First off I am a novice shooter and this is my first 1911 and only .45 cal. pistol so this is in no way a professional report, just my opinions.
The Valor is a tight pistol compared to some other 1911's I handled at various gun shops however the slide to frame action is very smooth with no grittiness at all. The only other 1911 I handled that had the fit and finish similar to the Valor was the Springfield TRP. As some of you may or may not know, the Dan Wesson is 100% american made and has no MIM parts. Since the Valor and TRP were close in price, I chose the Valor for these reasons.
Before going to the range I field stripped the Valor and inspected and lubed using the Dan Wesson supplied lubricant, putting a bit extra on the rails. I had to use the barrel bushing tool for this first take down because of the tight fit. Visual inspection of the pistol showed no machine marks and the cotton ball down the rail test revealed no burrs (I did this before lubing). After I reassembled the pistol I racked the slide 200 times (I read somewhere that you should do this on new 1911s, so I did).
I also prepped the mags a week before going to the range by loading 7 rounds and letting them sit for a week. I currently have two Checkmate mags that came with the pistol and three Wilson Combat ETM mags. The springs in the Checkmates were stiffer compared to the Wilsons and the Wilsons have a one piece follower which I like better, but that is just personal preference. Both performed flawlessly at the range.
I have never fired a .45 cal pistol before today but I was quite impressed. It is difficult to compare this .45 cal. steel pistol to my polymer 9s and 40s as far a caliber goes but there is a huge difference in the way the pistols feel. The 1911 is head and shoulders above my other pistols because of the trigger and felt recoil. I finally "get" why folks love the 1911. The trigger feels like it is much lighter and it definitely breaks crisply. I can only compare the break to the Geissele SSA-E on my AR. The recoil on the 1911 seems to push straight back rather than having any torque or flip in the muzzle. I can see where this could be a benefit with rapid fire or double taps but I did not try doing that during this range trip.
The VZ grips on the Valor felt really good. They were not too aggressive while still feeling like the pistol was locked in my hand. I did notice that the grips are moving around a little now so I will need to tighten them up. The front strap checkering felt good except on my right hand pinky which is now tender after 200 rounds. My trigger finger also has a small blister on the lower side caused by the little hole in the trigger. Ok, I'll stop whining about my hand. I work with computer software for a living so I'll just have to "man up" till I get callouses.
I had zero malfunctions during today's 200 round range break in trip. The brass ejected to the 4 o'clock position out to about 15-20 feet. I only used Winchester White Box 230gr FMJ ammo and the pistol seemed to like it. The target below shows a good representation of some of my best groups both supported and unsupported. Based on my supported groups, Dan Wesson got the sights setup perfectly from the factory.
I am very pleased with the quality and accuracy of this pistol; so much so that I am saving up for either a VBOB or Specialist.