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.45 ACP Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by D Boone, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. D Boone

    D Boone Member

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    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?
     
  2. kle

    kle Member

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    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...
     
  3. okotoks

    okotoks Member

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    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!
     
  4. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Easiest question yet!

    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:
     

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  5. kle

    kle Member

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    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...
     
  6. Zedo

    Zedo member

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    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.
     
  7. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Reasonable concern re 325 recoil, but...

    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!
     
  8. Silversmoke

    Silversmoke Member

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    I have both JM 625 and 325pd, both shoot great, just got the 325, will use for IDPA as well
     
  9. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    Pullman, WA
    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
    grips.

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

    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.

    NIghtGUard
    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

    Randall

    A
     
  10. krs

    krs Member

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    Still a great shooter.....[​IMG]
     
  11. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps,

    T.
     
  12. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    45 ACP's

    here's my two


    S&W 1917 that has been aftermarket nickel plated

    [​IMG]


    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Majic

    Majic Member

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    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.
     
  14. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    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.

    Randall
     
  15. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    Stainz
     
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Here is a couple more 45acp revolver options out there.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Lester Gillis

    Lester Gillis Member

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    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
     
  18. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. danbrew

    danbrew member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  20. smee781

    smee781 member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  21. finfanatic

    finfanatic Member

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    I found this at Bass Pro Shops for $649 marked down from $1049.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  22. rklessdriver

    rklessdriver Member

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    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).

    [​IMG]

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

    pinkymingeo Member

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    625-10 2", 325PD 2 3/4", 625-6 3", 625-3 4", 625-2 5".
    [​IMG]
    And, I just got this Jovino-style 25-2 chopped to 2 3/4".
    [​IMG]
    I continue to believe that 45acp is wasted in semi's, but in many ways the best revolver cartridge there is.
     
  24. deanodog

    deanodog Member

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    Model 25-2 six inch barrel.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. hanno

    hanno Member

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    My 625. It recently had a trigger job and some other "tweaks " by Cylinder & Slide.

    [​IMG]
     
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