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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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  #1  
Old 12-21-2011, 01:03 PM
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Default Why Oversized Throats??

As I've learned more and more about S&W revolvers, I continue to be perplexed by the fact of "oversized throats" on certain revolvers, particularly 25-2s and 25-5s. My question is why did S&W do this? Surely they had the capability of sizing throats properly? What was their thinking?
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:18 PM
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I don't think I have ever seen the "why" question answered?
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:59 PM
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At one time .454 dia. bullets were the norm and guns were made to suit. But as time went on .452 dia. bullets became the norm, perhaps as these revolver's were selling, manufacurer's were slow to change (Colt still hasent changed). Add to the mix non handloaders had very few factory ammo options, mainly Remington and Winchester with 250gr bullets, these were loaded with soft .455 dia. bullets that would fit the oversize throat's and then swage down in a .452 bore and work rather well. Reloaders would just deal with the problem with properly matched bullet choices to suit the firearm being used.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:28 PM
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I understand why they may have done this to early 25-5's in 45 Colt.

However, I'm totally perplexed why they did this to the 25-2's in .45 ACP.

I've got two of them. One five and one three screw. Mine are the flavor that will not shoot lead bullets of any size or hardness unless you're satisfied with shotgun patterns.

Does OK with FMJ.

Shame, beautiful guns and fun to shoot but will never achieve the accuracy of my 14 or 17's - or pretty much any other S&W revolver I own.

Really wish S&W would acknowledge the screw up and make a batch of new 25-2 cylinders to correct the problem.

Last edited by sjmjax; 12-21-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:56 PM
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Add me to the list of the amazed. I've got a single 25-2 that I never shoot. The gun simply makes me angry. Beautiful, classic old N frame and it barely shoots a 4" group at 25 yds on a GOOD day.

But...My 25-7 and a 625 Lt Wt Hunter PC gun both have properly sized throats and bores and with .452" cast slugs they are lasers.

I used to shoot RP 250 gr hollow base .45 Colt lead slugs out of a few of my previous 25-2's. The soft slug with the hollow base worked quite well. Accuracy that was at least 2-3 inches at 25 yds. Then I had a tough time finding them so sold those 25-2's.

Good post...I've often wondered WHY myself.

FN in MT
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:33 PM
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S&W aren't the only guilty ones. Ruger made plenty of 44 mag Redhawks and Blackhawks with .432 throats. There is some evidence that newer production Rugers have smaller throats. As to why? I have wondered that myself.
Mark
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:58 PM
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I don't have a clue, but keep up the posts! Interesting reading and learning more everytime I log on to this forum. Thanks.

DLB
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:04 PM
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Would having the cyl. chambers "sleeved" be a viable option? Rather expensive I assume.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:22 PM
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Three years ago I had S&W fit a new cylinder on my 25-5, .451 throats (orig .457-8), perfect color match, $182, shipping included.......
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:28 PM
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I believe that the tradition of oversized cylinder chamber throats is a leftover from the blackpowder days. Under the old blackpowder ammunition, it was actually advantageous to have oversized chamber throats because the shooter was able to continue firing even when the chambers were badly fouled from firing residue. It was considered to be more important to be able to continue firing than have absolute accuracy from aimed shots.

So, why did this tradition in gun manufacture translate into having oversized throats in the smokeless era? Wartime manufacturing contingencies were probably the reason: transition from making .455 to .45 revolvers and accuracy "good enough" for close combat plus the ease of reloading in dirty trench conditions, plus the fact that S&W never discarded any gun parts. All guesswork on my part, but I've measured a lot of chamber throats and the results support this theory.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:56 PM
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I'm looking for a 25-2 to buy. Suppose I am at a gun show and someone has one on a table for sale. What can I do to avoid buying a gun with oversize throats. Is there a simple/quick way to check that a seller would allow?
Thanks
Bob
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:14 PM
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What I don't understand is why many of the guys who complain about them, often professing to hate the early 25's still own them...... Very curious!! Some owners have kept them for thirty or forty years!!!

I've got 6 of the pre 80's Mod 25 guns and love them.... None of mine are for sale either..
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:23 PM
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Bob42,

The easiest thing to do is carry some .452" jacketed bullets with you when you go to the gun show. If that size jacketed bullets drops completely through a cylinder's chamber throats, you can be sure they are oversize. If viewed carefully with background light, you can almost estimate the amount oversize. 0.455-0.0456" throats show a clearance about the thickness of a piece of typing paper (0.003")
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:31 PM
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I have a 25-2 with .456” throats, a 625-8JM and 625PC with .452” throats. The 25-2 originally had chamber alignment problems. I had to grind the cylinder locking bolt a little and fit a thicker hand to correct the problem. I also had to recut the forcing cone. Now the bullets hit in the middle of the forcing cone and it no longer spits and shoots very well. I suspect that the typical loads I shoot, a 200 Hornady FMJ-CT with mild loads of 231, shoots well because it is a jacketed bullet and the base doesn’t get burned by blow-by in the large throats, and the large pistol primer in the dinky .45 ACP case pounds the bullet through the oversize throat into the barrel before the power can develop enough pressure to blow by. That is just a guess. The 25-2 and 625s all shoot very well.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:24 PM
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After reading all the posts, I'm even more confused that I was when I originally posted. I had asked why S&W made oversized throats. Now from the responding posts it appears they made SOME throats oversized, and some not. There had to be some reason, unless they just had poor QC on the machining of the cylinders.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:24 PM
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Whatever the reason, it appears that they were shipped with throats in the .456-458 range up until around 1980, from what I recall from the threads here over the years, and in measuring the throats in the guns I have. I certainly believe it was intentional. I am with the rest of you, don't know the reason why.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:39 PM
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Dunno why S&W did it either, my 25-5 is oversized as well but shoots to poi at 25 yds w/in 3" in a steady rest using 250gr .452 flat nose hardcast lead with Unique. I love this gun, I am the second owner of one that had such a faint turn line on the cylinder that I thought it was almost unfired.
It was a very lucky score and I would rather be lucky than good! jb
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:08 AM
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I have 1955 model 5 screw S130xxx. It has nice tight throats. Shoots X ring with 200gr JSWC at 50 yds.

Also have newer 25-2 N62xxx with large throats. It shoots well at 50. But I have not tested it as much as the 5 screw.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLNC View Post
As I've learned more and more about S&W revolvers, I continue to be perplexed by the fact of "oversized throats" on certain revolvers, particularly 25-2s and 25-5s. My question is why did S&W do this? Surely they had the capability of sizing throats properly? What was their thinking?
I suspect the why is related to WWI and the conversion of the .45 Colt revos to .45 ACP. At that time the .45 Colt was .454” in diameter and .455” to .456” throats probably worked fine. When they did the quick conversion to .45 ACP they probably shortened the cylinder and chambered it for .45 ACP and didn’t think about the throat. It probably worked fine with 230 FMJ, after all the early 1917 Colts had straight bored through chambers and I have never heard anything about their accuracy being unacceptable. If the chambers aligned with the bore axis and the forcing cone was good, they probably shot fine and they saw no reason to change anything until they used the same large throats on the .25-5 .45 Colt in the late ‘70s. With the .45 Colt having been standardized on ..451”-.452” like the .45 ACP following WWII, the .45 Colt no longer worked well in .456” throats. In the early ‘80s S&W appears to have come to the conclusion they had to tighten up the throats and they did.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:01 PM
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I’ve been told some model 25-5s were returned to the factory to correct oversize cylinder throats. My 25-5 was shipped in December 1980 and has .451”-.452” throats, but don’t know if it originally left the factory that way or the cylinder was later replaced. When I disassembled it, I found the frame’s serial number on the rear face of the cylinder . . . under the extractor star.



Does anyone else out there have a similar example and do you suspect (as I do) that a stamped s/n on the cylinder indicates that such examples made a trip back to the factory for a replacement cylinder?

Russ
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:47 PM
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My Golden has one. I can get my fist down it. My shepherd's so small, I can't manage but a couple of fingers. Tough when you have to administer medicine.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:07 PM
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Hi
Perhaps the following for consideration:

There exisited no set in stone dims. for the 45 colt cart. for many, many years.
What dims. would a manufacturer use for chambering reamers? The largest size they could possibly get away with.

I was always taught that colt used the same rifling tools for all 22 and 22Magnums, due solely to cost.
That maybe why the 22 mag colts never shot good for me.
I have had ruger blachawks with throats that would swallow 458 winchester mag. slugs

My employer for the last 34 years always orders the largest dia. drill or reamer that fits the size spec so that when the tool is resharpened and comes back to me slightly smaller it still fits the spec.
If anyone here thinks smith colt ruger etc. would order a reamer on the small side of the spec. they would all be out of bussiness in 6 months or less
HTH
Don
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLNC View Post
As I've learned more and more about S&W revolvers, I continue to be perplexed by the fact of "oversized throats" on certain revolvers, particularly 25-2s and 25-5s. My question is why did S&W do this? Surely they had the capability of sizing throats properly? What was their thinking?
Years ago I had a Lyman reloading manual that had fairly good drawings of the various cartridges. These drawings showed a loaded round (bullet seated - not just the cartridge case) and the drawings indicated for the bullet diameters:
.44 Magnum - 0.432"
.45 Colt - 0.456"
I always assumed these numbers were probably contemporary "maximum ammunition" numbers for those cartridges, and that would certainly explain why S&W Model 29s were not uncommon with 0.432-0.433" throats and Model 25 (.45 Colt) revolvers sometimes had 0.457" throats, sometime even larger.

If one knew the exact chronology of any dimensional changes to those cartridges (particularly when SAAMI took control of them) and could index that information with tooling specifications used by S&W for production of their revolvers, it would probably tell us a lot.

I have never seen anything similar that might explain the large exit bores in Model 25-2 (.45 ACP) revolvers, so I have always wondered if possibly .45 Colt jigs, fixtures, and tools were not used to produce those cylinders before they were chambered for .45 ACP cartridges? That matter is a mystery, to me.

As to "capability," I feel certain you can be sure S&W could make the tools and maintain the size and tolerance of any feature they cared to in the manufacture of their revolvers.

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLNC View Post
As I've learned more and more about S&W revolvers, I continue to be perplexed by the fact of "oversized throats" on certain revolvers, particularly 25-2s and 25-5s. My question is why did S&W do this? Surely they had the capability of sizing throats properly? What was their thinking?
They DID size them properly, according to the thinking of the day.
The simple answer is SAAMI standards. (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute)

You don't have to take my word for any of this. Go see the SAAMI specs yourself, pages 49-52 in the spec tables:
SAAMI

Formed in 1926, SAAMI established "standards" for the manufacturers. Simply an effort to make sure everyone uses the same data.

One big problem with the SAAMI dimensions-
Up to WW II, Colt used a nominal groove diameter of .454 with an additional tolerance of a few thou for the 45 Colt that could mean a groove dia of .458.
When they brought the Single Action back in 1956, I have always read that they used the same rifling tools they used for the 45 ACP. The SAAMI groove dia for the 45 ACP is .450+.004 tolerance. Now, the SAAMI grovve dia for the 45 Colt is also .450+.004 tolerance!

BUT, they seemed to have kept the old chamber dimensions for the 45 Colt. The SAAMI throat specs for 45 C are .4555 to .4595!

Now, let's look at 45 C ammo specs:
Bullet dia is .456 with a tolerance of MINUS .006.

So totally within SAAMI specs, we could have 45 C ammo with a min bullet dia of .450 rattling out of a max throat which is .4595!!!!!!
That's 9-1/2 thou of SLOP, folks, and TOTALLY within specs.

S&W was simply abiding by the standards. I would also imagine the legal department did NOT want to stray from those standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
I suspect the why is related to WWI and the conversion of the .45 Colt revos to .45 ACP.
Not really.
By the time of WW I, you could count the 45 Colts that S&W had built on one or two hands.
SAAMI did not exist, so I would imagine they went with whatever the Gov specified.
1917's seem to shoot pretty well. It would be interesting to mike the throats and slug the bores of some.

As far as 25-2's and the 45 ACP-
There are no SAAMI specs for a 45 ACP REVOLVER chamber.
There ARE specs for the 45 AR chamber, and it is the same .4555 to .4595 in the throat.
45 ACP ammo with jacketed bullets can have a bullet dia of .452 with a tolerance of MINUS .003.
Sooooo, it gets even worse here.
We can have a Mod 25-2 in 45 ACP/45AR shooting a bullet that is .449 into a throat of .4595, and be totally within specs!!
SLOP = .0105 (10-1/2 thousandths!!!)

See the problem yet?
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:14 PM
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It makes no difference to me. I'm just an average shooter that loves S&W revolvers. I found this 25-5 and fell in love. It does have the oversized throats. Beautiful gun and a blast to shoot. It might be my shooter at midnight tomorrow night. Happy New Year.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:42 PM
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Thanks, Lee. Very informative. About what I have always suspected - just a little worse. I don't doubt that there may be some good-shooting Model 25-2 revolvers out there. I just don't recall ever seeing one in person. I would like to see similar numbers for 44 Special and 44 Magnum if you have them. Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:51 PM
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Thanks, Lee. Very informative. About what I have always suspected - just a little worse. I don't doubt that there may be some good-shooting Model 25-2 revolvers out there. I just don't recall ever seeing one in person. I would like to see similar numbers for 44 Special and 44 Magnum if you have them. Thanks again.
Welcome.
Click this link- SAAMI
All cartridges are in there.

The standards are "Voluntary".
I'm not sure they always were. I thought members had to agree to adhere in the past.
Maybe I'm wrong or maybe it was changed by member coercion or agreement.

I suspect S&W is no longer 'adhering' to those throat dimensions, and that is why the guns are shooting.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:27 AM
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If you can find a copy the October 2005 issue of Handloader (No. 237) has an excellent article by Dave Scovill on the various changes concerning the 45 Colt.The article describes in detail just what Lee is talking about .
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:59 AM
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I am new and read as much rules as possible, preferring to get involved and return to reading rules when needed.

I recall reading that one cannot copy and paste copyrighted articles. Did not see if I can post web addresses.

Anyway I stumbled on a Britishmilitariaforum site that warns about re-chambered Webley’s Being dangerous to shoot 45 auto with pictures of destroyed revolvers.

But what caught my interest was two thirds of the way down the page it says words to the effect that starting in 1915 the Canadian government purchased 14,500 Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector revolvers chambered in .455

Does this interest anyone. Some of them must have found their way down here? If anyone wants the web address how can I post it?
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:18 PM
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Default WWI Canadian S&W revolvers are well marked

Hmm… in searching the internet for Smith&Wesson WWI Canada revolver I found several sites selling one, or that has sold one. One mentions the Canadian registration markings. Another site mentions crossed flags. A mention of one being converted to take .45 acp at Canadian Armory, for half moon or full moon clips. 1906 patent date on barrel. Manufactured in 1915. Refers to it as Smith & Wesson 2 nd model hand ejector. It has already been sold.

Anyway if anyone stumbled on one of these at a gun show they are well marked.

One has battalion makings 1.C.P.M.G. which stands for first permanent machine gun battalion. Says they saw service at the battle of Somme. Which reminds me that some these pistols are possibly still in Europe.

No doubt this is only a surprise to me. Not a surprise to any serious military gun historian.
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  #31  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:17 AM
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<snip>
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Originally Posted by mark454 View Post
Ruger made plenty of 44 mag Redhawks and Blackhawks with .432 throats
Mark
Vaqueros have some odd peculiarities too!
I have a 44-40 old model Vaquero with .427 throats, and a .430 barrel.
Yep, it shoots a shotgun-like pattern; very disappointing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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There are 25-5s and there are 25-5s ! The later unpinned versions seem to have cylinder throats that are in the 0.452" range while the earlier pinned guns are large and all over the map !

These five pinned guns have throats that vary from 0.453-0.458+" !



Jerry
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:08 PM
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I have certainly enjoyed reading through all of the forum posts on this subject, and will continue to do so. From a marksmanship perspective, I am primarily interested in the accuracy of my hits, especially if I have bought a revolver for which no available rear sight adjustment will provide me with a tight 'in the bull's eye hit' pattern. Before I bought my first Model 25 I searched the Internet for information regarding potential problems, issues, recalls, etc. If you have checked the prices lately, this makes perfect sense! Caveat emptor! I also called Smith & Wesson customer service about this issue before I made my first purchase. As you might expect, while the issue with the throat size was not intentional, no one really knows the extent of the problem. My guesses, in addition to the previously posted possible explanations, are that someone in production made the error or that the barrel parts used in production were machined out of tolerance and it was not detected prior to shipment. Most reloaders know how to properly correct for this problem. My LGS people have told me that the correct diameter for a .45 ACP bullet is .451 and a .45 Colt bullet is .453, +/- a few thousandths. as stated in handejector's posts. There are three methods which can be used to make this determination 1) pin gauges, 2) calipers, and 3) .45 bullets, referred to by those who have the actual experience as a 'field expedient'. john traveler is absolutely correct! Obtain one of each type bullet from a reloader and take it with you to the LGS or gun show. Before you make an offer to the seller, place the appropriate bullet in the throat. If it does not pass through, you've found a great revolver. If it goes through the barrel like corn through a goose, pass on the opportunity. Just as other forum members have said - I have several Model 25s and none are for sale!
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:59 PM
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I have a Model 25-2 built in 1962. It had oversized throats of .456 and would not shoot small enough groups for my bullseye work. So, I sent it back to Smith & Wesson and had them replace the cylinder with a new one. The new cylinder is stainless steel, so now I have a "Pinto" gun that looks very nice. They charged mew $250 for a new cylinder and it took a few months to happen. However, here are my results, I now had a revolver that will shoot 10 shots at 50 yards into a 2.7 inch group, here is the proof....



My load was a 180 grain cast SWC (shortened H&G 68 style) over 6.2 grains of Power Pistol and Federal Large Pistol primers.

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Old 07-13-2020, 08:01 PM
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While I am aware this is a necro-thread I just looked at my 25-2. It shows very little evidence of ever being fired much at all.

A factory lubricated Hornady .454" 255gr FP "COWBOY" bullet will go through the throats, but only after a little scraping of the factory lube. The best I could measure the throats with a telescoping gauge (rounded edges) and dial caliper is .455" or just a hair over.

Dale
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:01 PM
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I just measured 3 of my Colt M1917 examples' chamber throats for a thread on another website. (Early, mid, and late U.S. government contract examples.)

All 3 measured the same .455'ish diameter as my S&W 25-2 I posted about earlier.

Now for shigs and gittles I need to measure a few of my S&W M1917 chamber throats..........

Addendum: I just measured the chamber throats on several of my S&W M1917 U.S. government examples. (Very early, mid, and late production examples.) The actual M1917 examples measured around .454". The only notable deviations I saw were when I measured my Commercial M1917 from the 1930s and my Brazilian M1917 from the late 1930s. The commercial M1917 was reblued and measured .453" or so. The Brazilian has seen lots of use and measured .455".

When measuring my Colt and S&W M1917 examples I can't help but feel the "oversized" chamber throats on the Model 25 examples are simply a holdover from the thinking/design of the M1917.

Dale

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Old 07-14-2020, 04:32 PM
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There is one revolver that S&W got the throats spot on !
The model 58 in my avatar in 41 magnum, has correctly sized chambers , throats , forcing cone and barrel diameter . Shooting cast bullets in it was never a problem , just about any cast bullet sized .410 or .411 , shot very accurately out of it...in fact , finding an inaccurate load is hard ...everything seemed to line up and be the right size ... I have always viewed it as somewhat a Magical Shooter ... powders fast or slow could produce good groups with little work .
A cast 215 gr. wadcutter (NOE Moulds) over 7.0 grs. Red Dot or any cast 220 gr. SWC over 7.5 grains of Unique will give one big ragged hole groups ... all day long .
I don't know why but this model 58 doesn't seem to be plagued with the 45 Colt throat problems ... and most 45 Colt revolver , regardless of maker , seems to have some sort of problem that causes cast bullet problems ... I guess it's why I've never bought a 45 Colt .
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:55 PM
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I have a Magna Classic .44 mag with .427 throats and a 24-3 Lou Horton .44 special that will chamber .44 mag. To address the OP's question, in my mind, there is no excuse. Whether it's a .45acp or long colt (the usual offenders) there's just no reason for throat variations to that extreme or to the extent that they do not properly match the bore. To say that it's within SAMMI specs may be correct, but to me, it's an excuse for an inferior product. Would it really cost any more to cut a proper sized throat? The reputation for a superior shooting revolver is already there. Smith, Colt, Ruger and even Uberti have such reputations. They're finely made machines, yet, at times, they all fail at this simply corrected (and basic) production failure.

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Old 07-14-2020, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rays44 View Post
I have a Magna Classic .44 mag with .427 throats and a 24-3 Lou Horton .44 special that will chamber .44 mag. To address the OP's question, in my mind, there is no excuse. Whether it's a .45acp or long colt (the usual offenders) there's just no reason for throat variations to that extreme or to the extent that they do not properly match the bore. To say that it's within SAMMI specs may be correct, but to me, it's an excuse for an inferior product. Would it really cost any more to cut a proper sized throat? The reputation for a superior shooting revolver is already there. Smith, Colt, Ruger and even Uberti have such reputations. They're finely made machines, yet, at times, they all fail at this simply corrected (and basic) production failure.
Looking at all of my Colt/S&W M1917 examples' (military and commercial) chamber throat measurements, as well as my 25-2, I feel it was not a variation but rather it was intentional.

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Old 07-14-2020, 07:15 PM
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I just measured the chamber throats on my 3 Colt "CIVILIAN MODEL OF 1917" examples and they all showed to be right at .456".

These were produced/delivered in the early 1930s in a very few numbers (approx 1000) and were in a very narrow serial number range.

Once again I feel the industry standard of yesteryear was for the chambers to be a few thousandths larger than the fmj ball bullet's diameter........for whatever reason.

Maybe the open base fmj bullet of that time obturated enough so that it wasn't an issue back then. I have read where the M1917 revolver was more accurate than the M1911 and during competitions with both being used they would have to spot the 1911 guys a few points to even things out.....so accuracy couldn't have been considered too terribly bad back in the day when using ball ammo.

Now when using modern jacketed hollow point bullets with a fully jacketed base it could be that they don't obturate as much if any at all. I could also see soft lead bullets in the .452" diameter giving not-so-stellar performance either due to the shallow rifling and/or larger chamber throats. Most people consider either softer hollow base lead bullets or .454"-.455" harder lead bullets to be better suited.

I tried "plated" hollow base bullets once but the added hardness/thickness of the plating did not allow the hollow bases to open up as expected at "normal" velocities and when I pushed them faster they simple shaved over the rather shallow rifling of the M1917 I was using for testing......so accuracy either way wasn't as hoped for. When I went back to 230gr fmj bullets accuracy was right back to being very good.

Dale

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Old 07-14-2020, 07:26 PM
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From my perspective, early "pre-model number" target 45 ACP revolvers, (in other words the 1950 Target 45 and 1955 Target 45) were built as match grade revolvers. The whole point of the game was precision. These early guns have cylinder throats that, in my experience, mic at .452" - .453".
Just as important (and completely overlooked in this thread) is chamber depth!
You want the combined chamber depth and headspace of the cylinder to equal, but no exceed by more than a couple thousandths of an inch, the specific cartridge case length.
These revolvers (built right) shoot great, at least out to the 50 yd slow fire line.
But, there is a price: your ammo has to be perfect. If your cast bullets are oversize at all, if you're sloppy with bullet lube, cases are over or under length, or if your resizing isn't right, the cartridge won't seat properly. Using Auto Rim brass helps, if the headspace is right. Half or Full moonclips that aren't perfectly flat also cause problems.
I imagine that back then a lot of inattentive reloaders complained that their revolvers jammed or were sticky. The easy answer is to cut oversize chambers to accommodate sloppy ammo. The same issue exists when comparing hunting rifles and target rifles.
All some people care about is that their gun goes "Bang"!
The 45 ACP problem is simply more pronounced due to the fact that the chamber specs call for being able to headspace off the case mouth. Look in a 44 Special chamber and you'll see a taper from the cartridge chamber area to the throat.
That's a whole different ballgame....

Jim
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  #42  
Old 07-14-2020, 07:47 PM
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From my perspective, early "pre-model number" target 45 ACP revolvers, (in other words the 1950 Target 45 and 1955 Target 45) were built as match grade revolvers. The whole point of the game was precision. These early guns have cylinder throats that, in my experience, mic at .452" - .453".
Yes, all else being equal I could see where oversized chamber throats could/would be considered problematic for precision shooters.

Has anyone ever gained knowledge as to why S&W would start out with oversized chambers for their military and commercial M1917 examples, only to tighten them up for early 1950/1955 target models and then open the chamber throats back up again on later target models?

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Old 07-14-2020, 08:24 PM
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I'm looking for a 25-2 to buy. Suppose I am at a gun show and someone has one on a table for sale. What can I do to avoid buying a gun with oversize throats. Is there a simple/quick way to check that a seller would allow?
Thanks
Bob
Make or have a machinist make a stepped gauge pin maybe .451 up to .455
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:08 AM
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Take with you to the gun show a .451 .45acp jacketed bullet, a .452 .45 Colt jacketed bullet and a Hornady .454 swaged lead bullet. Drop them into the cylinder and you will have a good idea just what you are working with.........
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:06 AM
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My solution is
Get a 44 magnum cylinder and ream it to 45 colt with 452 throats.

All my 45 colts have .452 throats except my converted triple lock 455
I run oversized round nose bullets in it for 2 reasons. They size and all my round nose loads are light. My semi wadcutters are warmer
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