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


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Old 01-12-2021, 12:15 PM
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Gentlemens... I recently purchased a 25-3 Anniversary and am awaiting delivery of it. I love the look of the revolver and plan to shoot it rather than store it. (The gun appreciates or you appreciate it). I am an old hat at reloading for rifles, but bright-green new to reloading for handguns. I have many hundreds of jacketed .45 caliber 225 grain Speer Hollow points. I'm guessing it is not the optimal bullet weight for the .45 Colt due to limited loading data. I presently own 15 manuals dating from the 70's to the present. So now I am hoping to find out any and all opinions on loading these 225 grain bullets in the new acquisition. By the way, I really do not want to shoot cast lead bullets. Thanks for your time.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:03 PM
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I have a real nice 25-5 (4") in .45 Colt and I've been loading and shooting cast bullets for a while now, mainly because plated or jacketed items are hard to find today. Most of my cast bullets are coated and leave little or no lead residue in or around the barrel. You might want to try some and see if you like them, better hurry, they're beginning to get scarce too. I've loaded some 225 grain projectiles but prefer 200 grain.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:19 PM
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The 25-3 uses the shorter cylinder of the .45 ACP version (1.53") as opposed to the 25-5 and later 1.67" cylinder. I know that Lyman's 255 gr LSW is too long if crimped in the crimp groove and must be crimped over the front driving band. I don't know about your specific bullets. Since these are non-rebated cylinders, loaded ammo must be shorter than 1.53" when measured from the front of the rim to the bullet nose or 1.59" OAL - I'd allow a fudge factor so you are not right at the cylinder limits.



Start low and work up your loads, just as with any new loads.

Adios,

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Old 01-12-2021, 02:34 PM
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Thank you both. I talked myself out of lead bullets because of the mess they made in my old Colt New Service. I have many of them I purchased from a local man who made them and he was considered by many to be the best. I'm happy to try them out before writing them off. Also the drawing of the short cylinder is much appreciated.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:50 PM
S&WIowegan S&WIowegan is offline
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The Model 25-3 also has the large throats that S&W produced for many years. Your jacketed bullets may well produce good accuracy for you.
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:40 PM
george_lehr george_lehr is offline
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The Hodgdon Reloading Data Center shows loads for 225 grain FTX (jacketed with plastic tip) bullets using Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester powders. Load data has OAL at 1.60".

Set your sights on pistol reloading data | Hodgdon Reloading

George

All I've ever loaded for my M25-5 were 255 grain cast SWC bullets and despite the oversize throats (.457-.458) it shoots okay for me. Most shooting has been at 10 yards (bowling pin) or 25 yards (paper).

Last edited by george_lehr; 01-12-2021 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:43 PM
BigMuddy BigMuddy is offline
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Does your 225 gr bullet have a cannelure? If not it’s probably made for 45 acp. Not a real problem but getting a good crimp can be an issue. A taper crimp die or Lee Factory Crimp die may help.

The data on the Hodgdon site is a good place to start. Winchester 231 or Hodgdon HP38 (same powder) have always produced accurate loads for me. Hodgdon HS6 is great in 45 Colt also if a bit more velocity is wanted. It works best for me at the upper end of suggested data.

Good luck!

Dan
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:15 PM
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Hodgdon! Good reminder, somehow I forgot about them. I have some Winchester 231 powder, so I will see what I can do about getting those lighter bullets crimped sufficiently in the case. I'm not looking to make a Magnum out of it. Also will give the lead bullets a whirl as well.Thanks, all, for the advice in getting me started in handgun reloading.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:18 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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Load 255 Grain 0.454 lead bullets. Excellent accuracy and no leading.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:48 AM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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If your sizing die squeezes the case for a tight fit, you may not need to crimp. Or maybe just a taper crimp.

Kevin
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:30 AM
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That is my hope. Guess I have to see. I really want to shoot the light bullets. You and the other members have given me so much help on this handgun loading and I am thankful for it. Great Forum!
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:58 PM
Model19man Model19man is offline
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I have not used the Speer 225 GR JHP bullets in 45 Colt but see no reason not to use them. My experience is that hard bullets like those benefit greatly from using the Lee Factory Crimp die.

My own 45 is a Model 25-2 that was factory fitted with both 45 ACP cylinder and the same cylinder as your 25 - 3 so that it can be used with 45 Colt ammo. My personal favorite load is using Berry's plated 255 grain flat point bullet over either 7.5 grains of Unique or 7.1 grains of W-W 231. I use new R-P cases and Winchester Large Pistol primers.

The load with Unique has proven to be more accurate. Both the Unique and W-W 231 loads are mild and relatively clean burning.




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That is my hope. Guess I have to see. I really want to shoot the light bullets. You and the other members have given me so much help on this handgun loading and I am thankful for it. Great Forum!
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