Eyes On: the Dan Wesson Discretion 1911

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April 20, 2017  
Categories: Musings
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Eyes On: the Dan Wesson Discretion 1911

Mike the Mook

One of the most iconic American pistols of all time is the Model 1911 A1. Its design has endured for over a century and it’s still serving elite forces in the US military. This 100+ year old design has been produced by hundreds of companies, but one of the best of the bunch is Dan Wesson with their latest model: The Discretion.

Dan Wesson Discretion on gravel.

We recently had a chance to shoot one. Our test pistol shipped in a durable hard case with cutouts for the pistol, spare magazines and cleaning gear.

The Discretion is definitely not the 1911 your grandfather carried onto Omaha Beach in WW2. Dan Wesson took John Moses Browning’s greatest design and enhanced it as only they could do. Most noticeable is the integrated Picatinny rail on the dust cover so you can attach a light or laser, or unit which incorporates both. The next major difference is the skeletonized slide.

Close up of the integrated Picatinny rail on the dust cover

But perhaps our personal favorite touch is the installation of a threaded barrel. It takes more than just a threaded barrel to call a firearm “suppressor ready” and Dan Wesson has shown that with the taller sights and lightened side. While we can certainly shoot through just about any can, these sights definitely make life easier.

Other features include tall suppressor-style sights with tritium inserts, fully checkered front strap, ringed hammer, beavertail grip safety, flawlessly blended magazine well, G-10 grips and a match grade trigger.

Discretion with the TI-RANT 45M on gravel

You’ll find 25 lpi checkering on the front strap and flat mainspring housing. Some shooters may find this a bit too aggressive at first, but once you get used to it, you tend to like it.

Shooting the Dan Wesson Discretion was extremely pleasant. The pistol digested every type of round fed into it without a single failure to fire, feed, extract or eject. This pistol averaged a 2.5” group at 50 feet on an FBI silhouette target with Freedom Munitions 230 grain ball ammunition. Better results were made with 230 grain Freedom Munitions Hush ammunition, shrinking the group size to below 2”.

Discretion with the TI-RANT 45M on rock

We ran four different suppressors on the Discretion, thanks to our good friends at SilencerShop.com. We have several AAC Ti-Rant 45 suppressors in .45 ACP and an older EVO-45 model, but we wanted a glimpse of what else is out there. Silencer Shop was good enough to send us a Thompson Machine ISIS-2.


The AAC Ti-Rant 45M in both long and short versions is our favorite, but the ISIS-2 in 45 from Thompson Machine proved to be a winner, too. It may be a little heavier and slightly louder, but it’s priced right. Note: If you’ve finally realized HPA won’t pass anytime soon and you swore off NFA buying because you used a trust and still don’t understand the ease of going the individual route, Silencershop has a cool setup called the Single Shot Trust that may be worth checking out.

Grey Ghost Gear

The tolerances on this 1911 are perfect to us. They’re not loosey goosey like an old “US Property Marked” Colt, nor so tight that the slide locks closed after twenty rounds like a custom race gun. They simply found that sweet spot between accuracy and reliability that can be difficult to achieve.

With an MSRP of over $2k, the Discretion is definitely one for the “buy once, cry once” niche.

Features and Specs:

  • Model: Discretion
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Magazine Capacity: 8
  • Frame Material: Forged Stainless
  • Slide Finish: Duty Finish
  • Grips: G10
  • Overall Length: 9.5″
  • Barrel Length: 5.75″
  • Height: 6″
  • Width: 1.5″
  • Weight: 42.2 oz
  • MSRP: $2,142


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Mike Searson

Mike Searson

About the Author

Mike “the Mook” Searson is a veteran writer who began his career in firearms at the Camp Pendleton School for Destructive Boys at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire life, writing about guns and knives for numerous publications and consulting with the film industry on weapons while at the same time working as gunsmith and ballistician. Though seemingly a surly curmudgeon shy a few chromosomes at first meeting, Searson is actually far less of a dick and at least a little smarter than most of the Mad Duo’s minions. He is rightfully considered to be not just good company, but actually fit for polite company as well (though he has never forgotten his roots as a rifleman trained to kill people and break things, and if you look closely you’ll see his knuckles are still quite scabbed over from dragging the ground). You can learn more about him on his website or follow him on Twitter, @MikeSearson.


  1. drew

    im confused, where the external extractor?

  2. Tom

    Is it an internal extractor that just identifies as external?


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