Tuesday, March 18, 2008

S&W model 625

Now I'm thinking. And that's always dangerous.

Keeping in line with my desire to simplify ammo inventory by restricting the number of caliber types my guns will fire, I can't go out and buy a .44 Magnum. Or a .32. Or .45 Colt. It doesn't fit in with the other calibers. Getting a .380 pistol was an anomaly, and I don't keep more than a couple boxes of ammo for it on hand.

And I want a revolver to play with.

I HAVE a .357... And I HAVE a lot of .45ACP ammo...

Oooo, there is an option there!

The S&W Model 25 or 625, or even an old Colt 1917.

In WWI, the Army's sidearm was a 1911 .45 ACP, but production couldn't keep up with the massive influx of new dog faces. As a stopgap, the War Department looked for alternatives, and the solution they and the gun manufacturers arrived at was to make revolvers that could be cranked out on under utilized wheel gun fabrication machinery but that ALSO fired the same rimless .45 ACP cartidge. Revolvers like rimmed cartidges to better hold the round in the cylinder, but if you make a little metal clip that holds the groove of 3 or 6 .45 ACP cartridge you can make it all work. This is what the .45 rounds clip into:

Now thanks to WWI, and this moon clip invention, I can get a new revolver that shoots the ammo I already carry.

That full size moonclip sort of acts like a speed loader, too. I am pretty sure the current speed record for those "quick draw" competitions is held by a guy that used moon clips. Jerry Miculek, I believe? 12 rounds in less than 3 seconds? I can do that. I just don't want to...

Oh you said seconds. I thought you said minutes.

Anyway, the firearms.

I wouldn't be too picky. All the following statements are my personal conventional wisdom (in other words, there is a good chance I am talking out my butt.) The S&W 625 is the model currently in production, and you MAY still be able top get a Model 25. The difference is, the 625 is stainless steel and the 25 is blued steel. The Colt 1917 (the year they needed/developed all these stopgap handguns marks the model number.) are around. There is even a nice example at my gun dealer, blued, in great shape. But they aren't current production. Smith and Wesson ALSO had a model # 1917 that is pretty much the same thing.

Now this gun is neat and all, and I added it to the Master List but only on the Tertiary section. I have a good revolver in the S&W 686, and another one as backup isn't as pressing a priority. And though I really like the old pre-WWII styling, and wouldn't pass one up if the right one presented itself when I actually raised the list priority on the gun, I bet one won't present itself at that time in the future. It is most likely I'll get a S&W 625 because of availabilyt if/when I do. But a nice vintage version would be the ideal, the 625 would be the realistic choice. Perhaps I'll just hold out.

When in good shape, the vintage Colt 1917 have pretty, smooth, walnut grips, and if I had to choose I'd go for that version over all the others. Here more info abou the 1917 from a couple of fans, and here is a pic:

And here is the S&W modern version, with all the modern amenities:


Jason said...


625 is a great revolver and shoots the readily available 45 ACP, but I would recommend getting a S&W M25 or the M625 in 45 Long Colt then send the cylinder off to have it cut for moonclips. Best of both worlds! Shoot all the 45 Colt you want (and get a Marlin 1894 in 45 Colt, too!) and run 45 ACP through the revolver with moonclips for relatively cheap shooting! Check smith-wessonforum.com for some discussion about the M25 and M625's.

David said...

Hey! Don't forget the Smith & Wesson 1917, too! See here for a pic of what it looks like with more modern grips:


DirtCrashr said...

1917's are way-cool, but I prefer the straight, no-taper barrel of my 1909 in .45 Long Colt... :-)