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Dan Wesson Elite Havoc


Kevrend
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Just bit the bullet and snagged a Dan Wesson Elite Havoc, sight unseen, on gunbroker. (I know, I know.) So that being said, I’ve been shooting USPSA open with a Glock 19, RMR, Agency 417 Comp and a medium mag well for a while and decided it was time to try to shoot something more aligned with the nature of open division without totally breaking into open division money. There’s not much info on them online aside from the redundant regurgitation of the Dan Wesson website description, and only one guy seems to shoot one and post about it on his YouTube channel. Curious what the inside scoop is on them if anyone knows. I’m about to find out firsthand, I suppose, and I should have done this due diligence before hand, but what’s life without a little risk sometimes? 

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7 hours ago, Kevrend said:

Just bit the bullet and snagged a Dan Wesson Elite Havoc, sight unseen, on gunbroker. (I know, I know.) So that being said, I’ve been shooting USPSA open with a Glock 19, RMR, Agency 417 Comp and a medium mag well for a while and decided it was time to try to shoot something more aligned with the nature of open division without totally breaking into open division money. There’s not much info on them online aside from the redundant regurgitation of the Dan Wesson website description, and only one guy seems to shoot one and post about it on his YouTube channel. Curious what the inside scoop is on them if anyone knows. I’m about to find out firsthand, I suppose, and I should have done this due diligence before hand, but what’s life without a little risk sometimes? 

Nightmare to get to run. My buddy has one and it took a year or so of tinkering and then finally a gunsmith giving it an overhaul to get it running consistently.

 

Don't waste your money. Buy a Czechmate or 2011. Dan Wesson company does not compete in USPSA and thus made a gun that failed miserably. It's not longer in production

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3 hours ago, Rnlinebacker said:

Nightmare to get to run. My buddy has one and it took a year or so of tinkering and then finally a gunsmith giving it an overhaul to get it running consistently.

 

Don't waste your money. Buy a Czechmate or 2011. Dan Wesson company does not compete in USPSA and thus made a gun that failed miserably. It's not longer in production

What about if you put Kevrend in touch with your buddy so he can get some insight into how to make it run well?

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1 hour ago, jt1207 said:

 

What about if you put Kevrend in touch with your buddy so he can get some insight into how to make it run well?

I'd very much appreciate this!

 

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Posted (edited)

The Havoc is built on a caspian high cap frame, and half the battle to get a caspian to run is finding good mags

the original caspian mags with silver tubes were the best, they looked cheap but take a amazing amount of abuse and kept on going.  If you can find some that are not beat to s#!t, I’d get some, also after the AWB expired in 2004, Caspian did sell the old style mags for a few years in a black finish and silver. stay away from the original blued mags, those were rubbish

Caspian sold a new style mag with a cape base pad, I have some for my 40, and the base pad are great, the rest of the mag not so much

MBX currently makes mag that are marked caspian/tangfolio that work but are a bit pricy, you can also get mecgar large frame tanfogilio mag that can be modified to work in a caspian

Edited by rishii
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4 hours ago, jt1207 said:

 

What about if you put Kevrend in touch with your buddy so he can get some insight into how to make it run well?

Or better yet, have your buddy register here if he has not yet and post his story. There are still quite a few Caspian-based pistols floating around. 😉 

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13 minutes ago, ChuckS said:

Or better yet, have your buddy register here if he has not yet and post his story. There are still quite a few Caspian-based pistols floating around. 😉 

I actually looked at buying a Caspian double-stack-based gun because I have small-ish hands and was told that they are a little smaller in circumference than some others, so I would be interested in hearing about experiences with them.

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I've never handled one, but what I've seen on-line, it appears to be of Caspian design. Nothing wrong with that, the BIG issue is mags. I shoot Caspian, 38SC, and love it. I have some Caspian 19rd mags, they work but are not impressive, I am using MBX and Tanfoglio large frame. As far as not running, or getting running, they are 1911s' and I manage to keep them going, and I'm no top tier 1911 smith, never had one leave me stranded on a stage. Good luck, you'll be fine.

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Kevrend, Is your pistol a 9mm or 38SC? I'm not a fan of 9mm major, my pistol will shoot 38S or 38SC, I choose 38SC. As stated above, MBX are expensive, but damn good mags. I have owned MBX for one of my pistols for 5/6 years now, they have run right out of the package with no tuning! can't say that for the others. For my other pistol, I had to resort to Tanfoglio LF mags and use Taylor Freelance mag extensions, takes a little work, but have functioned well since last year. MBX wasn't in production at the time, I would have gladly paid the price. If you need assistance, let me know.

 

For jt1207, small hands are why I use Caspian, tried one years ago at an area shoot, I now have two, no regrets. There are some parts that are Caspian only, mag release, safety, trigger, everything else is 1911. 

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37 minutes ago, tomjerry1 said:

Kevrend, Is your pistol a 9mm or 38SC? I'm not a fan of 9mm major, my pistol will shoot 38S or 38SC, I choose 38SC. As stated above, MBX are expensive, but damn good mags. I have owned MBX for one of my pistols for 5/6 years now, they have run right out of the package with no tuning! can't say that for the others. For my other pistol, I had to resort to Tanfoglio LF mags and use Taylor Freelance mag extensions, takes a little work, but have functioned well since last year. MBX wasn't in production at the time, I would have gladly paid the price. If you need assistance, let me know.

 

For jt1207, small hands are why I use Caspian, tried one years ago at an area shoot, I now have two, no regrets. There are some parts that are Caspian only, mag release, safety, trigger, everything else is 1911. 

thank you!

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1 hour ago, tomjerry1 said:

Kevrend, Is your pistol a 9mm or 38SC? I'm not a fan of 9mm major, my pistol will shoot 38S or 38SC, I choose 38SC. As stated above, MBX are expensive, but damn good mags. I have owned MBX for one of my pistols for 5/6 years now, they have run right out of the package with no tuning! can't say that for the others. For my other pistol, I had to resort to Tanfoglio LF mags and use Taylor Freelance mag extensions, takes a little work, but have functioned well since last year. MBX wasn't in production at the time, I would have gladly paid the price. If you need assistance, let me know.

 

For jt1207, small hands are why I use Caspian, tried one years ago at an area shoot, I now have two, no regrets. There are some parts that are Caspian only, mag release, safety, trigger, everything else is 1911. 

This gun is going to be 9mm major, which I’ve never shot before. I just got into reloading in the past few months and only 9mm minor loads so far, but I’ll read up on some major load data and load some up. I definitely plan on snagging some mbx magazines. It’s coming with 6 factory magazines that appear to be blued with silverish base plates. I’m hoping that they work, but not getting my hopes up. This is my first 2011 format gun (I understand now that the Caspian frames are propietary) so I’m just going to use it as a learning experience and to dabble for the season in Open. All of this has been supremely helpful so far. 

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I have a caspian framed open gun, not built by DW but same frame. get yourself some MBX mags and don't look back.  I have had incredible luck running them in my gun. 

you can also modify MecGar Tanfoglio mags and run Taylor Freelance extensions and they work pretty good but I have had a few issues with them swelling and causing some drag on my trigger bar. 

 

I ran my MBX big stick spring till it only stuck out of the mag about 1/2" when I changed it, it was running when I swapped the spring out.

 

 

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Just get a couple MBX 170s and 140/155s and call it good. Gun will run just fine.

 

As for DW not competing in USPSA? @Rnlinebacker please explain this. I personally saw quite a few CZ/DW shooters at this year's locap nats and they had a booth with DW 1911s in it as well as CZ guns. I see CZ/DW at the very least sponsor a stage at almost all the majors I go to. So to day they dont compete seems kind of far fetched. 

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50 minutes ago, Bakerjd said:

Just get a couple MBX 170s and 140/155s and call it good. Gun will run just fine.

 

As a NJ resident, is it worth it to go to the 155s over the 140s when I can't load either to capacity? Any benefits to either one?

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I admire you spirit! Open gun on a whim, and one no longer made. Then make it 9 major, and you just started reloading. And oh by the way you live in a less than ideal state. (My kid went to Princeton so that the only part of NJ I've been to)

 

You my friend have a steep learning curve but I bet you'll enjoy it.

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On the 140/155 question, I favor the 155mm for the reload.  The way the 155 indexes and having that little extra length makes positive insertion and seating into the magwell just a little bit easier.  I use an Akai mag well on my open gun.

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I’d go with 140’s for local match because they’re easier to reload, and if you’re like my state, you’ll be reloading a bunch. They’re long enough to use with the magwell , but not too long to be unwieldy  if you’re going to travel, having both is nice

i run nurtured 140’s at home with all my standard cap mags living in Exile in a free state

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6 hours ago, rowdyb said:

I admire you spirit! Open gun on a whim, and one no longer made. Then make it 9 major, and you just started reloading. And oh by the way you live in a less than ideal state. (My kid went to Princeton so that the only part of NJ I've been to)

 

You my friend have a steep learning curve but I bet you'll enjoy it.

You only live once, right? I’m excited to give it a serious go. 

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I agree with rishii, 140s will get 90-95% of what you need locally. When you start to get comfortable with your new pistol and the open division, a 170 will start to show it's advantages. I always take my 170s loaded to the club matches, and often find my self reloading from the 170 to a 140. I can't speak to the 155s, they were not an option when I started open, but honestly don't believe they're to much of an advantage? Some of the others who use them will give you a better opinion. I have a DW PM in 40 S&W, and if the Havoc is built the same, you'll have quite a pistol. Once again, holler if you need help with it.

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Do the research for yourself. get a timer and a phone for video and practice your reloads with 140s vs 155s. Is there a difference?  Do you have better handling of the mag with one length vs the other?.

 

YMMV, but for me, I reload the same speed with both but I am less prone to fumble the 155s compared to 140s

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