How To Identify Dan Wesson Models

How to Identify Dan Wesson Models

When it comes to firearms, finding the right information about the model and make is crucial. If you have a Dan Wesson revolver in your possession, but you’re unsure about its specific model, don’t worry! In this article, we will guide you through the process of identifying different Dan Wesson models. By understanding the distinct features and characteristics, you’ll be able to determine which model you have with ease.

Before we dive into the details, it’s essential to note that Dan Wesson firearms have a rich history of craftsmanship and quality. Founded in 1968 by Daniel B. Wesson II, the company has become synonymous with precision and innovation. Their revolvers are esteemed for their accuracy, reliability, and versatility, making them a favorite among shooting enthusiasts and collectors alike.

1. Check the Frame Size and Material

The first step in identifying a Dan Wesson model is to determine the frame size and material. Dan Wesson revolvers come in three primary frame sizes: small, medium, and large. The small frame size is typically chambered in .22 LR, while the medium and large frame sizes accommodate more powerful cartridges like .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum.

To confirm the frame size, measure the distance between the bottom of the grip and the center of the cylinder. If it measures around 2.415 inches, you have a small frame. A measurement of approximately 2.520 inches denotes a medium frame, and a large frame typically measures around 2.820 inches. Remember, these measurements are only a guideline, and there may be slight variations.

Additionally, Dan Wesson revolvers are available in various materials, including blued steel, stainless steel, and even titanium. Identifying the frame material can provide valuable insights into the model and manufacturing era.

2. Examine the Barrel Style and Length

The next crucial factor in identifying a particular Dan Wesson model is the barrel style and length. Dan Wesson offers different barrel options, such as vented, solid, ported, and shrouded. Vented barrels have holes in the top to dissipate muzzle rise, while ported barrels have holes on the sides to minimize recoil.

Furthermore, the barrel length can differ between models. Common sizes include 2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches, and 8 inches. To measure the barrel length, start from the cylinder face and extend until you reach the end of the barrel.

3. Explore the Grip Options

The grip configuration is another vital aspect when determining the Dan Wesson model. The company provides a variety of grips, allowing shooters to choose what suits them best. Some models feature wood or rubber grips, while others have custom options available. Pay attention to any engraved markings or logos on the grip, as they can offer further clues about the model and special editions.

4. Look for Model-Specific Features

Many Dan Wesson models have unique features that set them apart from others. Look closely at the revolver for any additional levers, switches, or sights that might be present. Some models have adjustable rear sights, interchangeable barrels, or even under-lug rails for accessories like lasers or lights.

Furthermore, some Dan Wesson models have distinctive markings or engravings on the frame, cylinder, or barrel. These markings often indicate limited editions, special runs, or commemorative models. Researching these markings can provide valuable information about the specific model you possess.

5. Consult Official Dan Wesson Resources and Experts

If you’re still unsure about the model of your Dan Wesson revolver, it’s always best to consult official Dan Wesson resources or seek the help of knowledgeable experts. The official website of Dan Wesson Firearms provides detailed information on their various models, including specifications, historical data, and frequently asked questions.

Additionally, online forums and communities dedicated to firearms enthusiasts can be extremely helpful in identifying specific Dan Wesson models. These platforms often have experts who are willing to share their knowledge and assist others in determining the model, production dates, and other relevant details.


Identifying the model of your Dan Wesson revolver is an exciting journey that requires attention to detail and careful examination. By considering the frame size and material, barrel style and length, grip options, model-specific features, and consulting available resources, you’ll be well-equipped to determine which Dan Wesson model you possess. Remember, when dealing with firearms, it’s always important to prioritize safety and follow legal guidelines for ownership and usage.

Leave a Comment