Smith and Wesson revolvers for the 45 acp

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Keith posted this 03 August 2009

I have been looking for a Smith 625 or older 25 for the 45 acp/auto rim.  The newer 625s have a good reputation for accuracy but the older 25s for the little I have been able to learn can be more challenging.  The size or oversized cylinder throats seems to be the problem most often with the model 25s.  Can any of the members who have experience with these give any suggestions as to the dates of manufacture when Smith and Wesson would have made the model 25 with the .452 cylinder throats, or is this just the luck of the draw.  I am set up to cast for the smaller throats and would like to use the same loads and not introduce a new variable to the inventory.  I also prefer longer barrels and the 5 inch 625 is not easy to find.  There are on the some of the acution sites model 25s which are not in the collector price range,  and have 6 or 6 1/2 inch barrels.  I am look for some gude lines to differential between the two, and to have some idea of what to expect before jumping in.  My goal is accuracy first.

Keith DVM

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lotech posted this 27 November 2022

I have a 25-5, a 625-3 (3" barrel), a 625-6 (5" barrel), and a 22-4 (4" barrel). My newest is the 22-4 bought new about fifteen years ago. I use the same load in all of them - a Saeco #069 (H&G #68 copy) at about 200 grains and 5 grs. Bullseye, about 850 fps in a 4" barrel. I taper crimp all loads. I use AR brass, hate messing with the clips and tools required for using ACP brass.

Some years ago I compared accuarcy of taper crimped vs. roll crimped; seems like roll crimped rounds were slightly less accurate, but not enough to really matter. Take your pick.  

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RicinYakima posted this 27 November 2022

I taper crimp just in front of the lube groove to get some of the front drive band into the throat. I size to the throat with I can get a bullet that big. These shoot very well in my 625.  HTH

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hporter posted this 30 November 2022

Try out EZ moon clips.

Are those like the RIMZ plastic moon clips?  I have a bunch of those, and they are easy to load and unload in the field.

I shot my 625 Performance Center last month, and I accidentally dumped a few of my black steel moon clips and a couple of the plastic moon clips in my stainless steel pin tumbler. My plastic ones came out squeeky clean - as did the steel ones.  It was just that the steel ones came out bright and shiny - as the black coating came off in the pins.  I am sure they will rust now - but they sure were pretty when I pulled them out!

Glaciers, I sure like those big bullets you are shooting.  I think the heaviest I have shot are my RCBS 270 SAA bullets in Autorim brass.  But, I like the way you think!

I shoot 200gr bullets out of my S&W Nightguard Scandium framed snubby in 10mm.  But at sedate speeds somewhere around the power level of a 40 S&W.  It makes a satisfying Ker-plunk against AR-500 plates!  

I know there are a lot of theories on stopping power - but I am impressed time and time again by the way large caliber heavy slow moving bullets whack the heck out of a steel plate - where a 9mm just pings and moves it very little....

 

 

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Eutectic posted this 05 December 2022

Yes, they are RIMZ plastic moon clips. The other clips I like are the 1/3 moon clips which hold 2 rounds. Not as fast a reload as full moon clips but they do not have the bent clip problem. 

The 45 ACP in a revolver needs a crimp groove and shallow seating to maximize powder space and keep pressures down. I have had good results with Accurate 45 -248H. If you wanted it heavier you could have Tom lengthen the nose, there is plenty of room in the cylinder. 

 

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beltfed posted this 12 December 2022

Has anyone heard of or read about the 45 ARM?   as in AutoRimMagnum?

Guns and Ammo article was back in , I think late '60s -'70s.

I did some work on it in late '70s and will be getting some info on to this thread soon as I can assemble.

How about M25, velocities at 1340 for a 185 grain JHP?

And  impressive velocities out of the 452423 and the 454424 Keith SWCs

My Oehler M12 at that time said 454423/ 262 grains,   clocked 1132fps out of 6.5inch M1955.

 

belttfed/arnie

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beltfed posted this 14 December 2022

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lotech posted this 14 December 2022

I think it's pretty common knowledge among those who have been handloading more than a few years that the old Speer data was not pressure tested but worked up using what were believed to be "reliable" indicators of safe vs. dangerous pressures. 

I just looked up the data from Speer #6 (1964). Maximum #2400 loads using Remington folded head Auto Rim brass and a 240 gr. cast SWC were a full three grains heavier than a max. load with the same bullet in Winchester solid head brass. The lesser charged loads had a higher muzzle velocity. Lots of powder space in the balloon head brass...

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RicinYakima posted this 08 August 2009

Treetop,

1. Even though it doesn't sound logical, softer and not harder bullets lead less. If you cast, WW's or a little softer is just fine. If you are buying bullets, look for factory, soft, .454 bullets made for 45 Colts. A .455” bullet would be best.

2. If it were I, consider the 45 Colt cylinder. I would not recommend the Keith load, as it was worked up with “old” 2400 data when it was made by Hercules, and not the stuff sold now. Since a hundred feet per second isn't going to make any difference at 30 yards, I would consider 8.5 grains of new Unique, with a 255 grain bullet with the biggest flat nose you can find (Lyman 454424).

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giorgio de galleani posted this 01 June 2015

This might be the right one

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Eutectic posted this 28 November 2022

Try out EZ moon clips. They are industrial plastic and you can easily load and unload them by hand. They will wear out but I have used some over 50 times. Unlike metal clips there is no "bent clip" problem. The only downside is they are loose and will not pass a drop test.

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lotech posted this 28 November 2022

Eutectic-

I know some like to use the clips. That's fine and I appreciate the suggestion, but I've yet to find a drawback to the use of Auto Rim brass. 

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Tom Acheson posted this 28 November 2022

I too don’t mess with moon clips and ACP brass. But….I recently came across some fired ACP cases that use small primers. An accuracy advantage or cost maneuver ?


When I bought my 25-2 revolver, Oct. 2018, I went looking for AR brass. Settled on (500) Starline cases. Kind of a luxury working through (500) cases, grabbing a new case for every load.

Next was measuring cylinder exit holes. A 0,455” pin gage would not enter, a 0.456” would easily enter. So I’m sizing @ 0.455”. Sidetrack….I avoided my SWC mold in the past because I THOUGHT it was too small of a dia. I size those @ 0.452” for my 1911. Recently I’ve been using a RCBS 45-255 bullet because of its as-cast diameter. So, an experiment, using an alloy of 20:1 (already in the pot) I made (50) of the SWC. They drop from the mold @ 0.455-0.456”. I sized those @ 0.455” and that’s what I’m loading now. They weigh 218-grains…..a bit heavier than what the mold box and mold say of 201-grains!

For crimping I’ve used a Redding profile crimp in my .41 Mag for many years. I also have a profile crimp die for .45. Don’t know if that die is similar to a roll or taper crimp.

I’ll use two powders in my “experiment”. 4.5 of Bullseye and of 4.0 of WST. Primers are FC-150.

Tom

 

 

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Glaciers posted this 28 November 2022

Nice to see this thread pop up!

I had a 625 5” 1989 that in the early 90’s, because I wanted to help fund some other gun project that was so important, that I can’t remember what it was.  What I do remember is that in a fairly short period of time I really missed that 625. 
Fast forward to 2018 and I finally managed to have money at the same time a 625-2 1989 4” became available.  Made the deal on the phone and drove 250 miles while the seller agreed to meet me in a small town for the sale.  He wanted to take a short, 120 mile motorcycle ride because we were having great late fall weather.

Long story short is I paid about double of what I’d sold my 5” gun for 25 years earlier.  Very happy to make the purchase.  It is a fine shooter just like I remember.  This one along with a 22-4 will be in the will to my son.

But, I haven’t had much time to play with either one yet, the 22-4 did get a fair amount of 45 ACP ball ammo run through it, but the 625 has only had cast run through it.  Fortunately both pistols have .452 cylinders.

In gathering molds and correct dies, sizers, a fellow on another Forum offered a bunch of Remington 45 auto rim brass brand new in the sealed bags for the price of postage.  400 pieces, well I paid the postage as requested and threw in market value for the brass.  He had told me more then once he only want postage, but, I certainly can’t let that stand.

Well I like heavy for caliber bullets, one I have specifically for the 625 is a NOE 452 304 bullet that has been fun so far in very limited testing.  Yeah I know, most or all of you are thinking, I’m nuts.  But hold on.


This big bullet I load long at 1.325 if my memory serves, I know it’s 1.3 plus, don’t have my notes in the house. But it is engaging the cylinder throat, this length is .10 longer then listed for any heavy bullet data I’ve found.  Been using Bullseye and 30-1 alloy.  

I also have, wait, I can hear noses begin to turn up at the mere mention of LEE molds, but they make some good 6 cavity 45 caliber molds, and I can afford them.  In LEE 6 cavity I have the 160, 200, 255, the 255 I’ve used so far is a great bullet.  I also have a couple of Lyman and RCBS molds that will be tested as well time allowing.

The fascination with heavy bullets started 45 plus years ago when I first moved to Alaska.  Before living in the lower 48 it was velocity, velocity, velocity.  Everyone around me was in that camp.  Most hunting was generally longer shots.  But coming up north I was able to clear my head a little.  30-06 became the small caliber.

But back to the subject of the 45 ACP 625.  My interests are in mainly 44 mag which I load 310’s from back in the late 70’s and more recently the 480 Ruger and 410 grains there.  I had a great deal of interest in having a 5 shot 50 Special built but the cost put that one back in the “I wish” department.  
I was looking for a heavy 250 to 400 grains at 800 to 1100 fps.  The S&W 4” model 29 with 310’s at 1100 fps makes a great carry gun. The Ruger 480 with 410’s at 1100 penetration is all that is needed for anything on this planet.

But, the 22-4 4” with 255’s at 900 to a 1000 fps is very respectable.  When I purchased the 625 I had the best of both worlds, midrange velocities with soft (8-9 BHN) light to heavies bullets, fun, easy to shoot and best of all very accurate.

Next spring and summer I will be fleshing out these two pistols and will be posting here.  

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Tom Acheson posted this 28 November 2022

Maybe a case of “heavy for caliber”? The lower one is a S&W Model 57, .41 Mag. The shiny one is a Dan Wesson 357 Super Mag, modified to shoot .41 caliber. The case is a shortened 220 Swift (rimmed). The bullet is a Hoch 325-grain. The S&W has taken (5) Wyoming Mule deer. The DW has taken (14) Wyoming Mule Deer. When using the S&W the bullet was a SSK 295-grain. Everything with cast bullets.

So I guess I like heavy and slow….but the deer don’t!

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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beltfed posted this 11 December 2022

Very interesting bringing up this old post on the 45 revolvers.

beltfed/arnie

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beltfed posted this 14 December 2022

Above are the 45 ARM loads mentioned above.

It is noted that I could back off the powder charge a bit and seat the lead bullets so as to cover the grease groove.

beltfed/arnie

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lotech posted this 14 December 2022

Some of you may have the old Speer manuals  from the '60s with the warm Auto Rim loads using #2400 powder. I'd have to get the books out to know for sure, but I think they may have used balloon head (folded head) brass for at least some of the loads. 

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RicinYakima posted this 14 December 2022

Almost! Only Peters and Rem-UMC and R-P ever made Auto Rim cases. Balloon head cases were not made after about the 1930's, the 1950's cases were of a larger volume than post 1970 cases. The old Speer manuals were with data from "eyeballing" fired cases and not from pressure Modern Bond machines. 

The new Alliant 2400 is useable in 45 cases, but only because it is faster than the old Hercules stuff. START LOW, AS IN 10 GRAINS, BEFORE YOU GO UP! Fwiw. 

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RicinYakima posted this 15 December 2022

Western bought the remains of Winchester Repeating Arms in 1931 when they went broke. The Olin family changed the head stamps to WW for commercial ammo soon there after. However, WRA was head stamped on military cases into the late 1960's. 

How soon I don't know as I have large pistol primed 357 S&W Magnum cases with both WRA and WW markings. So that was in 1935 or later. 

FWIW, Ric

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John Alexander posted this 28 December 2022

"The 45 ACP case is small, an increase of seating depth of 0.010" can push normal pressure loads up to proof pressure or above!"

========

Is the decimal point in the right place?

John

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