The Best Dan Wesson Part 1
Authentic 6-inch .357 Magnum CO2 Model
By Dennis Adler
The CO2 Dan Wesson Model 715 is offered in several versions, but only two in the original Model 715 configuration with the correct crane-mounted cylinder latch and a 6-inch barrel.
Although Dan Wesson is now part of CZ-USA, there was a time in the mid 20th century when the company was, what some pundits considered, the renegade division of Smith & Wesson. At the time when Daniel B. Wesson II left the company co-founded by his great grandfather, Smith & Wesson was in its third year of ownership by U.S. conglomerate Bangor-Punta (a former Fortune 500 company primarily known in the sport boat industry), which had purchased S&W from the Wesson family in 1965. Three years later, Dan Wesson decided to start his own firearms manufacturing company under his own name, but using a revolutionary pistol patented by arms designer Karl Lewis (formerly with Browning and High Standard). The new handgun, first known as the Model 12 and improved to the better known Model 15, (and later Model 15-2) featured interchangeable barrels. This was to become the hallmark of the Dan Wesson revolvers, a trait still carried on to this day. The original Dan Wesson line, however, had an uphill sales battle, which was compounded by Dan Wesson’s death in 1978. Going through a succession of owners, including a brief period by the Wesson family, in 1996 the company was purchased by New York International Corp. and CEO Bob Serva. In 2005 a revitalized Dan Wesson (under the company name Wesson Firearms) was sold to CZ-USA, which maintains a special Dan Wesson division, including the famous Model 715.