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  #1  
Old 01-23-2010, 11:52 AM
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Default 45 ACP Super in 625 45 ACP

In my continuing quest to learn about S&W revolvers, can the 625 45 ACP (or JM model) handle the 45 Super loads?

I'm still trying to decide if I want to buy a 686+, 620, 625 Colt Mnt gun (and possibly mill the cylinder for moon clips for use with 45 ACP) or a 625 ACP already set up for moonclips.

I sold my only revolver (Ruger SP101 snubbie) and think I need to own at least one to go along with my 1911's. I'm set up to load 38/357 and 45 ACP and have a good supple of homecast bullets on hand.

I'd like to have a bit more power than my 45 ACP 1911 loads and it would be just fine if I didn't have to buy a 45 Colt shell plate, dies and possible a new mold for a heavier bullet. (I shoot 200 gr SWC in my 1911's).

We put 200 rounds of 38's and some .357's through my son in law's 3" 686+ over the Christmas hollidays and I was very impressed. .357's were very comfortable through the Smith and not with my Ruger. The round grip on the 3" 686+ really fit my hand well and I understand that this grip can be fit on either the "L" or "N" frame revolvers.

I plan on trying to get good enough to compete with a revolver at our steel plate shoots and a 7 round capacity would give me a bit of an edge. I will probably also carry when backpacking so a bit more "omph" than regular 45 ACP would be nice.

Thanks,

Cloudpeak
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2010, 12:06 PM
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I know quite a few people who fire .45 supers in their 625s.
This is "secondhand" info since I dont have a 625... but there should be some 625 owners chime in on this topic.


Jim
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:09 PM
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I don't think the L and N frame grips interchange. The K and L frame do.
I have M625-3 with 3" barrel and really enjoy shooting 45ACP with the moon clips. I have only shot regular powered 45s but that is enough for me.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:13 PM
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Cloudpeak;
I have a couple of 625's chambered in .45 ACP. I mostly shoot them with target loads (200 SWC cast bullets ahead of 4.0 grs of Bullseye or equivalent). However, it will also safely handle the Lyman 452424 Keith 250 gr SWC at 900 fps. That is equal to the original .45 Colt ballistics with a MUCH more effective bullet. If I need any more than that I break out my .44 Magnums.

I load my heavy loads in .45 Auto Rim cases just to make certain that they will not find themselves in one of my 1911 platforms (although with the bullets distinctive shape what would not be liable to happen).

FWIW
Dale53
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:01 PM
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I own three 625s in .45 ACP and I shoot .45 Super equivalent handloads through them. Others on this forum shoot factory loaded .45 Super through theirs too without incident. I load the bullets slightly long so they won't chamber in my Glock 21s. Or I'll load 255 gr. bullets, which I consider the real advantage.

I believe that the .45 ACP is a far better choice than the .45 Colt in S&W revolvers. But if you're looking at the Ruger, then it's a different story.

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:22 PM
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As already mentioned, you can load 45 Super equivalents in acp cases. At the pressures I'm comfortable with in a S&W revolver, 45Colt has no advantage over 45acp. Published data gets me 250gr at 930fps, 200gr at 1100fps in a five-inch barrel, and it's easy to exceed those numbers without damaging the gun. Those are chronographed figures, by the way, not the fiction published by powder manufacurers and ammo companies.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:29 PM
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Great info, everyone. I'm getting a bit excited, now.

"I don't think the L and N frame grips interchange. The K and L frame do."

I'll have to try & find an "N" frame to "grip test". Kind of hard to do around here but I'm heading to Denver shortly so maybe I can find something to handle. We do have a 45 colt shooter in our club. Perhaps I can "test drive" his Smith some time.

"I have a couple of 625's chambered in .45 ACP. I mostly shoot them with target loads (200 SWC cast bullets ahead of 4.0 grs of Bullseye or equivalent). However, it will also safely handle the Lyman 452424 Keith 250 gr SWC at 900 fps. That is equal to the original .45 Colt ballistics with a MUCH more effective bullet. If I need any more than that I break out my .44 Magnums.

I load my heavy loads in .45 Auto Rim cases just to make certain that they will not find themselves in one of my 1911 platforms (although with the bullets distinctive shape what would not be liable to happen)."

Great info, Dale. I got rid of my Ruger 44 mag. flat top 6 1/2" barrel that I owned for 30 some years a few years back. The single action grip didn't work as well for me anymore and I no longer hunt. Sold my Lyman 250 gr Keith mold, as well. I like the idea of a 250gr bullet in the 45. Good idea on the auto rim.

Thanks pinky and David, as well, for the great posts.

Cloudpeak
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:52 PM
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I read up on the .45 super on the web 28,000 psi, and the .460 Rowland conversion that Clark does on the 625. He just punches out the cylinder 1/16th inch and the .460 operates at over38,000 PSI. Then, I ordered some Buffalo Bore .45 super, and test fired it in my 3" and 4" 625-3s, along with .45acp +Ps. There wasn't a lot more recoil or muzzle blast, and Ejection was light thumb pressure. All of my 625s are loaded with .45 super 230gr BB factory loads in full moons. Others may disagree,and YMMV.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:05 PM
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This is a good point. I know that Clark (and possibly others) have been rechambering 625s to .460 Rowland for quite some time now. I'm sure this would beat the .45 Super in a long barreled auto but I tend to doubt its ballistics in a 3" or 4" revolver. One of the great attributes of a proper .45 ACP revolver is its ability to fire .45 ACP without moonclips and I'm unwilling to sacrifice that for a questionable velocity gain and deeper chambers which would prevent single loading of .45 ACP cartridges.

Dave Sinko
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
T One of the great attributes of a proper .45 ACP revolver is its ability to fire .45 ACP without moonclips and I'm unwilling to sacrifice that for a questionable velocity gain and deeper chambers which would prevent single loading of .45 ACP cartridges.
Dave Sinko
I didn't know that you didn't need the moon clips. IOW, there is ledge at the front of the chamber on which the 45 ACP's case mouth headspaces? Is this true of any Smith 45 ACP revolver, i.e. the JM or plain 625?

BTW, all I see on the Smith & Wesson web site for the 45 ACP is the 625 JM in 45 ACP. The Mountain Gun is 45 Colt. I'm sure I've seen something about a non-JM 45 ACP "N" frame somewhere in my search for S & W knowledge. Is the JM my only choice now?

Thanks, Cloudpeak
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:45 PM
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I've seen reports here that new 625s won't fire without moonclips. I have a 625 JM bought in 2008 that fires without moonclips. The cartridges do seat a little deeper, but they still fire using federal primers. I haven't tried other primers.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:01 PM
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All S&W revolvers chambered for .45 ACP leave the factory with the ability to headspace without the use of moon clips. If one doesn't, something is wrong and it needs to be returned.

Just remember that without the moon clip, there is nothing for the extractor star to grap onto. You will have to remove the cases by hand.

Years ago, before the internet, I discussed the use of .45 Super with Ace Hindman. At the time, he was very leary of using it to its full potential in a 625. Given modern powders, I'm sure the 625 can handle it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
All S&W revolvers chambered for .45 ACP leave the factory with the ability to headspace without the use of moon clips. If one doesn't, something is wrong and it needs to be returned.

Just remember that without the moon clip, there is nothing for the extractor star to grap onto. You will have to remove the cases by hand.

Years ago, before the internet, I discussed the use of .45 Super with Ace Hindman. At the time, he was very leary of using it to its full potential in a 625. Given modern powders, I'm sure the 625 can handle it.
Some 1917's will not headspace without the clips.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:22 PM
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I believe the 1917's that won't headspace were made by Colt.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:41 PM
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The earlier Model 25's and some early 625's will handle .45 ACP's with out the clips (headspacing on the mouth of the case).

Smith made a decision on the later 625's to NOT follow the original protocol and the later units REQUIRE moon clips for proper headspacing.

My 625-6 and 625-8 revolvers require the clips (or the use of .45 Auto Rim cases).

Dale53
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:06 PM
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I have a 625-6 and 625-10 which don't require clips. Neither do my 25-2, 625-2 and 625-3. I didn't know any S&W's wouldn't fire without them.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:50 PM
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All SW 17,25 & 625s I have seen will shoot ACP w/o clips. Caution with hand loads, to much taper crimp allows loads to move forward and not fire. AR brass is excellent for light (old HEs) and for heavy loads!

Tommy
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkymingeo View Post
I have a 625-6 and 625-10 which don't require clips. Neither do my 25-2, 625-2 and 625-3. I didn't know any S&W's wouldn't fire without them.
It isn't a question about whether an individual gun will fire - it's a question of headspace and the consequences of having too much of it. Measure the space between the cartridge head and the recoil shield both with and without moonclips. You will find that the "w/o" condition is larger, because that's the way S&W makes them. If it exceeds 0.010", you have a potentially dangerous situation. The case slams into the recoil shield at much higher than bullet velocities and can cause damage. if the exposed cartridge length is enough, and if the cartridge pressures are high, the cartridge case can rupture. That is not good for your wellbeing.

One more thing... If you're going to shoot .45 Super reloads, use .45 Super cases. The case walls are thicker at the base, and the brass is stronger than .45ACP cases. It's one of the reasons that the round will work in the thin-walled chambers of a 625. BTW, have you compared the chamber wall thickness of a 625 to a 1911? Much thinner.


Buck
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2010, 11:56 PM
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My 325 Night Guard will fire Remington 230gr Ball, and 230 Golden Sabre HP with out the clips. However several other factory 45 ACP's will not reliabley fire without the clips.

I would not hesitate to shoot 45 Super in any Steel framed S&W 45 ACP revolver.

I do not think I would shoot a lot of it in a Scandium framed gun...

I know they make the Scandium guns in 44 mag, but they have had some problems with them.

Also if you have a steel framed 45 ACP take a look at Buffalo Bore +P Auto Rim ammo.
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1911, 45acp, 686, bullseye, cartridge, colt, crimp, extractor, glock, l frame, model 25, model 625, mountain gun, remington, ruger, scandium

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