As part of my foray into 10mm pistols, I picked up a Dan Wesson Bruin with the help of Scott Igert of Modern Antique Firearms. The Bruin intriqued me based on reviews and that this was a Dan Wesson pistol! I have liked Dan Wessons since the days they made the revolvers with exchangeable barrels. Not too long go they were acquired by CZ but the quality is still there based on everything I have heard. I sure liked their Titan but at $4-4,200, it was way, way outside my price range compared to the $1,800 Bruin.
Now I bought the Model 1880 10mm Bronze Bruin before my Big Rock because we found it first and the more I read, the more I wanted to get one. In my opinion it is excellently built. Here are the off-the-shelf specs:
- Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
- Frame: Forged Stainless
- Overall Length: 9.7″
- Barrel Length: 6.03″
- Width: 1.5″
- Weight: 2.74 pounds
- Trigger: Single Action
- Front Sight: Tritium Fiber Optic
- Rear Sight: Adjustable Night Sights
When the pistol arrived, Scott, his cousin Andrew and myself were all very impressed. It was coated in a ton of oil in a bag but the first thing we all noticed was how smooth it was – no grittiness anywhere. She slide and trigger were all so slick. The trigger is probably the best feeling of any pistol I own.
I field stripped the Bruin, wiped off the packing oil, lubricated it and took the pistol to the range. It shot like a dream. No problems of any kind with 180 grain S&B FMJ loads or either 155gr or 180gr JHP loads from Underwood. The Bruin handled everything smooth as silk and its weight really made recoil a non-issue. It’s there but it’s not a big deal is how I would describe it. Normally my carpal tunnel will act up and tell me when recoil is too much but I really just had fun. I’m so used to having to fiddle with guns that when one works just the way it should out of the box, it is a real treat.
Given the magazine capacity, I went ahead and bought two more magazines giving me a total of four mags. Interestingly, the website said they were out of stock but when I called their parts department they said they did have them and the gentleman I talked to mentioned that the website quantity onhand vs. actual wasn’t that reliable. So if you need mags, call them. Don’t just go by the website plus they have mags both with and without the rubber bumpter. I like the bumpers personally – they add a bit of weight to help the empty mags drop plus help protect the floor plate when they hit the ground.
One little detail I really like is the extended slide release lever. It has a little extended shelf that gives you a tad bit more leverage to push down and release the slide despite the heavy recoil spring.
Obviously I am a big fan of this pistol. I do have one con to mention – the Bruin has a distinctive angled front barrel plug that makes field stripping a bit tricky as you try and get things lined up. To be honest, I would chuck that angle and field stripping would become much easier. That is my only complaint.
At this point I am debating whether to keep the Bruin, the Big Rock or both, It may take me a while to decide 🙂 The Big Rock is a wicked brute and the Bruin is very refined. Both are better pistols than I am a shooter so more thinking is required. In the mean time here are some photos:
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