Dan Wesson 715: The Gun Nuts Review

Dan Wesson 715 muzzle

Dan Wesson revolvers occupy an interesting place in the world of enthusiasts. The company itself was founded by the great grandson of the original Daniel Wesson, and Dan Wesson II’s roundguns eventually gained a respectable cult following in revolver circles. Their party trick was an interchangeable barrel system, which allowed the end user to swap barrel lengths at their leisure, making a 6-inch silhouette gun into a 4-inch duty gun or a 2-inch carry gun with relative ease.

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Revolver Tour #15: Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp

Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp

True statement: the Ruger SP101 is the only small frame revolver that I’ll voluntarily shoot any volume of heavy magnum ammo out of. Like all Ruger revolvers, it embraces over-engineering as a good thing, and while I wouldn’t call it “pleasant” to shoot with hot ammo, it’s certainly more fun to shoot than anything else in its size class.

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Revolver Tour #12: Ruger Security Six Humpback

Classic Security Six

If I had any kind of timing, I’d have saved the post for the Ruger Security Six “Humpback” for hump-day, but I refuse to kowtow to popular internet trends in the name of cheap jokes (that is a lie). However, it all works out in the end, because this is, to a fan of revolver history, a very interesting gun.

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Revolver Tour #9: Ruger Match Champion

Ruger GP100 Match Champion

You knew this one was coming. The Ruger GP100 Match Champion – the gun I’ve dedicated more pixels to writing about, and trigger time behind on this blog in the last two years than anything else. Ruger’s answer to the 686SSR, and one of the best all around 4 inch revolvers on the market.

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Revolver Tour #3: Clark Custom Ruger Security Six .357

Ruger Security Six Clark Custom

The 70s and 80s were a great time to be a revolver aficionado. Thankfully, now is also a great time to be a revolver fan, because the great guns that were built in that era are still mostly alive and kicking, and if you’re smart can be had for a great price. For example, the Ruger Security Six – Ruger’s direct competitor to S&W’s K-frame in the LE/Security market of the 70s and 80s. Overbuilt by the standards of the day, the Six-series (Security Six, Speed Six, Service Six) could withstand a steady diet of magnum ammunition with little wear and tear. They were the standard issue firearm for US Border Patrol, the Postal Inspectors, and many other LE agencies.

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A revolver tour: Ruger GP100 4.2

Ruger GP100 4.2 Hogue stocks

During this week, I’m going to be taking you guys through a tour of some of the various wheelguns I own. This started from a photo I posted on my fan page, which turned into a short post here on Gun Nuts simply titled “I like wheelguns.” We’ll start this series of posts with one of the guns that I’m most often associated with, the Ruger GP100.

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Celebrate diversity

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Top row, left to right: two Magtech .38 Special 158 grain LSWC; two DoubleTap .38 Special +P 158 grain hardcast LSWC; two Federal .357 Magnum 158 grain JSP.

Bottom row, left to right: two Federal .38 Special 158 grain LRN, two Federal Gold Medal 148 grain full WC.

All of these rounds could be fired from one gun; while revolvers may be old, their ability to perform many roles from self defense, hunting, and target shooting, is hard to match in a semi-auto pistol.

Legendary stopping power

Everyone who’s ever been on the gun section of the internet knows two things. The first is that you carry a .45 because they don’t make a .46, and the second is that you carry a .357 Magnum because shooting twice is silly.

Sorry, I know you probably caught the derp from that opening statement, but bear with me here. A forum thread got me thinking about something, specifically the “legendary stopping power” associated with the classic 125 grain .357 Magnum loads. If you’ve read the internet, these are very well regarded for producing rapid incapacitation in badguys, and truth be told do produce some pretty impressive wound trauma in obstructed shots. But the question that ran though my mind this morning was whether or not the .357 Magnum did anything in those situations that a modern JHP wouldn’t have done?

cougar magnum (300x225)

This is the problem when we talk about “stopping power” because what causes a human being to stop can be complicated. Physically, there are only two ways to actually stop the human body: make it stop pumping blood, or disrupt the central nervous system. However, there are lots of document cases of people being “stopped” whose wounds were not incapacitating in any way. Similarly, there are lots of documented cases of people with serious wounds fighting well past when conventional logic says they should have stopped.

One of the more interesting areas of self-defense shootings is the concept of the “psychological stop” – where the person who has been shot realizes they’ve been shot, and decides that regardless of the severity of the wound, it’s time to rethink their life choices up to that point. I’ve seen gun articles that suggest that this could be part of the reputation of the .357 Magnum for putting dudes down – the tremendous muzzle blast and concussion associated with cooking off a 125 grain magnum out of a 4 inch gun makes it somewhat difficult to ignore the fact that you’re being shot at.

Ultimately, I think a lot of the legend of the .357 Magnum’s “stopping power” is just that: a legend. Yes, there are tales of it producing incredible one-shot stops, but you can find those with any round. There are also plenty of stories about it failing to stop badguys, which are also common with plenty of other rounds. It seems that the common thread in all of these stories is simple: marksmanship matters.

Slow motion recoil comparison: .38 Special vs. .357 Magnum

Slow motion video is interesting. The .38 recoils in slow motion exactly how I imagined it would, which is to say not very much at all. The magnum on the other hand appears to be way more violent in slow-motion than it did when shooting it. In fact, in the slow mo video you can see my grip comes apart at the end of the magnum relay, which is something I didn’t really notice when shooting it live.