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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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Old 09-07-2020, 04:31 PM
JNW JNW is offline
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I am considering getting a S&W .45 revolver for target shooting - specifically NRA Combat League. I want to put a red dot on it and will have to do a quick tactical reload. I want it to have a super smooth DA pull and I’m willing to have this done after I buy it if need be. I will be reloading low power wad cutters.
Which of the current models would be best? Not sure what the real differences are between the 625 JM and the 625 PC.
Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:17 PM
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I'm not certain of the JM/PC differences either but I have a 5" 625 that I'd use if pursuing combat target shooting.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:21 PM
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There is a 5” 625 in the classifieds right now.
A fine choice. I have one that has been chamfered and tuned. Spectacular!!
Best,
Gary
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:50 PM
JNW JNW is offline
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Will a red dot mount from EGW or Allchin attach to a 1989 revolver?
Jeff
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:51 PM
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Jason Demond Jason Demond is offline
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Will a red dot mount from EGW or Allchin attach to a 1989 revolver?
Jeff
Doubtful. If the mount is supposed to be attached to the drilled and tapped holes under the rear sight, I don't believe that S&W started implementing that until 93/94.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason Demond View Post
Doubtful. If the mount is supposed to be attached to the drilled and tapped holes under the rear sight, I don't believe that S&W started implementing that until 93/94.
‘Twas 1993, that the drilling and tapping started.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNW View Post
I am considering getting a S&W .45 revolver for target shooting
Not sure what the real differences are between the 625 JM and the 625 PC.
I don't have a 625JM but I have a 625PC.

Here's some of the differences, unique features & specs I can relay, for inquiring minds:
.

- first off, the 625PC website's weight (42oz.) is incorrect; it's 39oz. with the funky wooden red/white/blue grips on (but promptly removed & hidden).

- it's satin stainless steel finish is moderately shiny.

- it's barrel does have the broached (6) groove rifling vs (5) groove EDM/ECM rifling. It's bore measures .443". (Haven't verified groove yet. It's supposed to be "deep cut" but since the bore measures essentially the same as my other 45's I don't see how it can have deeper grooves, just squarer/sharper.) . . .

- [PS(1): The groove measures essentially the same as the throats, .452"]

- barrel-cylinder gaps measures a fairly uniform, but generous, .007"

- it's cylinder's edge (face) is chamfered.

- it's cylinder diameter is the same (1.710"), as are all N-frames cylinders . . .

- [PS(2): the cylinder stop notches on the PC are the same size (width) as pre-endurance models (.245") while the JM's are the same width as endurance models (.365").]

- it's barrel extension (into the cylinder window) is longer at .355" vs .237" for the JM.

- the PC's cylinder length is ~ 1/8" shorter than the JM's/325/625 (1.425" vs. 1.540") & it weighs .45 oz. less (7.70 vs 8.15 oz.)

- it does not have a ball detent lock-up on the yoke, often found on many PC models.

- it's cylinder throats are right at .4520"

- it's charge holes are supposed to be chamfered, however, mine are not.

- it's cylinder notches (depth) are a smidge shallower resulting in slightly thicker supporting metal under them (.030" vs .026")

- it's chambers do have a ledge cut in them for the case to headspace on & it shoots 45ACP without moon clips reliably (as does my 325NG & 325TR)

- it's firing pin measures .490" long & it's nose had a defined point. I replaced it with an APEX firing pin .500" long & having a more rounded nose (just to insure reliable ignition without moon clips).

- it has a DX style/interchangeable .250" tall gold bead front sight (looks more like brass bead) & a .125" tall black adjustable rear sight blade.

- it's black tear drop hammer is .400" wide

- it's black smooth trigger is .300" wide & has a trigger stop installed.

- it's "PC tuned action" has a SA trigger pull that's clean & crisp but 4-1/4#. (DA pull unmeasured but it doesn't feel any different from standard production S&W revolvers I have.)

.



.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNW View Post
I am considering getting a S&W .45 revolver for target shooting - specifically NRA Combat League. I want to put a red dot on it and will have to do a quick tactical reload. I want it to have a super smooth DA pull and I’m willing to have this done after I buy it if need be. I will be reloading low power wad cutters.
Which of the current models would be best? Not sure what the real differences are between the 625 JM and the 625 PC.
Thanks,
Jeff
Don't pay for any special feature gun! A plain jane 625 45ACP from the early 5" to the later models of 4" will work great! They come predrilled for a mount and a Weaver aluminum mount is cheap and works great for any red dot(I prefer the Fast Fire III). DO NOT use wad cutter bullets! ! A round nose lead bullet will work much better with the moon clips! Jerry Miculek does a reload in under 2secs! The trigger you want will need to come from a good gunsmith! All factory triggers are built to lawyer specs! I have 9 guns(different calibers) built like this for me and the wife to use in bowling pin matches!
Good luck, jcelect
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:56 PM
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I agree with jcelect, I have a 1989 625-2 (5") that a gunsmith friend of mine drilled and tapped for a red dot and I've a Holosun on it. In order to get one that was drilled and tapped at the factory, you need to get at least a 625-4. The factory began drilling and tapping the 625s with that change in 93. Here's what mine looks like with the Holosun mounted. I used a Raptor base to mount it. If you prefer a a weaver type base, you can get one from Weigand.

If you prefer the weaver type base, here's what it looks like on my 629.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:44 PM
Seamus O'Caiside Seamus O'Caiside is offline
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Originally Posted by K-22 View Post
There is a 5” 625 in the classifieds right now.
If you are referring to the one offered by XAVMECH, it is no longer available!

Guess who bought it? (Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!)
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:29 PM
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I have a 625-8 JM Special with 4” barrel. It is one of my all time favorite revolvers. Until recently, I also had a 5” S&W Model 625-6 Model of 1989.
Both are .45 ACP’s, of course.

Keep in mind, that if you are planning on competing with this revolver, some disciplines limit maximum barrel length to 4”.

The only thing I did to my two, is I installed a matched set of springs from Bang, Inc (Jerry Miculek’s Company) and tuned the trigger to 9.0 lbs. double action and three pounds single action. I mounted Red Dot sights on mine and changed the grips to my preferred Pachmayrs.

These are BOTH superb revolvers. I have thousands of my home cast bullets and reloads through both.

As mentioned above, if you want a quick reload, a round nosed or truncated cone bullet is necessary.

I use Ranch Products steel full moon clips ( require tools to moon and demoon) or RIMZ full moon clips. The RIMZ clips are easy to moon and demoon without tools but don’t retain the loaded rounds as well as steel.

For casual use and heavy bullets, Starline .45 Auto Rim cases are the way to go.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/albu...ecial-3349.jpg
FWIW,
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Last edited by Dale53; 09-15-2020 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:33 AM
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Thanks for all of the excellent information. Part of why I'm interested in a revolver is that I shoot them just okay and learning how to shoot a revolver in DA is on my bucket list. A .38 makes more sense, but my hobby is not about making sense. Besides, .45 holes are bigger and might get me a higher score!
Another part of this for me is that with the current craziness, which may last years, means that if I want to shoot a lot I should reload. Chasing empty cases from my autos is not fun. I just bought a CZ97 earlier this year and like it a lot and was fine with paying .26 a round and letting the brass fly. I mostly shoot 9mm and good brass cased ammo was .18 a round delivered. Now with steel cased ammo at .60 a round shooting a revolver and managing my brass easily makes a lot of sense.
So, how difficult is it to get red dot mounted on a pre' 93 revolver?
Jeff
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:40 AM
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Jeff, it's not too difficult to get a red dot mounted. Get the base you want to use and take your revolver and it to a gunsmith who will drill and tap the top strap and mount the base. The rest is easy, just follow the directions that come with the red dot sight for mounting to the base. Let us know what area you're located in and I'm sure someone will recommend a good smith.
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:43 PM
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Old Chief,
I'm in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I have yet to find reliable pistolsmith locally and would appreciate some help in that area.
Jeff
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:55 PM
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Groo here
You may find the 625/25 a little heavy with the red dot.
If so, try shooting a 325 Tr..
They run about 10 oz. lighter [ light weight frame].
Most target shooters go with a heaver one,, but if you might carry,
the lighter will work well.[Got both , carry the 325]
As you will be using target loads for range ,koick will not be a problem.
Used my 325 in a class and after 200 rds [first day] all mill spec.
The second day seemed a breeze.
And reloading with moon clips second nature...
Be sure to get a mooner /demooner tool [makes clips easy]
and contact Ranch Products for moon clips [ by the hundred]
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:59 AM
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Jeff, you're a long way from N. California. I was counting on someone in your area to see your post and recommend a smith. You might check with any gun shops in your area, they usually have someone they send their work to. Also, if you have any of the bigger stores like Pro Bass or Sportsmen's Wearhouse in your area, they may have a smith on site or be able to recommend one. You can always contact Smith and Wesson customer service and see what it will cost you to have them do the job.
Good luck, I hope someone there comes up with something for you.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:14 AM
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You can also take it to a local machine shop, you ant it drilled and tapped using a mill. You will probably need to furnish your own tap (Available from Brownells for bout $6). First thing you need to do is get the mount you want to use. Take that to the machine shop to use as a pattern. This will show you what size tap you need. Machine shops usually don't have taps for firearm screws. A friend & I did mine last week, plan to pay for
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:20 AM
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The best revolver smith I've found working on things like you want is Pinnacle Gunsmithing. (Google him for contact info) You'll have to ship to him in PA but he can do everything you've described reasonably. You might also want him to work on your cylinder for smoother reloads with moon clips or Auto Rim. Pay for the deluxe trigger job. It's worth the difference.

Buy a N frame 357 double speedloader pouch or two. Each side will carry 2 45 ACP moon clips. They are much cheaper used on Ebay or Gunbroker then the metal clips that are hard on your hands. If you buy 2 that's 8 reloads and 6 rds in the gun.

Buy a 4" gun to be able to compete in the most disciplines. You'll find the 4" 45 moon clip revolver very fast and accurate. As your skill develops, watch the on-line auctions for a modified 1917. The shorter barrel means no or little collector value therefore cheaper. It's also lighter and the fixed sights are rugged. Watch ebay and others for a Roy Baker N frame 4" pancake holster. After your skill develops, this will become your favorite carry gun. I carried one when in uniform as a duty gun from the 70's to 1990 when we went to autos. I used other options for plainclothes duty but liked it off-duty in the winter also.
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Part of why I'm interested in a revolver is that I shoot them just okay and learning how to shoot a revolver in DA is on my bucket list. A .38 makes more sense, but my hobby is not about making sense.
By all means get one of the great S&W 625 models because they are fantastic. However, if you want to learn how to shoot double action then I'd suggest also getting a .22 with a speed loader and loading block. Load up close to 500 rounds in the loading blocks and get that trigger finger working.

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Old 09-12-2020, 07:32 PM
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Super Dave,
If I do take up revolver shooting I will definitely be getting a 4" 617!
Jeff
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