Revolver Redux: Hands on Review of the Re-released Dan Wesson 715

Dan Wesson has re-released the 15 series of revolvers.  In this TFBTV video review, James takes this revolver redux for a spin, running several boxes of .38 Spl and .357 Magnum through it, even alternating .38/.357 in the same cylinder to compare the recoil. This Dan Wesson 715 has interchangeable barrels, and accepts older Dan Wesson Model 15 barrels s well. Is this revolver worth the $1,200 MSRP? James tells you in this hands-on review.

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James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior 2011 civilian challenge, a graduate of Front Sight and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for Interstate Arms Company, a distributor, before he began practicing law, his present career. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys performing product evaluations for The Firearm Blog and posting his reviews for TFB readers. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • John Thayer

    I wish there was more innovation in the revolver market.
    A light alloy 6 shot .327 Federal Magnum built on the J-Frame platform would be cool.
    So would a modern top-break.

    • The Dan Wesson is more of a hunters revolver. The Ruger .327 might be a bit heavier than what you mention but it’s a good one.

      • John Thayer

        What I was thinking of I is along the lines of a 5 shot S&W Airweight .357 but produced as a 6 shot in .327.
        I think the Ruger weighs about double the S&W.

        • Brocus

          3″ LCRx in .327 and they get my money.

          • Marcus D.

            Four would be even better. The .327 benefits greatly from a longer barrel. In fact, it is arguable that it needs the longer barrel for the round to meet its potential.

          • gunsandrockets

            According to BBTI, the 3 inch barreled SP-101 produced 1,422 fps with a 100 gr JSP bullet.

            According to Chuckhawks, the 4 inch barreled SP-101 produces 1,500 fps with the same load.

            Sounds like 3 inches of barrel is plenty enough.

          • Marcus D.

            At least we agree that out of two inches the performance is pitiful, and that it goes up by 100fps for each inch after three, maxing out at around7 or 8″.

          • gunsandrockets

            Seeing as Ruger already had the LCR in .357 magnum, I can see why they also introduced the .327 magnum in the LCR. But stubby barrels are so wasteful with magnum cartridges.

            I agree that in general 4 inches is a good rule of thumb for minimum length barrels for magnum handguns, and ideally they should be around 5 to 7 inches for best handgun utility. But the difference between 3 and 4 inches is much less than the performance difference between 2 and 3 inches.

          • gunsandrockets

            Oh good god yes!

            Are you listening Ruger?

    • Devil_Doc

      I see your .327, and I raise you .41 mag..

      • gunsandrockets

        I think the S&W model 610 is pretty cool.

        Imagine a 5 shot 10mm in a K frame, with a round butt with 3 inch barrel.

    • Giolli Joker

      So far the most innovative revolver out there (being Mateba out of business) is the Chiappa Rhino.
      The problem with revolvers is that they tend to appeal to rather “conservative” shooters that prefer classic styles and tend to despise innovative, unconventional solutions.

      • Not I:-) I love revolvers and semi autos alike. I really don’t have a niche or exclude new designs. They each have positive features and uses.

        • Giolli Joker

          Same for me… but Hickok45’s entertaining review of the Chiappa Rhino best exemplifies that approach. 😉

    • FightFireJay

      Ruger has a 6 shot .327 Fed Mag in their LCR.

      • John Thayer

        Oh, I thought it was in the SP101 line.

        • They do—–

          • Marcus D.

            I thought they did but discontinued it after a couple of years.

          • gunsandrockets

            Ruger currently has three .327 magnum handguns they offer.

            The LCR 1.9 inch barreled DAO revolver. The SP-101 4.2 inch barreled DA revolver. And the Single Seven, 7 shot SA revolver in barrel lengths from 4.6 inches to 7.5 inches.

          • Marcus D.

            Ah, I see. I didn’t know the SP101 had been reintroduced last March. It had been discontinued a couple of years earlier. I ran into a used one at the LGS last August and was sorely tempted but didn’t have $700 laying around.

      • Paul White

        It’s *really* neat. Really really neat. I just can’t justify it

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    I can´t shoot revolvers for sht, so I got myself a safe queen. A Python… Now I kinda want a S&W 629 Competitor…

    • Marcus D.

      I never could shoot revolvers either, but then I started buying Colt clone black powder pistols (very soft shooters in .36), and last summer I bought a clone 1873 SAA in .38/.357 with a 7.5″ barrel which weighs in at 38 oz. A puppy dog in .38 and a hoot in .357, its weight eliminates recoil and it is quite accurate.

  • Adjusted for inflation the Colt Python retailed for ~$1,100 if I recall correctly.

    • Back in the 1970s the Dan Wesson sold for close to $600 depending on accessories. Pythons at that time ran about $600 also.

      • iksnilol

        Either the Pythons were way too expensive or the Dan Wesson is an amazing deal.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Didn’t the DWs sell as a kit with extra barrels included?

  • Don Ward

    Is there a GOOD reason for the cylinder release to be located forward like that? Other than to add one more complication for those of us remembering which way to press the release on S&Ws, Colts and Rugers?

    • Edeco

      Awesome reason: It’s supposed to be stronger.

      • Don Ward

        Hehehehe. I can’t argue with that.

      • BattleshipGrey

        Wouldn’t it get hotter if you’re shooting in quicker groups though?

        • Edeco

          I bet it would. Still one tends to put a hand in that area anyway, unless, maybe some hold the cylinder from the back when reloading…

    • It is too late to ask Dan Wesson and Karl R. Lewis. Judging from his patents, Lewis had more futuristic designs in mind.

    • It is in fact a stronger lockup with the release placed there. In some of the larger calibers that were offered years ago it needed to be strong! You get used to it quickly.

      • Giolli Joker

        Indeed some Magnum revolvers have double lock-up to offer more strength.
        (My Mateba in .454 and Taurus Raging Bull for example).

        • Yes indeed I’ve shot those.

        • Marshall Price

          You have a Mateba Unica 6 in .454. I am jealous. How does that beauty feel to shoot?

          • Giolli Joker

            Yes I do.
            9″ barrel, only shot Winchester 300grs SP rounds: given the heavy weight, the lower barrel and the recoiling action, it’s a soft shooter.
            However I once handed it to a friend of mine, six chambers full cylinder, he shot and I heard a louder than usual noise (a single bang) and saw him struggling with more recoil than I had ever experienced: he had kept his trigger finger ready for the follow-up shot, but the recoil in his hand, combined with the very crisp single action made him shoot an extremely fast 3 round burst.
            I still mock him, and he remembers the event very well because he was left with a reminder in the form of a scar on the web of his hand.

            BTW: the name is “6 Unica” a play on words in Italian that reads as “Sei Unica = You’re Unique”.

          • gunsandrockets

            After that description I HAD to google that revolver.

            Woah. That’s so wrong. And yet so amazing at the same time.

  • Devil_Doc

    I feel like I should harass James about his shirt.

    • James R.

      Too late, lol

      • Devil_Doc

        Ha ha ha ha ha…. That’s great. 🙂

      • iksnilol

        Roll with it IMO.

        Tighter shirts are good to show off your body. Ladies love that… at least I am assured of it by the ladies I’ve talked to.

        • James R.

          Yeah, after year of TFBTV, it’s too late to turn back now anyways. If I started wearing baggy clothes, the terrorists will have won.

          • iksnilol

            Go forth and wear those sexy tight clothes with pride!

            Make them proclaim: “dayum, girl, look at that guy”.

            I believe in you.

  • AD

    I love Dan Wesson revolvers, I just wish I could own one (can’t really own handguns where I live). I was glad to hear that CZ have finally released a new Model 15. I hear it’s only a limited run for now though?

    I enjoyed the review, but I would have liked to see James say something more about the accuracy, ideally shooting some groups and suchlike. Obviously it would have been nice to see it shot with different barrel configurations since that is such a big part of what makes the gun unique, but I realize that James didn’t have any other barrels to test with.

    I believe the crane lock being at the front of the cylinder is supposed to be better for accuracy than being at the back, because that helps the front of the cylinder maintain better alignment with the barrel forcing cone.

    By the way, I think I read once long ago that Dan Wesson designed his revolvers to have a shorter hammer travel distance (under stronger spring pressure), leading to a shorter lock time than most revolvers at the time, and as a result the trigger feels different to something like a S&W (different, not worse; from my understanding of physics pulling the hammer back against a stronger spring but for a shorter distance means you don’t necessarily need more power or force depending on how the lockwork is designed). Can anyone with more accurate info and/or hands on experience confirm that?

    • Brocus

      Ive seen some trickle out and be sold on Gunbroker for the past few years now. Would be very surprised if all of this was just for a small run.

    • Edeco

      Yeah, I think I read they’re doing 1,000/year so limited production, but probably to continue.

  • BattleshipGrey

    James, I always enjoy your vids but this one is my favorite. I can tell you were thoroughly enjoying yourself and you were hilarious. Keep up the good work.

    • James R.

      Thanks for watching, I really appreciate the comment –

  • Pete Sheppard

    The ease of barrel change was what makes the DW stand out–and accounts for their cost.
    James, have you considered a video with barrel changes?
    Also, what was the bullet weight of the .357 you fired in this video. Differing bullet weights will significantly affect recoil.

    • James R.

      Pete, they didn’t send me any barrels. 🙁
      Excellent point on bullet weight. These were 158gr.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Cheapskates :p 😀
        When you get a chance, compare some 125gr (defense) and 180gr (hunting) loads…THAT should be interesting!–especially since the DW is mainly aimed at the hunting market.
        BTW, thanks for interesting, informative FUN videos! 🙂

    • Pete they are sending me the same gun and I will be covering the history of the gun and they are sending extra barrels so I can demonstrate that as well as the Hogue monogrip. Also the stout front lockup.

      • Pete Sheppard

        Yea! Much fun to be had!!

      • Pete Sheppard

        FUN! Can’t wait for the video!!

  • gunsandrockets

    Someday?

  • Giolli Joker

    Never entered full production.
    There are interesting prototypes around, but on the market the only unconventional solutions that I can remember were Webley-Fosbery, Mateba, Medusa… and now Chiappa Rhino.