The classy Dan Wesson Model 715 double-action revolver is back in production. For revolver lovers, that's big — and welcome — news.
I can't say that I'm strictly a revolver man — I do love my Model 1911 auto pistols — but I have to confess to having a certain fondness for wheelguns, especially quality double actions. That might be partly due to the fact that the first handgun my dad ever let me fire was a DA Hawes .38 Special. I was about seven years old at the time. Most definitely my 15+ years working for Gil Hebard Guns contributed to my affinity for them because I had the opportunity to see, handle, shoot, and, in many cases, own a lot of classic revolvers. One of the classiest DAs is the rugged yet refined stainless-steel .357 Magnum Dan Wesson Model 715.
Dan Wesson revolvers earned an enviable reputation for top-drawer craftsmanship and excellent accuracy during the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, but the original Dan Wesson Firearms company went out of business in the late 1990s. The Model 715 actually was produced for just four years, first from 1993 until 1995 and then again from 2002 until 2004 after the company was resurrected. Well, CZ-USA, which acquired the Dan Wesson line in 2005, has brought the Model 715 back.
The 2014 version comes with a 6-inch heavy barrel complete with vent rib. The revolver utilizes the famous Dan Wesson interchangeable barrel design wherein the barrel is essentially a round tube that's threaded on both ends. The back end screws into the frame against a 0.006-inch feeler gauge that is held against the face of the cylinder. The outer barrel, which is really just a shroud, slips over the barrel, and the muzzle end of the barrel receives a grooved nut, which is tightened with a tool that comes with the revolver. The feeler gauge provides the correct amount of cylinder-barrel gap every time a barrel is installed. At present, CZ-USA isn't offering extra barrels for the Model 715; however, according to CZ, it will accept Model 15-2 and newer barrel shrouds.
The new Model 715 also retains the classic Dan Wesson cylinder latch. It's located on the left side of the revolver on the crane forward of the cylinder-barrel gap, and it incorporates a rear detent ball. Pressing down on the latch and holding it down allows the cylinder to be swung out to the left.
The fully adjustable, target-style rear sight is plain black, and the ramped front sight is also black, but it is serrated. The smooth trigger is 0.375 inch wide, and the one-piece, black rubber grips are held in place by a single screw at the bottom.
The revolver uses a transfer bar firing mechanism, and the cylinder rotates clockwise.
The Model 715 comes with a black plastic Dan Wesson hard case that has compartments for three additional barrel assemblies and the factory-supplied barrel wrench kit and feeler gauge.
Shooting the new Model 715 was more than fun. It was exhilarating because of the revolver's fine accuracy. The hefty frame and heavy barrel made felt recoil seem almost negligible even with the stoutest .357 Magnum loads.
The double-action trigger pull measured 11.75 pounds according to my RCBS trigger pull scale, and it was silky smooth. Hammer fall seemed extremely short in that mode of fire. The single-action trigger pull measured a clean, crisp 4.0 pounds.
Accuracy-wise, every type of ammo I put through it produced nice five-shot groups ranging from less than an inch up to 2.75 inches at 25 yards. The results are listed in the chart. The most accurate load in the review sample revolver averaged 1.13 inches for three, five-shot groups. The revolver's tightest single five-shot group measured 0.64 inch, and that, my friends, is the smallest five-shot string I've ever fired with a revolver. Until I fired that one, the distinction went to a 0.72-inch group that I produced with an 8-inch-barreled, .44 Magnum Taurus Raging Bull revolver that had been worked over by the qualified gunsmiths at Aimpro.
Undoubtedly, the Model 715's tensioned barrel combined with the consistent cylinder/barrel alignment provided by the front cylinder latch/crane system accounts for the double-action revolver's incredible accuracy.
Dan Wesson revolvers were once the choice of serious revolver hunters and competition shooters because they were so well made and so accurate. The new Model 715 is definitely that.
Vintage Dan Wesson
DA revolvers are known for their excellent accuracy, and the new Model 715 lived up to that reputation. Overall average accuracy for .357 Magnum and .38 Special loads was 1.70 inches at 25 yards, and the single tightest five-shot string was 0.64 in.
The stainless-steel Dan Wesson Model 715
is back in production. It's offered in .357 Magnum with a 6-inch heavy barrel and plain black sights.