625 JM


May 29, 2006, 11:52 AM
I'm thinking about buying a S & W 625 JM. Who has one, and what is your opinion of it as to function and accuracy?

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Tom C.
May 29, 2006, 02:19 PM
I got one of the 625-8JM in Dec. As soon as I got it home, I checked the cylinder throats. They were a tight .452”. My 25-2 dates from the early ‘70s, with throats measured at .456”, and it still shoots well. The 625 is even better. It doesn’t have as good a double action trigger at the old one, but it is breaking in nicely. I also like the removable front sight. I replaced the blade with a .300” ramp from Brownell’s.

May 29, 2006, 03:38 PM
Tom C.,

Thanks for your response. This will be my first .45 ACP revolver.

I've been shooting and buying guns for 40 years and never really paid much attention to the "technicalities", so it's time to show my ignorance. :o

The throat - that's the part of the the chamber that is just forward of the case mouth, right? You said your JM was a tight .452. I guess that is good?

Also, will most any moon clip work with the JM, or is there a certain type that I should buy to supplement those that come with the gun?

Is the stock "real" wood, or is it that slippery laminated stuff?

May 30, 2006, 05:37 AM
I got my 625JM 2/05. It is the best bargain from S&W in a while. I like the gold beaded Patridge front sight, but I like the thought of changing it quickly (... and back), so that spring loaded front sight is a boon. My grips look like pao ferro - certainly much nicer than the usual walnut. The 'grip' of the stock, while not as comfortable as some of my square conversion stocks like the S&W #21991 or Ahrends, are a fast 'grab' - resulting in no time fidgeting to get the fingers in the finger grooves, etc. They really are best for competition - something I am not adept at doing, for sure. I always wanted to try some of JM's stocks - this is a reasonable way to do so - buy the gun!

My first .45 ACP revolver was a Ruger .45 convertible Blackhawk - which also introduced me to the .45 Colt cartridge. As it unloaded with a SA ejector rod, it didn't need the moonclips. I bought a new 4" 625 in .45 ACP 9/02 - stupidly sold it 6/04 - missed it immediately - replaced it with that JM within seven or so months. Once you have had one, doing without one is not easy. They are a fun - and frugal, both in ammo cost and damage to your hand/wrist, etc - and a really big bore. Thankfully, you can buy ammo nearly anywhere - even Wally World.

I like the five packs of blued steel full moonclips from Brownell's - probably Power Customs. They also have their own (Brownell's) nutdriver styled demooner - a great bargain and requirement. Neither I or my friends have had much success with those scissors-style demooners. You can also buy loaded .45 Auto Rim ammo from Georgia Arms, etc, if you want to try some ammo that doesn't require the moonclips.

The 625JM isn't for everyone. A friend bought a new one last Thursday... and decided to sell/trade it by Saturday. No, that isn't a record for him... he has sold a new gun within hours in the past. Oddly, he had tried mine several times in the last year - and decided he didn't need one due to it's recoil. Oddly, he has been an effective IPSC competitor with hopped up 9mm & .40 S&W 'race' guns. He wanted to 'try' revolver competition in IPSC... gess not so much, however. His much-injured left hand just hurt too much, he said. I think that being a leftie, he just had too much trouble with fast reloads. The little recoil seems about the same as a 1911 - just more sudden, as the mechanism doesn't absorb any of the recoil like a bottom-feeder would. He traded it for a new XD-45... like the one he sold last week! I can't do that... I like S&W's!

The cylinder exits on some 25's were a bit big... not repairable without a new cylinder. Ruger has made a bunch of .45's with small, and variable, exits - I have a set of reamers for them. My '96 & '01 vintage 625 Mountain Guns, in .45 Colt, are both .452" - as have been my .45 ACP 625's - that isn't a concern anymore. The barrels are fine - I can hit 12"-16" steel plates at 100yd reliably from a two-hand hold with my reloads (230gr FMJ Berry's bullet over 4.5-4.8gr Titegroup for 785-805 fps.) or MagTech ammo quite regularly.

The 625JM is a bargain - despite that high cost. It's MSRP is only $28 over the standard 4" or 5" variants. It comes with full moon moonclips - and an eased ejector star, which makes those round nosed bullets fall into the chambers - a fast reload, for sure. The hard-chromed hammer is nice, but I don't know anyone who appreciates the similarly-treated grooved trigger - the hard chrome made the edges sharper - and a definite blood drawer. I eased mine - thanks to my Foredom. The short-lived one my friend 'had' got the grooves sanded & polished away completely... he spent more time with a Dremel on it than he did shooting it! I hope this helps...


May 30, 2006, 08:56 AM
Hey Stainz,

Thanks for that fine appraisal of the 625 JM - answered all the questions I had, plus some I hadn't thought of. I don't shoot competitively - just for fun. I want something different to shoot, but really don't want a .44 Mag or .45 long colt because of ammo cost.

I am concerned about that grooved trigger, too, but I guess I can smooth it off like your friend did if it chews up my trigger finger too much.

Yeah, if you dont mind those JM logos on the side plate and stock, $28 more (actually about $20, street price) more is a bargain, for the additional features of the JM over the standard model 625 - a no-brainer for me.

I shoot 1911s, and reload for those guns, so shooting will be relatively cheap for me. Midway sells full moon clips by C & S and Wilson for less than $1 each, so I'll get a few packages of those. Looked at that Brownell's screwdriver de-mooner - neat, but kinda expensive at $25. Probably buy one anyway, though.

Time to find one to buy. :D

Tom C.
May 30, 2006, 08:59 AM
The reason I mentioned the throats is because of my, and many others experiences with both Smiths and Rugers. In the past, many .45, both Colt and ACP, were oversized. Many of those guns had accuracy issues. Ruger then tightened their specs, most feel, overtightened, the specs. Many guns were coming out with .449-450" throats. That can cause accuracy problems, too. When they are undersize, they are at least easily curable with a reamer. Many feel .4525" is good for lead bullets in .45 Colt. I have several .45 Colt NMBHs with .45 ACP cylinders. The first one was a little big at .455". It shoots fine, so I haven't done anything with it. The next couple were a little tight, but it was before I got my pin gage set, so I don't have good measurements on them. I tried the reamer on them and opened them to .4525". They also shoot fine. The last one came through with .451" throats, but shoots so well with such a variety of loads, I haven't touched it.
My old 25-2 is .456". Don't know why S&W made them so large, but it shoots well any way. I have considered trying to get the cylinder replaced, but it shoots well enough I haven't bothered. The 625-8JM measured .452". It shoots .451" jacketed bullets, and .452" lead bullets very well.

May 30, 2006, 09:56 AM
Tom C.

Thanks for the info on throats - I'm smarter today than I was yesterday. :)

"The 625-8JM measured .452". It shoots .451" jacketed bullets, and .452" lead bullets very well."

That being the case, I guess I won't be able to blame my bad groups on an "out-of-spec throat". :rolleyes:

May 30, 2006, 10:34 AM
I compete with my 625JM every week and really love it! I also love the grooved trigger. It's not for everyone, but I find that I obtain and retain an exact placement of my finger on the trigger with it. I swapped the gold bead for an SDM fiber optic front sight, and find it to be a real improvement for my 42 year old eyes. I also prefer Eagle Classic grips to the Miculek ones. They just feel better.

For a demooner, I use a piece of 1/2" copper pipe. I cut it to a length that will hold 6 loaded rounds, and left a little tab on one end to use to lever out the brass. It works perfectly, and didn't cost a nickel. For moon clips, the best (IMO) come from Ranch Products. If you call them, they will ship you 100 for about $28.00. That is 1/4 the price from just about anyplace else.

Good luck.

May 30, 2006, 11:36 AM

Thanks for the do-it-yourself tip on making my own de-mooner - I'm bound to have some 1/2" copper pipe in my box of stuff labeled Don't Throw Away - May Need Sometime. ;) I'll also look up Ranch Products on the internet.

You guys are sure making it hard for me to talk myself out of buying this gun. :D

Tom C.
May 30, 2006, 11:43 AM
I confess to having one of the demooners from Brownell's, the one that is .5" tubing with a screw driver type handle. It works fine, but I find it a pain to use clips on the range. I prefer to use .45 AR brass instead. The guns work without the clips, but headspace, particularly with reloaded .45 ACP is quite variable. While moon clips handle the headspace issue, I find I prefer .45 AR. I like it enough I had the .45 ACP cylinders for my .45 Colt NMBHS modified to take .45 AR brass as well. I just change the shell plate on my Dillon 550B to change between .45 ACP and .45 AR.

May 30, 2006, 11:55 AM
Brownell's pg 124, 125, & 6 have some 625JM/.45 ACP goodies. The moonclips I use are 5/$4.95 (965-065-005) on the first page, the nutdrver-style tool is $13.50 (352-197-000) on the next page, and, if you want to use .45 Auto Rims, the HKS #25M Speedloaders are $9.95 (392-100-025). Go to pg 154 and, since you reload - and can use Federal primers, order a Wolff reduced power hammer spring for $16.72 (080-665-210). I don't suggest a trigger return spring change for this revolver... it just feels mushy, even with the highest replacement strength spring, IMHO. Page 302 has the SDM fiber optic front sight replacement in red/green for $35 (864-000-003/004). Of course, proper cylinder and bore bronze brushes are a great boon, too... you probably have a selection of that. They offer better prices for a business or C&R ffl holder. Midway carries the same goodies, too.

One other note... mixed range-sweepings brass will work in a 1911/clone. Your new revolver treats your brass with more respect, ie, it doesn't 'throw it on the ground' - or ding it. Believe me, I hate to waste money, but buy your new revolver some new revolver-only brass... I like Starline. I have tried some beautiful one-use Fiocchi - and it's primer pockets must be a bit deeper, as they mostly had slight dings, indicating my fp was just seating them deeper. The new, and good, brass is important... a lesson learned the hard way... and Federal primers - now, no more ftf's!

Break-in your new 625JM with the OEM springs, but only after taking the sideplate off to clean/lube (They often. Repeat after break-in dry-firing 1,000-1,200+ times, installing that new reduced power hammer spring then, and leave it lightly lubed with a drop of a good gun oil on the axles, slide, etc. You'll love that revolver... and wonder what you should do with your lonely 1911's one day.

Oh yeah, my Dillon 550B only needed a new shellplate to load the .45 Auto Rims. I like 230gr FMJ (Berry's) over 4.5-4.8gr Titegroup for a comfortable 760-800 fps in either style case. I load 255gr LSWC (.45 Colt lead) over the same range of powder for 810-850 fps, pretty decent .45 Colt-ish loads - for hunting, etc. Some folks go up to 900-950 fps in a 625 with .45 AR, too... not me! You will have fun!


PS To 'try' .45 AR, Georgia Arms loads a 200gr JHP and 230gr LRN in new Starline brass reasonably.

May 30, 2006, 11:57 AM
The comment first...
I use metal clips but at the range I much prefer these:

The revolver:

The tools when I do use metal moonclips:

May 30, 2006, 12:02 PM
How did I miss this thread?

I have one and it is wonderful. I became interested in it after the acquisition of a 629-4, as I found that I greatly enjoyed the .44 Special cartridge.

Unfortunately, .44 Special, while a tremendous pleasure to shoot, is somewhat difficult to find a launching platform for at what I was willing to pay for it. I was about to pony up for the Thunder Ranch special when I had a brilliant realization that .45 ACP out of a revolver was just as much fun and a lot cheaper even with the moonclips factored in.

It's fantastic. If you do your part and had the ability to make your own loads, there is no doubt in my mind you'd put one hole in a target at 15 yards firing a cylinder. The moonclips, while not really a practical thing imho for street carry, are also a lot of fun and I like to just practice sliding loaded clips in and out. It's like if I were to customize a regular 625, this is exactly what I'd do to it, so from that end it reperesents a good value. Plus there is nothing like shooting a big, soft recoiling slug out of an N frame.

I got a Bladetech holster and moonclip holder for it. I'd really like to find an avenue where I could regularly play games with it just because that would really be fun with this gun.

Downsides, I don't like the spiderhole, but I bring myself to ignore it anyway, and while it's a quality firearm, it's ultimately a BBQ gun. Not that that's entirely a bad thing, you understand. It balances me. My other .45s are fugly black plastic waterpistols.

May 30, 2006, 09:19 PM
I really like the 625 JM, with the wood grips. It looks like a really nice firearm. I recently checked prices for it and most dealers in the area where selling it for $850+. The price is insane since in the S&W catalog it is listed as about $30 more than the regular 4" model. Most online prices are no better.

May 31, 2006, 03:52 AM
I have one on the way, hopefully it will be here by Saturday. Jim.

May 31, 2006, 06:37 AM
If a pusher has the 625JM for a lot more than a regular 4" or 5", try another dealer! Try a small one - they may order it for you for a lot less. My pusher ordered mine the Saturday AM in early February, 2005 when I first saw it on the S&W site - said it'd be $589 - just $10 over his in-stock 4" & 5" versions. I said "Yes, please!", not knowing my wife was standing behind me. "You ordered a $600 gun like it was a 'Happy Meal'!", she quipped. "Yes!", I replied, "Will you be wanting fries with that?". Yeah, it cost me a decent lunch that day. It arrived that Tuesday... and I was light-headed all of the way home. My two recent 'Best Buys' back then from MA were that and the 5" half lug Dealer Exclusive 686P I'd bought a few months earlier.

My pusher ordered another one - and had it at $619 last week when my friend bought it. He may have gotten $10 off that. Any dealer who sells these things for a premium would probably lose my business. It, SKU #160936, was MSRP $887 in their '06 catalog. Avoid Gunbroker... those folks are really proud of their goodies.


May 31, 2006, 10:55 AM
Posted by cbsbyte:
"most dealers in the area where selling it for $850+..... Most online prices are no better."

I haven't seen any internet prices that high, :what: but I guess I could find them if I really looked. I've found a couple of I-dealers selling them for $625 shipped. When I buy one, it'll be from one of those guys. :)

May 31, 2006, 11:36 AM
The one I am waiting for is $620, I saw a used for $590 and really liked it (not for that price tho). I called my local S&W dealer and asked what he could get me one for and $620 is a winner. Now if I can just wait without going crazy. Jim.

May 31, 2006, 01:02 PM
I bought mine, NIB, last month. At the first shooting session, I found three problem areas:

1. The gold dot is not a good sight for my eyes. I painted the rear a bright yellow and it does a lot better.

2. The grips were not comfortable. I replaced them with a set of Badgers.

3. The serrated trigger was uncomfortable, but I've never liked them. I had a smith smooth it and will pick it up today.

It's accurate and so far has given me no problems, other than the three I mentioned. I realize that the three things I mentioned are personal choice.


PS: I wish it didn't have the lock.

May 31, 2006, 02:36 PM
"PS: I wish it didn't have the lock."

Yes, don't we all? :(

Tom C.
June 1, 2006, 10:05 AM
One of the nice features of the 625JM is the interchangable front sight. Brownell's has a bunch of ramps, posts, illuminated; whatever you prefer. I put in a nice black ramp, went with a height of .300" instead of .250" to allow for use of heavy bullets. The ramp increases the sight radius by around .5".

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