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What kind of loads can I put in my S&W 25-9

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by guitarguy314, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Well-Known Member

    So, I have a S&W 25-9 in 45 colt. I know I can't put +p stuff in it, but can I use anything besides cowboy loads? How many FPS can it take? How many FPS is too much?

    Thanks guys,

  2. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    You are definitely not limited to cowboy action loads, but only the Rugers and perhaps a few others (Freedom Arms, etc.) are recommended for the fabled "Ruger only" envelope pushers. I believe these are beyond standard +P. The problem is there is no standard guideline to just what +P means. .45 Colt can get pretty adventurous, pushing .44 mag. performance. I believe that it's only the envelope pushers that should concern you, you may even get away with a FEW of those. A steady diet wouldn't turn out well.
  3. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    With my S&W 25-5, I limit myself to loads that generate 23k psi or less. With 255 - 270gr LSWC bullets, we are talking about loads that generate less than 1100fps. Typical loads consist of: 18.0gr of 2400, 13.0gr of HS-6, 9.0gr of Unique, and 8.0gr of W231. You might want to google "John Linebaugh S&W 25-5". Hope that helps.

  4. S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

    It's not the speed of your loads but, pressure developed within them. The 25-5 series of Smiths cylinder isn't heat treated. Try this website, John Linebaugh has a lot of experience with these guns:
  5. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    What he said.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    S&W chambers the model 25/625 in .45 ACP as well.

    Pressure limit for .45 ACP is 21,000 PSI.
    Pressure limit for +P .45 ACP is 23,000 PSI.
    Commercial .45 Colt ammo is loaded to 14,000 PSI.

    The .45 ACP version has the same size holes in the cylinder as the .45 Colt version.

    John Linebaugh said in the article that S&W 25-5 .45 frames were not heat treated.

    Not the cylinders, which are very much heat treated on all modern S&W's.

    And I'm not entirely sure I agree with Mr. Linebaugh about the frames either.

  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    This is just about the load I use in my Colt New Service -- but with a 7 1/2" barrel I get about 1,000 fps. This will drive a wide flatnose bullet (Lee Mould 452651) cast of wheel weights completely through a white tail from any direction.
  8. S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

    rcmodel, I stand corrected. just working from memory, here.
  9. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Well-Known Member

    I'm in the "9 gr of Unique behind a 250 gr LSWC" camp. Somewhere around 975 fps from my 625 Mountain Gun. It'll do what you want it to.
  10. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    The 25-2 has been getting reamed out to 460 Rowland by Clark Guns [no relation] for more than 12 years and they have been posting on thier website 38 kcup loads the whole 12 years.
    I look at the 25-2 as having 0.061" ~ .064" thick chamber walls to the outside and 0.066" ~ .067" thickness between chambers.
    A real accurate formula for calculating the stress in the steel would be horrible with thick walled asymmetrical open ended tube with stress risers.
    But if I just seat of the pants calculate it with thin wall tube formula, the 460 loads are ~~90ksi stress. I have split cylinders on other revolvers with that level.
    I look at the 25-2 as having no better bolt to slot lock up than the 29-2. And we know they shoot loose.
    In my 25-2, I have gone to what Quickload thinks is 28 kpsi, a few shots, but I prefer to keep it below 25kpsi QL.
    What does it all mean?
    1) Judging by what Clark guns does, you can get away with a lot.
    2) The walls are thin and the lock up small, and the gun is expensive, so I chickened out.
  11. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Also, I noticed something kinda funny. When I open the revolver, the cylinder can move forward and backwards (Think in line with the barrel). not a lot, just maybe a few millimeters. Is this something that needs to be checked out , or is this normal?
  12. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    Clark- Have you measured the thickness of the chamber walls at the bottom of the cylinder stop notch? S&W cuts these notches directly over the chambers meaning the walls are very think under them.
  13. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Well-Known Member

    I had a discussion on these topics with Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore. His contention was that it's the lockup on the 625 which is lesser than that on the 629 and that the recoil will cause the .45 Colt to open up long before the pressures are a significant issue. He felt that if you had the same lock up on the 625 you could shoot any of their +P loads but that with the lock from S&W, only their product 3D (.45 Colt +P Ammo - 300 gr. JFN (1,200fps/M.E.959 ft.lbs.)) was usable and that was what he used in his three personal 625 Mountain Guns.
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Perfectly normal.

    Nothing holds the cylinder in the crane on a S&W when it is open except it contacts the cylinder stop stud at the bottom rear of the cylinder window.

    If that lug wasn't there, the cylinder would fall out when it was open.

  15. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I don't know if that is as big a deal as the other over simplifications I am making.

    But it does explain why 5 shot J frames are harder for me to split the cylinder than 6 shot D frames.

    But if we just consider 6 shot revolvers, that have the slot over the chamber, and figure they all that that and just measure the chamber thickness to the outside and compare that to other revolvers I have blown up [taking inside diameter as a linear aggravating factor for hoop stress]... then I still don't want to shoot 38 kcup in my 25-2. I like guns to blow up when I am doing a destructive test, not otherwise. I want some safety margin, when I don't want them to blow up.
  16. panhead58ak

    panhead58ak Active Member

    What makes the lock up on md 29 any stronger than a md25? they use the same cylinder stop I dont know why the loads are held back for model 25 revolvrs the one thig I have seen writen but dont know if its correct is that the 29 frames have a speacial heat treat or alloy I dont know .If anyone knows please enlighten me I love my 25 but I dont go to for the modern ruger loads ,I shoot it for what it is and use my freedom arms 454 for getting serious
  17. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    The frame is not the problem, it's the cylinder. The model 29 is really at its limit with the .44Mag. With the thinner chamber walls of the .45Colt, pressures must be kept within certain limits. I don't know how Clark Custom gets away with their .460 conversions but I would not be running an N-frame .45 at those pressures.

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