpiece Arms designed the barrel brake to play nicely together. They certainly do. That might explain why I got larger groups by adding the SilencerCo Specwar with this rifle but smaller ones on a different rifle.
This is pure theory on my part, but I have to think that the suppressor mount will come into play. The SilencerCo Specwar 762 is a rock-solid system, but it uses a quick attach and detach mounting system. The suppressor threads onto the SilencerCo muzzle brake (or flash hider depending on what you choose) and then locks into place. Given that I got better accuracy results with the Silencer attached I have to assume that nothing is moving up front as the bullet travels down the barrel. However, I also have to conjecture that a rigid direct thread mount on a quality suppressor might perform even better. That might have to be a future project for a head to head quick attach versus direct thread comparison using the same suppressor, rifle, and ammo combination.
The Gemtech results have me a little stumped. The Tracker uses a direct thread attach, so it’s solid on the barrel once installed. I wasn’t surprised that it was less accurate. But only because of some general notion of “lighter and less expensive.” Why was it? Perhaps there’s some buffeting business going on as the bullet travels past the baffles. While that expanding gas cloud will be behind the bullet, the projectile is going to be pushing air on its own as it travels through the can. Is there a measurable accuracy impact from that compressed air hitting the suppressor interior? Does a less expensive can have more variance in the baffle construction that interferes with the compressed-air column? Got me. If you have thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear them.

Lasting Impressions

While there’s not enough data here to prove the issue, I have to believe that quality and consistency of the suppressor itself will have a lot to do with the outcome. If there’s any merit to my buffeting theory, then the absolute consistency of the internal baffles would have an impact on precision shot to shot.
So, the answer is clear. Your rifle might be more accurate suppressed. Or it might not.
For more information about Smith & Wesson Performance Center, click here.

All About Guns

The Ruger MODEL 22/45 MKIII in 22LR

This is the pistol that put Bill Ruger on the firearms map! Since it was the first model of a pistol that he sold in the late 1940’s.
I have shot them many times and can safely tell you. That it is a great semiautomatic 22LR pistol!MODEL 22/45 MKIII IN FACTORY CASE W/1-MAG ONLY. - Picture 2

All About Guns

Back up Guns

Dear Wonderful Readers of my Blog,                                                                                                     I found this in my Email In box. I think that it has some pretty good points for those folks. Who are considering getting a backup gun.
Enjoy Grumpy!

Top Five Backup Guns

Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.

Check out all of articles in the Fall edition of Long Range Shooting, GunsAmerica’s newest specialty publication.

Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:

We just posted the top five reasons to carry a backup gun last week. So, this week, let’s jump right to the next obvious topic: which backup gun to choose.
First, a clarification: By “backup gun,” I mean a gun that serves as a backup to your primary gun. Sure, any of the guns listed below could be your primary gun. But, for today’s discussion, I’m regarding them as more ideal as a backup or secondary gun. In other words, these guns, by their very nature and design, are well suited to last-ditch self-defense should your primary gun become unusable or unavailable and there’s simply no other option. I’ve carried all of these guns at one time or another — or still do — and am happy to put them on my list of top five. Yes, they run the gamut of sizes and calibers and each has its strengths and weaknesses, but they’re all reliable shooters and relatively small. I’ll be eager to hear what you think.

1. Smith & Wesson 642

You can pick up a S&W 642 on GunsAmerica for around $400!

This .38 Special revolver has served law enforcement officers and civilians as a backup gun for a long time and still does. Other five-shot revolvers made by Smith & Wesson or other manufacturers certainly get a nod here as well, but I picked the 642 because it can handle .38 Special +P loads, its aluminum alloy frame makes it lightweight without being too lightweight, it sports a “hammerless” double-action-only trigger press and, with a retail price of $469, it offers a tremendous value to whoever buys one.
Strengths: Utter simplicity — draw and squeeze the trigger to shoot — and a gazillion accessories, such as a sights, grips and holsters in just about every form you can imagine.
Weak Spots: Some think “five to stay alive” just ain’t enough, and reloading quickly takes practice and the use of bulky speedloaders or clumsy speedstrips. And the $469 retail is the highest of these five guns.

2. Ruger LCP

This Ruger LCP Lady Lilac is available on GunsAmerica for $225.

If a revolver is not your thing, you simply can’t go wrong with Ruger’s LCP, a smallish .380 that’s proven itself over the years to be reliable, durable, functional and easy to hide. With a retail price of $259, the LCP is arguably one of the best value pistols out there, and it sacrifices nothing when it comes to being a backup (or primary) gun. With a capacity of 6+1, the most popular concealed carry location for the LCP is in a pocket holster or on an ankle holster.
Strengths: At 9.6 ounces in weight and with a width of .82 inches, it’s tiny and easy to conceal.
Weak Spots: At 9.6 ounces in weight and with a width of .82 inches, it takes some practice to hold, fire and manipulate.

3. Kel-Tec P3AT

The Kel-Tec P3AT sells for around $260 on GunsAmerica.

If smaller and lighter is better, then the Kel-Tec’s P3AT specs — 8.3 ounces and .77 inches wide — are worth noting. Retailing for $338.18 and sporting many similarities to the Ruger LCP, we’re immediately compelled to compare the two. Micro .380s like these are great backup guns, but what’s your preference? Lower price but slightly larger and heavier? Or higher price but slightly smaller and lighter?
Strengths: With dimensional specs close to the LCP, the P3AT weighs more than an ounce less.
Weak Spots: That slight amount of weight probably doesn’t mean much, practically speaking, but it is less gun behind the recoil of the .380 rounds it fires. And maybe a bit less purchase or grip quality too. Somewhere the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

4. NAA Black Widow

NAA Black Widows are going for $300 on GunsAmerica.

Getting really smallish in caliber and overall gun size, North American Arms’ Black Widow in .22 magnum/.22 long rifle retails for $323. The single-action revolver holds five shots and weighs 8.9 ounces with a length of 5.88 inches and a width of 1 inch. The obvious strength of this gun is that it is T-I-N-Y. But its first weakness is the relative slowness of drawing, cocking and firing a single shot. And then cocking to fire the second shot. And so on. And if you don’t have the larger palm-filling stocks installed, the tiny stocks are really difficult to hang onto. Moreover, if you need to reload, you have to virtually dismantle the gun and remove the cylinder from the frame, empty and reload it, then reassemble it. So, those are the obvious weaknesses, most of which are overcome by its strength concealability.
Strengths: Here is a gun that can virtually disappear on your person — in a pocket, inside the waistband, in a boot, in a hat and so on. There are lots of stocks to choose from and there’s even a laser-aiming system available for it. The gun is exceptionally well made and makes for a great backup gun and maybe the best third gun you can carry.
Weak Spots: Whether you’re drawing, firing or reloading, your speed will most likely suffer with this gun.

5. Beretta Nano

Used Beretta Nanos are selling in the $300 range on GunsAmerica.

I hesitated to include a single-stack 9mm in this group because those guns are more typically carried as primary guns by civilians. But Beretta’s Nano earned a spot on my top five backup guns for a few reasons: First, it is virtually in the same size category as the Ruger LCP, even though, at 19.8 ounces, the Nano is double the weight of the LCP. But the Nano is a 9mm and the flush-fitting magazine gives you six rounds on board. The Nano also comes with a second magazine holding eight rounds, so that’s 14 rounds of 9mm — in a backup gun.
Strengths: The Nano is reliable and accurate. It’s easy to shoot and its excellent snag-free design makes it a joy to carry. And for all its smallness, it feels great in hand.
Weak Spots: Maybe the $450 retail price? Second highest on this list.


Well, I’m sure my list isn’t your list and I’m sure I passed over some excellent choices for backup guns. But that’s where you come in, so feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts.
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