Dan Wesson ECP

KEEPING the “9” in 1911

Dan Wesson handgun

Five rounds, 20 yards, 1/2″: John wishes he could shoot this well every time! Single-stack and proud of it! The Dan Wesson 9mm ECP has a 9+1 capacity.

Dan Wesson Handgun

Dan Wesson continues a history of innovation with the 1911 and their latest offering — the 9mm Enhanced Commander Pistol — is no exception.

The ECP is available in both .45 ACP and 9mm, which made me exceptionally happy. Defensive ammo in 9mm has been vastly improved and — at this stage of my life — it’s a lot more pleasant to spend a morning shooting 300 rounds of 9mm than a similar bunch of .45 ACP!

The ECP is an exceptionally attractive looking pistol with its matte “duty finish” matched up with a set of blue/gray G10 grip panels. The top of the slide is serrated to reduce glare and the excellent sights are set in a dovetail fore and aft. The gold bead front sight is set in a flat post that matches up to a U-shaped rear notch sized perfectly for my eyes to line up quickly.

For my eyes and hands, the ECP was dead-on for elevation with both loads. I did have to move the rear sight slightly for windage. This was accomplished with a mallet and brass punch. The dovetails provide a very tight fit and there is no danger of these sights ever loosening.

The slide is coated stainless steel while the frame is an alloy resulting in an empty weight of 29 oz. according to my postal scale. The slide has very generous grooves for easy racking, and the front is tapered for easy holstering. The ramped, match-grade bull barrel has a 30-degree muzzle crown and instead of a bushing fit to the slide, it is tapered toward the front to match up tightly with the slide.

Dan Wesson With Target

With Black Hills Honey Badgers (above, top) and Inceptor ARX (bottom), the ECP proved it could handle “out of the ordinary” ammo. The ECP features a match-grade heavy bull barrel (below) precision mated to the slide without a bushing.

Dan Wesson Muzzle

The skeletonized Commander-style hammer matches the skeletonized flat trigger. Standard 1911 safeties include the thumb safety and a beavertail grip safety complete with a memory bump. The frontstrap and mainspring housing are both checkered at 25 lines-per-inch and this — plus the aggressive finish on the grip panels — provides for a very secure grasp.

The bottom part of the backstrap is bobtailed which not only aids in concealment but also feels exceptionally good to my hand. Magazine capacity is 9 rounds and the magazine drops freely when the magazine release is depressed.

The ECP performed well with all the ammunition I used. Outstanding performers included Black Hills’ 125-gr. Honey Badger (920 fps) which punched 5-shot, 20 yard groups measuring 7/8″. The Black Hills 115-gr. JHP +P is a good choice for self-defense with a muzzle velocity of just under 1,240 fps and a 3/4″ group capability.

Self-defense use doesn’t really require this level of accuracy but it’s great to know you have it. The smallest group was turned in by the SIG SAUER 115-gr. V-Crown JHP with 5 shots staying within 1/2″. Everything was working perfectly and I don’t claim to be able to duplicate this on demand! The fastest load I tested, incidentally, was the Inceptor 65-gr. ARX at 1,640 fps. These little lightweights shoot to point of aim and group in at 1-1/2″.

Dan Wesson’s Enhanced Commander Pistol has everything most shooters want on a 1911. It performed flawlessly and definitely fits the category of Perfect Packin’ Pistol (Semi-Auto Division). The MSRP is $1,600 and I think it’s well worth it!

Dan Wesson Firearms
Ph.: (607) 336-1174

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