New For 2023: Dan Wesson 1911 Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol

posted on June 14, 2023
DW Specialist ORP 01
The Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol is Dan Wesson’s first M1911 model that offers an optics cut off the shelf.
Image courtesy of Dan Wesson Firearms.

The Dan Wesson company is known for M1911 pistols with premium features and hand-fitted parts at an affordable price. While the company has been offering optics-ready pistols through its custom shop, for 2023, the company is introducing its first M1911 designed to mount electronic optics off the shelf with the Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol.

The Optics-Ready model builds on the basic features of Dan Wesson’s standard Specialist. It is a traditional-style, full-size M1911 with a 5” barrel. The enhanced features found on Specialist models include a forged stainless-steel frame with a single-slot M1913 Picatinny rail machined into the dust cover and an undercut on the trigger guard.

Right side of the Dan Wesson 1911 Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol on a white background.The Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol is a full-size, all-steel M1911 that uses a single-stack magazine. Image courtesy of Dan Wesson Firearms.

The mainspring housing and front grip strap are checkered 25 l.p.i. It is fitted with a long, solid trigger, skeletonized hammer, bilateral safety, recessed slide stop and extended beavertail. An extended magazine release and magwell help to speed up magazine changes. Grips are G10 VZ Operators. The pistol uses standard single-stack, M1911-pattern magazines. The slide has front and rear cocking serrations and ball end mill cuts on the front. An “inverted rib” along its upper surface cuts down glare on the sighting plane. The slide, frame and barrel are hand-fitted.

Left side of the all-black Dan Wesson 1911 Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol on a white background.The Optics-Ready model has all the features of the standard Specialist, including a forged stainless-steel frame with an accessory rail on the dust cover. Image courtesy of Dan Wesson Firearms.

The Optics-Ready Specialist adds a slide that is machined to use a plate system to allow for the mounting of multiple types of red-dot or reflexive optics. Footprint specific plates are available for purchase separately as an accessory with an MSRP of $70 each. Available adapter plates include RMR, Docter, and Shield RMSc patterns. Supplied iron sights are a front blade with fiber-optic insert and an adjustable rear that provide a lower 1/3 co-witness with the optics.

Unlike the options for the standard Specialist, the Optics-Ready version is offered only in .45 ACP with Dan Wesson’s Duty Black finish at this time. The Specialist Optics-Ready pistol has the same overall dimensions of a standard Specialist, with an overall length of 8.75”, a height of 5.5” and it weighs 42.3 ozs.

A close-up of the Dan Wesson 1911 Specialist Optics-Ready controls shown on a stone background.The Specialist Optics-Ready pistol uses a plate system to allow a variety of optics to be mounted. Image courtesy of Dan Wesson Firearms.

The Dan Wesson Specialist Optics-Ready Pistol has an MSRP of $2,299. For more information, visit


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