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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 01-06-2020, 02:07 AM
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Default Four inch vs Five inch 625

Hello Smith and Wesson brain trust!

For the 625 owners out there. Do you prefer the four inch or the five inch and why? Ive toyed around with getting one and can't decide between the barrel lengths. It'd primarily be a range gun.

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:00 AM
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Have had several 625s.
For me, they shot the same.
Get whichever pre-IL -3 or -4 you can get the best deal on.

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Old 01-06-2020, 03:17 AM
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The five points better for me, but that's just me.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:07 AM
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5" barrels are special shooters, it is a fine balanced gun. It will give your ammo a bit better performance, but you have to shoot quality ammo. This can be done through reloading your own.

4" barrels have the edge on different applications, carry, size and excellent balance too. I have many 4" guns in several calibers.

However when I backpack deep into the outback bush I carry a 5" to 7 1.2" barrels (Smith 44 mag or a 7 1.2" inch barrel Ruger 44Mag.

5" inch heavy artillery.



and 4" inch lighter carry, say .357 mags...



to each their own, to each different useage….
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:38 AM
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On the pre-lock guns, it seems the 5" is more abundant. Not sure if 4" had less made or less for sale... I have both and if limited to only one, it would be the 4". Not because one shoots better but I think 4" is all-around ideal length.
ETA:
If for primary range use, I may go with the 5" as it shoots phenomenal and typically may be cheaper. Nothing wrong with either.

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Old 01-06-2020, 09:01 AM
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Jack the toad sums up my opinion very well. Id not be disappointed with either for range use. For an all-around gun, Id prefer 4-inch. If you plan to compete in the action games, I believe the 5-inch guns are no longer authorized in certain classes of competition. That doesnt affect my thinking, but might be important to others.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:11 AM
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I've had a 3" and a 5" for a long time; never had a 4", but doubt you'd see appreciable difference between 4" and 5" versions.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:16 AM
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Never owned a 4", but the 5" 625-2 is an extremely nice shooter for me. The other four 45acp revolvers I own are old ones (65 to 101 years old). Shown is the 625-2 with a Colt 1917.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:34 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Do any of you feel any balance shift between the 4" and 5"

As for shooting quality ammo. Thats no problem, I roll my own almost exclusively now.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:35 AM
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I shoot IDPA and let me tell you, I was P.O.ed when they reduced the revolver barrel length from 5 to 4 inches.
Five inch just seems natural for the N frame.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:43 AM
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You will definitely notice the muzzle heavy aspect with the 5-inch gun more than the 4-inch, unless you have arms like a gorilla. If youre just banging away, its not so much of an issue for me, but if youre doing precision shooting thats another thing.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:55 AM
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I prefer the 4” due to balance and ease of carry. I could care less of the IL, so I got the PC model. It does everything that I need and more, especially since I put Herrett Jordan Troopers on it, and reloaded some AR brass. It is the only N frame that I can shoot worth a hoot.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:59 AM
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I have both and like both. My Model of 1988 only shoots well with plated bullets. My 625 JM shoots everything well.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:05 AM
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Default Length does matter

You bring up a very good question; 4"bbl vs. 5"bbl.

My experience is the 4"bbl is very unforgiving at the Range.
That being said, to be constant, you have to really concentrate
on Front Sight, Trigger control (a very light/smooth, good trigger
helps here), and even grip can change things (that why all my
Serious Revolvers have the S&W Black pliable grips on).

Revolvers with longer Sight Plains, such as the 5" or 6-1/2"bbl
seem to be right there on target at ranges 7yds to 30yds, just
my experience.

I like to shoot, and do a lot of Indoor Range Shooting (we have
the Best Indoor Range/Owners in the State), and practice is the
key to hit the Bullseye.

I'm always on the look out for a S&W 625 45Colt/629 44Rem
Mag SDS with the 5"bbl. Some day I'll find a Safe Queen, one
new in the box.

The Best to you and your Endeavors.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:38 AM
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I have the 3" and the 4".......Wish I had the 5" to go with them.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:44 AM
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FWIW, I have all three. I prefer the 3625-3 for ccw, 5 625-2 for range use and the tapered 4 of my 625-6 MG for backpacking, be it a .45 Colt and not .45 acp. If I could only have one, Id keep the 4 MG.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:40 PM
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I have a 3,4,and a 5 inch,they all feel great,and are outstanding shooters.

.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
I shoot IDPA and let me tell you, I was P.O.ed when they reduced the revolver barrel length from 5 to 4 inches.
Five inch just seems natural for the N frame.
Thats the reason I bought a 4 version.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:15 AM
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I have both a 4" & 5"... 5 inch balances better for me at the range and is therefore more accurate, for me... but one thing not covered yet... if you ever want to use a holster you will want to go with the 4"... holsters specifically for 5 inch N frames are difficult to find...
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:32 AM
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This thread prompted me to take my 5" Model of 1988 to the range last night to try some coated bullets that I loaded. I'm pretty happy. Target was at 55' fired S/A two hand hold standing. Ten rounds fired.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:56 AM
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Default 625-3 4"

I have a 4" that I really lucked out and picked up in 1998 through an estate sale, NIB, for the princely sum back then of $250. It's been a perfect performer for me and I carry it regularly. It's the piece that got me started on developing my trigger cocking shooting skills and is one of the guns I'll never get rid of. I had started out wanting the 5" but I've been so happy with this one, I can't see being wrong with either.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:12 PM
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I will take my 625-6 45 colt MG. I like the balance and it packs nice on my pack belt.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:41 AM
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As a fan of .45 caliber revolvers, I like them all! Although I'm no Charles Atlas I've never had problems holding up any of them at the range. The large hole bored through the barrel does tend to lighten them a bit...

That being said, for some reason my 4" JM makes me look to be a much better shot than I really am!
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:15 AM
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I have a 5" 625 in .45ACP and really like the balance. I also have a 4" 25 in .45 Colt. Both are great shooters but I seem to do a bit better with the 625 which I believe has something to do with the balance.



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Old 01-08-2020, 05:41 PM
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Ed those guns have some pretty sweet stocks. Do you know the brand/maker?
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:48 PM
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Groo here
Once you shoot 3in and 5 in you will most likely not look at another 4in or 6in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!{there are a FEW exceptions like a 6 in Python]
They just feel different.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:31 PM
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I have both the 625-6 (Model of 1989) 5" and the 625-8 JM Special. Both are ABOVE excellent revolvers. Both of mine shoot extremely well with my home cast bullets of various designs.

I live in Ohio and deer hunting is available to nearly all of the State. Ohio regs limit the minimum barrel length of a revolver to 5" for deer hunting. The .45 Auto Rim with the Lyman 452424 (250 gr Keith cast bullet) is an excellent choice for deer and hogs in the woods. You can safely drive that bullet to 900 fps plus and it is a good choice for woods use.

Some years ago, I lost most of the vision in my right eye. I switched to red dot sights and shoot right handed but left eyed. It surprisingly only took two range sessions to get up to speed with my left eye. When using the Red Dot sight, the 4" shoots just as well for me as the 5". As recently as last year I was still shooting my .45 revolvers as much as 7500 rounds per year. I found that I was using the 4" more than the 5". My youngest son expressed an interest in the 5" and I gifted him that fine revolver. He shoots it very well, too.

FWIW
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AManWearingAHat View Post
Do you prefer the four inch or the five inch and why?
It'd primarily be a range gun.
Either shoot just fine for me at the indoor range, not much difference, but I prefer a 5" for these N-frames.

.



.
.
.



.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:42 AM
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I think there is an issue with the ECM rifling in newer model 625s. I had a JM and it had shallow ECM rifling. It never shot very well (mostly shoot cast). I found several people with 4" guns with cut rifling that all seemed to be better shooters and a few that were just like mine. I think the shallow rifling of everything in 45 ACP coupled with ECM process just isn't such a good thing.

A friend of mine wanted the JM for shooting plates at close range and it works for him for that purpose but he also has a 5" model of 1989 and agrees the 1989 shoots way tighter groups on paper. I also got a used 1989 to replace the ECM JM, totally different gun.

Bottom line is I'd personally not touch a 45 ACP gun with shallow rounded ECM rifling no matter what the barrel length. Difference is obvious with magnification. My JM also made several trips to S&W to get it "acceptable" but never close to great like most of them you hear about.


There was a thread on the topic here: Close up of 625-8 JM EDM rifling
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by series guy View Post
I have both and like both. My Model of 1988 only shoots well with plated bullets. My 625 JM shoots everything well.
I got a model 1988 from a forum member. One of the throats was way undersized and shaved bullets to .449". Two others were undersized as well. I just split a dowel rod and spun some 500 grit wet dry paper on there and cut down a 45 casing to screw over the paper so it would pilot it in the cylinder. I went from a shotgun blast at the target to nice 1" groups with most loads. Plus I had to get a model of 1988 since that's the year I was born. Now to find my dad a model of 1955.
I should mention that the exit of all the throats were fine, just the start of the throat was off otherwise I would have gotten a reamer.

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Old 01-10-2020, 05:25 PM
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my Bro in law has the 1986 stainless 625 in 5 inch. It’s his but I own it. Can stand there and eat the center out of a target at 30 feet. I can just flat-out shoot that thing. He can’t do that on his best day and he can shoot. We both shoot our 629’s at clay pigeons at 100 yards on the shot gun range. We hit them more times than miss them. Just to be clear, not in flight, the missed ones on the ground.That model 625 is crazy priced or I would own one. I handled a Jerry M. 4 inch model and I didn’t care for it as much.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AManWearingAHat View Post
Hello Smith and Wesson brain trust!

For the 625 owners out there. Do you prefer the four inch or the five inch and why? .............It'd primarily be a range gun.
While I don't have a 625, I do have several N frames and IMHO (as others have attested to above) for overall field use (and that includes range use) the 5 inch is the best balanced of them all!! They are my favorite all purpose size while out and about on the property and hunting.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AManWearingAHat View Post
Hello Smith and Wesson brain trust!

For the 625 owners out there. Do you prefer the four inch or the five inch and why? Ive toyed around with getting one and can't decide between the barrel lengths. It'd primarily be a range gun.

Thanks!
I have one 625. It is an ACP Mountain Gun, so a four inch tapered barrel. I have a variety of ACP blued revolvers, from 3” to 6 1/2”. If I had to lose all but one I would keep a 4” tapered barrel. It packs well, is accurate and has plenty of power. It is my EDC.

However, you have had a bunch of replies suggesting 3, 4, and 5” barrels, some tapered, some full and some with the underlug. (Personally, I have no use for the full lugged barrel.) It boils down to personal preference. What is your planned use? You mentioned a primary role, what is the secondary purpose? A lot would depend on that.

Try as many as you can before you buy. If you were closer, I would lend you some to help you decide.

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Old 01-15-2020, 04:59 PM
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I really like the 5 inch bbl. When I bought mine, I picked it up from a table at the gunshow and at first thought it was a 4 incher when the guy that had the table says, "you do realize that is a 5 inch barrel"? Made me want it all that much more.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:06 PM
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The one thing that some people have concerns with is the ability to use their handguns for hunting. For deer hunting, in the state of Maryland anyway, is six inches. From what I gather, it is a longer barrel length than most states require.

Here is a summary of this requirement,

"Handguns used for deer hunting must have a barrel length of six inches or more and use ammunition which produces a muzzle energy of 700 foot pounds or more."

I don't plan on hunting with my handguns, but if I do, I have to use a six inch or longer barrel. Lucky for me,. I have a stainless S&W 6" 686-4 to use. I do find the barrel length to be a bit on the front heavy side, but what's a handgun hunter to do? I could always buy a pistol length barrel for one of my T/C Encore frames, in a multitude of more appropriate cartridges. A 35 Remington comes to mind, in a 9 to 15" length.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehutch View Post
5" barrels are special shooters, it is a fine balanced gun. It will give your ammo a bit better performance, but you have to shoot quality ammo. This can be done through reloading your own.

4" barrels have the edge on different applications, carry, size and excellent balance too. I have many 4" guns in several calibers.

However when I backpack deep into the outback bush I carry a 5" to 7 1.2" barrels (Smith 44 mag or a 7 1.2" inch barrel Ruger 44Mag.

5" inch heavy artillery.



and 4" inch lighter carry, say .357 mags...



to each their own, to each different useage….
You always bring the Best guns to the party !
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  #37  
Old 01-24-2020, 07:08 PM
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I have both the 4” & 5” and I’d give a slight edge to the 5” gun
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  #38  
Old 01-24-2020, 09:44 PM
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I would choose the longer sight radius of the 5" for range work and plinking.

The 1988 model 5" is crazy accurate!!!!!
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  #39  
Old 01-25-2020, 12:03 AM
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Back about 1999, my duty gun was a 1911 pattern .45 ACP. It started having feeding problems and I needed another handgun NOW. The only candidate in my collection was a 5" M625 .45 ACP. I had a Safariland M29 that I bought for a 5 1/2" Ruger Redhawk about 15 years earlier. My large speedloader pouches held 4 full moon clips, two with the bullet points down and two sitting on top with the bullet points up.

Everything was good except for the weight. With all of the junk I had to carry on my Sam Browne belt, any unneeded ounces needed to go. I called S&W, looking for a 4" Mountain Gun barrel, but the factory was out of stock with no plans to build anymore. However, Brownells had a 3" full lug barrel and that is what I bought. I installed the barrel myself.

I carried that 3" M625 until I retired in 2001. I found that I could load and reload as fast as and even faster than most of my fellow officers could using semi autos.

Round about 2006, I found a 4" M625 Mountain Gun in .45 ACP. Now I'm happy.
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  #40  
Old 01-25-2020, 01:47 AM
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4" or 5"... I prefer a 3" . That said, I've always thought that 5" barrels and N frames were perfect together. Finding holsters for them can be tough, but you can always have one made.
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