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


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Old 11-06-2020, 07:59 PM
sixscrew sixscrew is offline
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I just purchased a unfired model 25 S prefix

Delivered in 1961 according to register.

The loaded moon clips that worked or fit my 25-2 and my 1989
625
Will not work on the 1961 25-no dash However the 3 round half
Moon work. And I have a dozen.

Does anyone have any insight in this matter?

I havenít tried them on my 1917 afraid to scratch my beautiful mint GHS.

Thank you sixscrew
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Old 11-06-2020, 08:49 PM
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Hmm, can't imagine. I use the same ones in my 1917, pre 25, 25-2 and both 625s.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:06 PM
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Iíve heard all moonclips are not the same thickness. You might try a different brand and see if that helps. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:22 PM
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I don't have an answer except try another brand. If you reload you might try .45 auto rim. Starline has the brass. Also, you don't need new dies the .45 ACP dies and shell holder work just fine. This eliminates the need for moon clips.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:27 PM
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Default 25

It appears that itís slightly too narrow,
I can force it in part way .
But it will not seat.

Thank you for the replyís
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:33 PM
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I understand the need for the clips during the war to use 45 ACP
but I always found them a hassle. Auto rim is a good alternative.
Now that Iím old I still like 45 ACP and convertibles but in a SAA
Colt,I trade cylinders to shoot the ACP which headspaces on the
case mouth,I donít reload just shoot 230 Ball. 😆


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Old 11-06-2020, 09:36 PM
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Unless you're in a big hurry, Auto Rim brass is the way to go and you don't need any tools.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:03 PM
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HMMM, full moonclips worked fine in my model of 1955 S prefix fine.
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:46 PM
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Look for Ranch Products moon clips.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixscrew View Post
I just purchased a unfired model 25 S prefix

Delivered in 1961 according to register.

The loaded moon clips that worked or fit my 25-2 and my 1989
625
Will not work on the 1961 25-no dash However the 3 round half
Moon work. And I have a dozen.

Does anyone have any insight in this matter?

I havenít tried them on my 1917 afraid to scratch my beautiful mint GHS.

Thank you sixscrew
Yes, as others have previously stated there are various thickness .45acp moonclips available for a myriad of reasons. I found this out by "accumulating" the moonclips via numerous seperate acquisitions when perusing gunshows, receiving them with purchased revolvers, etc... (Some you can visibly see are thicker when compared to the others!)

It would be wise to fit check them and segregate them for the revolvers they work in if you do somehow end up with several thicknesses of them and issues arise due to such.

If you would like to know the thickness of the halfmoon clips used in my actual WWI ammo for your M1917 let me know and I'll measure them.

Dale

Last edited by tenntex32; 11-07-2020 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:57 AM
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I have a model 25 and I found that the moon clips when they are punched out leave a ridge around the rim that holds the case. My handholds wouldn't work in my 25 until I ground off those ridges with a dremmel tool. Don't know if that is your issue, but you might check it out. It fixed the problem for me.
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
Unless you're in a big hurry, Auto Rim brass is the way to go and you don't need any tools.
Can you size 45 auto rim in 45 ACP dies, or do you have to buy dies specifically for 45 AR?
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Old 11-07-2020, 02:49 AM
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My Cabela's/Lee Deluxe Carbide .45acp 4-die set (p/n 90513 3-die set with additional factory crimp die) is marked for both .45acp and .45 Auto Rim. The case length is identical so all of the same dies work, but .45AR does obviously require the use of a different shellholder due to it's wider and thicker rim. (I can't remember if I had to buy the .45AR shellholder separately back when I purchased the deluxe die set, but I do have a seperate .45AR shellholder with the set. Lee's website states the .45AR shellholder is the R13 p/n 90199.)

Over the years I have loaded .45AR with my Lee carbide .45acp/.45AR 4-die set with no problems whatsoever. I see that Lee also offers a dedicated carbide .45AR 3-die set p/n 90808, but if you already have your .45acp dies then all you should require are the appropriate .45AR shellholders for the press, hand priming tools (if used), and case trimming tools if trimming is ever needed. (Assuming you don't already have shellholders that may be suitable.)

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Old 11-07-2020, 07:56 AM
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I only use the moon clips from Ranch Products. They have worked in all of my ACP revolvers from the ones built in 1918 to the ones built in the 21st century. For the 45 ACP you should only need one thickness. The variety of thickness came about when the moon clip was adapted to different cartridges. The 45 ACP was standardized and to the best of my knowledge, all ammunition makers hold to those standards.

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Old 11-07-2020, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Can you size 45 auto rim in 45 ACP dies, or do you have to buy dies specifically for 45 AR?
.45 ACP dies and an Auto Rim shellholder.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:11 AM
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In my limited 1917-like experience, for informal use the Rimz polymer (aka flexible plastic) moon clips worked well. Different metal ones will also but it may be a trial and error situation.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:28 AM
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I use Rimz moonclips, and they sell two different types for newer and older S&W .45 ACP revolvers. I use both, one in my "pre-25" and and the other in my 2001-ish Heritage model, everything works great.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:55 AM
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Make sure the gun has a 45 ACP cylinder. The cylinder from the Model 25-3 fits in most Model 25 45ACP revolvers. Those are chambered for 45 Colt caliber.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:25 AM
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Default some moon clip thickness issues

My Model 25-2 Letters shipping Feb 14, 1972 and I too had some issues with moon clips in the beginning. I thought it might be ammo, but I don't reload (or use anyone's reloads) and the factory ammo (230 gr. FMJ) seems to be all according SAMMI but I would get very light primer strikes and even FTF when using plastic moons year ago.

Like yours, the S&W factory half-moons (3 rds) that came with the gun worked just fine and I've accumulated some more factory half moons over the years. They all work great, are smooth both sides (no stamping sharp edges) and precision measure 0.040" thick.

I also got a baggie of full moons along with a de-mooner tool at a gun show. These are steel, smooth, and are 0.042" thick. They work great too...brand unknown.

Lastly (best of all) I got a couple boxes of S & W Factory Full moons, part number 191420000, when a local LGS closed for good. These measure 0.041" thick, again, very smooth both sides and work every time, all the time. I've now got plenty of full moon clips and I use my BMT full moon loader tool to load at least twenty full moons before hitting the range and I spend no time at the range fumbling with reloading clips. Get home, and in seconds (not minutes) all the empties are out with the same BMT.

BTW: I have no commercial interest in BMT....just a huge fanboy!

Summary I can't pin down your issue, but I can confirm at least with my 1972 Model 25-2 the thickness of moons used (and material...steel vs. plastic) actually made a difference.

Just my observations.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:01 PM
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The Ranch Product moon clips work well in both my 25-2 and my 1917 Brazilian. Only time I had a problem with any was with an odd brand of ammo, the bevel b y the rim was cut slightly different and the cases did not fit in the clips properly and caused the cylinder to rub on the recoil shield.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:28 PM
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Did not realize full-moons could be a source of aggravation and require so much study! If the half-moons work, get more half-moons. Or, if using factory ammo and it's not a SD situation, do not use any clips. I've found many fired casings will fall out of my ACP revolvers without requiring a pencil or dowel to push them out.

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Old 11-07-2020, 12:35 PM
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Model 25 .ACP question-24d4c7ea-54b9-40c8-86cd-3f228e44feb0-jpg

Model 25 .ACP question-fd575c68-0d9d-4ed4-b9dd-88cf539cd3ee-jpg

So thank to all the information received
In think I will just use AR for ease in the long run.

I should have been more clear the moon clip thickness is not the issue. When the loaded moon will not drop all the way in the cylinder because the bullets are too close together.
See pictures.
I checked and both cylinders are same length 1.5Ē ruling out itís a .45 long colt cylinder.
Thanks again
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:40 PM
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This was originally a full moon demooning tool only, until I redneck engineered it to load the full moon clips as well. The dome nut the moonclip fits around is also "calibrated" to spin which allows me to load a clip up rather quickly and easily.

The factory demooning aspect of the tool demoons two spent cartridges (or loaded cartridges even) at a time.

The demooning tool was an inexpensive local gunstore find that they had acquired along with a large lot of estate sale gun related items.

As far as random issues with moonclips and revolvers go I have a very nice condition S&W M1917 example that would not let one specific type/brand of steel full moonclips (that I had acquired about a dozen of) to fit all the way down around it's ratchet. The center hexagonal opening of those moonclips were just a thousandth or two too narrow for this one M1917 example. Obviously it would never have been a problem with the military issue ammo on half moonclips......nor was it an issue when using other steel full moonlips I own. Also, it was not an issue when using the narrow opening full moonclips in other M1917 examples I own. It was a simple enough fix to file the center opening of the narrow moonclips just a tad.

If you tinker with M1917 and other .45acp revolvers long enough you are likely to see all sorts of oddities.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaaskop49 View Post
Did not realize full-moons could be a source of aggravation and require so much study! If the half-moons work, get more half-moons. Or, if using factory ammo and it's not a SD situation, do not use any clips. I've found many fired casings will fall out of my ACP revolvers without requiring a pencil or dowel to push them out.

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Yup............the first time I saw some newly made half moonclips at a funshow I picked up a big handful of them too. I also love the nostalgia aspect of them with regards to the M1917 examples, and they function just fine with everything I have used them in thus far.

I do tend to be even more careful with them when removing the spent cases as there is very little moonclip strength on the outboard two cases. But it's a small price to pay for "originality".

I too have had standard power .45acp ammo simply fall out of the cylinder when not using moonclips. Maybe a slightly stuck case every now and then most of the time those can simply be flicked out with a fingernail. I don't think I have ever had to resort to using a screwdriver, pencil, or dowel to remove one........yet. But I tend to keep my revolvers' chambers clean and to be honest it's rare I shoot them without some form of a moonclip anymore.

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Old 11-07-2020, 02:49 PM
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I have a pre-25 Model of 1955 and use Wilson Combat full moon clips, product code 69B5. No problems at all. Might be worth a try...
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Old 11-07-2020, 03:00 PM
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Curiosity got the better of me.

Here is a batch of random full and half .45acp moonclips I had previously bagged up together, as well as a full moonclip of snap caps I have for function testing.

As you can see the full moonclips ranged from .039" all the way up to .045". Various makes, some with both sides smooth, some with slight "punch metal" lip. I measured each leg of the full moonclips and sorted them according to their largest measurement. I had two distinct ranges for the aftermarket half moonclips...................031"-.033" and .038"-.040".

The WWI military issue .45acp rounds (still on their original moonclips) measured .038"-.039".......which would coincide with the thicker aftermarket half moonclips I have as well as coinciding with the thinnest full moonclips I have.

Funny enough, and out of pure coincidence, the full moonclip I use for the snap caps just happened to be one of the thinnest (.039") full moonclips in the bunch. I may transfer the snap caps to the thickest .045" moonclip just to see if any cylinder closing/dragging issues arise with any of my .45acp revolver examples. I may even fit check the thickest moonclip with some actual .45acp ammo in all of the revolvers as well.

I was quite surprised at the thickness variances I found, but to be honest it would probably take the right combination of a thick moonclip, short headspace, and cases with an oddly shaped extractor groove (or thick rims) to see any cylinder closing/dragging issues. And a combination of long headspace (or modified deeper reamed chambers), thin case rims, and thin moonclips may possibly create light primer strikes and/or inconsistent primer ignition issues. Obviously it can and does happen.

I guess I know what I'll be doing for the next few moments.......
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Old 11-07-2020, 04:41 PM
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I just completed fit checking the thickest .045" full moonclip (with snapcaps installed) in all of my .45acp revolvers that will accept moonclipped ammo. (Sorry Charter Arms PitBull!)

The 18 revolvers tested included original Colt and S&W U.S. Army M1917 examples, Colt and S&W Civilian and Commercial examples, a S&W Brazilian contract M1917 example, and a 1970's S&W 25-2 1955 Target s/n N378xxx.

Only 2 of the examples had any noticeable cylinder drag when tested with the thickest .045" full moonclip with the muzzle level, hammer pulled slightly back, and the cylinder made to sing. (spun by hand) Those two examples are an excellent condition Colt U.S. Army M1917 and a S&W 25-2 which is also in excellent almost unfired condition. The Colt M1917 was slightly the worse of the two with regards to drag. Both examples could still be cocked for single action firing and could be cycled in double action, but the cylinder drag was noticed when doing so. Nothing crazy, but present.

No issues closing the cylinder with any of the revolvers when using the .045" full moonclip and snap caps, although once again with the two examples that had cylinder drag there may have been some tighter tolerances when closing the cylinder.......but no unusual force was noted when closing (or opening) their cylinders.

I will make a mental note to run a cylinder or two through any examples taken to the range using the thinnest .031"-.033" half moonclips and the thickest .045" full moonclips just to verify function with them while using live ammo.

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Old 11-07-2020, 09:39 PM
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I had several moon clips that would not fully seat. Comparing mine that worked against these, I noticed a small ridge from the manufacturing stamping process. I carefully sanded these away and, bingo, works like they are supposed to.
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Old 11-09-2020, 12:05 PM
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TennTex32 ETAL
thank you
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Old 11-09-2020, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
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TennTex32 ETAL
thank you
You are most welcome. I rather enjoy discussing the .45acp revolvers in case anyone might have missed that little tidbit.

And of course, I am always still learning myself........not that I always retain everything nowadays!

I can still remember the first time I read about Colt and S&W revolvers being chambered in .45acp for the WWI effort............and my reaction being "wait, what?".
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeplorabusUnum View Post
Can you size 45 auto rim in 45 ACP dies, or do you have to buy dies specifically for 45 AR?
As a owner of the 1955 Target Model 25 6.5in bbl, I have used both moon clips and AR. The AR brass from Starline is excellent, highly recommend. As for loading the AR, the 45ACP die works, but you need a different shell holder. From Lee that is #13 shell holder. The rest is the same.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sixscrew View Post
I just purchased a unfired model 25 S prefix

Delivered in 1961 according to register.

The loaded moon clips that worked or fit my 25-2 and my 1989
625
Will not work on the 1961 25-no dash However the 3 round half
Moon work. And I have a dozen.

Does anyone have any insight in this matter?

I havenít tried them on my 1917 afraid to scratch my beautiful mint GHS.

Thank you sixscrew
You may wish to try RIMZ Poly Moon clips. No tools, no scratching. I use them with my 625 JM. There 2 styles. Bob
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