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1917 vs. 625 vs. Mt Gun vs?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MatthewVanitas, Jul 29, 2003.

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  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Greetings. Was recently captivated by a S&W 1917 revo at a local shop. I'm a big fan of rimless-cartridge revolvers, and could use some advice regarding which .45 to check out.

    I really prefer the visual appeal of the partial-underlugs, and the lines of the Mountain Gun version are attractive. (Before I make a fool of myself, they do have .45ACP mt guns in addition to the .45 Colt and .44 Mag, right?). I'd imagine that the .45ACP wouldn't have much recoil in an N-frame, so is the weight-savings pretty consequence free in this case?

    If I buy the 1917, are there any advantages to that model? Better trigger, ergonomics, weight, etc? Or is the difference mostly in historical appeal and price? Any major disadvantages besides slightly weaker metallurgy?

    I appreciate all your time. I wish S&W made a 610 that wasn't so huge and clunky, or I'd be quite inclined towards one of those. But eight-inch full-underlugged barrels don't really do it for me.

    One last question: is the gripframe on a 1917 pretty similar in size to that of a modern N-frame? I've got small paws, and it seems the manufacturers put really large and long grips on N-frames, or is the actual gripframe actually that huge these days? The minimal wooden grips on the 1917 suited me much better.
     
  2. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    I got a few versions of all you've mentioned. They are all great guns.

    1917's are an N frame square butt. However there is a little variance in their fit. Most modern grips work fine, some will need a bit of fitting.

    1917 parts can be hard to find, and the fixed sights are rough for accurate shooting.

    If you like the short underlug, the 625 is ready made for you. Adjustable sights and light weight barrel. It's one of my favorites.

    Good Luck...

    Joe
     
  3. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Matthew, you wrote - - -

    I like the older S&W .45-frame revolvers. There is just not quite so much extra metal as on the modern N-frames. No underlug at all in most, especially the 1917, and the frame is slightly less robust. Wonderful to carry afield.

    You're already aware to the difference in the heat treatment. The older guns simply will not stand up to hot handloads near so well as the new ones. You're generally okay with 230 gr. bullets up to say, 900 fps, or the 250s to around 800. You can go a little faster with 185 to 200 bullets, but you'll run into some POA vs. POI problems. If you need anything hotter than this, please, break down and purchase a modern version.

    Most 1917s have a rear sight groove that is entirely too narrow and too shallow for quick use. Judicious use of a couple of safe edge files can improve this dramatically. Just make sure to take it VERY slowly - - - It is difficult to put metal back. I'd suggest you endure the poor rear sight while testing a 1917 and loads for it, though. If there's a windage problem, one can file a bit more in one side of the notch side than the other, effecively re-centering the line of sight.

    Some purists and collectors are aghast at the prospect of ANY customizing of the classic old revolvers. Let's face it, though: There are a LOT of 1917s which are in too poor shape to interest collectors. A good example are the Brazilian Navy examples, especially those which have ALREADY been refinished. Please, choose a less-than-pristine one if you want to cut back the barrel or otherwise customize it.

    Best of luck to you, and please keep us updated on your project.

    Johnny
     
  4. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Mr Hatley: when you refer to the short-underlug and light barrel of the 625, to which variant are you referring? I was under the impression that most current 625s had full underlugs.

    Are you referring to the Mountain Gun variant of the .45ACP 625, or perhaps to the 625PC variant?

    Along such lines: is the PC 625 worth the extra $300, or would only a skilled competitive shooter be able to appreciate the difference?
     
  5. Majic

    Majic Member

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    The 610 is a N-frame and it has to be large to handle the power of the cartridge. I don't fully understand your statement as todays 610's are only built with 4" barrels. They did make 5" and 6.5" models once.
    I would like to see Smith offer the 10mm in blue steel and a fluted cylinder, but that probably will never happen.
     
  6. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    Mathew,

    Yes, I ment the 625 Mountain Gun. Brain just got ahead of my typeing speed.

    [​IMG]


    The street price difference for a Performance Center model is usually around $250. Is it worth the bump in price?

    I think so:

    [​IMG]

    No, they really don't shoot any better than the standard models. If you consider resale value, special barrel lengths/contours, different sights, finishes, not to mention a whippy case, they really are a pretty good value.

    Good Luck...

    Joe
     
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