.45 ACP Revolver


D Boone
September 9, 2008, 01:31 PM
I am really enjoying my GP100, and It has really turned me onto revolvers. I think my next purchase will be the SP-101, but after that (maybe before), I want a full size and compact .45 acp revolver. What models do I have to choose from, and what kind of retail prices can I expect to find? So far have not seen, or at least noticed one in the case of any of the gunshops I have visited in the last few months. I really like the looks of the model S&W625?

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 ACP Revolver" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 9, 2008, 01:56 PM
In double action:
-Colt m1917
-S&W m1917
-S&W Model 22 (fixed sights)
-S&W Model 25 (adjustable sights; I forget which -#s are the .45ACP and which are the .45 Colt) -- I've seen these go from $650 to $950
-S&W Model 625 -- usually somewhere around $750
-Taurus Model 455

Single Action:
-Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt/.45ACP Convertible

I think the only ones in production are the S&W 625, a version of the S&W m1917 (as a "classic" or something) and the Ruger Blackhawk Convertible...

September 9, 2008, 02:33 PM
I am sure the new 625's shoot as well as the old 25.2 series, I have a "1985 vintage" S&W 25.2 that I used shooting bowling pins back then. Of my multiple revolvers it remains BY FAR the most accurate from 0 to 60 yards.

BTW Many of old style S&W's are being re-released " S&W classic gun series". I may buy another as mine has been abused with several thousands of +P rounds, resulting in multiple trips to the gunsmith. It remains a wonderful firearm, 45 ACP is great cartridge, perfect "S&W" trigger, and even though mine "occasionally breaks", it remains one of my favorites. It is my only S&W, as I evolved into "a single action revolver shooter". I can shoot it better double action than any of my Ruger or Colt SA's!

September 9, 2008, 02:35 PM
Full size (non-adjustable sights): S&W Classics Model 22, Model of 1917

Full size (adjustable sights): S&W 625 Performance Center

Compact: Model 325 Nightguard

(see them at http://www.smith-wesson.com )

And the winner is:

September 9, 2008, 02:44 PM
Compact: Model 325 Nightguard

ah, thank you; I'd forgotten about the 325. I must've mentally blocked it out when I was looking at .45ACP revolvers because .45ACP fired out of a <2lbs gun didn't sound all that appealing at the time.

But then I've fired 158gr .357 Magnums out of a Ruger SP101 2.25" and lived to tell about it...

September 9, 2008, 02:59 PM
If you're going to go with 45 ACP in a revolver, may as well get a Smith 629 and go 44 mag. You're not going to get a "compact" revolver in 45 ACP.

Some smaller than others, but all are "large." Get a 44 mag.

September 9, 2008, 03:29 PM
I own the Nightguard's 4-in brother, the 325 PD (it's now been given a flashlight rail and morphed into the Thunder Ranch Special).

230 gr Hydrashoks are okay for me (opinions vary) but I'm using Pachmayr Decelerator grips. Don't think I'd want to go down the .45 Super road with this one, although I have with the 625.

Best thing about these revovlers is that if you take a standard 44 mag 2-speedloader holster, you can fit 4 fullmoon clips of .45 in it. So, go hiking with 6 snake shot rounds, 6 .45 Super FMJs (in case of anythng BIG), a defense load and a light fast load (Aguila used to make a 117 grain hollowpoint) in the holster, and carry some light plinking wadcutters in gun itself! Ready for anything, and the fastest revolver reloads going!

November 1, 2008, 06:51 PM
I have both JM 625 and 325pd, both shoot great, just got the 325, will use for IDPA as well

November 1, 2008, 08:16 PM
THe first .45 ACP revolvers by S&W were built for the
Doughboys in the trenches in WWI. It was called the M1917.
It is the Large frame - that has become known as the N-Frame.
In order to easily extract the .45 ACP rimless case a moon clip is
used that allows purchase by the extractor to get them out of the
cylinder. After WWI, S&W kept making the 5 1/2" Bbl. with fixed
sights revolver up until the start of WWII. A few were made
after the war, but it was replaced by the
1950 Army with fixed sights and a 4" Bbl. as well as the
1950 Target with a 6 1/2" Bbl.

In 1955 S&W introduced the 1955 Target which in
1957 when S&W placed a 2-digit number on all models,
became the Model 25. The 25 had a non-tapered bull
barrel of .790 inch diameter IT was made through the
early 1980s. THese are all carbon steel with blued finish.
THe 25 got the high polish blued.

THe all stainless steel 625 came out in the mid-80s.
with the adjustable rear sight same as the previous 1950
and 1955 Target models. Oh, and somebody in that time
period invented the FUll Moon clip which holds 6 rounds instead
of the older half moon clips whjich hold 3 rounds each.

In 1920, the Remington-Peters cartridge company came
out with the .45 AUto RIm. - it duplicates the case dimensions
of a .45 ACP but has a rim so moon clips aren't needed. .45
Auto RIm is available from smaller ammo makers.

Today, S&W offers

625 JM - named after Jerry M. who competes in
the revolver category of combat shooting. It has
a 4" Bbl. with shrouded extractor. And JM designed

625 PC with a 5 1/4" Bbl. with some forged hammer and

Classic LIne
Carbon Steel /blued Fixed sights
Model 22 - 4" Bbl. Fixed sights square butt
and the front of the frame is sculpted to look like
the 1950.
Model 22 'Model of 1917' 5 1/2" Bbl. much like the
other Model 22 but has a lanyard ring on the bottom of the
grip and resembles the WWI M1917.

325 - 2 1/2" Bbl. with Cyl & SLide extreme duty
fixed rear sight, night sigtht dot front, Stainless Steel
cylinder and Scandium frame with rubber
Pachmayr grips overall black finish.

You can also find used Lew Horton or other low production
Model 25s built with 3" Bbl. - ramp front and adj. rear sights.

I have a 625 5" Bbl. that went out of production as of
Jan 1 '08 - MSRP was $850 about 2 years ago, but
I got mine for $629



November 1, 2008, 08:57 PM
Still a great shooter.....http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p263/twagger/guns/Smith1917.jpg

November 1, 2008, 08:59 PM
Hi D. Boone,

Don't forget either, that there are lots of these wonderful S&W .45ACP revolvers that show up on the used market. The best thing about them is that they do not have the much-hated "Internal Lock" of those made in the past seven years or so.

Thus, my recommendations would be:

Long barrel ones . . .

1. Model 1955 (Model 25-2) - These were blued target revolvers. Most had 6" barrels and some came with 6 1/2" barrels. These can be real tack drivers when the shooter dials in the perfect load for it!

2. Model 625 (Model of 1989) - These are the typical stainless steel-looking ones. The longest barrel is the very popular 5" one. These are extremely accurate guns. If you love the full-lugged barrels you'll like this one. If you shoot in competitions, avoid the slightly earlier 625 models inscribed "Model of 1988."

Short barrel ones . . .

1. Model 625 (Model of 1989) - Less 3" and 4" versions of these were made than the 5" versions . . . at least until IDPA rules changes caused folks to have to give up their 5" ones for the 4" versions. The 3" version is a super-cool N frame "snubbie" that has amazing accuracy in skilled hands.

2. Model 25-2 snubbies - No, S&W did NOT make the beloved 25-2 in shorter barrel versions. THEIR MISTAKE!

LOTS of fine gunsmiths back in the '60's-mid '80s took care of this demand by converting the target revolvers into what savvy shooters understood was S&W's ultimate combat revolver . . . a short barreled .45ACP revolver using moonclips!

The most known ones were converted by Jovino's Gun Shop in NYC. They shortened the barrels to 3" and converted the square grip into a round one that was the same grip size as a K-frame round butt! Jovinos are prized today.

Mine, pictured below, was converted in Savannah by a now deceased master wheelgun smith. It sports the slickest double and single action pull one will ever experience, and a 3 1/4" barrel length which, IMHO is so close to that classic 3 1/2" barrel of the famous Model 27. This is my favorite handgun of any type.

BTW, I shot lots of pin matches with my 625 w/5" barrel. GREAT GUN! I've since traded it off for some other momentary gun lust, but will someday replace it with another pre-lock 625.

I'd rather have the one below than any 3" 625. BTW, S&W made a "classic" version of this last year with a 3" barrel. Look around and you can find 'em:

Hope this helps,


Cocked & Locked
November 1, 2008, 09:14 PM
45 ACP's

here's my two

S&W 1917 that has been aftermarket nickel plated


Colt 1917 that was customized by hardchroming and bright nickel, barrel cut to 2.5", S&W rear sight added, front sight fabricated in S&W style.



November 1, 2008, 11:08 PM
S&W did make a few M25s with 3 inch barrels for Lew Horton. They were the first of the Combat Revolver series. Very very few are seen today.

November 2, 2008, 06:54 AM
Lew HOrton Model 25s, were a "Distributor" run in Blue
and Nickel finish, 3" Bbl. Ramp front, adj. rear. and square
butt frame. 300 in a special letter prefix for ID purposes.
The Jovinas, were earlier and similiar with the addition in
some of a ball detent on the crane/frame. I've seen the
a few Lew Hortons show up on gunbroker, but Jovinas? No.

My 625 is my favorite wheelgun,enough recoil to know you're
putting a big bullet downrange but not tiring, I can shoot
over 100 rounds and keep on going. Friends with Magnum N-frames
tend to stop after half as many rounds. Just my experience.

I've had the S&W Perf. Center do the Master Revolver Action
Job and for $125 it's worth it. Smooth DA, crisp less than 3 ;b
SA break.


November 2, 2008, 07:29 AM
Don't fear the moonclips - they are a fast reloading and easy way to carry more ammo. As to the Infernal Lock of new S&Ws, that's a personal decision. I have enough paranoia in my life, I couldn't care less... witness over half of my S&Ws, including my EDC CCW, a 642-2, having the blemish. My 625JM was purchased as soon as they were anounced - four years back next Feb. I've tried to wear it out - but it persists - great value. I swapped, in seconds and without tools, the OEM gold bead Patridge sight for a HiViz - and changed some springs - and installed a full-length strain screw. It's diet, of necessity, is Federally primed. It sits in a sea of 105 moonclips (Ranch Products: $30/100 delivered.) loaded with slightly soft (~780 fps) 230gr ball ammo.



November 2, 2008, 10:19 AM
Here is a couple more 45acp revolver options out there.


Lester Gillis
July 11, 2009, 04:38 PM
Cocked & Locked, that Colt 17 is one of the most beautiful firearms I've ever seen. Who did the work? The Grips (ebony?)
Well done, sir

July 11, 2009, 05:12 PM
I have an M1917 and couldn't be happier. It's like it's my Model 10's big brother and it's a fantastic shooter. They usually cost less than the new re-issues, too. At least mine did.

Here's mine with the original grips. I should confess that I did swap 'em out for a new Pachmayr rubber one. Don't worry, the lanyard ring and the old grips are safe and sound.


July 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
Was out shooting both of these today, as a matter of fact. 625JM and 325 Night Guard. I put a set of JM grips on the Night Guard and am really enjoying them.




July 11, 2009, 07:35 PM
You can also find a DA 45lc revolver and have a moon clip conversion cut into the cylinder and shoot acp out of it. Pinnical does these conversions. I am thinking about doing it to my Smith 625 45lc mountain gun.

July 11, 2009, 08:06 PM
I found this at Bass Pro Shops for $649 marked down from $1049.


Smith & Wesson Model 22-4 (1917) Color Case Hardened.

I love it. It shoots six inches high but I can adjust. I just ordered 100 moonclips from Ranch Products. (Thanks Stainz.)

I am currently looking for a 625JM or maybe an older 25.

July 11, 2009, 08:54 PM
I have one of the first 625's that came out with the internal lock. It is the only Smith with a lock that I own (or probally will EVER own).


It is a darn fine shooting revolver. One of my favorites at the range.

July 12, 2009, 09:37 AM
625-10 2", 325PD 2 3/4", 625-6 3", 625-3 4", 625-2 5".
And, I just got this Jovino-style 25-2 chopped to 2 3/4".
I continue to believe that 45acp is wasted in semi's, but in many ways the best revolver cartridge there is.

July 12, 2009, 01:57 PM
Model 25-2 six inch barrel.

July 12, 2009, 02:27 PM
My 625. It recently had a trigger job and some other "tweaks " by Cylinder & Slide.


July 14, 2009, 11:20 PM

Thoes grips really tie the whole gun together, good lookin.

July 15, 2009, 04:16 PM
I love my 325PD. It's a little "snappy" with fast loads because of the lightweight but it is a joy to carry and a lot of fun to shoot.


July 15, 2009, 04:39 PM
Love my 625 JM looking to maybe port the barrel and get a trigger job done soon.

July 15, 2009, 04:49 PM
I have a 625-3 and love it. Given my others handguns are 45ACP semi, I only buy 1 type and shoot both the revolvers and the semi. i also have a GP-100 and enjoy shooting them both about the same.

Cocked & Locked
July 18, 2009, 09:33 AM
Cocked & Locked, that Colt 17 is one of the most beautiful firearms I've ever seen. Who did the work? The Grips (ebony?)
Well done, sir

Thanks for your comment Lester. This 1917 Colt appears in two of Dean Grennell's books for the 1970's. It belonged to Dean's brother Ralph. The work was done by Joh B Williams Gunsmithing in Fullerton CA...which I think is now long gone. The grips are Jay Scott but I don't know what type of wood (laminate?)

I got the gun a few years ago in a trade for a S&W. Its a keeper!






July 18, 2009, 10:21 AM
I have a paid of 625's a 5" and a 3"......they are both just wonderfull guns, the 3" is by far my favorite


July 18, 2009, 11:22 AM
-S&W Model 25 (adjustable sights; I forget which -#s are the .45ACP and which are the .45 Colt) -- I've seen these go from $650 to $950
25-2: .45acp
25-5: .45 Colt

I've got a 25-2. It's unbelievably smooth and superbly accurate, although it gets light hits if I don't use Federal primers. I'd bet somebody shortened the strain screw. When I get a bit of extra money, I'll replace the screw.

I wouldn't mess with anything Smith makes now. I don't trust their lock, and anything over .22lr has at least a secondary self-defense application for me.

I believe that Ruger has made Redhawks in .45 Colt. That would be a good gun to have.

July 19, 2009, 09:50 PM
One on Gunbroker that may be worth investigating:

jim m.
July 22, 2009, 07:57 PM
A favorite to this day.http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x53/maxmadco/IMG_2368.jpg

July 22, 2009, 08:13 PM
I was checking on gunsamerica for a discontinued 625 with a 5" barrel. Everyone here who posted pixs of their revolvers, let me say they are all unique as the owner...:cool: Nice wheelguns people. I now have ideas for my next revolver purchase.

July 22, 2009, 09:30 PM
Picke up my new Blackhawk Convertible last night. It shoots great but I haven't shot 45 Colts through it.



Gary in Pennsylvania
September 12, 2009, 09:34 PM
Hey Cocked & Locked.......who did the holster work???




Cocked & Locked
September 12, 2009, 11:01 PM
Hey Cocked & Locked.......who did the holster work???

http://www.saguarogunleather.com/ Tom Dyer of Saguaro Gunleather in Kingman AZ. made the holster.

If you click on the link and go to the gallery, holsters #15 and #16 are two of the three he made for me. The one in this thread has a 2.5" S&W n-frame in it on his web-site. The other one pictured is for a 4" S&W N-frame. I also have a black one he made (similar to the in this thread) for a 2.5" S&W K-frame.

September 12, 2009, 11:35 PM
I dont like autos even tho I own more of them than revolvers. I have said this before and will say it again. They are messy. I dont think it has been proven our Police are safer with them than revolvers or better armed. Go to a range and be showered with brass from all directions. Point and shoot. Instead its all Spray and Pray. Its even spilt over into some of the revolvers with 7 & 8 shot 357 mags. Just like cars have 4 wheels. Hands 5 fingers. Revolvers 6 shots

Gary A
September 13, 2009, 09:56 AM
I am extremely fond of the Ruger Blackhawk convertible in .45. Probably my favorite handgun and I have a couple of them, 4 5/8 and 5 1/2. One thing I like about them is that for shooting .45 acp, the aluminum frame makes the weight and balance just about perfect for me. For .45 acp, the extra weight provided by a steel grip frame is neither needed, nor wanted in my case.

September 13, 2009, 03:22 PM
i have two 625s a 625-2 5 inch model of 1988 and a 625-4 arms for the nation

September 13, 2009, 03:26 PM
625-4 arms for the nation one of 500 made


Brian Williams
September 13, 2009, 04:43 PM
You're not going to get a "compact" revolver in 45 ACP.
Yes you can...
If you can find one of the Taurus' 445, it is built on frame about the size of a S&W K frame. It is a 5 shooter and I had one in 45 Colt and it was a very good gun.

September 13, 2009, 06:19 PM
Taurus 445 i have seen one in 45acp on gunbroker a few weeks ago kind of looked like a taurus 85 but with a bigger frame

September 14, 2009, 08:18 PM
My S&W 625-3 is my favorite revolver of the many that I own. I would love to have one of those M22's or a 1917...............one of those will be mine soon.

September 15, 2009, 03:52 AM
just got a 625 45ACP Mountain gun


September 15, 2009, 05:21 AM
A 1917 Colt New Service in .45 ACP that had a cut-down Barrel when I got it...did the tidy-up on that, and, did the other light modifications in the late 1980s.

Very nice Shooter...makes a healthy Fireball, too.

Lost the Ejector Rod Knob, so have to make or find one...re-blue, or Nickle, 'pending'.

Rides nice in a Shoulder Holster, or, if wearing old style Trousers with strong ample Pockets, rides fine there, in the front right Trouser Pocket.

http://hotimg23.fotki.com/a/138_210/41_144/Porkchop.jpg (http://hotimg23.fotki.com/p/a/138_210/41_144/Porkchop.jpg)

September 18, 2009, 12:50 PM
Yep, I have two Colt 1917s, one of them a Brit issue return after WW1, was .455 Webley, and somebody reamed it for .45 Colt. My S&W M1917 is one of the Brazilian contract, and I have my pre-Hillary Hole M625 Model of 1989.

They're sweet. I like .45 in revolvers so much I bought a Ruger Convertible some years ago, and have .45ACP and .45Colt barrels for my contender. Come to think of it, I have a Model 17 Enfield bolt action rebarreled to .45ACP.:what:

They're all fun....

September 18, 2009, 03:21 PM

Just picked up my first .45 ACP S&W. Thunder Ranch special. Came with a beautiful set of Spegel Grips as well as the original and a Tyler T-Grip. Can't wait to get out and shoot it...

Maj Dad
September 18, 2009, 09:11 PM
If you handload try some 200 gr slugs at higher velocities (or get some of the $$$ factory loads if you can find them). I have "adjusted" some of my fixed sight pistols, revolver and autos, buy using heavier or lighter bullets. The lighter, faster bullets exits the barrel sooner than the slower, heavy boys and hence lower in the recoil arc of the pistol. I have a S&W 908 that shoots 124 gr Federal HydraShock dead on at 15 yds and I keep those in it anytime it's on line. Give it a try - might do the trick,
Maj Dad

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 ACP Revolver" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!