After my review of the Dan Wesson Bruin, an upsized 10mm longslide 1911, I was certainly interested in seeing what else Dan Wesson had in their lineup. What I got was the same level of quality, but the opposite end of the size spectrum. The Valkyrie is a slim 9mm built to carry discreetly wile still letting you eat up rounds with minimal recoil.
In 1950, Colt introduced the Commander, an M1911-style pistol with a reduced-length (4.25") barrel, an aluminum frame and 9 mm Luger chambering. Originally it was designed to fill a military request for a lighter, more compact pistol. Although a major contract never materialized, the gun—referred to after 1970 as the Lightweight Commander following the introduction of a steel-frame version dubbed the Combat Commander—became popular among civilians and as been with us in one form or another ever since. Many companies, including Colt, have put their spin on the design, offering Commander-size models in various chamberings. Earlier this year, resurrected firearm manufacturer Dan Wesson—now a subsidiary of CZ-USA—began offering its take on the gun: the Valkyrie Commander.
1911s being what they are, I think it is important to preface my review with my background as it relates to this category of pistols. To begin, I am not a 1911 aficionado. I have been a firearm enthusiast for the past 30 years, but have only dabbled with 1911s in the past. Over the years on more than one occasion I have had my interest sparked by one 1911 or another. Depending on the power of the spark, you might find me filling out a Form 4473 at my LGS and walking away with a shiny new 1911 of some sort.