Illustrations By DENNIS RIORDAN Text By LUDWIG OLSON
When viewed casually, the Dan Wesson Model W-12 cal. .357 Magnum revolver appears to be of conventional double-action, swing-out-cyl-inder design. It is unusual, however, in that its barrel can be quickly and easily interchanged with one of different length. The grip also can be readily interchanged with one of different shape and size.
1 Before attempting disassembly, unload cylinder (50), and lov/er hammer (27). Use Wesson combination tool (or %" double-hex box wrench) to unscrew and remove barrel nut (19). Slide off shroud (3), and unscrew barrel (20). Depress latch (22), and swing out crane (24) and cylinder. Pull cylinder-crane assembly forward from frame (18), and detach cylinder from crane. This is sufficient takedown for normal cleaning.
2 To disassemble cylinder parts, clamp knurled tip of ejector rod (48) between wooden blocks in vise or locking-jaw pliers. Insert two empty cartridge cases in opposite chambers, and use cases to unscrew cylinder from rod. This releases extractor (52), ejector rod bushing (49), and ejector spring (51).
Barrels of six-inch, four-inch, or 2Vi" lengths are available for the model W-12. To interchange them, the revolver is unloaded, and a combination tool furnished as an accessory is used to unscrew the barrel nut. After the barrel nut and shroud are removed, the barrel is unscrewed by hand. When installing a replacement barrel, a shim gauge provided with the revolver is used to obtain proper clearance between the barrel and cylinder.
One-piece walnut grips of target,
3 Hole in underside of grip (34) gives access to grip screw (33). Remove screw with combination tool (5/32" Allen wrench), and pull grip downward from frame spike. Unscrew and remove side-plate screws (42) (47) with combination tool (5/64" Allen wrench). Lift sideplate (46) carefully; hand (35) is under spring tension and is easily displaced.
4 Unhook hand spring (39) from groove in rear of hand, and remove hand and spring. Cock hammer. Then tighten long sideplate screw into mainspring guide (44), through hole at bottom of frame spike. Pull trigger (40), and lower hammer with thumb. Draw long arm of trigger return spring (43) outward from trigger, and allow it to arc downward until the tension is relieved. Trigger and firing pin connector (25), hammer, trigger spring, and bolt (38) can then be lifted from frame.
combat, or Michigan styles are available. The latter was designed by two Michigan State Police officers. Also available is an inletted walnut blank for those who want to shape their own grip. The combination tool is used to turn the grip screw.
The cylinder swings out to the left on a crane in the usual manner, but the latch is forward of the cylinder instead of to the rear. Pushing the ejector rod ejects all cartridges or fired cases simultaneously. The ejector rod is protected from injury by the barrel shroud—a highly desirable feature.
A firing pin connector, which is pivoted on the trigger, transmits the hammer blow to the firing pin. When the
5 Assemble in reverse. Stub arm of trigger spring must be positioned to rear of frame-mounted hammer pivot pin. Install hand spring with shorter arm bearing on forward surface of firing pin connector and longer arm hooked into hand groove. Maintain fingernail pressure against tip of hand to prevent its escape while replacing sideplate. Hold sideplate flat against frame and slide forward into place.
6 Clean barrel threads, rear barrel face, and forward face of cylinder before adjusting clearance. Place .006" shim gauge on cylinder face, and screw barrel inward until a very light drag is felt on shim, just enough to hold shim in position. Install shroud and barrel nut with shim in place, rechecking clearance after barrel nut has been tightened.
Cutaway indicates relative position of assembled parts. Cylinder is shown opened, hammer at full cock. Parts are number keyed to parts legend.
trigger moves forward, the connector is lowered out of line with the firing pin so that a blow on the hammer will not cause the gun to fire. This safety feature—not new—is simple and efficient.
All springs in the Model W-12 are of piano wire which is noted for durability. Metal parts are steel with most exposed surfaces highly polished and blued. Hammer, trigger, and top of frame and barrel shroud rib have a matte finish.
Well designed, the sights consist of a fully-adjustable square-notch rear and Baughman quick-draw front. Windage and elevation adjustment screws in the rear sight have slots wide enough to accept a dime.
This revolver has sufficient weight to give good handling qualities for target shooting. Its balance is excellent with any of the three different barrels fitted.
1. Front sight
2. Front sight pin
4. Elevation screw
5. Elevation click plunger
6. Elevation tension spring
7. Elevation tension plunger
8. Rear sight body
9. Hinge pin
10. Windage tension spring
11. Plunger spring (2)
12. Windage click plunger
13. Windage screw
14. Elevation nut
15. Firing pin retaining pin
16. Firing pin spring
17. Firing pin
19. Barrel nut
21. Latch retaining pin
23. Latch spring
25. Firing pin connector
28. Strut plunger
29. Strut spring
30. Cylinder aligning
31. Aligning ball spring
32. Aligning ball screw
33. Grip screw
36. Bolt spring
37. Bolt plunger
39. Hand spring
41. Trigger stop screw
42. Sideplate screw
43. Trigger return spring
44. Mainspring guide
47. Sideplate screw
48. Ejector rod
49. Ejector rod bushing
51. Ejector spring
Was this article helpful?
Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.