Saw a S&W Model 625 JM today and I think ....


December 9, 2008, 01:42 PM
I've fallen in love. Anybody have any thoughts about this gun? It's set up for .45 ACP.

I've been looking to get a big revolver (but not monster big) and this gun just feels nice/right.

Somebody quick talk me out of it before I spend more $$. :)

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December 10, 2008, 01:07 AM
Go for it! I've heard nothing but good things about the Smith 25's either the old 1955 target model or the newer 625 stainless. Maybe the JM model with its modifications will help you shoot like Jerry?? Check out this
The .45 is supposed to be a very accurate round and the moonclips give fast reload ability!!

December 10, 2008, 04:04 AM
If you need some rapid fire protection, you can always get 100 moonclips -from Ranch Products - ~$30 delivered. Below you'll see my 625JM, bought new when they first came out 2/05, in a sea of loaded moonclips (I'm ready for Zombies...). The spring loaded front sight makes sight replacement, HiViz shown, fast, tool-less, and easy. If you reload, .45 Auto Rims (Thick rimmed .45 ACP-style bullets that don't need moonclips.) can be loaded with anything - including .45 Colt-ish 255gr LSWC loads you could hunt with, if 4" barrels are permitted. Mine is one of my favorites - a big bore that is tame and frugal! That Miculeh grip grows on you, too.


December 10, 2008, 08:03 AM
I stumbled across some "625 vs 625 stuff on Cunningham's blog. Mostly applicable if you're going to have some work done on it but interesting regardless.

December 10, 2008, 09:14 AM

Great gun and great photo. Thanks.

December 10, 2008, 09:32 AM
I love shooting .45 acp from revolvers and have four guns to do it with, so far. I've got a S&W M25-2 6 1/2" barrel, two S&W M1917 5". and a Webley MK VI concerted from .455.

You're right about .45 acp accuracy - just look to the results of any National Match using accurized 1911's. The caliber is capable of 1" grouping at 50 yards, although the gun, the load, and the shooter might not be so cabable.

I have almost bought the Miculek model several times and think I would if it had no lock but hold out for a 3" blued gun, maybe a custom that comes along. If I see such a thing I'm ready to buy on a moment's notice because I'm thinking that it would make the perfect combination of quick handling and big bore weight.


Hawk, I read his site as well. I saw the report of the Lew Horton M25 and found it interesting and a little educational. I have a Lew Horton M27, an 8 round, triple locked (has a spring loaded ball at the front of the cylinder in the crane) version .357 with square butt and 3 1/5" barrel. I recrowned the pistol on Cunningham's stimulus to look at it, and changed to Ahrend's fingergrips, but after only the simplest smoothing job my DA trigger is 10 lbs. and I can't find anyplace on the gun to slice open my hand, except maybe on my unbobbed hammer.. It's really a nice revolver now tailored a little to my liking.

(found Rough Country sight source)

December 10, 2008, 09:37 AM
I love mine! This thing seems to find the targets by itself!

December 10, 2008, 09:56 AM
lol. You guys are doing an absolutely HORRIBLE job of talking me out of buying one.

Thanks for nothing! ;)

December 10, 2008, 10:13 AM
Can one of you guys with a JM pistol let me know whether it's a round or a square butt version?

December 10, 2008, 10:21 AM

I mostly shoot target loads with my revolvers, my old standby 4.6 gr. Bullseye and 200 gr. LSWC bullets. Purely recreational, almost all at home on my own property.

I have a lot of 1911's, 23 of them, I think, although it could be 22 or 24 as easily, but the thing about the revolvers is that they have a slow way of recoiling almost like shooting a black powder .44. It's a nice gentle thing that brings your arm back but without the shock of a hotter round and I can do it all day.

That's one of the good things. At least as good, and maybe even better is the fact that you don't need to chase the brass or dig it out of the grass on a rainy day. :)

December 10, 2008, 12:56 PM
It's a J. Lo - round butt.

23 1911s? I don't think we had that many in our repell border's locker on the aux ship I was stationed on!

You know, 230gr ball ammo seems to kick more - at least more briskly - in a 625 than a 1911. The weight is close - the barrel on the 1911 yields a bit more mv, as it is longer and doesn't have the revolver's b/c gap to lower mv. Also, of course, that 1911 has a recoil spring to increase the time of the lessened recoil, the revolver has nothing - bang/whack.

While the recoil is mild in comparison to many revolvers, a LH-ed friend of mine, who wanted to switch from .40 race guns to .45 revolvers for competition, bought a new 625 JM after shooting mine a few years back. His pinned left wrist couldn't stand the recoil of commercial ammo - I suggested my detuned ammo - even ball ammo at 718 fps makes major power factor - 100 fps below regular ball ammo. He sold that gun in two days! The real problem? He is LH-ed - Smith & Wesson weren't! Of course, Sam Colt was - witness his Model P!


PS Who am I to criticize anyone' collection... I have five 1895 Nagants - that is insane!

December 10, 2008, 01:20 PM
I won't even try to talk you out of it.

45 ACP revolvers are almost the perfect revolver. (I personally do not like the full lugged barrels of the newer ones but a milling machine would fix that!)

In my M25s I use a variety of SWC and WC bullets that would choke a self loader. Same thing with loads, some are much to soft to operate a self loader.

Good luck.

December 10, 2008, 01:41 PM
LOL! With five Nagants you've marked yourself as a hobbyist more than as a collector. A tinkerer, and that's what they're good for. I have two of them myself, one with a conversion cylinder to .32 S&W that's a lot of fun to see if it'll make a full revolution and fire all seven rounds in a try. Sometimes it does it, sometimes not. After each firing it's back to disassembly and light filing of the extractor and cylinder lock lugs before the next attempt. A successful firing of all cartridges is in no way an indicator that the next seven will go and that's what keeps me tinkering with the silly thing. :)

In the luck of the Nagant draw I didn't get Tula arsenal products. I undertand that the conversion cylinder works right on the first try in Tula guns. I think I'd have put the both of them somewhere by now, somewhere I didn't see them very often.

Yeah, 1911's sort of accumulate over the years.

December 10, 2008, 06:12 PM
Oh, you KNOW you want to buy it. Go ahead and give in to the Dark Side of The Force. :evil:

Half of all my .45ACPs are wheelguns - no, wait - one more.... but that's a convertible. Never mind, you get the idea. Several of mine are Colt or Smith 1917 models, but the 625 I have (WHICH is PRE-HILLARY :barf: I must add) is a real favorite. I've got the older model pre-mim and all... and it is a superior weapon.:D

Just buy it and join us. We've always got room for one more. :)

December 10, 2008, 06:37 PM
Another reason to buy a new 625JM - before 12/31 - $50 rebate!

Re the Nagants: I make ammo that falls out... but I have to do obscene things to new .32-20 brass first. Sand .010" off the rim/headstamp, take .024" off the rim diameter (Taig micro lathe - time consuming!), size them in a Lee carbide M1 Carbine sizer, and load them with .32-20 dies. The cases are short and won't jump the gap, but, when spent, they remove easily - most without anything but gravity. I load Meister 100gr LDEWC (.313" - they make it down all of my barrels with some effort.). I have both Tulas and Izzies, and none would fit the aftermarket .32 ACP cylinder from SOG - they took it back. The things are useless - and aggravating. I got a C&R ffl just to have two delivered to my door - whooppee! Maybe it's the lead vapors from shooting indoors.

I used to say nothing beats a .45 Colt 625MG or 625, like my JM, in .45 ACP for fun. I found a new contender in Sept - a new 4" 617 10-shooter. That and some el-cheapo .22s and you can have some fun - and still write, type, or carve afterwards. Yeah, launching a couple hundred .45 ACPs from my 625JM is still a bigger sting on my wallet than my wrist - but my CTS & arthritis aren't getting any better. Gotta admit, those 230gr ball shots really knock the steel plates down with authority! Get one!


December 10, 2008, 09:40 PM
Can you shoot jacketed through the new versions of the 625? I had read that the rifling was designed to better accomodate lead bullets and its accuracy with jacketed rounds suffers as a result.

December 10, 2008, 10:48 PM
I see on your other post that you have already done the deed. However I would be the lat person to ever discourage someone from buying a .45 revolver. Here's mine, a pre 26 S&W. I really like the .45 in the big N frame, the recoil is more like a push than a kick. You're going to love it. Good luck with the wife though.:uhoh:{B190DD13-5081-4F22-8A6E-F40FE1E395CC}/picture.JPG

December 10, 2008, 10:48 PM
This is simply untrue. However the model 25's were spotty on lead due to shallow rifling on some. The 625-8 is notorious for tight chambers (too tight), and the 625 Model of 1989 had an undesireable factory innovation called the "floating hand" which is easily remedied.

December 10, 2008, 10:52 PM
A tapered barreled .45 ACP!

December 10, 2008, 10:55 PM
Wundudnee, that is seriously beautiful. Thanks for the memories.

December 10, 2008, 11:52 PM
Buy it. You will have it forever.

I have had several NFrame 45s, including TWO 625s. Both shot as well as my custom Bullseye 1911. I still have one (sold the other to my brother). I will NEVER sell this one.

You can shot any .45 ACP ammo made. You can handload Long Colt Semi Wadcutters and hunt deer. If you shoot lead bullets, you will never wear out the barrel.

You don't say if you handload. If not, buy this gun, a Dillon Square Deal, and you will be set.

I can not tell you how much I love my 625.

December 11, 2008, 06:54 AM
I wonder what the 'tight chambers in 625-8' models is all about. I got a regular 4" 625-8 9/02, keeping it until 6/04. It followed my first S&W, a .45 Colt 625 MG in .45 Colt. I had been shooting many Ruger .45 Colt revolvers over the preceeding and following years, with only the .454 SRH having consistent and properly sized chamber exits. I have had a reamer and bushing set for that problem, using it on all of my Rugers except my SRH. My two 625-8s and two 625 MGs in .45 Colt all mic-ed .452-.4525" exits.

The chambers themselves of a .45 ACP revolver may just be tighter than the typical .45 Colt chambers, as most manufacturers still produce at the larger chamber ID, the so-called 'black powder' chamber standard. I did initially have problems loading moonclipped homebrew rounds in my first 625-8, however. Oddly, they fed fine in my Marlin Camp .45 carbine. As a neophyte reloader, I had used a single stage seating and crimping die in my new Dillon 550b. I added a fourth stage separate crimper/resizer, and have never had a problem fast loading my loaded moonclips.

I believe the late 625 barrels destined for .45 ACPs have the more shallow clad-bullet rifling, while those destined for .45 Colts and lead have the larger/deeper grooves. My two 625-8s compared with my earlier MG .45 Colt models followed this. I've loaded many .45 ACP & AR cases with .45 Colt lead with no problems. On a lark, I loaded some .45 Colts with 230gr FMJs, too, only to find larger groups and wider SD in chrono-ed speeds. The only clad bullets I have had lead-like grouping and smallish SDs in mv with has been the Speer #4484, a 250gr Gold Dot. I keep them for protection.

To me, a big plus for the 625JM, or any .45 ACP revolover, is that it is a true 'big-bore' - that uses readily available and reasonably priced ammo. The 250 packs of UMC ball ammo at Wally-world for <$82 is a case in point. To reload 1k of such would cost over $200 for the components - plus s/h. Add the brass cost and you are well over the $326 at Wally-world. Of course, reloading allows custom ammo making.


December 11, 2008, 02:12 PM
The consensus seems to be that when S&W was boring the chambers for the 625-8 they were using well worn bits. I had mine reamed to spec by a gunsmith although if you have the reamer I'm told it's not difficult. I started reloading about the time I bought this gun, talk about confusing, I thought all of my handloads or the dies were garbage because they would not go into a slightly dirty chamber. Tks for that S&W. :cuss: Mine is currently wearing a direct factory replacement Ti cylinder from a 325 PD. These cyl's were made right and even came chamfered!
Do not let any of this discourage your purchase, it is a fine, fine gun. There are many things that come together right on a .45ACP revolver. Get a bulk pack of 100 moonclips from Ranch Products instead of reloading the same 5 over and over that come with it. I believe that's where the love/hate thing comes from with most shooters and the clips.

December 11, 2008, 04:25 PM
I believe that's where the love/hate thing comes from with most shooters and the clips.

Another is that full moon clips can be "sprung" given the right combination of "plump" ammo and new operator of the de-mooner gizmo. Sometimes I even wonder if this might result in some small number of bogus "flag down" lock failure reports as naughty moons can sure tie up a revolver. I've learned to throw away any clips that got "clingy" during de-mooning.

And S&W has a long and still occasional reputation of having POI/POA issues with certain of the x25 series.

Another noob issue, as you point out, is that some folks are taken aback when they discover that support gear (or RIMZ) is needed for use as intended. After a lifetime of viewing revolvers as "load 'em up and go" this can be a minor surprise. Another surprise can be the observation that "moonless" .45ACPs can be rather unreliable - something unexpected in a wheelgun.

But they're all nits. Loading up 30 or 40 clips at a go is relaxing, maybe even theraputic.

December 11, 2008, 08:57 PM
As I said, I have had an early 625-8 from 9/02 and my early 625JM, another -8, since 2/05, and never experienced sticky rounds. Okay, after I went to a separate seater and crimper in place of the single seater/crimper in my 550B. It seems that as you continue to 'seat' a plated bullet while starting the crimp, you can have the case bunch up (swell) below the 'crimp ring', or where one should be. The separate crimper also has a carbide resizer, forcing the case back to nominal diameter, if need be.

After being chastised for not having any bottom feeders with hi cap mags loaded around the house for Zombie protection, I unloaded a metal .223 ammo box and placed the loaded moonclips around my 625JM for the photo I posted earlier. My revolver-detractor said I could never shoot that many rounds, the box has five layers of twenty-one 'clips, or 105 'clips - 630 rounds. Thirty-five more loaded clips around the house for a total of 840 rounds - plus some HKS 25 speedloaders with .45 ARs. In any case, last Feb-Mar saw me shoot my 625JM as much as possible - over 540 rounds - without cleaning - and without a hiccup. They don't get that dirty shooting clad/plated bullets over Titegroup, anyway.

I would check my ammo re sticking as you load. The .45 ACP should range from .473" mouth to .476" ahead of the rim to .480" at the rim. I've loaded and shot a lot of el-cheapo ammo - Blazers, UMC, Fiocchi, etc. No problems loading - some ftfs with my current hammer spring, thus the Fed-only primers - and Starline brass. As an aside, Fiocchi primer pockets may seem a tad deeper, enough so that light strikes occur. Again, the OEM spring or full-strength Wolff are fine.


PS If you have ftfs, think twice re the C&S 'extended' fp... it's the same size as the OEM, it's travel limiting slot is slightly greater. Without a primer to stop it, ie, like in dry-firing, the fp can travel too far into the pocket, flattening it's return pocket. No thank you. I have a fix, but that's another topic!

December 11, 2008, 09:15 PM
Go for it now,lest you :cuss::banghead: later:D

December 11, 2008, 10:25 PM
krs, it seems to me at least that what Mr. Cunningham had to say about the 3' M25's made for this Lew Horton run do indeed have really lousy triggers. I bought one in nickel (so pretty!) and the DA pull is this absurd, heavy, stacking thing, and makes a "sprooooing" sound after the hammer drops.

I'd probably go with a standard 625, as per his observations about the chrome flaking issues- But I already have one of the Thunder Ranch M25's, (excellent trigger) and wanted a three inch barrel in nickel really badly.

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