revolver choice


January 1, 2013, 04:04 PM
I'm thinking about picking up another revolver to go along with my 686 Plus.

Trying to decide between another .357 Mag or a .45 ACP.

If I go with .45 caliber, I am looking at the Scandium S&W model Thunder Ranch. Very light, very pricey.

In .357 Mag, I really dig the M&P; Scandium frame, eight round capacity, about the same money as the .45. Can save $40 going with the 627 eight rounder, but lose the rail (don't care) and is about a half pound heavier..

What do you guys think about the caliber choice as well as the models?


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Claude Clay
January 1, 2013, 04:09 PM
what is it you want to accomplish with the gun?

January 1, 2013, 04:20 PM
what is it you want to accomplish with the gun?

Yes, this.

I can see the benefits of getting a J frame, (640, 642, or M&P340)

I can see the benefits of getting a 617. ( K frame 22lr)

I can't really see the benefits of getting the N frame 627, if you already have a 686P.

I'd get the 625/325 if you shoot a 45 ACP already.

January 1, 2013, 04:21 PM
double post, please delete

January 1, 2013, 04:23 PM
I do shoot .45 already, that was why the caliber was considered.

Will be a range gun/home protection, not for carry.


January 1, 2013, 04:29 PM
Jon R, good point about the 627, no sense going with the heavier N frame for the extra round of capacity...the M&P is still attractive with it's lighter alloy.

Also, at that price level, what's another $40?


January 1, 2013, 04:41 PM
This video about the 625 might help you make up your mind.

January 1, 2013, 04:59 PM
That guy is pretty steady, I struggle to hit a five inch gong half the time at 25 yds with my 686. I don't think the 625 is any more accurate than my 686 (6" barrel), I'm just not that good.

Anyway, it is coming down to the M&P .357 or the Thunder Ranch .45.

Moon clips would take getting used to.

Either way, need to find a deal, almost $1300 for a revolver is large coin.


Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2013, 06:08 PM
I do shoot .45 already, that was why the caliber was considered.

Will be a range gun/home protection, not for carry.

If you shoot .45 ACP already, the advantage there is ammunition compatibility.

On the other hand, the .357 is a different experience.

You have to decide which you want more -- ammo compatibility or new exeperiences.

January 1, 2013, 06:41 PM
The only reason you should get a 45 is if you want to do the fastest possible reloads. The 357 does everything else better. Also not positive about the M&P, but most of the new N frame 357s come cut for moon clips.

January 1, 2013, 07:05 PM
Vern, I have .357 Mag experience, note my mention of my 686. It is a great cartridge, maybe the best all-round revolver cartridge if you don't need to take medium to large game.

I want something different, though, that's why I am considering the .45. I am familiar with that cartridge as well, through use in a Beretta P4 I own.

Plus that six shot Thunder Ranch alloy .45 weighs only 31 oz! That's only an oz or two more than my composite Beretta. Compared to that, the M&P .357 Mag is 36 oz, and the stainless 625 is about 43 oz. I think my 686 plus is about 41 oz.

Six rounds is a little limiting, but the moon clips allow the quick reloads.

Also an issue is availability. Probably won't be able to find much of a discount on the Thunder Ranch and wouldn't want to buy that revolver used, I'd imagine the Scandium alloy is not as durable as stainless or carbon steel.


January 1, 2013, 08:02 PM
For a range gun, I would want at least 4" barrel and added weight for less recoil. The 625 is a great revolver and very accurate. Next to my 686, it is my favorite revolver.

January 4, 2013, 09:53 PM

Welcome to the forum....I'm not sure how well the alloys in the M&P will hold up to continued range pounding over the years.The guy on the video is a very good shot, part of the reason may well be the weight of his 625.

If I didn't plan to carry I would opt for good old American steel, plus I don't trust the Scadmiun alloy for some strange reason...:).... Oh well to each their own. Don't mean either one of us is right or wrong, just the way it is.

Good luck on your choice!

January 4, 2013, 10:27 PM
If you plan to shoot the .45acp revolver a lot, you really need to consider mooning and de-mooing tools, it makes a thankless task bearable IMO.

Not being a competitive shooter, I was unable to unearth any value proposition from a .45acp revolver, and I tried.

From a concealed carry standpoint, moonclipped rounds strike me as coming close to the worst possible form factor for carrying spares.

January 4, 2013, 10:39 PM
Two of my favorites that I own....

David E
January 4, 2013, 10:39 PM
If I'm spending $1300 for a gun, I'm going to have a defined purpose. I'm not getting that here.

You have a .357, so what would a new one do better? If there's an answer to that, does it do it "enough better" to justify $1300?

Likewise the .45 revolver. You already shoot the caliber, so the same questions apply.

Me, I'd want a gun and/or caliber that'll do something the others won't and do it better enough to be worth it.

If I didn't have one, I'd look at a S&W Model 29/629

January 4, 2013, 10:44 PM
I have a 625-6 Mountain gun.
If I was getting another .45 ACP revolver for home & range?

It sure as heck wouldn't be a lightweight Titanium one!

.45 Revolvers spank your hand harder then the .45 semi-autos you are used to shooting.


January 4, 2013, 11:22 PM
I bought the 325TR.

My P4 Beretta .45 in a couple ounces light than the 325 TR, I have no problems with that or my 686. My buddy has a M&P .40 that is harsher to fire than either one of mine, and I still don't find that objectionable.

C'mon guys, man up. It ain't a 500 Magnum, geez.

As far as why I want it, well, I like revolvers, I do already have a revolver in .357 Mag, I have some ammo commonality with the semi-auto, it should keep it's value pretty well, it's a Performance Center piece, and I'm not paying full list for it, I will have it in my hands for about $1170, including NICS.


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