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Old 02-10-2010, 08:05 PM
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Default Model 25-5 Are they all bad????

Long time reader, first time poster. Thanks for all the great information....& those pictures, dang you guys have some sweet stuff!
I'm in the process of making a purchase on a beautiful 25-5 and started reading some disturbing posts on here about over sized throats. Seems like a lot of you knew about that but I had never heard of it before. The seller is not really willing to have the cylinder checked for me and this is an out of state sale.
So, are all the 25-5's over sized or even enough of them that I should just walk away from this sale? I planned to shoot the gun often but am not into reloading yet.
How about the 25-3? Is there problems with that one also? Which is the best model in .45 LC? Thanks for your replies, Bob
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:15 PM
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My one and only 25-5 has .453 throats more or less. That is ok with me as I only shoot soft .454 more or less cast bullets in it. It shoots as well as I can shoot it. If it were me, I would risk it.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:43 PM
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You will be pretty safe with a non-pinned 25-5 (post 1980) I have had two, a 6" and my current 4" and both have 0.453 throats and shoot well.

With a pre-1980 25-5 (Pinned Barrel) it's a crapshoot but a lot if not most had oversizewd ( 0.457) throats. Thay can still shoot well if you can size the bullets to the throats.

Ifg the seller can't measure them or have them measured I would be leery. He may already know or maybe he just doesn't know how.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:02 PM
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I have posted this here many times in the past. Any 25-5 with the 3 letter, 4 number serial system will have correct throats at .452" -.453", and will shoot as good as you can hold them.

I agree that if the owner won't measure/check them, then he probably knows that they are oversized and doesn't want to admit it for fear of losing a sale.

If the gun is pinned, have someone check the serial number for a DOM. If it is a later N prefix gun made in late '80 up to the change in '82, it might have correct throats. S&W was well aware of the problem, and had started correcting the throats during this time frame. In fact, at one time you could send your gun back, and they would fit a new, correct cylinder for free, but those days are long gone.

Don't overlook the 25-7 and 25-9's either. They are even better. The dash 9 has all the endurance upgrades, and the dash 7 has most of them, plus they have throats that almost always mic out at .452". They are well known for their accuracy too.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:06 PM
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Just because a 25 has oversized cyl throats does not mean its bad, it just needs a special diet of matching or close to cyl throat diameter bullets. However I have found some 45 Colt handguns ( two of my Cimmeron Thunderers for instance) with .455 dia cyl throats that shoot fine with .452 diameter bullets, you never know. I do have a four inch 25-5 that has nice .452 dia. cyl throats that is a real shooter!
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:49 PM
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Welcome BoB ,yes it is a big deal when shelling out your hard earned cash on a 45cal. N frame.
1. Condition. 2. Price.
When determining the value of a Smith revolver ,the condition is first , then the price.
You will not know if it shoots until you try it ,and by that time , you own it.

As gun4fun has said , any Axx or Bxx serial prefix model 25-5 or 25-7 will shoot.
Let us know the particulars of the deal ,and we will help all we can.

Regards ,, Allen Frame




My own 25-5 ,25-7 ,and 25-9 ,they all shoot just a bit better than I do .....






Good Luck! , Allen Frame
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:23 AM
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My 25-9 shoots very well

dick44
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:06 AM
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Default Pinned barrel

Bob,

Listen to what Gun4Fun and AllenNFrame have suggested---first question is to ask if it has a pinned barrel, then the serial #--if it has a pinned barrel be wary at least to start. The serial # can give the date of manufacture which will really help narrow it down so everyone can help you.

Gun 4Fun helped me a ton with the same dilemma you have right now---my best piece of advice for you is to BE PATIENT ( sound familiar Tim). I finally found my 6" 25-5 a couple of months back and it is extremely accurate. It can get very frustrating with all the pinned barrel versions but the results are definitely worth the wait, unless of course you reload and can size your own bullets to correct throat dimensions. Also, if you do get one that is pinned and resize your own you are a little bit more limited as to varying bullet weights and profiles.

I'm looking for a 4" version myself--can anyone here me ?

Good luck

Steve
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:27 PM
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Default MOD. 25-5

Steve here. I have a 25-5 in my hand , the measurement is 457. Now what.?
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:01 PM
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Thanks guys for the good solid info. I will contact the owner tonight and see if he will give me the serial number so we can find out for sure.

Allan...you have some nice shootin' irons there. A model 25, 4" with Factory combats. That's a beauty!

I am rather fond of the nice bright S&W blue. Thanks, Bob
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:01 PM
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Default I own 2 25-3's and 2 25-5's in .45 Colt chambering.

All are pinned. I usually shoot either wadcutter or semiwadcutter hard cast bullets sized .452" though occassionally I will shoot some jacketed bullets also sized .452".

All four revolvers shoot tighter than I can hold but that isn't saying much these days. More to the point, they shoot as tight as my 25-2 .45 ACP target guns and THAT ought to be close enough for anybody.

If you believe the throat sizes are giving you problems, try some very soft bullets to see if there is any difference. If the problem is extreme, hollow based bullets may be another option.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:29 PM
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I don't have an inside micrometer. I just measured the max outside dia. of a WWB .44mag cartridge, it's .444" (duh-2lines +.004=454"). I would need a hammer to get it past the crimp into the front of any of the charge holes. The sre# on my 25-5 is N821xxx, I believe '81 vintage. Sorry for the "doofus test" but lacking proper tools, seems like 6 tight holes. Joe
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:31 PM
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The bulk bullets from Winchester, and Remington available from places like Midway, or Cabela's measure .456", and .455" respectively, and are both of hollow base design, which usually goes a long way towards helping solve the oversized throat problem, since they obturate quite easily filling the throat upon firing.

44forever-

A lot of the 25-2's have the oversized throats as well. In fact, I'd say that in all likelyhood, more have oversized throats than not. Mine has them that measure .455", and .456" all on the same gun, and lots of other guys have posted similar findings with regards to their own, here in the past. Just something to be aware of. The fact that the 25-2 was marketed as a target gun doesn't really matter as far as throats sizes went on these guns.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:35 PM
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pharmer-

You can actually measure the throats quite closely with a decent set of calipers used for reloading purposes.

Plug gauges are the best, and most accurate way to do it, but calipers wil get you close as long as you make sure to check each chamber in several positions around the mouth of the throat, and keep the jaws flat against the throat wall.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:44 PM
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Thanks GFF, but I don't have those either. I've seen those digital readout inside/outside micrometers at the shows for $30. Probably need it a few times a year but I need one anyways. Joe
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:57 PM
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I am the proud owner of a Smith and Wesson Model 25-5, nickle plated, six inch barrel .45 Colt revolver with target grips. I call it my "Great Silver Gun".

I purchased this revolver in 1984 on my first leave from the USMC...I wore my dress blues when I bought it. This and the fact that it was big, shiny and heavy and was the only one in inventory..no one wanted it. I will not say how much I paid for it, but let's just say a REAL good price.

I still have that revolver in it's own special case. It was the first revolver I ever bought. It is very special to me, and will go to my oldest when the time comes.

I have fired it hundreds of times and have gotten to the point that I could call my shots at 100 yds with it. It has never failed or disappointed me.

Any problems with this revolver are news to me. I swear by it and often carry it concealed (albeit with a large overcoat...how did Clint Eastwood do it in a suit?)
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:22 PM
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TLKS-

Thank you for serving this great country.

BTW,
Eastwood didn't actually have the gun on most of the time. Only for scenes where it was going to come into play. If you could only figure out how to carry like that, it wouldn't be a problem for you either.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:03 AM
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The owner was not willing to cooperate with me on checking the throats and would not furnish me the serial no. so to be on the safe side, I am walking on this one. Thanks again to everyone for the detailed information. Bob
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:07 AM
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Final update. The owner was not willing to furnish me the serial number nor have the gun checked out by his gunsmith. So, to be on the safe side, I'm walking away from this one.
Thanks to everyone for the helpful information. Bob
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:20 PM
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I know it can be hard to do sometimes, but I think you did the right thing passing. I can understand the owner worrying about his serial number, but all you need is the letters and the first couple of numbers to find the correct time period. Not wanting to check the throats sounds like he already knew what they were.

Keep watching and being patient, you'll find the right one.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:35 PM
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I own three 25-5's in .45 colt. With a 4" bbl -- shooting .454 lead reloads, I get 9-ring accuracy on a B-27 target at 25 yards. With my two 6" bbls -- both shooting .454 lead reloads -- I get 10-ring accuracy. Actually measured, it's just under 2" groups -- from a rest.

For defense, any of the three is great. For hunting -- well, it would depend on what you're hunting and how far away.

To anyone wondering about the .45 colt with oversized throats: just buy it. Try different loads using a .454 lead bullet and you will find one that works for you

By the way, my 4" likes Silvertips and just chews the center out of the target with them -- as do the 6 inchers, though they like lead.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:56 PM
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Mine, bought used, does not have that problem and shoots VERY well indeed. However, when I got it, the forcing cone was cut at a very noticeable angel and it was spitting something fierce, which is probably why I got a good deal on it. I had the barrel set back one turn and the forcing cone recut and it was GREAT.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:33 PM
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I have a 80 vintage 25-5 with .453 throats and I shoot .454 cast bullets from it with excellent accuracy!
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:58 AM
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Default Model 25-5 Are they all bad????

From my actual experience, they are not all bad, but I'm not sure S&W knows how many actually are.

Are my bullet specs incorrect? - .45 ACP = .451-.452 +/- .005, and .45 Colt = .452 - .454 +/- .005

Pin gages are the most accurate. Calipers will work. The simple test that my GA & GB sellers will use (after I coax them) is to point the muzzle at the ground (deck) and place an ACP or Colt bullet in the throat. If the bullet goes through like corn through a goose, pass on the opportunity. If not (it's tight), keep bidding.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:02 PM
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Calipered measuring of the throats on my newly acquired 25-5 is at .454/.455. Mine is an N prefix pinned barrel that checks back to 1980. The cylinder has been cut for clips and I've shot some .45 Colt lead cowboy loads which seemed to group the best. Followed by some .45ACP 230FMJ with the 230LRN being the least accurate.
All firing was off-hand at app. 15 yards. None of which performed outstanding (could've been me) but the groups were acceptable for self defense shooting at nominal distance, although the point of impact varied quite a bit between the various loads.

Last edited by jack the toad; 09-28-2013 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:37 PM
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I too have an early 1980's 25-5 with an 8 3/8 barrel, pinned
and recessed. I have a set of digital calipers that can
measure inside diameters. Now, just to clarify, the throat
of the cylinder is on the front end of the cylinder about a
1/4 inch or so going inward? If that's the area, mine measures
.452 ", which is good. The serial # on my gun is N7160xx.

If I'm wrong, please let me know.
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