The Dan Wesson Guardian 1911 had a considerable advantage going into this review: the CCO configuration (Commander-length slide, lightweight Officer-size frame) is my favorite for 1911-based, concealed-carry pistols. The grip, not the barrel, is the most difficult part of a semi-automatic to conceal. A 4.25-inch barrel seems the ideal compromise between concealability, balance, quick handling, enhanced sight radius and good velocity. Also, it allows the preservation of John Browning’s original system and internal geometry. All that was required of Dan Wesson was to execute the concept well.
Although I have been vaguely aware of the Dan Wesson name for a number of years, I have always thought of the company in connection with revolvers, and perhaps especially their “switch barrel” revolver kits such as the set owned by a friend and occasional shooting partner in another state. Dan Wesson has also been offering 1911 pistols for some years, and the company was purchased by CZ-USA a few years ago. And I have noticed a moderate amount of “buzz” … not quite a cult-like following, but perhaps close … about a Dan Wesson model known to D-W aficionados as the “CBOB,” which is (or was, as I believe the model popularly known as the “CBOB” has been discontinued) a Commander-sized 1911 pistol with the lower aft corner of the grip frame and mainspring housing chopped off, or “bobbed.” Thus, the Commander Classic Bobtail became the “CBOB.”
There is nothing as ubiquitous as the Model 1911. Love them or hate them, you have to admit this weapon has obtained mythological qualities over the past 100+ years. The 1911’s uniquely simple engineering has proven itself over and over again to generations of users.