Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 in 10mm Norma – Another Gun Review

by David Tong
David takes the Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 in 10mm Norma out for a day of shooting, here is his report.

Dan Wesson Razorback 10mm Norma
Dan Wesson Razorback 10mm Norma with custom sights.

Ammoland Shooting SportsU.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Dan Wesson in the olden days of the 1970s created an innovative .357 Magnum (later to include a larger framed .44) revolver featuring interchangeable barrel lengths. While their stock triggers were nothing to write home about, either double or single action, their accuracy was stupendously good. These used to be packaged in a plastic “attache” type case with all the requisite barrels, light or heavy barrel shrouds, retaining castellated nuts, along with the wrench and the feeler gauge to establish a consistent barrel-to-cylinder gap.

Fast forward some thirty years. The founder, himself a descendant of the Wesson side of Smith & Wesson has passed away, but the brand had recognition. It has become very well known as a maker of higher-end 1911 pistols.

Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911

Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Slide Fit and Rear Sight
Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Slide Fit and Rear Sight

Recently I had an opportunity to send rounds downrange with one of their offerings, the all stainless Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 pistol with fully adjustable rear sight, and a fully-supported chamber match-grade barrel.

Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 in 10mm Norma
Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 in 10mm Norma

Some of us recall the original 10mm 1911, the Colt Delta Elite from the mid-1980s. It was just a production grade pistol with somewhat indifferent fitting, trigger pull, and only adequate accuracy. This Dan Wesson is not one of those.

Upon first examination, I noticed that the slide had a very smooth, tight but free-running fit. Only the slightest bit of side-to-side play was felt when pushing against the front end of the slide when the pistol was in battery. Otherwise, the vertical fit of the barrel, the fit of the bushing to both the slide and the barrel were all exemplary.

The long stainless steel polished trigger is a bit much for rapid fire, but not for a pistol designed for precision shots against the namesake wild hogs that are its namesake.

Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Hammer
Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Hammer. You can see the adjustable rear sight that was part of a custom upgrade to the stock Razorback.

I also liked that the RazorBack RZ-10 1911 lacked the usual “full length guide rod” for the recoil spring too. I’ve always found that these simply complicate stripping and reassembly, and my former employer, gunsmith Jim Hoag, once opined it was only good for “about 3%” greater spring efficiency for your trouble.

The trigger pull was well under four pounds, and of course was utterly crisp. It had a fair bit of initial slack but no over-travel.

The so-called “fully-supported” barrel chamber was first popularized by the Canadian firm “Para-Ordnance,” which became Para USA several years ago. What they did was eliminate the frame’s feed ramp and the separate barrel feed ramp, in favor of one straight ramp occupying the space of the frame ramp via a vertical cut.

This altered geometry essentially eliminates the “up and over” double motion of the bullet nose of a standard 1911, and greatly resembles the current modern semi-auto pistol designs. This not only enhances feed reliability so I’m told, but it also reduces the amount of beveling of the transition between the very top of the feed ramp with the horizontal surface of the chamber itself, a process also known as “throating.”

From an interior perspective, this appears to be the only deviation in the Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 from the original 1911 template, as the standard slide-stop profile, internal extractor, and controls are undoubtedly interchangeable with any well-manufactured 1911.

Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Ejection Port
Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 Ejection Port

The exterior of the Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 pistol is the nicely-polished flats with rounded surfaces aluminum oxide or glass bead blast that is the norm for 1911s since the 1950s Colts but taken to a higher level. No untoward mill cuts or errant scratches are visible, the slide is obviously fitted well to an equally smoothly finished receiver, all the rails are smoothly polished for a free running fit.

This is not quite as glassy smooth as a Wilson Combat, but then again it isn’t nearly as expensive, either (MSRP $1,500). Regardless, the evident precision of the action smoothness is nice to behold.

The adjustable rear sight (a custom upgrade option to the standard Razorback) of the pistol appears to be the anti-snag design popularized by Wayne Novak, generally, this is a fixed sight adjustable only by drifting with a nylon or brass drift for windage. However, this unbranded sight is fully click/screw adjustable with a sunken black sighting surface to cut reflections.

My friend’s example of the Razorback has had somewhere around a thousand rounds sent downrange when it was offered to me for shooting impressions. I shot it at varying ranges up to about fifty yards, and it shot as well as one would expect a good 10mm should. I would venture that it would be capable of placing five shot groups within 1.5” at 25 yards all day, as the 10mm Norma round is known for this level of accuracy in a good pistol. The Dan Wesson Razorback RZ-10 was is indeed a good pistol, and absolutely worth your personal inspection should you be in the market for a competent hunting sidearm for short-range deer or hog hunting.

  • 4 thoughts on “Dan Wesson RazorBack RZ-10 1911 in 10mm Norma – Another Gun Review

      1. The 10mm Magnum round was designed to fit only one firearm. To my knowledge the are no manufacturers making the magnum cartridges.

    1. They should also chamber a barrel in 9×25 Dillon. Include the barrel and appropriate springs for the round.
      All that is required is rechamber a .38 super barrel in a 1911. With this gun a different original barrel with this ramp design.
      The magazine is the right size already. They could make a package with barrel and spring assemblies in 9×25 Dillon, .40 cal and the 10mm.
      They could even include a modified magazine, and have 9mm and .38 super. Five totally different rounds in one frame and slide and two magazines.

    2. I would have bought one of these at the big Tulsa gunshow about 9 years ago if the seller had been at his table. I think it was about $800 new then. He was gone long enough for my girlfriend to hurry me along. One of those regrets. The gun, not the ex girlfriend. LOL

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